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Need Help: about 80% sure I want to switch, but have questions!
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hamabear
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Jan 23, 2006, 02:42 PM
 
Hey all

been lurking for a while and since I'm close to my decision I decided to post.

was wondering if you could answer a few questions. I've decided that the current 12" g4 powerbook is the best fit for me (all the other similar sized windows books seem flimsy in that pricerange). Anyway I had two questions for current pb owners.

1. I aready own a p4 desktop with windows xp, can I transfer data between them rather easily? Meaning, will the desktop recognize the mac and vice versa?

2. I plan on doing presentations (maybe some video showings) with the mac, is it hard to connect it to a tv and/or compatible projectors?

finally I just saw that Amazon was selling the new 15" macbook for about 1850 (150 rebate). How much do you all think the 12" mac book would sell for? And should I wait?

link

Thanks a lot for reading and any suggestions!
     
Leia's Left Bun
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Jan 23, 2006, 02:49 PM
 
1. yes
2. It is super easy. Just plug it in.

"You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought!"
     
icruise
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Jan 23, 2006, 02:52 PM
 
1. You can exchange files between the two of them fairly easily if you have them both on the same network. I can't explain how to do this here, but there are tutorials available on the net. It's not that difficult.

2. It's not difficult. I don't recall if that model comes with a video-out adapter, but it just involves plugging it in, basically.

I imagine that the rumored 13" widescreen MacBook (assuming that it will exist) would be about the same price as the current 12" PowerBook. But if they go ahead and merge the iBook and low-end PowerBook lines as people have rumored, they might have one around $1000 and one that's more expensive. But this is all complete speculation. No one really knows. Whether you should wait is up to you. If you can live without PowerBook/MacBook for a few months, you might be better off waiting. But then again, the current PowerBooks are great machines, and we don't know how long it will take for Apple to get around to updating the rest of their portable line.
     
uicandrew
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Jan 23, 2006, 02:58 PM
 
honestly, a lot of places have written that the 12" ibook is much better value for the money than the 12" powerbook.

also, there has been rumors (with apple, there are always rumors, but never news) that the 12" powerbook/macbook will be discontinued. The reasoning is that the last time the G4 powerbooks were refreshed/updated, NOTHING changed with the 12". Additionally, with all the rumors with the 13.3" widescreen, people have said that the 12" size will no longer exist.

as for your questions:

1. yes, except that the Mac cannot write on a pc harddrive, without extra software. It can read it, but not write on it. (different file system). My way around it is to use my ipod as a portable harddrive. Flash drives work without ANY glitches.

2. no it is not hard. you can purchase an adapter that allows you to have video-out (via vga, dvi, s-video, or composite, depending on what adapter you buy.
Mac User since Summer 2005 (started with G4 mini bought from macnn forums!)
     
ryaxnb
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Jan 23, 2006, 04:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by hamabear
Hey all

been lurking for a while and since I'm close to my decision I decided to post.

was wondering if you could answer a few questions. I've decided that the current 12" g4 powerbook is the best fit for me (all the other similar sized windows books seem flimsy in that pricerange). Anyway I had two questions for current pb owners.

1. I aready own a p4 desktop with windows xp, can I transfer data between them rather easily? Meaning, will the desktop recognize the mac and vice versa?

2. I plan on doing presentations (maybe some video showings) with the mac, is it hard to connect it to a tv and/or compatible projectors?

finally I just saw that Amazon was selling the new 15" macbook for about 1850 (150 rebate). How much do you all think the 12" mac book would sell for? And should I wait?

link

Thanks a lot for reading and any suggestions!
1. Yes, Turn on network sharing on Windows XP and turn on read-write networking (just a couple checkboxes) and then use the Mac's network connection option.
2. Yes. Just plug it in.
Trainiable is to cat as ability to live without food is to human.
Steveis... said: "What would scammers do with this info..." talking about a debit card number!
     
mduell
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Jan 23, 2006, 06:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by uicandrew
1. yes, except that the Mac cannot write on a pc harddrive, without extra software. It can read it, but not write on it. (different file system). My way around it is to use my ipod as a portable harddrive.
Untrue. He's talking about transfering files over a network, not with the hard drive plugged into the Mac. You can both read and write files over the network.
     
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Jan 23, 2006, 07:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
Untrue. He's talking about transfering files over a network, not with the hard drive plugged into the Mac. You can both read and write files over the network.
Yes. I send files back and forth between my mac and pc all the time. piece of cake.
     
b33faroni
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Jan 23, 2006, 07:12 PM
 
Well I can tell you what I did since I seemed to be in the same situation as you, just in July instead of now. I have a p4 Dell and bought the 12 PB. Connects wirelessly flawlessly (cept since I cant get DSL in my area, I have to run a 50 ft phone cord to connect to horrible aol dialup..)

Connecting to projectors and monitors and such is real simple, have done several presentations at school with mine.

However I was not in the "which Book to buy" frenzy since when I bought mine the Ibooks were not even updated yet. The Ibook stats are basically the same as the current 12 PB (even holds more memory), but is hideous if u ask me. The only real difference is that its easier to span to an extra display with the PB, although you still can with the Ibook.


As far as the Macbook goes, thats all up to you, do you need high end software such as Photoshop, Final Cut, etc to work right away? If so then dont get the Macbook since I have heard rumors of incompatibility, and they wont be updated until probably mid year. If you just need it for simple stuff now, and more power in the future (or just to have the top of the line computer) then go for the Macbook and let us know how it is!

Bill
     
phoenix78
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Jan 24, 2006, 12:10 AM
 
Hi,

Choosing a pc is a matter of what software you need to do the work that you require... so you shouldnt be basing a decision on wether you want a mac or a pc just because of the hardware or brand.

I have seen many business people rave on about their mac but they we stuck because the specialised software wasnt available and also vice versa where a friend of mine bought a nice Travelmate when his work mates were using macs lol... not too many dramas there but there was a bit of time lost trying to get it all sorted so people were annoyed for a while.

Also, if you have windows systems already you will likely need to buy the same softwre again just for the mac adding to the expense of the system. So the total cost is hardware + software.

I own both mac and windows systems and they network together just fine if you are careful. I believe that you can also get this remote desktop application that allows you to login to your pc (WinXP pro) through your mac... ive seen it but havent tried it since i dont have Xp pro.

in conclusion... consider expense with hardware + sftware to get your true cost of setup & also consider your target environment... will you be interacting with WinXP users or mac users??? these are the important queastions to consider IMO

regards,
robM
     
hamabear  (op)
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Jan 24, 2006, 01:09 AM
 
WOW, thanks for all the replies and the great information/wisdom imparted!

as for the questions for what I will be using it for: I plan on working with Final Cut Pro and Logic and eventually (hopefully 2 years down the line) will get a Mac desktop. Because I'm a grad student and am volunteering at multiple non profit organizations I need a notebook so I can work on general projects such as website updates, word, internet research and basic graphic design.

in terms of the transferring data question, I had a bad experience in moving video data from an xp hard-drive to dual G5 powermacs for a documentary I was working on. That's why I'm a little worried, because I don't want to have to buy another external hard-drive for the mac, separate from my PC's.

Also in terms of ibooks, are they as sturdy as the 12" powerbooks? They seem to be made out of plastic, and I thought the g4 was a much better processer (in terms of graphic/video/music) editing than the g3. Is this assumption correct?

finally, I just visited my campus store and found out I can get the new powerbook for 1800! Also the refurbished 12" powerbook is selling for 1200. Is refurbished the way to go? And is there a point of waiting for the smaller sized intel mac notebook when they haven't really developed the video/music editing software for intel chips?

just seeking some inciteful suggestions, I still want to go mac but now I can't decide which route to go:

1. 12" powerbook
2. 12" ibook
3. smaller intel mac notebook

thanks again!
     
JMan09
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Jan 24, 2006, 03:25 AM
 
If I was getting a current Book then I would get a refurbished 12" PowerBook off the apple website. Its only like $200 more than the current iBook and you get the monitor spanning and super drive.
32GB iPad 2 | 32GB iPhone 4 | 11' MacBook Air 1.6 i5, 4GB, 128GB SSD
     
uicandrew
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Jan 24, 2006, 04:19 AM
 
don't even think about the G3. those G3 ibooks are so old that even apple store doesn't sell them.

If durability is an issue, then i would definitely get a ibook instead of the 12" powerbook. There have been a couple threads recently about dented, bent cases. the plastic/polycarbonate ibook is much more durable in my opinion.

the exception? well, my friend has a 2 year old ibook that he used daily. now, about 10 or so letters have been rubbed off the keyboard. it was starting to rub off towards the end of the 1st year of ownership, but he never got around to taking it to an applestore to get it replaced under warranty.

That is why I got the 17" powerbook. The 17" and 15" powerbook (intel and G4) have "backlit"keyboards (see apple.com) so there is no such thing as the letters rubbing off. The 12" powerbook currently doesn't have the backlit keyboard.

I would seriously recommend the ibook over all else because:

1. durability (the actual case)
2. cost/benefit is better than 12" powerbook
3. if you really need it, Virtual PC (allows you to run pc programs on a mac) still runs on the G4 ibook/powerbook but not the new intel machines

besides, you don't know how long you're going to have to wait for the smaller intel mac notebook. And even if they come out very soon, there's going to be a swarm of people in these forums who turn their noses up at the first batch of anything that apple makes (called Revision A) because they are rumored/deemed to be full of bugs. When apple updates that particular model, it is called a revision (Revision B)

so waiting for Revision B would take even longer. But no one will really chastise you for going for the current G4 books.

for more info about the G4/G5 to intel transition, go to apple.com

Remember, even though all the macs will have intel versions by the end of this year, the programs are going to be "universal binaries" which means that they support G4/G5 AND intel. they aren't giving up on the older processors anytime soon.

in terms of powerbook vs. ibook, i really urge you to look at this website that DIRECTLY compares the 2. also, keep in mind that if you want to purchase the extended warranty (3 years total) then the ibook extended warranty is cheaper, too

http://www.systemshootouts.org/shoot...k_12pbook.html

great site. they keep it objective. Also keep in mind the durability of the casing!

good luck and welcome to the mac community (i switched 6 months ago) almost everything i know comes from these forums
Mac User since Summer 2005 (started with G4 mini bought from macnn forums!)
     
Gee4orce
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Jan 24, 2006, 05:25 AM
 
I really don't know what people must do to dent their Powerbooks - play football with them perhaps ? Mine's over three years old, and it's still pristine - there aren't even any scratches (so much for 'soft' aluminium), despite the fact that all four rubber feet have fallen off. So, the Powerbooks are very durable - as are the iBooks for that matter.

The 12" Powerbook (mine) is really an iBook in a Powerbook case. The specs are identical. And yet, I would get the Powerbook every time, just because it looks the business.

I think your best plan could be to buy the refurbished Powerbook and use it until the updated MacBook (whatever) comes out, then re-evaluate. You will still be able to get a good price for your old machine on eBay, and put that towards a new one. You'll also get the benefit of letting smuchs like me beta test the new Intel machines and iron out the bugs !
     
phoenix78
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Jan 24, 2006, 09:15 AM
 
Video editing etc... on a laptop is a potential hazard for your system... they are very intensive processes as far as reading/writing to your HD and when you have a laptop HD it will severely degrade due to overheating (everything gets super hot!!- A friend of mine put final cut pro on my 17" powerbook and it made it run super hot... nasty stuff.)... so you will want to have applecare for sure! Also your processor will get super hot lol...

so for anything that is intensive as final cut etc.. a desktop would be the best way to go and use your laptop for simpler things.

12" ??? i cant even imagine how horrible that would be to do video editing on such a small screen unless you plug it to a larger display... but even then the 12" will struggle with a large display to maintain... and you will have large delays due to the g4 being quite slow in its own right. i havent checked out the system requirements for Final Cut etc... but i imagine they would be rather demanding... and if it did meet the requirements it would be just barely.

these are just a few thoughts to consider as they were problems i faced when using demanding applications.

cheers,
robM
     
hamabear  (op)
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Jan 24, 2006, 12:50 PM
 
Thanks all for the prompt and inciteful suggestions.

I've finally decided on getting a refurbished notebook but because of uicandrew's convincing assessment of the ibook vs powerbook I am now torn between the two. At the apple site the two 12" models (and I'm adamant about the size, I don't have a car and take the muni everywhere) are being offered:

1. refurb powerbook 1.5ghz
512MB DDR333 SDRAM
80GB Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 (64MB DDR)
superdrive
Price: $1,199.00 + $239.00 (applecare) = $1,438.00 + tax (do they tax applecare?)

2. refurb ibook 1.33 ghz
512MB memory (DDR333 SDRAM)
40GB Ultra ATA hard drive
ATI Mobility Radeon 9550 (32MB DDR video memory)
combo drive
Price: $799.00 + Price: $183.00 (applecare) = $982.00 + tax

3. brand new ibook 1.33ghz
same specs as above but upgraded to 1gig memory
total: 1,222.00 + tax

If my math is correct (and it often isn't) I don't see that much of a difference between the pb and ibook that legitimizes almost a $500.00 difference. At first I thought the pb held up better than the ibook, but according to the apple site, the ibook's case is supposedly likened to bullet proof material (something the pb doesn't claim). The only actual difference I see is the .17 ghz speed advantage of the pb and the graphics card difference (64mb compared to 32mb).

The dvd-rw doesn't matter too much to me, but what does is whether the pb gets hotter than the ibook and the actual durability of the pb in comparison to the ibook.

Many thanks for the friendliness/helpfulness of this community by the way, I tried to ask these questions at the apple stores but they were either too busy to stick around or the "sales associates" couldn't answer questions about durability (they are trying to sell it to me after all so I understand).
     
hamabear  (op)
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Jan 24, 2006, 12:51 PM
 
many apologies
( Last edited by hamabear; Jan 24, 2006 at 01:09 PM. Reason: accidentally posted twice)
     
icruise
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Jan 24, 2006, 01:01 PM
 
Personally, I would take a PowerBook over an iBook any day of the week. Aside from the improved (in my estimation) esthetics, you've got a better video card with more memory, a faster processor, a superdrive, and twice as much hard disk space. Plus you also get DVI support for running an external monitor in "extended desktop" mode. I'm not sure about the keyboards on the latest iBooks, but it used to be that the PowerBooks had superior keyboards as well.

I wouldn't worry overly about durability unless you really plan to be throwing the thing around a lot. The current PowerBooks are quite solid (not like, say, the earlier Titanium models). I would get 1GB of memory no matter which you choose (although you probably shouldn't get it from Apple).
     
uicandrew
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Jan 24, 2006, 01:37 PM
 
if you're traveling a lot, then the ibook is more likely to survive bumps and stuff (esp with public transportation)

is hard drive space a concern for you? I've never used Final cut pro, or anything like that, but i like to have my music and picture collection with me whereever i go.

if i were to buy a new mac, i would get a larger hard drive built in. you can add ram yourself, but upgrading the harddrive is scary for the ibook.

if you have time or whatnot, you could also hang around the "for sale" section of these forums. this is where i bought my first mac (mac mini) from and I was oh-so-close to getting my powerbook from here. the prices are generally negotiable and almost always offer a better value than what you can get from the apple store. especially if it is still under warranty and you can still buy applecare (you can get applecare on any mac that is still under the 1 year warranty)

my mac mini bundle (software, books, magazines, peripherals) was probably worth $1300 easily, but paid only $850. of course, your milage may vary, but there are people out there who are looking to sell their current powerbook/ibook because their intel books are coming. good luck!
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mduell
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Jan 24, 2006, 08:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by phoenix78
Video editing etc... on a laptop is a potential hazard for your system... they are very intensive processes as far as reading/writing to your HD and when you have a laptop HD it will severely degrade due to overheating (everything gets super hot!!- A friend of mine put final cut pro on my 17" powerbook and it made it run super hot... nasty stuff.)... so you will want to have applecare for sure! Also your processor will get super hot lol...

so for anything that is intensive as final cut etc.. a desktop would be the best way to go and use your laptop for simpler things.
Oh that's a load of FUD. I know plenty of people (including myself) who run their laptop hard all the time with no ill effects. Maybe a $399 Wal*Mart laptop will have issues with HDD and CPU usage, but not any reputable brand.
There's no good reason to limit laptops to "simpler things."
     
brettcamp
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Jan 25, 2006, 05:36 AM
 
If you're going to use the laptop with an external display, the PB's DVI output will produce a sharper image on a digital monitor. That and the bigger hard drive are the main advantages of the PB, but even so , the iBook is a better value.
     
hamabear  (op)
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Jan 25, 2006, 04:55 PM
 
hey all thanks again for the suggestions and information!

i was about one screen away from getting the ibook when i realized i don't know if there will be enough room on the harddrive to run all the applications i want to run (such as adobe cs2, macromedia, ms office and music editing software in addition to ilife and the tiger). Also i'm definitely getting a refurbished model because the price is just too good to pass up, so the refurb pb in comparison to the refurb ibook seems like the best bet. So i have to ask one more question: can you run all those programs i mentioned with a 40gig harddrive or will i be kicking myself later for not having it down the line. (especially with the way programs seem to take more and more space for instance newer os upgrades)

ps: i'm not planning on storing music/video/photo files on my notebook, so that's not too much of a factor, although i might need it temporarily.

any suggestions and personal experience would be greatly appreciated.
     
b33faroni
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Jan 25, 2006, 05:33 PM
 
Well I store all my music/music vids (7.5 GB) on my laptop and have many progs such as PS CS, Dreamweaver, Virtual PC (with two OS's), MS Office and a couple games and have only used up 30 GB so far out of my 80. However I personally like to know I have a bunch left over in case I do want to get into photography/video or just want room to expand. Just my 2 cents
     
kw14
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Jan 25, 2006, 05:58 PM
 
If you are serious about video editing, you really should have some kind of large screen strategy. I do it on a 15" PB...its bearable. But I am seriously considering a desktop or a 2nd screen. I can't imagine doing video on a 12" screen.

These days, 40G hd is rather anemic if you use your machine for anything more than an Internet access point. Your video project can easily use up 10G on your main drive. (I am not talking about video footages, here). I have an 80G internal drive that I have to constantly keep clean everytime I embark on a new project. All my footages are on external drives that's over 1 TB now. Anything video, you better have some storage plan in mind.

If I don't do video, perhaps, 80G would be a decent size. You say you don't expect to store music/video/photo on your notebook, well than what do you use iLife for? It certainly is easy to amass a bunch of photos, maybe mess around with your own website, touch up a few pictures here and there. Storage space needs begin to add up.

OK. Maybe you are a very neat guy and can keep just the essentials on your internal drive. Or maybe you are not planning to use your laptop as your main computer. Than I'd say 40G minimum. The system and applications probably takes up ~15G which'll leave you with 20 to 25G of personal space. Just don't go snapshot happy or limewire every song collection and it'll probably last you a little while.
     
kw14
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Jan 25, 2006, 06:23 PM
 
b33faroni--how long have you had your machine? Just an intellectual curiousity whether storage requirement is proportional with time or I just haven't done as good a job keep mine clean. I've been using mine as my main machine for over two years now. I am about 70G used out of 80. 10G of this is probably strictly work stuff. So my personal usage is somewhere around 60G.
     
bourgeoisie
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Jan 26, 2006, 04:08 PM
 
i've got a G3 ibook with a 30gb hd, and I have a sizable itunes library (12gb) and a fairly large iphoto library as well (2gb), plus photoshop, ms office, etc. and i still hae 7gb free. and this is with a 30gb hd, so saying that 40gb is small is a little exaggerated. i'd say i'm somewhere in between a 'power user' and a 'consumer', and it sounds like hamabear is somewhere in the same boat...i personally would take the ibook, and use the $500 you save on software, ram, ipod, some nice speakers, bt mouse, bt keyboard, protective sleeve, etc, etc. good luck in whatever you choose!
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b33faroni
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Jan 26, 2006, 05:54 PM
 
kw, well I have only had my mac for about 6 months now, but on my dell before that I used for about 3 years, I only used up 20 Gigs of stuff outside of music and videos. But then again im not a pro, only a student that is into photograph a little bit from time to time.
     
   
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