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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Switching On The Cheap


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niallac

 
Member Since: Sep 14, 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 2
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Hi,
I'm currently a PC owner by default - I was looking for a computer, primarily as an internet browser, about 6 years ago and ended up buying my first PC - an absolute beast of an old CAD workstation, with 2 old PIII 866 CPUs and more fan noise than a hovercraft, which cost me about 200 on eBay.

At about ten years old, the beast is now starting to show its age, toiling under the increasing demands of multimedia web browsing, huge mp3/aac files, digital photos, etc. When it goes, I certainly don't want another PC - I used to work in IT (support/dev) so it was vaguely useful for me to keep abreast of the latest incarnations of Windows, but now I am free of the industry I have no need for another Windoze machine.

I've used Macs in the past (Classics, Performas) and supported a couple of old G3s at one point at work, more through luck than good judgement

I now know nothing whatsoever about modern Macs and am looking for some advice re buying a secondhand one. I see G4 machines at reasonable prices, but will this be a quick route to being trapped in obsoletion? Could I upgrade one of these machines to run a currently supported version of Mac OS?

I don't play games on my home computer, I really only use it for t'internet, a bit of iPod/iTunes and a few digi photos.

Any advice very gratefully received.

Niall
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Khris

 
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Member Since: May 13, 2008
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 506
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Mac Specs: Unibody MacBook 2.4GHz/4GB Ram/320GB HD

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It's rumoured that Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) will drop PPC support and only work with Intel Macs. In other words, buying an older Mac will mean you will be unable to run the next version of OSX.

If you're looking to buy a Mac, have you considered a Mac Mini?
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Tahiti1028

 
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Member Since: May 17, 2008
Posts: 58
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Mac Specs: iMac | 30GB iPod Video | 16GB iPod Touch

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If I were you, I'd seriously consider purchasing a G5 or Intel Mac because of better compatibility with 10.5 and soon, 10.6.

My iMac: 1.6 GHz PowerPC G5, 2 GB (2x1GB) Kingston RAM, 80 GB ATA Hard Drive, DVD-ROM/CD-RW Combo Drive, 17" LCD Display, NVIDIA GeForce FX5200, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
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niallac

 
Member Since: Sep 14, 2008
Location: Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khris View Post
It's rumoured that Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) will drop PPC support and only work with Intel Macs. In other words, buying an older Mac will mean you will be unable to run the next version of OSX.

If you're looking to buy a Mac, have you considered a Mac Mini?
Yes, but I am afraid it will not satisfy the darker, geekier side of me which wants to take things apart and fiddle with them...

How 'locked down' are the Mac Minis? Are they a 'proper computer' or just an appliance, which comes with a set build of software and is not supposed to be user-modifiable/upgradeable?

Niall
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jeantr

 
Member Since: Jul 04, 2008
Location: Oklahoma
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Mac Specs: White Macbook 2.4ghz, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD

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Mac minis, unlike some other Apple computers, are "locked down" as far as hardware goes in a way, but there are some who "mod" and upgrade theirs, like at http://www.123macmini.com/, but it voids your warranty.

But as far as software and OS goes, it's the same as any other Mac!
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godfatherrr

 
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Member Since: Nov 22, 2007
Location: VA, US
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A barebones Mac Mini seems to be perfect for your needs:

1. Its the cheapest Mac, so it's perfect for testing the waters.
2. It's Intel, and therefore "future-proof".
3. For the small tasks you do, it will be more than capable.
4. If need be, you can upgrade the RAM (and the RAM only) to boost performance.
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