macosX on the new ibook



I am a pc user (windows and linux), but am by no means a linux expert. I am in the market for a new laptop, and the idea of apple making unix easier to use is very appealing to me. I have been thinking about buying a new ibook, but I am not sure about a few things.

I just came back from a mac store, and I was playing around with one of the new ibooks. It was in os 9, and I asked the guy if I could boot it up to os X to play around with it. He didn't know how, but I figured it out after playing with it for a little. Anyway, it ran slow. I was initially impressed with the looks, the keyboard, and the screen, but when I booted it into os X it crawled. I opened a few programs, chess, the calculator, and ie, but it took a very long time for all of them. The one guy in the shop obviously didn't know what was going on with it, but the model was the one with the cd-rom only, which means it only had 64 megs of ram in it. I figure that is the reason that the machine was so slow, but I am still questioning the speed of it even with lots of ram. I am in australia right now, and the store just got that machine in yesterday, and that is the only one.

Has anyone had similar results with 64 megs? Would it run noticably faster with 256megs? I know theoretically it would, but I am still cautious about ordering one of them. As I said, I am a pc user, and I might be looking to convert.

Thank you for your help,

Reid Maker
First, the 64 megs ram is a definite obstacle to decent performance. Apples minimum requirements are 128 megs, and even that is too little. Second, and more importantly, OSX is not really final release yet, in that Apple is ocntinuously releasing updates which will increase speed. This OS was released before it was really ready for various reasons, and speed has been a huge issue, which apple is very aware of. Sometime in July OSX 10.1 should be realesed, which will have a recompiled version of the finder which should make for a much faster OS. So dont judge OSX by what you have just seen. Wait a couple weeks and check out all of these forums to see if Apple really has improved the speed issue. Either way, the new ibook is definitely the best notebook out there for the price.

R Turner
I purchased an iBook for one of our project managers, but kept it for myself for a week "for testing;)"... we ordered it from macmall, so it came with 256megs of ram installed (they give you 128 free) and it is faster than my daily laptop and os X ran just fine. On a general note about os x being slow, if you are using the cli it is so fast your brain spins, it is the clunky gui that makes it slow down, so the more ram the better, and once Apple makes the finder cocoa I believe it will rock, if you look at KDE (a linux gui) when they were seeding 2.0 the interface slowed everything down, but by final release it waas much improved. Apple has come a long way, they just have a few more yards to the finish line. I would highly suggest buying the iBook and using OS X, it is great and definitely an emotional improvement over a winblows machine (there is an old zen saying: the only good windows machine is a unix machine on Wine)
I recently purchased a 500mhz TiBook with 256MB ram. It runs OSX pretty well. I wish I had purchased an iBook instead and heres why: Aparently the main difference between the G4 and G3 proccessor is Altivec stuff which has been "unnecessary under the [OSX] operating system" ( I spent a total of almost $4000 for the TiBook/Airport card and base/tax and shipping/OSX. I could have got the iBook with all of that for about $2000 which would have included a DVD/CDRW. So I paid $2000 for the 100mhz bus vs a 66mhz on the ibook and the cache. IMO the ibook is the best deal out there for a laptop!

To answer your qusetion more specifically, don't even consider using OSX with 64mb ram. I have 256 and am thinking about going to 512 soon. I don't know what your budget is, but consider purchasing one with a dvd or dvd/cdrw from an online retailer. They usually give you extra free ram, etc, and the DVD will be fun later :)

Don't the PowerBooks have a 15" screen and
the iBook has a "12.1 ?

that should jack the price up abit....
Actually I think it is 15.1... and that 3" makes all the difference in the world (insert dirty joke here) when you have tons of palletes and doing graphics work, so thats why the Ti is for "professional" (who can afford the extra and the iBook is for consumers
Hey to answer your question, i agree with Robin. I havwe heard that alot of people are calling the final release of OS X "Public Bata 2" and many features are still missing. CD-RW is only available through iTunes in OS X and i have no idea how long it will take for DVD-R. At least a couple months though the way things are going now. I really hope at 10.1 is released at MWNY. SO i would suggest waiting as well just my 2 cents:eek:
Did Apple ever clear up the issues with sleep mode putting a heavy drain on the laptop batteries? This is the major reason I've avoided putting it on my iBook. Maybe sometime when they get it sorted out properly I'll consider installing it.
I've been using X on an iBook with 256k, it runs okay. All of the reports about 10.1 indicate that it is a dramatic speed increase. There are many factors to OSX's speed issue. Your system must be optimized for decent speed (I use a utility called Xoptimize, it can be downloaded and is freeware). RAM is important, especially on an iBook or PB which typically sport fairly slow hard drives (4200). You really want to limit disk access for memory needs. OSX has a VM structure that uses disk swapping when you run out of RAM. If you get an iBook, max that puppy with RAM.
I went back to the store today, and played around with the ibook more. Even with the speed issue, I was quite impressed still. I am convinced that the ibook and osX is the way to go...

one more convert...
Originally posted by davidbrit2
Did Apple ever clear up the issues with sleep mode putting a heavy drain on the laptop batteries? This is the major reason I've avoided putting it on my iBook. Maybe sometime when they get it sorted out properly I'll consider installing it.

Sleep works very well on my TiBook. In fact, yesterday I grabbed it off by desk and put it in my backpack to go to work, ended up I did not take it out until after work (9hours later) and saw it was sleeping, instead of powered off. When I opened it, there had only been a very small drain on the battery, hardly noticable!

Originally posted by rmaker
I went back to the store today, and played around with the ibook more. Even with the speed issue, I was quite impressed still. I am convinced that the ibook and osX is the way to go...

one more convert...

Congrats my friend! I hope you enjoy the world of OSX as much as I have!!! Don't be afraid use your new machine to learn UNIX! Then you can call yourself an Ubergeek!

Interesting. Maybe if I get brave enough some time, I'll give it a try. How well do 9 and X coexist on the same partition? I've never tried that setup before.
I'm running X on a new iceBook (256 RAM, 20 Gig drive, Combo), and for the most part it's been just fine. I've turned off the bouncing animation in the dock, turned the colors down to thousands and I run "sudo update_prebinding -root /" after I install a few packages and occasionally run "fsck -Y" in single user mode.

So far it's been relatively snappy, and the screen size is surprisingly not an issue. It's incredibly sharp and crisp. If you can live with 1024x768 in everyday apps you won't have a problem with it.

I left it in Apple's default install on one partition with Classic, just to see how it would do, and it's honestly not too bad. Classic launches slowly, but since I do everything to stay out of it I can, that doesn't bother me much. The problem with them on the same partition to me is in Classic when one wants to rebuild the desktop. that takes forever and a day.

Still, if you set up X correctly and try some of the speed tips you find here, it runs just fine.
I am running OS X and 9.1 on a new iBook CD-RW. And I have to say it work's great on one partition. Even better than it does on two on my G3 desktop. The only thing bothering me is that it doesn't wake up from sleep in OS X mode once in a while. I really don't know why it shows this behaviour but it seems to be somewhat connected to Classic running. IMHO Classic is the major problem of all OS X glitches. It simply doesn't integrate good enough in X. Startup is slow, it is very unstable and I try not to use it whereever I can. I cannot use my HP OfficeJet G85 in X. So I have to reboot to 9.1 regularly. If only HP released a driver... Well, from my point of view, 10.1 will increase speed and offer more stability - especially bundled with 9.2. There is a lot of work to be done until I really may refrain from booting in 9.1.

All in all, I am very pleased with my new iBook. This pleased that I am thinking of selling my G3 desktop. I hardly use it now, because the iBook does all I want it to and I hate relying on tools like folder synchronize to keep data up to date on both machines. Right now I am testing using the iBook exclusively for some time to see whether I will be missing the larger monitor or any other feature like DVD playback of my desktop. If I don't I am right on my way to eBay to sell the G3.

And let's see what MWNY brings. I might be desperate for some new hardware to spend my bucks on... ;-)

Yeah, no problem putting 9.1 and X on the same partiation, but if you do put them on two partitions then you get the benefit of being able to select which OS to boot from when you power on the computer by holding down the option key. Otherwise you have to select the Startup Disk in a control panel.

I've got a 1GB partition for 9.1 and its apps, and the rest (minus a swap partition) is for OS X on my 20GB drive.

With reagrds to the ibook in the australien store - i think it is also a very probable that it runs OSX 10.0.1 since it runs whatever it shipped with originaly. i use one of the old 300MHz ibooks. upgrading from 192mb to 320mb speed up the whole thing quit a bit, but the biggest speed improvement was definately achieved when i stepped up to 10.0.4.

I am using OS X in a G4DP 450 machine with 512 meg ram. It moves along very fast. 64 meg will slow it down a lot.