Laptop and Desktop co-existing in harmony?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Diatribe, May 9, 2007.

  1. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    Since I had way too many troubles with my MBP I was thinking of offsetting some of that risk of not being able to use it by buying an iMac.
    I just fear that as soon as I buy an iMac I hardly will use my MBP anymore. I do travel a lot so my MBP would still be accompanying me. It also would help in not buying a new MBP every year as the iMac would help in power as well as in storage capacity.
    It would also make it much easier to stream to an appleTV from. The only thing keeping me from buying one is the fear that I will end up using only the laptop or only the iMac making the other obsolete. And at those prices, not using it would be a waste.

    What do you guys think? Is there a way to have both co-exist in harmony or is it inevitable that one will collect dust?
  2. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with your MBP. My MB's usually last 5 years. I bought my current MBP in Nov'06 and, while it would be nice toting around new shiny toys, this one could last me another few years at least. I guess it depends what you're using your machine for, but if you need to tote, a desktop and monitor won't go into travel mode, while your MB can always sit on your desk.
  3. copperhead macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2007
    I think you'll probably be able to use both equally. There will be time when you want to just sit down to use your computer when you want big screen, more power, etc. And there'll be other times when you'll either need to bring your MBP traveling, or just want to use it at home on the couch and what not.
  4. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Go ahead and get the iMac. I have a tower and a laptop and they get used equally.
  5. La Curandera macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2007
    I can't say too much about Macs, as I don't have one (yet, waiting for the iMac update) but I can tell you about my experience on PCs.

    I have a home PC, plenty fast enough for everything, tons of storage and a gaming spec. I have two other laptops, both recent, one ultra portable and one 15.4 widescreen, and I have to say I do use them all.

    THe ultra portable Vaio is for when I go away on business, it's light, does all the necessarya, great batter life and it's tiny. The keyboard is fine for short use, but in my job I do a lot of typing and other than emails etc, it can become tiresome.

    The bigger Acer laptop is the sat on the sofa surfer, with a few design programmes, it's great for doing whatever I want, where I want to. It can go on business if I need the screen, but it's great as a second PC on my desk at work too.

    My PC is for when I have something big to do, by that it could be an article, designing, editing my sisters wedding video - anything I need more power for basically. I much prefer the ergonomics of a desktop for anything I'm going to be doing for a while (like 3+ hrs) so when I work from home it's on that. It's also the one I leave connected to net as a main file storage, just easier.

    With a wireless network and a 4Gb usb drive having things across multiple computers isn't a problem.

    So while I'm getting an iMac shortly, I'll still be keeping the laptops and will probably add to them shortly too.
  6. jim.arrows macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2006
    I use the desktop as a media server for streaming to my Tivo over wireless bridge, for any important personal documents, personal finances, surfing the more seedy parts of the internet, etc. I keep the laptop perfectly clean for work, surfing the net while watching tv, e-mail, etc. with no critical documents. If I'm traveling or over at my folks place, there's literally nothing on it that I worry about my mother or a complete stranger seeing (in the event that it would be stolen) -- no finances, account numbers, or personal items. I do keep a copy of my music collection on it, both for enjoyment and also as a backup in the event that something should happen to the desktop. I think both are useful, sometimes you want to concentrate and focus on what you're doing (desktop) and other times its just more comfortable watching tv in the recliner while surfing (laptop).
  7. Diatribe thread starter macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    Thanks for all the comments. Seems like they get equal use from you guys.
    How do you keep em synced? Do you have the same info on both of them and how do you do it (besides .mac, I got that)?
  8. Dynamyk macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2005
    I have my iBook and iMac C2D and I use my iBook just as much. Sometimes your iMac can't come with you, especially as a student.

    I sync them by using an external HD lol, maybe theres a better way tho
  9. kajitox macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2007
    I really must beg to differ with everyone else. In my opinion, I would probably use one over the other, unless you using a laptop as a mobile computer a lot. I think eventually I would get lazy and start to do everything on the desktop if I didn't take the laptop out...

    If you use the laptop to go out and about, I think you could use them both equally, however if you don't, then I would almost suggest selling the laptop to help fund the desktop then use primarily the desktop and save some bucks.
  10. eatbacon macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2003
    I regularly use two mac desktops -- one at home, one at work -- one mbp -- for travel, couch programming, and such -- occasionally two linux boxes -- mostly for the convenience of multiple desktops when i am using too many x windows programs -- and a windows tablet for reading the news, email, and surfing in bed. Now that I revealed my insanity, here is how I keep them in sync.

    I use unison to keep key directories in sync.
    You can use it to sync your whole home directory (or more) and I practically do that for a couple of the machines, but in most cases there are just a few things I want synced. I have it set to do most everything automatically.

    I tried and liked .mac syncing for the usual stuff (addressbook/ical/safari bookmarks/mail settings) but I didn't like paying for it. I have been using SyncTogether and been pretty happy with it.
    Not free, but $50 once instead of $99/year which was better for me since syncing was the only .mac feature I needed/wanted. I also use foxmarks to sync my firefox bookmarks (although I use my own server instead of theirs)

    Lastly, I make sure I use an IMAP mail service. I hate seeing unread messages I have already read, or having to move things to folders more than once. My two work accounts were both IMAP, and for others, such as gmail, isp, etc I set up my own IMAP server on the home desktop and use fetchmail to POP all the other accounts into it. I don't have a static IP, but my cable has yet to change my IP.

    With all of that working, I can and do sit down at any one of many computers and happily work on whatever I need to.
  11. Diatribe thread starter macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    Well, it is basically like this, half a year I am home not needing a laptop and the other half year i am 3-4 months travelling in 2-3 week intervals.
    I don't know if I could go back to a desktop and just omit a personal computer during these weeks (I do take my work pc with me). I have just been so used to just owning a laptop that I don't know how it would feel without one.

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