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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 needed for new mac user buying used mac laptop


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mk21131

 
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Member Since: Apr 11, 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 3
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Mac Specs: 12.1" iBook G3 800MHz

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I have been a pc guy for the last 12 years, but now am very interested in buying a mac. I have decided to start by buying a used laptop to aclimate myself with the mac and while saving up to buy a nice new laptop. I have been looking at a used ibook, but since I have no experiance with macs, have no idea if what I am looking at is a good deal or even a good system. So any feedback on this would be a huge huge help to me.

What I am looking at is:
Apple G3 iBook Laptop
12.1" LCD display
800 MHz PowerPC G3 processor
256 MB RAM!
HUGE 30 GB hard drive!
Built-in CD-Drive!
Battery holds a charge
AC Adaptor
Mac OS X Panther (10.3.9)

Is being sold for $299
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D3v1L80Y

 
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The iBook is a great choice for a first Mac. It will give you a good introduction and a fairly good idea of how the Mac OS works.
I would recommend getting more RAM for it, though.
Also, the price seems a bit high for that model. Keep your eyes peeled for one with those specs for closer to $200 (or less).
Be sure to also make sure that whichever one you buy comes with the original restore/install discs, or at the very least an original, legitimate retail OS install disc.

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Zoolook

 
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I cut my teeth on a G3 700mhz iBook. I still think it's the best looking machine Apple made. You can upgrade the RAM to 640MB, which is an absolute must. I sold mine for $270, which included the RAM and an Airport card (which is rare) and a battery that held a 4 hour charge.

Panther is a good choice - way faster than Jaguar and not quite as resource hungry as Tiger - try and get one with a DVD drive if at all possible, as it'll save software woes in future.

Huge internal drive is not critical - it has firewire, so a cheap fast external drive to store photos and music is an easy option, plus you keep it for when you get a more powerful machine.

Things to look out for include:

- Screen darkening at the edges
- Missing rubber feet (you'll scratch your table!)
- Lack of Airport card might mean an expensive upgrade. An iBook without Wireless is like a bird without wings
- Someone selling the machine without Discs or Powerlead (= stolen IMO)

Now just one word of warning. You could get frustrated with the machine quite quickly, as technology has moved on a lot since 2001. Many online videos won't work, such as high resolution Flash based videos (such as on abc.com) and many heavy flash-based sites can be slow. Some iTunes videos don't work, anything in h.264 will drop frames and HD content is way out of reach.

You might not think any of that is important, but after using a Mac for a few weeks, you'll just want to see it stretch its legs. If you're confident you just want a machine to browse simple sites and write poetry, then it's fine - but don't over estimate the G3 CPU for video content.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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mk21131

 
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Member Since: Apr 11, 2007
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 3
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Mac Specs: 12.1" iBook G3 800MHz

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Well I did purchase an iBook today, I went with one similar to the one I mentioned in my first post. The one I got is a 12.1" iBook G3 800MHz 384MB RAM 30GB Hard Drive AirPort Combo Drive and OSX-Tiger. Am on it right now as a matter of fact, took me a little bit to get it running with my wireless network (a quick search revealed that I needed to be running WPA and not WEP). I am sure you will be seeing more of me on the forums with questions and such as I work my way through learning.

In the meantime, any recomendations for good free software for the Mac would be greatly appreciated.
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