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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?" :)

switch situation - money


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firef7

 
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Let me tell you a little bit about me and my situation. As of now I use a Dell E1505 (laptop) running Windows XP. It's not mine and was never given to me. It's my brother's but as of now he doesn't use it and doesn't let me use it for anything but word processing and surfing the internet. It has a 15 inch widescreen display. I would consider this laptop borderline desktop replacement.

...but I want to buy a MacBook (or more specifically the next integration). Why? for few reasons: I've never used Mac OSX before and because I want a smaller, more portable laptop (not that I own this laptop). I'm 13---not old enough to get a job---but I brought the idea of buying one with my mom. We both went to the Apple store and looked at the computers, still, everything is good. Then I talk her into possibly getting me one for my birthday in May.

Everything seems well until she brings it up with my dad, who isn't against me getting a new computer, just an Apple because of price. No one in my family has used a Mac because we use XP. He knows he'll be spending a few hundred extra dollars exclusively. I haven't talked him directly about it (and won't for sometime) but I need reasons to convince him that I should get a Mac. But reasons like "it doesn't crash as much" and "you won't get as many viruses, etc" won't work. My dad and brother are very experienced computer users that would dismiss this in an instant.

But more than anything I understand why he said no for the moment. They owe a lot of money, we're not rich, etc., and since we also owe tax money he's not in the best of moods. I talked to my mom about just getting a laptop in general and she brings up the obvious point "why don't we buy the one you're using off your brother? Well, because it's not mine, I never chose it, and it's too big---not to mention I can't do anything on it!!! but the fact that she also said that my dad wasn't against me getting an apple laptop, they were just too expensive. so i could probably get a windows one. but that would entirely eliminate the whole point of this one (which would be a huge waste since no one uses it except me and its only a year old & there's very little wrong with it). unless this one mysteriously broke over the next few months my chances are still down.

also forgot to mention, as far as saving up for laptop it's possible (although very very hard to pull off). a few times on my past birthdays since I wanted something big i wouldn't ask for anything on my birthday/Christmas/holiday and could "save" up with their credit system a bigger present for later. this could work but would probably take until my birthday in may to Christmas to my birthday next year. am i at fault? i want to get a mac for the great and ultra portable laptop...but its too much!!! in my family it all comes down to my dad's decision. she'll back him up even if she said otherwise. she doesn't know much about computers. this comes down to more than just that. they i know i use the computer a lot and no laptop would go to waste. what should i do?

edit: i'd also very much like to use osx. it looks entirely different and has quite a few programs that i want to use. sorry if this got by.
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walkerj

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firef7 View Post
Let me tell you a little bit about me and my situation. As of now I use a Dell E1505 (laptop) running Windows XP. It's not mine and was never given to me. It's my brother's but as of now he doesn't use it and doesn't let me use it for anything but word processing and surfing the internet. It has a 15 inch widescreen display. I would consider this laptop borderline desktop replacement.

...but I want to buy a MacBook (or more specifically the next integration). Why? for few reasons: I've never used Mac OSX before and because I want a smaller, more portable laptop (not that I own this laptop). I'm 13---not old enough to get a job---but I brought the idea of buying one with my mom. We both went to the Apple store and looked at the computers, still, everything is good. Then I talk her into possibly getting me one for my birthday in May.

Everything seems well until she brings it up with my dad, who isn't against me getting a new computer, just an Apple because of price. No one in my family has used a Mac because we use XP. He knows he'll be spending a few hundred extra dollars exclusively. I haven't talked him directly about it (and won't for sometime) but I need reasons to convince him that I should get a Mac. But reasons like "it doesn't crash as much" and "you won't get as many viruses, etc" won't work. My dad and brother are very experienced computer users that would dismiss this in an instant.

But more than anything I understand why he said no for the moment. They owe a lot of money, we're not rich, etc., and since we also owe tax money he's not in the best of moods. I talked to my mom about just getting a laptop in general and she brings up the obvious point "why don't we buy the one you're using off your brother? Well, because it's not mine, I never chose it, and it's too big---not to mention I can't do anything on it!!! but the fact that she also said that my dad wasn't against me getting an apple laptop, they were just too expensive. so i could probably get a windows one. but that would entirely eliminate the whole point of this one (which would be a huge waste since no one uses it except me and its only a year old & there's very little wrong with it). unless this one mysteriously broke over the next few months my chances are still down.

also forgot to mention, as far as saving up for laptop it's possible (although very very hard to pull off). a few times on my past birthdays since I wanted something big i wouldn't ask for anything on my birthday/Christmas/holiday and could "save" up with their credit system a bigger present for later. this could work but would probably take until my birthday in may to Christmas to my birthday next year. am i at fault? i want to get a mac for the great and ultra portable laptop...but its too much!!! in my family it all comes down to my dad's decision. she'll back him up even if she said otherwise. she doesn't know much about computers. this comes down to more than just that. they i know i use the computer a lot and no laptop would go to waste. what should i do?
Have Mom and Dad spec out a similarly equipped Dell or HP or any other manufacturer laptop with the same stuff that a Macbook comes with. Here's a starting point: Core2Duo Intel 2Ghz processor, 1Gig RAM, 80Gig HDD, built-in iSight camera, Firewire 400 port, 2 USB ports, 1280x800 LCD screen, built-in wireless, built-in bluetooth and lightweight/small form factor. I don't think they will find anything that compares.

Tell them that Mac OS X will serve all of your needs as a student and growing individual integrated with all that the Internet has to offer without the spyware and virus problems that Windows seems to suffer. Mention (and make them buy) Parallels workstation so you can run Windows for when you need to do some kind of Windows specific thing if that's a show-stopper. Tell them that a Macbook will provide every possible thing that you will need for your upcoming education seamlessly and with less effort than that which prior generations have had to deal with. Because it does. And it isn't like it was back before you were born with Apple hardware being stupidly expensive for the software it comes with because that is no longer the case.

The best thing in your situation with frugal minded parents is to show them a best-value situation: A Macbook provides the best of both worlds. For $1299 you get an up-to-date notebook computer with a modern Intel processor, a decent amount of RAM, a decent amount of disk space, a reasonably sized monitor in a relatively small form factor, and the ability (if necessary) to run Windows should all of that fall by the wayside. I do not, however, think that you will be dissatisfied by Mac OS X even if someone insists on running Windows on it. There are many applications built-in to Mac OS X which are conducive to education; the built-in dictionary being one of them.

All of this, of course, is dependent on what your parents will think about the whole situation. They may look upon some random guy's post on a message board on the internet as being just another foolish attempt at corrupting youth. I, of course, do not look at it as that, but rather educating on what choices are available for the growing individual. You can get some kind of windows machine that may or may not help you through your educational growth. But as a man who has had many years of using computers I can tell you that a Mac of this day and age WILL be useful to prepare a young person for what the future has to bring forth. I wish I had this awesome technology when I was young, but instead I make do with what I have now, and am happy that it is finally here. Oh, it's no flying car, but for now it'll do.

Regarding some of your other points: "It doesn't get as many viruses."

Macs don't get ANY viruses.

"It doesn't crash as much"

This is kind of true. Use it enough and it will crash. Most people who use Macs, however, simply do not have to deal with crashing. I can't say that I haven't (if you do a search on this forum for my name you'll find that I've dealt with a few crashes/Kernel panics) but if you have a solid Mac with no hardware problems, the OS is not going to crash for no reason. Macs have far fewer crashes. Period.

Bottom line: If you save up your money and buy a Macbook your money will not be ill spent. You will find yourself in a situation where you will have a wonderful computer experience and STILL be able to interact with family members who have Windows XP computers because you will be able to do all of the networking sharing that XP machines are able to do, but you won't have to hassle with the constant Windows Updates (well, you'll have Apple updates, but they won't be nearly as insistent), pop-up balloons about whatever Windows feels compelled to tell you about, little things like spyware or viruses, how to deal with Vista, or any of the other things that as a Mac user, you will simply not care about. Unless you decide to do something that has to do with Windows for a living. In that case you should pay attention. Otherwise if you use a Mac you need not concern yourself with such things.

Anyway, in the meantime, good luck in your quest!
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christm

 
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try an education discount if your within the age range/are a student.
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mraya

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkerj View Post
Have Mom and Dad spec out a similarly equipped Dell or HP or any other manufacturer laptop with the same stuff that a Macbook comes with. Here's a starting point: Core2Duo Intel 2Ghz processor, 1Gig RAM, 80Gig HDD, built-in iSight camera, Firewire 400 port, 2 USB ports, 1280x800 LCD screen, built-in wireless, built-in bluetooth and lightweight/small form factor. I don't think they will find anything that compares.
I would try to avoid that argument. It is possible to buy a Dell (or other brand) with similar specs for less money, and about the camera my father would say something like "you can get a camera for $20 later" and something similar for the Firewire, i'm sure your father would think something similar.

I would use the "quality and durability" argument. I have had my iBook for 2 years now and it is still as strong as the first day. One guy in my class has a 1.5 years old Dell and everytime he connects something to the USB port the screen goes off. This is not uncommon, i'm sure you can look around and notice that several members of this forum have "old" macs that still work great. You can also take a look at the refurbished section in Apple's store, usually you can find current models for $200 less and older models for great prices. Give it a try.

There is however one question, do you really need a laptop? You are the only one who can give that answer, but think about this: an iMac has more power than an MacBook (i asume you are going for the basic model, not the pro's) and costs around the same. Because of your age i think sooner or later you will want to use your Mac for games, an iMac will give you more power for that and for anything else. An iMac also has more "value" than a MacBook because it includes a LCD that costs around $200.

Finally, OSX is great but if you are short of money Windows or Linux are better answers. As you say, your father and your brother know about computers, they may be able to help you build one, get better deals with the parts and eventually have easier upgrades. Whether Macs are better than PCs or not is matter of personality or sometimes necessity.

[is pointless to click here]
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walkerj

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mraya View Post
I would try to avoid that argument. It is possible to buy a Dell (or other brand) with similar specs for less money, and about the camera my father would say something like "you can get a camera for $20 later" and something similar for the Firewire, i'm sure your father would think something similar.
The only reason to avoid that argument is artificial. Yes, you can get a $500 laptop with rebates and 'special sales' as dictated by whatever manufacturer is trying to push at any given time, but the fact is that for $1299 you can get a solid, well-equipped notebook computer that will be fast and useful right out of the box without the hassles that Windows might bring. I say this from 20+ years of experience. Cheap though they might be, a computer that runs Windows comes with a certain amount of baggage which in this day and age can be avoided by getting a Mac.

I have a Dell laptop provided by my employer which has similar specs to my Macbook. Other than the resolution of the screen they are quite similar (the Dell only does 1024x768; the Macbook does 1280x800) in that the Dell is 1.8 Ghz, a 40Gig HDD, 1Gig RAM, touchpad mouse, wireless networking and reasonable battery life. Compared together the Dell stands up well to my Macbook. Currently the Dell is sitting in it's docking station at my house waiting for me to do something while I post this from my Macbook while at my brother-in-law's house. Why? Because my Macbook is much more pleasant to use, has a nicer built-in screen, I can video iChat with my wife who is in the hospital, it pulls in wireless connections better, is lighter with a better form-factor, runs an OS that I know won't get infected or 'pwned by some h4x0r' (worms come to mind as well), goes to sleep the second I close the lid, wakes the second I open it, does every kind of multi-media I have thrown at it, has all of the music/media I put on my ipod, and enables me to type the longest run-on sentence in Mac-Forums.com history!

Oh, and yes it is a very well-built notebook computer with a nice and easy to use keyboard, decent trackpad, and will probably serve me well for the next 3 years easily.

As to why one would need a laptop, it's because here in The Future most people are 'on the go' and we don't need to adhere to our ancient ways of being tied to a desk. A young person getting an education is going to need a tool that will go wherever the need takes them. Tell that to your parents, and if they give you any crap about that say that this cranky old guy on the internet called them a luddite.

In conclusion, a Macbook will serve you well.

They run Windows too...
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If you're serious about a mac and os x, than maybe a used one might go over better. There would be nothing wrong with a used ibook or 12" powerbook in my opinion. They would still be great computers and would be better than any new windows laptop under $1000. Or try refurbished from apples web site. Again, if you really want one, any mac made in the last 2-3 years would be great if you can't buy new.
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firef7

 
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Thanks for all the replies!

When it really comes down to me needing a laptop it's a yes and no answer. The yes comes from the fact that the current laptop isn't actually mine...in which case he (my brother) can take it away from me at any time. The second yes reason comes from portability. Going to friends and families houses, as well as where ever I want to take it, I wouldn't consider the Dell portable. Battery life is also an issue. It's not huge but still a pain in the butt to carry around. The no answer comes directly from the fact that I do have one to use regardless.

I brought up many of the points you guys mentioned to my brother-- including that similar hardware would cost about the same. It didn't go very well but I completely agree (with you guys). He keeps mentioning a few cheaper Vista laptops that he found online. After telling him "you buy a Mac for OSX, which you can't use with anything else" he immediately called it mediocre. He's never even used it.

As far as my parents go if anything is going to happen I'm going to have to talk to them about it slowly. Anything too fast and it'll sound awkward. If I really want something to happen my reasoning definitely has to go into depth. Most of the ones you guys mentioned and a few off the top of my head will probably work but with very little impact.

Thanks!! More to come...
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walkerj

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firef7 View Post
I brought up many of the points you guys mentioned to my brother-- including that similar hardware would cost about the same. It didn't go very well but I completely agree (with you guys). He keeps mentioning a few cheaper Vista laptops that he found online. After telling him "you buy a Mac for OSX, which you can't use with anything else" he immediately called it mediocre. He's never even used it.

As far as my parents go if anything is going to happen I'm going to have to talk to them about it slowly. Anything too fast and it'll sound awkward. If I really want something to happen my reasoning definitely has to go into depth. Most of the ones you guys mentioned and a few off the top of my head will probably work but with very little impact.

Thanks!! More to come...
What you will be fighting is ignorance. Rather than re-iterate points on why it would be a good idea to get a Macbook rather than some $599 e-machine, I'll point you to one of my previous posts on the subject: Thinking of making the switch to iMac

Good luck. Ignorance is a beast that is very difficult to battle.
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Do you mind me asking why exactly at the age of 13 you need a portable laptop, i'm not being funny but at the age of 13 most people including me when i was 13, 4 years ago, only go on t'internet, email, MSN, some typing for assignments and thats about it. Maybe some very basic film and photo for my space and stuff.

Also, if ur family are in debt then why not live within you means, live with the laptop you are using, clear the debts, your family will be a lot happier without debt, material things are not worth going beyond what can be afforded.

Dont get me wrong though, i am lucky enough to come from quite a well off family, not overly but ive always lived in a nice area in a nice house with a nice car each but i saved up for my macbook, i dont see any reason for debt unless its for purchasing a house or car.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenic View Post
Do you mind me asking why exactly at the age of 13 you need a portable laptop, i'm not being funny but at the age of 13 most people including me when i was 13, 4 years ago, only go on t'internet, email, MSN, some typing for assignments and thats about it. Maybe some very basic film and photo for my space and stuff.

Also, if ur family are in debt then why not live within you means, live with the laptop you are using, clear the debts, your family will be a lot happier without debt, material things are not worth going beyond what can be afforded.

Dont get me wrong though, i am lucky enough to come from quite a well off family, not overly but ive always lived in a nice area in a nice house with a nice car each but i saved up for my macbook, i dont see any reason for debt unless its for purchasing a house or car.
I 100% agree with you 'Jenic' I myself am only 16 and had to contribute 500 towards my xmas present which was my macbook. There were only a few reasons i picked a mac over a windows based pc
1: Like the innovative design, having chosen product design for A-Level next year it amazed me when i analised it. <yup im that sad i do such a thing
2: Great selection of programs for what i want to do, quick rendering times etc etc i could have got the programs for windows such as photoshop however i got student discount
3: Less internet security risks, i was repeatedly formating my pc because of some trojan horse i picked up when viewing erm... stuff on the net.
4: I wanted to trying something else apart from microsofts offerings, having already tried 3 linux types, redhat / fedora, suse, mandrake.
5: Its sexy lets face it, look at the design of a windows laptop and compare it to my beautiful macbook and my uncles MBP and we win hands down.

So lets face it... your 13, so no major coarsework for 2 years by which time your mac will be obselete as far as they go so you will want a new one. Friends all use windows, have fun getting your Isight to work on MSN my friend. You seem to know how to keep your pc secure by what you said so security risks arnt an issue for you. You dont seem to be in a position to afford it, wait until next year and dont go into debt, leopard will be out then anyway. Great and portable laptop? Macs arnt the lightest things out there my friend take a look at the samsung X model's.

However your money your choice, buy it for your needs. Will you use a mac to its full potential? or will it be that piece of kit you use to update your myspace with.

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firef7

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyman View Post
I 100% agree with you 'Jenic' I myself am only 16 and had to contribute 500 towards my xmas present which was my macbook. There were only a few reasons i picked a mac over a windows based pc
1: Like the innovative design, having chosen product design for A-Level next year it amazed me when i analised it. <yup im that sad i do such a thing
2: Great selection of programs for what i want to do, quick rendering times etc etc i could have got the programs for windows such as photoshop however i got student discount
3: Less internet security risks, i was repeatedly formating my pc because of some trojan horse i picked up when viewing erm... stuff on the net.
4: I wanted to trying something else apart from microsofts offerings, having already tried 3 linux types, redhat / fedora, suse, mandrake.
5: Its sexy lets face it, look at the design of a windows laptop and compare it to my beautiful macbook and my uncles MBP and we win hands down.

So lets face it... your 13, so no major coarsework for 2 years by which time your mac will be obselete as far as they go so you will want a new one. Friends all use windows, have fun getting your Isight to work on MSN my friend. You seem to know how to keep your pc secure by what you said so security risks arnt an issue for you. You dont seem to be in a position to afford it, wait until next year and dont go into debt, leopard will be out then anyway. Great and portable laptop? Macs arnt the lightest things out there my friend take a look at the samsung X model's.

However your money your choice, buy it for your needs. Will you use a mac to its full potential? or will it be that piece of kit you use to update your myspace with.
I'd consider myself a little little more tech savvy than that. Its easy to figure out what I'd do with a Mac just by looking at what I do on my PC. I'm sure they're are equivalent programs on Mac so I'll list a few programs I use on the PC.

VNC (and something equivalent of DynDNS Updater), VLC, Eraser, GIMP, Firefox, Live Messenger, Yahoo! Widgets, OpenOffice.org, Picture Project, CCleaner, Google Earth, and PrimoPDF to name a few.
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no games
and you call yourself a teenager lol

msn for mac is a joke, you will need aMSN or Mercury
most of these progs work on OS X, dont you use microsoft office? I wasnt a big fan of openoffice but i havnt really used it tbh

one good thing about mac... world of warcraft runs <3

Have you thought about getting the desktop version, you will get a dedicated graphics card that way if you go for the imac after the first one.

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if money is an issue, then maybe you should wait until upgraded macs come out and then you coulde get a deal on a mac they sell now. that is what i did. when the core 2 duos came out i bought a core duo and saved a ton of money. I also dont see why you want a laptop. is there an apple store in your area, if there is i heard sometimes they sell refurbished stuff at the store.

just live with what you have right now and wait a bit. the computer you have isnt dead. dosent sound like youve had to reinstall windows a million times.

maybe you could buy a mac as a family computer and everyone could make the switch.

just my $0.02

~Martin.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyman View Post
no games
and you call yourself a teenager lol

msn for mac is a joke, you will need aMSN or Mercury
most of these progs work on OS X, dont you use microsoft office? I wasnt a big fan of openoffice but i havnt really used it tbh

one good thing about mac... world of warcraft runs <3

Have you thought about getting the desktop version, you will get a dedicated graphics card that way if you go for the imac after the first one.
:headphone I play PC games, but most of them turn out to be MMOs. Everything else I play on my console. I've never played WoW though.

I prefer OpenOffice because it's free. Microsoft Office is good but I can live without it.
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3 words: apple refurb store
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