College Computer Advice

blasto333

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 3, 2004
225
2
I know there have been many threads already on what computer to get for college, but I think my situation is slightly different.

I will be going to R.I.T (Rochester Institute of Technology) for software enginnering. The college is in my hometime, but I will be living on campus.

Right now my dad has an iBook G3 900mhz 640mb of RAM. I currently use it, because he doesn't need it now. He said I could buy it from him for college for around $600.

But my question is, should I buy a different computer or just buy the iBook for college.

The other computers I am considering are:
*iMac G5 20' screen (When the new one comes out)
*Powerbook 12' screen.

Both these computers are at least double the price of the iBook that my dad is offering to me.

I plan to use the computer for programming, e-mail, web surfing, iTunes, chat, writing papers, and using iPhoto or Photoshop elements once in while.

My opinion is that the iBook is more economically and should meet most my needs, but it is pretty hard to resist the powerbook or the iMac.

What computer do you think will work out best in a college environment?

PS: The software enginnering program at R.I.T is a 5 year program (1 year is a co-op)
 

nichos

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2004
372
0
Jacksonville, Fl
Have you considered the current iBook's? Kindof a half-way point between the one your dad is offering, and the latest powerbooks.
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,415
124
Location Location Location
Wow.....for $600, I'd rather buy a brand new iBook for $999, hoping that the next update brings 512MB of RAM standard with it.

But sure, it'll work. It'll probably work quite well as long as you're not doing anything crazy on it. iPhoto and Adobe Elements and some light PS is all you should be doing on it.

I was going to buy that exact same iBook a few years ago. Its a good system. :)

But yeah, I'd still buy a new iBook at that price. You don't even have Altivec/Quartz Extreme on that iBook, which definitely helps in many applications, including OSX itself. Without it, it won't feel as snappy, not even with the 900MHz G3. You need a G4 at this stage in Apple's plans. Not sure if you need a 12" Powerbook, as it doesn't offer you much more than an iBook does (for what you plan on doing with your computer).
 
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DeSnousa

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2005
1,616
0
Brisbane, Australia
If you need portability, go for an iBook if you would like it to connect to a external display then thats powerbooks territory. Depends on price and need. If you have your sight on a desktop the iMac looks mighty sweet.r
 
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Steven1621

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2003
796
0
Connecticut
i strong recommend getting a high res external display. if you are doing something computer intensive for an extended period of time, you will really grow to appreciate the extra real estate.
 
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vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
0
I use that computer (albeit at 800MHz instead of 900MHz) and it does everything I need. of course I'm a bio major, not software engineering, so it may or may not be powerful enough for you. I do use photoshop pretty often however, and while it can be a little slow at times, it's perfectly useable.

For college, I HIGHLY recommend a laptop. I take mine to all my classes and write my notes onto it. Once you get used to that, it's hard to go back to pen and paper. But I also agree with a post above to check out the current iBooks. Not much more in price but much much more power.
 
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mgargan1

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2003
1,218
0
Reston, VA
or you could ask him to GIVE you the ibook for free, you know... cause you're a great kid looking for a great graduation gift?
 
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buryyourbrideau

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2005
1,212
0
Chicago
ha i tried the gift approach to my dad, FAILED had to shell out 2000 for my new ibook and i dont regret it at all....
 
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roadapple

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2004
219
0
12" iBook and a Dell 20" lcd, or bargin with your dad ($600 WTF?) and get the dell screen. Or wait till you get on campus for a month, talk with your profs, then get what they (and you) think is best.
 
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buryyourbrideau

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2005
1,212
0
Chicago
just remember that the ibook does not support dual monitors...you can hook up an external and view the same image on it but you cannot "extend" your desktop, thats about the only thing that i do not like about my ibook
 
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whenpaulsparks

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2004
210
1
Tallahassee, FL
how about a mac mini for your room and an ibook for taking to class? trust me, you dont want to carry a powerbook around campus, unless you're rich, or retarded. i learned that lesson the hard way. now i have a beat up falling apart 15" Ti Powerbook.
 
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roadapple

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2004
219
0
I do not have an iBook, but there is a hack that will let you use "dual monitier" like a pbook, even with the small 12" dark screen. If you can not justify the apple 23" (who can?), Dell is a great way to go.
 
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roadapple

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2004
219
0
whenpaulsparks said:
how about a mac mini for your room and an ibook for taking to class? trust me, you dont want to carry a powerbook around campus, unless you're rich, or retarded. i learned that lesson the hard way. now i have a beat up falling apart 15" Ti Powerbook.
can't see what a mini would give you (over storage) then the ibook? One computer over two is always better.
 
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GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
If you are going with software enginnering, will the Mac support your needs? Do they tell you that you'll be learning on windows systems? I guess when it comes to something like that, I'd wonder if it was more about the OS than anything else. For me, when it was architecture it had to be windows. AutoCAD is industry standard and does not run on the Mac. Therefore, if I were to go to grad school in architecture I'd need to give up my mac for a pc...or buy a pc to compliment (or put down) my Mac.

If I were in your shoes I'd ask my school first. Much like Law School, you may be sort of confined to one OS and unfortunately that may not be OSX.
 
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blasto333

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 3, 2004
225
2
Thanks for everyone's help.

I think I will go with the iBook my dad has (I will try to convince him to just give it to me for graduation:). It is still a pretty solid computer.

Then after a couple years I will evaulate my options. I might find that I will use the computers at R.I.T anyways. (They have a ton of them)

I guess it is probably better to save my money anyways because I will probably have more fun that way at college

Thanks again,

Chris Muench
 
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