User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » General Discussion »

Help Me By A New Mac...


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
Help Me By A New Mac...
Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next Thread Tools
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 18:42

Hello, everyone. I could use some help...

My G3 iMac DV SE just turned four years old, and it's dying. I was hoping to get another year out of it, but after restarting it 20 times today while burning CD's and working on a term paper (college student here), I've pulled myself out of denial and realized the time has come. The online experience is becoming very frustrating, as well (web sites no longer work properly, outdated browsers, etc.)...I mean, here I am borrowing a Sony Vaio, and actually LIKING it!! OS9 has become so ancient that Windows XP is somewhat enjoyable for me. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!

Being the college student that I am, I need to spend my money wisely. This is what I use my Mac for:

1) browsing the net / email
2) CD burning
3) iPod
4) 2-track analog editing (Spark, Peak, etc.)
5) MOTU 828 Firewire I/O (for transferring vinyl to CD-R)....this will have to wait, as I will now need to purchase new software that I can't afford after buying a new Mac...but I still need a computer that will handle this for the future....
6) Digital photos (for the day I can get afford a digital camera)

That's about it. I'm thinking G4 iBook. I'd really like a laptop, and PowerBooks are way out of my budget. Plus, the iBooks are the most recently updated Macs, so I won't be screwed for not being able to wait.

Can I trust RAM not purchased through Apple? How much RAM do I need? 14-inch G4 Combo drive iBook best value for me? Will I be able to get online out of the box (since Airport Extreme comes installed)...? (I'm in a home that uses LinkSys wireless network)....

Any answers to my questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-12-28, 18:56

Sounds like any Mac will handle those tasks well, so it's just a matter of extra features and price. iBooks are fine machines. Not super fast, but they're not too bad either. Way better than your old iMac, that's for sure.

For RAM, buy from just about anywhere except Apple. They charge about twice as much as anywhere else. I'd recommend at least a 512 MB Crucial SODIMM. You can go to crucial.com and pick out your system from a list to make sure you get exactly the right one. A 1 GB SODIMM would be nice, but they tend to be very expensive ($250-$300, vs. $100 for a 512 MB).

As for which model is the best, there are trade offs. The 14" is larger and heavier, and doesn't provide any extra pixels compared to the 12". It's also a bit more expensive. However, it is easier to see the screen because of the larger physical size. It also comes with a faster processor (not enough of a difference to notice probably) and double the hard drive. The 30 GB in the 12" iBook is pretty pathetic - you want at least 40 GB, and the 60 GB drive that the 14" comes with is really more useful.

So, it's up to you. Remember that you can always custom-order a 12" iBook with a 60 GB hard drive.
  quote
johnq
Multi-touch Piñata
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 19:00

To answer your question,

I'd get the iBook 14 and maximum RAM.

---

I have my iMac DV SE right next to my iBook and I use both daily. I use Teleport to control the iMac from my iBook and vice versa. Works great.

I have long abandoned Mac OS 9 and Classic, so both are running the latest Panther.

The iMac merely lacks the Quartz Extreme effects, but no loss.

I bought a 1 GB ram kit for the iMac and self-installed a 7200 RPM drive in it. The little guy is a beast now. You'd be surprised just how much of a Mac's perceived speed is tied to both RAM and hard disk speed. Yes, MHz is important but not if your drive is slow and you have limited RAM.

I am a professional (web/Flash) and the combined workload done through these 2 Macs to date is roughly $200,000 (albeit not to me, but rather for companies I've worked at) and counting. No, I don't do 3D, gaming or Video, nor am I suggesting I could on this Mac.

I have never used a G4 let alone a G5.

I am Apple's best example and yet it's worst nightmare

Bottomline, try to revamp it if you get a kick out of maximizing ROI.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

Last edited by johnq : 2004-12-28 at 19:05.
  quote
adam_tj
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: OUTSIDE of Redmond
 
2004-12-28, 19:23

If you want a good, strong mac,

iBook 12"
add 512 from crucial
80GB HD custom

1282.99 (with extra RAM)

trust me. You want the 12".
  quote
johnq
Multi-touch Piñata
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 19:30

I like the bigger dot pitch of the 14. I like seeing the pixels. I feel the 12" and even the 15" PB are too small for my liking. But that's just me.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 19:55

Thanks for all the advice. I wouldn't be able to tolerate a 12" screen. I wish the iBooks had 15" and 17" screens, but I'd settle for the 14". From what I'm hearing, people are happy with its display.

I'd like to maximize the RAM (and build-to-order an 80 GB HD). Is it hard to install RAM on an iBook? Can I do it before I ever turn it on?

Thanks again, and anymore advice on my purchase would be a great help...I've also considered a new iMac, but I think I'm craving portability....
  quote
BlueRabbit
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Denver, CO
 
2004-12-28, 20:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. X
I've also considered a new iMac, but I think I'm craving portability....
Definitely go for the portability. Especially since you're a college student, you'll wondering how you could live so long without it.

Oh, and the wireless will work out of the box. It should connect to your network automatically.
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 20:13

The only thing that makes me a little nervous about portability is the idea that if it gets stolen, my entire computer with all of my information is gone. Also, a stand alone keyboard (and mouse) is a lot nicer to work on, although I'm sure i'd get used to the iBook's keyboard and trackpad.
  quote
johnq
Multi-touch Piñata
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 20:20

You can plug any USB keyboard and mouse into it and work happily.

You should also get a Podium CoolPad:
http://www.roadtools.com/podium.html

To keep it cool/not flat on a surface and to keep it at a comfortable typing angle.

As far as losing data, same for any laptop but, there's no reason you can't burn files to CD or DVD. Or you can get a cheap external FireWire drive for backup.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
  quote
staph
Microbial member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via AIM to staph  
2004-12-28, 20:43

If you're really worried about screen size (rather than pixel density), the iBooks do support video mirroring, so you could simply plug it into a 17" CRT or whatever at home, and maintain portability for elsewhere.

Anyway, I'd say that any of the iBooks should be fine for your described use
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:06

I have to chime in with a hearty iBook recommendation as well, based on your needs and your budget. A fine computer. My best friend has the 14" model (the first generation of G4 iBooks from last autumn...1GHz, 40GB, etc.) and she loves everything about it. In fact, she got an AirPort Express just last weekend and now she loves it even MORE! But if you crave portability in a tough, nice-looking package...there's your computer.



The iBooks are great. And I hear there's a spanning hack too...
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:12

So, here's what I'm close to purchasing...

1) G4 iBook Combo 14"
2) 80 GB HD (built-to-order)
3) 1 GB RAM (from crucial.com)

I plan on ordering this tonight from Apple.com (through my school discount), so let me know if you have any more advice.

Here are my remaining questions:

1) Does anyone think it would be wiser for me to go desktop and get either the new iMac or a G5 Tower with a cheap monitor? (Again, I need to be very budget-conscious)
2) Should I get a second battery? Is it okay to always go "plugless" and just constantly swap batteries?
3) How simple is it to install RAM in an iBook? Can I do it BEFORE I turn it on for the first time?

Thanks for all the guidance...
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:19

1) You said portability was nice. It is. That's a personal decision you'll have to make, based on your comings and goings, working habits, lifestyle, etc.

2) Not sure on the battery question. No one I know who owns a PowerBook or iBook has a second battery, for whatever that's worth.

3) Yes, a little door open on the bottom and you slide the RAM in. The little manual in the iBook walks you through this (with little line art illustrations). You're instructed to have the iBook off, unplugged AND the battery removed. The manual explains it all, but yes...it's very easy. Pretty much everything Apple ships right now features easy RAM installation.
  quote
johnq
Multi-touch Piñata
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:22

Wait, you won't be able to install a 1GB chip, afaik. I believe Apple solders one RAM chip into one slot and only the other slot is user configurable/installable.

Read the specs.

256MB of PC2100 (266MHz) DDR SDRAM (256MB built-in and one available SO-DIMM slot) with support for up to 1.25GB

In other words, if one buys it with only 256MB of RAM, then the SO-DIMM slot is empty. If one orders an iBook with 512MB of RAM, then the SO-DIMM slot has a matching 256MB that Apple inserts., etc.

Also, make very sure the RAM you are buying is right for the iBook you buy.

Wouldn't hurt to ask Apple or go to an Apple Store.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
  quote
johnq
Multi-touch Piñata
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:32

You are far better to have 2 power adapters than 2 batteries, imho.

I keep one at my desk at work and one at home. Sometimes I take either one with me in my case.

But then, I merely ferry my iBook about between the two, and don't sit a cafs much.

As far as portability vs. desktop, that's why I got an iBook. It is hellish to only have a desk-bound machine. I do not need to be wireless running on battery much but when I need to it is a blessing.

I did a photoshoot in a park, took 300 pics, plugged a card reader into my iBook and burned images to disk on-site and gave the model a copy right there. Very cool.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
  quote
Zodiac
Shiny, Musky, Fleshy Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The Beer Store
 
2004-12-28, 21:32

E-Mail? Music? Photos? Internet?

Here is the computer you'll need..

Powermac G5

Dual 2.5GHz
8gb ram
2x 250gb harddrive
256mb video card
dual 30" Apple Cinema Displays

Yes! You will save about 5 seconds of loading time every time you load something! Minutes if it is really big! All of those seconds will build up, until after a few years, you will have saved a couple hours of loading time! You could have a party with ALL that free time!

Actually, you'll need this....(If you must get a laptop)

iBook G4

12" screen
1.2GHz G4
512mb ram
60gb harddrive


That should just about do it!

Founder of the Applenova Folding Team
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnq
Wait, you won't be able to install a 1GB chip, afaik. I believe Apple solders one RAM chip into one slot and only the other slot is user configurable/installable.

Read the specs.

256MB of PC2100 (266MHz) DDR SDRAM (256MB built-in and one available SO-DIMM slot) with support for up to 1.25GB

In other words, if one buys it with only 256MB of RAM, then the SO-DIMM slot is empty. If one orders an iBook with 512MB of RAM, then the SO-DIMM slot has a matching 256MB that Apple inserts., etc.
What does "afaik" mean?

So, if I order the iBook as is (comes with 256MB of RAM), I'll have no problem installing 1GB in the open slot? I'd really like to turn that baby on for the first time knowing that 1.25GB RAM is installed, WITHOUT paying Apple's ridiculous RAM prices.
  quote
Wraven
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Texas
 
2004-12-28, 21:42

As Far As I Know
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnq
You are far better to have 2 power adapters than 2 batteries, imho.
I agree. I have the power adapter that came with my PowerBook at my home desk. It's routed nicely with the USB and speaker cables to keep it all neat and tidy. In my PowerBook bag I have a second Apple 65W PowerBook/iBook adapter I bought, so it's always with me and I don't have to get down on all fours and disconnect/monkey with my "permanent" cable arrangement underneath/behind my desk everytime I'm going somewhere. It all stays.

I opted for two adapters over a spare battery, hands down.

Again, that's a fairly personal thing and depends on only things you'll know.
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:51

Okay, I'm about 95% sure of this purchase...one more question...

1 GB RAM from crucial.com = $350
1 GB RAM from Apple (w/ student discount) = $540

So I save $190 when not buying the RAM from Apple. Is that worth it?
  quote
johnq
Multi-touch Piñata
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 21:52

I just mean make sure it's the right type of RAM for an iBook if you're going through 3rd parties.

Nevermind the other thing, I just wanted to be sure Apple only uses 256MB for the built-in RAM. (They do, I just looked, from what I see by configuring it online). I didn't want you to have a useless stick of RAM, but it's ok.

So, a 1GB chip will be fine if it's the right kind.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
  quote
johnq
Multi-touch Piñata
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 22:01

$~190 can buy (among other things):

LaCie 160GB - d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface
With the ability to move data at up to 58MB/s for read transfers and shuttle data between any workstation with an iLink, FireWire, USB or FireWire 800 connection, the LaCie d2 Hard Drive Extreme with Triple Interface is an ideal way to move data quickly and easily.

Price
$199.00

...or it can just go to buy Steve Jobs another GulfStream jet.

I have a Lacie HD at work and one at home. Before I leave with my iBook I backup recent files. I have 2 remote backups this way.

You could even buy an empty FireWire enclosure, buy a fast "internal" hard disk drive and install it into the case yourself. Cheap "external" FW storage.

"Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 22:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. X
Okay, I'm about 95% sure of this purchase...one more question...

1 GB RAM from crucial.com = $350
1 GB RAM from Apple (w/ student discount) = $540

So I save $190 when not buying the RAM from Apple. Is that worth it?
I'd say so. I don't know anyone here (there may be, but I don't know) who has bought their RAM from Apple. They might've, once. ONCE. Before they knew better. Even Macworld magazine, in a recent review (of the iMac G5, I believe) says to buy RAM through a quality, third-party outfit as opposed to Apple.

Get it from crucial.com. Everyone here seems to. And $190 is nothing to sneeze at. That's money in your pocket. Or money to buy a sleeve or bag for your iBook. Or an external hard drive. Or a mouse and keyboard set up. Or an iSight. Tons of stuff you might eventually want or need...
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 22:17

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0
I'd say so. I don't know anyone here (there may be, but I don't know) who has bought their RAM from Apple. They might've, once. ONCE. Before they knew better. Even Macworld magazine, in a recent review (of the iMac G5, I believe) says to buy RAM through a quality, third-party outfit as opposed to Apple.

Get it from crucial.com. Everyone here seems to. And $190 is nothing to sneeze at. That's money in your pocket. Or money to buy a sleeve or bag for your iBook. Or an external hard drive. Or a mouse and keyboard set up. Or an iSight. Tons of stuff you might eventually want or need...
...or, better yet, money I don't have to SPEND!

Thanks so much, everyone! I just finished placing my order....

G4 iBook 14" Combo, 80GB from Apple.......$1365.31

...now I'm going to order 1GB RAM from crucial.com, upgrade Peak 3 to 4.1 from bias-inc.com for $150 (plus Soundsoap for $99), and I will have EVERYTHING I need!! I sure hate to have to spend money, but I had no choice. My Mac is finally dying, and I needed a new Mac NOW...

I look forward to the day I can afford a new iPod..

Thanks, again!
  quote
pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2004-12-28, 22:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. X
...or, better yet, money I don't have to SPEND!
Well that was what my "money in your pocket" comment referred to. And I said it FIRST, before listing all that other stuff. I'm a saver, so that's my first inclination...NOT to spend it.

Sounds like you're getting a great system. Congrats! As the iBooks just got updated (still on Apple's front page, even), you can rest assured you're buying at a great time...you're getting the absolute latest version and it'll be a good long while before they're revved again.

Awesome.
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 22:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0
Well that was what my "money in your pocket" comment referred to. And I said it FIRST, before listing all that other stuff. I'm a saver, so that's my first inclination...NOT to spend it.

Sounds like you're getting a great system. Congrats! As the iBooks just got updated (still on Apple's front page, even), you can rest assured you're buying at a great time...you're getting the absolute latest version and it'll be a good long while before they're revved again.

Awesome.
Oh, exactly...your words helped seal the deal! I'm a saver all the way, as well (which is why I made my G3 iMac last as long as it could)...

One of the biggest reasons I chose this iBook is because, like you said, it just got updated!!! I won't have to worry about getting screwed; it's the right buy at the right time! Thanks again!
  quote
staph
Microbial member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via AIM to staph  
2004-12-28, 22:41

Apple's instructions on how to install customer installable parts for the iBooks G4 (yours should be identical).

Good luck!
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 23:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by staph
Apple's instructions on how to install customer installable parts for the iBooks G4 (yours should be identical).

Good luck!
Thanks, staph. Wow, that looks complicated. Adding RAM to my G3 iMac was fairly simple, so I assumed this would be, but it sure doesn't look like it. I don't want to ruin anything....I'm especially nervous about taking the Airport Extreme card out.....

Does it look harder than it really is? I now wonder if I should cancel my order and just have it pre-installed.....
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2004-12-28, 23:55

Bravo on ordering the extra RAM right away. If you're lucky, you'll get it before you get the iBook, so you won't have to put up with the crappy 256 MB of built-in RAM. In the past I've waited too long to buy RAM for both a new iBook (bought in late 2002) and a new eMac (late 2003), and in each case I had to put up with 128 MB in OS X for a week or so while I waited.
  quote
Mr. X
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2004-12-28, 23:59

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca
Bravo on ordering the extra RAM right away. If you're lucky, you'll get it before you get the iBook, so you won't have to put up with the crappy 256 MB of built-in RAM. In the past I've waited too long to buy RAM for both a new iBook (bought in late 2002) and a new eMac (late 2003), and in each case I had to put up with 128 MB in OS X for a week or so while I waited.
Oh, I'll wait either way. I refuse to turn it on until 1.25 GB of RAM is installed! I'm just hoping it isn't too complicated to install (it sure looks that way)...if it is, I'm calling crucial.com to cancel the RAM, and calling Apple to just have it all preinstalled.
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 00:58.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2019, AppleNova