Hi Jim I Need a Mac

Jul 29, 2007
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Hi, I need a Mac, steady jim, sit down have drink; deep breaths do it for me, shock can be a nasty thing.::bigsmile:

Heres the story, as you may know the youngest daughter has been doing a photography course at notts uni originally, and is now in lisbon uni for a year before returning to notts for the final year.

When she started this we just bought her the cheapest pc we could get, an Acer from tesco's 300 notes, poor old thing is not really up to it anymore (if it ever was) and as has been said on here most if not all photography dept. here and abroad use macs, so that what she wants.

Now I know zilch about them, but money is a problem so I want to spend as little as poss but its got to be up to the job, would a Macbook 1.83Ghz 512 ram from PCWorld at £500 do the job?

Olley
 

camcondor

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Hi Olley
I know I've been the butt of some of some err,conflict-type postings of late, but I thought I'd try to help anyway even though I'm not Jim..... with a Fine Art (Photography) grad partner whose Macs (yup, more than one) I look after - the short answer to your question is NO, in my opinion (and partners)
.
If you want to get daughter a laptop specifically, then either get a good used G4 17" PowerBook last-model with maxed out RAM (2GB) and the biggest HDD you can find, (100-120GB)(you can get good buys for about £500 - £800 on ebay, and there are other mac specialists who do used recon ones) or spend the best part of about £2000 on the best spec Macbook available new.
If you buy the cheapest Macbook she'll be very frustrated trying to run CS2 / CS3 - it'll do it very slowly, rather like trying to do it on the Acer she has at present. Future proof it as much as you can as Mac laptops are not the easiest or cheapest to upgrade. She needs the extra processing power of the higher spec, believe me. I inherited a nice 12" Powerbook for that very reason -wasn't powerful enough. Hope that helps.

Laurie
 

American Dream

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Hi Olley,

I totally agree with Laurie's reply.


"either get a good used G4 17" PowerBook last-model with
maxed out RAM (2GB) and the biggest HDD you can find,
(100-120GB)(you can get good buys for about £500 - £800
on ebay,"

I used to work in a lot of Graphics Studios and the MAC was the machine of choice for the professionals.

It multitasks sooooo much more efficiently and utilised memory better.

CS2/3 and graphics manipulation requires a lot of Physical ram and a fast processor to run efficiently. with stability.

Buying a mediocre spec Mac now will inevitably end up in frustration watching pages and images render slowly.

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Jim

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Hi Olley, I know you you meant the other Jim, ScotMacJimland, :Smile: but I would like to agree with Laurie and Steve For photography, you do have to spend a bit of dosh. Even modest size photo files can become massive whilst you are working on them in photoshop. The program needs both as much disk space and ram as you can afford and as we all know how rich you are, that shouldn't be a problem:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

scotjimland

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Hi Olley..

I totally agree with the advice already given, a second hand 17" G4 Power book is the tool for the job.. and if not already done, upgrade to Leopard OSX 10.5

I wouldn't be concerned that it was 'pre loved', Macs are very reliable and owners look after them, my 17" G4 Power Book is now three years old and hasn't missed a beat, I upgraded the memory to 2GB for the reasons Laurie gave and no, it's not for sale... :winky:

Good luck with the search..

Jim
 

Papa Smurf

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Any art packages such as CS3 is extremely resource hungry. Get as much Ram, hard disc and as good a graphics card ( or MAC equivilent - I dunno, I use PC's exclusively) as you can. You will really regret not doing so.

Also, CS3 is not a cheap program, be prepared to factor that cost in too.

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olley
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Hi guys thanks for all the replys, if only I had taken up doorkeeping I would have the dosh no problem.:cry:

So a secondhand G4 sounds like the one to go for, ok I will have a look on ebay, CS3 is no problem as I aquired a copy this year from a fellow member of the other site with a crack, chloe loaded it onto the acer but gave up with it, much to sloooooooow.

Olley
 
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olley
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Hi jim thanks, do they all have built in wi-fi?

Olley

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olley
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Hi Jim thanks thats answered some questions I was thinking of.

Hi Laurie in my previous reply I only said thanks guys, should have said girls as well, ::bigsmile: I appreciate all advice thanks.

Olley

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olley
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Hi another question, I have cs for windows will it run on a mac? if not I will take you up on that offer jim thanks

Olley
 

scotjimland

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Hi another question, I have cs for windows will it run on a mac? if not I will take you up on that offer jim thanks

Olley
II believe it runs on the new Macs with the Pentium processor using BootCamp.. but not on the PowerBooks with G4 processors.

I'll PM you later today
 

camcondor

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Hi Olley

Just to echo Scotjim's recommendation to the macupgrades site - they set out really clearly all the different macs out there, how to tell the diff and upgrade and repair prices etc. They also sell refurbed Mac equipment, albeit rather pricey compared to a good buy on ebay.

If you are looking at 17" G4 Powerbooks, don't look at anything less than a 1Ghz processor speed - Leopard wants a min 800Mhz, more is better. A 1.5Ghz processor speed G4 17" with 2GB RAM and a 100GB HDD cost me £500 on ebay a few weeks ago. These were over £2000 around 12-18 months ago.

Check that the one you have found has a Superdrive - Applespeak for a DVD / CD writer. Combo drives are DVD ROM drives with a CD Writer - not really what you want.

The max RAM for these laptops is 2GB - this is the only easily upgradeable part and the sticks are easy to access, like a PC Laptop.

Go for the biggest harddrive you can get - many of these top spec laptops will have had upgrades to 100GB or over; they came with 60 or 80GB drives. Not easily upgradeable by a normal user, but you can plug in USB or preferably Firewire external drives easily.

They have built in wireless (Airport) as well as Bluetooth. Many owners sell them on with original packaging and discs - they came with OS10.3 (Panther), but an upgrade to either 10.4 (Tiger) OR 10.5 is highly recommended (Leopard).

As the guys have pointed out, most Macs were preloved and well cared for. I've bought 3 laptops and 2 desktops via Ebay so far and not had a problem, but obviously the usual caveats apply.

If you are looking for a great desktop for daughter have a look at the dual processor G5s - Powermacs they are called - there are some excellent buys out there on these as they have been superceded by quad core Intel Macs (costing around £3000!!) Their RAM can be expanded to 8GB. Just beware of slower, early processor speeds - under 1Ghz!!!

Macs come with word processors, photo and dvd/cd software etc (iLife suite) as part of the OS, I have some older copies of Ilife (5 and 6)to give away, but if you buy Leopard it will come with ilife 08. Costs around £60 online / RRP about £80 for the OS and ilife.

Photoshop is the pricey bit, but your daughter will be eligible for the heavily discounted educational version - about £100- as a student. This is the full latest version but can only be used on one mac at a time. MS do Word etc for Mac and there is a student version of that as well.

Thats pretty well all a photography student will need on a laptop; of course the G5 plus the laptop will provide a full "studio" for the next few years - macs age less quickly than pcs. Happy to help further if you need info or anything.

Oh, the 17" G4 also has a firewire 800 (highspeed) port as does the G5- very very useful for photographers using firewire drives and highspeed data cards etc.

As for printers, well.........if you want info just shout.

Useful site at luminouslandcapes as well, to peruse.


Happy hunting and give us all a call if we can help - I know Steve and Scotjim are happy with theirs, as we are with ours and we've all learned a bit on the way.

Laurie:thumb:

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scotjimland

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Hi Laurie

Great write up, you should work for Apple ! :winky:

Re Leopard, Are you sure about iLife 08 being included ?
It didn't come packaged with my disk and I bought a 5 user license.



Edit
Opps.. I was thinking iWork.. my mistake Laurie .. not my day
 
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olley
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Hi Laurie, thanks very informative, so it look as if we want something like you got,
17" G4 Powerbook 1.5Ghz processor speed G4 17" with 2GB RAM and a 100GB h/d

Ram seems easy to upgrade so even with less no big deal, and I was already looking at 160gig usb drive from PCWorld for less than £100. do they have usb?

If I can pick that up for about £500 as you did I will be a happy man.

Olley
 

camcondor

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Yup, USB2 Olley, plus firewire 400 and 800. You can extend them with hubs or use the PC Card slot to add USB or Firewire ports. The external drives are fine, although USB is not always fast enough for photoediting - do firewire if you can. You can buy the drives on their own and you can get a dual USB / Firewire enclosure and its a simple diy job - much cheaper than buying the external drive from a retailer.

Will alert you if I see any likely ebay links.

Laurie:Smile:

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Jim

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I think, USB2 is slightly faster than firewire 400, but I understand firewire 800 blows the socks off USB
 

camcondor

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Jim, I think you're right - I bought Ilife 08 sometime before Leopard. Just assumed it came with the lot as the older OSes and Macs did in days of yore - I think you get Text Edit these days as part of the OS, which is functional if not all bells and whistles. And Itunes is a free download from Apple anyhow. But ilife is still worth the money I think - paid about £30 on Amazon - the new iphoto is great, as is imovie and idvd. For burining cds and dvds I must say I prefer Roxio's Toast 8, but the native cd/dvd burning is fine too - what do you use?

I really enjoy the hardware and software with Apple - even if it takes a bit more skill to repair and upgrade. It works pretty well nearly all the time and the build standards are generally really good from the outset.

Laurie:Smile:
 

camcondor

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Thats correct I think Jim, but Macs seem to do well with Firewire - it also daisy chains easier, rather like the old SCSI stuff. Also, with Macs you can boot your system from an external Firewire drive, but not USB, and utility programs like Disk Warrior do not "see" USB drives - only the internal drives and any Firewire drives.

Jen has a Hasselblad Image Bank for her digital 'Blad, which requires Firewire 800 - very few laptops have this, also not seen all that often on desktops. The Image Bank stores about 1500 very big files and is used instead of a Compact Flash card.

For "emergencies" when the Image Bank battery packs up she uses an 8GB Compact Flash Sandisk Extreme iV card. - it only holds a "few" images though:roflmto:- the files are about 150MB RAW files.

Laurie

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scotjimland

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I bought a 500 Gb Western Digital external drive with both usb and firewire ports, one advantage of firewire is the ability to make a mirror 'bootable' image, so in the unlikely event of total hard drive failure you can boot up off the external drive with all files intact.
I was disappointed that this feature was not part of Time Machine which is great but isn't a bootable image.
 

camcondor

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Jim, there's a great program out there called "Super Duper" which clones drives very easily. It was one of those sold by private developers / shareware type - with current £/$ exchange it was only £14 and well worth having. Nothing like having your primary boot drive run out of space eventually :cry: Super Duper makes life a LOT easier - I was able to clone Jen's boot drive which at 160GB was once cutting edge, to a 500GB eSata new one and seamlessly make it into the primary drive. Time Machine could do with this feature, agreed, but until then I think £14 is worth it- the sites name is shirt pocket or something like that.....will go off and check if anyone is interested.

Laurie
 

scotjimland

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Hi Laurie

I downloaded Supa Dupa but didn't get on with it at all :Sad: so didn't buy it, went back to CCC's new version 3.0.1 which I prefer.. horses for courses..
I have three partitions on the WD Drive, 100 Gb for the clone, 300 Gb for Time Machine and 100 Gb for picture and movie files etc..
When I booted up on the clone I was amazed, it was impossible to tell you were actually running on an external drive ..

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