Greetings and a Question from a Newbie

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by raf66, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. raf66 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #1
    Hi everyone. A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I'm new to the forum and I wanted to introduce myself and ask a question.

    I've been a PC user/owner for years and have never used a Mac, though I've always wanted to try one out. Unfortunately as a lawyer my firm uses only PC's, so whatever I purchase will be for my personal use at home.

    Here's my question: I'm looking at buying myself an the 20 inch version of the iMac. I've done some "test-driving" of the system at my local Best Buy and am really excited about the purchase, which will be in the next 30-45 days (Christmas money will go toward the purchase :)).

    First, will it be difficult for me as a PC user (Windows XP) to operate the Apple software and hardware or is the learning curve pretty quick?

    Next, I'd rather have the 2 GB version of the 20 inch (2.66GHz/20GB) rather than the 1 GB version (2.4GHz/250GB) as I think that would be best for me and my family at home. I also think it's worth the extra $300. We likely will be doing mostly word processing, downloading pics and music and surfing the net.

    Is the IMac a good machine for our uses? Would it be worth it to go the 2 GB version of the 20 inch?

    Thank you for your responses.
     
  2. jaikob macrumors 6502

    jaikob

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Freeland, MI
    #2
    Please get "at Minimum" 2 gigs of RAM. You will notice the difference if you compare 1GB x 2GB side by side.

    I have always been a windows user until a year ago when I bought my first mac. Let me tell you, it is easier to find stuff, and easier to use than XP. plus with Leopard, it just works. literally. You want to share files with a pc? enable the checkbox and it just works.

    making the switch is the best choice I have ever made. It was easy too.

    Also, I suggest you buy it from the apple store or macmall. I hated the idea of buying apple products from best buy, because they put the hardware on their crappy warranty plan. Get it from apple, and get applecare for it.
     
  3. inigel macrumors regular

    inigel

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Apple reckons that if you can use iTunes in Windows, you can use Mac OS X. I think that's a fair enough assumption, because iTunes on Windows is laid out similar to the whole Mac OS X.


    2GB is plenty of breathing space for your use. In case someone hasn't mentioned, you can install Windows XP or Vista onto your Mac using Boot Camp, so if you were to do that, I would have at least 2GB RAM.
     
  4. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #4
    Welcome to the forums :)

    I'm an entry-level iMac owner- the 2.0 model from early 2008- and can tell you it'll do everything you want no problems. I did do a third-party RAM upgrade from 1GB to 4GB, purely because Apple charge the Earth for RAM. I'd recommend the entry-level version, from a CPU power point of view. I don't think you'd see a big difference against the next model up. Of course, there's also the different graphics and bigger hard drive to consider also.

    It did take a bit of getting used to OS X, I must admit. I found myself constantly trying to find a way of replicating Windows habits on Leopard- further down the line though, I've ditched most of that. It's simply a case of finding something you need to do and learning it 'The Mac Way'. For example, if you want to organise your family pictures, or perhaps set-up a chat account. Just take it one task at a time and don't be afraid to ask.

    OS X is a pleasant surprise- somethings are a little long winded, especially if you're not a heavy user of keyboard shortcuts. I always used to use my keyboard a lot in XP, so Leopard has been kind to me. And simple little things like hiding/quitting Applications can seem a bit odd at first. But then you discover the joy of Spaces.

    And Spotlight.

    And Time Machine.

    And the iLife suite. I have an HD camcorder and using that with iMovie has been worth the £800 I paid for my Mac alone- it's fantastic.

    I am/was in a similar position to you- I was looking for an entry(ish) level Mac to switch to and I use PC's at work. It takes a while, once you've got the knack of OS X, to get used to a Mac at home and PC's at work. You'll find yourself at work trying to rename a file and pressing Return and then swearing at yourself!!! :eek: It's like being in a two-car family or perhaps having your own car and a company car. My friend has his own car but his wife's car is a Kia- and it has the indicator stalk etc on a different side- bit of an odd analogy but it is similar.

    I can heartily recommend an iMac as a family machine too- things like iPhoto, iMovie and Photo Booth keep them occupied for hours. There's no hassles with AV software, anti-spyware etc.

    Again, welcome to the forums and don't be afraid to ask any questions- I was in your position 6-12 months ago and would be happy to help.

    :)
     
  5. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #5
    In addition to Black Friday sales, at this moment you can get the best of both worlds in the Apple refurbished section. There's a 20" iMac 2.66GHz with 2GB RAM for $1299 -- just $100 more than the 2.4GHz entry-level model with 1GB RAM. Refurbished come with same warranty as new.

    The 24" iMac is not only larger but reportedly uses a better display material. I actually have a year-old 24" 2.4GHz iMac w/4GB third-party RAM. I wish the screen was not so glossy but am otherwise happy with performance. There's also a 24" refurbished 2.8GHz iMac available for $1549. All refurbished models are subject to vanish w/o notice. Sometime within the first year, consider obtaining AppleCare.
     
  6. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #6
    ^ AppleCare is pretty much moot if your computer model does not have any widespread defects and you know how to troubleshoot any problems. In this crapping economy (assuming your from the States) $249 is a lot for something extra that you *might* not need.
     
  7. Fiveos22 macrumors 65816

    Fiveos22

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    #7
    I agree entirely. Unless you're buying some "hot-off-the-press" first revision product, the included 1-year warranty is more than enough. I've never bought an Apple Care plan and my first buy (a 2002 eMac) is still rocking it hardcore.

    As far as computing needs are concerned, you sound like you've picked a good product for what you do.

    Transition-wise, you're looking at a 2 week to 1 month learning curve to become comfortable with a Mac. You can read some very well written discussions about the amount of thought that has gone into designing the Macintosh User Interface, but suffice it to say that the computer is designed to work for you not vice versa.

    Coming from the Windows world, which is where you learned how to use a computer, word process, desktop publish, surf the internet, etc.: you are going to run into some serious initial barriers. These may include learning to "Quit" programs instead of x-ing out of them or recognizing that you don't have to go through a start menu to find something or being able to "hide" a program to work on something else instead of minimizing into an increasingly hard to use toolbar. The pay off is that "all mac programs are built the same", meaning that they have a unique amount of standarization that you'll find brings familiarity even when using a brand new app. File, Edit, View, and Help menus are all presented in the same fashion, "hot keys" tend to be universal across many programs, and the same thought process for manipulating one program generally holds true for other programs.

    A lot of this comes from Apple being a vertically designed company (creating both the hardware and the software) and releasing well thought out apps that users like and developers try to improve by enhancing a concept rather than re-inventing. That was one of the biggest problems with the windows world: really cool windows apps often circumvented Windows user interface "rules", but in doing so forced the user to learn a new interface. OSX is quite unified both by the strong app creation of Apple and the emulation by developers. This should help you have a better transition from Windows to Mac rather than from Mac to Windows.

    For a good read, check out this series of articles.
     
  8. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #8
    That is one take on it of course, but the other take on it is in the true sense of "insurance". In a failing economy, a set minimal cost for full coverage of potential high repair expenses that would decimate a budget is often a smart investment idea. And even if a problem is not known to be widespread in a model line, there is always a percentage of logic boards, power supplies and other parts that will fail, any which could be far more expensive to replace/repair than the minimal AppleCare cost. Could it be a waste of $169 or less (see below)? Absolutely. Could it be a great investment? Absolutely. Just depends on what risks a person is willing to take- just like all investing really. For me the $85 a year for insurance is more than worth it.

    And by the way, the AppleCare package for an iMac is not $249- it is only $169 in the Apple store, and an average of $97 on eBay where many people get their AppleCare packages successfully.
     
  9. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #9
  10. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #10
    ^ In conjunction with this post, to OP: you can always post a thread should you have any problems/questions regarding the Mac. Just remember to search before you post, so less time to wait for replies. And Welcome to MacRumors Forums!

    EDIT: Earlier in my post I quoted the wrong AppleCare price. I apologize.
     
  11. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #11
    Agreed 100% and a good point!! Read up there for the basics and always feel free to come back here and ask anything at all! This is about the friendliest forum that you will find and there are is always someone who can and will offer assistance! :)
     
  12. raf66 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #12
    Thanks for the responses guys. I can't remember ever being as excited as this when contemplating purchasing a PC!

    Also, I hear a lot of people in this thread and in general mentioning upgrading memory myself after purchasing the IMac rather than buying the more expensive machine since it's more cost-effective to do so. I might try to do that to save a little dough. As a father of a teenage daughter and a soon-to-be teenage son, saving costs on personal purchases is a must! The refurbs sound like a fairly cost-effective way of buying too.

    Thanks again for the input and I'll keep you posted on the purchase.
     

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