Making the "switch"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MalcolmJID, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. MalcolmJID macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Im on a really crappy Windows 98 machine at my dads (computer I use the most).

    Since using some brand new iMac G5's at college in my Music class, I'm hooked on Macs, everything seems a lot smoother, sexier etc. I'm really addicted.

    I think my dad may also be thinking of upgrading soon (this computer), so I'll end up saying "get a Mac Mini". I do have a few questions though:


    1) Would it be worth paying the extra £50 or so to buy the actual Mac keyboard and Mighty Mouse? They really do look nice and I'd like to have them to complete "the look".


    2) I currently have an Epson Printer and Scanner. Am I likely to come across problems using these with a Mac? Obviously I will check the Epson website to check compatibility, but is there likely to be a complete no-go?


    3) My Dads house currently shares a 2Mb cable broadband line, through a wireless router. This computer has a Wireless card with an ariel etc, will the Airport built-in to the Mac still be able to interact with this?

    4) Another point on the network. My dad's laptop (im the main user of this desktop) is Windows XP, and we'd like to have a "shared" folder on each of the computers, to easily swap files around, and also to share the printer that will (hopefully!) be plugged into the Mac. Could I do this? (It worked when my dad's older laptop was Win98 also, but since he got XP, we can't).




    I understand the network side may cause a little headache, but hopefully you guys could give me some advice, and answer my questions etc.

    I'm also recieving an iPod for Xmas, and of course, I'd prefer the iTunes etc on a Mac. (also don't have USB 2.0 or Firewire sockets on this computer! :( )


    Thanks alot, Karl! :)
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Welcome to Macs. With the help of this forum we should be making a regular Mac-zealot out of you in no time. :)


    It's really up to you. I suppose it's safer to use the Mac keyboard and mouse rather than the old PC ones in terms of compatibility too.



    Is it here? More than likely it'll work, even if it's not on that list.



    AirPort (Extreme) is an 802.11G standard meaning it'll work with any 802.11B or 802.11G router. In other words, unless you've got some proprietary format imbedded in your router (most unlikely) it'll work just fine.



    Yep, networking the two is more than possible. Check out our new guide on how to do it once you've got the mini. :)
     
  3. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #3
    Get at least the Apple keyboard for compatibility. As for the Epson drive the os has a list of drives pre installed. On a note my Epson printer did not have a drive but I choose a different drive from the Epson list and it works. The rest of your questions have been answered perfectly by mad jew.
     
  4. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Thanks for the speedy replies! :)

    1) The keyboard, I didn't actually think about the compatibility/interface sort of things, but now that I think about it, it seems definately worth getting the keyboard!

    2) Yup. The printer at least was on that list. I'm gonna check out some other websites with regards to the scanner.

    3) Yes! The wireless router is a 802.11b :)

    4) Thanks for that guide! I shall give it a read through now, but good to hear that it will be possible to link the two! :)



    One other question, this is gonna be a bummer at first, but will I be OK using a 17" CRT with the Mac Mini, at least untill I can save up to buy a 17", or evern 19" LCD monitor?

    Thanks again guys, I wont hesistate to ask anymore questions! :p
     
  5. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #5
    The mini comes with a DVI to VGA adopter, so it will be no worries :)
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6

    Yep. The idea of the mini is to provide a way of replacing a regular PC box so theoretically it'll work with all keyboards (USB), mice, screens etc. It'll be fine with your CRT but as you know, an LCD would look so much better. :p

    Beaten by DeSnousa. :eek:
     
  7. MalcolmJID thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Hehe yea. Although, this CRT does have quite a sharp image, so I don't think that it will be too bad. But I'll definately be getting a LCD monitor!




    I must say, I've had an obsession with the Mac OS X look since it first came out. When I saw that dock, I though, oh wow! I even got Windows Emulators so I could have a dock on my Windows based PC! And also a visual style that put the window buttons on the left as they are on the Mac! :) Geeky, I know, but they do look stunning, as I'm sure you agree (this being a Mac forum and all)




    Some other "queries" I suppose.

    What kind of difference will "surfing" bring to me? Or is using Safari/FireFox a similar affair to IE? And I see there is an MSN Messenger for Mac on the MSN Messenger website, so hopefully all that will go well and work etc. Also, is the word processor that comes with either OS or iLife, is it good? Will it be up to standard for me doing letters/essays and sticking in the occasional picture? (Not looking down on Macs or anything by saying this, I just want to check :) )

    Cheers!
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8

    Can't blame you, it's stunning. :D



    There are some sites that are Internet Explorer only but they're rare and there's actually an old unsupported version you can download from Microsoft (5.2.3 from memory). They're basically the same though.



    Yeah, MSN for Mac doesn't work brilliantly. It disconnects a bit. There are alternatives though, such as an app called Adium which does the same job. :)



    You'll get AppleWorks which is similar to Office and just as competent for the things you want to do but can sometimes be a pain to transfer files to and from Office (which is the standard) albeit most of the time it's fine. You'll also get an iWork trial with pages which isn't really a Word equivalent so much as a publishing app. Although AppleWorks will be fine, I recommend looking into Office for Mac, it's a pretty brilliant suite and I think it's actually even better than the PC version in most respects.
     
  9. terrorbite macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    Definitely use Adium instead of the Mac version of MSN. Far far nicer.
     
  10. fartheststar macrumors 6502a

    fartheststar

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #10
    As a student you should be able to get MS Office for mac cheap. I have read here that sometimes your school will offer it even cheaper than the online store... which still has it for a pretty decent price.

    MS Office on Mac works better than it's windows counterpart in my opinion. No MS Access though.
     
  11. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #11
    I would take your Dad to the closest AppleStore with you and show him the
    new 17" WS iMac G5.

    Yes it's more money but a far surperior machine.

    If you involve him in the selection and he sees the difference in quality
    both of you will benefit.

    If you decide on the Mini, wait till Apple confirms the new 1.5 GHz 64 MB VRAM update.
     
  12. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #12
    I prefer the Apple keyboards over anything else I've ever used. Plus, I like them because they have Apple keys (something weird about hitting the Windows key to reproduce the functions of the Apple key on a regular keyboard) and the volume and eject buttons.
    As far as the mouse, I love my Logitech MX1000 and wouldn't trade it for any other mouse.

    Not sure about the scanner. But my parents have an Epson (R200? maybe?) and they switched to Mac a couple weeks ago. I literally plugged the printer into their Mini's USB port and was printing a page not even a minute later. Can't do that with Windows ;) I remember installing the printer on their old XP computer, took 15 minutes to install drivers.

    Yes, as long as it's 802.11b or 802.11g. If the router is 802.11a (doubtful, that protocol never really took off) then no, it won't work.

    Yep, you can connect to Windows XP shares. As far as the printer, I'm not too sure if OSX and Windows can share printers between each other. OSX-to-OSX and Windows-to-Windows sharing works, not sure about between the 2.


    edit: just read your router is 802.11b. Consider upgrading it to 802.11g, faster speeds :)
     

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