Usefulness of my PowerMac if I buy a PowerBook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by EMKoper, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. EMKoper macrumors regular


    Dec 18, 2002
    Stafford, VA
    I am seriously considering buying a PowerBook (probably 12") with the intent to supplement my desktop since I travel a lot for business, travel to see relatives often, and we're expecting a kid by the end of year and would like to burn CDs, videos, and save photos on the fly for family members. I have a BIG fear that very quickly a nifty little PowerBook will become my primary home computer due to the convenience of moving room to room while at home with the benefit of taking it on the road... I fear my PowerMac will "wither on the vine" since I will use it less and less and it would be a hassle to manually keep files and data updated between the two....

    So, a few questions...

    1. For those who have a Mac desktop and a Mac laptop, do you still use your desktop or do you find it's collecting dust?

    2. Is there any software out there to "sync" up a PowerBook's and PowerMac's home directories, files, preferences, e-mail, etc... something I could do occasionally (like weekly) to keep the desktop and laptop on the same sheet of music?

    Thanks for your responses... for the record, I have a PowerMac (2x 1GHz MDD) and I'm considering a PowerBook 12" due to the size and it "feels", performance wise, much like my PowerMac.
  2. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    I use my desktop at home and my PowerBook everywhere else. I do not know any programs to sync the two, but I use an AE Base Station to transfer files and keep them both pretty close to similar.
  3. iBert macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2004
    You might still want to use your Power Mac for video editing. I have a 12"PB and a dual G5 2.0. I use the G5 now for all my video editing, more hard disk space and faster editing. So, I think it won't hurt having the 12" PB and the Power Mac. iSync will help in having all your bookmarks on both machines, also your iCal and address book will be synced. With respect to the files, you'll just have to transfer file between both.
  4. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    turn it into a media server :D. lots of storage space, fill it with lossless audio and uncompressed DVD's. mmmm sexy. thats what i do at least.
  5. vkapoormd macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    i just got a desktop G5; like you i was worried about not using it much ( i had been using a G4 PB for most things); but i wanted to get into more memory / processor intensive tasks (video editing, photoshop, etc), so i got the desktop. So i find i use the desktop mostly for these tasks, and tote around my laptop to work and use it there primarily (because the computer at my work sucks and it is running windoze 98). I also find it easier to keep all of my peripherals attached to the desktop. As far as keeping them in sync, i do what one of the others posted on this thread - basically transfer files wirelessly through my router / aiport card. I would go for the laptop, as you will probably find it so convenient to take around with you when you travel, etc.
  6. quidire macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2004
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    Try ChronoSync, it seems useful for keeping computers in sync...

  7. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
  8. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    Well I general find it not to be the case. Once the newest wares off the new powerbool you will quickly start seeing the flaws in laptops in general.
    Lets put it this way at home I have my p4 2ghz laptop that is more powerful than our home PC in almost every way but harddrive space (1ghz amd computer). I tend to find my self using the desktop more than the laptop. Desktops just have some advages that laptops can never compete with as long as they are with in a resible range of age (that 98 computer does not count it is to old) Since they are running the same OS, the OS problem is not an issue.

    Laptops yes can move around but in genaral they have smaller hard drives and general are a little slower than a desktop equivlent computer. Hell at school I basicly turned my laptop into a desktop by hooking up an external keyboard and mouse and I just left it there. I think some powerbook users will state how they basicly done the same to there PB by just hooking it up to an extnal everything.

    you will find that the laptop will come in handy when you need a computer away from the house or some else is using the desktop. Laptops are nice for when you need to get some work done and need to hind out to get it done. but in general you prouble see the flaws in laptop in general pretty fast and find you self using the desktop quite a bit. (I do recomend getting a laptop for there advatages as well. I just feel laptops should always be a 2nddary computer because of there short comings)
  9. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    i have a g5 and a powerbook and i would never consider doing "proper" work on my powerbook, my g5 just whips it at practically everything i try. Not that my powerbook is bad, its good for what it is but i dont think that you can compare desktop to laptop very easily. Its great being able to show a project or a layout when and where you are, just pop the lid and make the changes there and then no matter where you are! But i wouldn't like to do alot of design work on my powerbook, the display just doesn't feel up to scratch. But then if you ask me crts still win hands down over lcds.

    if you find yourself not using one or the other very much then you can always sell one of them.
  10. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
  11. FlamDrag macrumors 6502

    Jan 8, 2003
    Western Hemisphere
    It depends on the work you do on your PM right now. If you're not into Photoshop and Video editing, then it's highly likely that you'll neglect your PM.

    BTW, the original poster said he has a Dual 1Ghz G4. Not a G5. I don't really expect the performance difference b/w your PM and PB to be huge for most everyday tasks. Video editing, yes. Web/E-mail etc. No. However, there's a fair chance (I haven't done the research) that your new PB will have similar or better video capabilities, faster bus etc than your old PM. Look into it.

    So what do you do with it?

    Sell it, Turn it into a media center, use it as an external hard drive (via FW and target disk mode) or a test experimental machine.
  12. EMKoper thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 18, 2002
    Stafford, VA
    Thanks... ChronoSync and Apple Care?

    Thanks for all the input. It looks like a 1.5 GHz, 15" PowerBook benchmarks pretty close to my PowerMac, but for simplistic things (internet, e-mail, iPhoto, iChat) the 12" seems sufficiently fast to suit my basic needs ... hopefully the PowerMac will still get plenty of utilization.

    Per the above suggestion, has anyone out there used or is using ChronoSync?

    Settled then ... I'll probably purchase a 12" PB in the near future. As far as Apple Care, are there any laptop owners out there that had little/no problems the first year and Apple Care really paid off after that time?
  13. svenr macrumors regular

    May 6, 2003
    I have an iBook and a PM. I solved the synch problem by not having to synch at all. ... Huh?

    OK, I have the files I work with on my iBook. When I come home, I plug in a cross-over ethernet cable that connects to my PM. The iBook HD shows up on the PM screen as network drive and I can use my PM to work with files directly from (and save directly to) the iBook. When I leave again, I will automatically have the newest version. I assume you could do that per AirPort, too.

    For email use an IMAP server if you can. That manages email on the server and you will have all drafts, sent msgs, complete folder structure etc. available on whatever computer you use.

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