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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is in order to publish on iTunes Connect.

I've been warned against buying something too old, because Apple likes to make upgrades so something too old will likely become obsolete soon. But I really only intend to upload with this computer -- not write on it or anything. I'm a confirmed PC girl and although I'll learn a new operating system in order to do the uploads, I really won't be using it for anything other than uploading and the occasional checking of email when my 3-year-old commandeers my laptop.  :D

So what specs do I need? What model year do you think is the oldest I could get away with safely?
 

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Here is the system requirements: iTunes Producer 2.8 for books requires a Macintosh with an Intel Core processor, at least 512 MB RAM, and
Mac OS X v10.6 or later installed.

I bought a Mac Mini and only use it for uploading to iTunes (I already had an extra monitor, keyboard, and mouse). I'm also a PC girl.
 

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Basically you can buy the MAC OS and use a program to install "MAC" like a normal app on your computer so you'd basically be running a mac from inside windows. 

But if that was all Greek to you then used is probably a good way to go ;)
 

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Dan C. Rinnert said:
Please don't confuse a MAC address with the Mac OS. ;)

ETA: Using MAC instead of Mac is the computer world equivalent of using there when you meant their.
I think he means installing a program to run Mac OSX on your own non-Mac computer. It's possible. But hard. ;)

How to Run Mac OS X in VirtualBox on Windows
http://lifehacker.com/5583650/run-mac-os-x-in-virtualbox-on-windows

Beware, though, this is a 2010 blog post, things are bound to have changed a little from that tutorial.
 

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I have bought several refurbished Macs over the years directly through Apple and every one of them worked like a charm.  You get the Apple guarantee and warranty, so it's worth the up to 33% off you get.  And the computers are basically new, not older models.  Check the Apple website. They have separate listings for refurbished machines and they change daily as inventory comes and goes. 

Refurbished means someone returned the computer shortly after buying it or receiving it as a gift.  It could have been for any reason (didn't work, didn't like it, not fast enough, etc.).  It goes back to the factory, gets put through the paces and fixed if necessary, and then is ready for sale again.  They can't sell it as new since it's already been sold once, so it goes out as "refurbished".  A total steal of a deal!!
 

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I strongly encourage picking up a Mac and I echo whoever said to pick up a slightly newer model if possible. You definitely don't want to be left stranded if they upgrade the iTunes producer to require a more recent OS.

If you check Craigslist and perhaps Ebay you'll be able to find really great deals on Mac Minis, and that's going to be your most cost efficient way of getting the Mac OSx with the least amount of hassles. I'm currently using a Macbook and running a Hackintosh (shh, don't tell) (google it if you're at all curious - I just lucked out that my PC could run it "out of box" as they say).

Good luck!
 

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I am going to jump in here and give my bit of advise. Keep in mind, this advise is coming from a Mac Snob, so of course, I'm going to be biased. I do also have PCs and was a PC user up until 3 years ago.

I will reiterate what Elle Casey suggested... check out the refurbished macs on the Apple website: http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac. My 27" iMac was purchased 3 years ago, refurbished, with full warranty. I have been told that the refurbished models are actually better because they go through more rigorous testing.

It is my PERSONAL opinion that you will get the mac and end up LOVING it. But again, that's on a personal level - some people end up hating them. Usually, if you're open to learning new things, then you'll end up loving the Mac OS X and the entire environment.

Lastly, and most will not agree with me, but I suggest getting the applecare plan as well (their extended warranty plan which is only available if you buy either a new or refurbished model that is still under the normal manufacturer warranty). My iMac began giving me a few minor issues about a year ago. I took it in and because I had applecare, they took care of EVERYTHING for me. I didn't have to lift a finger (other than carry the massive thing into the store).

So, when it comes to buying a Mac, my suggestion is to buy refurbished and purchase applecare - you'll end up loving the computer so much it'll be your primary machine in no time! ;)

If you do happen to buy an older model on Craigslist or similar - here's my experience and advise... Several months ago, I decided to buy a MacBook Pro from someone I knew (who I just happened to run across on Craigslist). I was able to go to his house and try it out, play with it, use it for a bit, and make sure it had the latest OS X installed. Check the condition, make sure the battery life is good, make sure the charger connection is good (plug it in while you're there... make sure the charger is also in good condition). If someone is too imatient to let you play with it before buying it, then they don't deserve your money. My MacBook Pro is a 2009 model and I still paid $500 for it (which was actually a steal considering they were selling for close to $750 on eBay). Keep in mind, buying an older model like this will not get you any sort of warranty. If something goes, it goes and you're SOL. Macs actually use the same hardware manufacturers as PCs do now. It's their operating system (mac vs windows) that actually makes the major difference when it comes to performance and longevity.

Lastly, and I suggest this to ALL PC and Mac users - BACK UP YOUR DATA! (shouty capitals absolutely necessary)

That is all. Hope this helps you make your decision. Good luck!
 

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A refurb Mac-Mini with the basics is probably going to be the most cost effective and give you some years of life with the current versions of the OS and software. You will not need to buy an Apple monitor nor keyboards or mouse necessarily either; Blue Tooth or USB mice and keyboards will work but I'd at least suggest an Apple keyboard if you want to use some of the quick keys for the interface.

An adapter to VGA might need to be purchased if your current monitor only has VGA but the Mac-Mini usually comes with a DVI adapter. If you have a monitor that has both, you can run both a PC and the Mac-Mini concurrently on the same monitor by switching to the other input. They run under $1k for the basics and are probably the most hassel free for the buck.

I didn't realise OSX would install on a VM! I've been working with virtual machines for years in my career and have used VirtualBox, so something I'll have to play with.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
I've been warned against buying something too old, because Apple likes to make upgrades so something too old will likely become obsolete soon. But I really only intend to upload with this computer -- not write on it or anything. I'm a confirmed PC girl and although I'll learn a new operating system in order to do the uploads, I really won't be using it for anything other than uploading and the occasional checking of email when my 3-year-old commandeers my laptop. :D

So what specs do I need? What model year do you think is the oldest I could get away with safely?
Mac Mini is a great buy if you you are looking for a desktop. If you want a laptop, i'd pick up a MacBook Air or 13" MacBook Pro. All are excellent and you won't be disappointed.
 

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Just a note, I tried the virtualbox thing from the article last month and got nowhere. It eventually installed, but it wasn't stable. The OS would boot, but if you tried to do anything it would crash.

On Mac making things unable to work with older machines, I would say quite the opposite. However, a few years ago they switched from PowerPC processors to Intel processors and that created a large division and if you're on the earlier side of it, you're more or less out of luck these days.

Looking briefly at our local Craig's list, I find a MacBook with an intel processor for $350.
 

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I'd lean toward getting a refurbished unit from Apple versus a used model from some John Doe selling his old laptop, if for no other reason than hopefully having a relatively new battery -- unless you don't expect to run it often on its battery. Batteries do have a lifetime, and at least on some Mac models are rather notoriously difficult to replace or require that you have an experienced technician do so. Therefore, if you see a used Mac that looks attractive to you, try googling info on that model regarding cost/difficulty to replace its battery, and figure that into your cost analysis.

Or just install Linux (stand-alone or dual-boot) on a PC, if you want to learn a new OS. ;)
 

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Replacing batteries for Macs is actually easy.  They can just be pricey, especially if you want to stick with genuine Apple batteries.  But, I still think certified Apple refurbished would be your best bet... not because of battery, but because of warranty.
 

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I'm not a Mac user, so I'm only going by what I've heard; but according to the support.apple.com site:

Which Mac notebook models require battery replacement service?

The following Mac notebooks have built-in batteries and require battery replacement service:

All MacBook Air computers.
MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) and later.
MacBook Pro (Early 2009) and later.
If you want to do it yourself, depending on the model, it's not what I could consider "easy", but that's subjective, I guess (and doing it yourself voids the warranty, though that's likely no longer an issue if you're buying a used unit):

 

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Hi Amanda, I never had any problems with the Mac laptops and desktop computers I used at my old jobs. However, I had a disappointing experience with an older refurbished Mac that my husband bought for my personal use. It was an Apple iBook G4 laptop and the motherboard died. It would have cost too much to repair and we didn't have a warranty. The iBook might be older than what you were considering anyway, but I thought I should mention it.

Now we have an iPad, but I really miss having a real keyboard. My regular computer is a desktop PC. If money weren't a consideration, I'd have a Mac laptop and desktop. I miss the Mac, and as I said, that refurbished iBook is the only Mac that ever died on me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks! I'm checking eBay and also looking into refurbs directly from Apple. I not loking at anything older than 2010.

phycel said:
It is my PERSONAL opinion that you will get the mac and end up LOVING it. But again, that's on a personal level - some people end up hating them. Usually, if you're open to learning new things, then you'll end up loving the Mac OS X and the entire environment.
LOL, I seriously doubt it. Whenever I've used friends' Macs I've truly despised the experience. The only reason I want a Mac is to be able to publish direct to iTunes rather than using Smashwords as the middleman. The Mac is literally going to live on my desk for the sake of uploading and making price changes. :D (And you can't use an iPad, unfortunately, or that's what I would get.)
 
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