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Canadian By Choice
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Taking a leaf from JC, Apple seems to be delaying the retirement of the venerable Titanium 15" powerbook since the new 15.4" aluminum powerbooks do not appear to be in production (and won't be until the Fall). Clearly, Apple has been developing the middle range powerbook and its a no-brainer that the TiPB would be replaced with a model similar the the 12 and 17" brethrens, the rumour sites seem to have (yet again) jumped the gun.

The first 970 based Macs will also be "crippled" by the lack of optimized software although just getting 970s out of the door should have a stimulatory effect and the salivating micro-masses.
 

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jwoodget, maybe the "grateful" taxpayers of Canada should give JC a new 15" AlPB to go along with his gold plated pension. Actually, I feel that he has earned his pension with all of his years of service, but I keep thinking that I have worked a lifetime and all of the taxes I shall ever pay in Canada will only conver the pension of one senator, so long as he/she does not live too long.


How are you finding the new 17" AlPB? I have avoided all rumor sites so as not to be tempted to wait even more for placing my order. Actually, I don't think that the 970 chip is meant for folks like me, who might use the digital video technology as the most processor-intensive task on this Mac.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The 17" is..... captivating. It's big but its svelte. The screen is an absolute delight. The Airport range is much better than my Titanium powerbook. The keyboard takes some getting used to. Well, not the keyboard per se which is the best I've tried on a laptop (the backlighting is a major advance in practicality) but it sits well back from the front of the case and so your hands and wrists and even part of your lower arm reach over the metal case to get to the keys.

I like the layout of the sockets (USB on both sides) and the screen hinge is an engineering marvel. The button to open the case is a bit finicky but you get used to it. The speakers and sound are better than anything I've heard (built in) to the point where I actually use iTunes without earphones.... The two clam shells leave a small space when closed but Apple packages the computer in a foam envelop with a sheet inside the 'book. I've kept the latter as it protects the screen and "fills" in the gap. It has little cut outs for the clips (two) that hold the two halves closed.

It's a little on the unwieldy side. It's not so much heavy (6.8 lbs) as "big". It's only one inch thick (and remarkably sturdy and solid - much more so that the Titanium) but is wide and long. You need two hands to safely man-handle it (maybe that's why Pamela has disappeared from the boards? Swallowed by her computer?).

It's also fast. My Titanium has a 667 MHz processor and 16 Mb of VRAM. The 17" is only one third faster and has a 64 Mb video card but it feels much faster than the 50% speed bump of the processor (it has a 167 MHz bus rather than 133 MHz).

The trackpad is nice and big and the clicker has a soft click to it. In prefs, you can select "ignore trackpad while typing" which prevents inadertant trackpad actions as you type.

BTW, in the specs in the manual I can find no mention of the USB ports being "1". I wonder if they are capable of USB2 speeds with the appropriate dirvers?

I did need to search for a bag big enough and got one from Targus ($160). It wouldn't fit into a Brenthaven Titanium bag. I also bought an extra 512 Mb of 2700DDR RAM to max it out. The machine makes a high pitched but quiet whine when the drive is accessed but its not intrusive. The keyboard is essentially silent in operation.

Overall, its like a Bentley Arnage. Big, expensive, solid, built to perfection and goes like the wind.
 

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jwoodget, that is quite the testimonial........not too "over-enthusiastic", but a strong rec with a few minor caveats. I am starting to get excited. If I order it by the 24th, it should be here sometime between July 4th and Bastille Day.................symbolic of my own "independence" from the imprisonment of Wintel machines. We shall see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So Bastille Day is the drop-dead day for acquisition of a Mac? That would make it how many months since the initial commitment?

What personal embarrassment will you put yourself through if, come that day, you are still tapping on a Wintel device? May I suggest plastering your face with peanut butter and laying on the floor with the doxies present? We'd need photographs.....

Sweet 17"
 

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jwoodget, on July of 2001, I purchased the MacWorld magazine with the new iBook on the cover, and thought that this would be my way back from the "dark side" into the land of Macs once again (I had utilized Apple computers since July, 1983). On August 4th, 2001, I registered on ehMac and I have not looked back since. I shall place my order on June 24th, but then it is out of my control. Still, I was told that there would be a 2 week wait for the delivery to MUN and a day for the installation of the extra RAM. So, 24 months is your answer.

Re pictures of this computer, I still don't know how I shall be able to do this, unless I email a jpeg for anyone not believing me.

Re peanut butter and doxies, you obviously have not been around MY doxies. As well, by then, I shall have doxie #3, and dog #5 in our house. Oy vey!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No, no, no, I (we) want pictures of you overrun by doxies licking your visage - not the goddamn laptop! But, I've been giving this more thought and this puishment may actually have pleasurable connotations (and not just for the doxies). So, if come Bastille Day, you do not have your Apple "tabletop" in your hands, I think you need to stand on the harbour of St. Johns and blow kisses to the incoming boats. I could have been really greedy and ask that you do this in every harbourside tavern but at least you'd have a chance of outrunning a trawler.

A lot has happened in 24 months..... except on the Purchase Order front.
Time flies.
 

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jwoodget, if you think that I am going to subject myself to being on the floor with two adult attack doxies, and one "in-training" attack doxie pup, you need to have a long vacation.


I thought you wanted me to take pictures of the laptop (which has been requested as proof by some). I did include the initial purchase order to see if it would be under $5783, and since it is, I might add Keynote, a 6pin to 6pin Firewire cable, and a few boxes of DVD-R disks to bring it up to that amount.

1 M8793LL/A PowerBook G4 17" TFT/1GHz/256K L2/1MB
L3/512MB/60GB/SuperDrive/Enet/56K/AP/BT
$4670.13 $4670.13
1 KTA-PBG4333/512 512 MB SODIMM FOR 17" POWERBOOK $213.86 $213.86
1 3935474 EPSON PERFECTION 3200 PHOTO SCANNER

It would be nice to think that the developer's conference might bring a price reduction to the entire powerbook line, although I doubt this. My only concern is if they decide to add on new items (e.g., the 970 chip) and drive the price upwards. I could always delete the scanner, and buy it on my own, but I hope this will not be the case. I don't see major changes intended for the powerbook line, so I assume that the educator's price that was quoted to MUN from Apple Canada will remain stable. We shall see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Keynote is a great program but I would think you'll need MS Office for MUN compatibility (maybe they have a site license and you don't need a separate copy for work).

The chance of a 970 17" powerbook before 2004 is about the same as the Leafs winning the Stanley cup next year. The worst that could happen is a bump to 1.25 GHz. That isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But given the recent shipping of this model, my bet is that we'll have to wait for the Fall for even a speed bump. The things are selling well as is (not surprisingly - its a portable 17" iMac on steroids).

If you want to run this thang on the road (or away from an AC outlet), I'd recommend a spare battery. It's always good to have in any case. You have to condition the batteries by running them down till the powerbook shuts down and then charge em back up. Otherwise the battery life will really suck. The battery life is not great (2.5-3 hours if you are using it all the time over Airport networking). The best battery saver is to reduce the display brightness (the screen is eeee-normous so lighting it must draw a lot of juice) but that may not be an option for you.

I never thought of a doxie as being, er.... dangerous. My standard schnauzer is all muscle and growl but she is also putty in your hands (unless you work for Canada Post).
 

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jwoodget, I would rather not wait for this "iMac on steroids". I had just about talked myself into an iMac until I saw the benefits of mobility. I have an IBM Aptiva in my office and the Dell Dimension at home for anything MS-oriented. I am getting the AlPB to be free of MS once and for all on at least one computer in the house. I want it mainly for the iMovie/Final Cut Express capability, iPhoto, iDVD and the large screen. I don't intend much away from an outlet use, so I shall run the battery down, as you suggest, then charge it back up with an outlet. Is mainly using this laptop off of an outlet problematic? I have to give a presentation to a group of MUN faculty on the experiences of being MUN's first full teleprofessor. I would like to have mastered Keynote to make the presentation using this format rather than PowerPoint (which I know how to utilize). We shall see.

Strange that any new Mac orders would be delayed until June 24th. I don't think it is a demand but rather a request, since I know of a few profs who have changed their order four times in the span of 10 days.
 

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jwoodget, when you wrote "I never thought of a doxie as being, er.... dangerous", I realized that you have never been around a standard wirehaired Dachshund.The Russian POWs during WW II were guarded by doxies, as were the Doberman's and the German Sheppards that were used as guard dogs as well. The standard Schnauzer was usually given to the doxie as a playtoy, and they were known to find the tunnels that were being built in POW camps. Any dog bred for going nose-first into a hole of a badger or wolverine has to be bred for insane courage.


I trust that you realize that none of this is true...............other than the parts about the badger and wolverine tunnels. Actually, they are lovable dogs, always wanting affection, barking like mad at anyone coming to the front door and then fighting over who gets to sit in their lap. They give a great deal of love and affection and demand the same in return.


Thus, they are not for everyone.
 

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jwoodget, on the Apple website it states that "Think big back
at the office
The new
PowerBook G4
models come with
built-in support
for VGA, S-Video
and composite video
signals. And since VGA
video output supports dual
display mode and video
mirroring, you can extend
your work area and mirror
your projects to an external
display or projector —
perfect for presentations
and for sharing your ideas.
You can also display your
multimedia projects on a
big-screen TV, thanks to
S-Video output capability:
Simply connect your TV to
the video output port via
the included Apple video
adapter, and you’re on
television."

Are any special adapters/cables needed to hook this PB up to a monitor, TV or projector? I know about the special attachments that are needed to hook up with an Apple display, but what else might I need to attach this PB up to my monitor here at home or in my office, to a large TV screen in a classroom I shall be teaching in this fall, or to a multimedia projector? Merci.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The battery life is OK, just not insanely great (and not the 4.5 hours claimed - but then when have those claims ever been accurate?). I tend to keep the screen bright and use Airport. That gives me about 2.5 -3 hours. You could squeeze out more by enabling the energy saver to kick in (there is a default for battery use but it's a bit draconian and you can relax its time to screen darkening, etc).

Doxies - sounds like my Schnauzer (also bred for ferreting out small mammals).

As for connecting to anything except an ADC-equipped screen, Apple includes a DVI to VGA connector in the box as well as S-video to RCA. My LCD projector has a DVI port on it so I use the DVI-DVI connector that ccame with the projector. For everything else I use the VGA adaptor. I bought the ADC dongle to connect ot my 22". Its a complicated beast as it has to integrate the USB and power functions of ADC so it has a breakout box with an AC socket.

Hope this helps. Oh, and keynote isn't quite as intuitive as other Apple apps (and the manual is minimal). But its results are gorgeous. Be sure to download the 1.1 update as this improves exporting and other aspects.
 

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jwoodget, thanks for the info. I intend to use it on battery power very infrequently, other than the initial run down and recharge. I also plan on turning it off nightly, in that I might not get back to it for a day or so. Do you foresee that as being problematic?

Is sounds as if I don't have to purchase any other connector cables, in that it seems as if everything is sent with the unit, in that I have no Apple display. One week to go. I have to admit, especially since this seems to be our own private thread, that I am getting a bit excited. Four years ago, when I got this Dell Dimension, it was state of the art. I put in 512 Megs of RAM, and people thought that I had lost my mind. My son has basically taken it over, although it is my computer in my home office. The old Dell Inspiron laptop is what I use at the dining room table thanks to a Linksys wireless connection. Hopefully, this Linksys wireless unit, attached to my DSL modem from Sympatico, will send out a signal that will be "read" by the AlPB. I have been told that it would, but I want to send out my first connection to ehMacLand..................sort of like a modern day Marconni. We shall see.

I appreciate the advice you are sharing re this unit. In that the last Mac consideration I had to make was whether or not to upgrade to 7.0, I have been behind the learning curve somewhat when it comes to Macs. Such is Life.
 

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jwoodget, I have seen badgers and I cannot imagine ANYTHING being bred to go into a dark tunnel after one..............other than a heavily armed Navy SEAL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dr. G. I forgot to mention this in a previous post. You will find OS X will take some getting used to. You reminded me of this when you said you'll switch off the powerbook. Two things. Firstly, OS X should be running all the time. I always put mine to sleep and don't switch off. When you open up the screen, the machine is ready to use in 2-3 seconds. I only reboot if I've installed a patch or new software that requires it. Secondly, your new aluminum puppy (runs even lower than your doxies) is powered by Unix. It likes to run various house-keeping duties in the dead of night. Hence you should try to remember to keep it on once a week or so overnight. You can sleep the screen but not the actual machine and the background processes will run. It's no big deal if you don't but it does help the machine to keep itself pick and span. These are chron jobs and you can get them to work at more godly hours if you re-set their run times via the command line.

I, as well as many ehmaclanders, will be happy to ease you into your new OS X dress suite. It'll chafe around the cuffs but we'll soon have you dancing a jig in it.

And, yes, the Linksys router will work just fine. In fact its terrifying how well 802.11 works with Macs! Turn on Airport, select the network and that's it (unless it is password protected in which case you enter the password).
 

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jwoodget, thank you for all of your assistance and hints re the new PB and the intro to OS X. The last operating system decision I had to make was whether or not to upgrade to OS 7!!!!! I would not have thought to leave the PB on overnight once a week, so that is a bit of info that I need to store away. Having someone like yourself, with your expertise, is like having my own personal "missing manual". Still, I am a fast learner, which is why I am hoping to have the PB up and running by late July or early August. Summer school will be over, and I shall have a few weeks to learn the "ins and outs" of this system.
 
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