need your opinions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by raiderz182, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. raiderz182 macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2003
    north philly
    hi i'd like to thank everyone in advance

    my first computer ever was a performa mac... i forget which model but it was INCREDIBLY slow and nothing was compatible

    shortly after that i started buying pc's and have been using windows for years now... i now find myself needing a laptop... the powerbook g4 got my attention somehow. After reading the apple website and many many reviews... looks like apple is a lot more compatible now and its also fast

    anyway i am very close to buying the 12in. but still have doubts, kinda on the borderline to just stick with pc's... if anybody has any info that would tip me over please tell me, thanks
  2. TheFallGuy macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2003
    My question to you is what do you want to hear?

    I've been a long-time PC user, but recently I bought my first mac -- 15" AlPB. I'm extremely happy with it. It's been easy to set up and work with. And I've only had a couple problems with software (iTunes crashed on me while trying to copy from scratched cds).

    It's nice and cool, at least once I figured out how to change the cpu settings and have it run at automatic instead of highest performance all the time.

    I'm using this thing for everything now. Well, practically everything.

    I also purchased an iPod with it and that is replacing my CD collection. No more scratched CDs!

    About compatibility, everything I've done on a PC I can do on my mac. (I just have a learning curve since I've grown up with PCs. Different directories, and ways of hiding things from the user, apple quirks, etc.) In fact, I can do a few different things like graphic design and stuff.

    I've purchased this baby and I really can't be happier with it.
  3. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Envy and condescension. When you take your PowerBook out into public, nine out of ten people will be drooling, slathering over that beautiful hunk of anodized metal. The other person, that lonely fellow, will say things like "You can't do hex editing" or some bull***t like that, but you'll be able to tell that he's just more envious than those other nine people.

    As has been said, everything you do on a PC you can do on a Mac: faster, easier, and far more enjoyable. For those rare tasks that absolutely require a PC (Which are few and far between) you can simply purchase Virtual PC.

    You buy a Mac, it's going to last. It isn't at all uncommon to see people using a six year old original PowerBook G3. Take the plunge and buy the thing. It's a purchase I guarantee you won't regret.

  4. Elenita macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Washington, DC
    A Few Things to Add

    I just switched to a Powerbook myself (the 15"), and here are the things that appealed (and now appeal) to me:

    --No viruses have yet been reported for OS X. A huge reason to switch right there.

    --The built-in firewall. Bye-bye, hackers. Adios, trojan horses. Hello, peace-of-mind.

    --It's stable. I've been able to run this thing for two weeks straight--and the only reason I rebooted then was because I had updated my software.

    --It's multilingual. I speak three languages, and thanks to the International Panel in OS X, my computer does too. I can write a paper for my Spanish class, send emails to my cousins in Korea, and post messages in English (or Arabic or Swedish or Russian, among dozens of other choices) without installing additional software.

    --It plays nice with Windows (and Unix). You can easily network your old PC and Mac together, and share files. This is especially useful when first moving into your Mac, and you want to move your work over. It can also run the thousands of free Unix and Linux programs out there (with some help from Fink)

    --Apple leaves you alone. Sure, the software updater thingy appears every once in a while, but it's actually useful. There are no ads or popups "asking" you to sign up for MSN, use MSN messenger, sign up for a .NET passport, empty the Trash can, or rid your desktop of unused icons. They just let you do what you want to do. All the drooling I've been doing over iSight and the Powermac G5 is completely my own fault. :)

    There are some other things, but these are the big ones.

    If you haven't already done so, I'd recommend going into an Apple Store. Try out the machines, look at the available software, ask questions. Once you've actually worked hands-on with the computer you want, I think you'll be confident about getting a new machine. And, of course, you can continue asking questions here, too.

    Hope this helps!
  5. raiderz182 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2003
    north philly
    it seems like all of you guys have a 15in. does anyone have hands on experience with both 12in and 15in ...?? can you tell any speed differences?
  6. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816


    Dec 28, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Here's what I can add.

    While I hate to hear about someone switching to Windows, I can understand where you're coming from. I had (and still have, though it barely works) a Performa 6115CD. It was the worst Mac I've ever used.

    As for the 12 incher, it's a great machine. I don't own one currently, but I'm getting one this weekend (or at least that's the plan :p ). It's got a decent amount of power (beats my iMac by 200 MHz, and has a better graphics card), and definitely good bang for the buck.

    If you're looking to buy now, I'd go for the 12" Powerbook. Considering the recent update, now's a great time to buy (and the price is good, too). If you're thinking about waiting a bit, you might want to see what the next iBook revision (which I suspect we'll see in November) brings.

    Either way, I think it's best to make the switch back.
  7. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    I had a Performa 6400 (still works actually, my Mom's school has it now), and it was slow and had issues. OS 8 was no picnic. But then again, neither was my P1 150MHz (OC'ed to 166) with Win95. I fell in love with Macs again with OS X (10.1+ actually) and the release of the iApps. Now Windows just looks and feels ugly. I still have to use it, but 10.3 looks really nice.

    There are some quirks, and Apples aren't perfect, but for a Laptop, the 12 is a good buy. The 15 is REALLY nice, but it's kinda expensive. I'm going to go to an Apple store next week to play with a new one. I suggest doing that as well. Try a CompUSA or Best Buy if nothing else. Once you play with it, I have a feeling you will fall in love with it. It's got a good mix of power, battery life, and stability.

    You could buy a PC, but do you really want to?
  8. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    the performa line is widely considered one of Apple's more long-pushed failures. no matter how much a performa sucked, they kept putting out new ones.

    there were a couple of decent models, and it gave them room to play with design a bit. but i feel confident that much of your poor experience was due to this line of machines.

    OS X speaks for itself.

  9. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Jul 17, 2002
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    nothing special but nice texture with sharp 'woody' aftertaste.
    <edit> oops misread thread title...damn speed bad:D
  10. radhak macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2003
    NJ, USA
    :D :p :D
    you spoiled my breakfast... i choked and it went up my nasal channel...
  11. Squire macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2003
    I second everyone's points.

    Elenita: I'm in the same boat as far as the language thing is concerned. My wife logs in in Korean (and everything is set up in Korean) and I log in in English.

    A couple of other reasons...

    Do you own any of the following?

    a) an mp3 player
    b) a digital camera
    c) a digital camcorder
    d) a PDA

    iLife is worth its weight in gold, if you ask me. Stuff is so easy. Sure, a PB probably won't beat a high-end Wintel machine in speed. But it's a much more pleasant experience. Also (and I hope this isn't a stupid question), have you seen a PowerBook in person? I saw a 12" model for the first time a few weeks ago. They just make you grin ear-to-ear.

  12. raiderz182 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2003
    north philly
    ok well i've decided to get the 15 in powerbook.. please tell me if this is a good deal / computer

    • 1.25GHz PowerPC G4
    • 512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 2x256 SO-DIMMs
    • 60GB Ultra ATA drive @ 4200 rpm
    • Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    • Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
    • AirPort Extreme Card
    • APP for PowerBook (w/ or w/o display) - Enrollment Kit
    • 15.2-inch TFT Display - 1280x854 resolution
    512 k L2 cache
    gigabit ethernet
    FireWire 400 & 800
    AirPort Extreme built-in
    DVI & S-Video out

    Subtotal $2,290.00

    oh yeah does anyone know how much tax & shipping is from
  13. raiderz182 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2003
    north philly
    one more thing... is it worth paying an extra 90 dollars for
    1 - 512mb chip instead of 2 - 256 so that i will have another slot later on to upgrade.. or will 512 basically be enough
  14. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816


    Dec 28, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Sounds good, with two exceptions.

    First, don't buy your RAM from Apple. They overcharge by quite a bit. I've bought from DealRAM before, and it's much cheaper (and works just fine).

    Also, unless you think you're really going to need to call AppleCare often, don't bother with the AppleCare plan. If your Powerbook doesn't break in the first 90 days (free warranty time period), it probably won't break in the next three years.

    Your money would be better spent on a .Mac package. The web storage is good, and so is the back-up app and all the other free goodies (but the web storage really is great if you want to start your own little website).

    15" Powerbook is great though. I envy that backlit keyboard. ;)
  15. Elenita macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Squire, it really is great stuff. Could you imagine having to switch back and forth between languages like that on a Wintel machine? I tried doing it for a while, and... :rolleyes: If you asked it really nicely, the PC would display things perfectly in the first language, but throw a tantrum when you needed the second. And if you managed to beat into submission enough to work in the third, it would crap out when you moved back into the previously functioning first.

    And that was on a good day...

    Never, ever again. This in itself makes OS X worth its weight in gold to me. And when I leave for Chile in the next few months, I may revise that statement to "worth its weight in platinum."

    It's great to know that there are other Korean-speaking users of OS X, though; we're definitely a niche within a niche. Does your wife post here too?

    Edit: Congrats, raiderz182! I'm sure you'll love it!

    To answer your quesions, tax is based on where you live. If you're within the US, tax will be your state's sales tax, because Apple has stores in every state. If you're in Europe, taxes will probably be equivalent to local taxes--plus VAT. I'm afraid I don't know about other regions/countries, but shipping (if you select standard shipping) is free in the US and probably elsewhere.

    I'd also skip the AppleCare, and put that money toward accessories like a carrying case/sleeve, a two-button mouse if you are a compulsive right-clicker like me, a laptop lock if you are in an environment where there's a chance it might get stolen (like a dorm). If you use your laptop mostly at a desk, you may also want to think about getting a laptop stand.

    Again, congrats on a really great purchase!
  16. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    I would say 100% get the one 512 chip instead of the 2x256. It IS cheaper to spend the extra $90.

    Also you might want to consider the 80GB HDD. Laptop drives are expensive... but I dont know what you prefer (more stuff on the computer or use external drives for storage, just something to think about).
  17. fraeone macrumors regular


    Sep 26, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Both slots in the 15" PB are accessible by the user. Thus, the single SODIMM for an extra $90 is an extreme ripoff.

    ALWAYS Get the minimum amount of configured RAM. When you get the PB, remove both the SODIMMs and sell them on eBay (probably for 50 bucks each), and buy yourself a single 512 for ~110 from a reseller. Or better yet buy 2x512 from the reseller for the same price as you would have originally paid for just one 512. Or you could just sell one of the 256's and buy one 512 to get to 768.

    Basically, the moral of the story is, unless that DIMM is hardwired to the MB, you'd be nuts to pay the whole cost of a new 512 module, and give up the other 2x256s to Apple for free.
  18. Squire macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2003
    Big Hard Drive=Good

    I agree with the HD statement, especially if you have a DV camcorder. I went to a cultural even 2 weeks ago and the video footage took up 20 Gigs on my HD. (As soon as I fix it up, I'll delete it. However, more is always better.)

    Elenita: Unfortunately, my wife spends a lot more time on the PC than the Mac. (She does a lot of Internet banking and the encryption software isn't compatible- that's the only non-compatibility issue I've ever experienced.) But she was pretty blown away when I logged out, then logged her into a completely Korean OS. I wonder if Panther will be able to do this with the fast-user-switching.

  19. Elenita macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Re: Big Hard Drive=Good

    I'll add to the call for a bigger HD! I was going to tell you that you wouldn't need to upgrade unless you had a huge media library, raiderz182, but then thought about how addicting the iApps are. I've been adding music and taking photos like mad...

    (And to think I was very happily using a 20 GB HD before I got my first digital camera. Scary...)

    I've gotten the impression that you want to use this machine for mobile computing. If I'm wrong (as I can't put my finger on why I've come to this conclusion) and you're planning on this being a desktop replacement, consider getting an external Firewire HD instead. They're much cheaper; you can get a 160 GB HD for $250:

    Of course, they won't do you much good if you're always on the go and need your data to come with you. :mad:

    That is unfortunate--I wonder if the issue is the bank's fault, or Apple's? And if it might be solved by using a different browser?

    But I completely understand your wife's amazement. In fact, the first time I switched seamlessly between English and Korean, I was so boggled that I actually put my machine to sleep and woke it back up, just to make sure it would stick. It just seemed way too good to be true. And when it went back to English, and then Spanish without a hitch? As cliche as it is, I couldn't help wondering if I were dreaming.

    (Now my biggest problem is remembering what keystrokes belong to which language--especially if I toggle between two languages that share an alphabet. For the first time in my life, I'm actually grateful that Korean has a unique script. :p

    As for multilingual fast-user switching, I'd be astonished if it wasn't supported in Panter, so long as all users involved have turned on support for the necessary languages. The Finder may not be in the "new" language (though I hope so), but the applications certainly should. After all, I don't logout when moving between Korean and English and Spanish--I just toggle through my list using the keyboard--so it's not like the system needs to reset itself, like my Wintel machine did.

    When I think back on it, I can't believe how much unpleasantness I just accepted as normal before switching to the Mac...
  20. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

    Dec 6, 2002
    Washington State University
    Re: A Few Things to Add

    Until you try to use QuickTime at least :)

    Definitely. You'll want to upgrade eventually. And good choice on the 15", that's the minimum screen size you'll want for an everyday computer.
  21. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816


    Dec 28, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Having more RAM is good, but don't ever buy Apple's RAM. It's extremely overpriced and no better than what you'll find at somewhere like DealRAM.

    Also, $90 definitely isn't worth having one 512 instead of two 256s for future expansion. While RAM does speed up your system significantly, there's barely any noticeable gain between 768 MB and 1 GB of RAM (unless you're doing something like constant video editing).

    It would be a better idea to get a bigger hard drive (something that's already been mentioned). Apple's prices are very reasonable there, and it's one upgrade you won't do yourself.

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