I'm stuck-- help me spend money!

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hey guys and gals,



Skip this post if you hate reading long posts. Read on if you like to spread good karma to people in need!



I'm looking to buy a new Apple system and I've narrowed it down to a few options, but I can't seem to decide which is the best way to go. It may just be a case of "there's no right answer," but I figured now would be a good time to bounce things off anyone who cares to listen. As I mentioned in a previuos thread (I know some of this is a repeat, so bear with me, or just spank me), I'm a writer/photographer. My main requirements for writing are that I be MOBILE and have simplicity of life. My main requirements for photography are that I can handle hi-res image editing in photoshop in a comfortable eye-friendly and carpal tunnel friendly setting. Added BONUS stuff: It would be nice to be able to run virtual PC for some of my work stuff that runs under Wincrap NT.



Based upon my budget, I have narrowed things down to either (1) a decked out powerbook or (2) a combination ibook AND imac.



I went to Apple Soho this weekend and played around with everything (except the glass staircase, which I left alone!) I even brought a cd with my own 25 mb hi-res photo and did a memory intensive special effects transform. Mind you, this was not a scientific study, but here's what I discovered:



I did the transform effect on my current Int-Hell pc (Bent-ium III 500 mhz, 128 ram), powerbook 800, ibook 700, imac 800, and dual 1gig'er. What I found was interesting. The transform took about 55 seconds on my current computer. All macs were significantly faster. They all seemed to take about 25 seconds (ibook=25, powerbook=20, imac=20). Yes, imagine me standing there with my wristwatch testing these things. But you have to hand it to the Apple staff! They didn't laugh at me. The only computer with a NOTICEABLE difference was the dual gig, which took about 10 or 15 seconds to render. My feeling is that it doesn't matter to me whether I'm waiting 20 or 25 seconds, they're all fine. The dualie would be nice, but not NECESSARY.



ibook 12 incher was "friendlier" to use for some reason. I think the smaller screen size left less dragging of the finger around on the trackpad. I also realized that I can't use a laptop for my HOME use without a mouse and perhaps without a monitor.



So, as I see it, the pro's of the powerbook option would be (1) portability; (2) single fast computer in compact case, even at home, a nice thing; (3) all documents/files located in one place. The con's: (1) more expensive (if including a monitor and mouse in the cost); (2) Everything in one place to get stolen or lost (personal files, financial, writing, photography); (3) less sturdy (flaking paint problem, finicky slot-loading drive, etc..,); (4) No Superdrive, and the external "superdrives" don't all work properly with iDVD.



The pro's of the ibook/imac option: (1) easy laptop for writing, easy desktop for photography; (2) less expensive equipment to use (or lose)when mobile; (3) Imac has a superdrive. The con's of this option: (1) having files in more than one location is a pain, especially for a writer, who constantly has different versions of different stories; (2) g3 ibook might be out of date pretty quickly and with a 100mhz system bus and 800mhz processor speed, g4 imac isn't exactly a screamer in the speed department either



Can anyone put all of this together into a plan for me? I've clearly gotten too close to this problem and need a drink or two to get some perspective.



???Argh???

<img src="confused.gif" border="0">

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    defiantdefiant Posts: 4,876member
    I can't really Help You, but this should go into General Discussion. That's right. Purchasing advise goes into GD. ask a mod why.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    purchasing advice now goes in general discussion because we've found that threads that were once lively and full of great info come here and die.



    our goal isn't to screw people out of good information. so the suggestion was made that threads about buying be moved back into general discussion.



    which is where this is going now.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    If I was in your situation, doing what you're going to be doing, I think I'd get the PowerBook.



    I've had two Macs before (iMac and iBook) and as cool as it initially seems, fact is, it isn't. I spent more time making sure they were both "close" than doing actual stuff.







    If I ever "go mobile" again, it'll be a PowerBook or a G4 iBook only. No desktop.



    I think as long as you are good about backing up important files and stuff, the worry of having everything on one machine shouldn't be too big.



    Personally, I LOVE the fact that my entire life (art, writing, music, finances, etc.) are all on my iMac. BUT, I also burn backup CDs of this important stuff so if the iMac flips out one day, I'm not screwed.



    The PowerBook is nice. Doing what you do, you'll appreciate the G4, the screen size/resolution, etc.



    You could get it now, then perhaps save a bit more and down the road add a 17" or so display and enjoy even that much MORE screen real estate when you're working at home?
  • Reply 4 of 13
    cubedudecubedude Posts: 1,556member
    With iSync coming out soon, it may be easier to keep both Mac's in sync. I think if you just set up a folder with everything you need on both machines, sync the folder, and you're done.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    popzpopz Posts: 12member
    Get the Powerbook.



    Why? Two Macs will be a pain to keep in synch.



    Just make sure you get one with DVI so you can hook up an Apple LCD to it. With an extra keyboard you can even close the case!



    With your two Mac scenario you're limiting your monitor options.



    When it came down to it, for me a big display is more important than the fastest processor.

    Saving up for a 22" display now.



    The only downside to the PB, IMO, is the fragile case. Otherwise I feel like I've made the right decision.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Yeah, at least with the Powerbook, I can buy the best I can afford, and add things along the way (monitor, peripherals, etc..,)



    But what about the external superdrive issue? I've heard that the third party manufacturered drives don't work properly with iDVD. Is this something that simply needs time to be ironed out?
  • Reply 7 of 13
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    Yea go for powerbook!!!



    so u'll use it where ever u want
  • Reply 8 of 13
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    i don't know how PRO you are in the photography part, but I sort of had a similar 'conundrum' I dont have a large budget but I went for the maxxed out iBook 14inch when it first came out.



    I wish I had gotten the 12inch. If you travel or move around, the 12inch is AWESOME. You dont care how banged up it gets, rugged... its just awesome.



    If I were in your position I would go for a nice iBook 700mhz combo with at least 384mb ram. Then, as a companion, get the new 17inch iMac with around 512mb ram or more. Thats pimpin.



    If you need to move around, you have the uber rugged and pretty damn powerful ibook you can put in your wallet, and at home, enjoy the wonders of a huge 17inch screen.



    Then again, the TiBook is a babe magnet and just spells out "I'm friggen cool, you PC weenies will only be able to crawl on all fours and beg to even get CLOSE to my lustful object... muahahahahha" *ahem* sorry, got a bit out of line there.



    *sigh* Decisions decisions. If I could stop thinking at how awesome a decked out TiBook is and think effiently and what not, I would go for the ibook/iMac combo.



    Plus you could send me one of your two Software Upgrade coupons so I can get Shaguar for cheap
  • Reply 9 of 13
    [quote]Originally posted by ZO:

    <strong>



    If you need to move around, you have the uber rugged and pretty damn powerful ibook you can put in your wallet, and at home, enjoy the wonders of a huge 17inch screen...*sigh* Decisions decisions. If I could stop thinking at how awesome a decked out TiBook is and think effiently and what not, I would go for the ibook/iMac combo.



    Plus you could send me one of your two Software Upgrade coupons so I can get Shaguar for cheap </strong><hr></blockquote>





    I have the same problem! I think "logically" the ibook/imac combo seems the way to go, but then think, "powerbook rules!" Can't we all just take a vote and I'll go with the majority?



    As to the upgrade coupons, I'm not sure how that works since the last Mac I owned was a quadra 840 AV...

    <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
  • Reply 10 of 13
    I felt like once I went to a laptop I never wanted to go back to a desktop system. You can always add a usb keyboard to a notebook for at home work. I can't imagine the iBook or Powerbook screen not being good enough, but if you are ABSOLUTELY picky, then get a monitor too.



    You could always get a stand for your iBook or Powerbook.







    With something like this and a keyboard and mouse you'll probably forget you're using a laptop at home.



    [ 08-06-2002: Message edited by: i am monkey ]</p>
  • Reply 11 of 13
    pbg4 dudepbg4 dude Posts: 1,611member
    In re: The Superdrive Issue



    <a href="http://eshop.macsales.com"; target="_blank">OWC</a> started selling the Pioneer DVR-A04 external firewire drive with a piece of software called "iDVD enabler". Supposedly, this allows the drive to work with iDVD 2.1. You would also have to buy a copy of iDVD from Apple ($19.95) in order for this to work.



    I'm waiting for someone to buy this drive and report success before I buy one for myself. I hope it works, because OWC is the only company claiming iDVD compatability.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    [quote]Originally posted by PBG4 Dude:

    <strong>In re: The Superdrive Issue



    <a href="http://eshop.macsales.com"; target="_blank">OWC</a> started selling the Pioneer DVR-A04 external firewire drive with a piece of software called "iDVD enabler". Supposedly, this allows the drive to work with iDVD 2.1. You would also have to buy a copy of iDVD from Apple ($19.95) in order for this to work.



    I'm waiting for someone to buy this drive and report success before I buy one for myself. I hope it works, because OWC is the only company claiming iDVD compatability.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    yeah, I saw that in another thread. I would hope Apple would eventually offer compatibility, but, hey, you never know...
  • Reply 13 of 13
    pyr3pyr3 Posts: 946member
    [quote]Originally posted by pscates:

    <strong>If I was in your situation, doing what you're going to be doing, I think I'd get the PowerBook.



    I've had two Macs before (iMac and iBook) and as cool as it initially seems, fact is, it isn't. I spent more time making sure they were both "close" than doing actual stuff.







    If I ever "go mobile" again, it'll be a PowerBook or a G4 iBook only. No desktop.



    I think as long as you are good about backing up important files and stuff, the worry of having everything on one machine shouldn't be too big.



    Personally, I LOVE the fact that my entire life (art, writing, music, finances, etc.) are all on my iMac. BUT, I also burn backup CDs of this important stuff so if the iMac flips out one day, I'm not screwed.



    The PowerBook is nice. Doing what you do, you'll appreciate the G4, the screen size/resolution, etc.



    You could get it now, then perhaps save a bit more and down the road add a 17" or so display and enjoy even that much MORE screen real estate when you're working at home?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Turn your desktop into a server machine. Just regularly copy your important files over to the drive on the server (to back them up) and every so often burn them from the server. That's what I'm doing with my PC desktop. Especially since I can't fit my large hard drives into my TiBook. =)
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