Purchasing question for all ye sages

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Alright, so, I *absolutely* need a new computer a.s.a.p. I'm entering grade 12 with a 6 year old computer, and that simply won't due. It's another year and a half until I'll be entering University, and my mother absolutely won't buy me another computer after this, and the odds are I won't be able to finance one with whatever job I end up getting during the summer. Right now I severely crave mobility, and as such have made an excellent case for the current 1.33GHz Powerbook 15" model. Paired with the $96 dollar (CA) iPod, it's a very appealing deal. I realize, however, that getting five years out of that laptop may be asking too much.



What purchasing pattern would you guys recommend? I don't absolutely require mobility now, but I will in University, and quite simply I won't have the ability to finance a new laptop then... and I certainly can't wait. Do you all have any suggestions that might ease my guilt and concern?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    ...As a side note, because of my deal with the highschool I attend, I'm able to get the education discount with Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    save some money, ebay an older mac to use in the interim and buy a new computer before you go to university
  • Reply 3 of 32
    i think you should buy what will be useful five years from now, as well as today, instead of somthing that will prove to be useless in a year. what i think you should do, is tell me what you're going to be doing on your laptop, and i can tell you more about what you probably need to buy.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    I'm going to be using it for minor-level photo editing (Photoshop CS, again thanks to the school, but I'm used to it on this 6 year old PC, so it won't be bad), Word Processing (Office 04), Instant Messaging & Internet Browsing (wirelessly, once I buy my router), listening to music, and perhaps watching the occasional DVD. My friends want me to put their latest copy of Logic on there and help produce their band, as well.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Quote:

    Originally posted by blackwave

    I'm going to be using it for minor-level photo editing (Photoshop CS, again thanks to the school, but I'm used to it on this 6 year old PC, so it won't be bad), Word Processing (Office 04), Instant Messaging & Internet Browsing (wirelessly, once I buy my router), listening to music, and perhaps watching the occasional DVD. My friends want me to put their latest copy of Logic on there and help produce their band, as well.



    definately 15" pbook. best bang/longevity for buck based on what you do with a computer.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    That was my thoughts, too. It seems absolutely perfect for me, and I do adore it. My only concern is longevity. I'm comfortable with the thought of adding RAM in a year or two, and perhaps purchasing a battery in 3 years time... but how well will this function in five years to finish up my University? There's where my concern lies.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    jwri004jwri004 Posts: 626member
    Honestly how many computers do last 5 years??



    Sure some will still be working but most people will say 3 years is a more realistic life span of a computer. I have had my 667 TiBook for 18 months and it is still trucking along nicely. Will it last for another 18, I think so. Another 30, I would not place money on it.



    2c.



  • Reply 8 of 32
    And what do you forsee happening to it, if you were to attempt to run it for 30? My current bargain bin 500US IBM system from 6 years ago is still running XP Pro SP2 & Photoshop CS, with only a small RAM upgrade to tide it over. Are you worried the powerbook would fall apart?
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Quote:

    Originally posted by blackwave

    And what do you forsee happening to it, if you were to attempt to run it for 30? My current bargain bin 500US IBM system from 6 years ago is still running XP Pro SP2 & Photoshop CS, with only a small RAM upgrade to tide it over. Are you worried the powerbook would fall apart?



    i tihnk your pbook will last 5 years. no matter what, it will last WAY longer than any PC
  • Reply 10 of 32
    That's what I'm hoping, yeah. I'm going to have a nice wireles s router & mouse for it, too. Wireless Intellimouse Explorer v4. Mmm.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    You're not going to still be happy with your laptop in five years. Look back five years. The 400MHz Lombard was the high-end beast of 1999. How happy would you be using that today? Yeah, it's fine for note-taking, word processing, email, and web surfing. But if that's all you want to do right now, you should forget the $1800 PB and pick up a used Lombard on eBay for a few hundred bucks.



    My advice is to buy low, put the rest of the money in the bank, and buy low again in 2-3 years. Back in 1999, you could have bought an original 300MHz iBook for $1500. It would have been almost, but not quite, as good as the Lombard. Three years later, you could have bought a 700 MHz iBook for another $1000. It would have blown the Lombard away. Together they cost the same as a mid-range Lombard did in 1999 ($2500). And today, five years later, you'd still be happily plugging along with a 700 MHz iBook instead of pulling your hair out with a 333 MHz wheezer.



    Especially if money is an issue, and it must be if you want your computer to last for five years, I'd recommend buying a 12" iBook for $1000, and put the $800 you saved not buying the PB into the bank. In three years time, buy a brand-new iBook G5 with that money. Not only is it fun to buy a new computer, but your new computer will be able to take advantage of all the neato hardware-dependent toys Apple built into OSX in the meantime.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    moazammoazam Posts: 136member
    Towel is right 100%. Any computer you buy now will look like and feel like crap in 5 years time.



    The 12" iBook is a great deal in my opinion...or the upcoming new G5 iMac.



    -M
  • Reply 13 of 32
    If it's truly the case that this is the last computer your parents will buy you, and your money is not involved, I say, milk 'em for all they're worth and get the Powerbook. Provided you're not too retentive about speed, it should serve your purposes for 5 years, I would think.



    Don't forget to get the Applecare plan 'tho.



    -S
  • Reply 14 of 32
    I'll get the Applecare towards the end of the first year, to space out the initial cost. I'm getting the iPod with it, too, so... I'm used to a 10 year old first-gen discman with 1 hour of battery life. tehehe. I'm going to die, aren't I?



    And actually, I'm using a 382mhz Amd K6-2 after six years. Sadly, were the hard drive a little less file-corrupt happy, this would still suffice for my needs.

    Arts major, remember? No cirricular need for graphics work.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    Quote:

    Originally posted by blackwave

    I'm going to be using it for minor-level photo editing (Photoshop CS, again thanks to the school, but I'm used to it on this 6 year old PC, so it won't be bad), Word Processing (Office 04), Instant Messaging & Internet Browsing (wirelessly, once I buy my router), listening to music, and perhaps watching the occasional DVD. My friends want me to put their latest copy of Logic on there and help produce their band, as well.



    you could go with an iBook G4... but i would go with the 12 or 15" powerbook, with at least 512 MB RAM.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    rraburrabu Posts: 264member
    Just make sure you get the 128M VRAM in it. That will help it last longer. Really, the GPU and VRAM are the only things I wish were better about my iBook.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Well, that's an extra hundred dollars atop the already large cost. Good suggestion, though.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    Whatever laptop you decide on, get the biggest hard drive you can in it. You'll feel that pinch well before the CPU speed or VRAM.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    lgnomelgnome Posts: 81member
    dont laugh, but i use a 604 pizza box for a router, a g3 b@w 350 for pro tools, a g4 450 w. os X for testing and a 667 ti with os9 for freelance web design.. which is how i make a living. i author DVDs, design websites, record a lot of music and edit DV with FC most weeks of the month.. would have had to work 9-5 the last 5 years if i didnt have these items.. all though its all getting long in the tooth, it does all still do the job and life is purty good...



    so.. i think a used 1.xx+ GHZ 15 inch power book would last you quite a while..



    hype is a b*tch.. remember that, and youll do ok..
  • Reply 20 of 32
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jwri004

    Honestly how many computers do last 5 years??



    Sure some will still be working but most people will say 3 years is a more realistic life span of a computer.




    People on these boards definately have shorter upgrade cycles than the average computer user. It is also likely that their associates are also fairly frequent upgraders.



    There are many pentium 2 and 3 boxes still in use at my work. I think you'll find that a five year old box is far from unusual in the corporate world. If an office worker could enter data 5 years ago, then their computer still functions perfectly for that same task today.



    Granted, if you are using a computer for pleasure rather than work, it's usefulness (for pleasure) diminishes more rapidly. For work computers, upgrades are normally accompanied by lost productivity. Customer service, finance, accounting, manufacturing, shipping, inventory control, personel logs... will likely not bennefit from a new computer.



    I guess my point is, that in the workforce, most people are used to using computers that we would consider ancient.



    Computers used as 'tools' are have lengthy lifespans.

    Computers used as 'toys' loose their usefulness much more quickly.



    When I got a dual 450 five years ago, I didn't envision myself being still satisfied with it in 2004. Yet I am.



    I think the reason for this is that I now use my computer as a tool and not as a toy.



    Not that there is anything wrong with being a spec-whore hobbiest. It is a fine hobby.



    When giving purchasing advice, it is best to realize how the computer will be used...
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