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Newbie question re: IBooks


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Newbie question re: IBooks
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LSUTigerHiker
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
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2005-10-13, 11:22

Hi,
I have been doing some research concerning the "switch." I am limited by my resources and are trying to decide what is best for me out of the ibook line and the 12" powerbook. I live/lived in New Orleans, and we have no Apple Store. The CompUSA guy told me to wait for the big announcement yesterday. Plus, he had neither of the three laptops in stock anyway.
Specifically, I am wondering about the display of the 14" ibook. I followed a link to a review of the ibooks vs the 12" powerbook and it wasn't favorable to the 14". It would be a stretch for the powerbook, but if it is nec. then I'll eat a lot of speghetti o's or something.
I am a teacher and a grad student, so I don't really need any high end applications. I use my current laptop for word processing, powerpoint, web surfing---I dump the digital camera photos of my kids and I have a little bit of music on here as well.
Sorry in advance for what may be a stupid question--and a long winded one at that.
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staph
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Join Date: May 2004
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2005-10-13, 11:31

If that's really all you're doing, I reckon the 12" iBook would actually be perfectly adequate for your requirements, ditto the 14", and any Powerbook would be a delight. The screen on a 14" really isn't that bad either, I just don't think you get that much extra utility out of the bigger screen, provided your eyesight is OK. Remember also that you can plug the 'book into an external monitor to get a bigger and higher quality display when you're at home.

Whatever you buy, remember: Buy as much RAM as you can afford. It's easily the most cost effective and, well, effective upgrade you can do. If you're even moderately comfortable with computers, don't buy it from Apple you can get it much cheaper elsewhere (Americans seem to favour Crucial, so far as I can tell).
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LSUTigerHiker
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2005-10-13, 11:40

Thanks for the quick reply. I was leaning toward the 14" b/c of the SuperDrive option.
Thanks again.
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DMBand0026
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2005-10-13, 11:54

Get an external DVD burner, unless you know you're going to be using it all the time (like on a daily basis on the road.)

The 12" iBook would be an awesome computer for you. Hook up an external DVD writer (the components can be put together for probably under $50, and you don't have to be technically inclined to be able to build one yourself.) and you're all set.

Don't forget about Apple's education discounts either. Since you're a teacher they offer sometimes up to $200 off their products...although for the iBooks it's between $50 and $100 off. But every little bit helps, right?

Come waste your time with me
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LSUTigerHiker
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2005-10-13, 12:29

So, would ya'll say that the processor speed and the other differences are nominal between the 12" and 14"?
Again, sorry about all of the questions, but I'm sailing in uncharted waters here....
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staph
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2005-10-13, 12:42

As a rule of thumb, in everyday use you're unlikely to notice a speed difference of less than 30 or 40 percent.

I don't think the speed difference is significant; obviously it's about 10% faster, but you're unlikely to notice if you're just word-processing and emailing.

Definitely check out those EDU discounts, btw.
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LSUTigerHiker
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2005-10-13, 12:53

The Ed discount: I built the 12" iBook w/1 Gb of RAM and the 80 Gb HD, I added iWorks and the applecare--$1406.
The same stuff for the 14" is $1611.
Ok, ya'll have me feeling pretty confidant about the 12" iBook when I was about to drop the cash for the powerbook. I am going to run over to the CompUSA and see if they have any to place with.
Thanks for everything.
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SKMDC
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2005-10-13, 13:08

I got the last iBook revision before they offered the SuperDrive, (and I use an external DVD burner) I wish I could have waited the 3 months or whatever it was because if you plan on making any DVD's the SuperDrive and accompanying iDVD software would've made life (iLife?) simpler.

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"
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SKMDC
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2005-10-13, 13:15

sorry I got to this late, I hope you still get to read my input, one way to save a little dough on your initial outlay is to hold off AppleCare until just before your first year is up. Other than phone assistance (and don't be fooled, they'll help you after you 3 months of that are up if it might persuade you to extend you warranty)
and get your ram from an outside company. I think making those two changes you can move up with out to much more expense.

Not only does Apple charge far too much for upgrading ram, but they don't give you much account for the ram that comes standard that they aren't giving you.

edit= I guess on an iBook the original 512 is built in so that means they are charging you 150 bones for another 512. A 1024 from Crucial is around 190. Which is still high but you can shop around and find better.

"What's a Canadian farm boy to do?"

Last edited by SKMDC : 2005-10-13 at 13:27.
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curiousuburb
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2005-10-13, 13:29

Get the RAM from a 3rd party (NewEgg or Crucial) and you'll save $ vs even the educationally discounted Apple RAM... spend the extra on an iPod 60Gb and you can use its drive for 'emergency' backup of data.

You'll get a 30 day trial version of iWork anyway, and once you've used Keynote, you'll probably never go back to PowerPoint... but I'm not sure if you'd get credited with the edu discount on iWork after the fact. I think if you bought it in the same educational order with your 'book, you would get a few beans off retail. Might not be a big difference.

Ditto on SKMDC's comments about waiting until the end of your warranty year before buying Applecare...

And don't sweat the distinction between the PB's native spanning ability and the iB's native mirroring ability... you can apply the spanning hack from Screen Spanning Doctor to emulate the pricier feature at no cost, enabling dual-display.

If you can wait, however... the PBs are overdue for a bump which may see more VRAM and/or a heftier GPU... doesn't sound like you need it, but it would improve the 'book's long term resale value slightly.
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SKMDC
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2005-10-13, 13:36

I hope we're not too late or he's gonna be pissed when he gets home.
nah....either way he's gettin' a fine machine.
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curiousuburb
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2005-10-13, 13:53

well if you post looking for advice on a global msg board, then leap to a premature conclusion after less than 2 hours and under a dozen replies, you lose some sympathy if you make poorly considered choices... if you're thinking about dropping more than a grand on a primary computer that you plan to keep for a year without giving at least a chance to sleep on it you can't come crying later.
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LSUTigerHiker
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2005-10-13, 13:55

Wow, you guys are helpful. I wasn't going to buy today anyway...juat play around w/the 12" if they had one on display---which they don't.
Thanks for all of the tips.
How hard is it to upgrade the RAM yourself?
I'm going to keep looking around and reading up on this here, and look to buy after the semester is over.
As a Katrina survivor, I got plenty of time on my hands!
Thanks,
Chris
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SKMDC
superkaratemonkeydeathcar
 
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2005-10-13, 13:59

It's not simplistic, but i did it.....so it's not that hard either. Let's just say I'm not real mechanical.
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curiousuburb
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2005-10-13, 14:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSUTigerHiker
Wow, you guys are helpful. I wasn't going to buy today anyway...juat play around w/the 12" if they had one on display---which they don't.
Thanks for all of the tips.
How hard is it to upgrade the RAM yourself?
I'm going to keep looking around and reading up on this here, and look to buy after the semester is over.
As a Katrina survivor, I got plenty of time on my hands!
Thanks,
Chris
It's pretty easy... from the iBook D.I.Y. upgrade page

RAM upgrade instructions PDF
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