First Mac Purchase ???s for newbie.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by seatown7, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. seatown7 macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2009
    I've never used an Apple computer before. My brother-in-law is a computer master who works for Cisco and has always been "THEE GUY" to ask about tech issues. I was surprised to find out that he had recently switched to a MacBook Pro and was ecstatic about what a great computer it was compared to his PC.

    I asked him to keep an eye out for a deal on a used Mac and he found me a 1.67Ghz PowerPC loaded with Leopard and Firefox, 100gig hard drive and 2 gigs of memory for $300. Since I have no idea what I'm doing, any ideas on what I should get hardware/software wise to make my Apple indoctrination complete?


  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Welcome to Mac ownership and welcome to MacRumors:Forums! You'll find a lot of information both here and on the web. Here are a few resources that may be helpful:

    Mac 101 a tour of the Mac OS X
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    Apple Support search Apple Support and the Knowledge Base
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    MacRumors FAQ
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    Maximizing your MacRumors troubleshooting experience. (if you really need help, this is valuable to know!)
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    You can find lists of essential applications in this thread, as well as these sites: here and here and here.....and here.

    If you search the forums and don't find what you're looking for, just ask! There's lots of friendly help here! Enjoy your new Mac!
  3. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    Well hello there! I'll get straight to the point since that's what you want to know about.

    Since you're not giving me any product specs beyond the processor, I'm going on the assumption that the computer is a Powerbook 1.67. Either way, it's about 3-4 years old and was already hurting from not being a G5 processor at the time, and I can't recommend it for use as a main computer (I have a ibook that I use for travel however, works wonders). Let's not forget it's PowerPC, either. When Snow Leopard (the next version of OS X) comes out later this year, there is a very good chance it will drop PPC support completely, meaning you're stuck. It's not the most fun way to start your relationship with a mac.

    What do you plan on using your mac for? If it's just the essentials (surfing, email, work), I'd suggest you keep an eye on the Mac Mini line for an update. They are sorely in need of one, but whenever they get one I believe they'll suit you quite well, and they're only about $600. Sure, it's double the cost, and you may have to wait a bit longer, but the machine you get will last you at least 4 years assuming your habits don't change. If you're intent on a laptop, your cheapest route is probably craigslist/ebay, but you should aim for something with a Intel CPU at the very least.

    Then again, those Powerbooks easily sell for more than $300 bucks on eBay. Macs hold their resale value quite well, which has it's advantages.

    Hope this helps! And welcome!

    Edit: I might've misunderstood your question... you might've already bought it which means the post above is null, so:

    For hardware, I wouldn't do much. It's already been upgraded to just about its max.

    For software, a few programs you should look into:

  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Personally, I don't think any of that matters.

    The OP knows it's an older Mac, so his expectations of the performance of the system couldn't be THAT high. He can still surf the web as fast as any modern computer (duh!), use an older version of iTunes that will still play his songs as good as the current version, and he can even run Microsoft Office X faster than a new Intel Mac can run Office 2008. :p Secondly, he doesn't need to install Snow Leopard, does he? There are plenty of happy 10.3, 10.4, and 10.5 users out there still.

    There isn't a lot that I'd recommend other than Firefox, VLC, Flip4Mac, and perhaps MS Office X. Get a copy off eBay or something.
  5. mgridgaway macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2006
    Since he didn't list the specs (beyond the catchphrase ram and storage), type of computer, and thought that Firefox coming with the computer was a perk, I made a fair assumption that, like a vast majority of computer users, they don't know much about computer hardware, and even less about the differences between pre-Intel macs and windows based pcs.. I was simply informing him that his computer is fairly old, technologically speaking, so that he can make an informed decision.

    I used to be all for fixing up older computers (hell, my first Mac was a B&W 450 back in 2005), but I think he should know that he is putting $300 into basically dead technology and that he can save a little more for something that'll see him through another 4 years. At the time, it seems like a good idea to go with older because it's cheaper. In hindsight, it makes more sense to buy new(ish) than leapfrogging from older cheap system to slightly less older cheap system.

    Personally, I wish I would've resisted the urge, as all the upgrades I spent money on across 2 different PPC's (that could'nt even handle flash, mind you) could've easily bought a mini.
  6. Yvan256 macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    Just wanted to echo the same comments as above: do not put money into an old PowerPC Mac, save your money and get a Core 2 Duo Mac.

    I have a PowerPC G4/1.42GHz Mac mini and an intel Core 2 Duo/1.83GHz Mac mini, and there's a world of difference between the two, not to mention things like the maximum amount of RAM you can put in them (1GB vs 3GB).
  7. OnTrack Studios macrumors regular

    OnTrack Studios

    Apr 22, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Unless you have an intel Mac already and like to mess around with the older machines for fun! But yea, I definitely have to agree. Save your money and put it towards a new Mac. Then later if you develop an obsession for all things Mac, you'll wanna go back in time a bit. If I didnt have my Intel MacBook Pro and had to rely on my iMac G4 or PowerBook, I'd pretty much be S.O.L. They just dont compare to what's out now.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    In addition, has info on types of macs, max ram possible, etc.
  9. seatown7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2009
    More info..

    Here is some more info I should have included. This machine will be purely a "toe in the water" for all things Mac/Apple. I will be using it for purely goofing and not relying on it for work or anything sexy. I'll be web surfing, checking out Garage Band, Iphoto, listening to music etc. I mostly want to check out the human interface and see what the "Cult of Apple" is all about so I can have an educated opinion.

    If it's so much better than a PC, I will likely switch to a spendy new MacPro with Intel. This PPC is a G4 17" and was the last and sexiest PPC before the Intel models came out.

    Hope that helps and thanks for your comments thus far.

  10. OnTrack Studios macrumors regular

    OnTrack Studios

    Apr 22, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    that's a good deal. If that's all you need it for then by all means. The 17" notebooks are pretty massive in my opinion. But if you dont need it for mobility then it makes no difference. Ever since I got my 12" Powerbook, the MacBook Pro just sits on my desk connected to an external display.
  11. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I say go to an apple store and play around with one (or borrow your friends for a weekend if he will part with it) and then you have $300 bucks to put towards your new MacBook Pro!:)

    That way you really get a good idea of what the Mac side has to offer. You can certainly use it to play around on and you could certainly sell it afterwards I guess and get most if not all of what you paid for it.
  12. Gioman macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2009
    $300 seems like a really good price for a 1.67Ghz/17" PowerBook. My G4 (quite a lot worse than that PB) runs nicely doing simple stuff, so it should be fine. Encoding will be relatively painful (esp. bigger files), and iMovie could be problematic.

    I would recommend an Intel Mac (new or 2nd hand), they are just plain snappier and future-proof. But maybe you could get one if the PowerBook pleases you. However, if you arent a heavy user, dont get the Mac Pro. It is really overkill and a waste of money. :)

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