Greetings. Allow me to introduce myself. I have just finished my Masters (Physics) and intend to go on to further study (either an MSc or a DPhil depending upon results in a week or two). Just like in the other thread, I am a Windows/x86 user who is quite certain he would wish to switch to an Apple laptop. The conversion came about when I saw a DPhil student living next to me using his laptop. The laptop itself looked good: but many do. What caught me was the OS: Mac OS X Panther seemed a perfect replacement to the slowly self-bloating Windows XP. I tried Linux which is indeed free for those who have time on their hands. A laptop sounds like a good idea especially if I go for the MSc which is in London. Since all the old PC architecture is changing anyway making a new PC folly at this time, and I also have no free time any more to play games, from the tasks left, I ask myself what is there that an Apple could not accomplish? I need a machine that just runs elegantly with capability for DVDs, music, LaTeX, Office, email/internet, eDonkey2000, instant messaging/video chat with foreign relatives and programming. Since all of these seem to be available cross-platform, I cannot see why I should not switch and wanted input from the learned members of this forum where I have been a lurker. As far as one can see, the 1Ghz iBook should suit me just fine with self bought and installed RAM and the extra care policy. A student discount would taker a slight edge off the price. But what recommendations are there? Would a pBook be more suited? What is Windows emulation like on an iBook should one wish to use it? Can a few of the older games (e.g. Total Annihilation) be played thus? How about music: what is the sound output like and what sorts of speaker sets can be connected? Since I have a huge lossless music collection, what external hard disk is recommended? Also, I was considering using an external mouse and keyboard when in accomodation. I already have an eye on a Microsoft Mouse, but why do Apple keyboards seem so expensive from the apple store, especially the wireless ones: are there any alternative prices? And what about if it is desired to connect the iBook to a VGA monitor or TV? Is any additional component needed? Many thanks for the consideration in reading this post.