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Old 24th Oct 2006, 16:34   #1
John Self
suffers from smallness of vision
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Join Date: 27 Jun 2003
Location: Belfast
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Default Apple v PC

OK so. I am thinking of getting a new computer at home because my current one (a go-slower-striped fully-bog-standard Acer laptop) is already struggling to cope with everyday life at the tender age of two and a half. Mainly - and I speak as a borderline technophobe here - this seems to come down to two things.

1. It has only 256MB RAM, which I am given to understand renders it practically useless when trying to run multiple applications speedily.

2. I have almost no room on the hard drive even though there's practically nothing extraneous on there. The hard drive is 20GB but my iTunes music library takes up about 10GB and presumably Windows, Office, and all the other crap that I have on it takes up the rest. I have a few photos and Word documents but really practically no personal stuff on there. Every time I start the damn thing it gives me this warning about running out of disk space (I have about 200MB left) and magnanimously clears out about 30MB of stuff from my cache, just in time for me to fill it up again before the next time I start up. So if I want to download the new Firefox browser (or, God forbid, Internet Explorer 7), I'll be down to the wire. I know I could get an external hard drive but it rather diminishes the point of having a space-saving laptop.

And so I am wondering, if I decide to splash out on a new machine, whether I should stick with what I know or make the break for Apple.

My main problem is I have absolutely no frame of reference for comparison of the different machines. For example CPU speeds. My current laptop has a 2.6GHz processor. Presumably new ones are about twice that speed. But I see that new Apple Macbooks (or whatever they're called) are about 1.6GHz. Does this mean they're much slower than a PC/laptop of the same processor speed? Or do Apples run more efficiently to make a 1.6GHz Apple faster than a 2.6GHz PC?

Also if I did change over, would my Microsoft Word documents etc be readable on an Apple machine? And do Apple machines come with word processor etc inbuilt (I could only see reference to something called iLife on their site), or do I have to shell out £400 for the equivalent of Office the way I did when I bought my current machine?

Questions, questions... Any advice?
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