Book Bytes – Take Control of Buying a Mac

Take Control of Buying a Mac
by Adam Engst
TidBITS Electronic Publishing
$5.00 US for online download (includes free updates)
72 page Acrobat PDF file

Think of each Take Control title as a long chapter in a very large book being published one unit at a time in $5.00 increments. I spent an hour reading Take Control of Buying a Mac last night, and I am $100 smarter because of it.

Adam Engst loads his digital book with a lifetime of buying experience and wisdom, including tables, tips, and testimonials. URLs from recommended web sites will alone be worth the entire tiny price of this single-subject booklet, as is the well-researched timetable of recommended months each year for optimum purchase value of a new Macintosh.

As Adam Tells

I’d encourage people to take a look in particular at the history of Macintosh releases over the last five years. The question that always follows “What Mac should I buy?” is “So when is Apple going to release new models?” By figuring out Apple’s historical trends, applying some knowledge of Mac market events and forces, and viewing it all through the lens of how Mac models are updated throughout their lifespan, I was able to come up with solid rules of thumb for exactly when (within a month or two) you should buy. Of course, it depends on whether you’re aiming for the highest performance boost right away, the longest overall lifespan, or the lowest price, but that’s all taken into account in my buying rules. This is the kind of thing I’ve long understood at a gut level, but now I have hard data to back it up.

Book Bytes has long been an admirer of Adam Engst’s skill at analysis and presentation, and we continue to urge our readers to keep current with everything free at TidBITS. Tonya, the series publisher, and Adam take TidBITS to the next level with their Take Control series.

Every week I am asked “Hey, Nemo, which new or used Mac should I buy, where should I get it, and what should I do with my old klunker?” My answers are consistent with Adam’s, meaning now I can deliver, for a mere $5.00, time-tested advice in Take Control of Buying a Mac that will make sense to all experienced Macintoshers and many newcomers.

Tonya Elaborates, via email:

Last spring, when Adam was just completing his first draft, he accompanied me to an outdoor concert and spent the evening hanging out with me, my parents, and a number of my parents friends. No sooner had the introductions been made than one of the friends asked Adam which Macintosh he ought to buy. Instead of the usual half-hour conversation, complete with URLs scribbled on business cards and promises of future assistance, Adam asked a few questions and then offered to supply the friend with a printed draft of the book. The draft was delivered the next evening, much to everyone’s delight.

Not thinking currently about replacing your PowerBook or iMac or G4 or MacWhatever? So much the better, to study this digital download delight without any immediacy or pressure. Book Bytes takes our numbered recommendations seriously, so you can be sure we mean it when we award Take Control of Buying a Mac our highest rating of 5 out of 5. Keep ‘em coming, Adam and Tonya!


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