A few questions before I make the switch

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by MagnetoSupply, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. MagnetoSupply macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2005
    Hi all.

    A little background - I worked in the visual effects industry in the mid-1990s and was one of the few people using Macs when everyone else was using Silicon Graphics Octanes. As you may know, many of us switched to PCs because of the Mac and SGI pricing at that time.

    I now work in interactive marketing and a few years ago, I bought a first generation G4. It was a huge expense compared to a comparably equipped PC but I thought it would be worth it. I was then chosen to be a beta tester for OSX, which was really in sub alpha at the time. I was furious with apple and had to reinstall OS9 about three times to get the thing running half way desent. I ended up selling it after about six months because it never ran correctly after the OSX fiasco.

    I've been a die hard Dell user since then until I picked up and iPod mini a few months ago. I love the product and now I think I'm ready to get an ibook 1.33 with a 12" display and 60gb drive.

    My problem is that I don't know the Mac equivalents of some of the PC software I use on a regular basis. Can anyone offer advice on the following:

    FTP software: I currently use WS_FTP PRO. I need something that is fast and allows me to chmod permissions.

    Note Tab Lite: This is a simple text editor.

    Web browsers: Safari or Firefox?

    Office: Is Office for Mac worth it or should I just use openoffice?

  2. Mertzen macrumors 6502


    Sep 25, 2004
    Look into Transmit: http://www.panic.com/transmit/

    OSX comes with text edit .. I guess it has all the basics in it ..

    Both are good browsers .. I have them booth just in case a site doesn't work on one of them ..

    Depends on what you Office needs are .. Office:Mac looks nicer and is OS X native .. OOo needs X11 but is free .. for the Office needs I have OOo is more then OK ..
  3. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I recently switched as well and couldn't be happier. I have a 12" 1.33 GHz Superdrive Powerbook and love it.

    I use Cyberduck for FTP because it's free and works well. For the most part I actually like it better than WS_FTP (which I used exclusively when I used Windows). There are also a bunch of other Mac FTP apps, both free and commercial, so you should be fine there. If you don't like Cyberduck, there's RBrowser, Transmit, Fetch, Fugu and probably others.

    I think TextEdit will probably be a fine replacement for Note Tab Lite, although I've never used Note Tab Lite, so I can't say for sure. If not, there are several other good Mac text editors, including BBEdit which is probably the most popular (with both a free "lite" version, and a commercial full version).

    I find myself using Safari almost all the time, but I also have Firefox and about 10 other browsers installed. I'm a web designer, so I use them for testing websites I create. If you don't like Safari or Firefox, you can also use IE, Netscape, Opera, Camino, Mozilla, or another browser.

    Office for Mac is a good application. Many people think it's better than the Windows version. That said, if you can get away with using OpenOffice on Windows, you'll be able to use it just fine on the Mac. I have both installed however and find myself using Office mostly just because it has a native Mac interface, whereas OpenOffice.org has a standard sort of clunky Unix interface.
  4. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Use the Terminal for your FTP stuff.

    TextEdit is great, it even opens Word documents natively. Use it or Word... or use pico if you know what it is ;)

    I like Safari, but its really a personal thing. They are both great. Do a search to find the threads on it. Linkety shows you how-- just scroll to find it.

    I like Office v.X. It is OS X native, works great, and is much better than the Windows version. Open Office is nice, but this is an example of Microsoft doing something right. Why? Because their Macintosh Business Unit made it. :)
  5. kaylee macrumors regular


    Mar 21, 2004
    To replace note tab lite,SubEthaEdit might do what you want if TextEdit (comes with OSX) isn't enough.

    For an alternative to Microsoft Office for Mac, you can try NeoOffice/J. I prefer it to OpenOffice - NO/J doesn't need X11, and can do native copy and paste (to/from OSX native applications).

    Just so you know, 12" iBooks only come as 1.2GHz (14" is 1.33GHz). I suggest you get at least 256MB of RAM in addition to the 256MB that is built in, although probably get it through a third party as Apple is expensive (if you do a search on the forums you will find threads on where to buy RAM from).
    I have a previous revision 12" 1GHz ibook (512MB ram, AE card, everything else stock) which i bought last April (which is when I switched to Mac), and I couldn't be happier with it.
  6. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    A note on Office v.X:

    It's one of two apps that I cannot leave running at all times on my Mac. All other apps, when they're minimized or have no windows open, use zero to 1.0% of my processor - usually zero.

    Office apps will use 10% or so, for some reason. Because of that, I quit the Office apps every time.

    The other app? RagTime Solo. Great app, and free. It seems, though, after running for 3 or 4 hours, it crashes for no apparent reason. Sometimes, it'll bring down the OS with it. I don't understand it, I'm just reporting.
  7. busasa macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2004
    Office 2004 doesn't use any CPU when idle, and since it is the current edition, it should be the one you are getting as well. For browsers, I use mainly safari, because it is faster for the sites that I surf. However, it is not as compatible as IE or firefox.
  8. florencevassy macrumors regular


    Jun 1, 2004
    Princeton, NJ

    I have Safari, IE and Firefox. I try to stay away from IE and anything microsoft at home. I mainly use Firefox; for some reason I just like it better than the others. Some sites require that you use Safari and occasionally IE, it is good to have all three. Good luck! : :)


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