New, Student Mac User with some Software Questions, etc..

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DMBGuru, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. DMBGuru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #1
    Hello! First of all, I'd like to apologize ahead of time for the long post, but rather than making 5 posts on different things, I thought I'd make one, all-inclusive post. I've been visiting this site quite frequently lately, especially due to my vast amount of research spent on choosing what laptop I'm going to buy. I've read reviews on every laptop that is currently being sold in major stores and manufacturers, and I've decided to go with:

    C2D 2.0 Macbook (White), 2gig ram, 80gig HDD, Applecare.

    My reasons for purchasing the MB as opposed to any of the other laptops were:

    1. I'm a student and needed something compact with a relatively good battery life.
    2. I wanted something that didn't really look like ass.
    3. The price was right, my university has that student discount dealy with apple.

    All in all, with applecare, I think the bill was like $1600. I think I may invest in another battery to take around to really boost my battery life away from the dorm, but 3-4 hours is good enough for me right now.

    Let me also say that this is my first time making the switch.. sure I have an iPod, but I've been a hardcore Windows user all my life and know that operating system inside and out. I must say, because Vista looks like it's gonna suck (and indeed seems like it's stealing a lot from OSX), I decided now would be a nice time to test the waters in mac.

    As a student, I will mostly be doing word processing and research... I have a desktop for gaming, so I don't need anything special in the way of a discreet gpu. Ram is obviously important simply because ram is ram. You can never really have TOO much.

    I've come to a crossroads though. My university offers Microsoft Office 2004 Pro for Mac for $69, or the same for Windows for $69. The Windows one will obviously have the complete suite and thus provide a lot more productivity. However, they said they are also getting Office for Windows 2007 later this month or early next month... presumably also for $69. This brings me to a big decision. I can buy XP Pro for $69 from the store, install it with Parallels or Bootcamp, and then install the windows version on that... or I could just buy the mac version and run it natively on OSX and not worry about another operating system.

    My question to you guys is... have you had any good or bad experiences with parallels and bootcamp? Which is preferred? Which would more likely suit my needs in this situation? If you were in the same situation, what would you do? Keep in mind that I have an 80gig hard drive, please :)

    Now, for a question that I know is answered a lot elsewhere, but would like just one last affirmation before I purchase.

    I'm thinking about getting a Considerable Embarassment from Crumpler and a Tom Bihn soft cell for my macbook to use in conjunction with each other... and if not the Crumpler, I'd get a Laptop Messanger from Timbuk2. Does anyone with the Tom Bihn have any comments as to the thickness of the product or possible incompatibilities with size? I'd greatly appreciate any and all suggestions or comments in this category because I plan on making the purchase either later today or tomorrow.

    Thanks a lot! I can't wait to be an active participant in this lovely community!
     
  2. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #2
    Personally I'd stick with Mac Office 2004 if you just need it for the Usual Suspects (Word, Excel, Powerpoint.) Bootcamp/Parallels is nice, but a little overkill for Office. I only use them for things I could never do on the Mac, such as the occasional game or Visual Studio. Plus, IMHO, Office for the Mac is better anyway.
     
  3. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #3
    What do you think about getting iWork in addition to Office? Overkill?

    Is there any word on Office 2007 for Mac?
     
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    It'll be Office 2008, and will be coming out in the "second half of 2007" according to Microsoft (AKA any time from July to December). So, depends on how much you need it I guess.

    As for iWork, if you plan on doing any presentations, see if your college allows for hooking up your own laptop in a classroom. iWork's Keynote software is MUCH better for presentations, and should be revved for '07 (probably around the time Leopard comes out). I always used my PowerBook and Keynote whenever I had to give presentations in class, and profs always marked me up for the quality of the presentation—especially since I used Keynote's "presenter display" on my PowerBook's screen to show notes/points for each slide while the slide showed on the main screen. Very convenient.
     
  5. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    Tempe, AZ
    #5
    Well, considering I'm only a second semester freshman, I'd probably do alright with Powerpoint's presentations... can you export Keynotes to .ppt though?

    And if '08 doesn't come out till after the school year ends, I'll definitely need to get '04 when I get my macbook.

    So are you saying that I should stick with the mac office and not go with parallels?

    What are the pro's and con's of using mac office as opposed to the full featured windows office using parallels and xp?
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Yes, also bear in mind that Powerpoint for Mac can have problems with Powerpoint for Windows slides, sometimes even if they are pretty basic.

    Keynote is better though.
     
  7. phungy macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
    #7
    That is (almost) the exact same setup as mine. You def won't regret it.
     
  8. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Which setup is yours?

    The mac with office mac?

    Or the mac with parallels/xp/windows office?
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    If you install Parallels or BootCamp you will have the additional expense of a Windows XP SP2 license.
     
  10. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    My university bookstore sells XP Pro SP2 for $69.. which isn't so much, so that doesn't really factor too much for me.
     
  11. phungy macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
    #11
    Mac with Office. Didn't want to install bootcamp/parallels.
     
  12. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #12
    You don't need bootcamp or parallels strictly for MS office, that would be silly. Get the mac version. What do you mean about a suite and productivity? They will come with the same features.
     
  13. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #13
    Office for Mac has:

    • Word
    • Powerpoint
    • Excel
    • Entourage

    Office for Windows has:

    • Word
    • Powerpoint
    • Excel
    • Access
    • OneNote
    • And Frontpage I believe as well
     
  14. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #14
    Unless you need Access for some reason, there's no reason to get Office for Windows instead of Mac Office 2004. For everything a college undergrad needs to do, it will be fine. Heck, for everything I needed to do as a liberal arts undergrad (media arts and design), iWork would've been more than enough—I hardly ever needed Excel for anything.
     
  15. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Well I know for sure that I need excel for my CIS class next semester... but I'm liking iWork's stuff for presentation later on.

    I'll probably end up waiting until iWork '07 comes out.

    Any suggestions on the case questions from the original post?
     
  16. kermit4161 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    #16
    Heck, I've been using Office X for Mac for school and haven't myself really wanting for anything. I did have a class where using Access would have been helpful, but not a big problem. I'd go ahead and get Office 2004 for the Mac. I don't think there is going to be an Office 2007... 2008 will be out this year, but probably after the Spring semester.
     
  17. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #17
    tell me why you need to get office 2004 when you have v.X? unless you just want to spend the money on the upgrade. In my 4 years of college, v.X has more than sufficed and continues to do so
     
  18. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    v.X? What's that?

    I need Office for classes that require powerpoints and excel files... and many of them do.

    I'm in a CIS class that actually teaches basics on how to use excel, powerpoint, and word... I know, it's stupid, but it's an easy CIS credit and I need it to graduate.
     
  19. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #19
    i was referring to the comment made by the poster above me. it is the previous office release of office for mac before the 2004 version
     
  20. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    #20
    Gotcha, sorry about that. Definitely still new to the whole Mactalk, lol.
     
  21. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #21
    If you have a desktop, there's really no point in getting another Windows license + the cost of Parallels + Office to run Office in Windows on your Mac. Office Mac 2004 should suffice for what you are planning to do. Keep in mind a Mac install of Office is around 400 MB while Windows takes 5 GB minimum with Boot Camp.

    I wouldn't get a bag, just because nice bag = mug me! where I live. Your mileage may vary. FWIW I got a sleeve and used my ratty 5 year old backpack and it worked out. I wouldn't bother getting another battery either as you can usually find a wall outlet in a classroom or where you study.
     
  22. DMBGuru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #22
    Well, I already purchased a bag, but I value really good quality bags. It doesn't look like a laptop bag at all though, just a normal messenger bag, which I've already been using a Timbuk2 all year up till now (and most people on campus use messengers nowadays). I plan on using it as some sort of luggage too for small overnight stays and stuff, so I don't mind investing in something that will do me good for years to come.

    I think I may have decided to just get the mac version, considering I can do all the other stuff on my desktop, which ash office pro 2002 on it anyway.
     

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