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/ Forums / Apple's PowerBook G4, it's simply gorgeous

 Date Written 
John Hayward Sep 25, 2003, 08:40pm EDT Report Abuse
So I comparably equipped Dell Inspiron 8600 priced at $2485 on the Dell site. You are paying a $500 premium for an Apple. I don't know how a 1.7 ghz Pentium M compares to a 1.3 ghz G4, but the Dell has a 15.4" screen, while the Apple has a 17" screen.

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Claus Christiansen Sep 28, 2003, 04:53pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: price

Sam Richardson Oct 08, 2003, 10:39am EDT Report Abuse
>> You get what you pay for. Simple as that!
As a long time Mac user, I have been aware for the advantages and pitfalls of being in a niche market. Plus using a propriatary system, though problematic marketing-wise, has definite technical advantages, such as a well integrated system architecture. In short, once you go Mac, it is very tough to go back!
The cons and pros are these.

Con: You pay more, believe me, Mac users know this and aren't terribly happy about it.
Pro: You get a faster, more reliable, vastly more intuitive system. It is a joy to use, and it is very addictive. I can't tell you how many PC users have bought a system for less money, and a year or two all but abandon it. Now that is a real waste of money!

Con: Fewer programs are written for the Mac.
Pro: Very few viruses are written for the Mac.

Con: Less Tech support is provided.
Pro: Less tech support is needed.

Con: Games run slower (haven't heard about the new graphics card, but that still is a problem.). Pro: Graphic's programs, Data-intensive programs (i.e. Mathematica, Filemaker Pro etc), Animation programs, etc. seem to run faster and with fewer glitches.

Con: Slower clock speed.
Pro: Better designed CPUs and systems. Pentium 4s Pipeline is way too long! Not impressed with the big #s. AMDs new 64 bit processors look interesting though, but not as interesting as the G5 systems. Very drool-worthy.

Con: No chance of building own system and limited upgradability.
Pro: Well made system that lasts for years. (I am still using my old Quadra system.) Believe me, I do all I can to destroy these things!

Apple needs to make efforts to develop a higher market share to ensure long term stability. Lately thought, it seems as though they keep hitting them out of the ball park! The new line of notebooks, Jaguar and the upcoming Panther versions of OSX. The G5 64 bit systems, iPod portable and the iTunes music store. These are good times for Mac users. Now I just need to win the lottery.

Jose Garcia Oct 11, 2003, 12:40am EDT Report Abuse
>> Apples and Oranges
You know what, I've been a long time PC user. Although, I just made my first influential push towards the Mac. The story goes like this.

My mom wants to spend some money on a computer for accounting purposes only. Keep in mind that she is a bit dismayed with the stability of her previous systems. I say, if you have the money, buy a MAC. They are known for their stability and ease of use.

So guess what? She plunked down about $2000 for a G3, a compaq flat panel, an HP office jet all in one, and a copy of Quickbooks pro. She loves it.

And to tell you the truth, I like it alot. I like it so much that my next computer will probrably be that tight little laptop with the cinema quality 17" monitor.

I'll say this, They are worth every penny. OSX is unbelievably stable. Great job APPLE!!

Keep up the good work.

chas P Oct 11, 2003, 01:11am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: price
lol if u compare apple to apple then u might make some sense,

try toshiba to an Apple notebook and u wont here a complaint from a tobisha user, their ultra light notebooks are superb. fast AND stable

people buy buy the PCs for the hobby of customising the PC system and upgrading every 6 months or so....MAC users get new technology early thru innovation and get stuck witth all the bugs while PC get the technology some 3 months later with the bugs still BUT at half the price.

once new technolgy is set, the PC revolution just kills the MAC systems.

so if u are a novice, by all means go with the MAC

if u are a hobbyist/enthusiast go with PCs.

MACs keep the prices down for the PCs anyways, so i dont think they are a bad deal

Sam Richardson Oct 11, 2003, 04:33pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: price
Some intersting replys. I will try to keep my reply brief. yeah right.

Jose. Nice to hear you have compared both systems fairly. Personally I don't go for this Brand Marketing nonsense, While the Macintosh systems serves my purposes at the present point, and I really don't like the way Microsoft does it's business (what to speak of the viruses, security gaps etc.), I still have many gripes and reservations about Apple Co. However, at the present moment, they have my attention.
The fact that Mactinoshes are still propriatary, to the point where custom building a system is impossible, is very irksome to say the least. At least Linux/Window's users have AMB Athlon processers available and have the option to create thier own systems at an optimal cost. Hopefully Apple Co. will follow through on their Marklar project and we will see OSX on SUN's Unix workstations, etc. now that will be very cool!

Chas. No offense buddy, but you are seriously brainwashed!
"people buy buy the PCs for the hobby of customising the PC system and upgrading every 6 months or so"
Huh? I have heard this from other PC fanatics and still have to laugh. The reality is, people buy computers to use them. Period! Whether I am investing $750, or $1999, I am spending that money for one reason only. To have a system that works and will be working for at least a few years! Why should I have to upgrade after only six months? Sounds lke a rip-off to me.

"once new technolgy is set, the PC revolution just kills the MAC systems."
In other words, innovation isn't an important quality when investing in a computer system? Or is being a step or two behind other companies and producing products of a lesser quality is what sells you? Microsoft is notorious for glomming off of other company's innovations and selling mediocre spinoffs. At least Steve Jobs is honest when he talks about stealing other people's ideas. I love that story about his visiting XEROX's Palo Alto Research Center, and seeing the very first GUI in development. The fact that he took that idea and actually made something that rocked the computer world, is a great success story!

"so if u are a novice, by all means go with the MAC"
Considering Apple's client base, that is a ridiculous characterization!
Plus, as a Mac user, I take offense. Actually i am not an enthusist or a hobbyist either. I actually rely on this stuff for a living. Both the creative side and financial side of my work is reliant on my Macintosh being up and running. I don't have time to be constantly tweaking my system to get my work done. The reality is that I have to use the thing constantly and relentlessly. I need a work horse, not a junk yard dog to save.

"MACs keep the prices down for the PCs anyways, so i dont think they are a bad deal"
Actually the fact that there are a number of PC Manufacturers and a consumer can custom build their own system. That is the reason why Window's based PCs are so cheap. Believe me, this is a problem for us Mac users. The fact that Apple Co. relies on the capital generating from the sale of hardware has locked them into a difficult business model. A shame, but it's a path Mr. Jobs and Co. had started on early, and now we have to live with it. However even the less expensive models of the eMAc/iMac variety are very good systems. A lot of bang for the buck with those!

The fact is that Macintoshes are very well made systems. And BSD Unix has a long road ahead where as the NT is already very limited. It's memory management is not what Microsoft promised and its multi-tasking multi-threading capabilties are very flawed. Microsoft will have to do what Apple has already done. Swallow a nice chunk of humble pie, admit that it's present operating system is out-dated, and boldly go into the world of Unix/Linux! Not an easy transisition, but it is well worth the growing pains.
But if you are happy with your Toshiba laptop running Window's XP, then go for it. In all honesty, Windows XP is a far better OS and interface than Microsoft had done before. However I have found Microsoft's Operating Systems too unreliable, crashy, virus prone, and open to system hackers to rely on for my work. It's a business decision, plain and simple.
At any rate, thanks for the responses.

Jose Garcia Oct 12, 2003, 03:07am EDT Report Abuse
>> Apple to Apples
Very well said. You have pretty much covered all the bases as far as I'm concerned.

On the other hand, let's put out some Ideas and other experiences here to broaden the landscape a bit.

As most of you here can probrably relate, I frequently have family, freinds, and contacts that ask my opinion about computers they have, or would like to purchase used from yardsales or so, that they (the contact) went on word of mouth and purchased. I've noticed that very few used (PC) computers are worthless dustfilled junkpiles. Although, EVERY used Mac that I've inspected, regardless of age, has surprised me.
I say this because the Macs are actually still very usable and run unbelievably stable.

I bring the stability card up on used macs because of your comment Sam Richardson:
"Con: No chance of building own system and limited upgradability.
Pro: Well made system that lasts for years. (I am still using my old Quadra system.) Believe me, I do all I can to destroy these things!"

That right there speaks volumns about the longevity of Macs. THis is coming from a guy who has worked in one way or another for the Big 3 computer makers....(don't ask, I'm not very proud right now...)

In summary, I admire macs because they are MACHINES built on what appears to be a solid OS/subsystem "foundation". PC's on the other hand seem to be and act like crybabies that need LOTS of attention since they are slapped together from an array of vendors that only communicate when problems arise.

Just my 2cents

J. A. Garcia

Jose Garcia Oct 12, 2003, 03:12am EDT Report Abuse
>> One last tidbit...

One good thing about the PC industry: Games on the PC ROCK!!! (for a hefty price.)

Claus Christiansen Oct 12, 2003, 04:21pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: price

Brian Weaver Oct 20, 2003, 06:30pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: price
There are a lot of us computer hobbyists that like the upgrade path. It actually winds up being a good deal if you are smart about it and buy your motherboard with headroom in mind. Earlier this year, I threw together a cheap AMD system with an nForce 2 chipset. I used cheap PC2100 RAM and a Athlon XP 2000+. All told, I probably had $600 invested in the whole machine, which is not a huge amount of money. I ran with onboard video until I found a really good deal on a discontinued GeForce 4 Ti 4200, and the processor and RAM will be upgraded in a year or so when the AXP 3200+ processors and matching PC3200 RAM drop down enough in price. My machine is an organic and growing thing to me. I don't have to "overbuy" and pay for excess processing power that is not being utilized by today's apps, but thanks to Moore's law I can economically add more power when I truly need it. In the end, it is still cheaper than laying out $2000 for the G4 towers that were available at time, even though I am still spending money past the inital purchase.

Apple today reflects Steve Job's view of a computer - as an appliance. This is good in some ways, because it makes Macs easy to use for those people that would prefer to have less suprises in their computing experience. This reliability has a price - not only in ecomic terms, but also in lack of individuality. You can throw off the conformity of the windows world by buying one of four styles of Mac. The PC world offers only one choice of OS (unless you go with Linux), ut as far as hardware goes there are a multitude of ways you can build your PC. You can have an aluminum tower of power, a SFF mighty mite, or even cram a VIA mini-ITX board into an old Apple IIe case if you wish. The possibilities are endless, and the hobbyist community would not have it any other way.

The members of the hobbyist community are the prefect people to lead the adoption of OS X on the PC platform, but Apple is so blinded by Steve Job's baises concerning computers that our market is comletely ignored. That is a shame considering that it was the hobbyist community was what built Apple in the first place (the first Apple was a do-it-yourself kit with moterboard and processor). I wish there was more of the spirit of Woz at the company, an man who I think appreciates our desire to tinker and be creative with our hardware instead of just accepting our PCs as a black box with magic workings inside. The release of the Athlon 64 is the prefect time for Apple to make the transition, because they could market a 64-but compatible version of the OS for the A64 platform and beat Microsoft to the punch. Based on the cross platform benchmarks PC World did comparing a single 2.2 GHz A64 to a dual 2-GHz G5 system (the A64 did a Quicktime encoding of a piece of footage using Premiere in roughly half the time it took the G5, and the Photoshop tests were a dead heat), I think the A64 would be a good complement to OS X. If Apple would just make the leap, I think it could become a much wealthier company if it focused on being a software rather than a hardware manufacturer. I very badly want to go Mac, just on my choice of hardware.

Sam Richardson Oct 20, 2003, 08:46pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: price
Hi Brian,
Thanks for the posting. As I mentioned in my previous two postings. One of the downsides to Apple Co's business model is that it is completely proprietary. Thus it doesn't allow hobbyists like yourself, or even entreprising, savvy computer users to build their own system. (I would love to assembe a kick-a$$ system with little money) While there are CPU upgrades, graphics cards, etc. for the Mac. They are pricey and there is less of a variety. There is less flexibility with upgrading your system. As a Mac user, this has been an irksome issue.
At some point Apple Computers will have to let go of complete corntrol of the hardware development to make gains in their OS Marketshare. However, the new G5 system is an amazing machine and they do have very inexpensive models that are very decent machines. (eMacs, iMacs, iBooks etc.) They did allow UMAX and PowerComputing to build clones, but they took a big hit sales wise because of that. We will have to see where Steve and gang will take their company. Right now they seem to be developing a variety of business units. And this effort to diversify seems to be paying off. iPod, the iTunes Music store (the free software program is available for both Mac and PC), iSight Camera and the new iChat video conferencing program. Final Cut Pro and other Video/DVD editing programs etc. This will allow them to not depend on computer sales to bring in revenue to the company.
you write.
"The members of the hobbyist community are the prefect people to lead the adoption of OS X on the PC platform, but Apple is so blinded by Steve Job's baises concerning computers that our market is comletely ignored. That is a shame considering that it was the hobbyist community was what built Apple in the first place (the first Apple was a do-it-yourself kit with moterboard and processor). "
A couple of responses. The Macintosh system has traditionally been geared towards the RISC type CPU (hence the suckyness of Macs running VR type games, but it's ability to scream while running Graphics and Data Intesive programs e.g. Photoshop, Mathmatica, etc.). The new 64 Bit Processor by Athlon is an interesting step and will be interesting to see what evolves from it. Unfortunately AMB makes CISC type processors that are geared towards the Microsoft/Linux world. It's gonna take more than just tweaking the Kernel to get OSX running on that puppy. But I wouldn't write it off either. Right now I am completely stoked by the G5 system (also a 64 bit processor. introduced a few months back). IBM / Apple definitely hit the ball out of the park with that one. Lots o bang for the buck! Ask the folks at Virginia Tech!
My recollection was that Apple has always sold Pre-built computers (with the exception of Apple Is. which were "mostly built" units.) One of Apple's main strengths was their innovation, and commitment to superior design and R&D. Look at their product line.
Also, I don't know if I would call it an appliance. A completely developed system, yes, but hardly an applience. When you plug your money down for a Macintosh, you get a serious computing machine that can handle a variety of tasks that brings your average PC to a grinding halt. This isn't a Brand preference by any standard. For years I worked in a production environment (Design and Print) and suffered with Windows 3.1, 95, 98, NT, NT2000, etc. Windows XP, though certainly a better OS and interface than Gate's and company, still doesn't match up to OSX in stability or performance. Honestly speaking. The Window's OS and software were dogs! complete hassles since day one and slow slow slow! Windows 98 didn't even support Postscript! Which is the most ubiqutous printer language out there. Viruses shut us down for complete days. Hard-drives just crapped out. And this was for a major corporation, so we weren't lacking in resources. The flexibility and cost of PCs is very attractive. Unfortunately they were useless to me, and if your work depends of being up and running and processing power. Then, I am afraid the Mac is the way to go. Believe me. If I could have both price and flexibility, plus dependability and speed. I would take it in a heart beat. Unfortunately one has to make concessions in this very imperfect world.
Please keep me posted in there are any developments with OSX and AMB. That would be a totally cool partnership. I am not a programmer, so if there was a way to hack the OSX kernal to run on AMB Athlon processor, that would be a great alternative for computer users everywhere.
thanks again for the response.



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