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Best deals on Mac's?

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Old 30 January 2010, 07:22 PM   #1
Dingdongler
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Default Best deals on Mac's?

Hi

I've decided to move over to a Mac laptop. I'm a nhs employee and that gets me a whopping 6% discount! LOL

If you are an University student you get a 14% discount. A friend of mine who also works for the nhs managed to get the university discount (as he works at a hospital affiliated to a university) AND they threw in the extended warranty worth 180 for free! Together that works out at about 25% off, which is considerable.

I tried this, and they weren't having any of it. My mate must have had the right guy on the right day.

Anyway, does anybody know if I get somebody at University to order it for me, can I still register it in my name for warranty purposes?

I usually wouldn't bother with things like this, but its my first move over to a Mac, and the increased cost over a PC is a bit of an issue.

Thanks
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Old 31 January 2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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If you do it online and want the student discount, you have to do the order from within the universty/school etc as the apple store knows which bunch of IP addresses are linked to educational establishments, thus you qualify.
Then under the discount code, I should imagine your friend then applied the NHS code as well for the savings.

Same goes for ordering over the phone or instore. You will have to provide documents showing your status as a student or nhs employee. There are dedicated resellers and areas instore that deal with educational buyers.
You will need to get the right person for the job.

There is nothing to stop a 'friend' who is a student purchasing it on your behalf as long as they do it using the routes described above.
You could always give the cash to your mate and get him to do it.

It is worth persevering for the discount if you really want the mac laptop, you will love it once you get it and there are tons of mac users on here
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Old 31 January 2010, 09:58 AM   #3
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Dingdongler

If you can get to an Apple store then you can simply take your student friend with you.

I bought a Macbook recently and a friend of my wife is a student so the 3 of us went to the store, he said it was fine using her student card so he scanned her ID and said she could go and I completed the purchase, incidentally it was 15%.

I was also undercharged by the guy for some reason as I got a Macbook Pro 13 inch with 4GB RAM, 1 year MobileMe subscription and the 3 year AppleCare warranty.

When I paid at the till I was only charged 774 for everything, even with the discount I worked it out at around 900.


Last edited by Hanley; 31 January 2010 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 31 January 2010, 10:09 AM   #4
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Hi swiss,

I don't think that's actually the case. Afaik, to get the educational discount all you need to do is order it online with an '.ac' email. It doesn't have to be ordered from university computers.

For the nhs it is the same, it just needs to be ordered using an email acct that ends in '.nhs'

I can't quite figure out how my mate managed to get such a big discount, maybe they made a mistake?

Anyway, I'm looking into all the possible avenues, including somebody I know who gets a discount through work.

I could do with some help configuring my potential new laptop. I've decided on the 15" Macbookpro. I only do fairly basic stuff, word processing, powerpoint presentations, websurfing, photos etc. I don't play games or watch/download videos on the computer.

Do I need

1) 8gb Ram (4gb standard) This is very expensive, 500!

2)Upgraded hard drive, variable options from 500gb upwards, from 82 to 132.

3) Upgraded processor from 2.66ghz to 2.8ghz (+200)

4) Antiglare screen

5)Iwork software. I presume this is like microsoft office, and so essential for word processing etc

Thanks

1)

Last edited by Dingdongler; 31 January 2010 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 31 January 2010, 10:46 AM   #5
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I find the 13inch more than adequate for general day to day needs.

Don't bother with the expensive 8GB memory upgrade if you don't need it, and from what you say I wouldn't say you do.

Hard drive upgrades seem reasonable, bear in mind if you order in an Apple Store they can't upgrade the drive, they can do the memory while you wait but they have to send it off to do the drive.

I don't think the processor upgrade is worth the money IMO

You can get Microsoft Office for Mac, I've installed it and it works fine, it also comes with Microsoft Entourage for e-mail.
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Old 31 January 2010, 10:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingdongler View Post
Hi swiss,

I don't think that's actually the case. Afaik, to get the educational discount all you need to do is order it online with an '.ac' email. It doesn't have to be ordered from university computers.

For the nhs it is the same, it just needs to be ordered using an email acct that ends in '.nhs'

I can't quite figure out how my mate managed to get such a big discount, maybe they made a mistake?

Anyway, I'm looking into all the possible avenues, including somebody I know who gets a discount through work.

I could do with some help configuring my potential new laptop. I've decided on the 15" Macbookpro. I only do fairly basic stuff, word processing, powerpoint presentations, websurfing, photos etc. I don't play games or watch/download videos on the computer.

Do I need

1) 8gb Ram (4gb standard) This is very expensive, 500!

2)Upgraded hard drive, variable options from 500gb upwards, from 82 to 132.

3) Upgraded processor from 2.66ghz to 2.8ghz (+200)

4) Antiglare screen

5)Iwork software. I presume this is like microsoft office, and so essential for word processing etc

Thanks

1)
It is correct, you go online from home and to the educational store and try ordering it even without an email address. They can be spoofed but IP addresses cant. Try it and tell me if I am wrong
There is a telephone number in case you are not on the campus

As to your requirements. Just select the base model, ignore the extra ram, best to get that from crucial.com/uk if you need at a later date.
Hard drive as standard will be fine for your needs though if you can swing the extra money, up the processor

iwork is the alternative to ms office but for 99 you can get the full Office 2008 for mac, quite a saving over the 400 version for non educational people
There are also free alternatives to office like openoffice.org etc
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Old 31 January 2010, 10:50 AM   #7
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There are also free copies of Microsoft Office for Mac
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Old 31 January 2010, 11:05 AM   #8
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Thanks guys.

Hanley, I've gone for the 15" screen because I don't run a desktop. I also have a 15" at the moment, so its what I'm used to.

I'm a little confused by what you guys are saying about iworks. Though I will get ms office (somebody at work told me nhs staff can get it for 10), I thought as default I should be using the mac version, ie iworks.

Isn't the whole point of having a Mac to use Apple's software, and just have ms software there as back up in case of compatability issues with those people that don't run Macs.

We seem to agree that the extra Ram isn't needed, but there seems to be some difference of opinion as to whether the hard drive and/or processor are worth upgrading.

Thanks again.

ps swiss, I'm sure you are probably right about the university thing, just that I was told different.
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Old 31 January 2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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I think Office for Mac is just easier than using iWorks, although I never bothered with iWorks.

I did some reading on a few Mac forums and the general opinion appeared to sway in the favour of Office, if you're using Outlook for your email then you can convert them and import everything into Microsoft Entourage.

I'm not 100% convinced what you'll gain in paying 200 to go from a 2.66 to 2.88 CPU, the Genius in the Apple store advised me for general usage he didn't think it was necessary.

Frpm what you described as your needs I don't think you'll need the memory upgrade, keep that money in your pocket.

Have you looked at the MobileMe subscription? If you use an iPhone then it's cool the way it keeps your calendars in sync, you also get online disk storage, pic uploads etc.

I didn't go for the hard drive upgrade as I plan to keep all my data centrally on a NAS, currently sitting on a Windows PC but not for long.

Mine has the 160GB and I think that's big enough for my needs.

Also factor in the cost of an external drive for Time Machine backups.

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Old 31 January 2010, 11:43 AM   #10
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iWorks is Apple's own productivity package, so numbers is excel, pages is word and keynote is powerpoint. All iWork apps will open the MS equivilent and save back as if needed.
It is far quicker on the mac than office as you would expect for an Apple coded product, however the full MS suite does work very well out of the box .

It just depends on what you want to pay and how much file transfering you will be doing between collegues and friends who run MS office on a windows machine etc

As for the mail client. Apple mail built in and free will handle your mail from Outlook with a bit of conversion or you can use Entourage with Office 2008.
Just a note though, if this mac will be used in an environment which is work based and you are running MS Exchange, then the student version of Office 2008 does not include the Exchange client in Entourage. It is designed for more POP accounts.
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Old 31 January 2010, 12:32 PM   #11
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Thanks.

No, the computer will not be used in a work setting, ie working from home sort of thing. I'll stick to ms office for now then, especially as I can get it for a tenner.
Sorry, loads more questions!

Can somebody explain the difference between time machine and time capsule? This time machine thing seems to keep a back up copy of everything even when deleted. What does one do about, ahem, any, ahem websites one may have visited, that one might not want the mrs to know about.
Just curious of course!

Does the time machine come with the mac book pro, or is it a software/hardware upgrade? Can't seem to figure it out from the website.

Can I transfer my photos etc from my old pc laptop to the mac?

I use a wireless sender to stream music via napster, if I buy a time capsule, does that become my new wireless sender? No reason why it shouldn't stream napster is there?

Sorry about all the questions and thanks for the help and guidance.

Last edited by Dingdongler; 31 January 2010 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 31 January 2010, 01:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Can somebody explain the difference between time machine and time capsule? This time machine thing seems to keep a back up copy of everything even when deleted. What does one do about, ahem, any, ahem websites one may have visited, that one might not want the mrs to know about.
Just curious of course!

Time machine is the software that comes on the mac and runs the backup automated.
It backs up whatever you want, but dont worry about web history, it does not keep or it is not in a format that your missus would be able to view
Time capsule is an external hard drive /nas unit from Apple that double as as a wireless router (without the modem) and is a source for Time Machine to use as a wireless backup.




Does the time machine come with the mac book pro, or is it a software/hardware upgrade? Can't seem to figure it out from the website.

see above

Can I transfer my photos etc from my old pc laptop to the mac?

yes, just import them all into iPhoto, a doddle

I use a wireless sender to stream music via napster, if I buy a time capsule, does that become my new wireless sender? No reason why it shouldn't stream napster is there?



Sorry about all the questions and thanks for the help and guidance.
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Old 31 January 2010, 01:07 PM   #13
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Time Machine is the built-in backup software (which comes as standard).
It takes hourly, weekly and monthly snapshots of your system, your Mac can be completely restored from Time Machine backups.

Time Capsule is a wireless N router with built in storage, 1TB or 2TB. As this Time Capsule supports AFP it can be used with Time Machine for wireless backups.

For your browsing, especially the sites you don't want to see - I'm assuming this is when you're shopping for her surprise present - I'd suggest using Firefox as you can launch 'Private' browsing sessions which doesn't store any history.

Transferring your pics from a Windows platform to iPhoto is very simple, I mapped to my Windows PC from my Mac and used the import function within iPhoto, didn't take long.

I'm not sure about the Napster question.

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Old 31 January 2010, 05:27 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the help guys. I popped into Comets today just to have a quick look. They really are sexy machines aren't they? The Sony I was originally thinking felt/looked tacky in comparison, to be fair though it is 500 cheaper.
The 27 inch desk top screen is a thing of beauty as well!

I'm almost tempted to get the 17 inch version, my wife who didn't originally want me to buy a Mac at all, now says buy the 17 inch one.

Anyway, I'm thinking of specifying the anti glare screen, as the standard screen in the shop seemed to show a lot of reflections. What do you guys think?
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Old 31 January 2010, 05:49 PM   #15
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I have the iMac 24" and it is brilliant

TBH the antiglare screen is a personal preference. To me it isnt that bad as I got used to it, some people hate it with all the reflections in bright light

I wouldnt spend the money on a 17" one, they are pretty heavy and unwieldily

Spend the money you save on the antiglare option, an external hard disk or the time capsule etc
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Old 31 January 2010, 06:02 PM   #16
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I've got the quad core 27" iMac, awesome bit of kit. I was waiting for the ipad & hping it would have a cut down version of osx, but it looks like I'll end up with a 13" MBP. Enjoy the new machine, you won't look back.
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Old 31 January 2010, 07:48 PM   #17
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Thanks for all your help guys.

Hopefully will order with friend's 10% work discount tomorrow. Can't be bothered trying to get the extra 5% via the student scheme.

I was going to go for the 180 three year extended care package. That's got to be worth it?

Btw, I take it the time capsule when used as a wifi device can be well secured?

Last edited by Dingdongler; 31 January 2010 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 31 January 2010, 08:33 PM   #18
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I didn't go for the anti-glare screen either and I've never noticed a problem with my screen.

I wouldn't opt for the 17inch, because the keyboard is identical in size on each model all you're left with on the 17inch is a vast amount of nothing other than the keyboard, and it is a bit heave and clunky, that's only my opinion of course...I'm sure like me you'll listen to the boss....the wife.

As others have said, you'll never regret spending the extra money on the Mac, fair enough a lot of people say they're far too expensive for what they are...and I suppose they're probably right but I also suspect a high percentage of those people would buy one if they could afford it.

I've never used the Time Capsule so can't comment on security but I would suspect it can be tightly controlled....do you have an Apple Store where you are as you get fantastic advice from those guys.

Good luck with whatever you decide and don't forget a lot of us on here are Mac users so you know where to come for help and advice.

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Old 31 January 2010, 08:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ_Jon View Post
I've got the quad core 27" iMac, awesome bit of kit
Jammy bar-steward

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Old 31 January 2010, 08:34 PM   #20
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The apple care is a good package to have if you run into problems.
It allows you to register online and then you have access to the genius bar/service engineers at apple stores etc

The time capsule is a fully featured wifi router so yes it has all the wep/wpa2 security etc
You can even set it to be two wifi basestations, one for you and your family and one for when guests come around so you dont have to give them your wifi key
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Old 31 January 2010, 08:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingdongler View Post
I was going to go for the 180 three year extended care package. That's got to be worth it?
Don't forget you also get discount on anything else you purchase with your Mac...so if you buy the AppleCare (which is a good investment IMO) you get the discount on that, you'll also get the discount on a Time Capsule if you buy it at the same time, at least that's what I was advised in the Apple Store.

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Old 31 January 2010, 08:41 PM   #22
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Dingdongler

Not sure if you've stumbled upon these yet but I found them to be very useful when I first switched to my Mac.

Apple Tutorial Videos

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Old 01 February 2010, 03:39 PM   #23
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Thanks guys. Have found a great deal and will be ordering tomorrow!
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Old 01 February 2010, 03:44 PM   #24
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What did you order then?
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Old 01 February 2010, 07:41 PM   #25
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Hiya mate.

I went for the standard 15" Mac book pro + three year warranty. Decided not to even go for the anti glare thing in the end, if it doesn't seem to bother you guys, can't see why I need to spend 50 on it!

For some reason I'm tempted to upgrade the hd to 320gb for circa 40, but am trying to resist, as you have all mentioned I don't actually need it! My current laptop is only 80gb, so the standard 250gb is a huge jump up anyway.

Thanks again for all the advice, I'm quite excited now!

Just need to get some i.d over to them tomorrow and then place the order
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Old 01 February 2010, 09:05 PM   #26
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Make sure you get an external hard drive or the time capsule for time machine backups, its already save my bacon twice since owning a Mac & is a piece of cake to set up.

I think you have made the right choice, the 15" MBP is a fantastic bit of kit. I was lucky with mine, my lass works at a University, so she got 12% off the price off the Mac & 70% off the Applecare, plus i can get the discount again when I want to buy any peripherals from the Apple store.. cheers love

Last edited by DJ_Jon; 01 February 2010 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 01 February 2010, 09:34 PM   #27
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I've had an MBP for a couple of years now, I've had (use of) pretty much every type of Mac in my (OMG) 19 years of Mac use! This has to have been the most useful. I had a G5 desktop previously and I have no idea why I didnt get a laptop first time round.

My HDD is 200gb and it's plenty unless you want to store lots of MD videos or 000s of iTunes.

I got mine as a refurb so saved about 25%, they are worth checking out too if you dont necessarily want the most recent model.

I have had issues with Time machine on a number of occasions so never completely rely on it! I tried to restore from it and it failed, luckily I had another backup.
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Old 01 February 2010, 11:38 PM   #28
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DJJ, yes I've got a similar deal. Works out at circa 25% off what I would have paid!

I was thinking about buying the time capsule at the same time but have read a few bad things about them, so might hold off for now. I can use any bog standard hard drive though can't I?

Rich, I don't store videos and all my music is ripped onto a nas in lossless format (+ I use napster), so I'll take the advice and not upgrade the hd
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Old 02 February 2010, 09:40 AM   #29
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You can use any locally attached drive with Time Machine.

If you want to use a NAS then it must support Apple File Protocol (AFP)

There are ways of enabling Time Machine use with other network disks, there's a tutorial here - credit to Markus for this link.

Not sure I'd risk my backups on some Time Machine hack though, although I'm paranoid and use a local disk for Time Machine backups but still carry out my own backups to my Windows PC - wouldn't want to rely completely on Time Machine.

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Old 02 February 2010, 11:17 AM   #30
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Thanks.

I'm ordering today. My wifi sender is quite old (3-4 years) and because I lost the instructions I've never managed to make it secure.

so I was going to buy a new wifi sender anyway, and will need one straight away for internet. shall I just go to pc world and buy a 'normal' one ie Belkin etc or shall I get the airport extreme?
I've read mixed reviews on the time capsule (reliabilty of power supply issues) and so don't want to buy that.

My house is quite big, and is Edwardian, so lots of thick walls. At some point I'll have a loft extension, so it will be over three floors.
Is the airport extreme as good as the best others on the market?

It would be really helpful to get some feedback on this asap as I want to get on and order.

Many thanks

Last edited by Dingdongler; 02 February 2010 at 11:27 AM.
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