My Dad got his first Mac (mini), Would like advise to set it up

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by hdsalinas, May 13, 2009.

  1. hdsalinas macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2006
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras

    I have been telling my Dad to get a mac mini for two years now and he finally did. He has had very little computer experience, and all has been using windows.

    I advised him to get the new base mac mini. He only needs it for email, photos (iphoto will be great for this), internet and google earth so it should be more than enough.

    I have been thinking of a strategy to set it up for him. Since he is not very computer saavy i am going to leave only the icons on the dock that he would need and set up his bookmark bar with the websites that he might visit the most. I want to keep it very simple at first and as he gets used to it I will start to introduce more advanced things.

    I wanted to set Pages to save all of the documents as ".doc" files since he might want to send it by email or take them back to his office. Explaining him that he has to "share" them as a Word document may be too complicated. Is there a way to set pages to save documents as word files by default? I feel that pages is easier to use than Word -(although I must admit that I have not used the latest version)

    I know that eventually he will need my asistance on something. Is there a way (without using .mac) to remotely connect to his mac from my house through my MBP and "browse" though his mini and assist him?

    I would love to hear all of your advise or any links on how to set his new mac mini.
  2. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    1. No. Get MS Office for that.

    2. Unless you're on the same network, no. Otherwise, get Remote Desktop.

    Get a nice Dell monitor.
  3. mags631 Guest

    Mar 6, 2007
    If it's possible, I would not advise doing that. It's better to teach him about exporting to .doc. If you are absolutely intent on providing an Office-like environment, then just buy Office and be done with it.

    You should read up on "Screen Sharing". You may have router configuration to do (both yours and his) to make this work.

    Keep it simple -- which means avoid customizing it. You are just delaying the inevitable transition and will make it hard for him to reach out to others for help (or to find out on his own).
  4. wcalderini macrumors member

    Dec 7, 2004

    There is a feature in iChat that allows you to take control, navigate, and troubleshoot his computer. What I am not sure about is if you actually need a web cam or an iSight equivalent to make a go of it. I have successfully administered my daughters computer remotely via this method.

  5. hdsalinas thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2006
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras

    Would chicken of the VNC work? (over the internet)

    About the monitor, He will use an "old" samsung 17" LCD "square" monitor that I used back in my windows days.

    Speaking of displays, this old samsung LCD uses a VGA connector. The new Mac Mini comes with the mini-DVI to DVI Adapter and I already have a DVi to VGA adaptor. IF I attach the DVI-to-VGA adapter at the end of the mini-DVI to DVI Adapter, would it work with my mini? Or do I still have to get a mini-DVD to VGA adapter?
  6. donjuan2009 macrumors member

    May 13, 2009
    I use to help my parents and i love it the free version is great, try it..

  7. SuperJudge macrumors 6502


    Apr 2, 2008
    The Triangle, NC
    Yep, you'll still need to get a mini-DVI to VGA adapter because the DVI out on the mini-DVI to DVI adapter is a digital only signal that can't be converted to VGA.
  8. samleung macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2009
    Teamviewer does a superb job of remotely accessing computers too. My dad is nearly the same as yours, computer illiterate and all and he owns a MacBook. I use teamviewer whenever he needs help with itunes, iphoto etc.
  9. LagunaSol macrumors 601


    Apr 3, 2003
    I disagree. From what you've said about your dad, it hardly sounds like he needs Office, nor the extra cost it entails.
  10. Torajima macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2004
    Microsoft Office is a waste of money for most folks. Get NeoOffice instead... it's free and handles word/excel/powerpoint just fine.
  11. mousouchop macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2008
    New York
    I just set up a Mac Mini for my dad and put his old AOL screenname into iChat so that when he is having an issue he can log into iChat and I can take control of his computer through iChat + Screen Sharing. No 3rd party software needed.

    I set him up with Microsoft Office too because I have younger siblings still in school... haha.

    Speaking of which, do anyone know a program for Mac that will open .wpd files? They are from some wonky word-like program my father had on his old computer. ><

    EDIT: NeoOffice supports it... I should have thought of that while I was setting it up. haha. ><
  12. hdsalinas thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2006
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    Thanks sounds like what I need.

    I am very exited about the mini that my Dad got. I will set it up next week for him and I can hardly wait to open the box!

    Thanks for all your help
  13. JDee macrumors 6502a

    Aug 31, 2008
    Woo! Another Mac user has joined the family.

    Hope you have fun un boxing it :)

  14. nazuk macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2007
    England, UK
    Keep us posted...

    Why not keep us posted on his progress, it would be great to hear how he is doing.

    Good luck, and enjoy.
  15. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    I use logmein free version to support my mum back in the UK. She went from a Sony Vaio laptop to a MBP and I think is enjoying it. Certainly is a treat to be able to video skyp w/her and my kids on a regular basis and Logmein gives me gthe ability to troubleshoot her problems pretty easily!
  16. youssefm macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    For word processing, you can also download open office, it saves in like 15 different formats, and includes everything that comes with ms office, just branded differently
  17. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Mar 26, 2008
    Personally I like the interface of Lotus Symphony better than either NeoOffice or Open Office. IBM has done a good job with it.
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I'd pay for a One-and-One and gift it to your dad.
  19. dubhe macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Norwich, UK
    Don't forget to show your Dad how to ask for help on MacRumors ;)
  20. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    The ichat screen sharing option works great. No need to install or buy any other software. It is great because not only can you control the computer, but the parent can watch what you are doing and learn. I use it all the time with my parents.

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