In desparate need of a new computer--make sure I don't screw it up!

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
Tell me again, what did you do after you left the coffee shop with your girlfriend of the time... eight years ago... Oh wait, hang on, this isn't your life story... :D

Maybe try to keep the posts a little briefer please, you'll get more responses. Nevertheless, I'll give your questions the best attempt I can.


bobert1985 said:
1. Besides the external keyboard and mouse, iSkin (lots of dust in my house), screensavRz, and iCurve, are there any other accessories or alternatives I should consider as must haves for my laptop? Is an extra battery necessary? Are the Mac Case Binders any good, especially in a backpack? Is a travel coolpad worth it? The iSkin--how well does it fit and work for a 12in. PowerBook? Remember some things can wait till Christmas. lol

You don't really need an extra battery unless you plan on ever needing to go eight or nine hours without a charge. I haven't bothered with any of the cases for my iBook, but people 'round here swear by the iCurve. Maybe see if you can try one out at a local store or something.


bobert1985 said:
2. I really need a laser printer, since most of everything I print is text anyways. Actually I need a printer, period. Relying on the Windows (*shudder*) computer labs at school to not be full is pushing it. Is there one in particular I should consider using, especially one that works particularly well with Macs? The Brother laser printers look nice (although the 2040 and 2070N sound very buggy from most reviews). I know this isn't a printer forum, but how much better is automatic duplex printing compared to manual duplex printing? Remember, I will be printing a lot.

I have a Brother MFC printer (9180 maybe?) and it works seemlessly with Macs. I'm sure you'll find the same with all of the other major brands. As for duplex printing, sorry, no idea what you're talking about. :eek:


bobert1985 said:
3. How are the PowerBook speakers? Should I invest in external ones eventually, though I do not listen to too much music?

The speakers, like all laptop speakers, are pretty bad. Having said that, I wouldn't bother with externals since you don't listen to music much and it's just extra junk you have to carry 'round with you. They're good enough for ambient music and sound effects though. :)


bobert1985 said:
4. How prone are PowerBooks to bumps? I plan to have mine in a sleeve inside my booksack (less hassle). Then again, I have literally tons of books, and I'm afraid that just sticking it inside my booksack could be bad for a laptop. Should I get a sleeve with plastic inserts, like the Marware sleeves? Am I overreacting? It is a roller booksack, btw, if that helps.

The aluminium is pretty scratch/dent prone apparently but it'll be fine in most any bag. Just be warned that dropping it will generally result in a bent case, which is usually nothing more than unsightly and disappointing.


bobert1985 said:
5. Is there any software that a student like me should seriously consider buying or downloading? (Microsoft Office is necessary because I do need the compatibility with a few of my old files. Plus, it would be nice for that to be the last Microsoft product I hope to ever buy. :) )

Get Office, plus maybe look into downloading VLC for watching movies. iLife (comes free with all Macs) is great for organising other random stuff like photos, music, schedules etc.


bobert1985 said:
6. How is Apple's service when problems arise? My biggest fear is that my computer will arrive with half the LCD pixels black and a mechanical burning smell eminating from the keyboard, and nobody will do what I really need done. Should I even worry at all with the extended warranty, even if I accidentally drop it (God forbid)? I would have to deal with the headquarters directly, since Apple can't seem to build an Apple Store anywhere near Louisiana.

Apple is great with stuff like this. On the same topic, maybe look into AppleCare (an extended warrantee) however, you can wait for up to a year before purchasing this so don't get it immediately.


bobert1985 said:
7. Could the 12in. PowerBook be considered a desktop replacement that just so happens to be very portable? Should I consider a port replicator (BookEndz) or just have the wires taped to my desk for easy access at home?

Don't bother with a port replicator, it's a waste of space.


bobert1985 said:
8. I have many of my old documents backed up on CD's, and I was wondering if they should be openable on the Mac. I think a couple might be Joliet. Is that a problem? If so, oh boy....

What's Joliet? Your Mac (once you have Office in particular) should be able to open most files assuming you have equivalent programs on it.


bobert1985 said:
9. Should my old 17in. CRT monitor be capable of hooking up and working properly with the PowerBook, especially for dual display? If not, any super cheap recommended monitors? In time I should get an LCD, but probably when affordable.

The CRT should work well. However, Dell makes some pretty good and cheap LCDs if you're interested.


bobert1985 said:
10. (Ten already!!) Is the built-in microphone good enough for basic voice recordings, or should I go ahead with an external mic?

From my experience, the inbuilt mic is just fine for voice recordings.


Now, I hope that's helped answer some of your questions. Good luck with the switch, you should love OSX, everyone 'round here thinks it's pretty damn awesome. :D
 
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iEdd

macrumors 68000
Aug 8, 2005
1,956
4
Dude... Too much worry.. Like a diary or something :D

ISO 9660 can have Joilet something or other.. All windows stuff I think...
Macs are very tolerant... I have burnt a disc of my folder on my comp and put it specifially as pc format, but the mac still opens it.

Basically, the ibook is fine.. Microphone is OK from my experiences. Keyboard is generally decent. Speakers are ok for some things, and music at low volume.

And remember.. Macs are only perfect WHEN sat next to pcs.
 
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mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
Thanks for the more, umm, abbreviated post. :D

The Mac should open the CD's files easily, as epepper9 says. Just for the record, I generally consider the 12 inch iBook to be the best value laptop at the moment and the iMac the best value desktop. Having said that, it depends on usage.

Considering you're a student, I'd say you would love the portability and don't need heaps of power so the iBook is the logical choice. The iMac will be far more powerful but obviously constrained to the desk. The PowerBook is significantly more expensive than the iBook but offers you (as a student generally just using the thing for typing) no significant benefits.
 
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