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Am considering buying a MacBook - several questions (including payment methods)
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HarlequinBoy
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Mar 14, 2007, 08:49 PM
 
Okay, so lately I've really been considering buying a MacBook for several reasons, but I have a few questions.

(Yes, I know some of these questions you'll probably find quite ignorant, but I'm not exactly a computer whiz lol)

Currently I share a regular Dell Desktop with my sister.. and I've convinced my parents that I should be allowed to buy my own computer. Too bad they refuse to buy it for me. [sighs]. I'm in 10th Grade and I work afterschool for several hours each day and only have a few hours at my house each night, so I need a laptop to be able to do schoolwork and things without being at home. Okay, I'll stop boring ya' with the life story. lol

Now for the questions..

What kind of ISP do you need to use with a MacBook? At home we use BellSouth Fast Access DSL and would I have to get a new ISP or something? How exactly does that work? (I've never used anything but desktops before) Ha.

Also, should I buy through The Apple Store or do you have any recommedations? Does anyone know of any places I could buy from where I don't have to pay the entire total at once, but can pay it on a monthly rate instead? I work steadily, but don't have that sort of money saved up yet.. and won't for a while, but I can easily afford a monthly fee or whatever. Just any general advice on this would be nice. I'd also prefer not to use credit card, because I'd have to use my parents and they probably wouldn't go for that. =|

Would you advice also purchasing a Mighty Mouse? Like I said I'm only accustomed to desktops.. =/

And I've been browsing through reading topics about Windows Vista etc., should I also put that into it or not? I don't have any files I need to transfer from one computer or anything.. and for music I already use the Pod so.. does the Mac come with it's own Word Processor?

Thanks for answering, in advance. I hope all that made sense and I could really use some advice/help.
     
skacoreimplore
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Mar 14, 2007, 08:54 PM
 
You will not have to switch ISPs. You will need a wireless router though to share connections with the computers.

The only way to pay monthly is to get a loan i think?

I dont suggest the mighty mouse, we have them in our film class and I personally own one. They arent that great.

You wont need to put vista on it unless there is something Windows only you need to use.
     
HarlequinBoy  (op)
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Mar 14, 2007, 08:58 PM
 
Wow that was fast! Thanks.

Ah, okay. And I have to purchase that as well?

Hmm. Well I guess I could do the loan thing..

And I'll trust your judgment on the Mighty Mouse.
     
skacoreimplore
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Mar 14, 2007, 09:03 PM
 
A nice logitech mouse is a good choice, i just purchased a logitech MX revolution saturday. Yes, you will have to buy a router. I guess an 802.11 G router will run like $50.

You mentioned you're a sophomore in highschool, I am not so sure about you getting a loan unless your parents want to take one out in their name.
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rlinhares
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Mar 14, 2007, 10:17 PM
 
I agree about the mighty mouse. You don't need to spend like that for a mouse. And I'd get win XP instead of vista, at least for now, because nobody uses vista yet.
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blueleaf
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Mar 14, 2007, 10:38 PM
 
the mac doesn't come with it's own word processing software. There is an apple word processer called iWork (pages) that you'd have to pay for, but you can also buy microsoft word for the mac, which works fine. I think it comes with a 60 day demo of pages so you can use that for a little while before making a decision. If money is an issue, you defintely don't NEED a mouse. I have a nice logitech wireless mouse but I don't use it that much anymore as I use my macbook all over the house (ie in bed, in front of the tv) so I'm quite used to the macbook trackpad which is a very good trackpad.

I'm not a wireless wiz, but he doesn't need a wireless router does he? can't he just plug the ethernet cable directly into the macbook? I'm pretty sure that's an option, just that you wont be able to use internet anywhere else in your house.

And if you can't use a credit card, then your going to have to go to an apple store (preferably) or a retailer like best buy to purchase it, because online they only take credit i believe. I don't know much about payment options but you might be able to work out a deal if you speak with the person selling it to you? I really don't know.

I don't see why you would put vista on it, unless you need to. But there really isnt a reason unless you want to play games which isnt much of an option on a macbook anyways. besides thats just one extra thing you'll have to pay for.
     
Haddock
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Mar 14, 2007, 10:56 PM
 
My Macbook was purchased on a monthly payment plan, but there are a few things to be aware of:

1. There is usually a financing charge that changes depending on how many months you spread the payments out over. The fee to finance my Mac for 24 months was $99, but a 12 month plan would have a lower fee.
2. A credit check is involved. I'm guessing that since you're in tenth grade, and don't have a credit card, you have no credit. This is probably going to mean your parents will have to arrange the financing.

Looking back I should have bought my Mac from the apple store or an educational reseller to take advantage of the educational discount for university students. I think there is also a discount for high school students. Check it out.
     
skacoreimplore
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Mar 14, 2007, 10:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by blueleaf View Post
the mac doesn't come with it's own word processing software. There is an apple word processer called iWork (pages) that you'd have to pay for, but you can also buy microsoft word for the mac, which works fine. I think it comes with a 60 day demo of pages so you can use that for a little while before making a decision. If money is an issue, you defintely don't NEED a mouse. I have a nice logitech wireless mouse but I don't use it that much anymore as I use my macbook all over the house (ie in bed, in front of the tv) so I'm quite used to the macbook trackpad which is a very good trackpad.

I'm not a wireless wiz, but he doesn't need a wireless router does he? can't he just plug the ethernet cable directly into the macbook? I'm pretty sure that's an option, just that you wont be able to use internet anywhere else in your house.

And if you can't use a credit card, then your going to have to go to an apple store (preferably) or a retailer like best buy to purchase it, because online they only take credit i believe. I don't know much about payment options but you might be able to work out a deal if you speak with the person selling it to you? I really don't know.

I don't see why you would put vista on it, unless you need to. But there really isnt a reason unless you want to play games which isnt much of an option on a macbook anyways. besides thats just one extra thing you'll have to pay for.
There are multiple computers in his house being used, therefore he will need a router. I just got my macbook and it is very capable of gaming, but IMO the good games are able to run on Mac anyways.
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HarlequinBoy  (op)
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Mar 14, 2007, 11:02 PM
 
Thanks for all the help!

Ah, okay. Well I guess I should just skip off of buying a mouse. At least for now.

And thanks blueleaf for the info on Word and iWork.

Originally Posted by skacoreimplore View Post
Yes, you will have to buy a router. I guess an 802.11 G router will run like $50.
Originally Posted by blueleaf View Post
I'm not a wireless wiz, but he doesn't need a wireless router does he? can't he just plug the ethernet cable directly into the macbook? I'm pretty sure that's an option, just that you wont be able to use internet anywhere else in your house.
Oh, hmm. Well I'd prefer to be able to use it away from the home office where my family's desktop and business stuff is, so I guess I should consider buying a router.


Oh, and thanks Haddock!
( Last edited by HarlequinBoy; Mar 14, 2007 at 11:04 PM. Reason: to add a comment)
     
HarlequinBoy  (op)
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Mar 15, 2007, 01:22 AM
 
Okay, sorry to ask yet another question, but I was talking with my parents and they were also confused on something, that I still am too.

I know I asked before, but I'm not sure I explained properly. =/

Like I said our current computer runs on BellSouth DSL, which we're pretty happy with. It's fast enough for me, lol, but I wanted to know if I could keep the Desktop and its DSL modem hooked up, and also get Internet for the Mac through the same ISP, without having to get another account or whatever set up? Do they mind if two computers are getting internet off the same network?

Maybe I should learn more about what routers actually do. Haha.
     
JMan09
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Mar 15, 2007, 01:47 AM
 
You should be able to keep the same ISP and just hook up a wireless router to the DSL Modem. And still have the desktop plugged in and configure the router. But if theres any problems after you hook it up you can call BellSouth.
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highstakes
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Mar 15, 2007, 02:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by HarlequinBoy View Post
Okay, sorry to ask yet another question, but I was talking with my parents and they were also confused on something, that I still am too.

I know I asked before, but I'm not sure I explained properly. =/

Like I said our current computer runs on BellSouth DSL, which we're pretty happy with. It's fast enough for me, lol, but I wanted to know if I could keep the Desktop and its DSL modem hooked up, and also get Internet for the Mac through the same ISP, without having to get another account or whatever set up? Do they mind if two computers are getting internet off the same network?

Maybe I should learn more about what routers actually do. Haha.
Since you are paying for one IP address ("IP" is a computer's "address", with one IP address you can only have one computer connected to BellSouth at a time) from BellSouth, a router will allow you to share that IP address between few computers.

A good wireless router (it may cost a bit more than a wired router, but its worth it) will cost you about $50+ from Newegg.com, but with one router, you can have multiple computers with access to the internet at the same time without paying extra to BellSouth (my ISP charges me $5/month extra for each additional IP address...so either I pay $15/month extra or buy a $50 router).

Setting up a router is really easy (both wired and wireless), security is easy to setup, and you dont have to add any extra accounts or even call BellSouth. They wont care if you are using a router. Hope this helps!
( Last edited by highstakes; Mar 15, 2007 at 02:49 AM. )
     
analogika
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Mar 15, 2007, 07:01 AM
 
On the mouse: Give the trackpad a couple of weeks.

You can scroll on the trackpad (it will scroll as soon as you touch it with two fingers), so that's 90% of what you'd need a mouse for eliminated right there.

I had a mouse when I first got a laptop, and put t away after two weeks, never to touch it since.
     
skybolt
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Mar 15, 2007, 10:34 AM
 
As far as word processing, you can use the free NeoOffice and it will do pretty much anything Word will do. I use it and am happy with it. However, I am also very happy with my BT mighty mouse! Works much better for me than any other I have had. I have a MacBook, and since I have to wear a medical ID bracelet, I use the mouse rather than the trackpad at home so that I don't scratch the finish on the MB. I also use an external BT keyboard for the same reason, though I do like the feel of the MB keyboard.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of macs!
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dowNNshift
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Mar 15, 2007, 11:05 AM
 
HarlequinBoy --

Sounds like your current setup is a single PC connected directly to a DSL modem, correct?

You can easily connect more computers to this existing connection but you'll need a router. Routers come in two flavors, wired and wireless. Simply put, the main function of a router is to keep you connected to your broadband ISP (DSL or Cable modem), while managing the connections to all the computers you have locally (Dell PC + MacBook).

I've used just about all the major brands of routers -- for third party routers, D-Link and Linksys are about par for the course. Apple makes a very high quality router, the AirPort Extreme Base Station.

If you're getting a MacBook, you'll probably want to go wireless. Keep in mind you'll want to have wireless security activated (WEP or WPA) or else you'll be sharing the internet with all of your neighbors not to mention open the family PC to getting hacked.

If you go with the Apple AirPort, its very easy to setup and your MacBook has an included utility to guide you through the process. Rest assured, you can also connect the Dell PC via ethernet to the AirPort base station.

As far as where to purchase is concerned, I recommend an Apple retail store. Why? Because you can use your student discount there. All you'll need to show is your drivers license and your school ID. You can purchase any Apple hardware in the store with your education discount. At your age, I would avoid the AppleLoan stuff -- they'll just give you an outrageous interest rate of 27 or 28 percent. You'd be better off paying cash or getting a personal loan through your bank. Just my .02 from my experience.

About the mice, you can use pretty much any USB mouse you want -- heck the cheap $20 Microsoft USB mouse works great. And yes, get the education version of MS Office for $149. Shoot, they might have a special on it when you're ready to purchase. You'll thank yourself easing the transition from the PC platform.

-dowNNshift
     
brettcamp
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Mar 16, 2007, 03:47 AM
 
Actually, all Macs DO come with word processing software: TextEdit, which started out as a basic text editor but now has what most people will need for most of their writing. Try it first; if you need more, there's a freeware TextEdit enhancement called iText Express that adds a few features, and if that's not enough, try AbiWord or, as noted above, NeoOffice -- all free, and all of which can exchange files with Word users. There are plenty of other options that cost less than Word, like Pages (in Apple's iWork), Mellel, Nisus, Mariner, and so on. At least try the free options and demos of the others before shelling out for Word.
     
olePigeon
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Mar 16, 2007, 03:45 PM
 
Payment options are limited if you're not 18 or have access to a credit card. I think your parents may have to buy it for you, and then you pay them back.

You can save 10% through an educational discount.

You'll need what's called a Router to share your DSL connection with your desktop and your laptop.
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Drew
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Mar 19, 2007, 07:59 PM
 
Wait, Hold on.

A router is a device that will split one internet connection (the one that goes into your desktop) into other connections that may go into other computers, and if it's a wireless router, it does that, and allows you to access internet within about 50 to 100 feet of the router.

If you get a router, it doesn't mean you will have internet EVERYWHERE you go. Once you leave your house, you won't have internet anymore. Macbooks have built in wireless internet connections, meaning they can connect to wireless routers to provide internet access. The only way you can connect to the internet away from your home/office is if there was another wireless router near where you were.

When a wireless router is hooked up, it creates a 'hotspot'. A hotspot is an area that has wireless internet access. When you hook up the wireless router at your house, it makes your house a hotspot. When away from home, you would need to find another hotspot in order to connect.

I hope this clears up any misconceptions about routers.

In short, a macbook is not similar to a cellphone.
     
Terrin
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Mar 19, 2007, 10:59 PM
 
If you are trying to save money you can 1) see if you qualify for an Apple honor system eduction discount (e.g. if you are home schooled), or 2) for a refurbished model. You can usually save around a hundred bucks with the education discount, and sometimes more on a refurbished machine. Also, Apple used to, and might still, offer loans available online.

As far as a router goes, you must decide if you want to be able to use your MacBook's wireless capabilities at home or not. If being tied to a land line is OK with you, you can get the cheaper land line router. Instead of plugging your desktop computer into the DSl , you would plug the router into the DSl, and your desktop and new Macbook would plug into that. If you get a more expensive wireless router, the desktop would still plug into the router, but you wouldn't have to plug the laptop in.

I also like the Mighty Mouse, but will admit it is costly, and not needed. There are perfectly acceptable third party alternatives that you can pick up for twenty bucks.

If you only need a basic word-processor, use Google's Doc application. You have to 1) have a Google account, and 2) be online to use it, but it works nice for a basic wordprocessor. It also has a Word convertor so you can save your documents in a Microsoft Word compatible format. As someone else said you can get NeoOffice for free, but in my view it is butt slow (it is full featured though). I probably will get flamed, but if you have the money, I still prefer Microsoft Word on the Mac. Sometimes when you are buying a Mac you can a discount on Word for the Mac.
     
littlevish
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Mar 25, 2007, 11:00 PM
 
As others have said, no need to change ISPs.

Ordering through the Apple Store is easiest, unless you have a Mac specific store near you. Apple doesn't really allow much discounting on their computers, and I never saw very good discounts anywhere when I shopped for mine about a month ago.

Mighty mice are nice but I find that the trackpad is just as easy if you turn on the two finger alternate clicking. Also, any bluetooth mouse or USB wireless mouse should work. My Microsoft wireless mouse and keyboard worked right away.

I wouldn't bother with Vista, but that's just me. Once you have the hard drive partitioned, you'll hardly have any room. I have the Macbook with the 80 GB HD, and with software and formatting, it had about 40 GB free when I got it. Throw in another OS and you'll have less.

Also, for word processing, I like the free NeoOffice.
( Last edited by littlevish; Mar 25, 2007 at 11:01 PM. Reason: forgot about neo office)
     
applgeek
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Apr 1, 2007, 03:22 AM
 
Basically, your internet works like this:

DSL MODem->>Wireless Router

The wireless router will plug into the desktop (wired) and wirelessly connect to the macbook.

i recommend a Belkin router, Do not get a linksys, period. You can get a Belkin wireless G router at compusa, best buy, ect for 40 bucks. That sould fulfill your needs well.

I recommend going to powemax, not because i like them ( in fact, i dont really) but they are in oregon, so no sales tax, and they also have a credit card avaliable.

as for a mouse, just get a cheap microsoft mouse. compusa has the cheap intellipoints for 15 bucks. That would be better for you, because it is a "pecee" mouse, wherein a mighty mousa has a different look and feel and a high price tag.

did i miss anything?
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