Talk me into buying a Mac

AtHomeBoy_2000

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
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I am getting married in August (please pray for me lol) and when we move in together I would like to buy my then wife and I a computer for wherever we live. Right now I have a 4 year old Dell laptop that is starting to show its age (not to mention a 20GB hard drive). My fiancée wants to start up a wedding photography business, therefore I am going to need to scrap my laptop very soon as it has a small hard drive and is only a 1ghz Pentium 3.

I have used Macs at school for the last few years and I have grown to love them. What a solid computer! However, I only have a $1000 budget for the computer. I would LOVE to go Mac, but even the Mac Mini is $881.00 when I do the needed upgrades to properly handle Photo editing (color correction, cropping, ect...) and DVD burning. Not to mention that I love Microsoft Office and that is another $300+ to buy for Mac. I suppose AppleWorks 6.2.9 is similar to Ofiice, but I have never used it and therefor dont want to bank everything on it hopefully working as I want it to. I can buy a low end Dell all supped up for just over $1000 (including Office) compared to a Mac Mini with Office 2004 for $1,280.95. I cant afford a laptop due to a tight budget, but in the future when the business HOPEFULLY takes off, I would move the buisness stuff over to a laptop thatwe could take to clients.

Someone please talk me into a Mac Mini. lol
 

jackieonasses

macrumors 6502a
Mar 3, 2004
929
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the great OKLAHOMA....
What features did you add to make it 881?? Just get a cheap base mini - and get a cheap CRT. It will handle your stuff now, and when you get bigger (in the photography buisness) then you can upgrade the ram..... If you have grown to love macs, why do we need to convince you? You obviously won't get as much done on a barebones Dell. So why ask?


kyle
 
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vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
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Is MS Office really necessary for you right now? I'd say scrap that and get the mini as high spec'd as you can. Once things start to pick up with the business (and from what I understand, almost all photography money is in weddings), then you can pick up office (or a new 17" PB for that matter). For the time being maybe you should consider iWork if you need to do word processing. Much cheaper.
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
879
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jackieonasses said:
What features did you add to make it 881??
kyle
1.25GHz PowerPC G4
80GB Ultra ATA drive (I may go with the 40GB and buy an external dive when this one gets filled)
4x SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)
512MB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 DIMM
Internal Bluetooth + AirPort Extreme Card
Wired Keyboard & Mouse Set - U.S. English
I have an extra CRT monitor laying around that I would use

If you have grown to love macs, why do we need to convince you?
I dont know if the Mac Mini would be worth more than Dell considering the $200-300 price differance.
 
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vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
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AtHomeBoy_2000 said:
Internal Bluetooth + AirPort Extreme Card
Another thing that probably isn't necessary right now. Especially since you're getting the wired keyboard/mouse
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

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Feb 3, 2005
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vtprinz said:
For the time being maybe you should consider iWork if you need to do word processing. Much cheaper.
I will openly admite I am a little "Mac dumb" when it comes to Mac applications since I have only used it for Video Editing and Audio Editing in the past few years at school. I have a lot of stuff in Excel so I would like to keep it around. IWork looks great (Pages looks much better than Word, especially with the ability to publish to PDF), but it doesnt have a spreadsheet option.
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

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Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
879
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vtprinz said:
Another thing that probably isn't necessary right now. Especially since you're getting the wired keyboard/mouse
I like the ability to go wireless if needed. My laptop has a wireless card, and I may have other uses for it in the future. So, i would rather take the $100 now rather than have to deal with it in the future.
 
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Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,922
169
AtHomeBoy_2000 said:
I dont know if the Mac Mini would be worth more than Dell considering the $200-300 price differance.
What photo-editing & DVD editing software comes on this low-end Dell?

Please post a link or some specs for the Dell so we all can have a look...
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
879
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Blue Velvet said:
What photo-editing & DVD editing software comes on this low-end Dell?

Please post a link or some specs for the Dell so we all can have a look...
I just use Photoshop Elements. It does what i need to do and it's free (came with her Digital Camera)

This is the "base" version.
Bigger HD, More Ram, Microsoft Office, ect... addes it up to $905
 
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allisonv7

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2004
421
1
If you're in school you're eligibile for the EDU discount, though I'm not positive they have it for the mini. Also, if you go to your school bookstore you should be able to purchase the Adobe Creative suite for under $200, and also MS Office for cheap. I know at my school it was about $10 for the PC version, at the time I didn't have a mac so I'm not sure how much it cost.


allison.
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

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Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
879
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vtprinz said:
and from what I understand, almost all photography money is in weddings
Oh my goodness yes. Especially if you are the one who ones the buisness. Most Photographers START around $700 a wedding and that is just the "base" package. Out of that $700, around $200 goes into the package (prinitng proofs, buying photobooks, ect....). The $500 left over is pure profit. If you do 2 ro 3 weeidngs a month, that is $1500 in profit. These are rough figures obviosly, but you get the idea. Nice money if this is only a sidejob.
 
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mcgarry

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2004
616
0
allisonv7 said:
If you're in school you're eligibile for the EDU discount, though I'm not positive they have it for the mini. Also, if you go to your school bookstore you should be able to purchase the Adobe Creative suite for under $200, and also MS Office for cheap. I know at my school it was about $10 for the PC version, at the time I didn't have a mac so I'm not sure how much it cost.


allison.
yes, the mini has an edu discount, but it's only $20 off retail. can be better than nothing.
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

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Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
879
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allisonv7 said:
If you're in school you're eligibile for the EDU discount, though I'm not positive they have it for the mini.
allison.
You and I must be thinking on the same wave length. Right before you made that post, i remembered that Columbia College has an Apple Store. So, i went online to compare the price.

Apple.com - $931.00 for the 1.42 GHZ (I added other stuff, hence the high price)
Through Columbia - $877.00

$54 discount is pretty nice AND i would be able to get the better version for the same price as the lower version without the discount. (or just get the lower version discounted to $777.00)
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
879
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AppleWorks 6

Do you guys have an opinions on AppleWorks 6? It comes with the Mac Mini and if it is any good, it would save me from having to buy Microsoft Office. I have a lot of Excel and Word files. how well does AppleWorks 6 work with them?
 
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mcgarry

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2004
616
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AtHomeBoy_2000 said:
Do you guys have an opinions on AppleWorks 6? It comes with the Mac Mini and if it is any good, it would save me from having to buy Microsoft Office. I have a lot of Excel and Word files. how well does AppleWorks 6 work with them?
When I have used AW for that it has done fine by the simple stuff at least.

OpenOffice has a lot of fans around here, but they are usually balanced by a population who says there's just no substitute for the real thing.
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

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Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
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mcgarry said:
When I have used AW for that it has done fine by the simple stuff at least.
I am not looking for anything fancy. I almost never use any of the advanced features on Word. All I need to be able to do is type out letters, papers, ect... and be able to make/modify spreadsheets. If AW works fine for that, then that is all I need. If it ends up sucking, I'll just go out and by Office down the road. but you think AW would work fine for me?
 
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mcgarry

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2004
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AtHomeBoy_2000 said:
I am not looking for anything fancy. I almost never use any of the advanced features on Word. All I need to be able to do is type out letters, papers, ect... and be able to make/modify spreadsheets. If AW works fine for that, then that is all I need. If it ends up sucking, I'll just go out and by Office down the road. but you think AW would work fine for me?
I used it for years. For simple word processing, it is adequate. Sometimes I even admired its simplicity. I also used it for basic 1-sheet spreadsheets, nothing too fancy. That said, there is no mistaking that it is an older program with simply less going on than the modern full-blown Office suite. If you are eligible for an edu discount, Office is cheaper than retail, and you can always give Open/NeoOffice a try too.
 
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stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
2
I am not as hardware knowledgeable as most here, but I have always bought reconditioned and gotten a great deal



reconditioned eMac for $799, has original apple backed warranty!

IF you have to have microsoft office - get the student edition - that is what we use, buy here

Use apple works and use the money for RAM.

That still leaves you short for extra ram and wireless card, but best I can do.
 

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vtprinz

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2004
395
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AW should be fine for the time being. Might not be as feature rich as MS Office, but it will definitely be useable for basic spreadsheets/word processing. If it couldn't even do these things, there's no way it would have made it through 6 versions.

And going on the EDU discount idea, here at Va Tech I was able to get MS Office (both PC and Mac versions) for $70 each (didn't have a mac freshman year, so I had to buy the PC version initially)
 
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thequicksilver

macrumors 6502a
Sep 19, 2004
767
0
Birmingham
AtHomeBoy_2000 said:
Do you guys have an opinions on AppleWorks 6? It comes with the Mac Mini and if it is any good, it would save me from having to buy Microsoft Office. I have a lot of Excel and Word files. how well does AppleWorks 6 work with them?
It works, but it's a nasty app which is really showing its age. It's certainly no Office substitute if you use it any more than once in a blue moon.

Were I you, I'd look for a copy of MS Office v.X (the one before last) on eBay or such like. It's quicker than the current Office 2004 in my experience on my iBook G4, significantly so in the case of Word, the Office app I use the most.

If you can't find a decent deal on that, as you're a student get MS Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition.
 
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jsalzer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2004
607
0
Let's not knock AppleWorks

Come on, now. AppleWorks isn't *that* bad. Sure, there are some missing basic features that should have been added long ago, but the fact that it doesn't fight you makes it twice the program Word is.

For letters, etc - both the Word Processing component and the Draw component should work wonderfully for you.

The things you have in Excel right now - you have two choices:

1. Bring them into AW's spreadsheet; or

2. My recommendation - pull them into the Database component. It's the grandfather of FileMaker Pro - wonderfully easy to use, and quite powerful for a flat (2-dimensional) database (which is what your spreadsheets are.)

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the power of keeping your data in the database and being able to merge that data (for billing, promotion, etc.) into your form letters.

Then, when money's a bit freer flowing, you can move the database over to FileMaker and use a relational model (a client database, a related purchase database, etc.) and to Word or whatever your eventual preference is.

And, hey, I may be off, but I believe that the AppleWorks spreadsheet and database can hold pictures in their cells/fields and that Excel still can't do it. ;)

In any case, stay Mac. If you really need a reason - how about the fact that you'll hurt my feelings if you cross over to the dark side. :)
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
879
0
jsalzer said:
In any case, stay Mac. If you really need a reason - how about the fact that you'll hurt my feelings if you cross over to the dark side. :)
HAHAHA! Actually, I have been on the dark side all my life (except for the old Apple IIe I had when i was a kid). So, i would actually be leaving the dark side. :p
 
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AtHomeBoy_2000

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 3, 2005
879
0
Well it's official, I am sold. Sometime around October (maybe later depending on how my money situation is) there will be a Mac Mini sitting on my desk. Thank you guys so much for all your help, it is greatly appreciated. :)
 
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dxm113

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2005
99
0
just a thought. . .

if you're concerned about portability, the mini is certainly small enough to be carried with you (if you're willing to put up with carrying a keyboard and mouse)

you could potentially carry the mini w/ you and hook it up to your client's monitor or TV (you may need an aditional adapter), and show them slide shows / etc.

not the best portable solution, but may prove to be practical until you have the budget for an additional laptop
 
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revenuee

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2003
2,251
1
AtHomeBoy_2000 said:
Oh my goodness yes. Especially if you are the one who ones the buisness. Most Photographers START around $700 a wedding and that is just the "base" package. Out of that $700, around $200 goes into the package (prinitng proofs, buying photobooks, ect....). The $500 left over is pure profit. If you do 2 ro 3 weeidngs a month, that is $1500 in profit. These are rough figures obviosly, but you get the idea. Nice money if this is only a sidejob.
I had my start in wedding VIDEOgraphy --- it got to the point that i just HATED it -- lol -- i'm doing more photography now, i prefer freelancing as a photojournalist ... less money, but it's a different job each time
 
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