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Get a discontinued Mac PowerBook. They can be incredibly inexpensive and
terrific for what you get. Ask around and see if any of your friends know any
Apple Developers. The developer price is cheaper than anything you'll get at
a computer store.
In fact, the last place you ever want to buy a computer is at a computer
store. Highest prices around. They tell you they are giving you a deal, but
they aren't. Those eager friendly salespeople frequently get a skiff for
selling you a system. Even if they say it is on sale, you'll always find it
cheaper mail order, from a developer, or through a university. All Apple
computers come with the same standard warranty whether you buy it mail order
or at a store, so ignore that sales ploy. You can always upgrade to Apple
Care if you are paranoid about your computer breaking.
If you can't find an Apple Developer then check the ads in MacWorld and
MacUser. There are mail order houses (stay away from the big ones like
MacWarehouse and MacConnection) vying to sell you a computer cheap. And,
usually, they have the discontinued models. MacCenter is usually quite
inexpensive, but shop around. MacCenter will buy bulk closeouts from Apple
then sell them at only a little markup. When they do this they usually sell
the bulk lot of thousands of computers in a few days. PowerBook 165c's come
to mind from last December. Only $1400 when the computer stores were selling
them for $2300. They sold out in about a day.
Are you in education at all. Apple gives incredible educational discounts? Do
you live near a Mac University? Call Apple for a list. Examples are Darmouth,
Wellesley, etc. Sign up for one course for the fall and buy your computer
through the University program (just a little above cost).
The Mac is what you want, and probably a PowerBook for its portability, and
if you get one with a built in modem then you have your modem and fax
machine. (Lots of printers from $200 to $19,000). Most of the major word
processing systems will read your PC Word Perfect documents exactly since
they have builtin filters (Quark, PageMaker, Microsoft Word, etc.) And of
course WordPerfect for the Mac will read it exactly, formatting and all. Hope