Initial steps & set up for family of 5

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Tenacious1, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Tenacious1 macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013
    This is my first post on the forums so be kind. I've been reading a lot here and am about to pick up an iMac to complete our evolution into the Apple ecosystem (first OS X machine, longtime Windows user). I'm interested to know what the experts here say about setting up an iMac for a family of 5 and also what the first few things I should do (in sequence if important).

    I am thinking of two admin accounts (mine and wife), with the kids either sharing one standard account or having a separate for each (they are younger but have their own iOS devices--13 (iPad), 11 and 8 iPods). We also have an ATV and iPad mini.

    First, I'd appreciate thoughts on account set up and management. We share an iTunes account now for the family and I would want to keep that set up. At least my wife and I would want to share the picture albums (I plan on getting Aperture). Wife and I have separate calendars (which we share with each other). Kids would probably share the photo library also, but at least the oldest may want a way to have separate pictures as well. Wife and I are torn about having separate contact lists, but will probably share them to have a master list.

    As for first few steps to take in iMac set-up my plan was to:
    1. Create a USB restore stick
    2. Use migrate assistant for our 2x laptops to move files/iTunes/pictuers
    3. Start using TM with a TC to have that portion of our backup plan

    Anything other initial things you all think we should do?

  2. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Preferred setup is to have all accounts as non-admin. Create admin accounts for you and wife for when you need admin access.

    If you want to share Aperture libraries, they will need to be in a shared folder. Since only one person will use it at a time that shouldn't be an issue. I would have the kids use their own library unless you trust them to not mess up yours. Since I have over 10k pix in mine, I'm a little cautious about who messes with it.

    Once you get it setup, create a clone disk with Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC). Update it every few months. This is in addition to a time machine backup.
  3. Tenacious1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013
    Okay, thanks--good advice. I obviously want to read more about account types.

    Any other ideas from the crowd?

  4. flynz4, Aug 30, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Aperture is not meant to be shared... so be really careful. It is also easy to get confused with more than one person doing editing in the library. It is possible to end up with file permission errors with multiple users sharing a library. Since your photos are probably your most important digital asset... I will advise against sharing a library in any shape form or fashion. You will no doubt get multiple people telling you how they successfully share their library using a NAS. My recommendation is to ignore that advice. There are a few of us here on MR who often give a lot of advise to Aperture or iPhoto users... and probably the single largest category of people who end up with significant issues are because of library sharing in one form or another.

    In our house... I do 100% of the photo organization (importing, project creation, culling, rating, stacking, geotagging, key wording, etc. Then I create albums, smart albums and slideshows that are sharable to Apple TVs. I also publish photo books that capture important parts of our lives. Aperture excels at all of that.

    I also clone my library over to my wife's computer occassionally. However, that is a one way clone... so she just gets a copy of the library. She does not edit at all... she just browses. When I clone the library... if she had made any edits to hers... she would lose them (since it is a clone).

    There are things that you can do in Aperture to essentially "check out" a project out of an Aperture "master library"... and then merge it back-into the master library when editing is complete. That is the safest way of having two people doing coordinated work on a master library... from their own separate accounts. Still, that work must be coordinated.

    I wish that Aperture had a "photo sharing" capability, where one person could "own" the library... but share it all (for viewing) with other family members on the same network... sort of like the Aperture equivalent of "iTunes Home Sharing". At the current time, that does not exist.

    Regarding "first steps"... my suggestion is:

    • Turn on FileVault 2 immediately
    • Get a backup drive and permanently attach it to your iMac, and turn on Time Machine. Alternatively... get a Time Capsule instead of an external HDD
    • Subscribe to a cloud based backup program (I use Crashplan+) for offsite backup
    • Get 1Password (or similar) to make sure that you have tough complex independent passwords for every account, website, etc
    • Get a master apple ID for all store purchases... that way everyone can share the same purchases on their own devices. Over time, you will likely be getting more Macs for the kids... especially as they go off to college.
    • Get individual Apple IDs for eveyone in the family so they can use iCloud features... for example syncing personal information to their devices or in the future... to their personal Macs.
    • Have fun.

  5. Tenacious1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013
    Thanks Jim. I've read several of your threads explaining DAM, photo management and backup strategies and have found them very useful. I will use a lot of that in our setup.

    On Aperture, just so I 100% understand, you not only mean sharing library's between two separate computers but also between separate accounts on the same computer. We can easily do this--the only reason my wife and I will have separate accounts is to give her access to her own calendar, contacts, cloud, etc. she could always just be on my account to manipulate the photos.

    We are already on one master Apple ID for iTunes with individual Apple IDs for iCloud, which works great. Coincidentally, I was just reading about FileVault last night and will do that immediately for both the iMac and TM backups.

    Thanks again,.

  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I would recommend that you just access the library from one account. That is what my wife and had done for the longest time. She would just log into my account.

    She really only copies photos out of our Aperture library when she wants to do something pretty specific. Maybe email a few pictures, or possibly get a few prints made for some special project. When she needs to... she would alway log into my account... drag some pictures from Aperture onto the desktop (or a folder)... and then drag it into our shared dropbox folder. Then on her own computer, she would drag them out to her desktop.

    She never really mucks around in the library... and to be honest, that is what I prefer. As I said earlier... the Aperture equivalent of "iTunes Home Sharing" would be perfect for us. Maybe in Aperture 4.

    Now I gave her a clone of our library on her own computer. It is just a copy... and occasionally I'll update it giving her access to our newest pictures.

  7. Tenacious1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2013
    Perfectly clear. That will work well for us.

  8. eduardrw, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013

    eduardrw macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2013

    Aperture lets you store all the files in its Library or you can have "referenced" files stored outside of its library.
    I use the referenced file strategy. The Aperture Library then contains only previews. You can decide how big those are.

    You could then share a copy of this Library with everybody in a shared folder. Use Chronosync to keep things up to date - great program also for cloning your boot drive or complicated sync jobs.
    This way they can view, create slideshows etc but can't edit.
    If your wife wants to edit have her do it through your account.

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