mac for mom?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iamamac, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. iamamac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #1
    hi guys,
    I really need your advice in buying a (first) mac for my mom. she has this notebook (PC with XP) which is dying (randomly shutting down which drives her crazy because she lost her work four or five times now) and I wanted to stop her from buying a new PC laptop by giving her a powerbook (or ibook) for first, to see if she can get used to it and then buy a macbook or something.
    but for now, I need to know if a powerbook could do this job (and be fast enough to convince her to switch)..
    she basically uses her current notebook for:
    -excel (very, very important)
    -powerpoint presentations (work)
    -msn, e-mail, web surfing, etc.
    what mac should i get for her? powerbook/ibook? processor, ram? i would like to be as fast as it can be.
    P.S.: she also scans a lot of documents and I find this quite difficult on mac (especially on leopard, which is the last operating system that runs on PPC afaik) so do you know a program who can do that in the easiest way possible for her? she has a canon multifunctional i think if it matters
    thank you all for your advices!
     
  2. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    If she doesn't need the most current versions of those apps, then an ibook or powerbook will be fine provided it is over 1gHz (to make it not only compatible with, but capable for, Leopard, and 1.33gHz or better is preferred) and you max out the RAM.

    If she needs the most current, try to find her a cheap first or second gen Macbook, as she'll be able to run Snow Leopard and the upcoming newest release of MS Office suite for osx.
     
  3. iamamac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #3
    thank you for your reply
    so microsoft office 2008 can't run on ppc? how about ilife 09/iwork 09? i already purchased this software so she could use it as well..
    i was planning to get her the latest PB 15'' version but i'm still worried about not being too slow
     
  4. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #4
    If this is for your mum, you want to give her the best possible experience before she makes that choice. A PowerBook is going to seem quite slow in Leopard, even if maxed out, and just imagine the flash performance... Not good if she decides to watch a YouTube video. She needs to try an Intel Mac.

    At the very least a first gen MB or MBP

    Could you not lend her your macbook as a temporary measure? Otherwise suggest she buys it on a flyer... Worst case, she can install Windows on it, so the hardware itself would still get used, come what may.
     
  5. H&Kie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2004
    #5
  6. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Office 2008 will run on PPC. I don't know about iWork or iLife, but likely the newest versions are Snow Leopard only. I use OpenOffice, which is still PPC compatible as of the most recent version. If you already purchased the software just check the minimum requirements on the box or website.

    The last line of PPC Powerbooks was pretty solid, actually. My business partner still runs on one, and uses CS4 (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign mainly) regularly. It's a little sluggish, but he's fine with it, though will be looking to upgrade this coming year. Maxxing out the RAM will make a huge difference, but really if you want something that will last a while for her, I suggest an Intel; the early MacBooks go for pretty cheap at this point, and they are leaps and bounds ahead with certain things, like (for example) anything relating to Flash (viewing, creating, etc.).

    I'm suggesting this keeping in mind that I am one of the few remaining professionals who will sing the praises of the PPC machines; they are finally, and sadly, becoming relatively obsolete for main workstations (though they still have plenty of use as file servers). It's really all about what she needs it for; for office 2008 a 1.4gHz Powerbook with the ram maxxed will probably be fine, but she'll likely want to upgrade again in a year or two, so it's about what you can afford and if it's ok for it to only last for another year or so.
     
  7. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    This is true. I have an ibook 1gHz 14" which still runs well, but I was just given a 1.33gHz iBook 14" by a client because the graphics chip started to die (screen has a pink tint). A common problem and one that Apple no longer supports to my knowledge. The Powerbooks were and still are pretty solid, though.
     
  8. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Though I agree that the first gen MB or MBP is the better purchase, I disagree on the PB in Leopard. Above 1gHz with RAM maxxed out, Leopard is faster than Tiger on G4s in my experience. In fact, Leopard boots faster on my ibook and Sawtooth than it does on my G5.
     
  9. iamamac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #9
    Thank you all for your answers.
    I would give her my macbook for a while but she has a very strict owing policy: I don't touch what's her and she doesn't touch what's mine. Not because I asked her, it's just how she prefers and I like it this way, it seems fair enough to me.
    According to Microsoft, Office 2008 it's compatible with PPC.
    I would get a Macbook CD but in Europe are a little bit expensive, I prefer getting a new macbook (900€) instead of paying a 2006 one 600€.
    I heard about the YouTube 'problem' but I didn't thought it was true.. I mean her laptop is 3 or 4 years (1,6ghz, 512mb ram) old and runs YouTube fine.. Why wouldn't it on a 2006 machine?
     
  10. Mindinversion macrumors 6502

    Mindinversion

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #10
    This may not be what you want to hear, and if so then please disregard but:
    It sounds like what your mom's notebook needs is an extended encounter with a can of compressed air. Over time, dust tends to collect inside computers [especially typical PC laptops which tend to have a lot of vent holes] This slows or stops airflow inside the machine, leading to higher temps. Result? Thermal shutdown [laptop overheating] Sounds very close to what's happening to your mom's computer.

    Just something to think about, as a can of compressed air is massively cheaper than a new notebook ; )
     
  11. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #11
    I never had any problems with YouTube on a PB G4 1.25Ghz with 768MB then 1.5GB of RAM. Of course High-Def youtube wasn't around then. My parents have an old iBook G4 with 1.5GB RAM that does not have problems with Standard-Def Youtube. The PB G4 is still used daily by my brother who also uses 2 PCs.

    The biggest problem with the MacBooks and newer iMacs is the pixel density. While younger people and techies are always craving more pixels, a lot of older have problems with the small text. Still waiting for resolution independence in the OS.
     
  12. iamamac thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #12
    i went to the nearest shop and they told me that the motherboard needs to be replaced so i told them not to because i intended to get her a new one anyway.. thank you for the advice, i'll try, if it works, it will be nice to have it working again just in case she won't get used to the system

    she doesn't play hd or hd, just normal quality and flash websites..
    i don't know what to say guys, maybe i should let her get a pc :(
     

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