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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #1
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new to mac, recomend a starting system


I'm new to MAC, years with UNIX though.

Looking to buy a Mac to play with, preferably a laptop . Seems pretty confusing though the amount of options and recent software levels

I've seen G3's and G4's go for a wide range of prices. I'd like something that I could use to store photo's and tunes on as well as possibly running ilife - don't nee lightening fast though.

Can I get anything for around 500 CAD?

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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 04:58 PM   #2
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You can get lots of used gear in the $500 range...12" iBooks mostly around 500-700mhz. Usually with out Airport cards or alot of ram. But there is a fair amount of stuff that comes up.

If you venture into the $1000 +/- range that is where the fun stuf pops up, but again that is 100% over your intended price range.

The other option is to buy a slightly damaged but funcitonal machine and either live with it, or fix it.

In terms of your needs, a 700mhz iBook with 512ram and a 20gig and up HD would do everything you would want it to.
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Using Macs since 1985...

Last edited by draz; Sep 15th, 2005 at 04:14 PM.
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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 05:04 PM   #3
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for a starting system? I'd say a Dual Core G5 with a 30" Display would do the job

Seriously though, any iBook works very well
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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 05:09 PM   #4
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YOu can never go wrong with a dual core G5 adn a 30" display..its that $500 dollar price tag that makes it a hard sell. ha ha

IF you find any falling off the back of a truck email me, i will be ther in no time with van...

No questions asked..

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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #5
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What do you plan to use it for? A little more will get you a new desktop G4 system, but that's not very portable.

Well, the Mac mini is portable if you have a keyboard, mouse n' monitor waiting for you at either location.
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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #6
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The only problem with the 500-700 (G3) iBooks for what you want to do is the size of the HD. If I'm not mistaken, the 700s never had a HD bigger than 20Gb, and the 500 and 600 models had smaller HDs than that (my 600 originally came with 15Gb). That may be enough if you don't have a huge collection of music and/or photos, but otherwise, it won't suffice. The bummer is that the HD is not easy to swap in these machines, though it is doable. If you can find one that someone has already replaced the HD on, great. Also, you should be aware that these iBooks fall smack dab in the middle of the machines prone to the logic-board problem (though mine was never affected--touch wood).

Most of the iLife apps will run fine on these machines, but be warned that Garageband requires a G3 600 minimum.

I know you said "preferably a laptop" but my suggestion would be to maybe go slightly over budget and get the low-end Mac Mini (I'm assuming you have a monitor already).

Hope this helps,

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Old Sep 14th, 2005, 10:33 PM   #7
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 09:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wedgeporter
Great. Nice and cryptic. LOTS of help for a guy coming in from the outside who may have NO CLUE as to what you mean. Did you mean this? Or this, maybe? Perhaps you should have tried this:


Now, as far as the suggestion itself, it aint a bad one if Mactavish wants portability for ~$500.00. He may luck out and find one with a big enough drive he'd need for his pics and tunes. But they will probably be rare finds. A G3 iBook might be easier to find.

Mactavish, consider an iBook. I wouldn't probably go for any of the early generation "clamshell" designed books, but rather early "ice" iBooks.


"iceBook" (the current design)

But, you will get the BEST bang for the buck with a Mac Mini. NO doubt about it.
32GB iPad 1 WiFi. 2011 Mac Mini Server (used as a workstation) 2GHz quad-core i7/8GB/1TB, 24" BenQ LCD, 17" NEC LCD, Magic Trackpad. MacBook 2.4GHz Core2 Duo/2GB/200GB/DL-DVDRW. Apple TV 2, 32" flat panel TV, Logitech DiNovo Edge BT keyboard & trackpad. >5TB of FW drives, 16GB iPhone 4S. In memoriam: my Sawtooth "Frankenmac" with upgraded dual 1.3GHz G4/2GB/360GB striped RAID/DVDRW/ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 10:02 AM   #9
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You mentioned iLife and the current version is not exactly designed to run on older, slower equipment. Images and music files can also fill up a smaller drive in no time. Your $500 budget will not get you a laptop that will adequately perform the above, IMHO. You may get by, provided you can run Panther and the portable is maxed out in RAM. You did say speed is not a big concern.

Macaholic's mention of getting a brand spanking new MacMini will, but you need to revise your budget a little and bump up the RAM on the 'mini'. You get a new machine with all the goodies including Tiger. You'll sacrifice the portability but get a better experience.
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Old Sep 15th, 2005, 11:14 AM   #10
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The Mac Mini comes with 512 MB ram and a 40 gb hard disk and a 1.25Ghz g4 which is pretty much all you need for most business and iLife apps.

The mini comes with the newest OS Tiger 10.4 and a 1 year guarrentee.
If you have a monitor , Keyboard and mouse, I wouid get the mini at about $700 after taxes, its a great deal and very cool all around, You cant get a better deal used. If you want wireless networking, be sure to order it with Airport.

Im not sure you will get a proper introduction to what Macs can do in an older used laptop for under $500. the extra $200 will make the world of difference.
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