New iMac: setup and external storage etc

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by fatdawg, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. fatdawg macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2008
    I just made the switch from Windows PC to a new iMac :) since it is still in the box I thought I would take some time to think about how I want to set it up before opening it and starting to dump all my files onto the new machine. I'd like to have an efficient setup and get it right from the start! :)

    My current (PC) set up is this:

    I have one 500Gb internal drive. Using Windows 7 I have four user accounts: me, my wife, and one each for the kids with parental controls. I would like to duplicate this setup, and I understand OS X Lion can do this.

    Now the messy part: under my account I have a bunch of docs (word, excel files, PDF's, etc, let's call this stuff "data"), a couple thousand songs, a bunch of pics and some movies. Email etc too. When I log into my account I have a my documents folder with my data files. I have an iTunes folder and in it a bunch of music. Some is from ripped cd's, some from iTunes store, some from amazon mp3 store. When I open iTunes I have a library with all of the music avail on my machine. Oh, I also have an iPad 2 and when I plug it in, it syncs with my library and apps and movies etc. I open Thunderbird and I get my email. So far so good.

    When my wife logs in she has her "my documents" folder with her data. She opens thunderbird and gets her email, not mine. More mess though: she doesn't like half the music I like, and she doesn't want to see it. When she opens iTunes she gets a library with fewer songs available, and I'm moderately sure that her songs are *copies* of what's in my music folder. Well some are anyway, some point to the music in my folder (I was not very consistent in how I added music to her library). She has an iPad 1 that syncs to her library, with only a fraction of the apps that I have. She has her own pictures too (different from mine - basically she would copy pics from the camera to her "space" but I wouldn't know it, and wouldn't see them).

    The kids accounts are relatively "clean" - just accounts with parental controls for web browsing (online kids games) etc. EXCEPT my daughter has an iPod shuffle (2Gb) and a small library of songs. I *think* this library points to my files but hey might be copies.

    I *dont* want to end up with a ton of duplicate files on my new machine like I *know* I have on my windows machine. It just eats up too much space.

    What I want to do is have one place for all of the pictures to go, and all of the music files to go, and every time there are new pics or music, it all goes there. But I want my wife to have a "smaller" music library than me (she just plain doesn't want the "clutter" of seeing my music and having to sort through it to check it/uncheck it to put it on her iPad - she's a clutter-free freak even with digital files). For photos I want to use one iPhoto library so that if she goes in there and tags some phots with some keyword or event or adds new pics, then I see those things when I open my iPhoto (I honestly don't even know how to use iPhoto to manage my pics, my iMac is till in the box). I want her to have her data under her login and my data under mine, etc. In short, there things I want shared between the two of us, and things I don't, without duplicate files eating up the space on my 500Gb internal hard drive.

    Additionally I am considering a 500Gb external drive, and rather than using it for straight up storage, using it as a time machine backup of the whole system. I am looking at a FireWire800 drive for better performance.

    I'd like to get this right the first time, but don't know enough about how os x works/sets up user accounts, and/or the best, most efficient way to set up the new iMac from the get go. I don't know if I should set up all four accounts first, then add my data/music/pics manually, or use the "migration assistant" (I have read a bit about using it but honestly don't know how it works, or if it will do what I want).

    Perhaps I could just print out this email and pay for apple one-to-one service, but I thought I'd check here first! Sorry for such a long post - but I am hoping I'm not the only one who has wanted to make the switch and start off on the right path! And it's a lot easier to learn from other peoples experience than to figure it all out on my own! :)

    PS: don't know if it matters much, but I also hav an iPhone that I sync with my iTunes, and I'm concerned about losing the configuration/apps/music/movies on both my iPad and my iPhone when I make the switch. Thoughts? Should I be concerned? How do I do it correctly?
  2. LFMNX macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2011
    I would set up everyone with their own log in. With OSX you can toggle from one ID to the next. Set up the kids with accounts that have parental controls. I suggest you all share the same iTunes account. I would use the backup disk for time machine so you can have automatic backups.

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