Mac users, please come in!

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JHZR2

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Hi, I made another thread stating that my Dell Precision Workstation is dying badly. Maybe it is the power supply, maybe it is the motherboard, I dont know. What I do know is that though its a great system, its a huge system, very heavy, not easily moved, and has way more capacity than Ill need. I used to (as a student) run mathematical simulations, heavy chemical modeling, large mathematical programs, etc., but nowadays I do all that at work, so all my home computer is used for is email, internet, quicken, excel, word, doing some mapping for trips, listening to MP3s, etc. I have a great monitor (19" LCD), a good set of speakers, printer, etc. I am thinking that I might like to get a barebones mac to use from this point on. Probably a mac mini, with minimal memory, running OS X. I would upgrade the memory later by myself. I was originally an apple person, because my mother is a teacher. I grew up on the apple IIe, macintosh, then the mac IIIsx or something like that, then I got a performa, one with an original powerpc chip (75 MHz). That got me through high school, and then when I went to college I got my first PC (233 MHz Packard bell). I upgraded quick in the PC world, but at this point, besides perhaps some software offerings, I dont have much need for most that the PC has to offer. So long as I can run MS word, excel, maybe powerpoint (which Im pretty sure is available for the mac), hopefully use outlook, so I can import all of my old stuff into it, and keep my mp3s, Im happy. Id rather not use a windows emulator, but rather do it all in native mac. I do have a few questions though about interoperability. My last mac had the ability to read and show the filesof a PC formatted floppy disc. So thats where my knowledge level is. If I want to burn a CD of files from my Mac (say a CD full of MP3 files), can I burn it so that it will be openable/readable from macs and PCs? If I have a USB flash drive with different stuff on it, can I put stuff on it from on a PC, then see the stuff (and open it provided I have the correct software) on the mac? Is there anything that I can count on NOT being able to do on a mac? I dont need the silly answers like crash, loose data, explode, etc., etc. [Big Grin] Any info would be appreciated. Thanks! JMH
 
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Greetings, I am typing this reply on an Apple Powerbook. If what you state is true: " but nowadays I do all that at work, so all my home computer is used for is email, internet, quicken, excel, word, doing some mapping for trips, listening to MP3s, etc." You will not have any problems using the Mac at home. It appears that you already know that the entire Microsoft Office suite has a Mac version. Can you burn cds and dvds for both platforms - YES. Go here and see what common apps Microsoft now has for OSX: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx
 
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As you know the Mac OS has changed considerably since the days of your Performa. Mac OS X allows compatibility with Windows. The Mac will be able to read the USB drive you plug in without difficulty. You can burn CD's easily. iTunes will allow you to organize your CD collection. iPhoto allows you to play with digital photos if you are into that. Your Word, PowerPoint, Excel files will transfer seamlessly. The Mac version of Outlook is called Entourage which has almost all the features of Outlook. Your Quicken files should open in the Mac, the only thing to keep in mind is that some banks will give you problems when you use a Mac. The newest Mac version of Quicken allows of internet banking. Your choice of a Mac Mini is a good one to "try out" the Mac again. Recommend though that you upgrade the RAM to a minimum of 512 MB. Mac OS X runs faster with more RAM. AFAIK you cannot upgrade the RAM yourself so you would have to buy it at the Apple Online Store if you want to get more RAM. I think it is $75 for the extra RAM.
 

JHZR2

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quote:
Originally posted by ToyotaNSaturn: I also vote for not using MS Office, especially Entourage. I feel Entourage is really half-hearted software. I've been using AbiWord for a Word Processing on OSX (it's not the greatest but it's quick). Install the X11 components, then use GIMP for OSX for image manipulation and OpenOffice...all for free. I use Toast to make custom MP3 discs to play in my car's MP3 Player... Once you go Mac, you'll never go back... [Smile]
My main requirement is to be able to import my outlook pst files into whatever email program I end up using... Ill check out the open office. That makes things easy. And by the way, I was into macs from the VERY BEGINNING [Smile] JMH
 
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"My main requirement is to be able to import my outlook pst files into whatever email program I end up using..." Now that is a problem. Entourage and Apple's Mail application don't do .pst files....
 
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I hear the Mac Mini is a great little computer, and if you have the monitor, keyboard, and mouse that will work, a Mac Mini can be inexpensive. But I would recommend that you get plenty of memory when you buy the computer. These computers are supposed to be hard to take apart, and the warranty might be violated if you take the computer apart yourself. Also, if you want a Superdrive and a larger capacity hard-drive it would probably be good to get that when you buy the computer. Recently, prices for these add-ons have been reduced. A higher capacity hard-drive might add $50.00 to the cost, and a Superdrive maybe $100.00. RAM is fairly inexpensive today. I agree that you don't need Microsoft Office for the Macintosh. OpenOffice is great, and Apple has also come out with iWork that includes Pages, a word processor that is compatible at least to some extent with Word.
 
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I also vote for not using MS Office, especially Entourage. I feel Entourage is really half-hearted software. I've been using AbiWord for a Word Processing on OSX (it's not the greatest but it's quick). Install the X11 components, then use GIMP for OSX for image manipulation and OpenOffice...all for free. I use Toast to make custom MP3 discs to play in my car's MP3 Player... Once you go Mac, you'll never go back... [Smile]
 

Patman

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I just bought a new eMac about a month ago and I love it! I've been working on a Mac in my job since 1992, so it was about time I got one for home too! When I bought my previous computer, Macs were double the price, but this time around they were only a little more. It's awesome how it's ready to go right out of the box. And you can definitely run powerpoint, excel, MS word, etc, as my Mac at work has all of those programs on it.
 
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I'm on a Mac at work & home. Clients are all on PCs. You will not run into any PC compatibility problems. E.g. A file created in Photoshop on a PC will work on a Mac also. With the exception of PC viruses getting forwarded to me from PC users' e-mail programs, and since PC viruses don't affect Macs, I've got no problems. That Mac Mini looks mighty tempting to make into a little multimedia server...
 
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You can get advice and help from the good people on this link: http://discussions.info.apple.com/[email protected]@.eff4e78 There are boards that deal with Mail etc, on the set of discussion boards that you can access. I find the iMac far better than PC's and having a smaller set of variables means that sorting out problems is more likely. You're not alone, which is the feeling I had when struggling with the software conflicts on the PC side!
 
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Hey I started with mac computers too. I like both mac and pc, have them both. I don't like those emulator software either(softwindows, virtual pc), those run slow and you need a very fast computer. Actually if you put a PC formatted disk into a mac, it will read it. It shows a disk with a PC icon on it. But the newer macs now only have a CD rom and no floppy, so you will need to buy a USB external floppy drive. However you can open picture files, word processing(it might translate it for you when you open it). You will not be able to open or run pc programs .exe which are for pc computers. If you want to run Microsoft word, excel, powerpoint, you'll need to buy it for the mac version like Office for mac. But i found that software for mac seem to cost a bit more than for windows. If you buy a new mac, it comes with something like Office. Its called AppleWorks, comes with word processing, spreadsheet, and presentations. You could still open word documents, excel I belive. As for burning cds for use on pc and mac, yes it will work just make sure the settings when burning/format cd will be for mac and pc. What you will not be able to do on macs is have as much selection as pc. There are way more pc software and hardware availablity for pcs. Mac stuff cost a bit more but their stuff is reliable and good quality. Mac and PC do get a long fine. My Ibook could actually connect to the pc and get files and share internet.
 

JHZR2

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LOL, I had appleworks on our old Apple IIe... Ran off of a 5 1/4" floppy... JMH
 
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