Will a powerbook last 3 years?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by GULCkid, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. GULCkid macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005
    I am going to law school in the fall and I will need a computer. I want a powerbook, but I'm scared that it might break down at a bad time.

    I will be relying heavily on my laptop virtually every day for three years, and if it breaks down, I will be screwed.

    So, are my fears justified, or would you be honestly surprised if you heard a new powerbook stopped working (needed repairs, etc) within the first three years?
  2. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says...treat it well, get AppleCare for it and you more than likely will not have any problems. I ahve *never* had any trouble with either of the 2 powerbooks I have had, nor the iBook....but it is partly up to you as well...you cannot treat these things poorly and drop them, spill things etc etc and expect no trouble...of course there are always exceptions to the rule but in general as I have said if you treat your 'book it well it'll serve you for well for than 3 years....oh yeah!
  3. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Yes. You won't be screwed if you back-up, don't drop it or spill coffee on the keyboard.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think you will be just fine. Get Apple Care like Duffman said (annoyingly in 3rd person). I also suggest that you get somehting that lays between the lcd and the keys to keep the oils from your fingers from getting on the lcd. I've heard it happens, I don't know if it is true, but I won't take chances.

    What law school are you going to? I figure after I finish my masters I may check out law school for ***** and giggles.
  5. RBMaraman macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2002
    Prospect, KY
    A couple of things:

    1. Check with your law school to see what software they use for test taking. Most law schools use a piece of software than will only run in Windows, and will not function in Virtual PC on the Mac. You may be forced to get a Windows PC.

    2. I've had my Rev. A iBook since 1 week before I started undergrad. Four years later, I will graduate in May, and I've had no problems out of my little iBook. It's been the best computer I've ever owned. I'll be upgrading to a PowerBook when the next revision occurs.

    3. As long as you take care of the PowerBook, it'll last you the three years with no problems.
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    A Mac will statistically have a higher chance of surviving three years of uni than most of the PC equivalents. All you have to do is look after it but the same goes for any laptop. Just quickly though, as a law student you'll be using it mainly for typing assignments/essays right? Well, wouldn't an iBook cover your needs while still saving you a few bucks? Also, the iBooks definitely last longer due to their more robust structure. :D
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I'm sorry but I disagree that the ibooks are more robust in terms of stability. I think the ibooks are fatter than the powerbooks, but that does mean they're more sturdy.
  8. shane-o-mac macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2005

    Just got a new Rev D 15 inch powerbook and the construction is amazing, right down to the packaging, a beautiful machine! I expect to get 4-5 years no problem.
  9. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2004
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    Add me to the yes group.

    The powerbooks are extremely well made.
  10. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    No apology needed and yes the iBooks are fatter than the PowerBooks but going by what my friends have experienced, what I have experienced (admittedly mainly with iBooks) and what these forums say, the PowerBook's aluminum design just isn't as sturdy. It's less resistant to scratches, dents, marks and warping.
  11. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    Just buy applecare for it and there is nothing to worry about. The only that would be bad is if something did break on it and you had to ship it out to apple to get fixed, you would be without a computer for a few days. But thats a chance you have to be willing to take with all computers.
  12. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Not this argument again.
  13. ldburroughs macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Macs are great for the classroom and I would recommend them to anyone considering law school but with one exception ... you can't take your exams on them. At least that is how things are right now. Hopefully, as things change this too will change. Good luck with your decision. Law school is an animal all to itself. I actually had to crack open the books and read the material ... more than once on several ocassions. I'd say finishing is the most rewarding part. Then again, I'm taking the bar next July so I'm assuming that will top even graduation. You work so hard for a doctorate but can't do anything with it in the legal profession unless you pass the test. My advice if you choose this route is to 1. learn to brief a case before you start classes and 2. think about the bar from day one. I wish you all the best!
  14. BlairMALL macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2002
    Chesapeake, VA
    iBook works like a champ

    I am a producer and I use my iBook G3 (still can't believe it works as well as it does) to write, produce, and edit my show. I routinely take it in the field to do editing and logging, and it has responded very well. Especially in light of the fact that the nature of the work isn't the kindest to the machine. I haven't spilled anything on it, but I have been through the airport countless times, been out it all kinds of temperatures (death valley to Andenes, Norway). I highly recommend the iBook.

    Applecare. A must. I haven't had problems due to abuse(rugged use in the field), but the motherboard went bad fairly early on. I had it back in 3 days.

    Someone mentioned putting something between the keyboard and the monitor when closed to protect the monitor from oil. I did have this problem. I used a piece of foam for a while, but I kept losing it. Now, I just make sure I clean my keyboard and monitor regularly. No problems now.

    Oh, yes. I bought it in November of 2001.
  15. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Funny I should respond to this thread. My PB HD just crashed I think, since I am stuck at the grey screen during reboot and as firewire target mode, the host won't respond. There is about 2 weeks left on my standard 1-year warranty.

    I'll take it in today to see if they can pinpoint the problem. Problem is, I have all my photos on the HD as well as some porn vids, and I really hate to have the technician run through all my stuff. What do you people do when you have sensitive materials on your dead PB?
  16. Tom Morello macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2004
    lol, sticky situation man.
    Can't you just start it up again with the OS cd and reformat it?
    Or do you want to keep your 'data'? lol
    I'm probably being too simplistic but I doubt there is any other way to remedy your situation.
  17. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I'd post a new thread if you want advice. Let's not have this one split off in a totally different direction :)
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    The new 15" are Rev C. The 12" and 17" are on Rev D. Not a big deal, but just to clarify.

    Why wasn't this statement taken more seriously and quoted several times by others? Most law schools require that exams are done on a Windows computer. There is no way to use a Mac for these, so unless you have parents or friends with a laptop you can borrow strictly for test taking, I'd get a PC laptop. I feel sorry, because more often than not, Apple laptops will easily last longer than 3 years, but facts are facts. :eek:

    I agree with ldburroughs. Lets not have this convo again. The point is that iBooks are physically sturdier. Polypropylene (or whatever plastic it is they use) is sturdier than aluminium sheets. I have a 12" PB, and I think its sturdy enough for almost everyone out there. This guy is going to Law School, and I'm doing a PhD, so its not like we're stunt-men or anything.
  19. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005

    Are you sure about this? That is not at all what an advisor at Chapman University has said to me...repeatedly.

    Maybe they're wrong and I've been wrong all this time. :(
    Nonetheless, I'd be glad to know where he is going to Law School and glad to know if the testing software comes ready to run on a mac. I cannot see why it would not. Apple....education. Anyway I digress.
  20. hob macrumors 68020


    Oct 4, 2003
    London, UK
    Sorry, I know we're not having this convo again (i've never actually had it!) but the iBook is certainly a more sturdy machine. My G3 iBook has lasted twice as long as my G4 PowerBook (and even survived my little brother). My iBook went into the shop only for logic board replacements (now a non-issue), my powerbook has been in 3 or 4 times for various problems!
  21. leumluath macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2005
    Will a Powerbook Last 3 Years?

    The problem is a program called "SofTest" from ExamSoft. Many law schools use(d) it, but it crashed frequently and the manufacturer refused to make a Mac version. Georgetown Law School (largest in the country) dropped it almost a year ago. Chapman may have dropped it or never used it.

    Some states also use it for the Bar exam.

    Search macintouch.com's Mac Marginalizations for "law school" and "ExamSoft" for more info.

  22. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    My advice:

    Get the PowerBook, or an iBook. As long as you get a Mac.

    But for the tests you may be needing to pick up a junker PC; I'd suggest used, and only get it out for tests. That way you don't need to pay thousands of dollars for a decent one.
  23. jscheiman macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona
    You should have no issues as long as you take care of your machine, just as you would any other mecanical or electronic devices you own.

    I can tell you from experience, I've had my 667 Ti Powerbook G4 for over three years now, have taken it just about everywhere I go, use it constantly on a daily basis, and I have had very few minor issues, those being back when I ran OS 9. Since OS X it has been nothing but smooth sailing for me.

    My wife also has a 700 iBook from almost two years ago. It too has been a great machine. The build quality of it IMO is nothing like my PB. Both machines are great but I personally think you will get more value and life out of the PB, it's a very powerful notebook.

    As the others have mentioned just do a little quick research and make sure that it will be compatible with the uses for which you will need during your course studies. Good luck!
  24. mcgarry macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2004
    Man, this myth dies hard.

    Example: my brother's white iBook is covered with scratches. My AlBook has no scratches. Does this mean iBooks are "less resistant" to scratches than PBs? NO! It means that if you take care of something, it will last ... 3 years, why not: this is on-topic.

    I'm still waiting for a single person on this board to offer anything approximating test conditions to show how an iBook is somehow more tough or rugged than a PB. I do NOT deny that it is or may be, I simply think that it is virtually impossible to tell a potential purchaser such as the originator of this thread how exactly the material of their case will play out as a factor in the longevity of their machine, the same way we could say how a faster FSB will play out in the operation of their machine, for example. All we can give is our anecdotal opinions, which is fine, but let's not pretened they're much more than that. The best advice that stems from this discussion, I think, would be to say that if a laptop will be regularly used in compromising conditions, the iBook might be a better choice because it is less of an investment to risk in the first place.

    And to all the amateur material scientists out there (such as myself): my bike is made of 7005 aluminum, and it hits rocks and branches all the time without denting. It is not the base material of a laptop case per se that determines its behavior in any given situation, it is myriad factors and design decisions. These may in fact mean that the PB is, indeed, less rugged, but this is not simply because it is made of one thing and an iBook of another.
  25. GULCkid thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Thanks guys.

    I'll probably be going to georgetown (LSN), and they advise students to get either a Dell or a Powerbook, so apparently they don't use examsoft.. but even if they do, I could just rent a PC for finals week or something.

    Sending my powerbook out for repairs for a few days could be a problem. Is it possible to take it to a store and get it fixed same-day? For some reason georgetown has a hard-on for Dells.. they made a deal with dell where if your laptop breaks, a tech will come to your house/dorm within 24 hours to fix it for free. I'd still rather have a powerbook though, I just don't want to wind up regretting it.

    Is there any software that can automatically back up an entire directory to an FTP server or something? That way if it breaks down, I can rent a PC and just download all my notes and everything.

    Also, do you know if microsoft makes OneNote for the mac (normally part of Office), or if anything similar exists for the mac?

    Thanks for your time everyone!

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