Author Topic: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?  (Read 19700 times)

Jessa

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Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« on: November 22, 2014, 02:49:09 PM »
I currently have an old (between 7-9 years) Macbook. At some point that I missed, the technology of my computer got a little left behind. I get some "browser not supported" things on some websites, and other websites don't really load properly at all. I tried to upgrade my browser (I use Safari 5.0.6), but I need to upgrade my operating system in order to do that. I'm currently on 10.5.8. I can pay $20 to get them to send me 10.6...but the current edition is 10.10. I don't honestly know what that means, if I'd be okay if I upgraded to 10.6 or if I need to get more current. This is my hardware overview:


Hardware Overview:

  Model Name:   MacBook
  Model Identifier:   MacBook4,1
  Processor Name:   Intel Core 2 Duo
  Processor Speed:   2.1 GHz
  Number Of Processors:   1
  Total Number Of Cores:   2
  L2 Cache:   3 MB
  Memory:   2 GB
  Bus Speed:   800 MHz
  Boot ROM Version:   MB41.00C1.B00
  SMC Version (system):   1.31f1
 

I'm not sure if that is helpful information or not.

Anyway. My first question is, am I better off upgrading or buying a new one? If I upgrade, do I just upgrade to 10.6, or do I need to get a little more current?

If I'm better off getting a new computer, then I'm not sure if I should get another Mac or a PC. Obviously the Mac is way more expensive, so part of me just wants to say screw it and go to a PC, which I could get a nice one for probably 1/3 the cost. My major hangups with that are that I have LOTS of photos in iPhoto and I have no clue if/how to get them on a PC and my Quicken files are all on Quicken for Mac, and I'm not sure how to convert them, either. These may be basic idiot questions, but that's why I got a Mac in the first place...it's fairly idiot proof and I don't have to know what I'm doing to use it. I could just take my sad little computer to the Apple store and the nice people there would get my stuff on a new one for me...but I suspect that is the sukka consumer way out. And I'm LOATHE to part with that kind of money, even for something I use everyday.

Guses

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2014, 03:10:53 PM »
I am going to say that you don't need to upgrade your computer. It seems that you mostly use it to browse the interwebz and do office stuff.

It does look like your browser is out of date.

I personally would not pay to have a shop upgrade my browser. Just download google chrome and use that. It is free.

Next time, don't buy apple if you don't want to pay through the nose for "browser updates".

pdxvandal

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 03:13:30 PM »
7 years is pretty damn old for a computer. Why not buy a tablet or laptop for $300-400 at Best Buy or similar?

Macs are great and reliable but overpriced and un-upgradable. PCs are way cheaper and just as fast, but not as reliable. I typically replace my PC every 3-4 years. Tech changes so fast in that time that it's a no-brainer for me.

TheBreeze

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 04:01:35 PM »
Cheap PC/laptop + Ubuntu

GizmoTX

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 04:37:44 PM »
I disagree: Macs last longer than the typical PC. I replaced my early 2008 MacBookPro just last summer when its display finally died & I decided to put its replacement money into a newer Mac. I removed its hard drive & put a case on it for a spare external drive. DS used his MacBook for 8 years before we replaced it last year so it could run his engineering applications. I'm still using a pre-Intel MacBookPro as a browser, music player, & digital cookbook.

If you like the Mac interface, you will likely hate a PC. I know how to run them both, but only use Windows (on my Mac) when there's no other choice. Fortunately that's just 2 very niche applications.

"Browser not supported" happens when websites stop supporting older operating system technology, & this happens with PCs as well. Websites that exclusively used MS Explorer were particularly annoying, but Safari, Firefox, & Chrome are all superior & those websites have had to adjust or die.

The $20 charge is for a Mac OS (operating system) that is no longer currently available; current versions are free. Microsoft charges much more for its OS. With 2 MB, you can install Lion 10.7 or Mountain Lion 10.8, depending upon your model MacBook. Your MacBook RAM could be upgraded, but I wouldn't do this with an older machine.

Upgrading to a new OS will erase your hard drive -- make sure you do a full backup first on an external hard drive (which you should be using anyway). SuperDuper is a great backup program & it's free to evaluate. Shut down your Mac & boot with your new OS DVD. After it installs, use the free Migration Assistant app & your external backup to move your apps & data back onto your Mac. Then download a new version of Safari and/or Firefox browsers. You should not need a shop to do this, but if you really want assistance, go to an Apple store.

gaspony

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 05:17:36 PM »
The cheapest place I've found to get a new Mac is through Macmall. If you go through appleinsider you get an additional 3% off and no tax. There is a macbook air 13 inch with 128gb ssd and 4gb ram for $875 right now. I don't know what you need exactly but ultimately you have to make the decision if mac is worth it or not.  Another way to go if you have amex cards is right now amex has $25 of $250 amex offers at best buy. if you buy a open box macbook and use 3 or 4 amex cards (split the transaction in $250 increments) to get another 7-10% off or so that might be a better deal.  Depending on where you live there is sales tax though.

For me the operating system and how things work with my cheaper old generation iPhone it is worth the extra upfront cost. Since my employer has a contract with AT&T we use there service and I just like the iPhone interface best. I'm sure many others prefer android.  It's personal preference as far as I'm concerned but there are cheaper ways to get Apple products if you really want them.    Lately Apple has not been charging for upgrades on operating systems so that has been no additional cost the last few years where there is a potential for that with Windows.  I tried to find an equivalent spec Windows laptop and I couldn't really find anything that much cheaper than the macbook air mentioned above.  I'm sure you could find a laptop suitable for word processing and web browsing for $400 or less if you tried though.  How long it would last is hard to say.  I've had a mac blow up and not be worth fixing in 5 years and I have another one that is going on 7 years now and has served just fine for web browsing and emails and pandora music.  I've had a dell that was so frustrating to use in 2 years that I wanted to throw it against the wall, but that was about 10 years ago now.  Maybe windows is better now. 

Ricky

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 05:44:17 PM »
One thing I refuse to skimp on in is my Mac purchases. There's no Windows-based laptop that comes anywhere close to a MBA or MBP Retina. And I tried a bunch of the top of the line ones. I settled into a 13" rMBP and would never change.

Your computer could probably be upgraded for fairly cheap so I'd just say try to salvage it. You can upgrade the RAM in older Mac's (2GB is too low...you would improve by going to 4GB) and you should be able to get the latest OS X which is Yosemite. I think anything from 10.6 on is a free upgrade, so I think that's why they are telling you $20.

EDIT: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4648391?tstart=0 Looks like it will be $20 for 10.6 and $20 for 10.8 . Then 10.9 is free and 10.10 is free. It's stupid to have to upgrade that way but oh well. Double check compatibility with your apps as well.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 05:50:45 PM by Ricky »

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 05:49:27 PM »
You could ask Apple to be sure, but I'm pretty sure your hardware can run something even more current than 10.6.

You could also try switching from Safari to Firefox or Chrome. Apple is notorious for shutting off upgrade support for old versions of OS X but the other browsers should run the most current versions.

If that's the main issue, I'd try switching browsers for free before you do anything.

I have a Linux machine with similar specs and have zero issues running any websites, so long as I have a modern browser.

Jessa

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 06:37:52 PM »
I need to upgrade to at least OS 10.6 to be able to download Chrome.

I do have an external hard drive to back up my system, so it seems like I should cough up the $20 for 10.6 and upgrade, then get Chrome.

Guizmo

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 06:59:00 PM »
I would upgrade to 10.6. Then I would change the hard drive you have in your computer to a Solid State Drive. I would also think to upgrade the RAM to 6GB which can be done cheaply at http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/MacBook/DDR2/.

This should not cost you more than $200 and a few hours of your time. It will make your computer feel like new. I have a Macbook 5,1 and it is still going strong going into its 7th year.

If I lived in Boston I would let you have my 10.6 upgrade since the disc came with a few keys. Unfortunately I'm in Denver.

GizmoTX

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 07:10:13 PM »
Try Firefox first. I'd upgrade to Lion 10.7. I agree about checking out the price of a RAM memory upgrade; I upgraded our 2008 Macs to 4 GB the minute we got them. OWC (Other World Computing) has upgrade chips & videos to show you how to do it. A solid state hard drive is fast but expensive for an older computer -- you'll see more speed in your Mac with a RAM upgrade.


Static Void

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2014, 07:12:38 PM »
Short answer:

* Who is the "computer support person" in your life? If you have one, get whichever flavor he or she uses.
* Any old cheap laptop from Costco or Best Buy is pretty much fine these days for basic web & stuff.

Unrelated editorializing:

As I recently confessed on Facebook, I can live pretty frugally... 10+ year old cars, thrift store clothing, efficient home cooking and wearing sweaters indoors during the winter...

...except for Apple products.  Got me. (weep) (hair, fire, on)

If you go Apple, check out "refurbished" section of Apple's online store, is slightly cheaper for almost-latest models with full warranty.

Spondulix

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 07:17:26 PM »
If you go Apple, check out "refurbished" section of Apple's online store, is slightly cheaper for almost-latest models with full warranty.
.
+1 comes with decent warranty without having to pay for AppleCare. Although, with laptops now, they have a $300 deal where they will fix any hardware problem. My logic board went bad (well over $300 repair)

EricL

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2014, 08:07:35 PM »
I much prefer Macs but there are important considerations so I can't make a blanket endorsement.  If you love video games or have to use MS Office programs because you do take work from the office home get a PC.  Macs can do almost anything better than a PC except video games (they're typically five years behind and most titles aren't available) and play nice with MS Office.  If you're the type that loves to tinker with hardware PCs are also a good choice provided you know what your doing. If you like to tinker with software you can get a PC and install UNIX or UBANTU or whatever.  But if you're an average user you will learn to hate Bill Gates. That's OK. He lives far away and has bodyguards.

If you just like to surf the web and use Apple's assorted office software independent of MS Office, get another Mac. You'll just get another 7-10 years of dependable service. Just don't tell anyone in the PC community. You'll be accused of being part of a cult.

GizmoTX

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2014, 08:19:22 PM »
Microsoft Office is a non-issue as it comes in a version for Mac as well as PC. The documents each app creates are totally interchangeable.

The Mac operating system IS Unix based, which you don't need to know about but it means much better security than Windows.

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2014, 08:40:36 PM »
As I recently confessed on Facebook, I can live pretty frugally... 10+ year old cars, thrift store clothing, efficient home cooking and wearing sweaters indoors during the winter...

...except for Apple products.  Got me. (weep) (hair, fire, on)

If you go Apple, check out "refurbished" section of Apple's online store, is slightly cheaper for almost-latest models with full warranty.

yeah… I'm in the same boat.  Apple products are one of my weaknesses, although recently I decided to keep my old iPhone and enter the wonderful world of prepaid.  I now plan to stay 2 generations behind.

My trusty macbook pro from early 2008 is still kicking.  At the time, it was an unmustachian purchase ($2000… ouch).  However all I upgraded was the ram to 4gb (almost free after rebate), and put a $100 solid state drive in it and it's still kicking like a newish machine.  Since I would probably have bought 2-3 PC laptops in the time frame I've owned this mac, I guess you can say it wasn't a fiscally irresponsible purchase. 

Now let's see how many more years this ol' thing has in her..

Greg

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2014, 09:34:29 PM »
If you have the dual core processor, you can upgrade the machine you have.  Borrow Snow Leopard and you will get caught up.  Upgrade your RAM to 4GB or more.

I'm on a 2008 MBP and run 10.6.8 and have 4 GB RAM installed, which allows you to use the App Store etc.  Not sure if upgrading to Mavericks is a good idea, since some of programs are too old.

GizmoTX

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2014, 09:57:03 PM »
I ran Mountain Lion 10.8 on my 2008 MBP with 4 GB with good results, but I wouldn't upgrade it further. I am holding off on upgrading my 2014 MBP to Mavericks until I confirm all apps will work with it.

Guses

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2014, 05:43:51 AM »
OMG, who are all these people suggesting multi 100's of dollar solutions to her "browser" problem?!?!

Her computer is not too slow, dying or otherwise broken. Why spend a bunch of money when you don't have to?

It's a software compatibility problem caused by planned obsolescence on Apple's part.   

BTW, I believe Maverick AKA 10.9 is available for free on the mac store (or whatever it's called). You could simply upgrade to this for free and keep working with what works instead of spending a bunch of money.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2014, 05:50:09 AM »
OMG, who are all these people suggesting multi 100's of dollar solutions to her "browser" problem?!?!

Her computer is not too slow, dying or otherwise broken. Why spend a bunch of money when you don't have to?

It's a software compatibility problem caused by planned obsolescence on Apple's part.   

BTW, I believe Maverick AKA 10.9 is available for free on the mac store (or whatever it's called). You could simply upgrade to this for free and keep working with what works instead of spending a bunch of money.

Yes, but the OP is running 10.5, which doesn't have the App Store :)

BTW, Wikipedia says the MacBook4,1 will support up to OSX 10.7.

Firefox, Chrome and Opera all require 10.6. It sounds like your choices are to update to 10.6/10.7 or get something else.

As far as security goes, it's probably a bad idea to use an old, unsupported browser.

Maybe spending $20 on a copy of 10.6 or 10.7 isn't a bad move. If it works and you get another year or so from the machine, great. If not and you still need a new one, it's not a huge amount lost.

I guess I'm kinda lucky, my old MacBook Pro was made six years ago, and still runs Yosemite fine (with 8GB RAM, an SSD and a new battery). I've got the 'I wants' for a newer, lighter, more retina-y model. I've been resisting the upgrade urges for a couple of years now (since the first 13" retina model was released).
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 06:16:22 AM by alsoknownasDean »

GizmoTX

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2014, 08:55:09 AM »
It's a software compatibility problem caused by planned obsolescence on Apple's part.   

You have this backwards. The OPs MacBook 4,1 is capable of running 3 major OS versions, namely Leopard, Snow Leopard, or Lion -- this is like getting a new computer with each upgrade, hardly planned obsolescence. This would be like running Windows XP, Vista, & Windows 7 on the same PC -- good luck.

The incompatibility is between the browser app & particular websites. As time goes on, these websites choose to not support older technology. In this case, to get a newer browser requires a newer OS, which the MacBook can handle.

The $20 price is a lot cheaper than replacing the computer & less than its original upgrade price.

Bytowner

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2014, 09:14:27 AM »
Blown over by the Mac support from MMM folks. Always knew their marketing and brand was powerful, but yeesh!

Chuck

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2014, 09:18:00 AM »
As a gamer, there is no cheaper alternative to PC. You can bargain hunt, coupon clip and black friday raid all the necessary components and end up with a much more powerful rig for up to 1/3 the price of a barely comparable Mac.

Don't get me wrong, if all you need is a word processor for school, the Macbook Air is actually a competitively priced product. But if you are into visually intensive tasks of any kind, there is no contest.

Ricky

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2014, 09:21:56 AM »
OMG, who are all these people suggesting multi 100's of dollar solutions to her "browser" problem?!?!

Her computer is not too slow, dying or otherwise broken. Why spend a bunch of money when you don't have to?

It's a software compatibility problem caused by planned obsolescence on Apple's part.   

BTW, I believe Maverick AKA 10.9 is available for free on the mac store (or whatever it's called). You could simply upgrade to this for free and keep working with what works instead of spending a bunch of money.

Except that's not true. It's not free for her because she has to follow the upgrade path from 10.5. You can't jump from 10.5 -> Mavericks.

Quote from: Bytowner
Blown over by the Mac support from MMM folks. Always knew their marketing and brand was powerful, but yeesh!

Apple's laptops aren't even ridiculously priced anymore. There's no other company who has better battery life, better build quality, and runs cooler and more quiet than a Mac. It just doesn't exist. That doesn't come from marketing, it comes from personal experience.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 09:23:33 AM by Ricky »

big_owl

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2014, 10:21:35 AM »

You have this backwards. The OPs MacBook 4,1 is capable of running 3 major OS versions, namely Leopard, Snow Leopard, or Lion -- this is like getting a new computer with each upgrade, hardly planned obsolescence. This would be like running Windows XP, Vista, & Windows 7 on the same PC -- good luck.

Sorry, couldn't resist - I have a Dell XPS laptop that's pushing ten years old now...have used it with Vista, XP, and Windows 7...no issues whatsoever.  I would upgrade to Windows 8.1 but since I bought the Surface Pro 3 I haven't used the laptop.

GizmoTX

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2014, 10:30:56 AM »
I agree that it's possible but most PC users won't attempt it.

AshStash

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2014, 01:26:21 PM »
I'd vote for the $20 OSX upgrade and upgrading the RAM. You can do this yourself fairly easily. Pretty cheap fix to get another year or two.

 I had a flatmate with similar problems and a Macbook with similar specs and after I upgraded her RAM, she didn't have any other issues. If you're comfortable running commands in Terminal, you can use the purge command to free up more memory every so often during heavy browsing situations and get more out of the 2GB you have now.

Less

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2014, 02:18:34 PM »
As a gamer, there is no cheaper alternative to PC. You can bargain hunt, coupon clip and black friday raid all the necessary components and end up with a much more powerful rig for up to 1/3 the price of a barely comparable Mac.

Don't get me wrong, if all you need is a word processor for school, the Macbook Air is actually a competitively priced product. But if you are into visually intensive tasks of any kind, there is no contest.
Agree.  Not a gamer but a mechanical engineering who does a lot of hobby CAD CAM and general messing around.  I have a 7 year old pc that has been from vista to 8.1.

It has to be a bit of an interest and hobby but you cannot beat the performance and versatility of building your own system. 

For most people though,  a laptop with a clean OS install is up to the task.  The pc ones do get very bogged down in bloat were from the hardware manufacturer.

YoungInvestor

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2014, 02:29:00 PM »
I'm not fond of comparing the reliability of PCs and Macs since so many different companies make PCs.

I've had mine since (I think) early 2010 (Maybe late 2009) and it doesn't show any signs of being too old (except for looking like it was thrown around a bit, but that's just aesthetics and I'm guilty for that damage as I do throw it around once in a while).

A macbook is a very good-looking computer, but the benefit/cost ratio is nowhere near as good as that of a good PC.

madmax

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2014, 02:58:21 PM »
The older Macbooks were worth it if you needed to have a Unix distro with a stable and usable graphical interface. I bought mine in 2010 with 2Gb of RAM and a Core 2 Duo. Almost six years later, I've upgraded the RAM to 8Gb and put in an SSD. It should be good enough for another couple of years.

The newer Macs are harder to recommend because of the soldered RAM though. I don't know what I will buy the next time I have to upgrade.

OP - you should be able to upgrade to the latest version of OSX. Look at this link: http://www.everymac.com/systems/by_capability/maximum-macos-supported.html

If you can borrow somebody else's Mac to purchase Mavericks, you should be able to make a bootable USB and do a clean install after erasing your hard drive.

Daley

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2014, 04:52:57 PM »
I see almost nobody has actually bothered looking to see what Jessa's Mac laptop is actually capable of running before spending her money and recommending upgrades. (Dean caught the issues.) For as many Apple propeller-heads posting here, so few even got it remotely right. Paying attention to the hardware is important.

Jessa, given the details you've provided in the OP, you own an Apple MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.1 13" (White-08 - Early 2008 - MB402LL/A* - MacBook4,1 - A1181 - 2242) laptop.

Quote
Pre-Installed MacOS:    X 10.5.2 (9C2015)    Maximum MacOS:    X 10.7.5*
Details:    *This system can run the last version of OS X 10.7 "Lion" if upgraded to at least 2 GB of RAM. It is not supported booting into 64-bit mode when running Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard." It does not support "OpenCL" either. Please also note that OS X Lion is not capable of running Mac OS X apps originally written for the PowerPC processor as it does not support the "Rosetta" environment.

The simple truth of the matter is that Apple has EOL'd this laptop as of 2012 and no longer supports software updates on it. Jessa can upgrade it to OSX 10.7.5, but that's it. Unfortunately, Apple no longer does security updates to their older operating systems. They're giving OSX away now, but they're ceasing support and security updates with the prior version the instant the new hotness drops. There are greater concerns here other than just an out of date browser from a security standpoint, there's a lot of unpatched critical OS level vulnerabilities that only got love in 10.8.x and newer that are still active and exploitable in 10.7.5 and older.

If she wants to stay with OSX, stay current and most importantly stay secure for everyone's sake (including her own), she has to buy another laptop that can officially run Yosemite. The cheapest refurbished Macbook that can still do that over at Mac of All Trades is the Apple MacBook 13-inch 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo (Early 2009) MB881LL/A for $249 stock (add on $45 if you want a new battery)... of course, there's no guarantee that the next OSX release in another 11 months couldn't potentially land her right back at square one all over again.

The problem is, the hardware is fine. If it works, there's no reason why it can't be functional and serviceable for most anyone's day to day needs so long as the OS is current and secure. This is a purely Apple non-support issue. Wasting hardware that fell out of favor because the preferred OS got too bloated and the company wanted their customers to upgrade is not frugal, environmentally friendly, or mustachian. The good news is, is that Ubuntu 14.04 reasonably supports the Macbook4,1 hardware (even if the wiki doesn't reflect it), and the Unity interface is sufficiently OSX-ish to not cause hugely massive muscle memory fits. The camera is a bit difficult to get operational and the touchpad may need some tweaking on sensitivity, but otherwise installs pretty smoothly with the 64-bit EFI build. If you're willing/able to transition over to a full F/OSS stack for your software (LibreOffice, Firefox/Chromium, etc.) and aren't deeply entrenched in the iOS devices or don't need desktop support for them, you've got a free upgrade path that isn't too difficult to do on your own. My wife is even running the same Macbook you've got with Ubuntu 14.04 herself. No idiotic RAM and SSD upgrades, just a free OS switch. You can't beat free to fix your problem if it's a viable option. If you're brave enough to try, I'll even offer a bit of help if desired.

Unfortunately, if you want to keep running OSX, a hardware upgrade is inevitable and mandatory. There's far cheaper paths than what's been "recommended" as I pointed out, such as Mac of All Trades... just be sure and cross-check with EveryMac.com to ensure it can run the latest OSX build.

If you're willing to go with an alternate OS like Ubuntu (or even Windows), your current laptop should still serve you well with minimal effort until it can no longer be repaired. From that point, look into a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T, X or W series from US Micro.

Apple's laptops aren't even ridiculously priced anymore. There's no other company who has better battery life, better build quality, and runs cooler and more quiet than a Mac. It just doesn't exist. That doesn't come from marketing, it comes from personal experience.

*facepalm*

Be thankful I am a pacifist, as I will refrain from beating you about the head with my Thinkpad X61s and its eight hour battery life as an object lesson on bold sweeping statements about Apple's engineering practices versus the rest of the industry.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 05:04:29 PM by I.P. Daley »

GizmoTX

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2014, 05:19:19 PM »
Try Firefox first. I'd upgrade to Lion 10.7.

I have offered a set of compatible 4 GB RAM chips from my old Mac plus OS Lion to the OP by PM for free. If she's interested, this should keep her MacBook running while she figures out what will work for her in the long run.

For what it's worth, I'm not running Mavericks yet on my 2014 MBP -- I learned a long time ago not to be on the bleeding edge by using version zero of any OS or app.

Jessa

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2014, 07:17:10 PM »
I see almost nobody has actually bothered looking to see what Jessa's Mac laptop is actually capable of running before spending her money and recommending upgrades. (Dean caught the issues.) For as many Apple propeller-heads posting here, so few even got it remotely right. Paying attention to the hardware is important.

Jessa, given the details you've provided in the OP, you own an Apple MacBook "Core 2 Duo" 2.1 13" (White-08 - Early 2008 - MB402LL/A* - MacBook4,1 - A1181 - 2242) laptop.

Quote
Pre-Installed MacOS:    X 10.5.2 (9C2015)    Maximum MacOS:    X 10.7.5*
Details:    *This system can run the last version of OS X 10.7 "Lion" if upgraded to at least 2 GB of RAM. It is not supported booting into 64-bit mode when running Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard." It does not support "OpenCL" either. Please also note that OS X Lion is not capable of running Mac OS X apps originally written for the PowerPC processor as it does not support the "Rosetta" environment.

The simple truth of the matter is that Apple has EOL'd this laptop as of 2012 and no longer supports software updates on it. Jessa can upgrade it to OSX 10.7.5, but that's it. Unfortunately, Apple no longer does security updates to their older operating systems.

Okay, so you are saying that updating to 10.7 is still not really safe?

I am not married to staying with Apple. I love my computer, it gives me much less crap than my SO's much newer PC gives him, but as someone noted upthread, I pretty much use it for browsing the internet, maintaining my finances, and cataloging and editing my photos. I don't really know a lot about computers other than how to use the programs I use a lot (so Excel and the GL and reporting softwares I use at work). I didn't know there was an operating system other than OS, Windows, and Linux...and I don't really know anything about Linux other than it exists and it has open code.

Quote
If you're willing/able to transition over to a full F/OSS stack for your software (LibreOffice, Firefox/Chromium, etc.) and aren't deeply entrenched in the iOS devices or don't need desktop support for them, you've got a free upgrade path that isn't too difficult to do on your own.

I'm not sure what that means. Can I still use my Quicken? And does it have something I can put my pictures in? I don't care what browser I use. I'm assuming that LibreOffice has something that would read Excel files, so I could still use my spreadsheets? I'm not really sure I'm tech savvy enough to switch all my stuff to a new operating system...hence my original question about if I could transfer things to a PC.

madmax

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2014, 07:23:21 PM »
Quote
I'm not sure what that means. Can I still use my Quicken? And does it have something I can put my pictures in? I don't care what browser I use. I'm assuming that LibreOffice has something that would read Excel files, so I could still use my spreadsheets? I'm not really sure I'm tech savvy enough to switch all my stuff to a new operating system...hence my original question about if I could transfer things to a PC.

There is no version of Quicken for Linux unfortunately. I'm guessing you are running Quicken 2005. This would also stop working with the latest release of OS X. I've tried the latest versions of Quicken for Mac and they suck. Ubuntu comes with a decent photo management app as well as a spreadsheet program so that part should be covered. If you can get help with moving your data and the installation, Ubuntu should work well for your needs.

Ricky

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2014, 07:54:32 PM »

*facepalm*

Be thankful I am a pacifist, as I will refrain from beating you about the head with my Thinkpad X61s and its eight hour battery life as an object lesson on bold sweeping statements about Apple's engineering practices versus the rest of the industry.
Sorry, but I'd pass out quicker from the sheer hideousness of that Thinkpad way before it got within striking distance of my head.

It's an undeniable fact that the MacBook Air consistently gets reviewed (by pretty much all unbiased sites) as the best laptop out there for weight to power/battery life ratio. Not only that but it's built better, runs cooler, and is more quiet than any PC counterpart, not that there technically is a counterpart since it's in a league of its own.

That said, the 440s and the X1 Carbon are both really great computers. But, the 440s is too thick for me, with worse battery life, and the X1 is too expensive.

Lenovo pretty much sums it up by their selves: they list LAPTOP magazine as a credible source with a badge that says "Editor's Choice" on the page of one of their best laptops, the 440S, yet LAPTOP still names the MBA as the top overall laptop of 2014. Go figure.

Daley

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #35 on: November 24, 2014, 11:25:57 AM »
Okay, so you are saying that updating to 10.7 is still not really safe?

Pretty much. Outside of a handful of critical holes, it's not gotten much attention since October 2012. The last OS level security patch given for 10.7.5 was the 2014-004 pack from September 17th of this year, and one's been released since (2014-005) that dropped minimum OS support to 10.8.5, the first time it's been excluded since release. I'm not anticipating Apple to release any more patches from this point forward, as it's officially three major releases behind at this point. Point of entropy is only going to accelerate from here, even if security abandonment is very recent (though it was a bit selective in its application the past year and change).

Can I still use my Quicken? And does it have something I can put my pictures in? I don't care what browser I use. I'm assuming that LibreOffice has something that would read Excel files, so I could still use my spreadsheets? I'm not really sure I'm tech savvy enough to switch all my stuff to a new operating system...hence my original question about if I could transfer things to a PC.

Nope to Quicken as it's been pointed out, but for what it's worth, YNAB runs beautifully with almost zero effort under WINE and YNAB also imports QIF files. Regarding image management, you might have problems with image tagging from iPhoto being brought over, but there's plenty of image managers such as Shotwell, F-Spot, XnViewMP, and digiKam, just to name a few. I believe Shotwell is the default for Ubuntu Desktop these days. Libreoffice can read and edit MS Office files, but any macros could be an issue. Unfortunately, current builds of Libreoffice no longer support OSX below 10.8, and the last stable build that supports 10.5 was LibreOffice 4.1.5. There's been some changes to the code base since then (mostly MS Office compatibility improvements), but you can still download and give it a try and see how well it handles your existing documents.

Change can be scary, but it doesn't have to be. However, I'm not going to push you to stretch beyond your capacities. If you're not comfortable manually backing up your documents to an external hard drive or switching core applications, it might be best to stick with OSX, which means at least a modest hardware upgrade to keep getting security updates for both the OS and applications.



I'd probably get pass out quicker just by looking at half of the ugly PCs out there way before you hit me in the head with it.

Sorry, but I'd pass out quicker from the sheer hideousness of that Thinkpad way before it got within striking distance of my head.

Well, aren't you just a delicate little flower. It's a wonder you can even get out of bed and function with all the grotesque anti-Apple aesthetics out in nature and civilization. Tell me, do you have a boy follow you about and wave smelling salts under your nose every time you feel faint from exposure to some hairy troglodyte carrying around an Android handset, or *gasp* even a feature phone?

Your existence in having to deal with us barbaric and tasteless plebeians must be so very trying.

big_owl

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2014, 11:34:30 AM »
Sorry, but I'd pass out quicker from the sheer hideousness of that Thinkpad way before it got within striking distance of my head.

Your mac must have the special "not quite identical but pretty close" double-posting feature.  Boy I wish my PC had that.

Guses

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2014, 11:40:22 AM »
Can someone explain to me why a browser update needs an hardware update? I mean it's a fairly recent computer, not a 486 we are talking about.

The laptop that I have from 2002 can run the latest version of mozilla, and chrome fine. It is also able to run windows 8.


jzb11

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2014, 11:43:43 AM »
Can you download/install google chrome to fix your browser issues?



It's up to you to decide your budget.

Personally I believe apple computers are worth a little bit of the premium. The hardware design is excellent and I love the fact that I can go to a physical store when I have an issue, instead of having to mail out my laptop.

I suggest one of the following options:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/GD711LL/B/refurbished-macbook-air-14ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i5

http://store.apple.com/us/product/GD760LL/B/refurbished-macbook-air-14ghz-dual-core-intel-core-i5

A windows based ultrabook of similar quality will not be that much, if any less expensive (core I5, SSD, etc). If you want an inexpensive PC with a normal hard disk, that is heavier/thicker, then yes you can find something for $300-400.

you can see the laptop which mirrors the MBA the most is about the same price. At the table further down the page you have some more inexpensive options which are of different components/build quality (heavier, thicker, plastic materials, etc).

http://www.amazon.com/Dell-XPS11-7693CFB-11-6-Inch-Convertible-Touchscreen/dp/B00FLMQDF8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1416854433&sr=8-2&keywords=11+inch+ultrabook
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 11:59:17 AM by jzb11 »

Daley

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2014, 11:55:15 AM »
Can someone explain to me why a browser update needs an hardware update? I mean it's a fairly recent computer, not a 486 we are talking about.

The laptop that I have from 2002 can run the latest version of mozilla, and chrome fine. It is also able to run windows 8.

It doesn't have to normally, but we're talking about Apple, OSX and planned obsolescence here. It only means replacing the laptop with something moderately newer (but still refurbished) if she wants to stick with the Apple ecosystem and operating system (still a terrible waste across the board). Browser security is necessary, but no less so than whole system security. The issue at hand is the fact that Apple no longer supports her hardware for OS updates, thus no more security updates. Granted, she's already been running naked from a security standpoint with some ugly vulnerabilities for a number of years, but if she's been unimpacted thus far, it just means she's been lucky. A lateral migration to another OS (Ubuntu Linux or even Windows 8) would fix the situation without any hardware replacement, but that requires change in and of itself. Personally, I recommended the 100% free path (excuse some time learning something new), but it's up to the OP if she wants to try and actually do it.

Ricky

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2014, 12:55:02 PM »
Sorry, but I'd pass out quicker from the sheer hideousness of that Thinkpad way before it got within striking distance of my head.

Your mac must have the special "not quite identical but pretty close" double-posting feature.  Boy I wish my PC had that.
Lol, I have no idea what happened. I was actually on my desktop PC when that happened. I posted and nothing showed up so I re-posted.

I'm not anti-PC. I just call it like it is.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 01:05:38 PM by Ricky »

GizmoTX

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2014, 01:02:49 PM »
Millions of computers are running Windows XP or earlier without support or the latest security patch. Apple's OS is UNIX based, making it automatically more secure than Windows, & its defaults are set more intelligently.

Security depends on much more than any computer's date of creation. Don't go to dicey sites, use an internet provider that actively screens for blacklist sites, use strong passwords, scan your computer for viruses & bots, partition off & encrypt sensitive information, backup frequently & rotate them.

Dr. Doom

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #42 on: November 24, 2014, 01:31:10 PM »
If all you use is a browser, I agree with other posters that perhaps you can get away with simply upgrading chrome and coasting for a while.  That being said, 7+ years for a notebook or PC is just about the time at which it's worth considering getting something else.  And new hardware is cheap. 

If you do end up buying something, and going the PC route, consider a Dell Inspiron 15 (15.6" display, not bad for movies) for $189 on Dell's website starting 10AM on Thursday.  Ridiculous.  Dells are reliable and the company provides decent support.  Beware:  No disc-based media drive, though.  This is 1/4 the price of most of the airbooks suggested on this thread.

Personally I don't do Mac.  The products are great, no doubt, but the cost premium isn't worth it IMO.

neo von retorch

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #43 on: November 24, 2014, 01:56:22 PM »
My history with Dell:

Dell PowerEdge SC400 (sat in my basement serving up web pages for about 6 years without issue.)
Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop (used it for ~5 years, put an SSD in it, my step-mother still has it now)
Dell Inspiron 17R (bought it with work hiring bonus for use at work in 3/2013, no issues yet)
Dell T220 (sits in my closet serving up files and backing up other computers)
Dell Inspiron 11 (3137 - bought a year ago as my coffee house clown beast for taking book notes and getting some light work done, no issues)

I'm a bit of a computer clown, but I've either had mysterious luck with Dell, or they aren't as bad as the peanut gallery claims. My desktop is not listed because it's not a Dell - I built it.

Just posting this because I'm with Dr. Doom. If you need new hardware, the Dell deals this week are excellent. It comes with a license for Windows so you don't have to factor in additional expense there. In your specific case, you'd either need to get a new version of Intuit or switch to YNAB (or find some other alternative) so there's definitely an added expense there. I know nothing about migrating photos from iPhoto. That being said, I.P. posted some awesome Mac deals from Mac of All Trades. I searched and found what he was sharing... a ~$249 Macbook with a 90-day warranty. (His link was broken though.) If I was helping someone buy a Mac, I'd jump all over this!

madmax

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #44 on: November 24, 2014, 10:53:44 PM »
It doesn't have to normally, but we're talking about Apple, OSX and planned obsolescence here.

To be fair though, it isn't really planned obsolescence. I was curious as to why her laptop isn't supported and found out that Mavericks requires a 64 bit boot ROM and she has a 32 bit one.

Daley

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2014, 08:08:34 AM »
It doesn't have to normally, but we're talking about Apple, OSX and planned obsolescence here.

To be fair though, it isn't really planned obsolescence. I was curious as to why her laptop isn't supported and found out that Mavericks requires a 64 bit boot ROM and she has a 32 bit one.

If that were true, the Macbook4,1 would have been axed with support after 10.6.x. I can almost forgive the whole abandoning the older 32bit architecture thing, but this isn't that. Her laptop has a 64bit C2D processor and 64bit EFI support, support was dropped purely in 10.8.x because of the graphics chipset and their unwillingness to compile/support 64bit Kexts due to the chipsets' performance under the continued bloat of OpenCL on their desktop. This is an issue of arbitrary support and graphics code bloat. Form over function... eyecandy on the desktop driving system requirements. Apple has a history of doing this sort of thing.

Windows has 64bit native graphics drivers for GMA-950, GMA-X3100, NV-7300GT, X1300, and X1900XT graphics chipsets. So does Linux. All from Intel, Nvidia and AMD/ATI. Neither of these operating systems have any problems driving a responsive and snappy desktop with these graphics chipsets today at the resolutions we're dealing with (and higher) from within 64bit native operating systems. Even the bloated, GPU accelerated Unity desktop under 64bit Ubuntu is plenty snappy with the GMA-X3100 chipset from this very same make and model laptop being discussed under my roof.

Dodge

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Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2014, 09:31:46 AM »
It doesn't have to normally, but we're talking about Apple, OSX and planned obsolescence here.

To be fair though, it isn't really planned obsolescence. I was curious as to why her laptop isn't supported and found out that Mavericks requires a 64 bit boot ROM and she has a 32 bit one.

If that were true, the Macbook4,1 would have been axed with support after 10.6.x. I can almost forgive the whole abandoning the older 32bit architecture thing, but this isn't that. Her laptop has a 64bit C2D processor and 64bit EFI support, support was dropped purely in 10.8.x because of the graphics chipset and their unwillingness to compile/support 64bit Kexts due to the chipsets' performance under the continued bloat of OpenCL on their desktop. This is an issue of arbitrary support and graphics code bloat. Form over function... eyecandy on the desktop driving system requirements. Apple has a history of doing this sort of thing.

Windows has 64bit native graphics drivers for GMA-950, GMA-X3100, NV-7300GT, X1300, and X1900XT graphics chipsets. So does Linux. All from Intel, Nvidia and AMD/ATI. Neither of these operating systems have any problems driving a responsive and snappy desktop with these graphics chipsets today at the resolutions we're dealing with (and higher) from within 64bit native operating systems. Even the bloated, GPU accelerated Unity desktop under 64bit Ubuntu is plenty snappy with the GMA-X3100 chipset from this very same make and model laptop being discussed under my roof.

The main draw of OSX for me, is that it's like Linux, but with the software/hardware support of Windows. I used Ubuntu for my main machine(s) for many years, and just got sick of not being able to run a certain app, needing to run a Windows VM 24/7 to get things done, and the horrible batterylife/system temperatures (fan constantly running) since Linux didn't have the proper drivers for my Dell laptop, as the manufacturer simply didn't feel Linux was big enough to bother making a driver, so it had to be reverse engineered. I had a dual core machine, and couldn't play Youtube videos full screen without it getting choppy.

My less technical family members are sick of having their machine compromised simply by visiting a webpage in Windows, and they can't run Linux due to the poor software support. Does Linux have Netflix support yet? I saw an article on it a few weeks back that said, "Netflix support coming to Linux!"

I wish Linux were better, I really do, but having to buy a new Mac once every 7-9 years is worth it for a lot of people.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 10:59:03 AM by Dodge »

FLBiker

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2014, 10:11:54 AM »
+ 1 for buying a $300-400 PC laptop.  And Ubuntu is great if you want to learn about Linux, but if you don't I'd just go with Windows and open source software -- OpenOffice, the Gimp, Inkscape, Freemind, Dia, etc. 

And, in my experience, I haven't found that these PCs age any worse than Macs.

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2014, 03:28:33 PM »
Thread is TLDR;

Mac will cost you $$$$. Think several times the cost of a PC. My GF has a MacBook that was $1400.
My PC was $400.  Mine is aging worse (I'm not as careful.)  They are both the same age. I may replace mine soon, but I could do so THREE TIMES before the costs are the same.

I would recommend you simply tune up the one you have. Get Google Chrome let it auto update. Uninstall spamware and your existing Mac will keep chugging.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Computer Questions : Upgrade or new? Mac vs PC?
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2014, 05:39:42 AM »
There seems to be a few choices you could make:

1) Update the OS on your existing MacBook. This would enable you to run the latest browsers, but you'll still have the issue of being unsupported re: security updates.

2) Install another OS (ie: Windows or Linux) on your MacBook. It's possible, but will need a degree of skill in order to do so (not to mention backing up and transferring data and installing software). Transitioning to Linux in particular will need a pretty decent level of skill, particularly if you're going to need to run alternative applications or Windows software through WINE. Windows of course will require you purchase a Windows licence.

3) Purchase a more recent used machine. Might find a bargain, but might be a bit of a crapshoot, especially if you get another Mac and Apple decide to stop supporting it next year.

4) Purchase an inexpensive Windows machine. They start from maybe $400 (plus any additional software you may need).

5) Purchase another Mac. Of course the most expensive option (although money can be saved if you look at online stores or for an Apple refurbished model).

Take your pick. :)

If I was in the situation, I'd probably look at a new Mac (one of the Apple refurbished models even). An extra couple hundred bucks every five or so years isn't going to delay FI for that long. Maybe clean up/reformat the old one and sell it on eBay.

That said, a new PC wouldn't be too bad either if you could easily get it set up. They'll be almost giving the things away now in the sales.