Finally made the switch! what?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by abominablerror, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. abominablerror macrumors newbie


    Jan 1, 2009
    So I was surprised to come home one day to find our old Dell Dimension 3000 replaced by the new 20" iMac. It's so great, lightning fast, minimal noise, and the keyboard is really quiet too (though I wish it had the full number pad). My one grip is the mighty mouse. Not only does it not match, but it's kind of loud too.

    Anyway, I was wondering what do I do next? What applications should I add to make my apple experience go even smoother or whatever?

    Also, I'm looking into getting a wireless router and an external harddrive (for backing up, and to get all of the files I still want off of the old computer). Would you recommend the 500gb Time Capsule for this? Or should I get a separate wireless station and external hard drive? Cause I don't even know if the TC would work with the Dell, seeing as it's almost ancient.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If you call Apple up, they may be able to help you with the full size keyboard issue.
  3. abominablerror thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 1, 2009
    Really? Even though it was purchased at a bestbuy?
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007

    You can use any USB mouse if you don't want to use the included mouse.

    Recent thread with some beginner's info.

    As for apps, you can search for apps on or
    Get additional video players such as VLC or video codecs such as Flip4Mac.
  5. Intel Inside macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2008
    Best thing to do is buy an Airport Extreme, as it supports Wireless n and it is PC compatible. By the way, Time Capsule is a horrible wireless router.

    As for the HDD, i recommend a Western Digital but make sure that it is formatted correctly to work with with PC and Mac.
  6. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    Programmes- depends what you want to do. Parallels is good. iWOrk is handy. Office is probably a must.

    TC does an excellent job for backups and sharing wireless internet as well as offering ports for ethernet, which might work with your Dell.

    I use TC plus a drobo for my media. This gives maximum storage and redundancy for the media. Also makes back ups a lot quicker on the iMac as all media is stored on the drobo.

    i do recommend moving media off the mac for access and backup and just leaving mac backup for system files documents etc.
  7. Ninja Guidan macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2005

    Ok dude. First close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax. Now that you're relaxed, open your eyes. BAM!!! iMac in your face. Get a Linksys or Netgear wireless router (802.11n with Gigabit ethernet). Get an external hard drive (I don't have a preference of which one but you will get some decent recommendations on this forum). While you're trying to decide, make a silly movie with the built in iSight camera and use iMovie to edit and make it even sillier. Post it to YouTube and give us the link so we can laugh at you :D

  8. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Amen to all of that!

    Don't spend money on MS office, either. Grab - easier to use and it's free!
  9. abominablerror thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 1, 2009
    haha, what makes it such a bad wireless router? I thought it would've been nice to have everything put together, not that I'm opposed to having two separate things though. Looks like I'll be getting the Airport Extreme!
  10. tezro macrumors regular


    Sep 7, 2007
    Throughput on wireless kinda sucks. I never seem to get higher then 10MBytes/sec max.
    That is with 5GHz N.

    I like the Time Capsule for being both my switch and Access Point (not using the DHCP or router functionalities) but in all honesty, I should have taken separate devices.
  11. abominablerror thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 1, 2009
    That's good advice, thank you.

    What EHD are good? Someone said to move all of my media and stuff off of then mac and onto the EHD, will I still be able to access/play it on the mac?

    And one last question, if I wanted to put Windows on the mac, is it possible to boot from the EHD?
  12. triplefinger macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2005
    backup/PC emu

    I recommend backblaze, good cheap insurance. skip time machine/time capsule backup system(or use it as another level of backup.

    If you do need PC/win, go with VM ware, more stable, less hassle. at least it was that way when I migrated away from parallels.

    good luck and have fun.
  13. tezro macrumors regular


    Sep 7, 2007
    Personally I'd use a single backup drive for backups (like in the Time Capsule), but a mirrored drive (EHD with 2 drives in it) for my media and other stuff.

    You can use one huge drive for everything, and a same sized drive for backups, but it just depends on how you want it done.

    Also, what I like is a highspeed NAS for those things. Don't want multiple loud noised EHD's on my desk.
    Like them to be in another room.
  14. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    I did nothing but fight with mine. It would go in and out as a router, but as simply a network storage device its fine - in fact I keep my backups on it in another building.
  15. intheknow macrumors newbie


    Mar 20, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I have a net-gear wireless router. Its great. For backups I would always use a firewire external desktop drive.

    The Gtech or Lacie Brand are great. They are really silent and very reliable.

    Software wise- Flip for mac and VLC is great. I really like checking on the Apple downloads site for really good shareware apps.

    Welcome to the world of macs.:)
  16. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    here's what you do. you hope and pray you don't experience the internet lag issue where nothing ever loads, ever, forcing you to buy a new router which plays nicer with macs.
  17. abominablerror thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 1, 2009
    Alrighty then, unless I have a reason not to I'll be getting an AirPort Extreme soon.

    However, I'm still not sure about the external. BestBuy has a few optionshere. I don't really want to be spending much over $100, and I doubt I'll even need 500GB, so it really comes down to model and looks.

    I like the silver Seagate ones, but they don't say anything about being PC and Mac compatible, unlike that Iomega one, and I'll need it to get my files off of my old PC. Both of those are USB though, I've read on here that it's best to go with firewire.
  18. dmiller macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2008
    i didn't read the full post but if you plan on using your 500GB drive for time machine backups it will fill up fast
  19. abominablerror thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 1, 2009
    I'm not sure, I don't download much stuff other than music. OH, that leads me to anothe question. If I put all of my music on the external, will I be able to access/play it via iTunes still?
  20. wfoster macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2009
    Plymouth, UK
    First off, may I congratulate you and your family for making the right decision on choosing an  product.

    You don't have to use the Mighty Mouse, you can use any mouse. Wireless, bluetooth or wired. It doesn't really matter, although you want to get a decent mouse because some mice are extremely rubbish.

    If your looking for a Wireless router, your best bet is the  Airport as it is compatible with Apple and PC.

    Backing up your files eh? A very wise decision to say the least. You don't have to buy a Time Capsule, any decent size external hard-drive would work, probably be cheaper as well.

    Don't forget to do some research on the products your buying.
  21. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    yeah there are 2 different versions of the slimline keyboard. i have the full size (but i wanted the limited size w/o num pad) keyboard. but i'm not complaining as i got it for free by trading my old apple white keyboard.

    download iStat Pro, caffeine, quicksilver, and alarm clock 2.

    Garagebuy is a great eBay client. definitely setup your dashboard and start using all iLife has to offer!

    make sure you have iLife '09 installed - my friend bought a brand new 2.4GHz UMB and they had '08 installed, but '09 was in the case...
  22. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Anyth hard drive can become mac/pc compatible. Use disk utility to reformat it to whatever format you want. I think the consensus is that firewire is fastest (I could be wrong though, my hard drives have always just been USB)
  23. aaquib macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    For the keyboard, I'd say try selling the short one on Craigslist and eBay and then go for the $49 full sized one.

    For the mouse, I'd say go with the Logitech MX Revo. IMO, it's the best mouse every created. Tons of buttons and ergonomic like you've never felt.

    I'm with everyone else on the forum when I say buy an Airport Extremely and just hook up an external drive to it. $180 for the AE + $150 for a 1TB external drive, and you get much more bang-for-the-buck than the Time Capsule can offer.

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