Switching soon - some advice needed!

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by Phil_S, May 20, 2003.

  1. Phil_S macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2003

    In a week or so I'm going to be a new switcher, hopefully to a 12" iBook. I've never used a Mac before (except for playing around in the store a little) so I have a few questions - sorry if they're really obvious:

    1) My wife sometimes has to bring home some Word files from her work to edit. As far as I can understand, AppleWorks can read these .doc files. Are there any problems or issues with this, or would I be better off getting hold of the Mac version of Office?

    2) As soon as I get the iBook I'm going to want to max out the RAM. From looking at the Apple site it looks pretty straightforward but I'm not amazingly technically-minded so is there anything I need to look out for or bear in mind while doing this?

    3) This one's a little more general - when I had a play with the iBook in the store, 10.2 seemed pretty intuitive but is there anything major that I need to know regarding differences between this and Windows in terms of getting stuff done, handling files etc?

    Apologies again if these are dumb questions - guess I'm a bit nervous of the unknown!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Re: Switching soon - some advice needed!

    Hey... well, congrats on the switch decision.

    1) Appleworks will read .doc files... but depending on the complexity of the document... you may or may not run into problems. I've found that more complicated tables etc... don't come through intact. However... basic documents are fine. The may have improved this lately... I don't open that many .doc files myself. So, I wouldn't go out and buy Word right off until you give it a try and see how it goes.

    2) Ram upgrades are pretty easy. The included docs are fine. Buy your ram at a 3rd party ram vendor. Don't buy from Apple. it's significantly cheaper if you buy from a 3rd party vendor. I've purchased from crucial.com and macsales.com without much difficulty. The only thing that I ran into trouble when I installed ram in my iBook was that I didn't push it in far enough before flattening it out. At least in the iBook, you put the ram in at an angle and then push down to flatten it out. I just didn't push in inward far enough at first. No big deal. Just did it again

    3) Overall, things work pretty much similarly. It's not hard to pick up things. on the Mac. drag/drop generally works. The dock holds both open and closed apps. Control-MouseClick will get you an extra menu - much like Right click if you are used to that.

  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    The only thing I would add to Arn's replies is regarding number 2. Be aware that you need a very small (head size) philips screw driver. When I got my iBook 800 I had to go out and buy one specially. If you have a set of computer screw drivers you will probably be OK (although I have never seen a screw of this size on a PC). Apart from that you'll love it!
  4. Phil_S thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2003
    Thanks for the advice, guys...

    Just thought of another question, though... at the moment I use SONAR on my laptop to do a bit of music recording and editing. Is there a similar (and reasonably-priced!) product available for the Mac? I'm aware of packages like Logic but I was wondering if there was anything out there that was a little more accessible...
  5. robotrenegade macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2002
    I would get the new 12 Powerbook. You will be must happier. G3 is almost out the door. And I would get office for mac.
  6. patrick0brien macrumors 68040


    Oct 24, 2002
    The West Loop

    I concur with robotrenegade. Go for the G4, plenty of life left to it, especially when Panther hits in 4 months.

    A few tips...

    (1) Make sure that when your wife saves her Word-Compatible files, she puts the DOS extension at the end (.doc). I can't tell you how many folks think Macs don't write compatible files when this is the only thing missing.

    In fact, make it a habit for every file saved with the Mac. There should be a toggle in the Save As... dialogs that will tell the Mac to do this for you - "Append File Extension" or something like it.

    (2) The file system is far easier to understand and use. For example, many switchers are a little unnerved with the absence of an Uninstaller in OS X.

    In OS X, to get rid of an Application, 9 times out of 10, drag it to the trash.

    Sure, there are applications that are a bit more complex, but those will have their own instructions in the associated ReadMe files. These "more complex" apps are of the type that have client files like Final Cut Pro and it's "Final Cut Pro Documents" file and such. Even if you trash an application, you don't have to worry about screwing up your Registry - there isn't one.

    (3) This brings up a further ruleset of Applications in OS X and their file structure.

    One common denominator across all applications is that associated with each application, is a Preferences file, stored in "Preferences" in the "Library" of your user account. If you get rid of an Application, the Preferences file wil remain. Nothing wrong with that, but it is disk space you might want back.
  7. Groovsonic macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2002
    Near Chicago, Illinois
    I only half agree. He is looking at an iBook, probably because it fits better into his budget. Saying go for the PB is great, but it's kind of like talking to someone who is looking at a VW, and saying to them that they should buy an Audi. While that might be a nice idea, that might not be reasonably possible.
    I agree with Arn about trying AppleWorks before you buy office for so much money.
    The iBook is pretty zippy, especially at the price. It is even faster than the 12 PB at a few tasks. Depends on what you are doing.
  8. lmalave macrumors 68000


    Nov 8, 2002
    Chinatown NYC
    I agree with Groovsonic. I have an iBook because it fit my needs and budget. For the price of a PowerBook he can get an iBook and an iPod or any other goodies.
  9. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)
    sonar alternatives

    check into:

    Bias Peak

    Spark XL

    Steinberg Cubase SL

    Propellerhead's Reason 2.5 (although no standalone recording feature)

    or Ableton Live 2.0

    or better yet go to osxaudio


    btw- welcome to the club...
  10. sethwerkheiser macrumors regular

    Jan 22, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Re: Switching soon - some advice needed!

    Wow - me too! haha... I've been to an Apple Store twice now in the past few months, met and talked with complete strangers simply because they were using PowerBooks.. heh... I should be getting my iBook this friday. Hopefully!

    Good luck with your purchase!
  11. Phil_S thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2003
    Well... took the plunge sooner rather than later and got the 900Mhz 12" iBook last night. I did have a bit of a look at the 12" PB but the budget side of things won out... I checked over some of the other posts here and figured that the iBook would do everything I wanted.

    I'm really impressed with it so far, especially the way so much seems to work well straight out of the box. I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with it!

    Thanks, everyone, for the advice - it's good to know that there's so many helpful people out there! :)

Share This Page