Help me! I'm a MORON!

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Tracy Doyle, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Tracy Doyle

    Tracy Doyle Guest

    Hi, folks...

    I need some advice. I've been a Mac-only user since 1982. I buy a new
    computer about every 5-6 years or so. It's time... I'm running a beige
    box G3/233 (from Nov., 1997!), upgraded to OS 9.2. All my apps are old
    to ancient (Word from 1992, Encore from 1995, ClarisWorks 4, Photoshop
    4, Quark 3...). She's been a good old wagon, and she ain't broke down
    yet, but is just getting too slow in today's world.

    I'm wanting to get a machine that will last me for the next 5-6 years,
    is upgradable (I've added extra HDs, PCI cards, swapped CD drives, and
    such so I'm not a MacDummy, exactly - just way behind the times). But in
    the brave new world of OSX, I'm totally lost. I've been thinking about
    picking up a used or reconditioned G4 off eBay, but I'm looking at the
    new G5s, too. I mostly do word processing and desktop publishing with my
    computer, but I also do MIDI, sound editing and graphics design. So here
    are my questions...

    1.) Big difference between G4 and G5? Should I avoid a "reconditioned"

    2.) What difference does the dual processor make? For a non-power user,
    would it pay in the long run?

    3.) How successful is classic mode at running old apps (for OS 7.x, for example)?

    4.) If I'm in OSX (probably Panther), can I launch an old app or would I
    have to reboot?

    5.) What's the deal on the mini? Price is attractive, but it looks

    6.) Are files from Netscape and MSIE imporatable into Safari? Mail,
    bookmarks, cookies...

    7.) The world of monitors has changed, too. Currenly have an NEC
    MultiSync A700 - has survived all this time with burn-in only in the
    menu bar. Any recommendations on a workhorse monitor, minimum 19" and
    ..28 dot pitch?

    8.) Printers - currently running an Epson Color Stylus 800. She's giving
    up the ghost. I need knockout B&W text (camera-ready), don't care much
    about speed since we're not a high-output operation. Ink cost is an
    issue, though. Recommendations?

    9.) Scanners - Running Umax Astra 1200S. That puppy *is* worn out. I
    want to upgrade to something that can scan not only paper but slides and
    35mm negatives with reasonable clarity. Recommendations?

    10.) Microphones - The old computers used to come with one. I see no
    mention of one in the literature of the newer Macs. I do a lot of voice
    recording for language work, and I plan to get voice recognition
    software for WP dictation. Will this be an issue?

    Geez... this is painful! Any answers, long or short, would be very helpful.

    Oh, and one other thing - we have an old Performa (from 1992!) with lots
    of documents on it (S.O. uses it) that has suffered a mechanical failure
    of the HD. It doesn't even try to spin on startup. Nope, no backups. Any
    data recovery specialists I should send this to? S.O. really needs his
    files - cost is not an issue.

    Please help me - I feel like a moron.

    Tracy Doyle, Feb 28, 2005
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  2. Tracy Doyle

    Guest Guest

    considering the mac came out in 1984, i must say, that is impressive.
    which mac did you get in 1982, anyway? :)
    if you are planning on 5-6yrs, get a g5. nothing wrong with a
    reconditioned machine - apple warrants them for a year (assuming you
    get one from them, that is).
    never hurts, but it depends what you want to do. osx certainly benefits
    from it.
    nearly everything works.
    macs no longer boot os9. simply double click the app, and classic will
    launch (provided os9 is installed, which you may need to do manually,
    depending how old the machine is).
    its a nice low end inexpensive mac.
    bookmarks yes, mail probably, and cookies are likely difficult, at best.
    get an lcd flat panel monitor.

    if you are buying a new monitor in addition to a new mac, consider an
    imac g5.
    ink is where they make their money. hp printers are best for b/w text,
    epson is best for photos, generally speaking.
    the film attachments for flatbeds are not that great, but it might
    suffice, depending on your needs. nikon coolscan series are excellent
    film/slide scanners if you want to go that route.
    if the mac lacks a microphone or input port, then get a usb audio input
    device such as the griffin imic ($30 or so).

    not cheap, but highly likely they'll be able to do it. price depends on
    size of drive and how soon you want it, but plan on $500-$1000 or so.
    Guest, Feb 28, 2005
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  3. Tracy Doyle

    Davoud Guest

    Yes, big difference, and with more and more apps taking advantage of 64
    bits, getting bigger. Go for broke (literally!). Get a new machine.
    Quark, MIDI, Sound editing, Photoshop, Graphic design -- sounds like a
    power user. You are exactly the person the Dual G5 is aimed at.
    In general, very successful.
    No need to reboot. Double-click the Classic app and Classic launches
    and runs the app.
    Exactly so. Not for the person who runs the suite that you described.
    Bookmarks for sure; I don't know about the others.
    No recommendation. I love my older 23" Cinema Display. Samsung make
    nice displays, as do NEC.
    Knockout B&W text comes from HP (and probably other) laser printers.
    Knockout color comes from high-end Canon inkjets, but ink is not cheap.
    One of the Epson photo flatbeds for paper, but you really need a
    separate film and slide scanner for your film.
    PowerBooks and iMacs have built-in mics, but you will want to use an
    external mic. There are lots of choices in USB mics and also analog
    mics connected via the Griffin iMic.
    No pain. Get a Dual G5 with minimum RAM (but two 250GB internal drives)
    and upgrade to about 4GB RAM from a third-party vendor.
    No experience in data recovery. As for "no backups," no sense crying
    over spilt milk. But that's why your new Dual G5 will have *two* large
    internal drives and two or more external FW drives (from
    You are *not* a moron.

    Davoud, Feb 28, 2005
  4. Tracy Doyle

    Tracy Doyle Guest

    Doh... typo! My first Apple experience was with the Apple II in 1980. No
    wonder I'm confused. Sorry.

    I told you I'm a moron. I'm old enough now to have a failing memory.
    Maybe I need more RAM. ;-)

    Tracy Doyle, Feb 28, 2005
  5. Just a couple of comments.

    Provided that it works in OS 9, that is.
    Netscape 7.2 for OSX can import everything from older Netscape versions
    (4.x and up) if you put the folder in the correct place.
    IMO Canon's Pixma series looks really interesting.
    Anders Eklöf, Feb 28, 2005
  6. You should figure in the expense of upgrading your most-used apps to
    their native OSX versions. There's no point in running OSX and spending
    most of your time in the Classic environment - it's fine for the
    occasional job but not much else.
    Martin Sammtleben, Feb 28, 2005
  7. And some of what the OP wants to do, such as MIDI and sound editing,
    might require OS X native apps on a new Mac.
    Neill Massello, Feb 28, 2005
  8. Tracy Doyle

    Tim McNamara Guest

    That's impressive given that they were introduced in 1984. ;-)
    Your computer is getting slower? Ummm, how is that happening? Or
    what is happening, precisely? My old B&W G3/300 is as fast as it ever
    was, as is my iMac Rev B/233.
    Buy the G5. It's been out long enough that it is not bleeding edge
    and will not be as obsolete as quickly.
    HP LaserJet 1012. $200 or less, crisp laser text and good B&W graphic
    rendering. IMHO it is far cheaper operationally than my old Epson
    inkjet, which went through $60 worth of ink cartridges every 2 months.
    I've printed thousands of pages on the original toner cartridge, and
    it seems to have plenty left. Laser is the Way To Go if you don't
    need color.
    Tim McNamara, Feb 28, 2005
  9. Your computer is getting slower?[/QUOTE]

    She didn't say that the computer was getting slower; she said it's
    getting too slow in today's world. In other words, it's too slow for
    the latest software to run optimally.
    Michelle Steiner, Feb 28, 2005
  10. Tracy Doyle

    D.F. Manno Guest

    When you find a supplier for meatRAM upgrades, please let me know.
    D.F. Manno, Mar 1, 2005
  11. Tracy Doyle

    Art Gorski Guest

    I use a G5/1.8 tower at work. It's really nice but WAY overkill for
    almost anybody.

    The most critical thing is to get enough memory. At least 512MB minimum.
    You mentioned adding PCI cards. Be aware that most of the G5 towers use
    PCI-X instead of PCI. Might not be compatible with your cards.
    Most of the time you'll never notice a difference. The only time I did
    on my old G4 was when a process went nuts and ate up an entire CPU and
    the machine didn't lock up. Unless you run lots of programs
    simultaneously or they're real CPU hogs (Garageband?) you won't notice a
    It only runs OS 9.2.x. So your ancient apps might not work. Get over
    it. ;-)
    You can't boot new Macs into OS 9 or earlier. So it would just launch
    in Classic.
    It's a PowerBook without a screen or battery. Actually, it has all the
    horsepower you would ever need for your applications and would even last
    5-6 years if you insist on keeping all these old apps! ;-) My main
    problem with it is the 2.5" hard drives are not designed for a 24/7 duty
    Probably not the cookies. Otherwise, yes.
    One of the best displays money can buy is the one built-into the iMac
    G5, which would make a dandy computer for you if you'd just get over
    this internal expansion thing. Seriously, everything is designed for
    external expansion these days via USB 1 or 2 and FireWire 400 or 800.
    The G5 tower has less internal expansion capability than the G4 did.

    So you can buy a really expensive G5 tower and display that is overkill
    and keep it for 5-6 years or you can buy an iMac G5 now and another in 3
    years for the same money.
    Art Gorski, Mar 1, 2005
  12. Tracy Doyle

    Tracy Doyle Guest

    Hi, everyone!

    Thanks to each of you who weighed in with your advice. I really
    appreciate it! I'm getting a little help from a family member on the
    cost, and since I went through the growing pains once already when I got
    the G3 (got the low-end, had to do lots of home add-ons), I've decided
    to bite the bullet and go a step beyond the base model. Lower-middle
    class sort of gal that I am... LOL.

    FWIW, my G3 is going into my S.O.'s office, to replace the poor old dead
    Performa. My old Epson Stylus 800 printer and Umax Astra scanner are
    going to the boneyard. So, I'll be buying 2 printers and one new scanner.

    Anyhow, here's the configuration I've decided upon. Still subject to change.

    Power Mac G5 dual, 1.8 GHz, upgraded to 1.5GB RAM.

    Adding either a 120 or 250GB second internal HD - haven't made up my mind.

    250GB Porsche Firewire Desktop Hard Drive

    19" Electron Blue IV LaCie Monitor (Not quite ready for LCD. I hear this
    monitor is awesome for graphics.)

    HP 3650 cheapie printer for S.O. to use with the G3. He just needs
    something to print letters with.

    Epson Stylus Photo R800 - This will print directly onto CDs, and uses
    archival quality ink. Since we are into both archiving (we're music
    historians) and CD production, this seems the right solution for us. Now
    we can burn AND print our CDs! Unreal....

    Epson Perfection 4180 Photo Scanner. I know, I know - not professional
    grade, but much more scanner than we've been getting by with for the
    past 6 years. Negative scanner should be adequate for our needs. Bundled
    with Adobe Photoshop Elements, which is adequate for much of the
    processing I do to get something from a print photo into a newsletter.

    MS Office - Mac Connection has a deal on now - $100 after $35 rebate.
    Can't resist.

    Also investing in AppleWorks 6.2.7 - most of my data and research is in
    Works format, so this is a natural. And going to try iListen - I've
    always wanted to play with voice recognition, since I'm writing a book
    and have found myself doing way too much transcribing. Tried ViaVoice a
    few years ago and it trashed my hard drive very badly. (That's when I
    discovered DiskWarrior - it recovered most of what I lost.)

    I'll be upgrading my other programs as I can afford, probably buying
    used CDs off eBay.

    Anyhow, if any of the above seems to be a mistake to you, feel free to
    slap me silly. I'm still open to suggestion.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    Tracy Doyle, Mar 1, 2005
  13. If it's works WP, check out iWork; Pages outshines Works. If it's
    spreadsheet, then your Excel from Office should be able to handle it.
    If it's database, I don't know.

    Keep in mind that AppleWorks has been EOLed, and there won't be any
    upgrades to it.
    Michelle Steiner, Mar 1, 2005
  14. Tracy Doyle

    Davoud Guest

    Tracy Doyle:
    I know that I speak for all respondents when I say "You're most
    I was born and raised up in the patch.
    Excellent choices. I knowed you was no moron.

    Davoud, Mar 1, 2005
  15. Tracy Doyle

    Lisa Horton Guest

    The Epson photo printers make nice prints, but if you don't print
    regularly and often, they get very expensive to run. This is because
    their print heads get clogged very easily, and get clogged if you don't
    print often enough (at least once or twice a week). Once the heads are
    clogged, you may waste a sheet of (relatively) expensive photo paper
    before you notice, then you run several cleaning cycles, each one using
    a fair amount of ink, then you can finally go print your photo. After
    using two sheets of photo paper, several sheets of plain paper, and a
    bunch of ink.

    I would recommend looking into a Canon photo printer. The Canons use a
    semi permanent, user replaceable, print head. So it gives you the same
    benefits as the Epson permanent head, except that if it gets terminally
    clogged, you can replace just the print head rather than the entire
    printer. Also the Canons seem to be very resistant to clogging.
    Lisa Horton, Mar 2, 2005
  16. Tracy Doyle

    Ed Holden Guest

    Unquestionably one of the best CRTs around. A tip from a long-time
    Electron Blue user: be sure that you want the hood on before going
    ahead and attaching the adhesive pads. The hood attaches to these
    using Velcro, so it's easy enough to put it on and take it off whenever
    the mood suits you. But if you decide that you permanently don't want it
    on, the 4 naked Velcro pads look silly and are darned hard to remove. ;-(
    Ed Holden, Mar 2, 2005
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