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Nature is full of
magnificent creatures
posted
A local seller has some iMac 2008 and 2009's on sale for $150 each, with 4 GB RAM, USB keyboard and mouse. The Apple keyboard is $30 extra.

I know nothing about Macs, but they looked nice and have El Capitan installed. I am thinking of buying one for my kids to use as part of their home school to familiarize themselves with Macs. Is this a decent computer for that? I have no idea what a good deal for something like this would be.

For some reason the 2008 models had a faster processor and larger hard drives.

Anyone familiar with Macs I would appreciate your comments or suggestions.

Thank you for your help.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: deepocean,
 
Posts: 5034 | Registered: March 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spiritually Imperfect
Picture of VictimNoMore
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They are stellar computers, IMHO. I have a '09 24" iMac that is still working strong.
Recently upgraded to a 500GB solid state drive, added some more RAM, and she is still working hard.
Faster, too.
At $150, it's hard to go wrong. If yours is anywhere near as reliable as mine still is...it would be a very solid buy.
 
Posts: 2781 | Location: WV | Registered: January 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nature is full of
magnificent creatures
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by VictimNoMore:
At $150, it's hard to go wrong. If yours is anywhere near as reliable as mine still is...it would be a very solid buy.


I think the lady selling them has one 2009 left and like eight 2008's...same price. Is one better than the other? Would you buy the Apple OEM keyboard for $30, or is a generic USB keyboard OK?
 
Posts: 5034 | Registered: March 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by deepocean:
A local seller has some iMac 2008 and 2009's on sale for $150 each, with 4 GB RAM, USB keyboard and mouse. The Apple keyboard is $30 extra.

I know nothing about Macs, but they looked nice and have El Capitan installed. I am thinking of buying one for my kids to use as part of their home school to familiarize themselves with Macs. Is this a decent computer for that? I have no idea what a good deal for something like this would be.

For some reason the 2008 models had a faster processor and larger hard drives.

Anyone familiar with Macs I would appreciate your comments or suggestions.

Thank you for your help.


They are solid, but be aware they cannot be upgraded to the latest OS software. OS 10.11.6 is the limit as cut off date is late 2009, I'm told by Apple.


*******
GOD gave them whiskey so the Irish wouldn't rule the world.
 
Posts: 5699 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spiritually Imperfect
Picture of VictimNoMore
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by deepocean:
I think the lady selling them has one 2009 left and like eight 2008's...same price. Is one better than the other? Would you buy the Apple OEM keyboard for $30, or is a generic USB keyboard OK?


I only know about the 2009s, so I can't compare the two years. They do respond to upgrading to a SSD ($140-300, depending on storage capacity) and RAM ($40-100). The SSD will make the most noticeable improvement.

As for keyboards: my original Apple keyboard lasted 6-7 years under daily use. A couple keys started coming loose, then fell off, then started sticking. The Apple Bluetooth keyboard is very good, but pricey. I bought an Anker model Bluetooth keyboard from Amazon for $20 that, so far, has worked very well.

And if you really want to treat yourself, get an Apple Magic Mouse 2.
 
Posts: 2781 | Location: WV | Registered: January 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nature is full of
magnificent creatures
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by GWbiker:
They are solid, but be aware they cannot be upgraded to the latest OS software. OS 10.11.6 is the limit as cut off date is late 2009, I'm told by Apple.


I'm not familiar with the Apple OS. Will this mean the system will be vulnerable to bad things going forward? I'm looking for something simple to use, not a gaming machine, but something so they at least have a feel for using an Apple because no one in our family uses one.

That being said, I want to understand what not being able to upgrade will mean in terms of security.
 
Posts: 5034 | Registered: March 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jbcummings
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Apple keyboards != standard usb keyboards

You’ll want the Apple keys, so go with the $30 Apple keyboard.

I have a 2009 Mac Book Pro, but it only has 2 GB RAM and while El Capitan would load and run it was slow. I’d be sure to test use a configuration like that before buying. I don’t know that 4GB make that much difference, but maybe it does.


———-
Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.
 
Posts: 3699 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Optimistic Cynic
Picture of architect
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Assuming the 2008 is an iMac12,2 and the 2009 is a iMac13,2, I'd go with the older one. They appear to have slightly better reliability, and no meaningful difference in performance. Definitely check the RAM on individual systems (About this Mac under the Apple menu, you might get lucky and find one with a little more). 4GB is way more than twice 2GB, look into taking it to 8GB or even more. I am typing this on an iMac 17,1 with 32GB RAM, and I still get "the wheel" from time-to-time.

WRT keyboards, any USB keyboards will do, but having the "Mac keys" is handy. Keyboard manufacturers other than Apple make Mac-specific keyboards. This is such a personal area that I do not usually make recommendations, try a few at the local computer store, and pick one you like. I've noticed that Apple Bluetooth keyboards tend to go through batteries pretty quickly.
 
Posts: 3282 | Location: NoVA | Registered: July 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of muddle_mann
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Been a Mac user since 1998. Tried windows a couple of times. Always breaks; either the s/w or the h/w. No such problems with Apple.

As far as the kids using it for home school might be a good idea to find out what software they may need. Might end up with a MS s/w that requires windows.

Easier to use the Mac with the Apple keyboard with the "apple" key (actually called the "command" key). It's like the Alt key on windows KB; it can be used for a variety of keyboard short cuts.

check into any warranty the reseller offers. So long as nothing wrong with them they likely to keep chugging for a good long time.

Apple can fix things on a per incident basis. It costs (don't remember how much cause I've never used it) but they'll fix it.


_________________________________________________

Time has little to do with infinity and jelly donuts...
 
Posts: 3516 | Location: MD | Registered: March 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of muddle_mann
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quote:
Originally posted by deepocean:
quote:
Originally posted by GWbiker:
They are solid, but be aware they cannot be upgraded to the latest OS software. OS 10.11.6 is the limit as cut off date is late 2009, I'm told by Apple.


I'm not familiar with the Apple OS. Will this mean the system will be vulnerable to bad things going forward? I'm looking for something simple to use, not a gaming machine, but something so they at least have a feel for using an Apple because no one in our family uses one.

That being said, I want to understand what not being able to upgrade will mean in terms of security.


Eventually the Mac simply won't pick up any new updates because it'll reach whatever limit there is on the OS that machine can support. About 99% of the time Apple is virus/malware free. Most of that type of code is written to attack windows because win has the most number of machines out in the world.

A Mac like this would be perfect for basic use/familiarization use.


_________________________________________________

Time has little to do with infinity and jelly donuts...
 
Posts: 3516 | Location: MD | Registered: March 03, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of striker1
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For anyone who's upgraded iMac HDD, did you have to use an aftermarket thermal sensor?



RB

 
Posts: 6281 | Location: Michiana | Registered: March 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by deepocean:
quote:
Originally posted by GWbiker:
They are solid, but be aware they cannot be upgraded to the latest OS software. OS 10.11.6 is the limit as cut off date is late 2009, I'm told by Apple.


I'm not familiar with the Apple OS. Will this mean the system will be vulnerable to bad things going forward? I'm looking for something simple to use, not a gaming machine, but something so they at least have a feel for using an Apple because no one in our family uses one.

That being said, I want to understand what not being able to upgrade will mean in terms of security.


I'm presently using a mid 2009 Macbook Pro while I do my taxes and I just updated a security patch an hour ago, so OS 10.11.6 is being supported but I cannot update to Sierra due to a limitation build into the machine.

I do like OS 10.11.6 with it's easier to read apple mail.

IMO, OP....for $150 bucks, go of it.


*******
GOD gave them whiskey so the Irish wouldn't rule the world.
 
Posts: 5699 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nature is full of
magnificent creatures
posted Hide Post
I bought the mid-2009. I looked up the serial number, and found these specs.

iMac "Core 2 Duo" 2.26 20-Inch (Mid-2009)
2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo (P7550)
Model A1224 (EMC 2316)
Family Mid-2009 (Edu)

The OS version is:

OS X El Capitan
Version 10.11.6

This iMac does not have internal Bluetooth capability. The 2008 models the seller had have Bluetooth, but I wanted the ability to upgrade to 8 GB.
 
Posts: 5034 | Registered: March 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cparktd
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It's a great machine, and should serve your purpose well, but ~10 years old. That's an eternity in computer years. Remember that, and don't compare it to any present day computers and complain about it being slow or it won't run this or that latest stuff.

It would make an outstanding digital photo frame for an added benefit.



Deplorable before deplorable was cool!
 
Posts: 1682 | Location: Middle Tennessee | Registered: February 07, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nature is full of
magnificent creatures
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by cparktd:
It's a great machine, and should serve your purpose well, but ~10 years old. That's an eternity in computer years. Remember that, and don't compare it to any present day computers and complain about it being slow or it won't run this or that latest stuff.

It would make an outstanding digital photo frame for an added benefit.


I tend to buy cars and computers that are older but still serviceable. I'm not looking for it to perform like it has an i7 or i9 machine. So long as it's dependable, I'll be happy.
 
Posts: 5034 | Registered: March 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spiritually Imperfect
Picture of VictimNoMore
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quote:
Originally posted by striker1:
For anyone who's upgraded iMac HDD, did you have to use an aftermarket thermal sensor?


Not on my '09 iMac. I just taped the factory thermal sensor on the side of the SSD and that was that. Works like a charm. There are Youtube videos for the various iMac years and upgrading to a SSD, in case yours is different from my specific model year.
 
Posts: 2781 | Location: WV | Registered: January 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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striker1
re the thermal sensor YES - otherwise your fans will run all the time at top speed and will drive you nuts - you can get the sensor from OWC and they have videos showing how to connect it - or you can download a FREE program called SSD Fan Control which will do the same thing and quieten the fans .
best .
 
Posts: 101 | Registered: June 28, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Optimistic Cynic
Picture of architect
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by striker1:
For anyone who's upgraded iMac HDD, did you have to use an aftermarket thermal sensor?
There are software fan-management utilities that obviate the need for a sensor, you can use pretty much any drive.
 
Posts: 3282 | Location: NoVA | Registered: July 22, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
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quote:
Originally posted by architect:
quote:
Originally posted by striker1:
For anyone who's upgraded iMac HDD, did you have to use an aftermarket thermal sensor?
There are software fan-management utilities that obviate the need for a sensor, you can use pretty much any drive.
Do you have any specific recommendations?



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 17509 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of henryaz
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For the past several years, Apple's policy for OS security support has been the current OS, plus the two previous ones. So, 10.11.6 will be fully supported until September of this year, when 10.14 is released. 10.13 was released last fall, so El Capitan currently stands as "two versions behind".
 
Even then, I wouldn't hesitate to run 10.11.6 (El Capitan). Apple has plenty of built-in security, and many of the updates you would have received are related to attacks requiring direct access to the machine. There are a host of people out there still running Snow Leopard (10.6). They swear (and I agree) it was one of the best OS versions ever produced by Apple. IMO, El Capitan comes in a strong second as one of the best OS versions.
 
 
Posts: 7556 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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