I am starting on a new book (I hope!) and have to upgrade my computer at home—I have been told by my techno-geek brother-in-law and the IT Boy at work that an iBook is best for me (I want a laptop, and one that is user-friendly). A friend is taking me computer- and printer-shopping this weekend.
What I need to know is—what do I do after I get the danged thing home and plug it in? Will it automatically pop up with Windows or WP or whatever writing program it comes with? How do I save a document onto a CD? Should I what I used to with floppies and save two or three copies, in case of disc failure?
And when I call my cable company to get Internet access (I am not getting dial-up), will I have any choice as to web-surfers? I have an account and a URL (my web site is off-line at the moment, being redesigned) through Earthlink; can I keep that or will I have to switch to whatever my cable company uses?
. . . I am slowly being dragged kicking and screaming into the late 20th century . . .
Let’s see. If you get a fairly recent iBook, it will have either a comboDrive (DVD reader, CD reader/writer) or a SuperDrive (DVD reader/writer, CD reader/writer). I’d guess the comboDrive is cheaper. If you get the SuperDrive, you get iDvd as well, which allows you to write to the DVD drive. I imagine you get similar software with the comboDrive. It may be as simple as dragging files to the CD image.
CDs are considerably more robust than floppies, but not indestructible. For valuable intellectual property, I’d recommend at least two copies of everything, one backed up offsite.
Another alternative to backups is Apple’s iDisk (they now charge for this, unfortunately), or simply upload them to some other online storage spot. (You may get a certain amount of web space and file storage with your cable connection.)
As far as I know, you only get Simpletext as word processing software. If you absolutely need MS Office, there’s currently a $300.00 rebate program for MS Office for OS X. That brings the price down to $200.00 or so. There are other office products that are considerably cheaper that will save in MS Word format.
And by the way, you are being dragged kicking and screaming out of the Century of the Fruitbat, er, late 20th Century.
Today’s computers come with posters & other stuff to make assembly just too easy. I dont know what happens when you first turn a Mac on but when you first turn on a XP PC, you wait a few minutes as it makes activation codes & stuff the first time then its real fast.
If you want a Dell try techbargains.com they have a list of whats on sale there. I think I saw one today that comes in really nice, to use as a price comparsion-but no monitor:
“P4-2.4Ghz Desktop 128MB DDR/30GB, Free 40x CD-Writer, Ethernet, XP Home $599 - $100 rebate - $50 coupon = $449 shipped free”
Note, you’d have to add more memory on this, which you can do yourself, cause 128M isn’t enough.
(nice to see you back, Eve)
Eve’s back! Yay!
And, no, Finagle, she’s got to at least get into the late 20th Century before she can be dragged into this one.
Please don’t suggest other computers to me! I have a wee tiny brain, and now that I’ve been told “iBook,” any additional suggestions will just cause smoke to come out of my ears.
I have been told that I won’t need a DVD reader/writer, that CDs will be sufficient for my needs (basically, writing books and articles and sending them on to my publisher). I have no idea what Simpletext, MS Office or 128MB DDR/30GB mean. I am an old, old woman and learned to type on an Underwood.
Have you been using a laptop as your main computer? If not, you probably want to invest in a keyboard for it, as there are some ergonomic problems with using a laptop keyboard full time (how’s the elbow?). You might also want a separate monitor, but if you’ve already got one, it’ll probably work fine with the new machine.
Can I just join the group to wave a shy hello to Eve?
Nice to see you pop in again!
I’ve been using a laptop for years now and love it; I don’t think any additional keyboard or monitor would be needed. It’s the internal workin’s that worry me . . .
[And hello back to ivylass, Homebrew and lieu]
That’s a kind of hobbit, isn’t it?
Sure glad you’re back Eve. You need to stop worrying so much. It sounds like you’re getting good advice. The ibook is definitely for you. All you’ll need to do is bring it home, plug in the power cord, plug in the printer cord, and call the cable company. Be sure to tell them you have a Macintosh computer, so they’ll send the right technician to your place. Apple/Macintosh usually have outstanding customer support so you should get plenty of help with how and where to save files, etc. BTW, the ibook comes with word processing software (Apple Works), so I would recommend you don’t worry about that either.
Once your cable modem is installed they will usually set your home page to their home page, but you can later change it to anything you like. If you wanna use Yahoo, no problem. You’ll proabably want to get rid of your Earthlink account eventually and use the services provided by the cable company. No rush on that front though.
Whew, thanks, Lao. I’m sure I’ll post a few *help!]/i] threads after I get it set up . . .
Damn. See, a few weeks off the Board and I forget how to code . . .
Eve, do you have a DVD player? Do you want to be able to play DVDs on your laptop? Do you see a point in the future where you will have something you downloaded from the internet that you will want to give to someone, such as a film? If you don’t have a DVD player, and want the rest, choose the DVD drive. Otherwise, no.
You are a bad, bad person.
We want Eve to stay, now don’t we?
So you come back to the boards, spewing your special version of intolerance and prejudice. I can’t believe you are complacently joining the Apple/cable herd.
Just take comfort in the knowledge that whatever you buy, someone will tell you that you were a complete horse’s ass and that it is immediately obsolete.
I figure your first step should be to download Unreal Tournament 2003 for educational and therapeutic purposes.
I am pretty sure you can get it here: http://download.com.com/3000-2095-10150277.html?tag=lst-0-2
E-Sabbath, why would I want to put my BVDs into a computer?
Just thought I would mention that I just bought a 12" Ibook and I LOVE it! When you first plug it in it asks for a bunch of registration stuff, it’s pretty simple. Like Lao Tsu said, Apple has great customer service/support. You mentioned earthlink, and the software comes with a free trial of earthlink. ( I believe it’s free at least, I already have a different ISP). I haven’t saved a document to CD yet, but I am sure that it is pretty simple, everything else seems to be. Considering the only way to save is with a CD and the hard drive (no floppy disk drive) I would think it isn’t a problem. Finagle, the Ibook doesn’t come with the super drive, only the powerbook does. The ibook comes with the combo drive though.
I forgot to add, you will want to add more RAM also. Most people max their ibooks out with 640 ram. I ordered my RAM and am waiting for it, so I am just running on 128 RAM right now. I don’t really find it all that bad, some programs, like Word take a little bit longer to open, and you will need it for photoshop. If you are doing just basic stuff with your Ibook you might be okay with 128, but if you want it faster, max it out.
Thanks, BluMoon. I may get by with just 128 rams, as I will not be Photoshopping. I just don’t know where I am going to keep 128 rams, or how they are going to get along with my cats . . .