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Apple's iBook - Mac Networking

Hello, I'm looking for information/testimonials/comments on Apple's iBook. I'm currently in the market for a laptop. I'm one of those guys who hasn't used an Apple computer since elementary school, when the Apple IIe and Apple IIGs were popular. I've been using Windows computers for the past several years, and while I'm satisfied with Windows XP, I'm curious to see what Apple has to offer. I guess I have a few questions. 1) How fast is the processor compared to a similar Windows-based processor? It looks like an iBook with a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor will run about $1499, while ...

  1. #1

    Default Apple's iBook

    Hello,

    I'm looking for information/testimonials/comments on Apple's iBook.
    I'm currently in the market for a laptop. I'm one of those guys who
    hasn't used an Apple computer since elementary school, when the Apple
    IIe and Apple IIGs were popular. I've been using Windows computers
    for the past several years, and while I'm satisfied with Windows XP,
    I'm curious to see what Apple has to offer.

    I guess I have a few questions.

    1) How fast is the processor compared to a similar Windows-based
    processor? It looks like an iBook with a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor
    will run about $1499, while a Dell, for instance, will run about $1179
    for a Mobile Intel® Pentium® 4 processor,3.06GHz. Now, is the GHz
    number meaningless? Can they be compared in this situation if they're
    two different processors?

    2) If you own one, do you like it? What do you use it for? I should
    point out that I'm a student and my home is half-way across the
    country from my school, so I don't want to transport my desktop when I
    move back home for the summer. I plan on getting a digital camera,
    mp3 player, and use the laptop primarily for internet access.

    Any thoughts/comments? If I'm posting this to the wrong newsgroup,
    just let me know.

    Thanks!
    Chris Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    In article <google.com>, Chris
    Kearsing <com> wrote:
     
    Well, I'm not going to get into the religious war over processor
    speeds. But, 'do you like it'? You bet! For what you're looking for,
    you can not go wrong. Get an iPod to go with it, any digital camera
    you wish and you're set. I would also add an Airport card and you can
    surf to your heart's delight at any population center. I don't know if
    it's still on, but there was a deal for students to get M$ Office for
    $150 (3 seats, so maybe you can sell the other two) and you have
    doent compatibility with the business world. If necessary.

    Bottom line...Do it. You'll love it. It just works.
    L.L. Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
    the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]

    In article <google.com>, Chris
    Kearsing <com> wrote:
     

    I was using an iBook G3 until I bought an iBook G4 800Mhz 12 inch, 640
    MB, 60 GB. I bought the iBook G4 the morning they were announced, from
    the Apple store. It was delivered a week later and I have been using it
    ever since. I have no experience with Windows so I cannot comment.
    However this iBook is very fast to me. I downloaded a graphics test app
    and got a rating of 2740 Megaflops drawing fractal graphics. That is
    the rating of supercomputers of the eighties.

    Panther OS X 10.3.2 is very stable. No crashes.

    I have very good 1.5Mb ADSL, I did not realize my downloads were cpu
    limited, they were and by a factor of 2 or more. I now can download a
    couple of dozen emails in a few seconds rather than a minute.
     

    Very much
     

    Browsing, webmastering, email, learning unix, digital camera photos,
    networking. I have installed various unix apps as ethereal, tripwire,
    ngrep to learn more about TCP/IP and unix.
     

    I am really impressed with the bang for the buck one gets with this
    machine. I maxed out the ram and hard drive. I recommend you do the
    same if you buy one. Limited ram affects the speed significantly.


    I concur with this reviewer...

    "There's no denying it, the iBook G4 is one of the best laptops Apple
    has ever produced. If you've been looking into buying a portable,
    consider this. Go into the next local Apple Store or retailer and have
    a look. This notebook is more than just a companion for students and
    fans, it's probably the most affordable yet speedy and fully featured
    notebook you will ever find on the market. And it's the only one that
    has enough battery life to watch two full length DVDs in a row."


    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/ibook_g4_review/ibook_G4_review.html

    Cheers,

    Darrell

    --
    To reply, substitute .net for .invalid in address, i.e., darrell.usenet2 (at)
    telus.net
    Darrell Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Chris Kearsing) wrote:
     

    Ah, okay, most of what you know about Apple machines first-hand won't
    really apply to today's offerings then.
     

    I'd strongly suggest that you hunt down a friend who has a late model
    Mac, or find a store that will allow you to spend quality time with one.
    Most of the differences that are likely to matter to you are going to be
    in _how_ things work, not really what you see listed in a specifications
    sheet.
     

    Yeah, clock speed comparisons between entirely different chips are about
    as useless as you expect. There are programs that really shine on the
    PowerPC, others that love to live on intel. Again though, it's the
    workflow that makes each system interesting; depending on how your brain
    works, you might find that the Mac interface allows you go get things
    done more quickly, regardless of clock speeds. On the other hand, you
    might find that your familarity with Windows' own set of conventions and
    quirks better suits you.
     

    The important stuff for much school work, namely MS Office these days,
    is pretty much a tie between the two platforms. It's the other parts
    that will probably make the most difference to you.

    For the camera and MP3 player, the iPhoto and iTunes that come with
    consumner Macs make really slick front ends. That said, there are
    perfectly serviceable counterparts available for Windows too (and of
    course, iTunes is available for both now).

    Internet access in particular has a good chance of being more pleasant
    if you go with the Mac. Mostly that's because spyware, viruses and
    their ilk are almost invariably targeted to the Windows platform, so Mac
    users usually get to ignore the whole mess.

    What is your major going to be? If it's going to involve computers, OS
    X stands a good chance of being a lot more fun, because good development
    tools are offered free of charge, and you get a Unixy environment to
    play with. On the other hand there are places that require assignments
    to be done in something like Visual C, which pretty well dictates what
    you can use (there is Virtual PC, but that can be very slow).
     

    Yeah, this probably isn't the greatest newsgroup for this stuff;
    comp.sys.mac.comm is really intended for talking about networking and
    communications. comp.sys.mac.misc is the group intended for general Mac
    stuff, and there's also c.s.m.advocacy if you happen to feel like
    getting into really silly arguments about platform differences.
     

    --
    mopping is easy ...mopping is fun ....the Smart Mop is for everyone
    iMeowbot Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Chris Kearsing) wrote:
     

    I have four friends currently using them, and they are quite pleased.
    They are primarily web front ends, iphoto stations, and a home away from
    home for iPods, and these older iBooks fulfill that role happily.

    My wife and I both own TiBooks, one is a 400, and one a 667, and we use
    these machines extensively for software development and internet tasks.
    They are slower than thecurrent line of iBooks, so I suspect that they
    will satisfy the tasks you named below.
     

    Depends on what you are doing. The iBook is pretty small, so consider
    the size of the laptop you compare it to. One of my co-workers just got
    the largest HP laptop I have ever seen, but pointed out that since it
    only moves from car to home to car to work, its awesome size really did
    not matter. For the friend with the iBook, size did matter.

    If you are doing single cpu intensive tasks, you may want all the MHz
    you can get. For an internet station, any modern machine should be fast
    enough. I prefer the Mac UI, and thus I reccomend it, so for what you
    have described, an iBook should do just fine.

    Scott
    com
    Scott Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Chris Kearsing) wrote:
     

    A UNIX core, no current virus', an Apple logo on the lid, ... :-)
     

    If you are just interested in Raw CPU power, then chances are you can
    find an intel configuration from some intel vendor that will be faster.
    Of course in a laptop you also have to ask yourself how log the battery
    will last, and does the system have to reduce the speed when unplugged
    so that it has some battery life, and when running, how hot does it get
    (can you actually put it in your lap?).

    As someone else has said, if you want an internet frontend, then there
    are a lot of systems that will do that very nicely.
     

    I have the 14" iBook G4/1GHz system. I love it. Running on the
    battery, with Airport (WiFi) and the screen at middle brightness, I get
    4+ hours of unattached operation. I could get longer if I turned off
    the WiFi, and dimmed down the screen.
     

    Reading news groups (like right now), web surfing, tunnelling into work
    (PPTP) and reading work email, actually doing work if the need should
    come up.

    iTunes (I've got my entire CD collection on it). Listening to some
    internet radio shows (typically talk shows that I can not get on the
    radio, or they are Mac related and only available via the internet).

    I have my digital photos on my iBook. I use iPhoto to store them. I
    use Photoshop Elements to tweak the pictures from time to time, but not
    often (maybe a few hours every month or so).

    I edit my work WEB site on my Mac (lots of technical information for
    other members of the group I work in).

    iChat AV. I do text, audio, and video chats with my Mother (Penna) and
    my Brother (Ohio). I'm in Mass. We all have high speed internet
    connections and we really like the video chats. I also do video and
    audio chats with my Wife when she is on a business trip (like next
    week). Being able to video chat really makes a difference when you
    significent other is away. A lot of hotels are starting offer high
    speed internet for their guests.

    I sync my PDA with my iBook. I also keep copies of all the eBooks I buy
    for my PDA, so that when I want to either load up a new book, load a
    previous book to re-read, it is right there on my iBook. I also use
    Plucker and iSilo to convert web pages into a form I can read on my PDA.
    I'm currently reading the "Python Tutorial", and "The Art of UNIX".
    Some times I encode doents from work for use on my PDA, and read them
    or use them as reference in a meeting.

    I'll read work doents in either WORD.doc or PDF format. I personally
    tend to write my stuff in ascii text using the programming editor Vim,
    but way too many people at work think WORD is the only way to write a
    doent, so I have to deal with it. I actually like Mac OS X "Preview"
    application for reading PDF doents because it has a really good
    search feature. I've even print a WORD.doc file to a PDF file on Mac OS
    X so that I can use "Preview" to read and search it.

    I have been known to load up a DVD movie and sit on the back porch in
    the summer with some popcorn with my wife and have a night at the
    drive-in event.

    Of course I play some games on it from time to time, but not as much as
    I used to years ago. My PDA is where I play solitare now :-)

    And because it is a UNIX system under the covers, I sometimes prototype
    scripts that I will eventually use at work.
     

    It should do those tasks very nicely. And if you can get your parents
    to get a Mac as well, then you can do iChat AV video sessions with your
    parents, so that they can see that you are eating regularly and not
    loosing weight, etc... Of course, if they insist on having you pan the
    camera around your room, you Mom will see that you have not made your
    bed, nor picked up your clothes. I guess that could be a negative :-)
     

    Good luck with whatever you decide to buy.

    Bob Harris
    Bob Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Chris Kearsing) wrote:
     
    I bought an iBook for my daughter on October 1, just a couple weeks
    before the G4 iBook was released. I got her a refurbed 900 MHz G3 12"
    40 MB Combo at the Apple Store for $1079. Right now, you can get the
    same computer, brand new, from the Apple Store for $899. I added 512 MB
    of RAM (about $110 with shipping from Other World Computing) and a
    refurbed Airport card ($60?) and also bought the Applecare extended
    warranty (around $200...shop around). So for 899 + 110 = 60 you could
    have the same setup. I would recommend the Applecare for any laptop. I
    suspect there isn't a tremendous difference in performance for the G3
    versus the G4 iBook at the moment. However, subsequent releases of OSX
    will probably make greater and greater use of the G4. Performance of
    the G3 iBook in my opinion is perfectly adequate. It has handled
    everything we have thrown at it. Note that you can get some really
    great prices for refurbed Powerbooks, too.

    My daughter, who just started law school, absolutely loves her iBook.
    She uses it for taking notes in class, takes it everywhere she goes, and
    has already made extensive use of iPhoto, iTunes, etc. Recently she
    emailed me this:

    "Hey dad, I am simultaneously sitting on the couch, downloading music,
    listening to different music, burning a different cd, doing homework,
    and sending an email.

    Isn't technology great! Thanks for fixing the wireless, it is wonderful!"

    The wireless she referrd to is a Netgear MR814v2 that I got cheap. It
    took me awhile to figure how to get it set up and get the wireless
    working.

    --
    Bill
    Take out the CAT if replying by email
    William Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    On Fri, 23 Jan 2004 11:01:08 -0800, William Maslin wrote
    (in message <msstate.edu>):
     

    The G4's features are actually used in some very frequently called code, even
    way back under Mac OS 9. I'd expect a huge performance difference under Mac
    OS X.

    Steven Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    Thank you very much to everyone who responded to my questions.
    There's a lot of valuable information in this thread and my decision
    will be much easier as a result.

    I am going to try and respond to a few points from each post in this
    one message.

    "L.L." <net> wrote-
     

    I plan on getting the Airport card if I decide to go with an iBook.
    I'm really not sure how the whole wireless internet thing works,
    though. I know some schools have a wireless network, but I'm sure you
    have to log in somehow in order to access the internet. How would it
    work at an airport? Can anyone with a wireless card access the
    airport's wireless network system?

    iMeowbot <com> wrote:
     

    Good, I figured that comparing clock speeds between two different
    chips is pretty much useless. I really don't do very involved things
    on my PC, so I can't imagine I'd have a need for something that's not
    available for an iBook. I use MS Office frequently for school and
    work, but I know that's available for Macs. How do the PC-based
    internet programs (like AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Internet Explorer,
    Outlook Express, etc) all work with Macs?

    And, as you suggested, I am going to find a Mac store and just ask to
    play with an iBook for a while. That will probably be the final
    deciding factor.

    Bob Harris <dec.com> wrote:
     

    What's the difference between iChat AV video sessions and using a
    program like Yahoo Messenger? Everyone in my family has a PC, so I'd
    have to use a PC program to video chat with them, and then they can
    see that my bed is made but there's a few too many empty beer bottles
    laying around. =)

    Thanks for the help.
    Chris Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Chris Kearsing) wrote:
     

    If the system is not protected with a password, yes.
     

    Outlook Express has been replaced by Entourage. Internet Explorer is no
    longer being developed for the Mac; Microsoft has acknowledged that with
    the introduction of Safari, there's no need for them to continue to
    develop IE Mac. The other applications all have Mac versions. In fact,
    in addition to AIM, there is also Apple's iChat, which interfaces with
    AIM, so AIM isn't needed for chatting.

    -- Michelle

    --
    Never play strip tarot.
    Michelle Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Chris Kearsing) wrote:
     

    ....
     
    >
    > What's the difference between iChat AV video sessions and using a
    > program like Yahoo Messenger? Everyone in my family has a PC, so I'd
    > have to use a PC program to video chat with them, and then they can
    > see that my bed is made but there's a few too many empty beer bottles
    > laying around. =)[/ref]

    Never used yahoo messenger. My family is Mac based, and Yahoo only half
    supports Macs (no sound for Macs with Yahoo, unless they have released
    something new recently).

    All I can say about iChat AV is that it has sold a lot of upgraded Mac
    hardware and the installation of high speed internet services in my
    family :-)

    This week, I'm keeping in touch with my wife while she is on a business
    trip via iChat AV.

    If you are going to be away from family, and can not get home often, a
    video chat (any kind you can manage) can really make you feel like you
    are still connected with your family.

    Bob Harris
    Bob Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Apple's iBook

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Chris Kearsing) wrote:
     
    >
    > I plan on getting the Airport card if I decide to go with an iBook.
    > I'm really not sure how the whole wireless internet thing works,
    > though. I know some schools have a wireless network, but I'm sure you
    > have to log in somehow in order to access the internet. How would it
    > work at an airport? Can anyone with a wireless card access the
    > airport's wireless network system?[/ref]

    You might stop in a book store, get something to drink in the coffee
    shop, and browse through a book called "Mac OS X Unwired". It is not a
    big book, and it should give you a fairly good feel for what wireless is
    all about. You don't have to read all of it, just enough to get you
    WiFi oriented, and for you to finish your coffee.

    Bob Harris
    Bob Guest

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