Preparing to buy my first Mac - advice and software tips

jinxed

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2009
15
1
Hi everybody,

Currently I use a Windows desktop PC and an Asus laptop, and I am planning to add a Macbook to the mix. But first I would like to ask some advice and tips. Let's start with the software side:

Writing texts, reports etc.
Currently using on PC: MS Office, Open Office
Options for the Mac: iLife, MS Office, Open Office, Scrivener

What is my best option here? is iLife good? Or should I stick with Open Office? Is MS Office for Mac the best option? I also plan to buy Scrivener, anyone any experience with that for novel writing? Is it good?

Genealogy
Currently using on PC: Aldfaer, a Dutch genealogy-program.
Option for the Mac: I haven't found a good replacement for the Mac. Are there any genealogists out there who might have a recommendation?

Webdesign
Currently using on PC: Filezilla, Macromedia Homesite, Stone's Webwriter, Topstyle Pro lite
Options for the Mac: Filezilla is no problem, but I am looking for a decent HTML and a CSS editor. Which are the best one for Mac?

Listening to music
Currently using on PC: Mediamonkey and iTunes
Options for the Mac: obviously iTunes, but is there something like Mediamonkey out here for the Mac? I like that Mediamonkey uses folders and auto-updates the folders with music if you add new files to them.

Watching movies
Easy one, VLC player and Quicktime will do I guess.

Photo-editing
Currently using on PC: Paint Shop Pro 7 and Picasa.
Options for the Mac: Picasa is no problem, but is there Paint Shop Pro for Mac? Can GIMP run a Mac?

Collections management
Currently using on PC: MP3 Collector and Book Collector from Collectorz.com and DVD Profiler from Invelos.
Options for the Mac: I inquired Collectorz.com if I could use the PC and the Mac together, their answer was the programs do no have the exact same feature set and the database file isn't compatible both ways, so I am stuck on Windows with this one. Is there anything like DVD Profiler for the Mac?

Other questions I have: since I am a student (not for long anymore though, I am in my graduation internship) I am planning to get the white basic Macbook. Is this a good choice? No known problems with hardware? Or should I get the 13 inch Macbook Pro version? (or is that to heavy for me and I am better using the price difference to buy Applecare and software?)
Is is best to wait after January (though I think it is unlikely, Apple might surprise with updates)?
Which is the best MSN Messenger client? And is there someone who uses Windows Live Sync on both his PC and Mac to synchronize his files?

My Asus laptop (Vista) is almost three years old and still good, therefore I wasn't planning to put Windows on a separate partition on my Mac. Or do you advise still do to that? Any other tips for getting the best out of my Mac?

Thanks in advance!
 

thegoldenmackid

macrumors 604
Dec 29, 2006
7,772
5
dallas, texas
Writing texts, reports etc.
Currently using on PC: MS Office, Open Office
Options for the Mac: iLife, MS Office, Open Office, Scrivener
What is my best option here? is iLife good? Or should I stick with Open Office? Is MS Office for Mac the best option? I also plan to buy Scrivener, anyone any experience with that for novel writing? Is it good?
I have the first three installed and use: Word, Excel, Pages, Keynote. You can try both iLife and Microsoft Office via trial versions and figure out what will suit your needs best. The debate has been had numerous times. Those thread might help.

For writing a novel, there are a couple specific applications, I haven't used any of them - so I won't speak.

Listening to music
Currently using on PC: Mediamonkey and iTunes
Options for the Mac: obviously iTunes, but is there something like Mediamonkey out here for the Mac? I like that Mediamonkey uses folders and auto-updates the folders with music if you add new files to them.
There really is no alternative to MediaMonkey. At one point there was discussion of a Apple version being made, but I have heard no updates.

Watching movies
Easy one, VLC player and Quicktime will do I guess.
Yepp.

Photo-editing
Currently using on PC: Paint Shop Pro 7 and Picasa.
Options for the Mac: Picasa is no problem, but is there Paint Shop Pro for Mac? Can GIMP run a Mac?
GIMP runs on a Mac.

Other questions I have: since I am a student (not for long anymore though, I am in my graduation internship) I am planning to get the white basic Macbook. Is this a good choice?
Yepp. Sounds good.

No known problems with hardware? Or should I get the 13 inch Macbook Pro version? (or is that to heavy for me and I am better using the price difference to buy Applecare and software?)
I would get the MacBook if you buy now. If you wait until January, I would imagine Apple will sort out the situation in pricing and spec difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Is is best to wait after January (though I think it is unlikely, Apple might surprise with updates)?
I'd wait unless you need to update, only a chance of the MacBook hitting the refurb store/price drop.

Which is the best MSN Messenger client?
Adium

My Asus laptop (Vista) is almost three years old and still good, therefore I wasn't planning to put Windows on a separate partition on my Mac. Or do you advise still do to that? Any other tips for getting the best out of my Mac?
I wouldn't install Windows unless you need to. Check out this. Hope that helped a tad.
 

rowsdower

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2009
270
1
Webdesign
Currently using on PC: Filezilla, Macromedia Homesite, Stone's Webwriter, Topstyle Pro lite
Options for the Mac: Filezilla is no problem, but I am looking for a decent HTML and a CSS editor. Which are the best one for Mac?
This thread has been active the past few days.
 

jinxed

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2009
15
1
I have the first three installed and use: Word, Excel, Pages, Keynote. You can try both iLife and Microsoft Office via trial versions and figure out what will suit your needs best. The debate has been had numerous times. Those thread might help.

For writing a novel, there are a couple specific applications, I haven't used any of them - so I won't speak.
I read there are trial versions of both the Apple and Microsoft Office-software on new Macs, so I guess I can safely play with them before making any decision.

There really is no alternative to MediaMonkey. At one point there was discussion of a Apple version being made, but I have heard no updates./QUOTE]
Aw,that's a bummer. On the other hand: I don't use my laptop much for listening to music, only for putting songs on my iPod.


GIMP runs on a Mac.
Ah, that's good. I don't do really much with photo-software, just resizing pictures, making header images for websites. No heavy photoshopping.

Yepp. Sounds good. I would get the MacBook if you buy now. If you wait until January, I would imagine Apple will sort out the situation in pricing and spec difference between the MacBook and MacBook Pro. I'd wait unless you need to update, only a chance of the MacBook hitting the refurb store/price drop.
Well, I want to wait a month to be better in budget. As the Pro looks a bit more businesslike, I thought that would be a good choice with a future job in mind. But if the white Macbook will serve me well, I don't quite see the need to spend the extra money on the Pro.

I wouldn't install Windows unless you need to. Check out this. Hope that helped a tad.
Thanks

This thread has been active the past few days.
Thanks, I might keep an eye on that one :). There is no real consensus though.

I spend yesterday on some surfing, and found actually a good alternative for my Collectorz.com programs and also for DVDprofiler: DVDpedia and Bookpedia. Anyone experience with this programs? I like them because they look as a Mac-version of my Collectorz software and have the ability to search multiple sources. While Delicious Library certainly looks pretty, it only searches Amazon and that's to limited for me.
 

jinxed

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 1, 2009
15
1
Since yesterday I am a proud owner of white unibody Macbook :D , charging the battery and configuring the OS: all went well! I installed iWorks and other software. This evening and this weekend I am going to really work with it, but my first impressions are good!
 

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