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Take Control of Buying a Mac
Price
$10.00
Pages
98
Formats
PDF EPUB Mobi
Version
3.0
Published
Sep 16, 2008
The Author

Adam C. Engst is the publisher of TidBITS and Take Control Books. He has written numerous technical books, including the best-selling Internet Starter Kit series, and many magazine articles - thanks to Contributing Editor positions at MacUser, MacWEEK, and Macworld. He has been turned into an action figure.

Take Control of Buying a Mac, Third Edition

Save money, avoid stress, and buy the right Mac for your needs and budget!

Old info alert! Although many of the fundamentals in this ebook remain accurate and useful, a great number of the details have changed since it was published in 2008. At this time, we do not plan to further update this ebook.

Deciding that you want to buy a new Mac is easy, but embarking on the project immediately raises questions like “What Mac will best meet my needs?”, “Should I buy now or wait a month?”, “How do I move my files from my old Mac to my new one?”, and “What should I do with my old Mac?” Mac guru Adam Engst has answered these questions countless times, and he has distilled the answers into this 98-page book. Worksheets in the book help you match your needs and budget to the model that’s right for you. And, you’ll learn how to predict when Apple will release new models and when you can get the most bang for your buck. When you’re ready to buy, Adam helps you compare different choices for where to shop. You’ll also find advice and step-by-step instructions for transferring your files from your old Mac to your shiny new one, along with a thoughts about how to get the most out of your old Mac.

More Info

"Just read your Take Control of Buying a Mac. Excellent, clearly written, and current! Loved the charts."       —Chris Greaves

Questions answered in this book include:

  • Are there particular months when it especially makes sense to buy a new Mac?
  • Should I buy a brand new model, or one that has been out for a while?
  • What are the important pros and cons of the MacBook Air?
  • Do I really need a Mac Pro, or would an inexpensive iMac be a better choice?
  • How much RAM should I get, and should I buy it from Apple or a reseller?
  • How should I connect my old and new Macs so I can transfer files?
  • What should I do about iTunes authorization when moving to a new Mac?
  • Before I give it away, how should I prepare the hard drive on my old Mac?
What's New

Version 3.0 of Take Control of Buying a Mac is a major revision from the previous version, with modifications throughout. The biggest changes are these:

  • Recast the book to cover the new Intel-based Mac models—especially the MacBook Air—and updated details throughout to account for Apple’s product line changes
  • Added information about transferring files via direct hard drive installation
  • Added information about disposing of old Macs via Apple’s recycling program or Freecycle
  • Updated product prices and specifications throughout to bring them up to date
FAQ

This ebook was last updated in 2008. Is it still useful?

For the most part, the age of this ebook doesn’t matter, since the bulk of it isn’t about the specs of current models or the like, but about helping you figure out what your needs are, and how that matches with a particular type of Mac. The only thing that’s changed much since the book came out is that for a desktop Mac, Adam no longer recommends that someone get a Mac Pro unless they absolutely know they need the utmost power and flexibility. The iMac is plenty for most people. Adam also doesn’t cover the iPad, which may figure into some purchasing decisions.

Release Dates

Macintosh Product Announcements by Month

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

January

Mac mini, PowerBook G4

MacBook Pro, iMac (Intel)

MacBook Air, Mac Pro

February

Mac mini (Intel)

MacBook, MacBook Pro

March

April

PowerBook G4, iBook G4

Power Mac G5

MacBook Pro

Mac Pro

iMac

May

iMac G5

MacBook

MacBook

 

June

Power Mac G5

 

MacBook Pro

July

iBook G4

 

August

iMac G5

 

Mac Pro

iMac, Mac mini

 

September

 

Mac mini

iMac, Mac mini

October

iBook G4, Power Mac G5

Power Mac G5, iMac G5, PowerBook G4

MacBook Pro

MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air

November

MacBook

MacBook, MacBook Pro

December

For a full description of how to use the information in this table in your purchasing decision, you’ll want to read the book.

Update Plans

May 20, 2011 – Although many of the fundamentals in this ebook remain accurate and useful, a great number of the details have changed since the last update. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not plan to further update this ebook.

Posted by Tonya Engst

Blog
  1. Reader Question: Updating Personal Information

    Reader Mary R. has reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled Mac OS X on an old machine she wants to sell and asks, “In the process of reinstalling Mac OS X, I had to enter my personal data. Where does this information reside? I would like to update it when I sell the Mac.”

    The personal information for the default account created when you install Mac OS X goes into the Address Book on the My Card card. To get to that card, open Address Book and choose Card > Go to My Card.

    Posted by Michael E. Cohen (Permalink)

  2. Considering a Mac Pro?

    Reader Mary R. recently wrote in, asking, “I will be purchasing a new Mac this year—going from an eMac running Tiger to (probably) an iMac running Snow Leopard. I’d like to do some research before the purchase. It looks like the book, Take Control of Buying a Mac, would be a useful read, but I’m wondering if there is a more recent edition.”

    Adam, author of the ebook, wrote this in reply, “No, there’s no more recent edition, alas, but for the most part, it doesn’t really matter, since the bulk of the book is not about the specs of current models or the like, but about helping you figure out what your needs are, and how that matches with a particular type of Mac. The only thing that’s changed much since the book came out is that I would no longer recommend someone get a Mac Pro unless they absolutely know they need the utmost power and flexibility. The iMac is plenty for most people.”

    By the way, what with Adam’s change in thinking about the Mac Pro and the iPad popping up as an intriguing option on the low end, it’s probably time for us to consider revising this ebook.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  3. Read Adam Engst’s Advice on Buying the Right Mac at the Right Time

    Deciding that you want to buy a new Mac is easy, but embarking on the project immediately raises questions like “What Mac will best meet my needs?”, “Should I buy now or wait a month?”, “How do I move my files from my old Mac to my new one?”, and “What should I do with my old Mac?” Mac guru Adam Engst has answered these questions countless times, and he has distilled the answers into the 98-page Take Control of Buying a Mac.

    Worksheets in the book help you match your needs and budget to the right Mac model, and a chart of Apple’s model launches over the last 5 years helps predict when new Macs will appear. Adam also explains when you can purchase to get the most bang for your buck, compares different venues for where to shop, gives advice and step-by-step instructions for transferring files from an old Mac to the shiny new one, and offers thoughts about how to get the most out of the Mac that’s being replaced.

    Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)