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  1. #1
    BenjiBoy650
    Guest
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob
    Alright so recently, I've heard some good stuff about Apple. I used to adamantly resist Apple products, but it looks like they're at the point where they're more mainstream but still have their traits that got them so big (stability, ease of use, etc). I've used Windows since I was 5 (now 18). Started off with MS-DOS, moved up through the ranks 3.1, 95, 98, then jumped to XP. I know all the stupid things about Windows - nobody needs to tell me about all the spyware, crashes, etc!

    But up until now I've stayed with PC's. My Dell Dimensions 8200 works pretty good after several layers of protection (router firewall, Windows firewall, BlackIce firewall, Firefox, several anti-spyware programs, Norton anti-virus, no unnecessary downloads, etc), but now that I need a laptop, I don't mind having a change. This won't be my primary machine, so if I don't like it as much, it won't be the end of the world. So here's my situation.

    I'm a student at UC Berkeley. I need a laptop because I commute on BART 1 1/2 hours each way, and I could definitely use that time to do work. Next semester, I'll be taking a class which requires me to use MatLab, which is some sort of engineering application. Plus, my family has been looking into a portable DVD player. I figured I could kill a lot of birds with one stone, so this laptop would have to play DVD, run MatLab (which...I think is for Windows), and of course wireless internet (B/G), word processing, etc. I NEED it to be 12" or so, because the seats on BART won't allow anything bigger to open up unless I catch the front seats with no obstructions (rare). I also need a long battery life, as it will need to play whole DVD's on trips and work for the entire 3 hours of commute per day. I have tons of MP3's, but I will manage the space efficiently (iPod user also) so I don't need a 100GB HD or anything. More RAM is good too. I'm okay with integrated audio/video, but I would like a fast processor so things don't take forever.

    I've narrowed the choices down to IBM, Toshiba, and Apple. Dell was always a player because they're cheap, but then I realized you really get what you pay for. What do you guys recommend from the Apple lineup? Can I still use a majority of the programs I use on Windows? Mainly Streets and Trips, Winamp, Folding@Home, AIM/GAIM, Photoshop 7.0, few others.

    Thanks for any insight in advance. Sorry if these questions were answered elsewhere, I didn't do a search because I came up blank on what to look for. I should have, seeing as how I'm a mod on another forum and I'm always telling people Search is your friend

    (Mr. fearlessfreep24 sent me over here )

  2. #2
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob

    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2004
    Posts
    3,378
    I think you can find Matlab for OS X. I would check all the software you are going to use and if any of it can't run natively on an Apple then I would go with a PC.

    You can use iChat or Adium in place of AIM/GAIM. There is a Folding@Home client for OS X. Photoshop runs just fine on an Apple. I don't know about Streets and Trips, but I bet even if it isn't available there is some equivilant.

    You can get the latest rev 12in iBooks as refurbs from Apple with warranty for $800 shipped, just watch their refurb section. They usually appear at least once a week in there.

  3. #3
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob
    PunkRockTuba's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 27, 2005
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    975
    Specs:
    17" MacBook Pro, 8GB iPhone
    I would say if you are getting an apple go for an iBook. I dont know about playing full dvd's, im sure you can get it done but I highly doubt at full brightness. For what youre wanting to do, I think a powerbook might be too much. I would ef. look at 12" iBook's.

  4. #4
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob
    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,478
    Specs:
    iMac late 2007 10.11.b4, iMac 2008 10.10.5, Macbook2007 10.7.5, Mac Mini 10.7.5, iPhone 3GS Note 8!!
    For Microsoft Streets and Trips I found this.

    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...More=T8802LL/A

  5. #5
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob

    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2004
    Posts
    3,378
    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7
    For Microsoft Streets and Trips I found this.

    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...More=T8802LL/A

    did you read the reviews? That software sounds awful.

  6. #6
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob

    Member Since
    Nov 24, 2005
    Posts
    749
    Specs:
    Powerbook G4/ 15.2"/ 1.67 ghz/ 2 gb RAM/ ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (128 mb RAM)/ 100 gb hdd@ 5400 RPM
    Well, to begin with, you may want to try out the Mac OS somewhere, this will give you a chance to make sure you're ready to make the switch. The latest PowerMac G5 Quad is (arguably) the most powerful computer in the world, but if you hate the OS, what's the point?

    Now, as for the Wi-Fi, all Apple laptops currently ship with 802.11 B/G (or Airport Extreme as Apple calls it) standard, so you shouldn't have any issues there.

    The 12" iBook is your best bet, you can nab a refurb w/ exteneded warranty for ~$1000. If you have the time, you may want to wait for Macworld (Jan. 9th-16th). Wether or not Apple does do something, it's still your best bet, as you don't want to be kicking yourself later for it.
    I'd use Windows... but I like the Mac OS more.

  7. #7
    BenjiBoy650
    Guest
    I can and probably will wait for MacWorld, since I don't need a laptop real fast. If I didn't have one ever, it wouldn't kill me (I hope). But from past experience, unless they're introducing some 5Ghz dual core processor for $800, I wouldn't buy whatever it is they're releasing...ya know?

    I will look into the iBook and PowerBook. I've always liked the extra power and I can afford it, and I don't want to be looking for a new laptop in 2 years...I want this to last at least 4-5 years. Thanks for the input everyone, keep it coming if ya have something to add

  8. #8
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob
    fearlessfreap24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 09, 2005
    Location
    Near San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,339
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro 13" | MacBook Pro 13" | Mac Mini 2GHz C2D
    welcome BenjiBoy!!!! to_tough_to_die said it best. i went to compusa and the apple store for several weeks to use the products before i bought my iBook. my battery lasts between 4-5 hours with the screen dimmed to the lowest setting running safari email, and adium on a wireless connection. as for dvd playing, i have only done it with the iBook plugged in. again welcome to the boards and there are plenty of knowlegable people around here that are helpful. enjoy

  9. #9
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob

    Member Since
    Aug 27, 2005
    Posts
    129
    I was in the same place you were about a year ago. I'd used windows my whole life and was curious about trying Mac's. Since then, I've bought a iMac G5, a 12" powerbook (upgraded to a 15" powerbook) and an iMac G4 for my wife. I'll never go back to Windows.

  10. #10
    lil
    Guest
    http://www.lilserenity.com/code/disp...t=5&nepr=1&wob

    My review of the PBook 12-inch - not saying you will go for that one; but it hopefully will capture the joy of and fun I have had since owning my PowerBook.

    The review was meant to be posted on this forum but, it seems it has slipped by the wayside...

    Vicky

  11. #11
    BenjiBoy650
    Guest
    I have a question regarding software for Mac's. Is there a plethora of free software out there for them? I'm not talking about stuff like software that costs money but was hacked. Instead I'm talking about things like GAIM, or Firefox, or WinAmp - useful software that is meant to be free. Is there an abundance of this kind of software for word processing, picture editing/resizing/etc, media players, etc etc?

  12. #12
    Laptop advice for an Apple Noob
    PunkRockTuba's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 27, 2005
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    975
    Specs:
    17" MacBook Pro, 8GB iPhone
    There is a ton of freeware, if you find a program you like, theres a good chance you can find a similar program thats freeware. Go to www.coolosxapps.net and look around, they have a ton of freeware.

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