: Need Some Purchasing Advice...

May 6th, 2004, 10:26 AM
OK. I am a recent switcher, and I am enamoured with the Mac. As you can guess by my sig, I have an iBook which is awesome. I need some advice on getting a cheap used Mac for the family.

I have a PC that has a trojan virus on it that I can't get rid of, and I figured now is a good opportunity to rid myself of Winblows completely.

I would like a Mac that will be used for primarily email/web surfing/ and kids games as well as some "tinkering" by me smile.gif I'd like to be able to run Panther and iLife/Appleworks etc.

I'd also like to be able to leverage some of my hardware. I have an LCD monitor, and I have a couple of hard drives, dvd-rom and 2 512Mb sticks of DDR ram to use.

I was looking at an iMac 350? Blueberry but it doesn't appear to use DDR memory and I'm not sure about the drive compatibility (ATA/133). It was $550 so I don't know about the price either.

So keeping in mind that my iBook is where I spend most of my time, and use for my work, what would be a good machine for mostly entertainment and "some" work capability in the $500 - $800 range?

[ May 06, 2004, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: RC51Pilot ]

May 6th, 2004, 10:44 AM
What is your price range?

$550 sounds a little high for that iMac, considering you can buy a new eMac 1.25 GHz with Combo Drive for $1049.

If you already have the monitor why wouldn't you try going with a tower? Unfortunately you would have to buy a pretty recent machine to make use of the DDR RAM, but a new eMac should do it (but then you can't use the monitor for anything more than mirroring, although I THINK there's a hack like the one for the iBooks).

May 6th, 2004, 10:52 AM
That's kinda what I thought about the iMac as well!

What is the iBook hack for the monitor? It came with an adapter cable that will allow me to plug the vga monitor into the iBook. Is that what you are taling about?

May 6th, 2004, 11:14 AM
The iMacs, iBooks and eMacs only allow an external monitor to mirror what is onscreen, meaning that what the iBook shows on its screen will be the same as what is shown on the monitor.

There is a hack out there that allows you to extend your desktop, so that you could have (for instance) iTunes playing on the external monitor while you're working on Photoshop on the iBook monitor.

May 6th, 2004, 01:02 PM
Look into a G4/400 or G4/450 tower. These models are going for between $500 and $700 depending on configuration, and their stock graphic card has both VGA and DVI connectors, allowing you to make use of your LCD monitor with ease. You wouldn't be able to use your DDR SDRAM, as these towers just use plain 'ol SDRAM, but you could use your hard drives you have laying around. For general usage, such as surfing, e-mail checking, DVD playback, and the like, any G4/400/450/500 will do the job just fine. We have a G4/400 with a healthy amount of RAM (896 MB) and it works just dandy for those above mentioned purposes.

My 2 cents.