Miscellaneous switching queries

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Red Belly, May 21, 2005.

  1. Red Belly macrumors member

    May 9, 2005
    I will soon be switching to mac OS, probably an ibook when updated (I can wait...).

    My apologies in advance if my 'newbie' questions are tedious or on the wrong forum!

    1) Airport Express: I plan to get one of these so that I can access my broadband connection wirelessly at home. I have a broadband modem already which I can connect to the AE via ethernet. Will ANY 802.11g pc wireless network card enable my old windows 98 pc to wirelessly access my connection via the AE? Would AE and a wireless network card for my old pc be enough hardware to set up a wireless network at home or will I just be able to share the broadband connection and a printer?

    2) Virtual PC: I can get office pro for mac through work and it comes bundled with Virtual PC with windows xp. I know using virtual pc may slow my mac down, but will its presence on my system slow it down while I'm not actually using virtual pc? Would I be better off using my windows 98 os with virtual pc? Would I be better off not using vpc at all and using my old pc in emergencies? I'm a little worried that having virtual pc available may slow down my switch, I may fall back on windows programmes I know rather than upskill to their mac alternatives.

    3) DVDs/video: I don't own a camcorder but I'm likely to get one in the near future. I won't be doing much more than shooting family events, a little editing and creating dvds for family and friends. Would forumites recommend the ibook's superdrive for my purposes or should I get an external drive maybe with dual layer? The powerbook 15" superdrive model is beyond my budget.

  2. Gee macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2004
    London, UK
    1) Yes, an airport Express and a card for your PC is all you need to allow your PC to get online. Should be reasonably easy to set up.

    2) Virtual PC is only slow when it's running, just like any other program. If you're not using it, quit out of it (actually 'shutdown') and it will no longer be using system resources. My experience of virtual PC is that, unless you really need it, it's too slow to be practical. You could install your Windows 98 OS onto it I think, if you have the disks, and I've heard that Windows 2000 is meant to be quicker than XP. But, you will hopefully find that there are alternative Mac programs to do pretty mcuh anything you'd like to do, and you won't actually need to use your virtual PC.

    3) I think that the iBook would be perfectly adequate for the kids of stuff you'd like to do. You can always get an external drive later, should you need it, but give the iBook a go first.
  3. floatingspirit macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Virtual PC

    Welcome to the Mac platform. My experience with VPC was so frustrating, I'm moved to advise against it. I helped my mom migrate to a 1.8 Ghz, 1gig RAM equipped iMac, but it (Virtual PC) was too slow except for emergencies. While running, or sleeping in the background, it had no noticeable effect on the Mac as whole, i.e. it didn't slow everything else down. I used it for MS Word and browsing the internet, but sloooooooooow. You might be able to try it out at a Mac store. I think once or twice I've seen it installed on a display machine.
  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    It would have been cheaper just to buy MS Office for Mac and use Firefox or Safari...
  5. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Just keep your old PC for the few times you need to use windows. Much easier than messing with VPC on mac. The only time I'd recommend VPC is if you need it on a mobile computer.
  6. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    If you have the option to get VPC thrown in, there's no harm in having it. It might be a little slow but if you don't have room for your old PC then it's better than nothing - I though the latest version was supposed to be slightly faster. If you're not using it, it will only take up a little disc space but shouldn't affect the performance of your Mac.

    On the Superdrive front, I'm tempted to say don't and spend the cash on more RAM for your iBook which you'll notice more on a day to day basis. When you finally get your camcorder and know how often you're going to be using it, making movies that you want to distribute, then you can get an external burner (iDVD doesn't require the Superdrive any longer) which is likely to be faster and more current than a Superdrive. If you're likely to want to edit/burn on the road, then sure, get it in the iBook.
  7. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Mar 5, 2005
    About 2.5-3 GB with XP.
    It aint Peanuts!

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