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Well, I've been a Mac user for 15 years now, and this is my first laptop after years of being desktop only!
I have a meaty dual 1Ghz G4 on my desktop which does all my hard work, so what I needed a laptop for was:
Checking email on the road A bit a MS Word and Excel work Watching DVDs Wireless (Airport) access for Internet Cafes/Airports/Stations/etc.
And, boy, does this beauty do all this and more!
First of all, I'll get the techy stuff out of the way...
This iBook has a 600Mhz G3 processor, 128Mb inbuilt RAM (easily upgradable to 640Mb, via 1 SDRAM SO-DIMM slot), 20Gb hard disk, Combo drive (CDRW/DVD-Rom), built in speakers, microphone, keyboard, trackpad, 12.1" LCD screen, slot for a 802.11b wireless card (Airport), 56k modem, 2 USB1 ports, 1 Firewire (IEEE1394) port, 1 10/100 ethernet port, Video Out port and a audio mini-jack port.
These iBooks were originally sold for around £1000 and came with OSX 10.1 and OS9.2.2. While 10.1 will happily work and these machines, 10.1 is now been superceded by 10.2 and 10.3 and this iBook runs both wonderfully (albeit needing a little more memory than 128Mb)
Now, I was lucky enough to buy mine for £520, with an Airpot card already included. These cards retail for £60 new and are readily available. The massive advantage with Macs over regular (inferior) Windoze PCs, with wireless networking, is that they have these ports inside the machine (under the keyboard) so that you dont have an ugly PCMCIA card sticking out the side of your laptop when you're on the road trying to get online wirelessly.
I immediately bought a 256mb memory card to upgrade the RAM to 340Mb, as 128Mb is not enough for OS 10.3, and made a significant speed difference.
The other major change I made was to remove the 20Gb HD and replace it with a modern, faster 40Gb HD. This had the effect of (obviously) giving me more space and speeding up the access/read/write times. However this is not an easy upgrade, and only the knowledgable/very brave should attempt to dis-assemble their precious iBook and do this. It is NOT a user servicable upgrade and would have invalidated any warranty that was covering the computer (if it was still under warranty). The original 20Gb HD was fine (just too small for all my movies I wanted to store on it!) and is more than adequate for 95% of users.
While I am not going review Apples OS X 10.3 here, it is obviously one of the major, wonderful and amazing reasons to use an Apple computer. It comes with a host of great Apple software which works seemlessly with the OS. It is stable, easy to use, flexible, secure, difficult to hack, and - best of all, VIRTUALLY IMPERVIOUS TO VIRUSES. Yup, you didn't read that wrong. Viruses hardly affect Macs at all. Windows and OSX are VERY different under the bonnet and the virus writers write viruses for Windows for 2 reasons: 1. There are A LOT of Windows users out there to expoit. 2. Windows is MUCH easier to get into through security holes. For some reason MS leave many more holes in their software. Beware though, Macs can still transmit those email viruses, they just cant get infected. If you recieve a virus email on your Mac - you are perectly safe, but any Windows users you forwrd it to are NOT.
The computer itself is light, only 2.2kg, and small - 11 x 9 inches (there is an older brother with 14.1" screen, 2.7kg, 32 x 26 inches, if you would prefer), and has happily been carried around London with me on numerous occasions.
However - these (2 years old) laptops are not bang up to date. The slowest current new iBooks are running at 800Mhz on a G4 processor, so a fair jump up, BUT if you don't need the extras these new machines will give you (too many to mention here), an older iBook is an EXCELLENT machine to now buy.
I have nothing but joy with my second hand iBook over the past few months and would highly recommend them to those who dont need modern up-to-date speed and features, or for those (like me) that have all that on their desktop machine, and dont need it for the road!
Check eBay for some great deals!!
ElizaF: Access time is improved because the new HD is a 7200rpm drive as opposed to a 4200rpm drive - does that answer your question?
Hi there and thanks for the msg. in my GB. It was for your benefit that I left that RFI as the more clear and accurate the information in an op, the better the feedback and the more useful to the comsumer a rewiew is.
ElizaF 05.03.2004 02:04
and just how does replacing a HD with one of a bigger size improve access times, shhurely this is the function of RAM?? E.
hotrodkzn 04.03.2004 21:49
Nice looking laptop, but a bit expensive. Good review.