How to Blow $1700.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kalisphoenix, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    So I'm getting $1700 in the second week of January. I'd like to spend it on computers/peripherals. The wife and I are wanting to update our DVD collection (a couple hundred of them) to H.264 or something similar and toss them on a media center so we don't have to shuffle endlessly whenever we're trying to find something to watch. We're probably going to be barely subsisting until Summer '08, so I'd really like to get my money's worth and not have to buy another computer until at least the middle of 2008.

    I have four external hard drive enclosures, three of which are available. One has a 250GB HD. I'm thinking about buying three 400GB HDs to throw in the other enclosures. I've found them as low as $115 each.

    I also have an iBook G4 1.2GHz 14" with 1.25GB RAM and a 60GB HD. I'd like to sell it or trade it (+ cash) for an Intel Mac mini, but I'm not sure how likely/probable that'll be in mid-January.

    Finally, my wife has a Sawtooth G4 with 768MB RAM and a couple 120GB HDs in it (mostly backup stuff).

    So my question is: what should I buy?

    Option A: Sell iBook, buy Mac mini, hard drives, and a refurbished MacBook. That'd deplete probably all my funds.

    Option B: Keep iBook, buy Mac mini, hard drives. That'd be about $1000.

    Option C: Keep iBook, buy refurbished MacBook, hard drives. That'd be about $1500, depending on MB model. I'm not sure about how good this iBook would be as a media center, and it seems weird to throw it under a TV (?). But my wife might like using the iBook instead of her Sawtooth.

    Any other ideas? Suggestions?


    Edit: People suggesting that I donate the money to them will be shot :cool:
  2. somevelvet macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2006
  3. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Or DivX, or XviD, or IvdX. It doesn't really matter to me, as long as I get decent picture in less than 4/9GB per flick. I was planning on H.264 because of the excellent compression, but I've also found ~2GB DivX flicks usually look quite fine. With 1.2TB of disk space, quality isn't really an issue. I'd just do the whole VIDEO_TS-on-a-hard drive angle, but Front Row doesn't play them.

    (and before anyone brings up the DMCA crap: I'm not listening. I don't care what the law says, I don't care what the MPAA says, and I have no intention of compromising my comfort for the comfort of some corporate fatcat)
  4. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Wait for MWSF before making any decisions, particularly if a media center is part of your thought process. "iTV" is expected to debut and there may be more products in this space announces/available in a few weeks.

  5. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    My TV doesn't take component in, so I figure it's not worth it. Plus, it doesn't have an optical drive so I would find it annoying to back up my DVDs. Also, we don't really know what the USB ports are for, so I don't know how that'll work.

    Of course, the Sawtooth has a DVD drive, and I'm not really concerned with the speed of backups so long as they get done... and I could hook the HDs up to the Sawtooth, too... and, for that matter, I could just buy a component -> composite convertor or something.

    Hmm... maybe I should wait. Thanks for the advice :)
  6. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Damn! I think you might have done it.

    iTV ($300)
    MacBook ($1000)
    Hard Drives ($350)
    Cables ($50)
    = $1700.

    My wife gets a newer computer (and a laptop, to boot). I get a new laptop. And we both get a media center. And I was wanting a server so that I could listen to my iTunes while I'm on campus -- and this would do that too.

    You're a genius, balamw!
  7. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040


    May 16, 2006
    Central Florida!
  8. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    You could always spend less on one of those components of the option and save the rest...
  9. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Does anyone know of an inexpensive way to convert component out or HDMI out to composite out?

    Because if I can't do that, I just realized that the iTV is not going to do me all that much good with our coax/composite TV :/

    Edit: Component -> S-Video and S-Video -> Composite adapters are cheep :cool:

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