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Old Jan 4, 2013, 01:07 PM   #1
Scent lady
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I am in the process of converting my office completely to Mac. I am looking for suggestions on how to set it up the best so I can accomplish what I need.

I am a small at home business. I purchased a Mac Mini with the server feature, a time capsule, iMac, 2 MacBook Pro laptops plus I already have an iPad and iPhone.

I want them to all work together and be able to access all the documents we work. I want my assistant to be able to make changes then return it to one spot so if I open it and make changes it will all be saved plus we need a back up in case there is another accidental reformat of my hard drive (happened about 6 months ago on my windows external hard drive- lost everything I'd created for 4 years.)

I purchased VMware Fusion 5 software because we have 3 programs that we used on a windows computer (Publisher, Corel draw 4, and LXI for a vinyl cutter that will not work on Mac) I'd like to be able to put it on all the computers so we can open documents or work anywhere. Is this possible?

We are avid iTunes users and have a lot of movies my kids love to watch & music we listen to on our Apple TV. I would appreciate any help or advice you can provide. TIA.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 01:46 PM   #2
r0k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scent lady View Post
I am in the process of converting my office completely to Mac. I am looking for suggestions on how to set it up the best so I can accomplish what I need.

I am a small at home business. I purchased a Mac Mini with the server feature, a time capsule, iMac, 2 MacBook Pro laptops plus I already have an iPad and iPhone.

I want them to all work together and be able to access all the documents we work. I want my assistant to be able to make changes then return it to one spot so if I open it and make changes it will all be saved plus we need a back up in case there is another accidental reformat of my hard drive (happened about 6 months ago on my windows external hard drive- lost everything I'd created for 4 years.)

I purchased VMware Fusion 5 software because we have 3 programs that we used on a windows computer (Publisher, Corel draw 4, and LXI for a vinyl cutter that will not work on Mac) I'd like to be able to put it on all the computers so we can open documents or work anywhere. Is this possible?

We are avid iTunes users and have a lot of movies my kids love to watch & music we listen to on our Apple TV. I would appreciate any help or advice you can provide. TIA.
I have found that in google apps, one person can edit a doc and the guy across the room can see the document changing in real time. The same is true when I make changes in Pages or Numbers to documents in iCloud. The difference is that in iCloud, I've only seen this on documents owned by the same account. I don't recommend using a single iCloud account for your office so this means using google docs for some of your collaboration. Sadly the free version of google apps is no longer available. I think it's well worth the $50 per user per year for google apps but even if you don't opt for apps, you still have access to google docs for free.

I'm not a huge fan of iTunes. It always seemed too bloated and I thought it was trying to do too much. With iCloud, my iThings get their apps directly from the cloud and they back up to iCloud. The only time I connect an iThing to my Mac is to use image capture to clean bulky movies off to free up storage. I don't have music on my iPhone right now. This is the only reason I'd consider syncing it either by cable or wifi. Everything else I let happen over the air.

Since you have a Mac mini server, I believe there are some features you can set up like having backups to the mini (you don't need the Time Capsule except as a router/access point). I would take some time and go through tutorials here at Macrumors as well as at Apple. You might also consider shelling out the $99 for Apple's "one to one" service. It's one on one "training" but when I had it, I simply left my Mac at home, drove to the Apple store and worked on my real projects with Apple's help using the "back to my mac" feature. $99 for a year of having an Apple person sitting next to you while you work (by appointment) for an hour at a time is well worth it if you are new to OSX.

Careful with windows activation with a virtual machine like vmware or parallels. If you decide to delete the virtual machine, you might run out of times you are allowed to activate windows. I use the freeware virtualbox and while I haven't run into this, I know it's possible.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 02:16 PM   #3
KylePowers
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I'd just setup a Dropbox account on all the computers and keep your files there. That way, you can use Word, Pages, whatever and still access them on any of your computers. Dropbox also saves versions automatically, so you can always revert back to an older file if need be.

It syncs automatically, stores them "in the cloud" (so you don't have to worry about an office fire ruining all your data), and is even accessible from your iPhone, iPad, or any other device (Android, Windows, any web browser).

Google docs would be a smarter alternative for viewing live edits and doing live collaboration, but not sure if that's exactly necessary. Plus you'll be completely web browser dependent which can be meh. I prefer using the complete Office suite myself.

I have 25GB of Dropbox storage through referrals and whatnot (thusly, free), and it's been great. Can't imagine my life without it, especially when having an iMac, MBA, iPhone, and iPad.

EDIT - As for iTunes, iTunes 11 is pretty great. I think they did a good job with cleaning it up and making if function well. You could store your iTunes library on just one computer (or network attached storage, aka NAS) and use homesharing to access it from any other computer. You could even put it in your Dropbox storage so that it updates on each computer with each change automatically, but that's up to you.

EDIT EDIT - Also, shoulda just gone with Virtualbox for virtualizing Windows. It's free and I use it all the time. Works flawlessly! I create a direct link (I can't remember the exact term) to my Dropbox folder so that I can access and save files in Windows and OSX simultaneously (accessing the host drive is common amongst all virtualization software, though). You shouldn't have a problem once you sort out the whole universal access thing (Dropbox, iCloud, NAS, etc)

Last edited by KylePowers; Jan 4, 2013 at 02:23 PM.
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