Preparing to buy my first Mac - advice and software tips

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jinxed, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. jinxed macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2009
    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?

    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?

    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.

    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 and DVD Profiler from Invelos.
    Options for the Mac: I inquired 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!
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    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.

    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.


    GIMP runs on a Mac.

    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.


    I wouldn't install Windows unless you need to. Check out this. Hope that helped a tad.
  3. rowsdower macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    This thread has been active the past few days.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I think you mean iWork and not iLife.
  5. jinxed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2009
    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.

  6. jinxed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2009
    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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