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Thread: Mac/InDesign anyone?

  1. #1

    Mac/InDesign anyone?

    Let's just get this out there. I am a PC person. :P But since I am going to be doing graphics/layout design for the yearbook and/or newspaper at school next fall, I am wanting/needing a Mac with InDesign, plus Illustrator probably. I would like a laptop for convenience and mobility, but I'm gonna need a considerable amount of memory.

    I like the 13-inch MacBook here because it's tiny (and tiny is cute!), and the memory upgrades seem good. What do you computer-knowledge ones say? (I'm not stupid when it comes to computers, but I have a lot to learn in that lingo.)

    I'm going to KC to the Apple store sometime to check out things & see what they say would be a good choice, but I thought maybe you guys had some ideas which Mac would be best. I'd rather spend a little extra $ now, rather than wait and then have to upgrade or something later on. I won't be buying it until towards the end of the summer so I figured I'd start looking into things now.

    Thanks in advance.
    If there is light
    it will find

    --Charles Bukowski

  2. #2
    A macbook will likely get the job done just fine. The biggest drawback w/ design work, especially for print, will be the screen size. This won't cause much issue but 10:1 says you'll scroll more than you'd prefer. Plus, the color accuracy won't be perfect for soft proofing, but that may not be a big deal.

    Memory - beef it up to 2gb if you can - it'll be cheaper to purchase an upgrade elsewhere than Apple & just drop it in, providing you have an open slot. 1gb will probably work, but you'll notice lag with large documents.

    Hard drive - don't go overboard with the internal drive. Get something basic & at least get an external drive for backups. Doesn't need to be fancy, but backups are important...

    InDesign/Illustrator/etc - wait until the CS3 versions are available to purchase (they will be by summer), and take advantage of academic pricing. You may find a suite with all you need (and more) for the same price as the two programs alone.

  3. #3
    I just got Illustrator, although it's on a PC. You're gonna love it. I wish I had a Mac because the colors I see on my monitor aren't what prints and I hear Macs have less problems.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Good idea would also pickup a decent LCD screen, round 200 bucks, and a keyboard and mouse for when your at home..

    Eliminates the anoying 13" screen...

    Also, buy aftermarket RAM, way cheaper.

  5. #5
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Chicago IL
    Quote Originally Posted by betheny
    I wish I had a Mac because the colors I see on my monitor aren't what prints and I hear Macs have less problems.
    It's not the computer, really! <ducks>

    Do you have your display output and printer output both set to sRBG or is one or both of those set to Adobe RGB? Unless you have a fancy monitor, your screen only displays sRGB (and maybe not even that in some cases). If colors get wonked out because you are seeing sRGB and the computer thinks you are using the Adobe RGB gamut, problems can occur. Also helps to calibrate your monitor if you want better quality digital pre-press.

  6. #6
    true that it's not the computer (macs are no better than PCs in this regard although you'll typically find better components on their base models vs. widespread base-model PC stuff), but a calibrated display won't necessarily ensure that prints are accurate either. that's a different discussion.

    the macbook's screen is fine carrie - don't sweat this.

  7. #7
    I like the 13 inch MacBook with the glossy widescreen display. I don't think the GMA 950 integrated graphics are going to be an issue for your needs. Buying an additional LCD monitor sounds like a good idea.

    I recently learned that Matrox has a device called DualHead2Go that is an external dongle. It connects to a single video card head which then splits the head. The video card needs to have at least 128 MB of RAM.

  8. #8
    Thanks guys.

    I know that the Macs in the lab at school where all the work is done all have CS2 programs...and so they wouldn't open a CS3 file, would they? That's my only concern about getting that, even though I know it's better. We're actually getting a new chairWOman of our mass media department who talked about upgrading software in July, so hopefully she'll hurry when CS3 is released.

    And I read on the Apple site that the 13" does have 2 SODIMMs. Is that for memory?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions later! Thanks.
    If there is light
    it will find

    --Charles Bukowski

  9. #9
    Adobe knows better than to make CS3 formats that don't open in older versions, at least CS(1) - you should be fine.

    The DIMMs are the type of slot available for memory. 2 slots = 2 sticks of RAM. If you start with 1gb and intend to upgrade to 2gb later, one of the slots will need to be free for an additional stick. Sometimes it's cheaper to have 1gb made up of (2) 512mb sticks vs. (1) 1gb stick, but that'll fill up the extra slot. Make sense?

    (Edit: okay actually "DIMM" refers to the memory module/stick itself, but you get the idea )
    Last edited by -scott-; 03-28-2007 at 01:42 PM.

  10. #10
    Yup, got it. Thanks. I would've still been scratching my head about that one.
    If there is light
    it will find

    --Charles Bukowski

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