Which used laptop for mac newbie?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by kant, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #1
    Hey all.

    I just lost a uni help desk job offer to the other person due to lack of Mac knowledge, so I'm finally taking the plunge and need some advice. Going to go for a laptop and replace my compaq wintel machine. I'm looking to spend ~700 tops. Prefer less of course. :) But willing to pay a little more for the 'right' machine.

    Absolute requirements:
    14" min screen; will not bother with a 12". TFT of course.
    at least 128mb, prefer =>256
    optical drive (internal or external)
    modem/network
    certain amount of software with it

    preferred but not necessary:
    cd-rw
    dvd
    wireless

    questions:

    1. iBook or PowerBook? Why? I notice (ebay) that iBook price vs. mhz is a little better than the powerbook. But I'm sure there are differences. :)

    2. Spend less now on a learner machine? One thought that occurs to me is to buy a Lombard or Pizmo just to learn on for now.

    3. G3 or G4? Or is this covered in question 1?

    4. Get one setup to dual boot 9 and 10 for learning purposes? I.e. are their usability differences between them? (Keeping in mind that uni help desk job.)

    5. All the other questions I'm too dumb to know to ask.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    Too bad you don't want a 12" screen - you can get this:
    iBook G4 800MHz/128MB/30GB/CD-ROM/E/56K/12" TFT-Refurbished​
    for $749 from Apple itself (http://store.apple.com, then click on the "Special Deals" in the left-hand column).

    Remember, you can attach a larger monitor, and the 12" screen is actually pretty sharp.

    To answer your questions:

    (1) iBook, if you're looking for a lower price; they're just as good to learn on, and nice systems.

    (2) Lombard/Pismo is really slow on OS X (I have a Lombard). Usable, but not all that great.

    (3) G4, because G3's don't let you do some of the GUI tricks.

    (4) For a help desk, I guess OS 9 would be nice to boot into, but increasingly less necessary.

    (5) Other things:

    256MB is a bare minimum. Period. 512 is much better. Yeah, it will boot with 128MB, but you will wish it had more. Really.

    Make sure you get at least OS 10.2 (Jaguar), although Panther is preferable.

    Good luck! Keep us posted with what you actually buy!
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #3
    Hmm. After looking at this thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=79836) and having to agree with a couple of good points in there, I would be willing to consider a 12".

    1. How much smaller is the keyboard? I don't have huge hands, but they are a little large.

    2. With an iBook can you span across screens when connected to the external monitor or is it just mirror only? (seems I read that somewhere.)
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #4
    and thanks for the reply/advice. :)
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Location:
    WA
    #5
    I think you could get your hands on a revision A 12" powerbook 867 mhz G4. I got a sweet deal on mine and they even have better deals now. Pretty good machine. I even play first person shooters with no problems.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    MacFan26

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, California
    #6
    1. As far as I know, the keyboard on the 14" is the same one on the 12". There's just extra space around the edges on the 14" and the keyboard comes right up to the edge on the 12".

    2. Yep, it can span across screens (as least I think so, this isn't a powerbook only thing is it??)
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    #7
    an iBook can span if you use a hack on the firmware..browse the other threads on the topic :)
     
  8. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    Ypu can get the hack here. I've used it on my iMac. It works!
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    I would say your going to have to get a 12" model if you want to go el cheapo. There aren't many deals out there for 700$ that are bigger then 12". Go on apple and look at the special deals page.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #10
    aahhhhhh. I took the plunge...

    Just bought a G4 800mhz iBook on ebay. might as well post the link:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=5110859912

    Two questions:

    That's a fair price I think; what do y'all say? A refurb from apple is $749, but this one has the additional 256mb and twice the hard drive space while only losing <2 months on the warranty. (Gawd I love transferable warranties.)

    The book in the picture: any of you recognize that one? 'Cause I'm for damned sure going to need one. or two. or three....

    I'm very familiar and comfortable in the windows environment and know hardware well. But I have zero mac experience and damn little linux; I've installed a couple of linux distros and looked around, but that's it for linux.

    Any suggestions for a beginner Apple book that will actually be useful and not a paperweight after two weeks?

    thanks for the advice already give folks. appreciate it.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #11
    That is a nice system. I mean I got half that system (actually about a 1/3 of that system) for a little more than half that. (here's the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=5110359349 ) You will be able to do just about everything you need to, to learn about Mac.

    I was a devout Windows/Linux user, but after I used a Powermac with OSX at school, I fell in love with Apple computers. Just remember that to close a window you go to the little red circle and it becomes an "X" (seriously I have met people who freaked out about that.)

    As for the book, haven't seen it. Read it and give us a review! :D

    Mike

    +EDIT+ Upon comparing it to mine, you got the better deal.
     
  12. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #12
    "Ships with Microsoft Office, and Adobe Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS installed, no media."

    Ah, even comes with warez.... ;)

    Excellent price on the system. I hope it arrives safely!
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #13

    You didn't do badly at all. Most every other 600mhz have been going for ~640 to 700.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #14
    hmm...you know something, your right! Damn straight I got a good computer. Actually, funny stroy behind it. I was just scanning eBay, and saw it had <1 minute left. So I thought "ahh, what the heck why not?" set my max bid at 500. Before I knew it, I was the proud new owner of it. Weird, yet somehow I knew that was how I would find my Mac.

    Mike
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Location:
    WA
    #15
    Good machine. I hope it works very well for you. Enjoy.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    #16
    UPS Tracking:

    Aug 3, 2004

    7:18 A.M.

    OUT FOR DELIVERY


    Sweeter words have never been written!
     

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