Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Mac in sight

I’ve said here a few times that I’m intent on buying a Mac at some point. Despite what I said recently I’m still keen on the idea and will be ordering a Mac… soon.

By soon I mean sometime in late June/early July. I’m using the prospect of a Mac as a graduation incentive – should I get a lower or upper second-class honours, I’ll be ordering a Mac Mini. Should I only make third class then I probably won’t bother as I won’t have tried hard enough – a 2:1 is my target although a 2:2 is also acceptable. 2:2 is what I need to comfortably progress to postgraduate level – it gets very difficult with a third.

There’s also a second probable advantage with waiting until then – Tiger. With Amazon now taking pre-orders for it I can foresee it being available very soon, and, with a bit of luck, all new Macs will have it pre-loaded by the early summer. So that’ll be £100 on an OS upgrade saved.

I will be going for the 256MB RAM upgrade as I’ve heard that you really need 512MB of RAM to run OS X comfortably, and I’ll be strongly considering having Airport Extreme built-in too since I may be using a wireless network at home next year. I’ve yet to decide whether to go for the basic 1.25Ghz/40GB model or the 1.4Ghz/80GB model, but the latter is only an extra £50 so I may well consider it. That would take the total cost to around £450.

I did look at the eMac I really want to be able to use a TFT screen which I’ll be getting separately. The iMac G5 is out of my price range right now.

What I haven’t said yet is what I’ll be getting if I manage first-class honours. Based on my academic performance last year this is unlikely but not totally impossible (and my semester 1 marks were very favourable this year). If that happens, I may consider an iBook or even a PowerBook instead. But with even the most basic 12″ PowerBook starting at around £900 (with student discount) it’s more likely to be an iBook.


  1. Great incentive.
    I wish you the best of luck, and may you be holding a spiffy new Powerbook come August.

  2. Ah, but will you qualify for a student discount once you’re no longer a student? 😉

  3. Well, I’m doing my Masters next year so I probably should qualify… hopefully…

  4. Congratulations on youy graduation (and no, I can’t say that three times fast). Whatever you treat yourself to, I think you’ll be very pleased, and your reasons for waiting are bang-on – Tiger should be great.
    I’ve been a Mac user for years – I used to have a PowerBook G4, but later bought a 12-inch iBook with AirPort Express for lighter travel. I ended up doing everything on the iBook. Unless you’re into heavy graphics or movie editing, the iBook does everything, and does it nicely.
    On the other hand, all the other models are great, too, and any of them are likely to be a bit faster than the iBook. I just prefer the mobility of the iBook – I even got rid of my desk. 🙂 And with the Airport, I can be online anywhere in my apartment, OR on the roof of my building. Sweet!

  5. Good luck, though you probably know by now.
    I bought an iBook recently and am just thinking of upgrading to 512 Mb memory. It works well as it is, but occassionaly is a little sluggish if I have lots of applications running as I tend to. But upgrading after buying is much cheaper, about half the price, so I should wait if I were you. Tiger is excellent. Airport is built in anyway, and works superbly.. The only extra I bought is Bluetooth. which is really handy and quite cheap. I’m delighted with my iBook, and hope you will be too.