Okay, I feel kinda dirty here, but I'm a life-long PC user that is gonna be getting his first 12" PowerBook. My Gateway 650XL (ginormious desktop-replacement) is kicking out on me, so amist my search for a new notebook, I have fallen in love with the small, but powerful, PowerBook. Now, for the details: I need something ultra-portable, so it's definitely gonna be the 12" model. As for the hard drive, the demo model I was playing around with had the 60GB 4200RPM drive, and it was surprisingly responsive. However, my initial plans had me going for the 80GB 5400RPM drive to improve response. I do not need the extra storage capacity... But can anyone comment on possible speed/responsiveness differences between the 4200RPM and 5400RPM options? On my Gateway, the difference was night and day, with teh 4200 being dog-slow. Also, what can I expect in terms of battery-life differences between the two? Signifigant, or not? Now for memory... On my PCs, it's always been 512MB+, or bust. Any less and the system would crawl. I was *very* impressed at how responsive the demo responded with only 256MB of on-board RAM. However, I've also read multiple reports saying that Apple's caching engine is very memory-hungry, and when you get to using it for prolonged periods, you need a lot of RAM. What are the recommendations here? I will mostly be using it for going back to school, so office-style applications, web browsing, music playing, etc. Is 256MB sufficient? 512MB? 768MB? 1.25GB? The bluetooth mouse is just cool I'll be getting the combo drive, since my desktop has a DVD-RW. I was considering a second battery. They report "up to" 5 hours -- which to me would mean that you'll never actually get that. With normal use (DVDs, music, typing, research, web usage, lots of WiFi) what can I expect in terms of battery life between charges? If I buy two batteries, can I swap them without shutting down? Or do I lose everything? One thing that was very disappointing with my gateway was battery lifetime. Not between charges, but from it being new to it being worthless. In 2 years, I have completely killed 2 batteries so that they no longer keep a charge. Since this is for school, I will be constantly using it on battery power. How long do I get out of a battery? 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, etc? I am most-definitely getting the Apple Protection Plan which extends my warranty to 3 years. Does this also include replacement of batteries? Or is that considered "wear and tear" and I'm out of luck? Battery life is a huge point for me! Now, I was comparing the 12" PowerBook to the 12" iBook, and the difference in quality is night and day; the PowerBook is hands-down built with much better materials and workmanship. However, why does the iBook get 6 hours battery life while the PowerBook only get 5 hours? Just a curious observation I've noticed. In terms of software, I was looking at the $150 Microsoft Office 2004. Are there any recommended alternatives to consider? What other software do you guys use? On a PC, it's a cardinal sin to not run up-to-date antivirus and spyware prevention. What about on the mac? I know that mac-viruses exist, but what can we do about them? (I hate norton, so what else is out there?) On the PC, you've got WindowsUpdate and various repositories for Linux to keep your system current... What do you do on a mac? I consider myself so tech-savy that it's rather awkward being on the other side having to re-learn all this. But after looking at every excuse *not* to get a mac, I simply feel more certain that the 12" PowerBook is perfect for what I need. Any help is greatly appreciated.