Potential Convert to Mac-Software Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cheddarman, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. cheddarman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #1
    Greetings,

    I posted on the Newbie Section but I wanted to cross-post (with n/a sections deleted/edited) here for suggestions.

    After 25 years with Dell,Gateway/HP, I am very seriously considering the switch over to an Apple desktop. Any input would greatly be appreciated:

    (1) Work Use: Microsoft Office Applications with a heavy emphasis on Outlook/Powerpoint presentations/Word/Project. Please note that I do presentations at conferences so my Powerpoint slides must be 100% compatibile with whatever the conference is running. Will the MS Office Mac version provide 100% compatiblity?

    (2) Personal Use
    -- I am unusual in that I do 95% tv watching at my computer through the use of a tv tuner (dual tuner on 1 card) hooked up to my cable provider. I automatically cut all commercials before watching any programming and anything I want to archive is either stored on my hard drive or burned to a dvd with the usual authoring software. Basically TIVO on steroids.What Mac software will I have to purchase to accomplish the same result? On my Dell, I have Beyond TV, VideoReDo, DVD Lab Pro, and Nero.
    -- I am a part time day trader and I currently have 2 monitors hooked up. I am thinking of going to 4 monitors in the future.
    -- when I am not busy, I play music on my Yahama synthesizer and created songs/compose music on my computer so software notation and semi-professional music studio hookup is important to me. Is there any Mac software better than the Mac version of Finale?
    -- What mac software do I need to record media files like You Tube, flv, avi, etc. onto the Mac for customizeable conversion to other files like mp3 and mpegs?


    Current Dell system is sometimes strained and is crashing more than I would like (hence the reason for the possible switch to a Mac--getting too old to play around with the fussiness of Windows. I want something that just works with minimal hassles).

    Help: What other must-have Mac software do I need to obtain/purchase?

    Thanks to all in advance!!

    CheddarMan
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Sounds like you need a new Windows machine. Did you try to figure out what was causing the crashes?
     
  3. cheddarman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #3
    I could buy another pc system with a a better processor since I've been told that I am taxing my old system but I'm getting tired spending hours tweeking/customizing my system everytime there's a problem (I've been modifying for years). That's one of the main reasons why I am exploring the idea of purchasing a Mac. I'm more interested in being productive (i.e. doing as oppose to fixing).
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    I wouldn't like to attempt to suggest an entirely new workflow and software purchasing to do what you want on OS X.

    Seriously, how hard is it to read Event Logs? If you're having trouble with your Mac you do the exact same thing.

    What kind of tweaking do you have to do?
     
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #5
    MacOS X is not another flavor of Windows. It is a critical mistake to try to treat it as such. If you prefer Windows, then use Windows. If you want to make the change to the Mac, then you must be prepared to change the way that you have been doing things. After you make the change, you will understand why switchers are the most zealous Mac users.

    There is no such thing as 100% Office compatibility. It does not exist between different versions of Office:win. It does not exist between Office:mac and Office:win. That said, prior to the introduction of Office 2007, Office 2004 [for the Mac] was probably the most compatible version of Office on any platform. Office 2008 removed Visual BASIC for Applications. The next version of Office:mac will restore VBA, but it is not there now.

    Probably the greatest incompatibility is the handling of the dingbat characters used for bullets in PowerPoint. If you are anal retentive, then you should edit your PowerPoint presentations on the computer that displays them. However, most users learn to live with the little formatting glitches.

    Microsoft's fee-based communications client for the Mac is Entourage. It is in the process of turning it into an Outlook replacement, but it is not there yet. I have no idea how close it will get.

    There is no Mac version of Access. There is also no Mac version of Microsoft Project. However, OmniGroup's OmniPlan can read Project's XML files. OmniGraffle/OmniGraffle Professional is an excellent diagramming app, but it can read only Vizio's XML files.

    Elgato makes excellent Mac-compatible TV tuners. Every Mac ships with an excellent suit of media applications. Built-in Front Row turns your Mac into a media controller. With the download of a few free QuickTime codecs such as Perian and Flip4Mac, you may enjoy content in virtually every media format. You may also download the free VLC player.

    What you need to download depends on what your needs and desires are. Earlier, you were concerned about Microsoft Office. Well, NeoOffice is the free Java-based version of OpenOffice. It can handle almost every kind of Office file. Just last week, I received a Word file that gave Word 2008 fits. NeoOffice handled it with nary a blip.

    The bottomline is that you will have to make an investment in time and in rewiring your brain to get the most out of your Mac. If you willing to do it, then you will find that you love the result. If you are not willing to make the investment, then your transition to the Mac will be frustrating. It is up to you.
     
  6. cheddarman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #6
    Appreciate the feedback from everyone.

    MisterMe: Thanks for the list of software suggestions. I'll investigate them further. BTW, never expected Mac to be a variation of Windows. I expect Mac to be different from Windows otherwise why the cult following for Macs. They must be doing something right and if it fits my needs, I'll change. End of story.

    Regarding Office compatibility, it's a major consideration. A few years ago, we had a guy who insisted using WordPerfect (and other non MS software) and deliverd his portion of technical document files that route. One deadline was missed because his portion caused last minute incompatibilities. As a result, management fired him. You offered solutions and I plan to do due diligence. I got lucky and am meeting a few Mac users in a few weeks who have offered to let me play with their systems. I plan to bring years worth of different documents/presentions/misc. files I've used and see how it behaves.

    Eidorian: Many Window based software allows for tweeking via program modifcations as well as registry editing of Windows directly. As people offer their own add on solutions which may enhance the primary software features, incompatibilities sometimes occur with software upgrades. It can be potentially painful to redo programming code.
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #7
    May I ask what software and what tweaks?
     
  8. momo.786 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Location:
    South Africa
    #8
    As far as Office compatibility goes, it depends on how complex the doc is. I had Word docs created on a PC, with tables and auto-contents pages and numbered bullets throughout the docs. It only came out perfect on Office Mac '04. On Pages/NeoOffice/OpenOffice, the formating got so messed up, the numbers changes to normal bullets, or all the numbered bullets changed to "1". But if its simple docs, it should be fine. If possible, copy some of your files to a flash, and visit an iStore:p Play around on Pages/Office Mac is see how your files come out on a Mac. Maybe even try it on one of the open source programs.

    Mo;)
     

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