Quicken files on OS X and iMac instead of tower

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by arogge, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Location:
    Tatooine
    #1
    I am trying to buy a new Mac, but I am having problems deciding what to buy and how to make it do what I need.

    What I really want is a mid-range tower that has some basic hardware and lots of room for expansion, particularly for PCI expansion cards and hard drives. There's the Mac Pro tower, but it starts at $2,500, which is much more than I can spend. I'm looking for something around $1,000-$1,300. I want a basic computer that doesn't need to be thrown away in a few months after the next models come out. If I want USB 3, for example, it would be nice if I could buy a PCI card that supports the new interface, instead of having to buy a whole new computer.

    That's my first issue, and it discourages me from buying an iMac, a computer that basically seems to have the upgradability of laptop. Then I have another issue concerning file compatibility with Intuit Quicken financial management software. I haven't seen much about being able to totally transfer and convert Quicken files from the past 10 years to something that can read them on OS X.

    I'd considered using Boot Camp to force the compatibility with the existing Quicken software under Windows, but Boot Camp requires specific versions of Windows XP and Vista, which I don't have and have no intention of buying at extra cost, especially because I'm buying a Mac to run OS X. There's talk about a Quicken 2010 for Mac, but after reading through the problem reports about Quicken for Mac, I'm really looking for an alternative software package. There's iBank, which I've been considering, but would it work for me? Maybe that's something that can be worked out after installing the new Mac, but it would be nice if I knew that there would be a trouble-free file transition instead of worrying about whether the Mac will read all of those old Quicken files.

    So, those are my two issues that need fixes. It's really hard to convincingly buy a new Mac when there are AMD-based tower PCs available for less money and lots more expansion room. I really like the Mac Pro tower, but it's $1,000 too expensive. Which Mac fits my needs?

    It's hard to believe that when I actually want a basic computer from a company that is catering to the basic consumer market, I can't find a Mac that I want to buy. What happened to an easy Switch? I really only need a computer that reads the Quicken files, browses the Web, does some e-mails, connects to a basic printer, and displays photos occasionally. These new Mac towers seem like overkill for the basic user, but I don't want to be forced into a system with no upgradeability if I can avoid it. This is one instance when I want to be like the PC guy in the Mac commercials. I don't want a fun computer. I want a computer that just works for business basics and doesn't cost so much money, and I'd like it to be installed in two weeks. Any suggestions?
     
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #2
    I have an iMac and it runs the osx version of Quicken perfectly well.
    Mid range tower is a popular subject for wish lists, but it's not going to happen. Part of the issue is support; Apple doesn't want to support all the multitude of PCI cards that are available.

    An iMac will do perfectly well for most uses.
     
  3. arogge thread starter macrumors 65816

    arogge

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Location:
    Tatooine
    #3
    I've considered the iMac some more, and am leaning away from it. I already don't like the reflective screen, especially because this computer will be placed near a sunny window. The screen looked neat during a short store demo, but when I actually tried working with it, I didn't like it. Even indoors, there was a significant amount of distracting reflections from people walking near the iMac. The reflections from overhead lights also started to become a problem. Is there no option for a matte screen? Another thing that I couldn't figure out was how to turn off the monitor. Where's the power switch? It must be hidden underneath or on its sides, but I didn't notice it.

    Then there were other issues. The keyboard isn't so comfortable. It reminded me of using a laptop keyboard, narrow and thin. The arrow keys are much too small and difficult to use for more than a few seconds. The mouse is really nice, but that won't sell the iMac. Another issue is the size of the new iMac. I really don't want such a large monitor, but I suppose that I could squeeze it into the intended installation area. I added up the downsides and I'm really not convinced that I will be happy with the iMac.

    I'm considering buying a small laptop and making it into a desktop that would have the option of being used as a mobile computer. If I'm going to be stuck with laptop upgradability options, I might as well buy a laptop and get an LCD screen that I really want, along with a full-size keyboard. I figure that the laptop battery will also be useful when there's another power outage, and I can even use it in a dual-monitor configuration. I like the laptop option much more than the restrictive iMac configurations available. The laptop seems to be a more versatile choice, and it doesn't take most of my desk space or break my budget.
     
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4
    The iMac does not have a separate switch to turn off just the display. In the back on the left side is the power button which shuts off the system. The new iMacs have a narrower keyboard, but you can still get a different keyboard if you prefer that.
     
  5. GroundLoop macrumors 68000

    GroundLoop

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    #5
    Just a clarification, supporting additional PCI cards has nothing to do with the lack of a mid-reange tower Mac. My opinion is that we won't see a mid tower simply because it would cannibalize iMac sales. Along with that, since the mid tower can be upgraded, users would be able to wait longer between computer purchases (which enhances the iMac business case). Apple is a corporation out to make money and as long as they are continuing to have record financial quarters, they will not change the current strategy.

    The only way this will change is if Mac sales begin to dwindle an especially if Mac users start to migrate back to non-Apple hardware.

    I have a MacPro and love it, but at today's prices, it would be hard for me to justify buying a new one. I may go the Hackintosh route when I need to upgrade my 2008 MP.

    Hickman
     
  6. iggypop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    #6
    iMac + iBank

    I work for the developer of iBank, so you may take this suggestion for what it is - but iBank should meet all of your personal finance needs, and will readily import your old Quicken data... even 10 years' worth from a Windows version.

    The other tip I want to offer is more general. You seem to be a newcomer to the Mac, and I think an iMac will really exceed your expectations. Unlike PCs, Macs have a lot of forward-looking technology built in. You won't want to throw it away in a few months! I still love my 4.5 year-old iMac, and the only reason I'd give it up is simple lust for a shiny new one. Good luck!
     
  7. arogge thread starter macrumors 65816

    arogge

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Location:
    Tatooine
    #7
    I just bought iBank and should be trying it out with the existing data next week.
     

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