Help an Old Man please

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jrrjbl, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. jrrjbl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Pa
    #1
    After 23 years of PCs I need to get a life other than a systems administrator and trouble shooter. First computer in 84 was Unix based. I have spent about 2 months lurking and reading.

    I will be buying 2 iMac's, refurb's. My wife has thrown her hands up as well. I will be getting 2/ 20" 2.4's. Will upgrade ram since I have become a forced repairman over the years. Use will be nothing special but the mini won't cut it.

    I have some questions and in need of help.

    1. Spend the $50/each and have Retail do the file swap from the Dells? I have always done the PCs but being retired not sure I want or need the BP raise anymore. Is it a logical process? Both existing machines have about 25G each of files storage in the typical Office, picture files, Firefox and Thunderbird stuff. Spending too much time fixing them to do more fun stuff.

    2. Networking of the PC is two home run Ethernet cables to a 7 year old Linksys BEFSR41 V.2. Any issues here or recommendations? PCs are at opposite ends of the house which is why were are still married. Better part of 80 foot.

    3. Will be using a Dell Ultrasharp digital as a second monitor off mine via DVI. Is it logical and plug in and "answer the questions" type thing?

    4. I have a Dell 940 all in one printer [Lexmark oem]. Wife has a Canon printer and HP scanner. All this equipment is less than 5 years old. Any issues I should anticipate? How plug and play is an Apple with equipment? I know about finding drivers.

    5. As far as backup I could use my two pc, neither of which have more than 80G, or can I get a 500G and use as a server off the router for backup for both. Sorry my ignorance is really showing here.

    6. I have stayed away from wireless since being bald I can't pull my hair in the set up effort. This is based on the obvious flexibility of Microsoft. Is Apple really easier ?

    I think going further with questions would wear out my welcome so if you could help with just these, I can get to the easy part of buying them.

    Thanks
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #2
    1. I think it's a fairly easy process, it definitely is from Mac to Mac, not sure about PC to Mac. I don't think its a big deal though. Hopefully someone else with experience will chime in.

    2. 5. and 6. Today, Apple released a new Airport Express/wireless back up hard drive called Time Capsule. It might be the perfect solution for your wireless and back up needs.

    Both computers would back themselves up automatically and the wifi range would be more than sufficient for your needs.

    Apple's Airport/wifi is extremely simple. All you have to do is enter a couple of passwords, create a couple of device names. There is literally nothing to it.

    3. I have an external monitor for my 3 year old Power book and all I had to do was plug it in. Yep, that's all!

    4. You will have to download the drivers. Canon, HP and Dell are all generally Apple friendly. Your mileage may vary.

    Your life is going to be much less stressful!
     
  3. Batt macrumors 65816

    Batt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    #3
    You're gonna be sooo happy. Go with Ugg's suggestion about the Airport w/Time Capsule. No-brain set up. Congratulations.
     
  4. jrrjbl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Pa
    #4
    Thanks for the suggestions and support. I was thinking about the Time Capsule when I first heard. Must do some more investigation.
    Again thanks
     
  5. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #5
    I switched after 20 or so years with PCs; you're going to love it. Congratulations, and keep us updated.
     
  6. jrrjbl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Pa
    #6
    Thanks everyone. I think the thing that hooked me was that in less than 10 minutes the basic Leopard was so intuitive I relaxed and had fun at the Store. My wife, an ardent PC user, said the same thing.

    I think the real benefit is the effort is focused on the using of an application rather than the fixing of system issues and who has attacked most recently.

    I am sure that as we delve deeper there will be a lot of questions. The Mac environment is lot friendlier for gaining assistance.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    $50 for transferring 25 Gb data from a PC to a Mac is a good deal IF it is done right. This is several hours of work.
     
  8. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #8
    Let us know how it goes!
     
  9. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #9
    Welcome to the Apple world!

    Just a couple things that come to mind for me...

    1. Is your retail place going to put the 25GB of data on your new Mac's, or just burn DVD's with the data? If they are only going to burn your DVD's, then you could probably do this yourself if you want to save a little $$.

    You could also try networking your new Mac's to the PC's, but I have found that file sharing with PC's to be a tricky thing to get going. I find it easier to turn on PC file sharing on the Mac, and then Push your files form the PC over to the Mac. Once you are connected, this would be easy, although it might be time consuming...

    Another option would be to use an external drive as an intermediate step. Copy the files from the PC to the external drive, and then move the external drive to the Mac, an copy the files back...

    2. Physically networking the PC's and the Mac's won't be a problem, but as I have said, I have had mixed results getting the PC's to be visible from my Mac. It is easy to get the Mac to be visible to the PC...

    3. If you are going to use an external monitor with your iMac, you may need some type of adapter cable. It seems to me like the iMac has a mini DVI connector, and does not have a standard DVI or VGA connection. You will need something to adapt the mini connector on the iMac to your existing monitor...

    4. The Canon and HP printers/scanners should be ok, as long as you can find drivers for them. Don't know about the Dell - you may have issues there, since I can't believe Dell makes Mac drivers. You may be able to use CUPS (which is an open source type printing solution that comes with OS X). It may be more trouble than it is worth.

    In general I find that HP, and Epson provide the best Mac support - I'm partial to Epson. Canon, Brother, etc also do well. That has been my experience anyway...

    5. If you can get the networking working, you can use your PC's for backup, but you are going to have to do this manually. Using a USB OR Firewire external drive is a great way to do backup - especially with the new Time Machine in Leopard.

    If you want to backup both machines, then you can move the drive between machines, or try the new Time Capsule Router/hard drive from Apple, which has an 802.11n router AND a 500GB or 1TB disk built in. Time machine can backup across the network (wired or wireless) to the Time Capsule. The Time Capsule has gigabit ethernet ports, so you will get very fast speeds with your iMac.

    You could also go wireless, and save the need for the ethernet cables. if you already have the cables though, this may not matter to you.

    Time capsule is like $300 for 500GB, which is a good deal for the router ($179 stand alone) and the 500Gb drive.

    You may be able to share your printer(s) over the Time Capsule, by connecting them to the USB port on the Time Capsule. Not all printers work this way, but when they do, it is great.

    6. Wireless is not that big a deal if you have done a little bit of networking. Of course the Apple routers (like the Time Capsule) make things a little easier.

    Just make sure you secure your wireless connection when you are done - especially if you have neighbors nearby, who would be in range of your network. With the new fast 802.11n, you get very fast connections. For internet use, this would be just as fast as a hard wires ethernet cable.

    For file sharing machine-to-machine (like for backups), the ethernet will be alot faster...

    If you have other questions, don't hesitate to post them here. Most people are quite surprised by the sense of community you will find between Mac users, and that most of us have a genuine desire to help each other.

    Ask away...thats what were here for... :)
     
  10. maxrobertson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jakarta
    #10
    6. Wireless on the Mac is spectacular. When I bought my MacBook, I opened it and it instantly found my home's wireless network and internet connection, and a bunch of other ones in the neighborhood. I never user wired networking anymore, but when I had a PC, I hated it too and couldn't get it to work. We just have a router that came with our internet, which has a wireless antenna on it.
     
  11. jrrjbl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Pa
    #11
    Thanks again for the help. The info on file transfer is rather straight forward. Buy One on One [retail store] for $99/machine, they will do file transfer as part of the program, would still get the genius one on ones which my wife wanted anyway. Or $50 for simple transfer but at folder level versus individual file level [My documents, Kodak albums, etc.. They will either way do mail [T Bird] and Firefox and set for ISP.

    I have in place Ethernet cables to both offices. Will be moving whenever this market settles a bit and consider wireless then. I will be replacing my Linksys router with Time Capsule which seems like a no brainer.

    I will need the dvi to mini dvi adapter for the second monitor. Yes its can be had for less on ebay but the store guys have been very nice gotta buy something from them.
     
  12. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    About your backup issues:
    If you're going through a file transfer anyway, it might be a good time to cull the unwanted/unneeded files on the PCs. You may find that you have a lot less data than you think, once this is done. Then again, you're obviously in the computing field, so this may be common practise for you. I tend to do a minor clean up about once a month and a large one every six months or so.
     
  13. jrrjbl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Pa
    #13
    SCIENIDE09
    You are absolutely right about the spring cleaning before. But on mine only. Love the wife but not up for doing " ..and you want to keep this cr** why??" and the resultant pain. Never marry an artist. :rolleyes:
     
  14. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #14
    Well, I do it to keep things tidy. I encourage my wife to listen -- she's pretty good about it. Honestly, it just makes file transfers and data backups easier when you can select entire folders without having to sort through the junk first.
     

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