Ask the MACist

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Welcome to the latest edition of Ask the MACist, the column where I answer your Mac and Mac-related questions with hopefully more clarity and insight than you could ever need. As always, I want to thank those of you who sent in questions this week. They are much appreciated. Keep it up!

And remember, if you have a question about anything Mac, Mac-related, or even something about another technology like TiVo, cell phones or whatever, send it to me, The MACist, at: themacist at gmail dot com. Ok, let's get to it.

This one comes from Vanessa in Los Angeles. She asks "I'm curious (read: anxious) to know if I can bring my Powerbook G4 with me when I move to New Zealand, or if it would be smarter to sell this one and purchase a new one upon arrival."

Well Vanessa, you're in luck because the Powerbook is a special computer (much like all of Apple's recent laptops) in that it can use voltages from all different parts of the world — including the 230/240 used in New Zealand. So, you won't need to worry about any kind of power converter, at least for your Powerbook. You will, however, need a plug adaptor as New Zealand uses a flat type two or three prong connector much like many other non-North American countries.

macist2.jpgSo, feel free to take your Powerbook. Sadly, most, if not all, of your other peripherals such as printers, scanners or things of that type probably can't be used in New Zealand without a power converter and plug adaptor. When I travel to foreign lands, I usually use one of these as my power converter and plug adaptor. This one has the advantage of also being able to power other devices such as hair dryers, etc.

Although, don't try to run a hair dryer and your Powerbook from this device at the same time. What I normally do is take two of these devices with me and also a low-cost power strip. Then, I plug the power converter into the wall and then plug the power strip into it. That way, I can use most of my 110 devices like my printer (inkjet only, not laser), scanner and Powerbook on that power strip and save the other power converter for things I need in the bathroom or elsewhere.

Of course, if you actually want a new computer, it might be a great time to get a new MacBook or MacBook Pro before you go. In fact, if you are planning on living in New Zealand permanently, it would be best to purchase your new computer in that country after you arrive -- at least from a power standpoint, as you will get the proper power adaptor with the computer. Price-wise, it might be less to purchase it here and bring it with you. Either way, you won't need to worry about converting power for your Powerbook of MacBook/ MacBook Pro.

About Chris Ullrich: Chris is the technology editor at LAist as well as a frequent contributor to other sites like Comic Book Resources and Cinematical. He also consults with clients in entertainment and related industries about how technology can best help them exceed their goals.

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photo by Apple via the internet