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Author Topic: Apple buying question
RedHatDude
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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2002 08:13      Profile for RedHatDude     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am thinking about buying one of the new Apple iBooks (the white ones) and I would like to know if there is a good place to buy Apple items, and maybe some tips if you have 'em about buying an Apple.

This would be my first laptop, and my second Mac (Well, third if you count the Mac classic I bought at a garage sale for 10 bucks, and I had a Performa 550 (I believe)) so I am still going to do some heavy research into the subject, but I wanted to try to soak up some of the experience of the good people of this forum

My questions are like:
Will I need more than 128 MB of memory (I'm pretty sure the answer is yes), if I buy more, where is the best place, and can I put it in myself.

What else will I need to buy (unforeseen costs), there are ALWAYS some of these

Where is the best place to buy the laptop itself? I know about the apple store online, but any tips to other places are appreciated.

Well, I appreciate any help you can give me,

-Caleb


Posts: 35 | From: Rochester, NY, USA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
iMat
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Icon 10 posted April 14, 2002 08:56      Profile for iMat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I live in Canada, and I've found stores where they cut the price of the low-end iBook by $200 Canadian (I'm not sure if it is the display model though).

However, an employee from my local Apple store (not the official black and white ones, with genious bars, and mini seminars) told me that Apple charges for RAM ridiculously, and you might as well buy 3rd Party RAM (which is probably where Apple get's there's as well) and install it yourself.

Another idea is buy it at another state where taxes are a bit lower (my province [same as a US state] has the advantages of only 7% tax).

Hope I helped you!

--iMat


Posts: 119 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
RedHatDude
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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2002 09:03      Profile for RedHatDude     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another idea is buy it at another state where taxes are a bit lower (my province [same as a US state] has the advantages of only 7% tax).

Dude, when I got my dell in '95 (couldn't resist that one ) that was one of the factors in buying the dell (it was though the mail, so even with shipping it was cheaper than our New York 8% sales tax)

Regarding the memory, I kinda thought that. But again I would have to do more research on the subject.

Thanks for the tips!


Posts: 35 | From: Rochester, NY, USA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
rw

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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2002 10:45      Profile for rw   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You might take a look at http://dealmac.com -- if there's a cheaper place to buy a Mac, they should know about it. But generally, the prices don't vary much. Apple makes sure that everybody charges about the same. You might find a deal on a refurbished or used model, if you're into that, but Apples tend to keep their value, so don't expect a huge savings even then. Some dealers try to make up for Apple's pricing policies by offering other deals. For example, they may throw in a free printer, or even better, free RAM.

Speaking of RAM, how much you need depends on what OS you'll be running. 128 should be enough for Mac OS 9, but that's no fun. For OS X, you'll definitely need as much as you can get your greedy little clutches on. Go for at least 512 MB. If you'll be running Linux, well, I have no experience there, but my hunch is that you won't need so much memory.


Posts: 429 | From: Kirkland, Wash. (US of A) | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged
DigitalBill

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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2002 12:30      Profile for DigitalBill   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by RedHatDude:
I am thinking about buying one of the new Apple iBooks (the white ones) and I would like to know if there is a good place to buy Apple items, and maybe some tips if you have 'em about buying an Apple.

Caleb,

I'd like to think that the dealer I work for is the best but I'm a little prejudiced. I would say to look for an Apple Specialist - a dealer that' s committed to selling and supporting only Apple or mostly Apple products.

quote:
This would be my first laptop, and my second Mac (Well, third if you count the Mac classic I bought at a garage sale for 10 bucks, and I had a Performa 550 (I believe)) so I am still going to do some heavy research into the subject, but I wanted to try to soak up some of the experience of the good people of this forum

My questions are like:
Will I need more than 128 MB of memory (I'm pretty sure the answer is yes), if I buy more, where is the best place, and can I put it in myself.


I've told people for 17 years: "You can never be too rich or have too much RAM." I agree with rw's assessment of adding a lot of RAM if you're running OS X (and seeing as how you're a BSD Dude, I'd say that's prettymuch a foregone conclusion). I hyst upped my TiBook from 384MB to 768MB and it really made a huge difference... Apps launch faster (including the laggard Classic) and I've gobe from 5-6 swapfiles to 1.

quote:
What else will I need to buy (unforeseen costs), there are ALWAYS some of these

Well, I'd probably get a USB 2-button scrolly mouse. I got the MacAlly OptiMouse Jr. to keep in my bag for when I'm away from my desktop setup.

And depending on what your home LAN looks like, an Airport Base Station and Airport card for the iBook are an awesome wireless combo. If you haven't had wireless, you should get it. Taking the 'Book to the couch or bed is a real pleasure!

Oh, and did I mention RAM?

quote:
Where is the best place to buy the laptop itself? I know about the apple store online, but any tips to other places are appreciated.

Well, I appreciate any help you can give me,

-Caleb


Most dealers are going to sell you an iBook for more or less the same price. Apple kinda sets the minimum price we can advertise. So, the deal has become free RAM or free printer or whatever.

I have a page of all the current Apple promos on our site here:

http://www.maccenter.com/specials/apple/

There's a $100 rebate on an Airport Base and a $100 Rebate on a Nikon CoolPix if purchased with the iBook.

Let me know if I can do anything to help.

=bd


Posts: 604 | From: The Wizards of Technology Binary Bunker | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
+Andrew
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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2002 14:53      Profile for +Andrew   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As far as memory goes, the wisest plan of action is to get the system with the absolute minimum installed and upgrade with memory from a 3rd party vendor. I personally recommend Crucial. They aren't the cheapest, but they're significantly less expensive than Apple (upgrading to 1.5Gb on a PowerMac G4, for example, costs $750 (with computer purchase) or $900 (after computer purchase) at Apple vs. $510 at Crucial). Plus, the memory they sell is top-quality Micron RAM (I haven't gotten any incompatible modules, modules that arrived dead, or modules that died later) and they offer free 2nd-day FedEx shipping.

-Andrew


Posts: 349 | From: Boston, MA, USA | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Super Flippy

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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2002 15:09      Profile for Super Flippy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My husband swears by www.datamem.com for inexpensive Mac RAM. Definitely get more than 128; you're going to need it to run OS X comfortably.
Posts: 337 | From: South Carolina | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
mackevin
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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2002 16:30      Profile for mackevin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by RedHatDude:

My questions are like:
Will I need more than 128 MB of memory (I'm pretty sure the answer is yes), if I buy more, where is the best place, and can I put it in myself.


-Caleb


Putting RAM into the iBook is easy, like shown in this movie:

http://www.info.apple.com/support/cip/ibookdusb-memory.cip.mov.html

mackevin


Posts: 108 | From: Berlin, Germany | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
iMat
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Icon 11 posted April 14, 2002 20:07      Profile for iMat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, also, don't buy an iBook just yet.

If you think about it, the new white iBook has been around for quite a while. The iBook2 (the white one) was launched in May, 2001, and Apple has been updating it a few times. Also, Apple wants to be the best, and their PowerBook G4 is beginning to fall behind as the Pentium 4 Mobile laptops are comming out, and as little pipeline as the G4 has, Ghz is quite a benifactor.

Therefore, I believe that Apple is going to update it's portable line soon, with either new designs, or better stuff inside.

I think G5's will come out soon, then the PowerBook might have a G5, making the G3 obsolete. Then the iBook will recieve the G4 processor.

These are my ideas though, they're not proven.

--iMat


Posts: 119 | From: Canada | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bregalad
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2002 12:38      Profile for Bregalad     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The white iBook has one easily accessed momory slot under the keyboard. The keyboard has 3 catches across the top and then flips up. The memory goes in under the AirPort card so there is a metal shield to remove (one screw) before you see the SO-DIMM slot. With only one DIMM slot you'll want to invest in a compact, low profile 512MB SO-DIMM and max out your 'Book. I have 384MB in mine, but when I bought it there were no 512's small enough to fit.

I have the original 500MHz version and other owners have reported that 10.1.3 is sluggish. Owners of the current 600MHz models seem happier with the performance of OS X. I still run 9.2 on mine because work requires use of an application that is incompatible with OS X.

As for buying now or waiting, if you always wait for the next big thing you'll wait forever. Buy a computer when you need it unless there is a major Apple event in the near future. Macworld Expo is the third week of July. It is rumored that the professional line (PowerMac towers and PowerBooks) will be updated there, but Apple has taken to updating their consumer models at the big shows and introducing advances to their professional lines more quietly. The reason for the speculation this year is the expected arrival of the PowerPC 7500 chip this summer. Apple may choose to call it a G5 and make a really big deal about it. Then again the rumors have tended to be wildly innaccurate of late; only Steve Jobs knows for sure.

Like many of the other regulars here I'm from Canada and have always dealt with full service Apple Dealers, people who sell only Macs and compatible peripherals. I like supporting a local business and getting to know a salesperson can often yield a lower price. Dealers really have very little margin on iMacs and iBooks though so you're likely to find the same price everywhere you look.


Posts: 484 | From: Vancouver, BC, Canada | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ti
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Icon 3 posted April 15, 2002 15:28      Profile for Ti   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cheapest place online is Cyberian Outpost they'll usually throw in free ram or a printer in addition to not charging tax (depending on your state). Additionally you can call mac warehouse 800-255-6227, and order it from them (same deal), if your looking for ram the best place to find cheap mac ram is Ramseeker.com they list several different sites and find the cheapest price for you.
Posts: 377 | From: Sunnyvale, CA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
iballoondesign
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Icon 10 posted April 15, 2002 21:16      Profile for iballoondesign   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
try and buy at CompUSA, they may have first edition white iBook for $300 less.

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Riding on the balloon, flow over the world...


Posts: 569 | From: Irving, TX | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
macadddikt18
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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2002 05:08      Profile for macadddikt18   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Another idea is buy it at another state where taxes are a bit lower (my province [same as a US state] has the advantages of only 7% tax).


My gosh boy. that is a high tax for state stuff. Our tax here is only around 5.5 %, 6% at the most. i can not even think what 7% is like. Up in alaska they don't have any sales tax. that is so nice. I would move there if i knew the chinese were ot going to invade it in the next couple of years.
Nayt

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c:/dos/run
run/dos/run


Posts: 1870 | From: In a world beyond your understanding | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mattface
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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2002 06:10      Profile for Mattface     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
RedHatDude: Check out http://www.smalldog.com They often have great deals on Refurbs, and they are a great company to deal with.

Nayte: New Hampshire has no sales tax either, and it's not in any imminent danger of being invaded by the Chinese. I like to think of New Hampshire as "that strip mall next to Vermont". If you're into that thing you should move there. You would also then have the privilege of sporting the state motto proudly on your license plate "Live Free or Die". Is that a Motto or a threat?

Matt


Posts: 68 | From: Montpelier | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
omega996
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2002 07:45      Profile for omega996   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
just my $0.02USD:
the prices on online resellers don't vary much - pick the one that is going to cost you least overall, if you're going to go that route. otherwise, pick a good local shop that sells apple products, and support them.

as far as ram manufacturers go, i see people recommending crucial all the time, but i can't figure out why. a lot of the stuff that crucial sells is low-performance (cas 3-3-3 or sometimes 3-2-2), and might be ok for some POS peecee clone, but doesn't belong in an apple product. you can get good stuff from ramjet or OWC, if you're specific about what you want. or, if you want another name brand, i like mushkin (i've bought several gigabytes' worth of RAM from mushkin and never had any problems with it).

whether you go with a specific vendor or not, make sure you get CAS 2-2-2. get as much as you can afford, as any unix (os X or linux) can always benefit from more memory (particularly if you're going to be running X-Windows)... I'd suggest that 512MB total should be the minimum for a laptop.


Posts: 46 | From: brea, ca | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
+Andrew
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Icon 1 posted April 19, 2002 09:06      Profile for +Andrew   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by omega996:
just my $0.02USD:
a lot of the stuff that crucial sells is low-performance (cas 3-3-3 or sometimes 3-2-2)

To keep the record straight, this page show that most, though not all, of Crucial's PC-133 modules are available in CL3 and CL2 versions - at the same price.

-Andrew


Posts: 349 | From: Boston, MA, USA | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
RedHatDude
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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2002 11:26      Profile for RedHatDude     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry for the late post...

Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for their helpful posts!

Secondly, I have another question.

I've read (here, on slashdot and other places), that the ibook is a bit sluggish with OS X. I would like to get a laptop that will last perhaps a bit longer, so am now also looking at the Titanium PowerBook as well. The lower end model costs 2,300 dollars, but seems to have A LOT of nice features and since it has a G4 the benchmarks I've seen show that is speedier than the iBook 600mhz model.

Does anybody here have any experience with these?


Posts: 35 | From: Rochester, NY, USA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sir Aureus
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Icon 4 posted April 20, 2002 12:31      Profile for Sir Aureus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you're currently in college, you can probably get an apple computer for a hundred or two less than usual at the school store. If not, maybe you could pretend you are ^_^

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Posts: 57 | From: MIT | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
DigitalBill

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Icon 1 posted April 20, 2002 16:00      Profile for DigitalBill   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by RedHatDude:
Secondly, I have another question.

I've read (here, on slashdot and other places), that the ibook is a bit sluggish with OS X. I would like to get a laptop that will last perhaps a bit longer, so am now also looking at the Titanium PowerBook as well. The lower end model costs 2,300 dollars, but seems to have A LOT of nice features and since it has a G4 the benchmarks I've seen show that is speedier than the iBook 600mhz model.

Does anybody here have any experience with these?


RHD,

You're always going to get better performance in OS X with a G4. That's why Apple moved the iMacs to G4s.

Semi-unfortunately, it takes a lot of hoursepower to do some of the stuff that Aqua (OS X's pretty blue UI) does, like calulating alpha channel masks for drop-shadows from the windows and menus, or transparency...

My roomie runs X on his iBook (white dual USB), with 256 MB of RAM it's pretty snappy, but yea, my TiBook 500 G4 with 768MB is obviously much snappier.

At the office, we're upgrading users to OS X, and the base platform is an iMac G3 400MHz with 256MB RAM. Users have reported that the speed is comparable to OS 9 with 96 - 128MB RAM, on the older standard iMac G3 333MHz.

So, as I think has been covered, RAM makes a huge difference in OS X. I just upgraded the Ti 500 from 384MB to 768MB and it was a HUGE eye-opener to how much difference it could make.

Good luck, and keep asking questions if you need...

=bd

You can never be too rich or have too much RAM!


Posts: 604 | From: The Wizards of Technology Binary Bunker | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged


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