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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?" :)

Advice on used Macbook / Garage Band


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Surfnut

 
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Hi


I hope someone here can give me some advice - please.

I don't yet own an Apple but I am looking into the typical Ebay used Macbooks. I specifically want an Apple so I can use Garageband with my 10 year old Suzuki electronic grand piano.

The other reason I want an Apple is so I can edit .mov high-definition movie files from my new camcorder. I assume I need a special program to do that or is it built into the Apple like Windows Movie Maker is built into virtually all PC's?

The typical type of Macbook I'm looking at on Ebay is running Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard, has a Core 2 duo 1.8, 2.0 or 2.4 ghz processor and 2 gigs of RAM.

Will an older Macbook like that (2-4 years old) run Garageband and whatever program I need to edit my .mov files ?

I read on-line I need 10.6.3 or later to run Garageband. (I assume that's a newer operating system than Mac OS X 10.5 ?). If it is, is there an older version of Garageband that I can purchase that will work on an older computer ? Or am I stuck having to buy a new Macbook to run Garage Band?

I'm sorry if these questions are simplistic to the members of this forum but I have very little experience with Apples and I don't know who to ask about this.

Thanks for any constructive guidance anyone can give me,

Dave
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chscag

 
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I do not recommend buying a used Mac from eBay. While there may in fact be some bargains to be had, there are too many bad deals out there waiting to happen. There are other places where you can buy a used Mac which are safer than eBay. May cost you a bit more though. Also consider buying a refurbished Mac from Apple.

As for a movie editing program similar to the MS Movie Maker, Apple includes iMovie along with OS X. And you do not need 10.6.3 to run Garageband. It was included with Leopard (10.5.X) and is also included with Snow Leopard (10.6.X).

And yes, an older MacBook should be fine for editing MOV files.
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Surfnut

 
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Thank you for your speedy reply, I really appreciate it.

So, iMovie is included with the operating system ? That's great..
As far as Garageband, did I read your reply correctly - it IS included with 10.5.X so I don't have to buy that either ??

If I interpreted that correctly, it would make this a LOT easier for me..
I understand about the Ebay purchases - I'm worried about that. Can you please give me an idea where the other places other than Ebay are that I can buy from ?


There is a guy not too far away from me selling a Macbook which is "approximately two and half years old". This is what he's told me about it :


White Intel Macbook with 2.1 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU
1 GB DDR2 667 MHz RAM
120 GB SATA Hard Drive
Built in iSight webcam
DVD Reader/CD Writer
Intel GMA X3100 Graphics, 13.3" 1280x800 32bit LCD display
802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth

Do you think that's good enough for editing my hi-def .mov files and using Garageband with my electronic piano ? I'm sure more RAM wouldn't hurt anyone but that's easily upgradeable.

Thanks very much for you reply and advice. It's MUCH appreciated,

Dave
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Ramimac1

 
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I would recommend the Refurbished Macs at apple.com. I just picked up an Imac 27" from them. 300 off and perfect. came with 10.6 and iLife witch includes Garageband.


They have referb macbooks for 850 and macbook pro's for 999

unless you are looking for portability a Mac mini is a great way to get into a mac

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chscag

 
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Quote:
So, iMovie is included with the operating system ? That's great..
As far as Garageband, did I read your reply correctly - it IS included with 10.5.X so I don't have to buy that either ??
Yes. Both iMovie and Garageband are included with Leopard (10.5.X).

Quote:
There is a guy not too far away from me selling a Macbook which is "approximately two and half years old". This is what he's told me about it :
That machine should be able to do what you want. Adding another 2GB to bring it up to 4GB will speed it up. Plus a larger faster hard drive would also be a good upgrade. Note that the GPU on that machine is an Intel GMA X3100 which is integrated and "borrows" memory from the system. But it should be fine as long as you don't plan on playing graphic intensive games.
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robduckyworth

 
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by the way, you will need an interface for your electronic grand piano. depending on how you will record it (mic or line). if you buy an older mac some interfaces may not be compatible with Leopard 10.5.

how about a mac mini? they are cheaper, but still really good machines.

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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
Yes. Both iMovie and Garageband are included with Leopard (10.5.X).


One little caveat that applies especially to second-hand Macs... The iLife suite, which includes Garageband and iMovie are *not* part of the Operating System. So, if the seller wiped the machine and just reinstalled OS X, without bundling the original system discs (very common), you might not get these programs.

If you decide to go the pre-owned route (as opposed to an Apple Refurb, which is like-new), make sure they bundle in the original System Discs. If they don't, make sure it comes with an OS disc *and* an iLife disc. Otherwise, you may find that you need to buy a new, retail copy of iLife '11 (about $60, depending on where you buy it) and you may even need to get a newer version of OS X, depending on what the system ships with.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Surfnut

 
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Hi

Thanks a lot for all the information !

I'd thought about the Mac mini - my exgirlfriend's parents had one and I was really impressed with it the 2 or 3 times I got to use it. One of the reasons I want a laptop is so I can just plop it atop the piano and connect a couple of cables when I want to record something. No monitor or keyboard or mouse to deal with...but thanks anyway for the Mac Mini suggestion - it makes a lot of sense.

I've no intention of playing any games whatsoever with this computer. I was just worried that the processor and lack of RAM wouldn't be able to handle heavy-duty music sequencing and hi-def video editing - but chscag, if you think a RAM upgrade will be all I need, then this computer will do what I need it to do.

cwa107 - I think I've got it. Make sure iLife is installed and iMovie and Garageband should be on it. If not, and he does not have the "iLife Suite C.D." then I'll have to buy one someplace but then I'll be good to go. That's very important information and I appreciate the tip..

Thanks again for the help and guidance everybody. With luck I'll be able to post back here in a few hours telling you all of my first Apple* !


*I had an Apple II+ and and Apple IIe but I don't think anybody wants to talk about them anymore....

Dave
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chscag

 
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Quote:
*I had an Apple II+ and and Apple IIe but I don't think anybody wants to talk about them anymore....
Not necessarily. Some of us (myself included) bought and used those machines way back when.... Also, we have a fellow that posts in these forums who is a collector of Macs. Many of the folks who participate here have been Mac users from long ago. Feel free to talk about your Mac.

And by the way, once you get up and running on your Mac, it might be a good idea to upgrade to Snow Leopard 10.6.6 so that you can access the Apple app store. In case you have to buy the iLife suite, you can buy it direct from Apple or you can purchase the apps in the suite separately.
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Surfnut

 
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This thing is......beautiful.

What a gorgeous machine and operating system (so far....) AND, it has 2 gigs of RAM instead of the 1 gig advertised. Also, he threw in a nice laptop carrying bag. All for $350 !
This keyboard is really nice to type on too. What a great feel it has. The picture is bright and crisp as can be. What a beauty !


chscag, I loved my IIe. It was a super-high end computer back then and I was the envy of every kid around when ol' Dad brought it home one night. Strangely, I don't remember what happened to it.....lost forever in a garage sale maybe ?

Here's a random question - is there an easy way to copy and paste ? I realize that I can hold the mouse button down and highlight some text then go up to the menu under "Edit" and copy that way, then go to a new page and go back to "Edit" and hit "Paste" but is there a faster, easier way to do like in Windows where you just right click ?

Thanks everybody for your advice with this purchase ! So far, I COMPLETELY love this Macbook. I hope in time I can become a contributing member in this forum.

Thanks again,
Dave
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cwa107

 
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Cool beans... well, you know where to come if you have any questions or problems. The biggest problem with used Macs is that you often catch the bug to buy a new one

Congrats and let us know if we can help.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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robduckyworth

 
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copy keyboard shortcut is cmd +c, paste is cmd +v.

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Surfnut

 
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Got it ! Thank you -
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