See the previous post for my introductory comments on the Take Control books.
Finally I turned my attention to Adam Engst’s book, Take Control of Buying a Mac (Adam C. Engst, 72 pages, US$5). I’m often advising clients on which Mac will best suit their needs so was particularly interested to see what Adam had to say. This detailed, easy-to-read guide is definitely a keeper.
Adam covers the product release cycle, when to buy, what to buy and even whether to buy or stick with what you have. Handy charts and question sequences allow you to really determine your needs. There are suggestions about where to buy and even tips on what to do with your old Mac.
While Adam’s based in the US and this book doesn’t mention those of us beyond those shores I have nothing to criticise.
Here in New Zealand we have some factors which probably don’t come in to play for those in the US. For starters, a product may be announced and ship there long before it ships here. That can skew the buying cycle a little. I have a clear memory of ordering my Titanium Powerbook the moment it was announced a couple of years ago. By the time the product arrived in New Zealand it was only a few weeks before a significant upgrade to Aluminium Powerbooks was announced.
For business users, you should be sure to consult your accountant about a good time to buy. Our tax laws, depreciation schedules and so on may make it better to buy a machine closer to the start of the financial year.
We also don’t have the luxury of all the various stores and vendors that they have in the US, although we do at long last have an Apple Online Store. Beware their policy of charging your credit card at time of purchase rather than at shipping time though. With the delays we experience in shipping that could cost you dearly.
Adam’s book is a superb reference. If you’re considering buying a Mac then this is one you should read. Work through the various charts and questions and you’re bound to find yourself with the Mac most suitable for you and your budget.
My faith in the Take Control series remains unshaken. Your computer deserves at least one of the series – or just go ahead and buy them all. You’d be doing yourself a big favour.