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Warren 12-31-2006 03:05 PM

Apple.com vs. Reseller - Pros and Cons?
 
Are there any advantages or disadvantages to purchasing a system through Apple or a reseller, such as Mac Zone?

I'm looking at a Mac Book Pro, if that helps, and would also like to have Windows installed, for a minimal amount of gaming use.

schweb 12-31-2006 03:22 PM

I don't think there's a huge difference. I'd go with whoever has the better deal for what you're looking for.

ToddG 12-31-2006 03:31 PM

FWIW, I bought my MBP through MacConnection.com. Benefits over Apple.com or the Apple store:

(1) No sales tax (saved me $125) ... Apple.com charges sales tax, at least for things shipped to Maryland. (neither Apple.com nor MacConnection charge for shipping)

(2) Rebate ... MacConnection.com had a $150 rebate on the new MBP that I bought, bringing my total savings to $275.

(3) FAST shipping ... orders entered by 3AM get delivered same-day.

(4) Bundles ... MacConnection.com usually has great bundles you can get when you buy your computer. For example, when I bought mine, you could get a rebate on Parallels for the full price of Parallels as long as you bought the software and computer on the same ticket ... so free Parallels!

However, you can customize your computer at Apple.com, whereas MacConnection only has the basic pre-packaged models. So if you want more memory, different video, bigger hard drive, etc., you would have to either order it through Apple.com or go to your local Apple Store and have them configure it.

Mattlike 12-31-2006 04:10 PM

I bought my iMac from the apple online store because i wanted it configured with specific options. Something you can't really do when you go to an Apple Store or other authorized dealer.

Warren 12-31-2006 05:55 PM

Thanks, a lot, guys. I'll be getting a fully-loaded one(configured how I like it). Guess I'll shop around a bit, first. Won't be getting anything 'til after Mac World, just to see if something new will appear.

Another question, do you think Apple Care is really worth it? What with this for, and all, most problems ccan/could be solved here. Well, other than hardware failing and the like. Crap, I partially answered the question... Anyway, what's the general consensus?

MacHeadCase 12-31-2006 05:58 PM

Most people will tell you that it is worth it for a laptop since it's such a small enclosure and all.

Me? I always get Apple Care even if I buy desktops (iMacs) 'cause to me feeling protected no matter what happens is priceless. (MasterCard ad *Wink* http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/mac...ons/icon12.gif)

Warren 01-07-2007 01:33 PM

I've decided that Apple Care is, definitely, the way to go. Thanks MHC.

Can a moderator change this thread title to "Switching Questions"? I'd rather not start a new thread, each time I have a new question and I'm not able to edit the title myself.(SHOULD'VE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT!)

Anyway, here's another question. How does Front Row catalog multimedia files? Do they need to be on a Mac hard drive or will it recognize files that are on a USB-connected external hard drive, too?

nukemm 01-07-2007 01:43 PM

As long as the USB HDD is formatted for MacOS or FAT32 it will work just fine. NTFS, however, will not work with MacOS (although you can read from an NTFS formatted drive if it is a network share).

Warren 01-07-2007 01:57 PM

That's great! I have one problem, though, that being my (4) 250GB externals will need a FAT32ing....

snoslicer8 01-07-2007 02:52 PM

I don't think you can FAT32 drives that big...I thought the maximum size of FAT32 partitions is 30 GB or something like that.

As far as Front Row is concerned, I have NOT been able to get it to recognize/catalog media on external drives, only specific places on the internal drive. However, if you build your iTunes music database file with movies/music on the external drive, it may find it. Just make sure to turn OFF the iTunes option "copy music/movies to iTunes music folder when played/added to library" otherwise you will find duplicates of all your files wasting space.

Another note on the FAT32 problem...I'm not sure if you could create multiple partitions on EACH of the drives so you don't waste all that space, or if the FAT32 partition table will only allow you to format one partition. Seeing as formatting these drives will require you to erase your data to begin with, and if you don't plan on using these drives with Windows, you'd be much better off formatting Mac OSX Extended (Journaled). If you need to use these drives with Windows still, I recommend formatting them Mac OSX Extended, and buying a little program called Mac Drive for Windows, which will allow Windows to mount a Mac formatted partition.

Hope this helps.

ToddG 01-07-2007 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snoslicer8 (Post 300840)
I don't think you can FAT32 drives that big...I thought the maximum size of FAT32 partitions is 30 GB or something like that.

A FAT32 volume can be up to 8TB in size. My wife's 80G iPod uses FAT32.

Windows places an (unexplained, unjustified) limit on FAT32 partitions when installing the OS but this is a quirk of Windows, not the file system.

Note that one limitation of the FAT32 system is a maximum file size of 4GB; this can be a problem for large video recordings, large databases, etc.

The only reason to use FAT32 is if you need compatibility between both Mac and PC computers with the same external HDD. If you're never going to hook a PC up to the HDD, I'd definitely recommend using the Mac OS Extended filesystem.

snoslicer8 01-07-2007 03:22 PM

Gotchya, I knew there was a partition size limit on FAT32 somehow, just didn't know it was only there for Windows installations. I also didn't know about the file size limit for FAT32, also good information. So, since FAT32 would work for going back and forth between Windows, I guess there's no need for Mac Drive, unless he wants to format Mac OS Extended.

Warren 01-07-2007 04:53 PM

Excellent information, guys! Thanks for it! My goal is to stay with the Mac and not go back to Windows. There is a utility to format my external drives in either FAT32 or NTFS, so that's not a problem. I'm looking at an Iomega 500GB drive that already has FAT32, so I'll just end up copying the ones from the first 250GB NTFS drive, over to that one and so on. This'll work, won't it?

Also, the 4GB limit, does that pertain only to the individual files or to the folders that contain them, as well?

Another thing, what's this OS Extended thing you're talking about?

ToddG 01-07-2007 05:07 PM

You can copy files from an NTFS volume to a FAT32 volume without problem (assuming you don't try to copy a file >4Gb in size).

The 4Gb limit is for the individual files. A folder doesn't actually "contain" all the files inside it, it's just a placeholder for the file system.

You can read more about the OS Extended filesystem at this wikipedia listing.

Warren 01-07-2007 06:31 PM

Thanks Todd. I think FAT32 should work for now. That HFS+ business is a bit over my head, at this point!


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