Few queries before converting...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mac pakka, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. mac pakka macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2009
    Hey Guys! Imminent Mac convert here. Looking at an iMac 20" 2.66Ghz

    Obviously it's a big step to change from a PC, to be honest i've rarely used a Mac but my PC is on it's last legs and if it's 1/10th as well thought out as my iphone then i know i'll have no regrets.

    Anyway, i've done a lot of research but i'm struggling with a few things.

    1. Should i wait until Snow Leopard is released? Or would it be a simple upgrade?
    2. With work i get emailed a lot of docx documents, which is the simplest way to view these?
    3. Are there any benefits to syncing an iphone with a Mac rather than a PC.?
    4.What will be the limitations of this iMac compared to the higher models.

    I appreciate any and all comments and advice. Thanks....
  2. Doju macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    1. Couldn't be simpler, just back up your contents and then put it back on. Macs have great native software for this. Though, it is expensive.

    2. Pages (iWork) or MS Office 2008 (Mac).

    3. iTunes is a LOT quicker, and there's iPhoto with your photos which works better than Windows Photo Gallery or whatever. It's minute things, but you'll definitely notice them.

    4. Smaller, slightly lower quality screen. You likely won't notice the lower quality screen, nor care about the 4", and for the higher graphics and processor in the others, you likely won't feel the difference if you do normal things.

    Welcome to simplicity and reliability. :)
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Don't bother waiting for Snow Leopard if you are needing a new machine now.
  4. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    1. Snow Leopard should be an easy upgrade. Don't count on waiting for it because most likely the release date will be sometime around Aug/September or June/July at the very very least.

    2. I recommend using the iWork suite to replace Microsoft Office on the Mac. Office is way too buggy, laggy and slow to be worth the trouble. It's got long-standing problems with Mac. iWork can open PowerPoint, Word and Excel files. Heck, that's all the stuff Office: Mac does minus Entourage (mail client).

    3. Not really, but you do get more stability.

    4. Yes, I believe that model has a limitation of 4GB (or 6GB?) of memory compared with the 8GB (I think) of the higher end 24" models. The LCD panel used in the 20" iMacs are relatively worse than the 24" model. If you buy the base 24" model ($1499) the panel will be much better but if you don't notice the difference at the Apple Store, then it is moot.
  5. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008
    You said that you receive a lot of .docx files from work. So here comes a huge warning:

    Neither iWork nor Office:Mac are full replacements for Office 2003/2007 for Windows: Office macros are NOT supported on the Mac, and even the old Office:Mac 2004 only offers limited support for Office macros.

    When you (have to) work with Office macros, you NEED Microsoft Office for Windows. End of discussion.

    As for the "easy" upgrade of an Apple operating system to a newer version: The upgrade from Tiger to Leopard sucked badly and ended in a clean installation of Leopard on all computers where I --could-- upgrade. And I needed to revert to Tiger on some weaker G4 machines that were just too slow for Leopard, although they significantly exceeded the system requirements given by Apple. According to Apple, a 1 GHz G4 with 1 GB RAM should very well be capable of handling Leopard. In real life, the Leopard experience on such a machine sucks as badly as installing Vista on a Pentium 3 machine with 512 MB RAM. You get the idea.

    Don't buy (blindly) into the hype. Apple's graphics design and marketing hype aren't everything. Before you buy a Mac, make sure that it actually does what --YOU-- want to do with it and that it is compatible with --YOUR-- requirements and that the software that --YOU-- need is available for it. A computer is only a tool for certain purposes, and if the tool is not right for you, then it's worthless for you.

    If you are still going to buy the Mac, make sure that you also have a valid Windows license that you can install on it. Just in case that you find out that OS X is not the miracle that Apple's marketing department and the fanboys have been selling you. You'll probably need that Windows license anyway -- either in Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare Fusion. Most people quickly discover that they cannot use a Mac without having Windows installed on it in one way or the other, because they need to have that compatibility for work or some software that doesn't exist for the Mac (and the list of Windows-only software is VERY long).

    But don't worry. Intel Macs are great Windows machines. And I'm still under the impression that 64-Bit Vista runs much better on my Mac Pro than OS X Leopard.

    Anyway. It's your choice and -YOU- have to live with it. The migration to Apple - or back to Microsoft, should you find out that Apple's products are not going to cut it for you - can be very expensive and frustrating.
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    And even if Snow Leopard is released on August 1, you would be smart to wait a couple of months for the to get the bugs out. A release like 10.6.0 tends to be buggy, I always wait for at least the first round of fixes like 10.6.1 or 10.6.2.

    I run Leopard on an Ibook G4 1.33 ghz, 1.25gb ram and it's fine.
  7. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    If you find you have trouble with something that will only run or be read in windows, grab a free copy of virtual box and install windows on your mac. Accounting software has been my mac bugaboo, and a virtual machine does everything I need - I can pop open quickbooks (which I despise, but that's another story...), do what I need, and get right back to mac-land.

    If you're a visual thinker, you'll never look back.

  8. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
  9. mac pakka thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2009
    Wow!! I can't believe how helpful you guys are.

    Of course the Office things is one of my biggest concerns, however i'll keep my XP laptop running for that reason. It will be nice to transfer completely though.

    The mains things i will be using the iMac 20" 2.66Ghz is;

    1. Organising photos (using Picasa 3 at present, not sure if it is Mac compatible or how iphoto compares).
    2. Video editing. Had an expensive nightmare using XP to do this.
    3. Making those funky little websites (use google at present, not that good).
    4. Transfering TV content (using something like the eyetv delux) to my iphone.

    Not that big of a list when i write it down i have to admit. In the main XP has served me great (and will still do) and to be honest i very rarely use office at home anyway. I hold my hands up to being sucked in by the hype. I have a 2 year old daughter and another on the way, i guess the main reason i want a Mac is because i want the best way to save all the memories.
  10. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    This is patently untrue and at the very least, the word "most" is inappropriate. Mac users were doing fine long before the move to intel that made boot camp a possibility and most mac users will continue to be fine without it.

    Even if most of the MacRumors community had Windows installed on their Macs (which seems quite unlikely), I think that if you looked at the more broad casual mac user-base (those that have never heard of MacRumors), you'd find that most mac users don't user windows. ever.
  11. convert09 macrumors member


    Apr 13, 2009
    Chi-town area
    I DL'd NeoOffice. I don't work with the files you mentioned however NeoOffice is free and works fine for me.

    Your first order of business when you bring your new Mac home is that you have to be ready to unlearn and relearn how to do certain tasks. All the hype that some people give about Mac being more intuitive is just that - hype. I cut my teeth on Windoze and even after a month I still have frustrations; where's the backspace key?

    A year ago I switched to DSLR Nikon cameras. In that time I've got about 25,000 photos. I used Picasa to organize and Elements for editing, especially when shooting in RAW mode.

    Picasa is so easy under Windoze even a grandma can figure it out. What I mean by this is one can move photos around in a folder at will or burn a CD/DVD with no problem. With iPhoto one cannot move the photos within each 'event' or folder as with Picasa in Windoze. It says you can but I followed the directions and couldn't make it work. Last Friday I needed to burn several hundred photos over several folders to a DVD. I started out using iPhoto and was prompted that burning with iPhoto will create a disc that can only be read by a Mac. The people to whom I was giving the DVD need the disc to be read under Windoze. Two hours later I finally got the task done through Finder. That's not intuitive.

    I did DL Picasa for mac and tried moving files around within a folder and it won't work here, either so I'm guessing it has something to do with the way the file structure works.

    That said I would make your purchase sooner than later. Take the dive and get it over with. The frustrations I've had have not soured my desire to keep on using my MacBook. There are other reasons that ultimately made me want to stay with Mac.

    I don't do the other things that you mentioned so I cannot chime in on that.

    If you have the time and money you may want to pay the $100 for the one to one training they offer. I did not want to pay extra and consequently am learning by trial and error and I'm getting there.
  12. JMax1 macrumors 6502


    Oct 17, 2006
    Harlem, NY
    Iu se EyeTV and it's great. Very easy interface, although when you buy the hardware make sure you're getting the full version of eyeTV software with it. My GF bought one and it didn't come with the full version (just the Lite) which made recording programs in the future very difficult. But with the full one, it has a specific export button to iPod, iPhone, iTV and others, which makes it very simple. A second monitor really helps so you can have TV running on one window and do work on the other. I'm still messing around with the best way to export to my iPhone because the files usually come out pretty dark - but that might also be my cable's fault and not the software...come to think of it, maybe I'll look into that today.
  13. Little HZ macrumors regular

    Little HZ

    Nov 15, 2008
    New Mexico
    This is what I do. I am required by a job I started 6 years ago to maintain a PC to communicate with the home office, which is all PC. Three years ago I began the switch back to Mac. I NEVER need my PC to be able to communicate / share files with the PC folks, but I am glad to be conversant with both platforms.

    I agree that iPhoto is not as intutitve as Picasa, but now that I am used to it I LOVE how nicely it plays w/ other Mac apps, especailly e-mail and iWeb, which is a fabulous program (for my needs ... )!

    I agree with others on this thread--switch now. I have never had a problem upgrading an OS on a Mac.

    Good luck. Check back in and let us know how it goes. :D
  14. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    I have NeoOffice, OpenOffice, iWork (08 and 09) and Office Mac 08 - and none of them are TRUE replacements for Office 03/07, unfortunately. They come very, very close and using them all together I have been OK, but I have to use different ones for different reasons.

    They are all very good in their own ways, but sometimes nothing replaces the 'real' office (and by Real, I mean the same one that the rest of the world is using)

    This has been my primary issue/headache with Mac, and the specific instances it's caused me trouble have been minor.
  15. Macmel macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2008
    I have been using Office for Mac for 10 years now. I don't know what you mean by "buggy, laggy and slow to be worth the trouble". It has always worked for me perfectly and the functionality of iWorks is nothing compared to Office. Numbers is a bad joke compared to Excel.
  16. kindablue09 macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2009
    They are good computers for "saving all the memories." Personally, I love using iweb for creating my website. Plus, the iLife suite, mail and ical work very well together.

    Also, I had no problems whatsoever when I put leopard on my G4 powerbook (1.5 Ghz 512mb of RAM). At the time I still had classic on there... somewhere... so in sum, I don't see any major flaws with their OS upgrades. They are quite simple to do.
  17. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    This is not true. What the Mac users that always have been a Mac user?

    Numbers is good enough for most. And the price tag of $79 is much more affordable, bad joke or not, than an upwards of $300 for either PC/Mac version of Microsoft Office.

    By buggy, laggy and slow to be worth the trouble, I meant Office and Spaces. Those two don't play along. That's buggy. It takes a long time for Office to load. It has a laggy UI.
  18. desiringGod macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2008
    Office for the Mac is between $100-$150 and works more than fine for all that I have done so far - even when switching between Mac/PC files or between xls and xlsx (or doc and docx).

    $115 @ Amazon
  19. mac pakka thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2009
    Office do a free trial so i'll see what that's like for me.

    I'm all set to get the 'basic' 20'' iMac -it seems to be enough for my needs.

    Is movie editing and making websites as easy as it seems in the tutorials??
  20. Little HZ macrumors regular

    Little HZ

    Nov 15, 2008
    New Mexico
    I have no experience w/ movie editing, but iWeb is really, really easy and fun!
  21. mac pakka thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2009
    Hey Guys!!

    We'll i'm writing this from my NEW 20" iMac - with a hugh grin on my face.

    Got to say, i,ve only been using it for 3 hours and it is AWESOME. Perfect for me. At present the only thing i miss is Google Chrome, and possibly Live Mesh. Sure i'll get used to Safari though - may even try Firefox.

    Thanks to everyone for there words of wisdom, i'm off to pass on my experience to other people in these forums whom are contemplating buying a Mac (Do it!!).

    PS. 'Out of the box', no additional software and my iMac reads and edits docx files.
  22. Pyrotechnic macrumors 6502


    Feb 28, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I too am recently converted. I still have my windows laptop running at the side of me and have done since I got my Mac in March. However, the time has come where I want to get rid of the Laptop and buy a MacBook which is what i will ultimately do.

    I also have a lot of docx files which I have simple opened with other programs. I also bought Office for Mac but felt like I was defeating the reason why I switched in the first place. I have since removed Office and am learning to use the programs that are all Mac.

    Its like anything else in life, making a change is weird at first, but when you get into it, you wonder how you managed before.

    Enjoy your new Mac, I love mine.
  23. mac pakka thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2009
    Cheers Pyrotechnic

    Just transfering my documents at present. Having a problem with Mobile me only syncing the me.com email account. Also having to do a bit of extra research to sync my iPhone - where are my playlists??
  24. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    The cesspit of civilization
    Edit: Sorry, I didn't noticed the question was old and was resurrected by the OP to let us all know he has already bought it's iMac. (Note to self: got to keep reading till the end of the thread before posting)

    1. It mostly depends on 2 factors: how fond are you of the 129 USD you'll have to part when buying Snow leopard if it doesn't comes out before you buy your mac?, and how much do you need your mac now? Because if you buy your mac now, you'll have to shell those 129 bucks later to upgrade from Leopard to Snow leopard. If you buy your mac after SL has been released, it will come in your new mac free of charge.
    2. The Simplest way is to install MS office for mac. Altough this is by no means the ONLY way. By default, Pages reads docx documents (it supported it about a year before MS office for mac could, ironic isn't it?) TextEdit is a nice little app that comes included with your mac and is also able to VIEW these documents.
    3. Well, since I don't have a PC I couldn't really tell. But in the mac your iPhone, iPod touch or any other PDA-like device is tightly integrated with the built-in organizer apps (iCal, Address Book, etc.)
    4. None that you can easily notice

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