Outfitting a small non-profit with iBooks...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by RedTomato, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..

    I'm outfitting a small non-profit theatre/arts organisation with their computer equipment.

    Can you tell me if I've made the right choice of equipment?

    The office is tiny, and space is at a premium, there's 3 non-techy workers, and one guy who does updating of the website. Everybody works both in the office and out on the road.

    Equipment planned:

    4 x 12'' combo iBooks, 1.33GHZ, lowest spec with a HD upgrade to 60GB from 40GB

    Mac mini, again lowest spec.

    External HD, external DVD burner.

    Dell 2004FPW


    iBooks for portablity,

    Mac Mini to act as printer server and document repository, also to run internal website so that workers can access internal materials when on the road.

    External HD is for backup, and easy upgradablity when storage runs out,

    External DVD burner is to burn backup DVDs and also to be taken on the road by any worker as required.

    Dell 2004FPW is for presentations, exhibitions, photograph work and general large screen work. (I'm thinking about changing it for a cheaper monitor tho. Good idea? )

    Is this a realistic equipment setup that will last them a few years? I'm betting that the iBooks will have enough horsepower for basic Dreamweaver work. If necessary I can always add more RAM to the website guy's iBook.

    Comments welcome!

    Many thanks

  2. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    You might want to at least get the web designer a computer that supports a larger monitor. An iBook is okay for occasional web design, but day in and day out I think it would be better for him/her to be able to "spread out" a bit more. If s/he needs to travel, maybe a 12-inch powerbook with external monitor, or just an iBook with the spanning hack would probably work too. Otherwise, looks fine to me.
  3. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Yes that's what the Dell 2004FPW monitor is for, a lovely piece of 20"LCD kit.

    He originally asked for an iMac 17'' but it seems to me that getting him a iBook plus the ability to use the Dell LCD monitor gave a better combination.

    Thanks for raising the question

  4. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    These should be fine. I'd consider maxing out the hard drive, but I'm the guy that keeps 30GB of MP3s on his Powerbook's 80GB HDD, so YMMV.

    I'd recommend getting the Superdrive on the mini (it's only a $100 difference, which is less than a good external DVD burner costs). Also be sure to get the Airport card for the mini. If you can spare another $20, get the AP/BT chip.

    Add an Airport Extreme or Airport Express.

    You might also consider one of those external drives w/ a LAN interface (I know Maxtor makes one). If their needs shift, you can just plug the big drive into the LAN and everyone can easily access it. Just a thought.

    Watch these sites:

    They'll have coupons for the 2005FPW on a fairly regular basis. Can knock it down to $400 on a good day. :)

    EDIT: Also -- if he asked for a 17" iMac, you might consider a 20" iMac instead of the iBook + mini combo. It'll come out a tad cheaper, too.
  5. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    Using the spanning hack on an iBook to push a 20" display for design work is really pushing the limits of the iBook's 32MB VRAM.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong here.

    The way I understand the iBook spanning hack is that
    you end up driving your external display with half of the iBooks VRAM
    so essentially you would be pushing a 20 " display with only 16MB VRAM.
    It may work, but you may not get the results you're expecting.

    If it won't cause too much co-worker mutiny, you may need to get your lead man at least a 12" PowerBook to better handle the work and the display.

    If he doesn't need portibility, then the iMac G5 2.0 GHz 17" is honestly
    way more bang for your buck.

    64 bit G5 processor, much improved storage with standard 7200 RPM HD
    Standard 128 MB VRAM and a good quality 17" WS display make it a much better value.

    Best of luck with your decision.
  6. Eluon macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2005
    Spring, Texas
  7. Euan macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2005
    Yep, you'll get more for your money with the iMac but it ultimately comes down to portability/space.

    From my personal point of view I'd take a desktop but due to space requirements I'm really only able to look at laptops but with the option of an additional monitor.

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