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My First Mac/Laptop.. Help Please :)

1804 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  CdnPhoto
Hello All,

I figured this would be as good a place as any to get some help on a really tough choice.

I am a grade 9 student in Ottawa, Canada, and I really love computers. However, I have never had a Mac, nor have I ever had a laptop, and I think it is time for me to get both.

However, I really can't decide which Mac laptop is right for me. I am on quite a limited budget, and so far have no money saved up, but I figure I can have around $4000 (half needs to go into savings) by March '08. I know I'm thinking very long term, but I am just way to excited to not plan for it now.

Should I go for a refurbished PowerBook? I really like the size, as I need something very portable. I don't play many games, and the most system-requirements-intensive game I play is World of Warcraft (800 mhz processor, 64mb video card, 512 mb ram), and even in my games, I don't need flawless game play. However, I'm not sure about the integrated graphics on the MacBook. Is it really that big a deal if I play fairly low end games?

Or I could go for the MacBook Pro, although I'm not sure about the size.. I would definately go for the 15"er, although it also seems really pricey, as the only reason I would want it is for the non-integrated graphics.

Anyways, what do you guys think?

P.S. If anyone knows anything about Windows/Linux, help me! This was really the last straw about me switching to Mac:

There I was happily browsing the internet, not doing anything intense a couple days ago, and MAB! No warnings, no nothing, my computer reboots, then I get some SYSTEM BOOT DISK ERROR thing or something. Oh well, it's all good. Igo to sleep, then wake up the next morning, and it works again.. for all of 10 minutes, when it reboots again and I get the same message. After days of this happening, I decided to try and install Ubuntu 7.04. The isntaller recognises my Hard Drive, but during installation, I get the error "The creation of swap space in partition #5 of SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) failed." Does that sound to you guys like a hard drive issue?

Thanks a lot in advance for any help!
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First of all , I'd like to say welcome to Ehmac.

I totally feel your pain , my macbook suffered an untimely demise and now im stuck using windows.

To answer your question , without a doubt Macbook > Powerbook

Not to mention the aluminum exterior can dent , the macbook plastic is much stronger ( watch out for that fragile LCD)

But truely and honestly its really better to buy a Desktop unless you ABSOLUTELY have to have a computer with you always.

Main reason being , Laptops are fragile ( just ask me , a book did in my Macbook)

Not to mention desktops are harder to steal and arguably more powerful.

An entry level iMac would suit your needs just fine , the refurb prices for a powerbook are sky high not to mention if you buy a used machine and fails on you tommorow your out whatever you spent. Thats not a good thing unless you have alot of disposable income .

Lastly , im not being patronizing but its not a good thing to disclose your age even on a friendly place like Ehmac

P.S. Stay FAR away from linux unless you want to spend your youth hunting for drivers.
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I'll second the recommendation for a MacBook. And if you plan to have $4000 by Spring 2008, well, my friend, you should be able to get your laptop far sooner for much less, as a NEW MacBook costs only $1149, with the Educational Discount (I know university students can purchase for that price, not sure about high school students).

High School students should be able to, there's a link for them... Refurb prices on MacBooks are even more attractive.

To answer your question: a new or refubished MacBook or 17" iMac would suit your needs perfectly, and shouldn't set you back more than $1300 or so.
Hmm, thanks for the opinions, guys!

I don't really NEED a laptop, but I'd really like oe as we're aloud to bring them to school to do work, etc. And also, we go on quite a few long car trips (15+ hours) and I think it might really help... but then again, I suppose if that's what I was doing, it might make sense to buy a iMac and then a Windows laptop for the car, as I can play more games then.. but that won't really work, as I NEED to get away from Windows.

Thanks for the heads up about my age.. I'll change it when I get home from school.

P.S. I sent an email to Steve Jobs ([email protected]) and got a reply! THink it was him or one of his many email slaves?
Forget the PowerBooks. They're too expensive and really getting dated technology wise given Apples' switch to Intel processors. The refurb MacBook or MacBookPro's are very good deals and what I suggest to anyone on a budget..actually even if you aren't they're a wise choice for the savings. A MacBook doesn't have the dedicated video that the pro's do but if you're looking at lower end games it'll do ok...though don't expect too much. By March 08 though we should have seen a refresh so who knows what the next versions will look like. If you want you might consider picking up a MacMini refurb. They're around $500 and you could use your monitor and keyboard etc from your PC to hold you over till you're ready to get a laptop. At that point you could sell the mini or keep it. It'll fetch most of the initial investment back when you sell it...esp if you include the monitor etc.

As for your PC it sounds like the SCSI controller or hard drive are toast with that error. What sort of machine is this? Did you reformat the drive prior to installing Linux (Ubuntu is a great choice by the way as its very 'Mac like')
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Hmm, ok, cool!

And it's a pretty lame PC..

877 mhz PIII
512 mb ram
64 mb video card
60gb maxtor harddrive

Do you think a new hard drive would fix the problem? Or would it be worth it to buy myself a little crappy barebone kit from TigerDirect ($200ish) to tide me over till I get a Mac?
High School students should be able to, there's a link for them... Refurb prices on MacBooks are even more attractive.

To answer your question: a new or refubished MacBook or 17" iMac would suit your needs perfectly, and shouldn't set you back more than $1300 or so.
They cant , only highschool teachers. But depending on the salesman ID isn't always a requirement.
I just (it arrived today) picked up a Referb MacBook. The 2.0 Ghz model with the DVD burner. Came to $1249 + taxes. Works out to a savings of $200 + tax. Better deal than the Student pricing too. You'd never know that it was referb, unless you know product codes. Came in the standard white box too. (my referb iPod came in a brown box)
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