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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?" :)

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cdl00
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Next week I am buying a friend's old wallstreet powerbook . I have been an avid PC user for about 7 years. Apple has always intrigued me, but I've been a bit gun-shy when it comes down to dropping alot of money for one. I have never used a Mac before in my life. Few questions here...1. I have a home network set up at home. 3 PC's..the wallstreet has a network adapter..can I join the same network or at least connect to the internet through my linksys router? 2. What are some must have apps for a mac? Do I need an antivirus or firewall? I intend to mainly use it for surfing the net and some simple office duties. 3. I have no clue how the Mac OS works...which one will run the best for me? I'm sorry I can't give any more specs for the wallstreet, but I havent a clue what hardware OR software is on the machine now.
Any advice would be appreciaterd...my first notebook and its a Mac, I'm thrilled. Any good websites stand out with lots of info for Mac newbies?
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trpnmonkey41

 
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1. Just plug it in to the router and you will be set to go no problems
2. No antivirus or firewall is really necessary (OS X has a built in firewall)
3. I don't think that the Wallstreet can handle anything higher than OS X 10.2.8 so Panther would not work

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anarkhy 17
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If you end up enjoying the feel of the Mac Platform you will probably want to get a new system soon because it will probably be a very slow notebook, no doubt if your running OS X
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cdl00
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I figure it will be a slower machine, pretty small HD and the such also. Thats the main reason it will only be for browsing the net, and some simple office apps for school. Getting a really good deal though, otherwise I couldnt afford one, mac or otherwise. this one is just for getting the feel of a mac, and the thought of actually sitting on the couch, watching tv and surfing the web at the same time makes me kinda happy. Also will be nice for trips, to check email and such.
What is the best office suite for Mac, will the new MS Office 2004 run on that old a machine? Unfortunately MS Office is whats used in my wifes's school. She uses all the basic Office components quite a bit.
Also is Panther considered to be 10.3 and up? What would be the best OS for me to use? I want to be as up to date as possible, without sacrificing too much performance.
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technologist

 
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Mac Specs: 12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)

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Here's some background info on the Wallstreet G3 PowerBook. It's a few years old, but there are processor upgrades available which might help to modernize it.

The first thing you will want to do is figure out what OS is installed. It could be as old as OS 8.1, but it will run OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" if given enough memory. (I wouldn't try any version of OS X without a minimum of 256MB, preferably more.) OS X 10.3 "Panther" is not supported (by Apple) on this machine, but there are third-party workarounds.

Basically, I'd say the choice is between OS 9.x (the last of the "Classic" OS versions) and OS 10.2.8 Jaguar (the last officially supported version of OS X on the Wallstreet.) OS 9 will be more responsive, especially if you don't have much memory, but Jaguar is more stable and powerful. OS 9 is a dead end as far as Apple is concerned.

As for an office suite, MS Office 2004 is theoretically supported; Office v.X (previous version) and Office 2001 (last OS 8/9 compatible version) would also work. Office for the Mac is a pretty good suite; If you're used to Office for Windows, I'd suggest that you use it on the Mac, too. It's actually a little better.
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cdl00
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ok, I got a little more information and another couple questions, only a couple more days till I get my PowerBook. I found out it has a 40 GB hard drive and 192 MB RAM. The friend I am getting it from said he would put 9.2 and 10.1 if I wanted. Is 10.1 OS X? Should I run 2 OS's on it?
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Cloudane
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Yes, 10.1 is OS X.

I'm running Panther on a brand-new PowerBook with 256MB and even then it's sluggish at times. I'm no Mac expert, but if that's anything to go by and you want to boot into OS X it might be an idea to see if you can upgrade the RAM any further. Otherwise just run 9.2 and only boot into OS X when needed.

It's definitely worth a newer one sometime if you find yourself liking the Mac platform... Panther is a delight to use.
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technologist

 
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Mac Specs: 12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)

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Having both OS 9 and OS X is ideal on an older system, because you can decide for yourself which is best (OS 9 for speed, or OS X for solidity.) You can switch back and forth easily, using the Startup Disk control panel/preference pane. Beyond that, two things:

1. OS X is kind of unusual, because it tends to get faster with every new release, because of better optmization. So 10.2 would be faster than 10.1, if you can get a copy at a price that is acceptable to you.

2. As stated above, OS X will be a little cramped in only 192MB of RAM. It'll run, but slowly, since it'll have to swap things in and out of memory more often. So, if you can afford to get more memory, do so.
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cdl00
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From what I have read the Wallstreet Powerbook I am getting is only supported up to OS X 10.2.
But If I get it with 10.1 on it, isn't the upgrade to 10.2 free? Downloadable? Kind of like a Windows Update is the perception I get from it.
I am thinking about putting more RAM in it though, prolly to 256MB.
I dont want to put too much money in it, since it is an older model, however I do want my first Mac experience to be the best I can make it.
Sheesh....the anticipation is killing me!!
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Padawan

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdl00
From what I have read the Wallstreet Powerbook I am getting is only supported up to OS X 10.2.
But If I get it with 10.1 on it, isn't the upgrade to 10.2 free? Downloadable? Kind of like a Windows Update is the perception I get from it.
There are free updates available for 10.1 - Cheetah, but only to 10.1.x (I believe 10.1.5 was the latest release). To upgrade to 10.2.x (Jaguar), you would have to purchase the CD. In Windows terms, think of it something like Windows 98 and Windows ME. There are free updates for both of them, but not an update to bring 98 up to ME.

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muso

 
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For 'must-have' apps, it really depends on what you want to do with it. On my dock I have a few apple applications (e.g. Safari, Mail, Terminal, iTunes, GarageBand, iPhoto), Photoshop, Fireworks, aMSN, Interarchy, BBEdit, MS Word, and toast. But I do a lot of web/graphics work. A good game that doesn't require a top of the line system is EV Nova by Ambrosia.

There is a firewall built into the operating system. You can change it's settings through the network preference pane in System Preferences. Don't worry about an antivirus either, unless you're really, really paranoid.

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