sports writer needs a notebook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Smallville, May 15, 2006.

  1. Smallville macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    #1
    Here are the obvious options: because of the budget, I need either an iBook G4 or a MacBook. MacBook Pros and PowerBooks are out of budget range.

    Things to consider:

    Battery life: at least 3.5 hours

    Strength, physical: I will travel with this a lot and haul it up to pressboxes, out to baseball fields, etc.

    Strength, digital: I just need to run an e-mail app, Web browser and Word. Maybe iTunes. No design software at all.

    Networking: When I get back from a game with half my story written, I need to be able to plug into our network to either download my finished story or e-mail it to my editor

    Current office details: they just switched from Windows NT and Lotus Notes for writers/editors and Mac OS 9 for designers to all Windows XP with our editing system integrated with Word.

    So, will it be worth plunking down extra money for an Intel machine that I may run Windows XP on by next year and risk getting a "lemon" with a first-off-the-assembly-line purchase (much like my four-times-repaired iMac G5) or should I just get a cheap PowerPC machine?

    Any help is appreciated, as the old paper-and-pen routine takes more time when you have to transcribe. I'd like to be able to write up my stats and most of the game before I even get to the office to finish it for deadline.

    Thanks.
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    I think the current iBook would really suit you, but check with IT as to whether they'll let you use OSX. I really doubt they wouldn't as OSX and XP network really quite easily. :)

    Rather than buy it now, I'd wait for the Intel machines to come out and then get a good deal on a G4 (PPC).
     
  3. Smallville thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 1, 2004
    #3
    Definitely no rush. The spring season is over and fall football isn't until August. Plenty of time to find the right deal. Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    That's okay. :)

    The good thing is, even though the G4 will suffice, you can bide your time and opt for the Intel equivalent if you prefer the specs, once it has come out. :cool:
     
  5. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #5
    As madjew said, the ibook would be great for you. As you are not doing much on it, an older version could also be suited to you, especially if you max out the RAM.
     
  6. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Oct 29, 2005
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    Portland, OR
    #6
    Well, except, um...

    3.5 hours minimum? I've never owned an ibook that lasted more than two.
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #7
    Well, my battery's two years old (or maybe only one and a half, I forget) and still manages 4.5 hours. I've looked after it pretty well and haven't worked it very hard, which makes a difference in the long run.
     
  8. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #8
    Mine's a year and a half old and I'm getting easily 4, sometimes 5, hours from my battery. That's running Mail, Safari and Messenger with Airport off and the brightness on full. I can get close to six if I turn the brightness down.

    Everyone I know with PC laptops are amazed as mine just keeps chugging.

    From what I've heard the 14" has even longer battery life - best of the lot is what I hear. Pity it's a bit on the frumpy side.
     
  9. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    I have a 14", what you've heard is bull. 2-2.5 hours is the most my battery has ever done (of course, I have the RAM increase and tend to run things like Photoshop from time to time, but even with the monitor turned down and just using Mail and Safari, I usually need to plug back in after a couple hours of constant use). I'm a bit bitter on the batteries as mine currently won't hold a charge, and I think it's because of the whole "bad power adapters ruining batteries" issue, but since my model isn't in the recall list Mac won't replace it, even though the genius bar guy said "Yeah, I think it's your power supply". His advice was to buy a new one and a new battery. Which he can say, making what he makes AND getting the discount, but I don't have a spare $200.

    Sorry, ranting. It's been a long weekend, thanks to the security update. I still love Apple more than anyone in the computer world, but right now it's sort of like loving a junky sister who keeps ****ing up her life then coming to you to borrow money and sleep on your couch.
     
  10. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #10
    So what I've heard is correct, it's just that you unfortunately have a dud machine.
     
  11. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #11
    Just a dud power supply (and now battery), the machine is fine. :)
     
  12. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #12
    I used my iBook for exactly the same task - although I woul dwait for the MacBook if you can. My only regret about buying a PowerBook is that I am afraind I will dent, scratch or otherwise harm it in the field. My iBook took everything I dished out of it - backs of small planes, insides of helicopters you name it.
     
  13. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

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    #13

    What! I generally get 4-5 hours under normal conditions on my 12" 1.33 iBook.:D
     
  14. ero87 macrumors 65816

    ero87

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    Jan 17, 2006
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    New York City
    #14
    That sounds like the sweetest job ever. Takin' the mac to a baseball field and writing about what you see...

    I envy you more than anyone in the world.
     
  15. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

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    #15
    Really? Even the guy who gets to taste test Guinness?
     
  16. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #16
    I'd wait for the new iBooks prices to really discount and then buy. Don't buy an older iBook version. You need the motion sensor and the scrolling trackpad is nice too. They are GREAT machines. If you know someone in academia, you can score a new 1.33 12" ibook right now for 700 to 850 range.
     
  17. iPegboy macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2003
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    Detroit
    #17
    It's not as glamorous as you make it out to be. I did it for a while, but now cover city government (even less glamorous).

    Back to the subject at hand though, I found there to be an outlet at many of press boxes I went to, but if not, the iBook got me through baseball/softball games with ease. It is the way to go . .
     
  18. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #18
    Americans like guinness??
     
  19. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

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    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #19
    It isn't bull. On my 12" 1.33 GHz iBook, I get ALMOST 4 hours watching DVDs (its pretty frustrating, because that's usually JUST short of two movies), and using the DVD drive uses quite a bit of juice. If I'm not really using wireless/BT/DVDs, I get over 5 hours.
     
  20. Smallville thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 1, 2004
    #20
    Aside from the small paychecks and the fact that my work is out there for thousands of people to criticize/second guess (especially the crazy sports parents who live vicariously through their children), it's not bad. The best part is getting out of the office and not being tied to the desk.

    I think I'm leaning toward a new iBook, hopefully discounted after the MacBooks come out.

    I just can't see buying a brand-new, first-off-the-line machine like I did my iMac G5. I had three logic boards replaced and a bad power supply. And we all know how Apple loves to replace faulty machines. :rolleyes:

    Also, many high school pressboxes still just have dial-up lines. High-speed does not exist, so I'm worried that the new MacBooks will drop the modem like the MBPs.
     
  21. Smallville thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Hmm ... I dunno ... those MacBooks look awfully tempting ...
     
  22. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    #22
    If you are interested, go to your Apple store and try one out. Sleep on it, and if you still want it in the morning, buy it. It is a lot of money to waste if you don't like it.
     
  23. Smallville thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 1, 2004
    #23
    Well, either I'll have to get a cheap, older version and hope it won't be completely obsolete in about three or four years ... or I can just bite the bullet and get a brand new one and sell the iMac G5 because I can't afford a MacBook.

    (And quite frankly, the wife is never going to go for another $1500 computer.)
     

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