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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?" :)

absolute beginner


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myles.hunt

 
Member Since: Jun 07, 2011
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hey everybody as the title suggests i'm a beginner to all things mac, i'm currently a student saving up to get a mac for college and wanted to know what i should get and all the pros and cons to a mac as i really don't know much about them.
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pigoo3

 
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Two important questions to answer:

1. What do you expect your eventual budget to be? This will help narrow the choices.
2. Do you need portability (laptop vs. desktop)? This will also help narrow the choices.

One additional important question...Are you committed to buying a Macintosh computer...or still deciding between a Mac or a Windows computer?

If you're still deciding...you really have to experience a Mac for yourself. This really is not an experience other users can convey to someone who is not familiar with Mac's. I would suggest going to a nearby store that has Mac's...and try them out.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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myles.hunt

 
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My budget is about 1200 and it would have to be portable so I can use it in college. Also yes i have tried one before and am set on getting one just don't know where to start
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Aqua

 
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You could also look at the Mac Refurb store. Pagoo's post are good questions to ask yourself but I'd add 3) What do you want to use it for (Graphics, gaming, will you need windows progs for school etc).

A lot of additions, maintenance and alternatives are free and 'payware' is more of a matter of choice..

invincible ignorance is an example of ignorance that can not be removed by any amount of evidence. It's now a widespread form of pollution. (Revised quote) An apple a day, keeps the psychiatrist away.. If you play a Windows install CD backwards it has satanic verses
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Aqua

 
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I like the ease of portability of my mac mini.. I just grab it and take it home when I visit (my parents have an extra power cord, monitor and keyboard etc.) If you are looking to do things on the run, in a cafe etc then that would be a laptop or tablet or something and I know little about them. I think also (I'm not really sure) the new mini's do not come with a DVD writer, so if you go mini then you would also need an external.

invincible ignorance is an example of ignorance that can not be removed by any amount of evidence. It's now a widespread form of pollution. (Revised quote) An apple a day, keeps the psychiatrist away.. If you play a Windows install CD backwards it has satanic verses
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chas_m

 
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If your needs are typical and you're not a hard-core gamer, then the just-discontinued White MacBook should be showing up on the refurb store at a good discount, and should be well under $1000.

The next step up hardware-wise is the 13" MacBook Pro. They've just recently switched them to the Core iX series of chips, get that if you can afford it. The refurb Core2Duos should be perfectly excellent for typical use, but are not much of a step up from the White MacBook (which is why they discontinued it).

If you don't need an optical drive (most people don't, really) and can live with the limited (but lightning fast) space of an SSD drive, you might want to look at the MacBook Air (also just updated). VERY sweet machine for $1000, but again won't be great for 3D gaming (you gotta go for a 15" MBP to get a good portable hard-core gaming machine).

Any of these machines will play any "casual" game on the market, so if you're not a big gamer it's hard to go wrong with any of them.
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Young Spade

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myles.hunt View Post
My budget is about 1200 and it would have to be portable so I can use it in college. Also yes i have tried one before and am set on getting one just don't know where to start
13 inch MacBook Pro. Problem solved.
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myles.hunt

 
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well i wouldn't play it for hardcore games as i have a games console for that, but i want to also have some money if possible at the end to get some software for it because although i'm not doing a music course i like to record what i play and so would want to get software for that. @aqua if you know of any good refurbishment sites for mac could you give me the address for them
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Aqua

 
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I think Ilife comes with a new or refurbed mac (not the mac server tho) and Ilife has garageband on it. The refurb store Refurbished Mac Computers - Refurbished Laptops, Notebooks & Desktop Computers - Apple Store (U.S.). You may also be able to get the educational discount.. I think it should guide you to a site for you country, mine auto goes to this one if not try Apple and then in the search at apple look for refurb..

invincible ignorance is an example of ignorance that can not be removed by any amount of evidence. It's now a widespread form of pollution. (Revised quote) An apple a day, keeps the psychiatrist away.. If you play a Windows install CD backwards it has satanic verses
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myles.hunt

 
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ok well il look into a new or refurbished mac. so what would you say would be the best document program for the mac and where can i get the software
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myles.hunt View Post
ok well il look into a new or refurbished mac. so what would you say would be the best document program for the mac and where can i get the software
When you say "document program"...do you mean "word processing program"...or something else?

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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myles.hunt

 
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not just that put things like PowerPoint and excel as well, just i don't want to have to buy the Microsoft office program as its expensive and i never liked microsoft's products anyway
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myles.hunt View Post
not just that put things like PowerPoint and excel as well, just i don't want to have to buy the Microsoft office program as its expensive and i never liked microsoft's products anyway
There's a free program called "Open Office"...check it out:

OpenOffice.org - The Free and Open Productivity Suite

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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myles.hunt

 
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i have heard of the program as that's what i currently use, i just didn't realize that there was a version for mac
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chas_m

 
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iWork (available as a whole or per-app via the Mac App Store) is another alternative that is far more "Mac-like" but does cost a (very modest) amount of money. For presentation software in particular, however, Keynote simply *cannot be beat.* Let me put it this way, it's what Steve Jobs uses. Nuff said.
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