New Macbook Pro Suggestions...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Atomic-Ed, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. Atomic-Ed macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2007
    I am a long time PC person but new to Apple and the Macbook, have absolutely no knowledge of OSX at all other than what I have read, Have a new Pro 2.4 machine on it's way to me and was hoping that some of you expert Mac people might offer some suggestions for me.

    Here is what I was hoping to find out:

    Best native OSX applications & devices for the following areas:
    - Disk imaging (currently use Acronis True Image in Windows)
    - CD-DVD Burning (currently use NTI DVD Maker in Windows)
    - Wireless router (Have Netgear G now but should I get the Airport N?)
    - Web browser to use (currently run IE7 & Firefox in Windows & Linux)
    - Phot0 editing program (currently photoshop elements 5 but under Mac?)
    - External monitor to use (currently have 19" Viewsonic 12ms 1280x1024 DVI)
    - External HD (currently have a Lacie 250gb USB2 & a WD Mybook 160gb USB2)
    - Bootcamp for multi OS or Parallels?
    - Best Red alert 2 replacment game for OSX?
    - Video editing software for casual editing not pro (Currently use Video studio 10)
    - Wirless mouse & wired keyboard? (Have MS wirless mouse & a dell usb keyboard)
    - Any security / AV apps necessary in addition to OSX std stuff?
    - Disk defrag, Winzip replacment, etc for OSX?
    - Any OSX apps I should stay away from?

    Thanks for any info on these questions as I am as new as they come to this Mac / OSX world.
  2. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2006
    Mac OS X Disk Utility can make disk images pretty easily.

    I hear Toast is great, but the built-in OS support works for me. iDVD helps make DVDs too.

    Netgear N will work fine. AirPort Extreme Base Station looks pretty awesome, but it's really overpriced.

    I use Firefox mostly, but some people swear by Safari.

    The GIMP / Photoshop

    Whatever works for you. Of course I'd love a 30" Apple Cinema Display ;)

    I like the portable Western Digital drives. They're cute.

    Parallels for anything but games, really.

    No idea.

    Final Cut if you've got the cash.

    Some people would say the Apple wireless mouse/keyboard. I like Microsoft's Intellimouse Explorer for Bluetooth. Don't really use a keyboard, so I can't recommend one.

    None needed.

    Mac OS X auto-defrags. There's built in unzip/zip support in OS X.
  3. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    #3 for burning discs.
    Netgear will be fine. I run a DG834G at home here and it has worked perfectly on both my just-replaced iMac and this MBP.
    Firefox on OS X. If you're familar with the interface, there's no reason to change. Safari is quite limiting and a little frustrating interface-wise, even if it does render very well in the latest nightlies.
    Run BootCamp if you need the performance of a native XP/Vista install, use VMWare Fusion if you want to still use some of your OS X stuff and/or keep your data centralised.
    StuffIt Expander handles .zip & .rar files, amongst others, so you should be fine there.
    iPhoto, Seashore or The GIMP for image editing. The last two you can find on
    You could probably run RA2 through VMWare Fusion if you wanted, it's not really a demanding enough game to require native performance.
  4. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Depending on what you want to do, you have the included iDVD and Disk Utility, but Toast is great
    It will work the same with your Netgear as a PC, but the n standard will increase signal strength and range
    I use Safari (included) partly because of Inquisitor, but Camino is great. Firefox is a bit sluggish for me, but some people can't live without the extensions
    iPhoto is good for very basic editing. The new PS Elements should come soon, and be Universal (meaning it will run faster on your mac)
    What do you want to do with Windows?
    Not to secure OS X, but there are virus scanners that scan incase you're sending stuff to unprotected PCs
    Stuffit and The Unarchiver for expanding. The OS has on-the-fly defragging built in.

    There are great freeware lists here :)
  5. Atomic-Ed thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2007
    I appreciate everyone's suggestion here. It is a big help to me being so new to this Mac world. So the built in disk imaging in OSX is all anyone needs for good imaging? Thats a great surprise. I thought I would be looking at buying an app for that. I will try my netgear router and see how that works with the macbook pro but I am really considering purchasing the airport n router for this new machine. Does anyone know if the airport n will also work with windows or is it OSX only?

    I am familiar with Gimp under Linux but prefer Photoshop over it if possible. However I have read that Photoshop is not yet OSX intel native. Is this correct? Also I would be looking at elements as I don't need the pro feature of full blown photoshop so please comment on elements.

    Parallels, should I buy this online from them or is it cheaper to get it from some other online dealer or store?

    Bootcamp I understand is free correct? Should I setup OSX first when I unpack the machine the first time or install bootcamp & vista right away before configuring the mac side? Is there any benefit to either method?

    Thanks again to all of you offering advice, I appreciate it.
  6. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I use carbon copy cloner.

    Finder has a built in DVD/CD burner, although I use toast.

    Are you looking for a new router, if so then the airport would be a safe bet.

    I'm using Firefox because of the extensions and it doesn't use as much RAM.

    I use Adobe photoshop CS3, but you could try out iPhoto to see if that will be good enough for you, but you might consider getting Photoshop again.

    I really like the Viewsonic monitors right now depending on your budget, I'd either suggest this Viewsonic 20" monitor for $180, or if you have a bigger budget then this 22" monitor for $270.

    I would suggest getting a FireWire external Hard Drive, I have a FireWire 160GB Acomdata hard drive and it works great.

    If you want to do heavy gaming, then go with bootcamp, if you are not doing anything that requires 3D performance, then go with Parallels.

    You might want to check here to see if you like any of those games.

    Try iMovie, it's included with you MacBook Pro, see if it fits your needs.

    I like Logitech keyboard and mice. Here is a good keyboard/mouse combo.

    Nope, you don't need any security software.

    Mac OS X automatically defragments files for you. Mac OS X has zipping software built, just right click on a file and click 'make archive of' and it will zip the file for you.
  7. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    The Airport routers will work across any machine supporting a/b/g/draft-n, so it's a non-issue.

    Adobe's Creative Suite is Intel-native now, so it runs very well. Photoshop CS3, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, etc, etc.

    VMWare Fusion does everything Parallells does, is free, is very stable for a beta and is continuing to be improved upon.

    Free. You'll want to set up OS X first; just get all your software running and the GUI looking/working how you want it to, etc. Once you've played around with OS X for a day or so, then just download BootCamp from the Apple site, and follow it from there.
  8. Atomic-Ed thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2007
    Thanks so much for all the good info! I am downloading vmware right now and will go out tomorrow and buy the airport router. For Photoshop I would like to have the creative suite but I can't justify the cost for non pro use I will wait for the elements version to be released as native. In the meantime is gimp the only other choice?

    Thanks again I appreciate your reply very much.
  9. mattsajay macrumors member

    May 24, 2007
    great thread and great answers guys!!! thanks...
  10. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    GIMP is the only choice that can even come close to the features of Photoshop, and even then it does lack a little. It's still very powerful though. I use a combination of GIMP & Seashore; GIMP for hardcore work, Seashore for basic resizing and minor work. Being native Cocoa [OS X interface environment] Seashore loads a lot faster and doesn't need X11 [alternate window manager] to run.

    So basically, grab Seashore & GIMP whilst you wait for PS Elements. If you're a student though, you can always get Photoshop CS3 at educational pricing, which saves you several hundred dollars ;)
  11. powerocool macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2007
    In addition, here are some things you should install when you first get your computer.

    Perian - Allows Quicktime to play all kinds of formats.. (Divx etc.)

    Flip4Mac - Allows Quicktime to play Windows Media files

    VLC - If all of above players fails to play a file, this one will probably cover the rest formats

    Stuffit Expander - While Stuffit is bloated, the expander works well expanding .sit, .sitx, .rar files (OS X has built-in zip support)

    AppZapper - Think of "Add/Remove Programs" for Mac, if you wonder where it is.

    Disco is a cheaper alternate to Toast, which is quite fun to use.

    Adium - Trillian for Mac, but better.
    Make sure you go download some cool extras at to make it look super cool.

    VMware Fusion - Currently free in beta, but I think it already is as good or even better than Parallels. (Unity is amazing:
  12. elithrar macrumors 6502


    May 31, 2007
    Perian and Flip4Mac are my heroes, by the way. The bonus to them is that you can watch anything through Front Row since it's just a big 'skin' over iTunes/Quicktime.

    Only thing I want is .ogg support for iTunes.
  13. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Even at educational pricing, CS3 is generally out of a student's price range.
  14. boobooq88 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2007
    I am also a first time mac owner but I do know alot about the machines and OS X (computer engineering major)

    Built into the OS

    Built into the OS or use Toast

    Any wireless router with N capabilities should be fine but the Airport Extreme is a good choice

    Firefox, Safari, or Camino

    iPhoto or Photoshop Elements depending on your needs/preferences

    Any monitor with DVI in should work just fine

    Any external HD should work... If you can find one that supports Firewire 800 go for that

    Depends on your needs and wallet. Bootcamp is free, allows for a native install of windows, has perfect 3D graphics (as it is not emulated), but requires a reboot. Parallels allows for you to run windows and OS X at the same time, slower than native install, new version has fair 3D support, cost 80 dollars

    OH! and if you devide to go the Parallels route I would say wait and get VMWare Fusion when it is out of Beta

    Not sure... not much of a PC gamer. CS: 1.6 is all there is for me

    iMovie or Final Cut Express (if it still around .... not sure since I dont do much graphical stuff)

    Since its a Mac use Apples wireless keyboard or use a Mac keyboard from another manufacturer if it suits your needs better

    None needed. But you can get it to scan files and stuff for windows viruses so you don't send them to other people's windows PCs

    OS X Defrags automatically. Unzipping files is built into the OS

    Not that I know of... but then again my first mac is still sittin in China :(
  15. WirelessInn macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    New Mexico
    New Macbook Pro Suggestions...

    TO Atomic-ed (et al)

    Greetings - new to Mac also here. Busy exploring all things Mac for the past several weeks. And, yes, many of us new Mac owners WILL be coming from the Win world. In my case, have businesses run on Win networks - gotta stay with it!
    My new Mac is to be primarily used for a/v activities: anything from brochure design to DVD of information to clients.
    I have of course been very punctual about backup in a business environment (essential - no choice!) and I came across that posting mentioning image back up:

    Originally Posted by Atomic-Ed
    I am a long time PC person but new to Apple and the Macbook, have absolutely no knowledge of OSX at all other than what I have read, Have a new Pro 2.4 machine on it's way to me and was hoping that some of you expert Mac people might offer some suggestions for me.

    Here is what I was hoping to find out:

    Best native OSX applications & devices for the following areas:
    - Disk imaging (currently use Acronis True Image in Windows)
    Mac OS X Disk Utility can make disk images pretty easily.*****

    Err... I have of course tried Disk Utility >> New Image to see about imaging my MBP's HD as a backup policy. Not as simple as that. The utility seems to come with some pretty serious restrictions, one of them being that Imaging must be run from Install Disk 1.

    You might take a look at the conversation I became involved in at:

    I actually have not resolve that issue yet - gotta order an external HD first. But I do plan to be punctual about backups. In fact, Apple itself recently emphasized the Time Machine (backup of sort) feature included in upcoming Leopard. At this point, the Mac's image utility might just be a diagnosis feature, not really an automated regular backup tool. I'd be interested to know more about it from experienced Mac users here! Otherwise, it'll have to be something like SuperDuper for backups, while awaiting Leopard!

    Also, Atomic-ed, if you do not mind (and if that question is not too sacrilegious here!!), tell me briefly about your Acronis Image experience. I plan to implement Image backup on my Win networks. Are you using Acronic TI Home or Workstation? Works OK? Restore potential reiiable enough?

    I will appreciate any input!

    - Roger T
  16. WirelessInn macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2007
    New Mexico
    New Macbook Pro Suggestions...

    [QUOTE=whateverandever;3731800]Mac OS X Disk Utility can make disk images pretty easily.

    I like the portable Western Digital drives. They're cute.

    Parallels for anything but games, really.


    I am back here with a little more questioning - and hopefully meager contributing in the process!

    I have explored options for external drives. Since you mentioned that you favor WD drives for example, and I have in the past bought such a drive for backup on my Windows system, I am assuming that there is generally no concern to be had about Mac compatibility in regard to purchasing external HDs. Seems that brands I have been looking at (WD, LaCie, Iomega) state Win/Mac compatibility.
    Also, re: networking, since I am on a mixed Win/Mac network, I pleasantly found out that the Mac can read from and write to any drive on a Win network whether that drive is NTFS or FAT formatted - I am currently for now copying my Mac's important files to such a network drive) - even though Mac OS can only read from a directly attached (Windows) NTFS drive and read from+write to an attached (Windows) FAT formatted file.

    Well, and a pet peeve: I am a fan of MS Flight Simulator X (for Windows): any experience out there about FSX on a BootCamp/Win XP partition?

    An amazing thread indeed, as pointed out by another member here.

    Thanks very much!

    - Roger T

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