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Purchasing a Laptop -- help needed

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Webster, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    While I was in Germany, the Webster family computer (a Dell desktop) died at the ripe old age of 6. Mrs. W. was talking to a bunch of people about what to buy and everyone had great things to say about a Mac. We will need to get a laptop because of Mrs. W.'s work and have been focusing on a Mac Book.

    Is there anything which I should be looking out for? I am a complete idiot when it comes to computers and have no clue as to what I should be getting as additional features.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    I bought a used Macbook a few months ago and haven't had a single problem with it. I bought an iMac in 2002, and I've never had any problem with it. They're virtually free of virus concerns, and they're very stable. I don't see any reason to avoid one. I think you'll find them much easier to use and much more dependable.

    Just make sure that whatever computer you buy has the proper software installed. Otherwise, you'll have to choose between pirating it or buying it.
  3. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Apple, Apple, Apple.

    Go to the Apple website and check out the refurbished clearance items. Click the 'store' tab and look for the big red tag. Same warranty as new, at a savings of at least 20%. They've got the MacBooks in there now, along with plenty of Powerbooks and ibooks and so forth.

    I can't recommend Macs highly enough, especially to people coming off a PC.
  4. HeinekenMan

    HeinekenMan Active Member

    You might also try eBay. I did a search with a preference for local sellers and found a Mac that I could pick up in person.

    There are a few hundred Mac laptops being auctioned right now. A lot of Mac geeks are compelled to upgrade as soon as the latest model hits the market.

    One thing to consider, though, is whether you're getting a computer that has some type of warranty on it. You can get the refurbished models with AppleCare, but that might not be available on some of the used models being auctioned on eBay.
  5. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    applecare rules

    tell this story often...

    was covering a game where students stormed the court. some jackass kicked my screen. it was good enough for me to file, but needed to get fixed. took it to the apple store on a saturday, they appologized that they couldn't get it out until monday. it was back on my doorstep wednesday morning.

    great service.
  6. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I'll echo the Mac loving. The iBook G4 they gave me at work is great.
  7. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    Are there any must haves as far as accessories/programs go? As I mentioned, I am really clueless.
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    A good firewall is always a plus. You wont need much of a virus program, because most viruses are written for windows.
    Depending on what she does, a photo program and office-type program is key.
  9. Orange Hat Bobcat

    Orange Hat Bobcat Active Member

    If you can swing by an Apple store, the folks there will take care of you and every question under the sun. What computer to buy? What software to install? Any protection or insurance? Accessories? They've got you covered. Apple store employees (and the folks who repair the computers) are yet another reason why I will never buy anoter brand. They're helpful and they know their stuff.
  10. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    Thanks -- They opened a new one on 5th Ave which is on my walk home. I think that I'll swing by.
  11. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    that 5th ave. store looks incredibly cool, too

    i want to go just to check out the store itself
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    When my iPod died with like 5 days left on the warranty, I decide to walk into the Apple Store in SoHo with it. I got there before 10 in the morning and at the "Genius Bar" they told me I had to make an appointment--the rub being that they only do same-day appointments and the earliest appointment they had left (remember, it was 10 a.m. when I walked in) was at 9 p.m. I went back at 9, waited an hour till 10 and I did walk out of there with a new iPod.

    I luse a Mac Desktop G5 for some work I do and I like OS X and obviously all of the software you might need from the MS suite for writing to Quark to InDesign, Photoshop etc. runs on the mac. The one thing I will caution is that Apple is selling overpriced hardware to people who want their operating system. You can get a comparable computer with the same power as one of the new macs running the Intel Duo Core processor for a fraction of the price, but the machine will be running windows, not OS X. Apple's business model is that people want the apple software bad enough to overpay for the hardware. It's a personal choice you have to make.

    As an aside, when Apple decided to build its new machines with Intel processors, instead of on the Motorolla processors they had been using, they opened a can of worms. They had to rewrite OS X to run on the Intel architecture, and the minute those early versions of the operating system were released to developers the hackers got to work on it. You can actually now run OS X--hacked, patched versions that are easy to find--on any Intel-based machine. If you want to go to the trouble, you can build a machine with very comparable parts to the new Macs--same processor, components, etc.--and minimize the chance that some components don't work with the hacked operating system. The machine you build will cost a fraction of the price of what Apple is charging. I know most people aren't going to go to that kind of trouble, but I am running OS X on an old Dell laptop that isn't even optimally set up for it, and it runs fairly well. I did it just because I could.

    The flip side to that, is that since the new Apple computers are build with Intel processors, it is easy to install Windows on them and dual boot them so they run OS X and Windows, which is kind of handy.

    One thing to keep in mind if you buy one of the newer macs with the Intel processor--a lot of the software developers have not yet come out with new versions of their software to run on the new Intel architecture. So the Intel version of OS X runs an emulation program called Rosetta that translates the code, which was designed for the Motorola architecture, so it will run on the Intel-based machine. The net result is that some programs might run kind of slow on the new Macs until new versions meant to run on them are developed. This happens with the Adobe CS 2 products--photoshop, illustrator, indesign, etc. They run slower on the new macs than they do on a G5, for which they were designed, because of the extra layer of the computer having to run the instructions through the emulator. Just something to keep in mind until all of the software catches up with new Intel-based OS X versions.
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