PC Migration to Mac Mini

skp574

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 16, 2005
280
0
greenwich.london.uk
Hi everyone, I've recently joined this forum as I am going to migrate into the world of Macs.

I currently use PC boxes and was immediately smitten by the new Mac Mini, so I ordered one.

Havely done a little bit of research before hitting the order button, I picked the 1.4 GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM (+Wifi, BT, wireless keyb and mouse).

The machine will really only be used for web browsing/email, music/photo. But I will need to use Microsoft Office for work purposes when at home.

I going to be using my PC as a music file server (running Slim Server). Which has all the applications on I need for work. BTW I only need to use Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook (Entourage). I will need to connect to an Exchange server for mail and calendars.

What would be the best option mainly for speed (cost not really an issue as company will purchase software, within reason( :rolleyes: ))

  1. Buy Mac Office Standard
  2. Use Virtual PC and install my PC based Office suite
  3. Use Remote Desktop to access the software on my PC

In addition I will have some software that is only available for PC. Such as the software for programming Philips Pronto remote controls, will I be able to use this software under Virtual PC? It requires use of a USB port to programme the remote control.

My thought would be to buy Mac Office Pro which has Virtual PC bundled with it, and then I can get the best of both worlds.

I have used Mac based kit before, back in the SE30 and Quadra days but things has moved on since then.

Any comments, thoughts and advice will be greatly appreciated.
 

skp574

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 16, 2005
280
0
greenwich.london.uk
3Memos said:
You might want to drop down the RAM to 512MB.
Is a mac less memory hungry than a PC? I used to have 384 MB in my PC then upped it to 1.24 GB and the speed increase was incredible. More like a processor upgrade.

I've always been of the opinion buy the most amount of RAM you can afford, so I blumped for the 1GB option.

I do like running multiple apps at the same time and possibly running Slimserver which can be memory hungry with large music libraries.
 

skp574

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 16, 2005
280
0
greenwich.london.uk
Anti Virus software? - worth getting any

What do you guy think about AV/Firewall software? I know it is running Unix under the lid, but is it succeptible to viruses? Considering I will be handling PC files.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
123
3Memos said:
You might want to drop down the RAM to 512MB.
Why?

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone on these forums actually recommending anyone reduce the amount of RAM in their Mac.

:confused:

...esp. if they want to run VPC.

Viruses: None that will affect your Mac OS... not sure about VPC.
 

Diatribe

macrumors 601
Jan 8, 2004
4,226
21
Back in the motherland
skp574 said:
What do you guy think about AV/Firewall software? I know it is running Unix under the lid, but is it succeptible to viruses? Considering I will be handling PC files.
First of all congrats to your purchase. If you can afford the 1GB then keep it. OSX is pretty RAM hungry so it is always nice to have though not entirely necessary if you're only doing web browsing, et al.

You won't need anti virus software as there is no virus for OSX yet. This may change in the years to come but right now there's no use having one.

As for the Office suite... if you can afford it get the Mac version for ease of use and speed because it is not much more than VPC so I'd get it.

Edit: Just saw that you want to get VPC for the other apps. Why don't you leave those on your PC if you're going to keep it?
If not VPC would work but why spend the extra cash?

Hope that helped.
 

neilrobinson

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2004
300
0
Perth, WA, Australia
skp574 said:
What do you guy think about AV/Firewall software? I know it is running Unix under the lid, but is it succeptible to viruses? Considering I will be handling PC files.
i would put antivirus not because it needs protecting but you can pass files on that already have viruses etc, firewall software that is built in is great, if you need more options brickwall is free and fantastic!
 

neilrobinson

macrumors 6502
Aug 21, 2004
300
0
Perth, WA, Australia
Blue Velvet said:
Why?

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone on these forums actually recommending anyone reduce the amount of RAM in their Mac.

:confused:
same... you can never have to much ram! ;) if you do please send it to me, any donations accepted! :D

i think 1 gig is fine especially with VPC - assign it 512meg or something decent like that. still gives osx 512 to play with.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,091
21
UK
office serials tend to work on both the mac and pc versions (well the key from an oem version of office 97 worked for office 98 for me) so it may actually be legal to download office and use your cd key if you stop using it on your pc transferring the license, correct me if i'm wrong (which i probably am)
 

Cuckoo

macrumors 6502
May 2, 2003
368
0
The Netherlands - Utrecht
Hector said:
office serials tend to work on both the mac and pc versions (well the key from an oem version of office 97 worked for office 98 for me) so it may actually be legal to download office and use your cd key if you stop using it on your pc transferring the license, correct me if i'm wrong (which i probably am)
Im no whizz at ms-licenes. What i do know -fairly sure- that licences can be transfered. So if you've got a legal XP Pro licence, you can install windows 2000 pro... so you can only go downwards, not upwards (from 2000 pro to XP)

Or at least, a couple of years ago, that was what ppl at my work told me. Im not sure if that same logic applies to office and from PC to mac.....
 
Well if your a teacher, or you have kids that are attending school you are eligible for Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition, it gives you the full office suite for only $149 US.
Since you are file sharing I would recommend getting antivirus software because you don't want to pass a virus to your PC.
 

Jigglelicious

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2004
421
0
NYC
Blue Velvet said:
Why?

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone on these forums actually recommending anyone reduce the amount of RAM in their Mac.

:confused:

...esp. if they want to run VPC.

Viruses: None that will affect your Mac OS... not sure about VPC.
I think the main reason that he recommended for less RAM is because Apple *way* overcharges for the 1gb stick. If you're comfortable opening up your computer, just leave in the standard 256mb chip, and buy a 1gb stick from a 3rd party for like $200. You'd end up saving quite a bit of money.
 

James Craner

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2002
1,707
170
Bristol, UK
I would buy Office 2004 for Mac, it will be the fastest option for you. You can use this to connect to exchange server (via VPN I assume) this is how I pick up me work e-mails from home.

Virtual PC is pretty slow, to be honest you will get just as good performance using remote desktop connection to your existing windows PC.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
123
Jigglelicious said:
I think the main reason that he recommended for less RAM is because Apple *way* overcharges for the 1gb stick. If you're comfortable opening up your computer, just leave in the standard 256mb chip, and buy a 1gb stick from a 3rd party for like $200. You'd end up saving quite a bit of money.
There is still no evidence that this may be possible in a Mini.

Plenty of conjecture and speculation... but until someone turns up and says they did it, we'll have to wait and see.

The only fact that we do know is that it will void your warranty.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Blue Velvet said:
There is still no evidence that this may be possible in a Mini.

Plenty of conjecture and speculation... but until someone turns up and says they did it, we'll have to wait and see.

The only fact that we do know is that it will void your warranty.
I guess we will know more on Saturday or Sunday next week. :)
 

geese

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2003
525
0
London, UK
Blue Velvet said:
There is still no evidence that this may be possible in a Mini.


The only fact that we do know is that it will void your warranty.
Not a fact yet BV, still a contentious debate round 'ere.
 

absolut_mac

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2003
935
0
Dallas, Texas
Chip NoVaMac said:
I guess we will know more on Saturday or Sunday next week. :)
Or until that guy in Japan, his name escapes me at this instant, takes his spanking brand new Mac mini apart with blow by blow pics that will show us all how to do it.

You do know who I mean, don't you? That brave guy who has disassembled more than his fair share of Apple laptops. Hopefully someone will be kind enough to post the link once he has completed the task ;)
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
skp574 said:
What do you guy think about AV/Firewall software? I know it is running Unix under the lid, but is it succeptible to viruses? Considering I will be handling PC files.
I don't think it is necessary, if you know what not to forward on to your PC then you should be fine.

RAM is good. OS X likes RAM.

Office 2004 is a nice piece of software. VPC isn't.
I like Office for Mac better than the Windows version (no annoying sidebars flying at you, no annoying "take our customer survey now!" popping up every 30 seconds.

VPC on the other hand, is slow, a PITA, and can be infected with viruses if you aren't careful. It is fortunately easier to deal with that on a virtual machine-- just trash it and start anew. And VPC does allow you to use USB ports, etc. But I would highly recommend installing the lowest version of Windows you can get away with. Win98 works nicely on my PowerBook, but XP crawls.
Windows 2000 is supposed to be good to emulate. But if you can use Windows 95, then by all means, use it! Because it will be much faster than XP.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
123
geese said:
Not a fact yet BV, still a contentious debate round 'ere.
You're 100% right. I stand corrected.

As soon as I posted this, I half-remembered reading something about this...

Well, I guess it's not the first time I've talked bollocks and it won't be the last.
 

DVW86

macrumors member
Jan 1, 2004
97
0
Washington State
My office consists of an Acer Tablet and an iMac G5. I use the iMac with Office 2004 for 99% of my work. I RDC to the Acer if there is something that must run on Windows. RDC works well especially over a local network and I feel more secure not having Windows on my Mac. Although RDC doesn't support some 3D graphics I have never had issues with "business" programs.
 

skp574

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 16, 2005
280
0
greenwich.london.uk
Thanks so much for your advice guys.

I had already placed the order before posting my original question. So I'm going for 1 GB RAM.

I guess I'll go for the Mac Office suite then from the feedback.

Is VPC that slow? The reason why I ask is if I get on with the mac, I may consider a laptop too. I will definitely require VPC on that as I need to use PC software out in the field. I don't really want to carry around two laptops.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
skp574 said:
Is VPC that slow? The reason why I ask is if I get on with the mac, I may consider a laptop too. I will definitely require VPC on that as I need to use PC software out in the field. I don't really want to carry around two laptops.
VPC is, IMO, unusable with XP. BTW, I am using a PowerBook G4, 1.33 GHz, 768MB of RAM. Not exactly bottom of the line.

With Win98 however, it runs quite a bit better. And if you use 98Lite on it, your in business. Linux runs pretty good, surprisingly enough...

I ran DOS 6.22 one time. That was blazingly fast! Really! And then I installed Win98, so I could start up into DOS mode any time quite easily...