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#22523 - 07/14/12 04:05 PM Buying a new laptop
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Hi:

I'm getting sick of my iBook G4 with it's slowness, spinning beachball everyday, the number "one" not working well on the keypad and, of course, Tiger being way out of date. Onyx didn't help with the beachball except for temporarily, and I can't access my Disk Utility on the software CD because I have upgraded Tiger since then. Don't want to get Disk Warrior for this old thing, but maybe will for the new one.

I would like some input on what laptop would best fit my needs and be budget friendly. I only do email, browse the web, watch a few videos, etc. No gaming. No huge downloads, at least not often, if ever. Not a big photo fan.

I'm leaning toward the Macbook Air 13". What do you think?

Do any of the Mac notebooks have a screen that can be used outside besides maybe the Retina? Even cheap PCs have that ability, but my iBook does not. Can't see a thing outside.

Thanks for your input.

Rita
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iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#22553 - 07/16/12 09:45 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: plantsower]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Hi, Rita,

> "[...] I can't access my Disk Utility on the software CD because I have upgraded Tiger since then.

Your having upgraded Tiger past the version on your install disc means that you shouldn't repair permissions while booted from it, but it in no way affects your ability to run "Repair Disk."

As for which machine to direct you to, I'll take the neutral road and simply advise you to examine all the stats of both the MacBook Airs and Pros carefully, HD size and type and included ports in particular, and cross-reference them against everything you use your MacBook for to see which best suits your needs. (By way of example, I just noticed that Apple is in the process of deprecating the radio, so if I want an audio-in jack I've got to go for a 15" MBP, because the 13" hasn't got one.)

I can't help you with your outdoors question other than to say that your iBook has got a matte screen and your new MacBook will have a glossy one by default, and that should make some difference. (If I get a chance, I'll take my glossy-screened Early 2009 MacBook outside tomorrow and see if I can see the screen.)

Hope this helps you some. smile

Edit: And will you need an optical drive?


Edited by artie505 (07/17/12 01:22 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#22554 - 07/17/12 03:34 AM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: artie505]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

Quote:
...if I want an audio-in jack I've got to go for a 15" MBP, because the 13" hasn't got one.

This didn't sound right to me, so I did some double-checking. As I suspected, the "Support for audio line out (digital/analog)" referenced at Apple - MacBook Pro - Technical Specifications really turns out to be the same combination digital/analog line in/line out the 13" MacBook Pros have previously sported. See MacBook Pro (13-inch and 15-inch, Mid 2012) - Technical Specifications.

If the procedures applicable to earlier models remain the same, then you need to "manually switch from using the port as an output device in the Sound pane of System Preferences" in order to use the port for input. (The Mid 2012 model isn't listed among the "Products Affected," but that's hardly unprecedented for Apple Support.)
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#22558 - 07/17/12 02:10 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: dkmarsh]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Wow, I didn't understand a thing you said. Glad you were talking to Artie!! smile

Originally Posted By: dkmarsh

Quote:
...if I want an audio-in jack I've got to go for a 15" MBP, because the 13" hasn't got one.

This didn't sound right to me, so I did some double-checking. As I suspected, the "Support for audio line out (digital/analog)" referenced at Apple - MacBook Pro - Technical Specifications really turns out to be the same combination digital/analog line in/line out the 13" MacBook Pros have previously sported. See MacBook Pro (13-inch and 15-inch, Mid 2012) - Technical Specifications.

If the procedures applicable to earlier models remain the same, then you need to "manually switch from using the port as an output device in the Sound pane of System Preferences" in order to use the port for input. (The Mid 2012 model isn't listed among the "Products Affected," but that's hardly unprecedented for Apple Support.)
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iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#22559 - 07/17/12 02:18 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: artie505]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Hi Artie:

I looked at a MacBook Air yesterday. No more CD slots. You have to use an external drive. So, what does that mean for the CD's I'd like to turn into MP3's or the dvd's I like to watch on my computer?

When I tried to use Disk Utility off of my install disk, I got the message that I couldn't because I'd upgraded Tiger (I am paraphrasing). Oh well.


Originally Posted By: artie505
Hi, Rita,

> "[...] I can't access my Disk Utility on the software CD because I have upgraded Tiger since then.

Your having upgraded Tiger past the version on your install disc means that you shouldn't repair permissions while booted from it, but it in no way affects your ability to run "Repair Disk."

As for which machine to direct you to, I'll take the neutral road and simply advise you to examine all the stats of both the MacBook Airs and Pros carefully, HD size and type and included ports in particular, and cross-reference them against everything you use your MacBook for to see which best suits your needs. (By way of example, I just noticed that Apple is in the process of deprecating the radio, so if I want an audio-in jack I've got to go for a 15" MBP, because the 13" hasn't got one.)

I can't help you with your outdoors question other than to say that your iBook has got a matte screen and your new MacBook will have a glossy one by default, and that should make some difference. (If I get a chance, I'll take my glossy-screened Early 2009 MacBook outside tomorrow and see if I can see the screen.)

Hope this helps you some. smile

Edit: And will you need an optical drive?


Edited by plantsower (07/17/12 02:19 PM)
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#22560 - 07/17/12 06:33 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: plantsower]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Sorry, Rita, I forgot that "upgraded to Tiger" means that the restore disc that came with your iBook G4 is a Panther disc that doesn't work with Tiger. blush

Back to your question, though: After considering all that I know about your situation, I'm going to abandon my neutral position and say that unless you reeeally covet the MacBook Air's sleekness and the 1.5 pounds less that it weighs, the 13" MacBook Pro is the machine you want...faster processor, bigger HD, "backwards compatibility" in the form of Ethernet and FireWire ports, SuperDrive, and audio line-in, maybe more, same 13" screen, and for the same $1199.

Check it out, and if you've got any questions or reservations, fire away.

Edit: I still intend to check on my MacBook's screen's visibility in bright sunlight, but the sun and I haven't both been "up" at the same time yet.


Edited by artie505 (07/17/12 11:47 PM)
Edit Reason: Cleanup
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#22563 - 07/18/12 01:18 AM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: dkmarsh]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Your second linked doc agrees with your first one, and, in fact, all the specs I can find for the Mid 2012 MacBook collection specify more or less the same "headphone port" with the exception of those for the 15" MBP which specify separate audio in and out ports.

On the other hand, though, the newest edition of MacTracker (Edit: agrees with Apple and) specifies both no audio line-in for the 11" and 13" MBAs and the MBP Retina and separate in/out ports for the 15" MBP, but specifies "Audio In 1 - Built-in microphone, Audio out is user-selectable as analog audio line in" for the 13" MBP.

So for the moment, we've got... Uhhh, I dunno. confused

Edit: I just found this, so MacTracker is apparently correct.


Edited by artie505 (07/18/12 07:38 AM)
Edit Reason: + Cleanup
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#22580 - 07/18/12 04:02 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: artie505]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Yeah, the MacBook Pro 13" looks like more what I want. And, I can upgrade to Mountain Lion Free it looks like.

Thanks Artie.

Rita


Originally Posted By: artie505
Sorry, Rita, I forgot that "upgraded to Tiger" means that the restore disc that came with your iBook G4 is a Panther disc that doesn't work with Tiger. blush

Back to your question, though: After considering all that I know about your situation, I'm going to abandon my neutral position and say that unless you reeeally covet the MacBook Air's sleekness and the 1.5 pounds less that it weighs, the 13" MacBook Pro is the machine you want...faster processor, bigger HD, "backwards compatibility" in the form of Ethernet and FireWire ports, SuperDrive, and audio line-in, maybe more, same 13" screen, and for the same $1199.

Check it out, and if you've got any questions or reservations, fire away.

Edit: I still intend to check on my MacBook's screen's visibility in bright sunlight, but the sun and I haven't both been "up" at the same time yet.
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iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#22582 - 07/18/12 05:58 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: plantsower]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Free upgrade is correct; enjoy your new MBP. smile

(Remember that if you buy now you can opt to ignore Mountain Lion and stick with Lion if you prefer to do so.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#22584 - 07/18/12 09:44 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: artie505]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
I'm so far behind the times with Tiger, I'm not sure what to do. I assume if I upgrade to Mountain Lion, then decide I don't like it, I can go back by using the install CD again. Right?

Rita

Originally Posted By: artie505
Free upgrade is correct; enjoy your new MBP. smile

(Remember that if you buy now you can opt to ignore Mountain Lion and stick with Lion if you prefer to do so.)
_________________________
MacBook Pro - Sierra 10.12.6, Safari 11.1




iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#22585 - 07/19/12 12:56 AM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: plantsower]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: plantsower
I'm so far behind the times with Tiger, I'm not sure what to do. I assume if I upgrade to Mountain Lion, then decide I don't like it, I can go back by using the install CD again. Right?


You may not be able to install Lion over Mountain Lion. You might have to erase, install Lion, then restore your user files.

Or more simply, restore from a backup that you made before upgrading to Mountain Lion. Time Machine has no qualms about restoring to a previous version of the OS, and once the OS is rolled back you can use Time Machine again to restore your documents. That is:

Time A: Start using Time Machine on your spiffy new MBP running Lion.
Interval B: Make new documents.
Time C: Upgrade to Mountain Lion.
Interval D: Make more new documents.
Time E: Decide to go back to Lion.

To do that, boot from the Time Machine disk (bootable since 10.7.2), or from the Recovery HD partition. Do a full disk restore from TM back to Time C, the last TM snapshot before you installed Mountain Lion. Then use TM again to restore just the documents created during D.

If you make a mistake, say by rolling back too far or not far enough, or restoring a document to a Mountain-Lion-only format that your Lion apps can't handle, you still have all your TM snapshots and can try it again. The worst that can happen is that you'll decide to give up on the whole roll-back-to-Lion idea, and just use TM to do a full restore back to Time E. As every Science Fiction writer will tell you, the nice thing about having a Time Machine at your disposal is that no matter how badly you mess things up you can always fix it up with one more trip through time, as long as you don't kill your grandfather / erase the backup disk.

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#22593 - 07/19/12 01:20 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: ganbustein]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Wow, that was helpful but overwhelming. I guess when the time comes, I can do it step by step. I don't know that much about Time Machine, but I think I have to buy an external drive or something to get it to work.

Rita
_________________________
MacBook Pro - Sierra 10.12.6, Safari 11.1




iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#22595 - 07/19/12 02:36 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: plantsower]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: plantsower
I don't know that much about Time Machine, but I think I have to buy an external drive or something to get it to work.

Time Machine is Apple's automated backup system and although it is very sophisticated in concept, it is easy to use. Not only does it automatically and transparently backup your entire system every hour, it also permits you to recover any given file or files from any given previous point in time. If you ever have to use it, it is a Godsend. And yes you do need an external drive to use Time Machine, but you should have an external drive for backups even if you choose not to use Time Machine. The Time Machine drive can be connected via USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, or WiFi. It should be two or three times larger than the drive in your new computer and formatted Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) with a GUID partition table but that is easily accomplished with Disk Utility. Before you get ready to buy that external drive, check back in here and lots of us will chip in with plenty of advice. Be sure you do that BEFORE purchasing the drive.

You are going to find lots and lots of new and/or improved features in Lion over what you have/had in Tiger and later this month Mountain Lion will add at least that many more. But there is no need to panic because you will not have to use most of the new stuff unless and until you are ready. For me the biggest change in Lion has been the use of gestures on the trackpad. It took a while to get used to them but the other day I had to use a friend's PPC MacBook and I almost could't make it work because I had become so accustomed to using the keypad gestures, I had almost forgotten how to use a computer without them.

The other big change most people notice (and some hate) is natural scrolling. If you want to scroll down the page you push the page up so that the bottom comes into view rather than the traditional pulling the viewpoint down. It really is more natural to move the page but after years and years of changing the viewpoint it does take a while to get used to.

I know you are going to have fun with your new computer! grin
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#22596 - 07/19/12 02:54 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: joemikeb]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Thanks, Joemikeb. I appreciate all that info and the invite to get help when/if I buy the drive. I never back anything up because I don't do anything important enough to need a backup.

I was concerned about the new type of pad. I really don't like change. But, who does? I assume I will get used to it like everyone else. Thanks for the encouragement.

Rita


Edited by plantsower (07/19/12 02:55 PM)
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iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#22597 - 07/19/12 05:01 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: plantsower]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: plantsower
I never back anything up because I don't do anything important enough to need a backup.
You won't say that when (not if) your drive crashes and you lose all your emails, bookmarks, plus anything else that's "unimportant". Time Machine has been useful to me on several occasions, even without crashes. I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to implement a backup strategy. TM is painless and automatic.
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OS 10.14.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#22598 - 07/19/12 09:04 PM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: jchuzi]
plantsower Offline


Registered: 09/13/09
Loc: Burson, CA
Okay, okay, I'll think about it. It's just that I've never lost everything or anything, so it's hard for me to even worry about it. Where would I get the external drive for Time Machine, Apple?

Rita
_________________________
MacBook Pro - Sierra 10.12.6, Safari 11.1




iPhone 5s Version 9.3.2 iTunes 12.4.0.119

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#22599 - 07/20/12 02:49 AM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: plantsower]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
I highly recommend Other World Computing. If you are unsure about which model to order, phone them. Their salespeople are very knowledgeable and the company, in my experience, is very reliable. Undoubtedly, others will chime in with good recommendations as well.

There is a saying about losing data: There are two kinds of people, those who have lost data and those who will.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#22601 - 07/20/12 08:32 AM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: jchuzi]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I second Jon's recommendation of Other World Computing. Their products have reliably supported Apple computers for many years, and their return policy as well as support is among the very best. Not necessarily the most "stylish" in appearance but always rugged, reliable, and among, if not the, fastest.

Note: I have no pecuniary relationship with OWC other than that of a satisfied customer.
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#22602 - 07/20/12 10:38 AM Re: Buying a new laptop [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Let us return to yesteryear (by which I mean last November) when much of this was discussed at External hard drives for backups.

As noted, I opted for the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB USB3.0/2.0 and let Time Machine have his way with her (or vice versa).

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