Questions from a wannabe switcher

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by greg555, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've been reading macrumors regularly since the rumors of the (first) iPod
    mini. I signed up today so I could ask a few switcher questions.

    I'm hoping to buy a Mac mini in summer to get Tiger and standard
    512MB of RAM (if that rumor proves true). I'm currently on a Windows ME
    machine so I can't even install iTunes :(

    One thing I'm wondering is how OS X handles multi users: will each
    users have separate browser favorites/bookmarks or are they common?
    Can I have a netnanny type of thing on my kids login but have it off
    in mine?

    Does/will the search function in Tiger only search files the user has
    permission to see or is it like the Google desktop search where it indexes
    everything?

    My kids don't play too many computer games (Zoo and Rollercoaster
    Tycoon being the major exceptions). But they do play a lot of the flash
    games on various kid web pages. Do all those types of web games work
    on Macs or will I have to keep the PC going.

    Lastly, does the Mac mini come with software that lets you open/create
    compatible Word docs and Excel spreadsheets or do you have to buy
    something extra?

    Lastly #2 :) do any of the Canadian Tax programs come in a Mac version?

    Thanks a lot - Greg
    (Sorry if any of my questions are really niave.)
     
  2. auxplage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #2
    Yes, all users can have their own preferences, and flash is supported on Macs. I do not know about the seach option, but I am sure it will be very functional once Tiger is released.
    Niave = Naïve (sorry, I just like accents on imported words)
     
  3. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Thanks auxplage.

    Not only am I missing the accent, I can't spell naïve
    either :)

    Cheers - Greg
     
  4. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Mac Tax programs for Canada

    To answer my own tax question: According to the Revenue Canada
    web site TaxTron is the only Macintosh one.

    From the TaxTron web page "TaxTron will run under Mac OS X Classic as an OS 9.2 application.
    This allows us to continue supporting the large number of our clients who still prefer OS 9.2,
    and incurs no real performance penalty on newer Macs that can only boot OS X. You will need to
    have a working copy Mac OS 9.2 to use the TaxTron software."

    Does the Mac Mini come with an OS 9.2 disc or is that another thing I'd
    have to buy?

    Thanks - Greg
     
  5. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Location:
    I live in a giant bucket!
    #5
    Yes, fast user switching will allow you to set up different permissions for different users
    Tiger isn't out yet so I can't say for myself but from what I hear Tiger will let you set files that you don't want to be seen so that Spotlight will just ignore them
    They'll be fine. Never found a flash game I couldn't play on a Mac.

    If you are looking into creating word docs and excel spreadsheets the easiest and most efficient way is to just get Office for the Mac. Its not cheap but it will save you from some headaches and I personally think it actually runs better on OSX then Windows. Go fig. :p
     
  6. acedickson macrumors 6502a

    acedickson

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    ATL
    #6
    There's OpenOffice, which is free. If you create a document in OpenOffice you can open it in Word on the PC and edit with no problem. OpenOffice is available for the PC too. You could d/l it and get used to it.

    You could also buy Office v X if you don't like it.
     
  7. #7
    I used Tax tron this year and it worked fine. Got a large refund in under 2 weeks http://forums.macrumors.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

    The Classic environment comes with OS X and starts up automatically when needed.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but it is not possible to check the web histories etc of your children, unless they let you. They should agree to this anyway. IMHO The security between accounts seems quite strong and I am not able to review files etc on my kids accounts unless they let me. My only option is to delete them which seems a little drastic.

     
  8. jamdr macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #8
    I could be wrong*, but I believe that new Macs no longer come with OS 9. You'd have to buy it separately, but I can tell you that running applications in classic won't give you a very good user experience and it might be confusing for someone who has never used the older OS. Basically, when you run OS 9 apps in OS X, it switches operating systems completely while you are in that application so everything will look different.

    However, I think you may be wrong about this "TaxTron" application being the only tax program available on the Mac. What about Quicken? I believe that is available in Canada and also has a Mac version. I'm pretty sure there are others, too.

    If you want to create Word and Excel documents, you will have to buy Microsoft Office :) It's not expensive, especially the Academic version.

    Flash works just fine on Macs. Zoo Tycoon is available on the Mac, too, but not Roller Coaster Tycoon.

    *Edit: Okay, I was wrong. But I still think you should look into OS X-native alternatives if they exist.
     
  9. jamdr macrumors 6502a

    jamdr

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #9
    Guess what! I did a little searching and I found out that your Mac mini will come with Quicken 2005, and even better it will automatically work with Canadian banks. So you don't even have to buy anything :) Are Macs great?
     
  10. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    #10
    I have recently switched to a full Macintosh house. While I have been collecting 68k Macintosh computers since I was in High School, I have always had a PC laying around. In fact, the only two PC's remaining in the house are laptops, which I run VagCom VW / Audi Scanning Software on.

    Anyway, I work in IT, and support Datacenters, I decided I didn't want anything Microsoft in my house, if I could avoid it. The main reason being that I have to deal with it at work all day, and sometimes it is nice to get away.

    WORD, EXCEL,

    I currently run an open source program called Open Office, on both my Linux Laptop, and my Macintosh computers. In the MAC world it is called NeoOffice. I have found it will open mostly all doccuments correctly, and it even has features to make it compatible with word processors that Microsoft can't share with.

    Anyway, the change was easy, and smooth. Apple has great support, and usually will help new users (especially people that buy new Macintosh computers) make the change. Their biggest market they are going after is Microsoft Windows users, so if you are converting, they will be more then happy to bring you abord!!
     
  11. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #11
    You can set nearly any administrative preferences you want in OSX


    Unlike XP Home, you're kids can't change your privileges
    without your p/w.

    You can also lock individual files within your user folder.

    You may be able to get by with the iWork suite for your office
    applications, but Microsoft Office for Mac is still superior at the moment
    for compatibility.

    You may also want to look into BBedit.

    Sounds to me like you'll be best served by retiring your P/C to gaming
    and using your mini for all web connections.

    You'll be in good shape with either Safari or Firefox.
    Many of us have dragged IE to the trash.

    At least you'll get to know OSX by the time you're ready to buy the kids
    their own systems.
     
  12. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #12
    Under Tiger, parental controls are introduced, just to meet some of your, and most parents, concerns. Make each kid an account and specify exactly what s/he's allowed to do, both locally on the computer as well as on the net...
     
  13. OCOTILLO macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #13
    Mac mini - OS 9

    The Mac mini ships with OS9 discs in the box.
     
  14. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    #14
    One cool thing in Tiger (that sounds like you might be interested in) is going to be Parental Controls.

    According to Apple:
    Specify exactly which Web sites your children access by bookmarking only those sites on the Safari Bookmarks Bar. With Safari controls enabled, your kids browse only the sites on the Bookmarks Bar. New Web addresses typed into the address field or non-approved sites linked from approved sites will not load on Safari. Instead, an error message appears, giving your child the option to request approval on blocked pages.

    Edit: Opps...just saw Mitthrawnuruodo's post
     
  15. woolybugger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas
    #15
    mini-Mac questions

    One thing I'm wondering is how OS X handles multi users: will each
    users have separate browser favorites/bookmarks or are they common?
    Can I have a netnanny type of thing on my kids login but have it off
    in mine? OS X sets up much like Windows with each user with their own password and favorites. Users have options similar to Windows (admin, etc.)

    Does/will the search function in Tiger only search files the user has
    permission to see or is it like the Google desktop search where it indexes
    everything? Haven't met Tiger yet and don't know

    My kids don't play too many computer games (Zoo and Rollercoaster
    Tycoon being the major exceptions). But they do play a lot of the flash
    games on various kid web pages. Do all those types of web games work
    on Macs or will I have to keep the PC going. Flash is browser dependent, and works fine with Safari. I am having trouble getting it working with Firefox. I don't like IE at all on the Mac. I think Firefox will be my final choice.

    Lastly, does the Mac mini come with software that lets you open/create
    compatible Word docs and Excel spreadsheets or do you have to buy
    something extra? Not really. Others have mentioned OpenOffice and it works fine. I don't think it is necessary to buy MS Office unless you have heavy duty needs.

    Lastly #2 do any of the Canadian Tax programs come in a Mac version? I don't know, others have made comments.

    I have been a computer user since CPM days. I like the potential of OS X (Unix based), but it has a very steep learning curve. It is no easier to use than a Windows XP. As long as Apple has only 5% of the market, it will not be as big a target for worms and trojans. Every OS has potential security issues.
     
  16. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #16
    Ok, lets summarize... ;)

    One thing I'm wondering is how OS X handles multi users: will each
    users have separate browser favorites/bookmarks or are they common?
    Can I have a netnanny type of thing on my kids login but have it off
    in mine? OS X sets up much like Windows with each user with their own password and favorites. Users have options similar to Windows (admin, etc.) Right, but when Tiger is released you, as an admin, has even better control of the user accounts...

    Does/will the search function in Tiger only search files the user has
    permission to see or is it like the Google desktop search where it indexes
    everything? Haven't met Tiger yet and don't know 1) You can control the access to your files/directories in good old *nix style, by setting permissions, then other users need admin privileges to access those (including search), and 2) the above mentioned parental control will probably also be used for this (already now you can set up users to have an limited finder...)

    My kids don't play too many computer games (Zoo and Rollercoaster
    Tycoon being the major exceptions). But they do play a lot of the flash
    games on various kid web pages. Do all those types of web games work
    on Macs or will I have to keep the PC going. Flash is browser dependent, and works fine with Safari. I am having trouble getting it working with Firefox. I don't like IE at all on the Mac. I think Firefox will be my final choice. Flash games will nearly always work, Shockwave most of the time, only Java games can be a bit troublesome...

    Lastly, does the Mac mini come with software that lets you open/create
    compatible Word docs and Excel spreadsheets or do you have to buy
    something extra? Not really. Others have mentioned OpenOffice and it works fine. I don't think it is necessary to buy MS Office unless you have heavy duty needs. Not entirely correct, AppleWorks should be able to open most office documents (and TextEdit opens Word files), but they are not too reliable if you need to make changes and save them again. Then MS Office is best, but NeoOfficeJ, which I just started to try, seems like a nice, and free, alternative, and handles all formats very well...

    Lastly #2 do any of the Canadian Tax programs come in a Mac version? I don't know, others have made comments. ...

    I have been a computer user since CPM days. I like the potential of OS X (Unix based), but it has a very steep learning curve. It is no easier to use than a Windows XP. As long as Apple has only 5% of the market, it will not be as big a target for worms and trojans. Every OS has potential security issues. Mac OS X has a very easy learning curve, the underlying FreeBSD, a bit steaper, but absolutely managable, if you want to try. You probably never get any use for it, but a few Terminal commands may be good to know...
    As for security: Keep your firewall on, have backup of all critical data and, for extra security, install Paranoid Android and HenWen and you will probably never have any serious problems. Some will also recommend anti virus, but in my opinion this is not necessary...


    This might get very colourful... :D
     
  17. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #17
    Steep learning curve???

    I've used Windows 98, 2000 and XP along with Mac OS 8-9
    and nothing could be more user friendly than OSX.

    I'll admit that some Windows users may need a while to unlearn
    all the crap they've had to go through to keep their system
    secure, trouble free and well organized.
     
  18. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    Thanks

    Thanks everyone for the great info.

    Greg
     

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