Buying a refurbished MacBook for my wife

Ah, the sound of a delivery truck in front of the house is always a welcome sound for a gear-head like me. I've gotten to the point where I can distinguish between UPS and FedEx by the squeal their brakes make. After a 1 day delay because I left the house for 15 minutes yesterday and that happened to be the window for the FedEx Ground guy, I had to wait an extra day to actually get my wife's new MacBook in hand.

As you can see from the picture below, Allison's refurbished MacBook came in a rather nondescript cardboard box, a far cry from the slick version you get when you buy new.

The machine inside however looked completely flawless. There were no marks and it appeared like a brand new machine, though it cost quite a bit less than a new one at $949. I pulled out the machine, fired it up and started to go through the registration process. It quickly saw and attached to my wireless network and after a few minutes I was sitting at the OS X desktop.

The unfortunate part was that this particular MacBook came with Tiger installed. Apple did provide an upgrade DVD which I promptly placed in the machine and started the upgrade process to Leopard. I let it perform the consistency check on the DVD so that added a lot of time to the upgrade. After about 25 minutes of checking the actual upgrade started, with estimates of over 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete. The fans on that little MacBook worked overtime, generating a lot of noise—though very little heat—during the upgrade. All in it actually took about an hour and a half to get the machine upgraded from Tiger to Leopard.

Once the upgrade from DVD was done I ran Software Update on it and it identified 14 updates for various products and over 800MB of data to download. I killed the Airport and plugged the MacBook directly into a router port so that it would download everything more quickly. As it was it only took about 10 minutes to pull everything down. Man I really love Verizon FIOS. This upgrade ended up requiring several reboots and also involved several Firmware updates as well.

Moving Over the Files
The next step involved getting her files over from her Windows XP machine. Connecting to it was as simple as popping into the Finder and selecting Go / Connect to Server, then entering the SMB address for her old laptop. I also needed to specify the user name and work group for her machine:


Where WGP is the name of the Windows workgroup her machine is in, Allison is her login name on the machine and Bethany is the name of the machine. I had to make sure her My Documents directory on the Windows XP machine were shared. Once there I could see all of her files and quickly copy them over into the appropriate folder on her new MacBook.

Other Odds and Ends
I'll write more about this shortly but I also picked up a Logitech VX Nano wireless mouse for her. In addition I have some additional memory from OWC and a 500GB Time Capsule for her backups that is due in later today.

My goal is to get this all completely set up and her files transferred over from her Windows XP laptop before this weekend so that I can give her this as her birthday present on Saturday.

As for a name for the new machine, I really appreciate all the great suggestions and decided to go with Rasterman's idea of calling it "Hope". Short, simple and represents my hope that she really likes it. That plus it has a subtle play off the Star Wars theme I like so much. It is after all a new hope.

Remaining Decision: Word, Pages or Neo Office?
Like most people on Windows Allison primarily uses MS Word though not being a power user she battles it regularly, especially when it comes to trying to format a document. She is often culling together work from others, grabbing and editing DOC and to a lesser degree DOCX files that are heavy with tables. She uses it to build worksheets for her students and quick quizzes. Finally she does use PowerPoint, both to create some presentations and also to open the public works of other teachers and integrate their content. The common medium for this seems to be PPT files from PowerPoint.

I personally think she would love the interface for Pages over the more complicated UI in Word for Mac 2008. Numbers vs Excel is a non-issue for her, though Keynote vs PowerPoint is something I'm not sure about. Throw in NeoOffice and I've got several choices to put in front of her. Given this is a full switch for her and I'm going to be holding her hand through it I'd really like to get her started on one of these three and try to make the best of it, switching only if she finds that it's too difficult to deal with.

Any suggestions? If you're a teacher at the high school level you likely know the challenges she has to deal with in terms of integration with multiple formats. If so, I'd love to hear your perspective.


Anonymous said…
I think we can deduce one thing from this post, David; your wife doesn't read this blog. You seem to have no fear of ruining the surprise.

Anyway, nice birthday present.
David Alison said…
@Anon: Indeed - sometimes the best way to keep something secret is to put it out in plain view.
Anonymous said…
I forget, did I give you a nod in the direction of Nisus Writer?
Ed Trefzger said…
As an alternative to NeoOffice, you might also look at the OpenOffice 3 beta which now sports a native Mac interface.
Unknown said…
It galls me to say this, but you really can't do better than Microsoft Office in this case. Taking the competitors one by one:

iWork is beautiful. I love it. It's easy to use and the documents it produces look lovely. Unfortunately, it isn't hugely reliable at opening MS Office documents without horrible formatting faults. When Apple can open MS Office documents with near 100% reliability, iWork will be a clear winner.

NeoOffice / OpenOffice. On the Mac, you need to open the entire package just to use the Word Processor - there's no way of using the Word Processor on its own (at least, none that I've worked out). It's clunky, it's slow, and it's frequently unintuitive. In short, perfect for geeks but not ready for my Mum. Or my wife. Your wife may be different!

Nisus. The same comments as for iWork (unsurprising since they both open Office documents by the same method). It doesn't look quite as nice, but it offers more in the way of 'pure' word processing functionality.

Microsoft Office. Office 2008 looks much nicer than Office 2004 (unlike the Windows version, where Office 2003 looks much nicer than Office 2007). It can open Office documents and format them perfectly, albeit at the expense of VBA Macros. Sure, it's a Microsoft product - but, if your wife needs a reasonably easy package which can open Office PC documents reliably, it's the only game in town.

As an aside, I bought my wife a MacBook for her birthday present last year. She loves it. I also bought her an external hard drive so that she can back up using Time Machine.

Happy Birthday David's Wife!
Anonymous said…
Looks like Ed beat me to it. :)

OpenOffice 3.0 uses native OS X controls and looks like NeoOffice (more or less).

I have all 3 choices installed. I pretty much end up using iWork most of the time. If I need to send something in Word or Excel format, then I use Microsoft Office to make sure that the conversion that iWork does is good. I have OpenOffice on for the heck of it. I rarely use it, but it's interesting.
Anonymous said…
I want to second the OpenOffice 3 suggestion. Even though I have this installed, I mostly use iWork. Although, I am a power user on the Mac, I in no way consider myself an expert, so please take my comments with a grain of salt. Exporting documents from Powerpoint and Pages to a Microsoft equivalent poses no big problems. There may be link connection problems exporting from Keynote if you have images, but they can be easily fixed. Also, the only problem I have noticed with Pages exporting to Word is a font issue. Again, this is not a big deal to fix. Numbers on the other hand is a different story.

I am very partial to Numbers because you can do amazing spreadsheets, calendars, and some cool graphical stuff. But when you export to Excel, it will look totally different. In Numbers everything looks like one worksheet, which is nice, but when you export to Excel, it breaks up into multiple worksheets.

Also, I like to be as productive as possible, and I am not sure if your wife will feel the same way, but if so, I would encourage her to auto hide her dock and use something like Quicksilver and other apps that will aid in productivity. Again, I am in no way an expert but just wanted to give my two cents.
David Alison said…
@Ast: yep, you did recommend it a while ago and I did look at it, though in the end I bought iWork and have been pretty happy with Pages.

@Ed & Vesperdem: I haven't looked at OpenOffice in a while but I will check it out again. I just installed NeoOffice to see if that would be a reasonable alternative. As Pascal says below it is a bit clunky.

@Pascal: Thanks for the great feedback there! I personally don't have a problem with MS as a company so buying her a copy of Office 2008 is not something I'm against. My biggest concern is the way she approaches this. If she has trouble opening files she'll blame it on the entire computer, not just the software she's using. Given that I want to make this as seamless as possible for her and it sounds like MS Word would give me that.

@Joshmac: thanks for the comments. I'm debating on teaching her to use LaunchBar but given her limited needs Spotlight may be the best solution there.
Anonymous said…
Just wanted to comment on the Logitech VX Nano... That's a great mouse and I use it with my macbook. Works great with no problems and the tiny usb receiver is a dream as it doesn't stick out like a lot of others out there!

As for the macbook surprise your wife will love it!
Anonymous said…
2nd Poster

1. Pages - She will convert and love it. Plus a new version is coming in January at MacWorld

2. Microsoft Office 2004 with XML converter for docx files. Does Macros, familar interface and seems to work quicker and use less "fan power" (my way of saying it does not tax the processor as much).

3. Open Office is a good choice but it seems to support simple documents.

You must also give her as a teacher fat links to Keynote, Bee Docs Timeline, Bento, iFlash, Circus Ponies Notebook, Yep and Videocue.

Alison can organize her classes with Bento, create flashcards in iFlash, categorize all her documents in YEP, make movies for class in Videocue using her built-in camera, make timelines with Bee Docs.

Good luck I love reading yore blog
Anonymous said…
Hi David.

My Mother in law is a school teacher and she has had great success with OpenOffice, but she is on a windows pc and therefore doesn't have access to iWork.

Personally I would recommend the 30 day trial of iWork so that she can try it out.

When layout and looks matter to you Keynote will smoke Powerpoint any day.

Personally I have given up on Office and gone the iWork/LateX route.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for writing a great post. I'm thinking of doing this for my wife as well, for Christmas. She's already told me she'd rather have a Macbook than an iMac, so I've been thinking about going the refurbished route to save a little money. The plain cardboard box is a bit of a letdown...what does that save them, $5 in costs? :-/
Jeff said…
As an alternative to NeoOffice, you might also look at the OpenOffice 3 beta which now sports a native Mac interface.

I second that. It's what I put on my mother-in-law's iMac. I use iWork and love it but I have Open Office 3.0 installed just in case...
Unknown said…
I got a refurb for my wife. As for the plain cardboard box issue - I have a simple solution for you, David, because I know that this is the second MacBook that you've purchased.

Simply take the box that your first, brand new, MacBook came in and pop the refurb in it before wrapping it up. Bingo. One new Mac.

I did that when I gave my wife her MacBook. I did tell her it was a refurb - so I wasn't being dishonest. I was just trying to make her present as great as possible. I also pretransferred over her files, and put a playlist on her iTunes. Oh, and some puzzle games (like NSNet - she's a sucker for those!)
Anonymous said…
My wife is a physician and researcher. She uses iWork (Pages and Keynote) to create her documents, and Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac (Word and Powerpoint) to exchange files with PC-using collaborators. What she has found is that iWork converts files into Word, Powerpoint and PDF formats flawlessly. However, Word and Powerpoint can not deliver PDF files without problems. So reads the Office files she gets from collaborators using Pages and Keynote to convert them into PDF files for publication. Also, NeoOffice seems to do a better job of reading the PC Office files, than Microsoft Office for Mac.

I am very happy that you have chosen to give a Mac as a birthday present to your wife. Wishing her a happy birthday and happy computing!!!
Anonymous said…
I use both Pages and Word. I use word for simple documents that I share with others, and I use Pages whenever I want something to look pretty.

In terms of Powerpoint and Keynote, there's no comparison. I use Keynote in an office enviroment and send my PC colleagues PDFs of the presentation. Now, I end up creating all of the presentations for the entire office. I have people in my office who are getting macbooks just so that they can use Keynote.
Anonymous said…
I have iWork, MS Office, and OpenOffice installed. I use iWork for any document that I will be using myself or sharing either by printing or in a non-editable format such as pdf (which is to say, the vast majority of documents). I am much more productive with it, and the results look better as well.

However, I have to have MS Office around for collaborative documents, that need to be edited by me as well as others, just to try to make sure everything looks as it should. Also, occasionally I'll receive a document that doesn't open correctly for viewing in anything else.

So I guess I'm agreeing with Pascal. If you're only getting one, you might be forced to use MS Office just for compatibility. If you can deal with occasional format problems, or can install both, I heartily recommend iWork.

Good luck!
David Alison said…
Some great feedback in here folks, as always, thanks. I feel like I'm going to have a dozen or so people standing in the room giving me pointers while I introduce her to her new machine.

@Pascal: you sir are a smart man - I hadn't thought of that! I will do that once I have the machine all set up.

@J.D. Bruce: I haven't even played with Keynote yet myself. Your comments makes me want to check it out though—thanks!

@Anon on the VX Nano Mouse: I'll be doing a full post on that mouse shortly. I love it and may end up getting another for myself.
Anonymous said…
Note that most commenters that have Open Office installed don't seem to use it. Why is that? Because they found something better.
Payo said…
I just bought a refurb MacBook for my nephew and found the machine to be flawless.

I ended up installing the Home/Student edition of Office 2008 but I made sure to change the default save types for all of the programs to maintain backwards compatibility with Office 2001/2004.
Unknown said…
Open Office 3 beta 2 is much faster than beta 1 and both are faster than neo office.
Anonymous said…
I'd say iWork is better, but Neo is free, and she's used to Word, which (at least in Windows) from my experience has better spellcheck. Let her try Neo, and if she doesn't like it, download the iWork trial, and if she likes it get it, if not, Office is the way to go.
Anonymous said…
I vote along with others for the MS Office thing since we really live in a world where everyone seems to be addicted to sending .doc files as attachments. I have Office 2004 and it's just easier when recruiters send me Word documents even if the only thing I'm using it for is to open the doc to read it, or make a couple of changes to my resume. Of course QuickView does a pretty good job of displaying Word documents (though perhaps it's because Office is installed that QV works on .doc files at all, but then again Mac OS X seems to have no problem displaying .NEF camera raw photos with QV for quickly seeing the contents of a photo, but still...)

At any rate, yes it's a Microsoft product, and for the book I'm writing I prefer to use Pages (which I also have) but for smoothly interfacing with the rest of the unenlightened world that use PCs with MS Office v-whatever, it's just best to use Office. It's the best way to get her transitioned with the least pain.

Everything else; Mail, Safari, Address Book, iTunes, Photoshop, iChat, iCal (as I go across my Dock to reference what I use) will work fine for her as they do for you. It's just the collaboration thing that Office works best for.

Once again if she's anything like my wife, she'll love her Macbook.

-walkerj from the Mac Forums.
Anonymous said…
Having iWork, NeoOffice and MS Office on my MBP, and facing challenges similar to those of your spouse, I, too, recommend Office. I especially believe that Numbers is no competitor to Excel (the document orientation makes it very clumsy to use), and Pages is really a layout tool, not a word processor. Keynote is really slick, but compatibility with PowerPoint may be a deal breaker for her.

With the educaor's discount, MS Office is a real bargain...wish I could have bought it that way. :)

Good luck!
Anonymous said…
For true collaboration, I'm sorry to say it's still a Microsoft Office world. It's just too mission critical to get things formatted correctly. Especially if your job's on the line.

For document creation, I use Bean or Nisus Writer Pro using the rtf format but I always check it in Word first before sending it to others as .rtf or .doc.

For documents I receive, I use Word to convert it to rtf, then use Nisus. It works 95% perfect.

Why all the steps? Because, truly, Microsoft Office sucks on the Mac and makes me less creative and productive. So even with all the conversion and time, I'm still better off keeping things Mac-centric.

NeoOffice: Never liked it. Never bothered with learning it. Seems strange to me. Bloated. Buggy. I'll pay for good stuff.

iWork: Overall, Pages is nice too. I just like Nisus better. Numbers is good. And so is Keynote.

So for me MS Office, Bean, Nisus Writer Pro, and iWork. It's overkill, but it works for me.

Hate to say it, but a one product solution just doesn't work for collaboration, AND fully utilizing the Mac efficiencies and creativity bonues.

For your wife, I'd say go with Microsoft Office 2004 or 2008, and have her try the trial of iWork. Nisus has a trial too. Bean is free but is mainly good for real simple documents, notes, and journals.
Anonymous said…
Mellel is another truly great Mac word processor.

But the deal breakers for me:

1. No Quick Look
2. Closed document format

By great word processor, I mean speed, UI, stability, and features but not super-bloatware like Word.

Nisus Writer Express and Pro meets all these criteria too.

What's nice about Nisus and iWork is that they are relatively inexpensive for what you get.

Word and Office are so darn buggy, bloated, and just plain dilutes the Mac experience.
David Alison said…
@All: again, thanks for the feedback, I do appreciate it.

@WalkerJ: Other than the Word Processing and Presentation software everything else is pretty easy. She already is a heavy iTunes user and can't wait to be able to move pictures to and from her iPhone easily. She's already using the calendar built into the iPhone so that integration will work perfectly. I pointed iPhoto at my network drive holding all of our photos so all she has to do is fire that up and she can access that. Beyond the word processing part I really am looking forward to her playing with this new MacBook.

@Walt: Do you have a good source to purchase MS Office 2008 for Mac and get the best price, especially with an educational discount? The best I've seen is $121.99 at Amazon for the Home & Student edition.
Anonymous said…
David, I can't read all this discussion about compatibility issues (shades of 1988!) without recommending MacLinkPlus Deluxe. I've used this wonderful program for years and find it invaluable for translating a document from one format to another. And not just Office docs. There are still people using WordPerfect (dearly missed by me), for instance. Anyway, MacLinkPlus is an essential weapon in the war of document transfer!
Anonymous said…
another vote for Bean here. it's free easy to use, does what most people need most of the time without cluttering things up with unnecessary features.
Heck, TextEdit, which comes with every Mac, is enough for lots of people.
Anonymous said…
The Amazon deal is about as good as it gets.

For the California State University system we can get a deal on the full version of Office 2008 for $99 but that is only a license for one computer and one laptop, only one can be used at one time.

For $22 more, you get the Home & Student version but I believe you get 3 or 4 licenses.

Now I don't know if the educational version allows one to actually install and use it on multiple versions at once (activation issues etc.)

My Office 2003 version stated I could only use one one machine at one time, but it was not enforced by the activation.

Something to think about.

If I were to get Office 2008 (I use 2004), I'd go the Amazon route (no tax too and I get Amazon Prime 2 day shipping anyway).

I was going to discuss this issue earlier as I knew your wife was a teacher.
Anonymous said…
What's nice about this blog is the helpful user comments.

It really is an avalance of experiences being shared here.

It can take quite a bit of time to test and compare these products.

Obviously, I'm not alone in this process. I'm surprised to see that many of us have come to generally the same consensus on a whole, with a few twists and turns based on our workflows and preferences.

I basically took about two weeks to thoroughly test most office suites and word processors for the Mac.

Scrivener offers some great links for more Mac writing software for writers of all genres:

For academic writers, also checkout, Bookends by Sonny Software for bibliography or referencing academic work. Sente is popular too, but Bookends was better for me using APA and my workflow.

For journalers and notetakers (personal, academic), try MacJournal. A tiny bit buggy, but simply awesome for journaling, notetaking, and blogging.

I got lucky because I got Mellel, Bookends, and MacJournal plus a bunch of other apps as part of the last MacUpdate Bundle Promo.

WriteRoom seems neat too, but expensive to me.

For being creative and productive (no crashes, few bugs, speed), there's a whole world of Mac writing software out there that most people did not exist.
Anonymous said…
One last thing, since your wife is in the academic world.


Macs have great PDF support natively.

Acrobat Professional can't be beat for PDF creation and options.

For actual reading PDFs, Preview works fantastic, but there is an option that you may want to play with: Hit Command Comma and go to preferences, click PDF tab, check/uncheck "Respect screen DPI for scale" and see what gives you or your wife the best font display that's crisp and easiest to read.

Also Acrobat has a different viewing/rendering engine. They are not the same as Previews.

Another great PDF software for Macs is Skim which is free. Thumbnails look amazing with Skim.

Why so many products? Because scrolling is much smoother with Preview and Skim. But Acrobat is powerful for PDF creation, indexing, and searching but it can also be buggy and bloaty.

Macs are the best because they are stable.

It took me forever to research and find all this stuff out on my own and Googling it and testing it all. Nice to share with all the other Mac users and switchers out there, especially fellow academic writers and collaborators.
Anonymous said…
I made a comment earlier about MS Office 2003. I forgot to mention that it was for XP.

David Alison said…
@SimpleLife: The power of this blog is really in the great comments I get from people. I can't tell you how many times since I started this blog that I've found either tips or software that have improved my experience.
Anonymous said…
The main problem with using Microsoft formats such as .doc or .ppt or .xls in conjuction with Office for Macs is that it is SLOW and BUGGY.

Even compared to Windows, it's atrocious.

If I just need to read something without editing, I convert files to PDF using OS X. Acrobat Professional is better because the PDF file sizes can be made smaller and options can be configured.

Here's the magic: Once it's in a small PDF format (aka Acrobat compression) I use FileMagnet on my iPhone to view PowerPoints, Word docs, or any other native PDF on the go, while waiting in line, etc.

People are amazed out how well PowerPoints are displayed on my iPhone with FileMagnet.

When viewed on the Mac, the files can be viewed like lightning without loading bloatware. Again, this is the advantage of using Preview or Skim: SPEED and STABILITY. Even iWork and NeoOffice are very, very bloated.

This is totally power user stuff, but maybe one or two readers may find it useful.

There's lots of file viewers for the iPhone: Airshare, Datacase, Annotator, etc. They all have their strengths. I like FileMagnet for its crispness and sharpness and easy file transfer.

Another trick is you can just use OS X Grab and take a capture of a .doc or .xls file. Even this loads faster than the native MS formats and can be used on the iPhone as well.

Truly, power user and iPhone tricks and tips.
Anonymous said…
My 2 cents ...

iWork for Creating and producing nice things in a nice environnement
NeoOffice or OpenOffice 3 to share .doc with others

Pages will "unleash" her creativity
Keynote will amaze people
iWork fits pretty well with the rest of the mac stuff (Safari, iPhoto ...)

and ... Happy birthday
Anonymous said…
My friends and I (University of Illinois students) run Microsoft Office 2007 in VMware Fusion. While it sucks to have to run Windows on our macs, it does ensure compatibility with all of the documents we get thrown at us on a daily basis.

But it is far from an elegant solution.
Anonymous said…
Office 2007 Home & Student is licensed for 3 computers. Should be the same for Office 2008, so its a great deal for a family.

If you are a student, the deal for Office 2007 gets even better:
Unfortunately for you I think thats the windows version only...
David Alison said…
@Anon: For all the MS bashing that goes on (and Vista has deserved a lot of it) I will say that I like the fact that MS is providing multi-user licenses in a home environment for a very good price.
Anonymous said…
I'd go with Office 2008. The Home and Student version is a raging bargain at $150 and gives your THREE licenses for that price, so you can put it on two more Macs.

Word 2008, now that Microsoft has updated it a few times, is solid and reliable, and when it comes to working with DOC and DOCX files, nothing else comes close to the compatibility of the real thing.

I have Nisus Writer Pro that I use for my own creative writing, and since it saves everything in RTF it is very compatible as well, but for professional writing with complex formatting (as a lawyer I do a lot of legal pleadings) I ALWAYS use MS Word. I have never had a single issue in either direction between Word 2008 and Word for Windows (2003 and 2007).

Unknown said…
Hi David,

I realize that this post is a couple weeks old now and that you've probably already made your final decision, but I just came across this and thought I'd throw my two cents in.

I've been a Mac user for over twenty years now and as a general rule of thumb - I typically loathe all things Microsoft.

With that said, while I find Microsoft's operating systems to be horrible abominations of code and most of their other products to be horribly inefficient and unintuitive, the simple fact of the matter is that when it comes to an office suite of applications, MS Office is THE best choice out there for the Mac, period.

MS's Mac Business Unit has done a bang-up job with Office for Mac and I find it thoroughly amusing that the best software they make is written for their long-time rival... mostly because it looks like a Mac app and it works like a Mac app, essentially because it is a Mac app.

While I may be an avid Mac user, I'm not going to cut my nose off, so to speak, despite my face in a complete and utter avoidance of all things Microsoft. One of the biggest attributes of the Macintosh is its efficiency and if Microsoft just so happens to produce the most efficient office suite available, then they'll get my business... and they have.

Most PC users do two main things with their computers - browse the internet and use Office. If your wife has been a long time Windows user, the last thing you should do is rip MS Office from her fingers... The key to any successful "switch" is to show the end-user that most of their time spent on their computer is spent working in apps, so if you keep them in applications which they are familiar and comfortable with, the quicker they'll realize the beauty of the solid, "no fuss" foundation inherent to the Mac OS.

Stick with Office as its your best bet for numerous reasons... Further still, if she's yet to upgrade to Office 2007 and is still using Office 2003, then save some money by buying a copy of Office 2004 for Mac opposed to 2008. There isn't all that much functionality in 2008 and it would be a little closer to what she's used to.

Take care!
Anonymous said…

I'm trying to make up my mind about buying a MacBook. I'm particularly interested in buying a refurb from Apple like you did here.

It has been a couple of months since you made the purchase. Would you mind leaving a comment on my post to let me know your experience so far?

How Are MacBooks Better Than Windows Laptops?

Some surprises loose their charm if they are out in the open.
cheap computers said…
i agree. i guess refurbished computers has its own charm and are truly good and cheap.
I always recommened to buy a new computer
Amy said…
So, I'm curious what did u decide to go with in the end of it all? You're an awesome guy (that's a great gift)
David Alison said…
@Amy: Thanks! We ended up going with Microsoft Office for her, though the rest of the house is happily using iWork.
Dave said…
Try -- I bought from them and was a little skeptical because they're a small business but they are actually very helpful and prompt. I got a tracking number the same day I paid. I got my MBP and it was in great condition and just like they described on their site.
Anonymous said…
Can you tell me which software do I like to buy one for professional writer for business management? I still have macbook. I am very lousy writer. But I still have iwork. I cannot find anything what I want to become a great professional writer for my college papers along with english grammar and plagirusm.
Can you tell me what can I do getting better professional writer for my college papers on my macbook. Can you help me how to deal with it?
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Fal Bak said…
As an alternative to NeoOffice, you might also look at the OpenOffice 3 beta which now sports a native Mac interface.
Computer Repair said…
So does your wife still use her refurbished MacBook? My mom has an old Powerbook which is still working fairly well; however, we are thinking of upgrading to either a MacBook or an iMac. The MacBook and MacBook pro seem nice; however, since my mom tends to use the computer on her desk I think an iMac may be better suited (and cheaper) :]
David Alison said…
@Computer Repair: Yes, my wife still uses the refurbished MacBook. Though it spends 99.9% of it's time sitting on her desk too, the occasional time she wants to pull it out to the couch or bring it with her on a trip makes getting it over an iMac a great choice. If your mom will NEVER need to bring it with her some place then an iMac is fine.

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