This must be the month for books. It all started when Apple pulled all the Wiley books (Tiger for Dummies, iCon: Steve Jobs, etc) from the Apple Store’s book shelves.
I hit Amazon and came away a few hundred dollars less rich (or poorer; depends on your perspective). More on that in another article.
Used Macs. You’ve got one, right? Me, too. Once you buy a new Mac it becomes, almost automatically and certainly overnight, a used Mac.
Neale Monks’ book “Buying Used Macs” covers a lot of territory about used Macs. Of particular interest is the basic information on old Macs, whether you intend to buy a used Mac or not.
For those of us who’ve been around awhile and sport some silver hair, we’re from The Palaeozoic Era (say that three times). The Pre-PowerPC Macs.
You’ve heard the names before. LC, Quadra, Centris, Performa. Why does all all that sound like something from Compaq?
Neale does an excellent job of outlining the history of the Mac revolution and evolution without getting stuffy and academic. It’s not a history book.
It’s a book about old Macs. Somehow that’s not the same thing.
Buying Used Macs goes into the vintage and collectable Macs. Some might be worth more than a new eMac or iMac G5 (depending on condition and ability to go “boing!”).
The book also discusses where to find good used Macs. You’ll be surprised. There’s plenty of used Macs out there and they’re dirt cheap. Finding parts is another issue.
Many Macs get discarded because they don’t seem to work. A true Mac user knows about PRAM batteries. A few bucks on a new batter and an old Mac that doesn’t seem to work can be “boinged” back to life.
My favorite location is used computer stores. Sometimes they just don’t know what they’ve got stacked up in the corner.
There’s even a chapter on Mac monitors (the good, the bad, the ugly). Of course, no Mac book about Macs would be worthy without devoting a lot of space to portable, laptop, iBook and PowerBooks.
Keeping an old Mac running is one thing, finding the parts to get it running in the first place might be the major challenge. Neale does an excellent job of outlining hard disk issues (when was the last time you saw a SCSI hard drive at CompUSA?).
Why buy a used Mac in the first place? After all, a brand new, speedy and cute Mac mini is just $499 and tops any Mac built just five years ago. $499.
Recent Macs are dirt cheap and do an excellent job of web-surfing, email, word processing and so on.
Much older Macs, particularly those without Ethernet built-in, pose a few problems. Hard drives are difficult to find. Software is available but don’t hit the Apple Store for older CDs.
Floppies? Yes. Macs had floppy disks.
There’s 176 useful pages about Macs in this book. For $5.00 you can’t go wrong even if you’re just interested in the history lesson.
Speaking of history, that’s Neale Monks forte. He owns a PhD from the Natural History Museum in London. And he’s a Mac user.
Click Here to take a look at a more in-depth review from MyMac.com and to order the book. Even if you’re not into buying used computers, if you like things “Mac” then you’ll like Neale’s book.