Good Mac buys?

Apprentice
Posts: 9
Joined: 2010.07
Post: #1
I'm not sure If this is the right thread or not for my question so if its not tell me. I would like to know if there was a place to get a Mac for cheap (cheaper then retail). Thank you. Smile
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Post: #2
eBay?

Mark Bishop
--
Student and freelance OS X & iOS developer
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Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #3
Your options are pretty much to buy used or wait until Apple introduces a new model so the old models drop in price. A hackintosh is also a possibility if you have lots of patience and don't mind a machine that doesn't always work right.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Apprentice
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Post: #4
Are refurbished computers good? I could probably save 500 to 600 bucks. I just don't want get screwed and pay for a Mac and end up getting a pic of a Mac book for 600 bucks ya know
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Post: #5
Apple regularly has offers on refurbished Macs on the Apple Store online, so it's worth checking there for good deals.

Second hand Macs can be great bargains if you manage to get a reasonably current one, although they hold their value well so might not be that much cheaper than a refurb.
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Sage
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Post: #6
I've had a couple refurbished computers. An original iBook (which was even further refurbished by myself) and a Dell Mini. I have no complaints against either.

In general, manufacturer refurbished computers are just as good as new. They aren't going to ship you a machine with a warranty if it's going to break and you'll send it right back. Just don't expect a case without some scratches on it.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Moderator
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Post: #7
Yeah, all the folks I've ever talked to who have refurb Macs have been pleased.
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Apprentice
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Post: #8
Thanks guys. In terms of a destop compared to the laptop which would y'all recommend
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Post: #9
(Jul 29, 2010 06:55 PM)Headshotz Wrote:  Thanks guys. In terms of a destop compared to the laptop which would y'all recommend

Hard to recommend either way. I had a friend who was a hardcore Windows user but decided to take a chance on a Mac after all the stuff he saw of mine, so he bought the cheapest one he could find: a refurbished Mac Mini. He's had that one for like four years now and has thrown away all his PCs and is now planning on buying a MacBook Pro.

Personally, while I do the vast majority of my computing in my office, the portability of a laptop is really nice. OTOH, if I were to recommend "cheap", I'd say just get a Mac Mini. Either way, you'll want a large external LCD display. Whatever you do, make sure to get a newer Mac with an Intel processor in it.
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Apprentice
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Post: #10
Alright thanks slot. Do you have any recommendation on books for creating custom 3d models or any books that are good for iPhone game development?
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Member
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Post: #11
3D modeling is a tough nut to crack. Unless you want to fork out a lot of money for a professional modeling tool, books are probably not going to help you a lot. There is a Blender book (Blender appears to be the predominate freeware 3D modeling program) but I'm fairly sure it's out of date by now.

http://www.blender.org/

I wouldn't know about iPhone game development books. Someone else will be able to help you there, I hope.

Everyone's favourite forum lurker!
https://github.com/NSError
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Founder
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Post: #12
Quote:Do you have any recommendation on books for creating custom 3d models
You might start by deciding on the modeler first. Some things can be universal, but each 3D application is pretty unqiue and requires its own learning curve. So start by downloading various 3D modelers that run on both platforms. Use their tutorials to learn the very basics. When you feel comfortable, look at the specs that are required to run that application and by a Mac with specs that are more then enough. Smile
Then go to Amazon and get yourself a book or visit the many many sites that have modeling tutorials.

If you decide on a program like Blender, then try...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1593271...1593271662">The Essential Blender: Guide to 3D Creation with the Open Source Suite Blender</a>

Since you might be concentraing on price for the purchase of your Mac, I would assume you will rule apps lik Cinema4D, Lightwave and Maya, 3 of which have the most books available (3DMax as well, but that is not available for Macs.) That means your choice is going to probably the under $250 range. Search the Designers forum here and you will find many threads with recommendations.

You might also consider Unity3D, while not a modeler, my hunch is that you want to get into/make Mac/iPhone games that are 3D.

Cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Member
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Post: #13
You could also use the 3D models to pre-render 2D animation sequences. That's a totally valid technique which saves a lot of processing power and memory. While is reduces the number of things you can do with your game at run-time, I think it's still totally valid.

Some of the games I wasted many hours of my life on were simply using pre-rendered sprites.

AFAIK (I'm not a Unity fan) Unity also supports 2D, so learning 3D modeling isn't going to be a bad thing at all, whether you go for full-blown 3D or pre-rendered 2D. Or even put pre-rendered sprites in a 3D environment. Which doesn't look too bad.

Everyone's favourite forum lurker!
https://github.com/NSError
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Apprentice
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Post: #14
Do you think if I build my own gaming pc I would be able to get leopard and be able to build apps and get good games?
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Member
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Post: #15
It is illegal to run Mac OS X on a non-Apple PC, so we don't discuss such thing on these forums. Also, the current version is Snow Leopard, not Leopard. So you can do exactly what you ask, but you'll have to do it by buying a second hand Mac (a new one can't run Leopard) as well building your gaming PC.
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