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ct (2477)

ct
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http://cthompson.com/

Journal of ct (2477)

Tuesday June 18, 2002
11:42 AM

Ignorant PC User seeks Mac Guru for help and companionship.

[ #5740 ]
OK, so, even though I'd made a decision to not post here anymore, I'm back, hat in hand, because I need some tech information I just can't seem to get elsewhere. With over two months passed since certain incidents which skewed my viewpoint, I'm back, and ready to be a useful member of the use.perl family again. My personal journalling (Which made up a substantial part of my posts here) have been moved to my personal site at cthompson.com, but I'll post technical thoughts here.

I'm a PC guy. Well, not quite true. I'm an Atari ST guy who, faced with the impending doom of Atari, jumped ship to Intel and DOS/Windows. Through the years I've DOS, Windows, and finally Linux. Linux became my primary desktop with the release of Mozilla 0.9.4, and I've rarely looked back.

Except, well, I've fallen in love with OSX. Now, I'm an old school Mac hater. MacOS was, back then, a silly toy to me. After a winter filled with reviews of OSX by hardcore geeks who rave about its ease of use, and beauty, I tried it out briefly at the local Apple Store. This is the way an OS should work, to my mind.

My personal machines are old hand-me-down refugees. My fileserver is a dual Celeron 366, my firewall an old Pentium Pro I built from scrounged parts, my primary workstation an IBM Thinkpad 600 P2/266 I got for free. I'm ready to upgrade to a "Real" machine and had looked at Athlons, but the siren's song of OSX keeps calling me.

The problem is, the hardware is damn expensive, comparatively. And to make matters worse, I don't have a clue what the relative machines are worth speed wise, so I need a Mac Guru (pudge?) to clue me in on the relative worth of the different levels of Mac hardware.

The machine I like the best right now is the iBook, but it's only a G3. Is that bad? Is a G3/500 based iBook too slow to run OSX? I know people do, but that doesnt mean it's preferred. The TiBooks are too expensive, the iLamp is a pretty good price, but it's not exactly upgradeable. The Cube is definitely sexy, but someone told me they have firmware problems that cause incompatibility problems. The eMac is the best price point in a G4, but if I'm going for a desktop, I want something with slots, I think.

So, an open call to Mac Gurus, what works well with OSX and how can a guy on a budget switch?

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  • I've a 600MHz iBook I got at the beginning of the year, and it's plenty fast enough for me. Note that the new iBooks are faster (600/700 MHz, with faster graphics cards), and software overclockable to 800MHz if you want to do that sort of thing.

    In this case, plenty fast enough means I can play Diablo II, watch DVDs, build Parrot, and generally Screw Around (though not all simultaneously!) with comfort and CPU cycles to spare.

    Go for an iBook. Grab an extra battery if you can, the extended warranty if you c
    • Yeah, my wife has the iBook running Mac OS X and likes it a lot. I use a TiBook, which is far less rugged, but is cooler anyway. ;-) If I had to do it over again, I probably would get an iBook 14" OR just wait for a new PowerBook design. The problem is I already have a PowerBook comparable to an iBook, except that it won't wake from sleep ... sigh. :-)
  • iBook [google.com] w/ good specs, good condition and only $1,200 (plus you'd have to get it shipped from RDU).

    Jason

  • Type 'ibook refurbished' or 'reconditioned' into Google and have at it. I bought a '99 model for half the price of a current model.

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers