Skip to comments.New PC for my Daughter (VANITY)
Posted on 11/04/2009 7:32:27 AM PST by American_Centurion
My daughter a HS Junior is doing really well in school. I am planning to buy her a new laptop for school. She currently has a Dell 13" XPS that has been ok, but the battery has been replaced twice, the CD/DVD will currently only play CDs and it is getting slower to start up.
So I start looking and I know she wants a Mac because they are cool, I however am not a Mac fan. Not that there is anything wrong with Mac, I have a slowly dying PowerMac G5 Dual that has a nice monitor I use for Aperture, but it is on its last legs. I also look for Windows 7 PCs, I use Lenovo Thinkpads for work and know they are rock solid, sturdy, and long lasting. My old T40 is 5 years old and still runs like it did when I first got it. I now work on a T400 and it is a great machine.
Here is what I found:
If you want on or off the Mac Ping List, Freepmail me.
Is Disk warrior for sale at the Apple Store? The way the G5 has been freezing up I don’t want to risk a download.
How is it dying?
How is it dying?
Greedy corporate types are denying it health care!!!
More and more frequently the machine freezes on the pinwheel of death. It will not recover from it, you can not force quit the application and you can not restart the computer without a hard shut off.
It used to work for a couple of hours before it would start this, now you might get 20 mins of work before that #@!$%^@$# pinwheel shows up.
Recently, maybe two weeks ago, I got what must be Apples version of the Blue Screen of Death. Said something to the effect of this computer must be restarted, an unrecoverable error has occurred. I’ve only seen that once.
Thanks. The photos I have in Aperture are easily worth $100 bucks to get it working.
The new Macbooks also come with the new battery that is supposed to last 5 years I believe. More importantly in the short term, it lasts around 6 hours on a charge (or so).
I agree that everything that can be done on a Mac can be done on Windows, however, on a Mac it is almost always easier. How much not being frustrated is worth I don’t know, but it seems worth a lot to me.
Lenovos have a solid reputation, good systems. I’ve helped a family member buy one and she’s still happy.
I didn’t get the pics. Can you give me the models and specs you chose? I’m pretty familiar with both sides.
In addition to a 1 TB Time Machine.
I have all my pictures "Vaulted" on an external USB drive
In addition to a 1 TB Time Machine.
They did send me a new battery and a set of installation disks. Yet, when it came time to buy a new LT I couldn't pull the trigger for Lenovo. I bought two Toshibas and I really like them.
Napster purchases are DRM-free mp3 tracks, so iTunes or any other Mac media player will play them. Just drop the files onto iTunes, and it will make copies within its own database. Depending on the naming convention of the files and how well the artist information is put into the header by Napster, iTunes will also categorize them all properly.
Upgrade to Win7 64 Ultimate
MacBook Pro 15”
Both systems have:
4GB DDR3 SDRAM
Glossy 15” WLED Display
One thing that might factor into your thinking is whether or not you have a good idea on where your daughter is going to go to college — if you do, check with the school’s IT department to see if they have any specific recommendations. Probably not, as I bet most schools support all OSes by now, but you don’t want to get caught buying something that won’t work well in that environment.
The next major question is what, specifically, is the machine going to be used for? If it’s primarily word processing, browsing, and some image manipulation, then it matters little what OS you get — I’d suggest one of the better Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora) and lower-end (beefed up with disk and RAM upgrades) hardware.
Honestly, for those basic applications, you can use OpenOffice, Firefox, and GIMP on Linux, Windows, or Mac, and they’re all free.
The only reason to get a Windows PC, in my opinion, is the availability of games (probably not what you want in a “school” machine) or if you have a “must-use” application that’s only available on Windows — in the latter case, you can always try something like VirtualBox and buy an OS license with the money you save on not buying a “Windows 7” machine.
For basic use, Linux is better. For advanced use, Mac is better (though sparser on applications).
Your hard drive may be getting ready to go belly up.
I have a Powerbook G4 that did that last year; spent more and more time proudly displaying the spinning Beach Ball of Boredom, and then started having boot problems. Then the hard drive finally croaked for good, but only right after I was able to copy it - I'm a lucky boy...
I had had Apple Care on it; although it had expired more than a year previously (the machine was more than four years old), they replaced the drive for free.
Runs like a champ, now, but since the old non-Intel chip won't run Snow Leopard, I'm currently waiting for my replacement 27" i7 iMac...
I have mine vaulted on a 750GB external USB, but the only computer I own that would be able to use them is the G5.
So will the G5 work with another HDD (compatible interface) I get from the store or do I have to pay an extra $500 to get one from an Apple store?
I have bought all my PC's and LT's from here. Usually free shipping and the best prices. And, no taxes if you don't live in CA. Read the reviews and check the specs.
I, personally, would stay away from Best Buy and the big stores. Consumer reports rates them fairly low compared to NewEgg.
Just be advised booting from the DVD will take a few long minutes. Graph the directory; I'll bet it is 20 - 30 % disorganized. Then Rebuild the directory; again this will take some time. When done reboot holding the option key down; switching to your disk drive.
I'm guessing DiskWarrior will bring back your machine
unless you have a hardware disk problem.
Just be advised booting from the DVD will take a few long minutes.
Graph the directory; I'll bet it is 20 - 30 % disorganized.
Then Rebuild the directory; again this will take some time.
When done reboot holding the option key down; switching to your disk drive.
The G4 runs happily with a non-Apple external hard drive, either connected directly via FireWire or USB, or through my backup Time Capsule wi-fi drive.
Y550 with the cheap Intel graphics or the NVIDIA?
I can second Newegg as a great source for any product they carry.
Why don’t you present the options to your daughter and ask her to justify the extra cost of the Mac?
I have a Mac at home and use PC’s at work, so I'm familiar with both.
The one advantage that the Macs have that the PC’s just can't touch is the “Genius Bar” at the Mac Stores. Now that being said, I've had to visit the Genius Bar way too many times for a variety of glitches and what not (And before anyone starts in on how my Mac must be under powered, no, it has 4MB Ram)
One disadvantage to the Mac will be the amount of programs available for use. There just aren't as many (Yes, I know about Boot-camp, but adding another layer makes the system slower and more expensive. If you want to use Windows, just get a Windows machine)
One HUGE advantage to a PC is that you can get a replacement policy for any problem whatsoever. We've used this twice with her HP. Once, a roommate spilled a Coke on it and the other time she fell asleep on her bed at the computer, jerked awake and the HP was on the floor in pieces. Both times HP was good about replacing - and she got an upgraded model for each replacement.
If I were buying another computer for ME, I'd be on the fence as to go a Mac or not. I do like the aluminum body and the back lit keyboard. But if I were buying another one for a college student, I wouldn't hesitate a moment - go with a PC that has a protection policy. Apple does not have one (unless they have added it in the last few weeks) and taking a laptop into college is the equivalent of taking it to a war zone. She may protect it at all times, but her roommate may not be so thoughtful.
Just my 2 cents - enjoy!
The “Spinning Pin Wheel of Death”
I’ve seen it way too many times on my 10 month old Mac. The Genius Bar can fix it up, but it’s not good when they know my name
GeForce G21M with 512MB Memory.
I’m no MAC fan. But, when you have a teenage daughter who is doing well, you have to support her when it only costs you a few hundred extra $$ to do so. Computers don’t matter. Confidence and self esteem do. Her request is not unreasonable, get her what she wants.
NVidia GeForce G210M with 512MB Memory.
Save yourself some grief. That is the key consideration. All the rest is just you trying to the be smart (wise) in your decision making. If you don't buy what she wants, especially because it is cool, she will find a million ways to make you pay, intentionally or not.
Past the debate about type of computer I say have the debate about buying the computer. Two of my four children received macs from their grandparents for their 16th b-day. By the time my first went to college a mere two years later she “needed” a new one for college. I know my next off to college will complain the same thing! My advice ...wait until college. In addition to that they are always on the computer b/c its theirs and its not about them studying. You are basically buying them a tool to enhance their social network...facebook. I am planning on talking to my in-laws to dissuade them purchasing macs for the remaining two kids.
There is a bigger issue than $ here.
Do you want your daughter to embark on a life
of toil, indentured servitude and misery as a
Microsoft Windows user?
Do you want her to spend hours dealing with
viruses or hours trying to prevent viruses?
Do you want her to spend hours trying to get
the latest Windows product to work?
Do you want her to be an upaid Microsoft product tester?
Do you want her to have a reliable, trouble free computer
to actually use?
Cool has nothing to do with it.
If she still wants to run windows, she can do that on a
MAC. OR Linux. Or Klingon. (made the last up).
PS - I have three kids in college. Son chose a PC. On his
third one now. First daughter got a Dell. Falling apart at
the hinges. Daughter three got a Mac. Never heard a word about her Mac again. It just works.
You do get more overall with a Mac, but you pay more. One of the biggest things is the unibody case, machined out of a single piece of aluminum. It's extremely strong and rigid while being lighter. You really have to handle one to appreciate it. It's so small you twist it hard and expect some flex, some creaking like you normally get with small notebooks, but you get nothing.
Personally, it's the light engineering touches that get me on the Mac, stuff I never would have thought of had it not been pointed out to me. For example, see that power indicator light? There's no point to it when it's not on, right? You really don't need to be seeing that LED when it's not on. Its only function, the only reason for it to be seen, is when it's on. So Apple laser-drilled tiny, almost invisible holes in the case and put the LED behind that. You can't even see it's there unless it's on.
These design details exist throughout the Mac, the tiniest detail has been sweated over by the design team for days, multiple models made until they got it just right. This isn't design for design's sake or to make it look cool, it's design for usability and functionality combined with just the right materials.
The differences in operating system used to be a big one between the two, with OS X being far better than XP or Vista. Now, not quite as much. I've used Win 7 since RC1, and OS X Snow Leopard is my daily OS. Win 7 is definitely not enough to make me switch back to a PC. You also probably won't be using power-sucking anti-virus, etc., with the Mac, effectively making the Mac a bit faster.
So, the basic question is whether all the advantages of the Mac are worth the money.
Macbook Pro is the better, long-term choice. She will get 5 years minimum use out if it. OS X is far superior to Windows, even Windows 7.
Been using a Macbook for 2+ years as a professional DAW. It’s never let me down.
I left this out because it really doesn’t matter to the computer itself, but the Mac is also more environmentally friendly, from the less toxic materials in it, to the recyclable alunimum case, to the better packaging. It’s a personal decision for you and your daughter as to whether that matters or is worth any money.
Now your daughter has both on one machine, and you have saved $700.
I figured out how to do it having never done it before. Now I've got Leopard on my Toshiba laptop and on a quad-core AMD desktop. If it is more than you can handle, maybe there is a tech savvy teenager in the neighborhood who will help you.
If she wants a mac and you buy her something other than what she wants I can guarantee you that she will not be happy.
Her music will transfer and play fine.
That is an interesting idea. The G5 won’t upgrade to Snow Leopard, it’s Power PC based. Apple killed support to PPC with the Snow Leopard release.
I will look over the OSX86 Project, interesting I’m sure I could do it if I wanted to.
They don't require it. And for the most part they do just work. I have never routinely run Diskwarrier on any of the numerous Macs I am responsible for. Repair permissions is a good idea every so often.
I have not read the thread & so have no clue of the battle of PC /mac that is there.
Just my own thoughts as a ‘grandma’ age wise.
What is your $$ situation?
How far will she be from you for college?
How much of a techie Geek is she?
If you can afford it, I would go with the mac. loaded for bear.
If she is like most teens they have no thoughts of safety whether it is in their love life or computers.
She will no doubt clik on questionable links & possibly get in BIG trouble with a PC Like it or not right now the Pcs & macs might be equal with qualities but the PCs are very vulnerable with problems w/virus/malware etc.
kids also might be sworn to safety but thier friends will often use their equipment and care less about security.
just my two cents. I right now am using both.. a PC note book & a iMac24. My Dell tower has been not used for 6 months due to irratic problems and I was VERY careful & had all the good virus/spyware security..
Go with the Mac. You won’t regret it.
However, instead of the 15’’ MacBook Pro, go with the 13’’. The 15’’ would probably be a pain to carry around all day, though your daughter will have to visit an Apple Store (or a Best Buy with an Apple section) to decide on that for herself.
Your Mac will work fine with any external USB or Firewire drive. You might want to format the drive in a PC file system (they usually come that way) so you can take your pictures to any machine. The Mac won't have a problem with that.
What it really boils down to is what is more important - price or quality.
As a person who has used PC’s since 1984 and Macs since 2006, I can tell you that Macs are far superior tools. They are easier to use and generally problem free. Apple has a far higher user satisfaction rate than any other computer manufacturer.
I have more agrivation with my PCs. Start up programs, spyware and viruses are a pain. My PCs also tend to do “strange” things - unexpected program shut downs, files that are saved and then disappear, unexpected screen resolution changes, etc. - FAR more than my Macs.
As a student who will virtually live with their computer, reliability and ease of use are worth a few more bucks.
If you've been in that many times, ask them for a replacement. There is something wrong with your hardware. That frequency of the spinning ball is not normal.
By the way, they know your name because you make an appointment and it's on your records. ;^)>
If you haven’t done it go to your admin account and run disk utility. After you do that, you might also want to leave it on overnight without letting it go to sleep. Mac’s software is designed to do housekeeping in the early morning.
Still, that may not be the solution. Here is a discussion about the pinwheel: http://homepage.mac.com/bner/iblog/B1570693677/C1292119410/E20050912212212/index.html
It seems mostly related to a lack of RAM. It’s very unlikely that it’s related to hard drive bloat or “the aging of the machine”.
If you do decide to get rid of it, don’t get rid of it cheap.
High School Junior (two more years till college.) Currently has laptop that works (dvd player having problems.)
If you buy her another laptop now (I don't care if it is a top of the line Apple) I guran-damn-tee you that in two years she will want (or require) a new laptop when she goes to college.
The solution for today is simple: buy her a netbook and an external DVD player that plugs into a usb port that can be used on both the netbook and her current laptop.
She'll use the netbook for taking notes in school for the next two years, and then take it with her to college (along with the new full sized laptop you're going to have to buy her then anyway) to do the same thing.
Also, netbooks are COOL.
2009-2011 netbook and xps latpop.
2011-2015 (college) netbook and new laptop.
I haven’t read the thread but my daughter would tell you to get a MacBook if she plans to go on to college. The bookstore at HSU 0nly stocks and sells Apple computers as that is the computer of choice of students attending
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