New to Macs! Couple of Q's

DJC17

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 3, 2005
48
0
Brighton, England
Hello!

I'm a complete Mac novice - I do not yet have a Mac, have been on the PC side of the fence for the past ten to fifteen years and have (almost) decided to make the monumental (well, it feels it!) jump to Mac-dom.

Currently I have seven networked PC's in my house (two servers), both wired and wireless. The wireless side uses the 802.11g standard with a 128-bit WEP. Will I abe able to integrate an iMac into this setup using the onboard Airport card? All the computers internal to my network need static IP's to access my proxy server. Can I just set the iMac's IP to 10.0.0.9 with the same subnet as the PC's and it'll work straight away, or is there more to it than that?

Secondly, I have decided to go for the 2.0GHz iMac, I can get a pretty good discount through my University (higher discount than the std. student discount it would seem), but am unsure whether to go for the 17" or 20". I do a fair amount of digital photography work/image editing as a freelance photographer, and also will be doing video editing with Final Cut Pro. Which would you go for?

Thirdly (bear with me here!), how long should it take for a quick-learning young guy to get to know Mac OS X really well?? After 15 years of Windows I'm slightly apprehensive about switching!

Lastly, I don't really need the machine until the end of summer. Should I wait to see if the price for the highest spec iMac comes down?? Is it likely that it will?

Sorry for all the questions, the jump from PC > Mac is slightly scary! :rolleyes:
 

buryyourbrideau

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2005
1,212
0
Chicago
1. when you go to network settings, it will configure airport automatically.

2. go for the 20

3. you will know almost everything within a week or two

4. i doubt prices will drop by the end of summer, they were just updated

:)
 

JasonL

macrumors regular
Feb 13, 2004
212
0
Ware, MA
Networking will be a nonissue for you.

The 20" display has considerably more room to work with. If you can swing it, go for it.

Mac OS X is very intuitive, and I'm sure you'll be very comfortable with it in no time.

The iMac just got updated, now would be a great time to buy :D

I think you'll be a very happy guy if you get yourself a mac. I can't say enough how glad I am that I switched (1.5 yrs ago.)
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,759
2
You should be able to jump right in the first day and just with playing the computer for a little while feel comfortabe. Have a book handy so when you really need to know something you can't figure out then you can just look it up. Then in your free time, read up on OSX.

My guess is after the first 2 weeks, you'll begin to wonder why you didn't know about how great the mac really is and why doesn't Apple do more to promote all the coolness of the OS. ;)
 

feakbeak

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2003
925
1
Michigan
You seem like a smart guy. I wouldn't worry about the networking, based on your network configuration I don't think you'll have any problem setting up your iMac. You should be able to change all the network settings you need in the GUI, it is straight-forward.

I'd also go with the 20" iMac, you won't regret having the larger screen. Go to a local Apple Store or reseller if you can and compare them in person.

I'd have to disagree with others, while you'll probably be quite comfortable with OS X within a few weeks, you seem the type that likes to "dig" into the OS. If you wish to understand OS X as well as you understand Windows as a power user, this will take more time. I've been using OS X for about three months now and I still don't know nearly as much as I do about Windows. As it is with any OS it will take years to learn all the finer details and how things get implemented on the back-end, all the obscure console tools, etc. However, OS X is rather intuitive from a user perspective for the most part and you'll be able to accomplish what you need without any frustration - but you won't be a Unix expert within a week. I'm still trying to bulk up on knowledge and familiarity within Terminal.

Again, don't worry about "the switch". I don't think you are the switching type anyway, if you are like me you're just adding another platform to your computing experiences. You have seven PC's in your home! Do you intend to replace them all and ditch Windows for good? It doesn't sound like it. I enjoy using multiple platforms, you can get the best of both worlds. Don't listen to the zealots on either side - they are missing out one way or another as each platform has something to offer.

Good luck!
 

mattyturner

macrumors newbie
May 23, 2005
24
0
Networking options are just like in windows, you can set IP manually like windows.

Obv 20" will make for a more enjoyable photoshop experience but in the end you have to look at the cost difference and decide if you'd rather use the money for something else or not.

I just got my first mac beginning of april. It took me a week to get to grips, month to know it pretty well inside out. Now, two months later i'm at one with my OS, know the niggles (lack of uniform end and home keys drives me insane!), and am running ruby scripts in iTerm!

Enjoy your new machine when you get it :)

-Matt
 

orion123

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2003
100
0
Boston
... and yes, Apple's AirPort Extreme cards (like the one in the iMac G5) can handle 128-bit WEP just fine
 

DJC17

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 3, 2005
48
0
Brighton, England
Hi Feakbeak,

I've compared the 17" and 20" side by side, but it's kinda hard to tell what they would be like in real-world use when you're in a large computing store. I'm not too worried about the cost, so I'll probably go for the 20" !

I am certainly not switching all computers here, you guessed right! My main "every day" computer will be the iMac. I am running a mixture XP Pro & Home, 2000 & 98 (shudders) on the PC clients, but have Win 2000 Server on the two servers. I also have a copy of Windows Longhorn, but haven't got around to installing that yet!

I think once I get the iMac, I will have to do some hardcore Mac OS X learning, if there is one thing I hate it's not knowing how to do something on a computer - thats probably the only thing making me apprehensive about switching my main computer to a Mac!

Now, anyone know where is the cheapest place to purchase Final Cut Studio?

On the subject of video-editing (vaguely), how much RAM is advisable for v/editing? I'm currently thinking 1Gb with the 400Gb HD, would 1.5Gb or 2Gb make a huge difference?
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,129
2
North Carolina
Well, I don't know about your school, but at UNC Charlotte on the Apple store, I can get FCS for $699. That's a pretty decent savings over $1299 retail.

For you I'd suggest starting with a 1 GB stick from Crucial for $109, which then gives you 1.5 GB, and a clear upgrade path to 2GB if you decide you need it.
 

feakbeak

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2003
925
1
Michigan
buryyourbrideau said:
.....and how do you have a copy of longhorn

:confused:
Alpha builds have been available for a while. I think some were given out to developers at conferences and I'm sure they've made their way onto the net. I might give the beta a test drive whenever it gets released. It's supposed to be in July, right?
 

buryyourbrideau

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2005
1,212
0
Chicago
didnt know those were availible.

i guess in the same sense i really dont care that they are however im sure my dad will get excited

:rolleyes:
 

DJC17

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 3, 2005
48
0
Brighton, England
feakbeak said:
Alpha builds have been available for a while. I think some were given out to developers at conferences and I'm sure they've made their way onto the net. I might give the beta a test drive whenever it gets released. It's supposed to be in July, right?
Yes this is an alpha release. MS UK sent it to me. They keep sending stuff to me for some reason - I registered my business (which is no longer active) with them back in 2001, and they send me stuff monthly - DVD's, CD's, Posters, Coffee Cups & Mats (I'm not kidding!), books, folders, a free licence now and again and alpha/beta software occasionally.

No doubt I'll get the Beta Longhorn when it comes out - I don't know when it will be though!