Switch to Mac - questions, questions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bscrabble, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. bscrabble macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2013

    Sorry in advance for the long post, but I would really appreciate some feedback on the below.

    I've had it with Windows after many driver issues (relating to graphics card) so I've decided to switch to Mac. Only thing is, I'm not quite sure whether to go for the latest iMac or Mac mini. I had a play with the iMac at the local Apple shop and it was really nice, but I'm worried about the screen failing. Another thing putting me off is, because I can't afford the 27-inch, the 21.5-inch is too small for me. I have a 24-inch IPS monitor, so I'm hoping the mini would hook up to that without any issues.

    I mainly use a desktop for photography work (Lightroom) and it's important that the Mac plays nice with my IPS monitor (Dell U2412M) as regards hardware calibration. I'd also be interested to know how well the iMac screen works for photography (especially hardware calibration).

    I currently have external hard drives that are formatted with NTFS (which contains lots of Microsoft Office documents), but as I understand it OS X can only read these partitions and not write to them. I don't want to buy another drive, so I will reformat one using Western Digital's tool to use exclusively with the Mac. Will also need to buy Office for Mac too to access these documents. Please point out any potential problems I might come across with this. Oh, and out of interest, is there any limitations when it comes to partitions sizes on OS X? One of my drives is 3TB.

    Not having any experience with Mac or OS X, I'm guessing I can simply connect an iMac or Mac mini to my router for internet access without the need to do anything else?

    Finally, and apologies because I know it's an old topic; security. It appears from reading various tech blogs that Mac malware is on the increase. Using Windows I'm very careful where I browse, and have NoScript, Web of Trust and Adblock Plus plugins installed (would like to know if these plugins are available for OS X). I also have anti-virus software installed on my Windows boxes, but it this necessary on OS X? I do a lot of sensitive financial work on my desktop, so it's imperative my environment is secure.

    So the one thing I definitely do know: I'm moving to Mac. The difficult part is deciding which one best fits my needs. Hopefully you guys can offer your advice/experience.

    I appreciate the time taken to read/reply.

  2. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Just a few answers, WOT and Adblock are both available for Safari as extensions, I use Safari only so don't know about other browsers.
    As for security, there are no known viruses for OS X, you don't really need a virus scanner, read the following link:

    Mac Virus/Malware FAQ - Mac Guides

    In the 12 years I use OS X I never got any malware.

    You will have no problems at all connecting to a router.

    You can leave the format of the NTFS drives alone if you install Paragon, which is the better Read/Write driver for the Mac, by Default it is read only, Paragon is not free but not too much $$.

    I have the Mini too and it's a great machine, I do have the base model, you might be better of with the i7.
  3. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    Yes, that's a risk. Get Applecare and at least you get a 3 year warranty. I've purchased 5 iMacs, all are in current use, with the oldest 8 years and youngest 3 years. I've had one display failure.

    It will, however it would also connect as a second screen to the iMac. Personally, I love a two monitor setup.

    AFAIK all calibrators come with software for the Mac.

    Reformat the drive using Disk Utility on the Mac. 3TB drives are not a problem. While there are a couple of sources for NTFS drivers with Read/Write capability you would be taking some risk. The NTFS format is Microsoft proprietary and these drives were reverse engineered and potentially could have some missing function. The driver Apple provides will apparently allow writing, however it opens NTFS file systems read-only by default and the only way you can mount read/write is via Terminal commands. See http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20090913140023382

    Connect your Ethernet cable when you first power up. The Mac will automatically configure itself (and even offer a Wifi connection if that is available), connect to Apple, and ask for your information to set up an account. You can easily connect later as well. I've always had fewer problems connecting with a Mac than with a PC at various locations, wired and wireless.

    The malware is easily avoided by practicing "safe computing". I don't run AV software on either Mac or Windows. Never had any problem. The Mac OS automatically sets a "First time" flag on any program downloaded or added to the system. The first time it tries to execute you will be warned. If it's not something you know about, don't run it. There's also a security level that won't allow any unsigned programs or programs with revoked signatures to run.

    I use NoScript and Adblock Plus -- they are available. I haven't heard about Web of Trust.

    Macs support both whole drive encryption (which doesn't seem to have any performance loss I can detect) both on your internal drive and also on external drives. Macs also support disk image files that behave just like a disk but are portable like a file. These can also be encrypted. The encrypted disk images can reside on Windows-format drives.
  4. bscrabble thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2013
    Thank you for the informative replies. Much appreciated.
  5. Bigtree macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2007
    Don't be afraid. You will be very productive on a Mac.
  6. Drharrington macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    You will never go back to PC. Mac was the best decision I made 3 years ago.
  7. Adam22 macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2012
  8. Bowcaps macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2012
    Cornwall, UK
    I started with a simple iPhone 18 months ago, then an iPad - we now have 2 MacBooks and a 27" iMac, the last PC was ejected from our house 6 weeks ago, all the previous HDD's have been reformatted for macs and work fine. Initially the MacBooks worked fine with existing router, but we changed to an 'Extreme which gives great wifi for both MacBooks and iMac.

    Things in our house now simply - 'just work' I will never go back to a PC or windows based machine.

  9. jpmorais macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2013
    CT, USA

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