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Laptop, Apple

[Geek] Apples and Oranges

Excellent article comparing the costs of low-end Mac (Mac mini) and low-end Dell. The first paragraph alone, about these comparisons having been true for some time now, is a biiiig part of what lured me over to Mac when I realized it about a year and a half ago.


I've been rather seriously eyeing those mac minis, just because they're nifty. Get me a switch box, and assuming it would handle my wireless mouse and keyboard, I'm ready to go. I still find the powerbooks to be the best deal for a mac, though, so my excess cash is going into saving up. (I /could/ technically buy one now, but I don't want to put 3K on the credit card right now.)
There's another difference between low-end Mac and low-end PC. The low-end Mac will still probably be worth $400 in a couple of years, while the PC will be an expensive doorstop.

However, this isn't the advantage you would think. I'm used to provisioning off the scrapheap. I have had two new computers in my life - the Atari 800XL that I got as a kid, and an Athlon 1400 ITX that I have now for my file server. And even the Athlon is a 'build your own box'.

Every other computer is a hand-me-down, or bought used, or whatever. I get these things because they are cheap and (for me) undervalued. I don't play a lot of games anymore and I have a DVD player for watching videos, which means a P3/600 is still pretty good.

That means that even a used Mac will still be too ritzy for me. But who knows? I finally got a car that isn't falling apart, maybe a classy computer is in the cards.
I think $400 is still pretty good, even as hand-me-down sorts go.

I spent easily $800 when I built kieri's rig for her birthday, and I only got away with that little because I used existing software installs from her old machine. I'd say probably about the same, maybe a little less, when I built wonderwombat's machine sometime before that.

Then again, my logic tends to be, being a programmer and sysadmin and thus having enough frustration with computers during my day job, I really would prefer a machine that just sort of gets out of the way and /works/ for my personal use. And I'm willing to pay a little extra for the less pain. Pixel, my Powerbook, qualifies. Plus, it docks and doubles as a desktop, nicely. :)
I agree. Mac has an style factor that you can't put into numbers. Hell, I'd be willing to sacrifice features and pay more, to get the mac style factor. ;)

But, there were two major things that stopped me from getting a mac.

1) Support - I've spent countless years learning how to fix a windows machine. ;) (This has largely become an antiquated reason, as OSX is great and I know unix well.)

2) Software - The available software for Macs just can't compare with the software for PCs.

The second issue has always been a chicken-and-egg problem though as far as I see it.
Lately, I've found that's not so much a problem. The one and only piece of software I really, truly miss from my PC, I'm writing a Mac equivalent to. :)
Trillian for Mac? (hopeful look)
No. SimpleMU for Mac.

Trillian for Mac --> Adium X

SimpleMU for Mac. If anything on the planet would get me to buy a MacMini, that would be it... (though I would be heavily tempted to just get a powerbook instead.)
It's already partly done. It's a workable alpha, but needs a lot of work before I'll call it beta. The Riverdark Studios web-board has a section devoted to Atlantis. (It's a 'Mu' client, get it? Ha ha... okay, I'm a dork.)
You're a different sort of geek. ;)

In my youth, my linux box served me well as my only machine, as all I did was MUX and MUD. ;) I guess it is all about needs. The writer of the article above made an excellent point: Macs aren't for everyone.

But, if the games moved to Mac, so would I. Both Macs and PCs can do the basics that I need - it's the entertainment that PCs support so much better.
My PC is six years old and really starting to show its age. And I'm thinking it's finally time to move to a Mac, when I've saved up a few hundred dollars more.

I'm torn, though. Mac mini, and save some money, or iBook, and gain convenience (I've never owned a laptop but always wanted one)?

Depends on what you want to do. I love my Powerbook very much; I have two laptops, the Dell and the Powerbook, and the Dell gets a lot less mobile use. (The fact that it weighs 9 pounds might have something to do with that!)

Really, what it comes down to is what you intend to use the computer for. If it's only desktop and you don't need really high power, the Mac mini is really an incredible deal. If it's only desktop and you need /serious/ power, you can buy a hefty desktop for what you'd spend on the iBook.

If you want the mobility, you're pretty well stuck paying the high price, but in my experience it'd be hard to find a better laptop for your money than the Powerbook (or the iBook). My Powerbook, Pixel, has lasted a year and a half now without showing much sign of its age in terms of performance, and that's more than I can say for any other computer -- laptop /or/ desktop -- that I've ever owned. :)
Well, what I want it for is mostly the obvious--artistic and internet purposes. :>
Well, the Mac mini will serve you fine. :) It's more a matter of if you want the extra power to get into home movie production or whatever, or if you want the mobility.

Either way, I CANNOT recommend enough the Canon CanoScan LiDE80. It's a little USB scanner, excellent Mac OS X drivers, and it's so low-power that you just plug it into a USB port and it powers off of the computer fine. Plus, it's light enough to heft around if you need to take it somewhere. Plus, it's under $100.

I packed it off to Philadelphia with me a few times to work on scanning in, restoring, and preserving all the letters, photos, journals and whatnot from my grandmother's house. It ran fine off of Pixel on battery power when I needed to move other places in the house that didn't have power sockets, in to work with fragile stuff.
'Ware: that scanner is 8.5" x 11.7".

He'll have to scan twice per strip and splice the scans together, unless he's reduced his working size since 9 Jan 2001.
The Mac vs Wintel debacle has only recently got any actual ground to argue on, but regardless, one thing has not changed between then, and that's the shortsightedness of most any tech writers. It's nice to actually see a tech writer say 'Hey, the Mac mini rocks, but may be underpowered, depending on what you're working with.'

Personally, I either want a huge G5 (possibly dual) rig, or a huge dual AMD rig, to do more of the things I've been doing lately.

Alas, there is no Counterstrike: Source for the OSX platform, and I haven't seen much in the way of support for the G5/BSD platform from Transgaming, so if I want to play any games from Valve, I'm tied to a horrendously overpowered x86 platform to do so. And even a dual-AMD setup still comes cheaper than a dual-G5 setup does, last I checked.

Ah, in my dreams...
What's the main benefit to getting a Powerbook instead of an iBook, just out of curiosity? My PC got a heck of a lot of abuse running video editing software, but anymore, I don't want to make video editing the end-all, be-all of my reasons for choosing one system over another. But if I mostly want mobility for Wi-Fi-ing it all over town and running maybe Photoshop or Word simultaneously without crashing, would I be served sufficiently by the iBook?
iBook'll be fine for that.

The main difference is that at any given moment, the Powerbook will have a faster processor, better video, etc. than the available iBook. But things do move on; for instance, I bought my Powerbook a year and a half ago, and my friend's iBook (purchased more like six months ago) is about equivalent. Powerbooks from six months ago are considerably more powerful than my friend's iBook, of course.

That said, the Powerbook I have is still absolutely usable for software; Mac stuff doesn't get outdated as fast as my PC hardware has in the past.
Ah, cool, very interesting! Thanks!

Oh wow!

I want a Mac Mini now. When are they going to export it?