Refurb MacBook Pro Deal, Fastest Mac Browser, 256 MB Modules for WallStreet, and More
- Refurb MacBook Pro Bargain
- Safari 4 on a G3 PowerBook
- Fastest Browser for Displaying Content
- In Praise of Camino
- MacBook Cracks
- 256 MB Memory Modules for WallStreet
- My iBook Battery Experience
- I Want More Control of iTunes and iPhoto
- Craigslist Software for Mac?
Just wanted to give you a heads up. I just ordered an Apple Refurbished 15" Unibody MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz from the Apple Store. The list price was US$1,349, but when I called and spoke to an Apple Customer Care Rep, to my surprise I was given an additional $100 off instantly. I don't know if this is a special or how long it would last, but I thought $1,349 was a great deal - but $1,249 is even better!
Have a good one and let the Mac faithful know!!!!!
P.S. As always I enjoy reading your articles on Low End Mac, and you guys continue to give me all the info I need to make great purchase decisions!!!!
Thanks for the report. Congrats on the new acquisition, and let us know how it works out for you. My Apple Certified Refurbished has been flawless (other than the lack of FireWire) so far (something over four months).
Delighted you find LEM helpful.
From Scott in response to Checking Out Safari 4 on an Old PowerBook:
Safari 4 is running fine on my 500 MHz G3 Pismo. It's the fastest browser I've ever used. If I turn off the plugins, it's even faster, of course. I'm on a very fast cable connection here. I haven't tried it on dialup.
Safari 4 worked great on my G4 upgraded Pismo as well on dialup, and had I not encountered the intractable issue with the Network Preferences panel, I would have happily left it installed. However, having to waste a Saturday afternoon reinstalling OS X in order to fix the problem (after first trying everything else I could think of) did leave a bad taste, although I suspect it was the Security Update for OS X 10.4.11 that was the culprit there.
That was evidently an oddball glitch, as I haven't heard of anyone else encountering it.
Clone your hard drive right before you do any updates like that. It's saved me a lot of work several times now. There's always some software or hardware that won't work with the updated OS. Actually, I don't even bother to clone my hard drive anymore, because I hardly ever update anything now. I keep a set of DVD-RW backup discs made with Dantz Retrospect instead. I don't want to waste the space on my external hard drive. I use it for other stuff now.
Good advice. I actually do keep the hard drive of my production Mac cloned, and it has saved my bacon in the past.
I too have Safari 4 running on a Pismo, but I'm still using the original G3/400, with 384 megabytes of RAM. So far, it seems to be faster and more stable than version 3 was. The only speed issues I've come across are when loading a Flash-heavy page; that, of course, is normal for a G3 no matter which browser is used.
I'm on broadband myself, but I actually do miss the progress bar; even on DSL, some websites are extremely slow to load, especially when they pull content from a dozen different ad servers. Something I've wanted to see in all the newer browsers is for them to render the main content while waiting for sidebars, banners, and graphics to load. So far I've been badly disappointed will all the major browsers. Even Chrome running on my 2.2 GHz Windows 7 desktop has severe delays rendering some sites. Ah well, I guess I'll wait for the next generation of browsers to fix this.
OTOH, Opera's support of drag & drop is pathetic to nonexistent as regards dragging highlighted blocks of text to other applications or to the Desktop as clippings, so there's no perfect browser. Firefox 3.5 (I just downloaded the final) is pretty darned impressive, though. I still give Opera the edge, but they're really complementary, with divergent strengths and weaknesses.
Firefox has a pretty good progress bar (iCab's may be a smidge better) and shows how that should be done, only the bar could be bigger. Opera's progress bar is mediocre - better than none, but not a whole lot better.
I recently helped a friend fix up an iMac DV (G3 processor at 450 MHz). She had been told to get "Tiger" (Mac OS X 10.4), but didn't have enough RAM; her 512 MB would be just fine with 10.3, I thought, but 10.4 would be too slow. (She found boxed copies of 10.3 and 10.4 on eBay at reasonable prices.)
The computer was primarily for her husband to use for eBay, so it needed a modern web browser but little else. Long story short, I checked Camino's requirements and realized that the current version (updated very recently) still runs on Mac OS X 10.3.9! So, we had her get a copy of 10.3 from eBay and used Software Update to bring it to 10.3.9, and they are now happily eBaying in Camino 1.6.7!
I started using Camino back when I was stuck on Mac OS X 10.1, Internet Explorer was dying, and this new thing called Safari only ran on 10.2 or later. Today even on Leopard I prefer Camino to any version of Safari, and now I have new appreciation for the Camino team's dedication to low-end Mac users. (Incidentally, 10.2 users can still get Camino 1.0.6, and 10.1 users can get Camino 0.8.5, which was released in 2006 and still works with most websites.)
I like Camino a lot, and kudos to the development team for hanging on to OS X 10.3 support. Lately I've been using the Firefox 3.5 release candidate for my Gecko browser representative, and I'm liking it a lot, but I'm also trying Camino 1.6.8 on my Pismo running OS X 10.4 as a substitute for long-discontinued Netscape 9, which I still like.
As for Safari, in order to run the current Safari 4 final with "Leopard", you need OS X 10.5.7, which I've resisted installing due to the extraordinary number of problem complaints. I did try it out on my Pismo (there's a separate OS X 10.4.11 version), but the required OS X Security Update 2009-002 appeared to cause a serious issue with the Tiger Network Prefs, so I ended up having to reinstall the operating system in order to downgrade Safari. Not a good user experience.
My experience with Safari 4 has been fantastic. I downloaded it at the same time as the security update and haven't found any compatibility problems there. I have wireless broadband for my Pismo; it works beautifully with that, and I predict that when you do get broadband, you will love how Safari works with it.
By the way, the other day I did a search on MacBooks, and I encountered a number of Mac sites with a lot of entries from white MacBook owners who have problems with the cases cracking around the handrest areas, apparently (it is said) from closing it too hard or carrying it in a case without sufficient padding. Apple Stores are apparently so familiar with the problem that Genius Bars are set up with trained personnel and parts to be able to perform repairs on the spot and under warranty.
Have you heard of this? If true and widespread, it would seem to signal significant trouble with Apple's only remaining MacBook model, which would be a shame, since it's perfect for students and those who need a low-priced notebook Mac to convert from Windows to the Mac OS.
What do you think?
I had no complaint about how Safari 4 worked on my dialup setup other than the missing progress bar. I do prefer the Opera, Firefox, Camino, and iCab interfaces.
I've indeed hears about the polycarbonate MacBook case cracking issue, although the issue seems to have cooled off recently, and Apple may have found a way of quietly addressing the defect.
That consideration did weigh on my decision to go with a Unibody MacBook last winter rather then the white jobbie. Personally, with the recent upgrade of the 13" Unibody to MacBook Pro status, along with my positive experience so far with the aluminum MacBook, I wouldn't any longer consider a WhiteBook unless I was in such strained circumstances that I absolutely couldn't scrape together the extra $200.
Actually, my Apple Certified Refurbished Unibody only cost me Can$50 more than the list price of a WhiteBook.
WallStreets are picky about 256 MB memory modules. They need to be 16-chip modules if they are older memory. It's hard to find low-profile low-density SO-DIMMs for the lower slot. OWC has some special WallStreet low profile 8-chip modules which work in matched pairs, which I'm using for 512 MB in mine. Enough memory to run Tiger, and solid at the 83 MHz bus on my 292 MHz model. Memory which doesn't match the controller will only register 128 MB or may not work at all (and most 256 MB SO-DIMMs won't work). 128 MB and smaller are nearly all compatible.
Thanks for the useful information.
Enjoy your site.
I am using a 14" iBook. When the original battery failed, I bought a new one at the Apple Store (it failed with no warning - and an Apple Store was close to my hotel). The new battery made me rediscover all that was great about this machine.
About 8 months later, I noticed that the battery was not powering the iBook for as long with typical use. System profiler and coconutBattery told me that capacity was down to 40% with 200 charge cycles.
I went to my local Apple Store (with rec't) and, after explaining, they exchanged for a new battery, which itself carries a new 1 year warranty.
This has been a great experience with Apple . . . and I keep an eye on my present battery and also the end of my current warranty period.
Some years ago, with my TiBook, I bought two batteries from a well known aftermarket supplier - both of them had very poor performance and failed within months.
Customer support was nonexistent . . . and the TiBook is now used with the original Apple battery for short periods of time.
I learned a valuable lesson there about suppliers.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
I think Apple's OEM batteries are good quality, and your positive experience with your Apple Store and your unhappy outcome with the third-party batteries would reinforce that,
OTOH, as I mentioned, I've had very good service from both my NewerTech and FastMac replacement batteries for the Pismos, and they have the added benefit of higher capacity than the stock units.
I've had pretty good luck with the original Apple batteries though, with the exception of my first Pismo's OEM unit, which failed relatively early on (I bought the other two Pismos without batteries). The 1999 WallStreet still has its original battery, and it was still taking enough of a charge to run for a bit by the time my wife retired it. The G3 iBook's original battery out lasted the machine, and my 17" PowerBook still has its original battery as well.
Editor's note: My TiBook battery lasted about 3-1/2 years before I replaced it with a NewerTech unit, which lasted until the computer was dropped and irreparable. I'm in the process of upgrading a 266 MHz WallStreet (my newest PowerBook) and am very impressed with Apple's OEM batteries. Although I have one dead battery, I now have two old, used batteries that are each good for over 2-1/2 hours at full drain (using Battery Amnesia on Mac OS 9). I never expected this kind of performance from decade-old batteries. dk
I've finally made the transition from my Blue & White G3 to the 2009 Mac mini. I'm probably going back to OS 9 on the B&W; I love PageMaker, and "classic mode" never seemed to work right. I'm still using my Pismo.
I've never really liked iTunes way of "randomly" plugging my tracks from albums into the "shuffle". I'd like my albums to remain as albums and only the singles I load to be used in random playback. There's only a few singles on each of my albums that stand out as singles to me. Over the years I doubt if I've purchased more than 30 singles from the iTunes Store.
The other irksome point . . . why must my photos be an "event"? I want to upload from my cameras into my library then sort the photos into the albums I wish them to be in. For some reason Apple thinks they know more about what I want to do than I do.
Is there a way to do this using Apple's products? If not, are there a pieces of software that would allow me to be the boss?
Thanks you for considering these questions for response.
I wish I could help, but I've never experimented much with customizing iTunes behavior, and I don't use iPhoto as my photo organizer, so I'm afraid my ignorance of both topics of your query is encyclopedic.
Perhaps some of our readers will be able to offer suggestions.
Would you mind asking your readers if anyone knows of any software to automatically list items on Craigslist? I can find software like that for Windows, but not for the Mac.
I have a competitor who constantly deletes my listing, which I constantly relist. He's obviously got software that automatically deletes my listing . . . Craigslist really ought to change their system. Oh well, I don't have anything better to do! (laugh)
I don't know of any such software, but perhaps someone in readerland will - if it exists.
Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, and he is a news editor and columnist at Applelinks.com. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.
Recent articles by Charles W. Moore
- Apple's Great Hebrew Support, AirPort Express Silently Upgraded, Pismo G4, and More, Charles Moore's Mailbag, 2012.12.03. Also a WindowShade replacement approved by Apple, upgrding a 15" MacBook Pro, and three 13" MacBooks.
- Is There a Cure for a Smelly Mac?, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2012.07.30. For those suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, gases let of by a new computer can be no end of trouble.
- Optimizing PowerBook G4 Performance, TenFourFox May Run Faster with NoScript, and More, Charles Moore's Mailbag, 2012.07.18. Also pros and cons of Linux on G3 PowerBooks and iPhoto 11 no longer updating in Snow Leopard.
- More in the Miscellaneous Ramblings index.
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