New user requests advice please

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thodavie, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. thodavie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    #1
    Hello all!

    I am buying a 24 inch iMac with the dual 2.8 cpu, 500 gb hdd and am upgrading to 4 gb ram via a 3rd party upgrade. I've been using IBM/Wintel since 1995, but from 1992-1995 I had an LC2, LC475 and Powerbook 150. Prior to that it was DOS boxes and Apple 2's. The *only* thing I will be wanting to run Windows XP for is to play Civ 3 Conquests (I know there is a Mac version, but it is incapable of playing live versus the Windows version, correct?), and maybe WinAmp. I intend on buying Parallels and running it in Coherence mode.

    Starting off from scratch, I will be using my iMac for;

    ripping and watching DVD's (MacTheRipper?)
    watching videos (VideoLan?)
    transferring media to my iPod (iTunes)
    basic word processing (Office or Open Office)
    Bitttorrent (Azureus)
    NZB downloading from newsgroups (not sure what to use here)
    VNC computing (not sure what to use here)

    What other software should I be gathering, free or shareware. In particular utilities or widgets, etc. I will be the only peron using this computer. I'm open to any and all suggestions. I'll be connecting this to the net via an ethernet port on a router.

    thanks for any and all advice/hints/help/tips.

    Thomas
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    For VNC computing, you might not know that there's a VNC server built in (System Preferences...->Sharing). For a VNC client, Chicken of the VNC is pretty good - and free. For Mac<->Mac VNC in Leopard, the new Screen Sharing capability (also in iChat) is stunningly good.
     
  3. McGiord, Jan 4, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #3
    For DVD ripping also you have Handbrake (free) if you want to make the rip playable in your iPod, iPhone or Apple TV or just want to save HDD space.
    For an Office Suite get NeoOffice (OSX interface Open Office) FREE and everymonth its getting better.
    May you'll need a DVD burning software like Toast (have to pay).

    Also you can use a Boot Camp partition if the games you are planning to play are demanding (it's free).

    iGTD is you want to manage tasks with the Get Things Done concept (also free).

    One little gem in your Mac is Front Row to watch movie trailers, your photos, music, dvd playback, and many more.

    For an alternative to iChat use Skype, very good video quality and its cross platform (free)
    ________
    vaporite solo vaporizer
     
  4. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #4
    A free program called Handbrake is amazing for ripping movies to your iPod. MacTheRipper works fine for backing up most of your DVDs, but I think that it doesn't get updated anymore. I use a program for Windows (I use Parallels for this) called DVDFab that is amazing... it's not free though.

    When you say watching videos, do you mean DVDs? If you do, the iMac comes with a program called iDVD. This program, by default, launches when you insert a DVD into your Mac.

    Since you can't take songs/movies back off of your iPod, there is a free program that I use called Senuti that is awesome.

    I just use one called BitTorrent.
     
  5. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #5
    I forgot to mention, there is an instant messaging program called Adium. I'm not sure if you can do video chatting on it since I don't do that, but for basic instant messaging, in my opinion, it's better than iChat.
     
  6. czachorski macrumors 6502a

    czachorski

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #6
    I have found parallels in coherence mode to be tolerable but not great. I certainly wouldn't want to rely on it for everyday use like playing music in WinAmp. iTunes on Windows has been stated to be clunky (it's what I've heard, can't say for myself - I don't use it in Windows), but on the Mac it is smooth as silk. If you have expectations of using WinAmp as your main player, you might be disappointed with the clunkyness through coherence mode.

    As far as the gaming, I seem to remember limitations on the graphics card use through parallels. Aren't most PC gamers using a Mac doing it with BootCamp? I just saw the mention of your planned use for parallels and don't want you to be disappointed with it, or spend the money on parallels if you don't need to.

    You will love the iMac. It is a great Machine and Leopard is amazing OS. Good luck!
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    That would be DVD Player app.
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    This will move your DVD Video disc to your hard drive and remove CSS, Macrovision and region code. There are free Win apps that are better. If you're running parallels, that would probably be the way to go. As others have suggested, Handbrake will give you MPEG4 and MKV files; lots of support for the former, not so much for the latter (see next).

    VLC is buggy. Better alternatives are Quicktime and Front Row (included with the Mac). However, Handbrake plus VLC can give you AC-3 (Dolby Digital 5.1 surround) passthrough from MKV containers. Quicktime (MPEG-4) will not; it can only give you 5-channel Dolby Pro Logic II.

    There's also Pages, which is part of Apple's iWork suite. Limited compared to MS Word.
     
  9. Thomas Davie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #9
    Thanks for the reply. I had a look around and found Chicken of the VNC on sourceforge. It's a Mac only piece of software, and there is no way that I could control my Mac from a PC with this. Have I got that right?

    thanks

    Tom
     
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    Yes - CotVNC allows you to connect to other VNC servers.

    The Mac's built-in VNC server will allow your PCs to connect to it.
     
  11. Thomas Davie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #11

    Thanks for the headsup on NeoOffice. I never would have found out about this even though I've used Open Office on and off for a while. Prior to purchasing MS Office, I think I'll give this a go and see how it holds up.

    I was aware of Handbrake, but thought that it was no longer in active developement (hence my supposed need for MacTheRipper). And yup, the files that I would be producing with a ruipping program are for multiple purposes; transfer to iPod, backup, and conversion to xvid so I can fit entire seasons on a DVD to watch on a DVD player.

    Skype is something else I'd forgotten about as well. I have, and use Skype on the PC. Very nice to know it is available for the Mac.

    thanks

    Tom
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    Get http://perian.org/ to let Quicktime play back lots of codecs you might find online.

    B
     
  13. Thomas Davie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #13
    Thanks for all of the replies. It gives me lots to think about, and plenty of things to search for and read.

    As far as gaming goes, I'd only be playing one game; Civ 3 Conquests 1.22 via Parallels. Not a 3d graphics demanding game from what I know. But I'm willing to boot up into bootcamp if necessary (question: if installed, can parallels run in coherence mode or Windows in bootcamp....the choice being mine, and I can switch back and forth?).

    Oh yes, I forgot to ask; is there any point in running an anti virus program? I know what to run in Parallels/Bootcap, but am ignorant about the Mac side. And yet another question; if I'm running a firewall on OSX does that cover what is running in Parallels as well?

    thanks

    Tom
     
  14. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #14
    Handbrake's in pretty active development - MTR's the one that seems to have gone into a coma. Unfortunately, Handbrake won't rip the DVDs for you, just reencode them.
    Not on OS X (yet), but on the Windows version(s) you've got running, yes (obviously).
    No, as far as I know, it doesn't affect the Parallels version at all.
     
  15. McGiord, Jan 7, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #15
    I installed in my Boot Camp partition the McAffee Security Suite that is included in my Comcast Internet Service.
    ________
    justin bieber
     

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