I've achieved the impossible...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CalBoy, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Well not really, but almost. After years of berating my dad, he's finally on the verge of switching. :)

    However, there are a few minor concerns that I think a broader audience can help me with:

    1) He likes to use MS Money, and I know there have been a million threads about this (all leading to no firm conclusion), I'd like to know what former MS Money users to be the best Mac equivalent. What comes the closest to Money's features and interface? I personally don't use it, so I really need current or former MS Money users to tell me their experiences.

    2) The macbook would be ideal for him, but I think he might find the display a little small. He's got a 15" right now, and even though the macbook has a superior display than his older laptop, I think he'll find 13" too small. Since the computer spends most of its time in his office/den, would an external be a good idea? If so, recommend your brand and why. I can't justify an ACD, so at the moment I think a Dell would be nice. Thoughts?

    3) He has a back-up drive that's formatted for Windows (naturally), and if he gets a macbook, is there an easy way to wipe the drive to format it for OS X? Now he would obviously transfer data first, but is there any way to make the drive "blank" and then let Time Machine do its thing?

    Thanks for all your help. :)
  2. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    I think I can answer some of these:

    1. I like MS Money. I haven't been able to find a suitable replacement on the Mac. I tried Cha-Ching, but it just doesn't cut it. Money is a lot better. iBank3 is supposed to be good but it isn't out yet. Right now I just use MS Money from a VMware virtual machine.

    2. I like Dell monitors, they are relatively inexpensive and a lot of MacRumors forum members have them also.

    3. Yes, this is easy to do with Disk Utility.

    Hope that helps.
  3. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Hmmm...so that's a no-go as far as suitable replacements for MS Money are concerned huh?

    VMware might be a good solution though, thanks. :)
    Yeah, I'm really leaning towards Dell. He doesn't need something too large either; I think a 19" would be ideal.
    Thank you, and yes, you were a great help. :)
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    1. I was going to say iBank. See if there's a trial version.

    2. The display may seem small if his eyesight is poor. Otherwise, it should be fine. If you get an external, get the Dell 20" widescreen. There are 2 versions. You don't need to get the more expensive version, since he'll see no real benefit if all he does is office work.

    3. OS X will read a Windows partition. Windows won't read an OS X formatted HD (forgot the format's name), but it should work the other way around. I have my HDD formatted to allow access by both OS X and WinXP computers.
  5. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Does iBank come close to MS Money? I really have no idea since I've never used either one, so I'm hoping I can recommend something to him that'll come close enough.

    Do you know if the files will read, or will he have to reenter information the old fashioned way?

    Maybe I should try the trial on myself first and see what it can do.
    Well it would be ok if it was on his lap (or directly in front of him on a table) but his desk has some space between where the chair is and where the notebook rests, so I'm thinking it would add too much distance.

    I do plan on taking him into an Apple Store before though, so that'll be a good chance to see if the distance is too much.
    That's excellent. That'll leave even less work for me to do when he's ready to setup. :p:)
  6. ChrisN macrumors 65816


    Aug 27, 2007
    Demarest, NJ
    you should look at refrb ACD theyare 61% off they are great displays so the base ACD model is only $500 and it normally over $1000.
  7. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    That's still a lot though. I can get a Dell for a lot less and the quality will be just as good.

    And those Dell displays aren't so bad looking themselves, maybe not ACD good, but still pretty good.
  8. nacengineer macrumors member

    Dec 26, 2006
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    MB users experiences

    Do the VMWare implementation for Money. Actually I'd recommend Parallels as this runs a bit better on my MB and gives you the possibility of creating a master Parallels image file you can backup to DVD which is handy when the windows VM inevitably becomes messed up. I just make sure I keep all saved files on a shared drive which points to my OS X partition. (This is a critical step!) Then when the VM becomes wonky I just delete it and copy the backup over and fire it up and viola a new machine. Obviously make sure he backs up his money file to the shared drive as this method has the potential for disaster if this is skipped.

    Also the VM approach will alleviate his concerns about other programs that he'll "discover" might be windows only. It'll be a safety blanket of sorts until he gets used to OS X.

    I never thought the MB display was too small until I added an external monitor. (Viewsonic 2226W) Now I think I'd rather have the 15" screen and better graphics card. Unless he travels on planes if you can afford the MBP get it. In principal I love the MB and the lower cost but now that its getting long in the tooth (its a gen 1 macbook so I imagine the newer ones are a tad faster) and I've become a power user I long for a MBP more often than not.

    Yeah there will be no problem with the Windows formatted drive assuming its FAT32 that is... if its NTFS you'll want to reformat it. Also if you need to control permissions then you might want HFS+.
  9. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Other than Money, I don't think he uses any other "Windows-only" programs.

    That's why I thought a replacement program would work nicely, but if Money has no substitute, then VM/Parallels it is.
    I never thought of it that way.
    I guess the initial 15>>13 adjustment would take a little getting used to, but it wouldn't be that bad.

    But he is older now, so he might want a larger screen as a longer term investment anyways.
    He doesn't really travel, but a mbp seems like such overkill. He doesn't do anything intensive and really wouldn't care about anything the mbp has to offer.

    Is it really worth the additional $700?
  10. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    On the money front, apparently Quicken is coming up with a new and better version for OS X. Apparently the current Mac version is not so good.

    We use Quicken for windows, but have a few windows computers, so have not switched that task to the Mac yet.
  11. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    An awesome place
    I have been waiting for a good Quicken alternative on the Mac and have been using iBank 2 for some time and it was o.k.

    Now I have been using iBank 3 which is in beta right now and have been extremely happy with it. It has a built in browser, so when you type the account info, there is a field for the url of that bank. click the button and you can download the transaction and open them in an import window. It works great, and it also does direct banking via OFX. I don't really use that or need it as I'm fine with downloading it within the iBank application. It can import CVS I think, but QIF is the best way to do it IMO. I was waiting for Quicken, but iBank is doing the job superbly.


    It looks flashy there in the pictures but it has different views you can toggle through.
  12. sfs macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Well, yes, it does read them, and it does OK at it. However, it won't write to anything NTFS. You can use FAT32, preferably formatted from the Mac because it will allow larger volumes than Windows will, and that will be readable and writable from both. If you want Time Machine, though, you'll need the Mac partition HFS+. I'm having to convert my largest external drive and shunt the data onto other systems before wiping.

    MediaFour makes a software called MacDrive for Windows boxes that will read and write HFS+. I just installed it, so I can't say much as to performance yet, but it seems like it should work. Link.

    Hope that helps a bit.

Share This Page