What compatability issues in a microsoft home?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by twombles62, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. twombles62 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    Hey all.
    I've noticed that this forum seems to be fairly noob tolerant and I congratulate you guys for running such a great place for information.

    Anyway, I am possibly going to buy 2.0 macbook for school work, surfing the net, and mabey some occasional warcraft 3 or cs: source. I'm pretty sure I'm getting the right stuff, and mbp isn't really an option for me, as i'm a poor high school student going into my final year. :D

    In our home we have our family computer, and my fathers work dell notebook, all running off a wireless network. We also use an external HD for transferring/storing files.

    What compatibility issues am i going to have? Such as the use of memory sticks, format of the external HDD(?), Wireless, file compatability?

    I'm not a total idiot, I realize that I'm going to need new copies of my windows software (to run in osx, I'm not sure that i'd be using xp/vista a whole lot through boot camp.)

    Thanks alot in advance
     
  2. ale500 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #2
    Note that except for Oriffice that "runs" on Macs (the "latest" 2004 is only PPC), the "newer" 2008 is (supposedly) Universal, not only costs a lot of money (for what you get) the rest are all winblows soft (thank God).

    Plenty of alternatives, cheaper and free exist. You may run into some file compatibility problems, of course, with above mentioned soft and their winblows counter part.

    For school work, get NeoOffice, works very well, native of Macs, and is 100% m$ free, or Apple's alternative, iWork '08.

    Harddisks: For usb sticks, winblows uses normally FAT32, is crap, but *works*, fully supported in MacOSX, no problems (except of course for its innerent shortcomings).
    Bigger disks: Only way to attach them to winblows and Macs will be if they are also FAT32, but format them in OSX because of winblows related problems. MacOSX also reads (but I think it does not write) NTFS.
    Better, use the network to connect to shared folders... you do not mess with cabling and other problems, and works fine.

    Video codecs: Get VLC and mplayer (NOT Media player) for Mac, with their additional codecs, no problem with video/audio formats.

    Network: No problem, MacOS X wireless support works very well.

    You will notice that MacOSX does not get into your way the way winblows does, after a while you will discover how cumbersome and convoluted winblows is :), how it needs constant attention...

    Enjoy your Mac.

    www.macupdate.com has loads of soft for your mac, www.apple.com/downloads has also a nice selection.

    :apple: :D
     
  3. twombles62 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    So what's the problem with office? I'd prefer to run that, as I'm used to it, but I'll check out the other options.

    What options do I have with the external HD. It's going to be impossible for me to reformat it, it is in NTFS.
     
  4. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #4
    I have Office:2004 and I have no problems with it. The Mac version comes with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage (like Outlook). There is no Access version for OS X. Why? Who knows.

    The only incompatibility problems I've had are with some video files, files that would play on my PC don't want to on my Mac. Maybe it's because Windows Media Player is no longer offered and Flip4Mac (allows you to play WMV files in QuickTime) isn't up to par to play them, even though they are DRM free.

    As for games, if you already have a copy of Windows XP SP2 or Vista I would recommend installing that with Boot Camp and buying the PC version because they are significantly cheaper. For instance, SimCity 4 for Mac is $50, while it's Windows counterpart is only $20. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 for Mac is $50, plus $50 for each expansion pack, while the Windows version with both expansion packs included is only $30. Although if you don't already have a copy of Windows (and you aren't into pirating) I wouldn't waste my money on a copy because you won't want to waste too much time using Windows on your awesome new Mac! ;)
     
  5. ale500 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #5
    I use VLC and mplayer (in linux: mplayer and xine) and have no problems with wmv files (except drm-laden ones), and all kinds of avis with xvid/vidx, mpeg-4, and others. I haven't used flip4mac, as I really do not like quicktime (but works fine for apple videos).

    I stay away from m$ soft, every time I use it, one of the multiple bugs bites my documents... no more m$. NeoOffice works great for what I do, and OpenOffice also, but under X11. I get better quality and did not spend some hundreds for the same thing. It cames with similar apps, maybe not that fancy, but useful nonetheless.

    Thank God, there is no Access for Mac. You can get a more powerful, real db out of the community version of MySQL, plus graphical tools if the command line scares you.

    ditto :D
     
  6. JimmyDThing macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #6
    You should check into MacFUSE and NTFS-3G. They are 3rd party apps that I THINK, will write to an NTFS. I don't have any experience with them... I was in the same boat as you but formatted my drive HFS+, and I use a 3rd party app on my PC's to write to an HFS+.

    If memory serves, Mac can "write" to NTFS. Meaning it can work, but it's not recommended.
     
  7. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #7
    The latest version of NTFS-3G/MacFUSE is not Leopard compatible as of yet. So write capabilities on OS X for NTFS is out of the picture for now. But you can still read the files.

    I never had any real issues (beyond it being slow and eating a lot of my RAM) with Office 04 either. But for the average user, there is nothing wrong with NeoOffice or iWork 08, especially since they are both cheaper than Office (and are compatible with it). Keynote (Apple's answer to PowerPoint) will blow people away with its presentations, and if you ever have to hook it up to a projector, to just hook up the MacBook (which is stupid easy compared to most windows laptops) and walk away. Pull the remote out of your pocket and BAM you can control your presentation from the other side of the room, walking around as you do.
     
  8. JimmyDThing macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #8
    Aah... didn't think about that. Thanks for correcting me!
     
  9. psychofreak Retired

    psychofreak

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    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #9
    There is Paragon available :)
     
  10. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

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    Aug 3, 2007
    #10
    Re: USB keydrives gotcha and tip

    There is a "gotcha" with USB keydrives (I am assuming that's what the OP meant by memory sticks), for switchers that sometimes causes problems.

    Macs use a different trash system than Windows. Consequently, a lot of folks start using a USB key with the Mac and then notice that the amount of free space keeps dropping. Eventually there is no free space on the key at all!

    The "solution" most often promoted is that "Macs don't do USB keys right so your better off re-formatting them in FAT32 at the start." (almost word for word from my "techie" boss :) ).

    In reality it's just the trash.

    You have to *empty* the trash every once in a while *with* the stick connected to a computer. The lost space is really just the user never "taking out the trash" on the stick. Most people never think about this so it's easy to get confused as to where the space is going.
     
  11. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #11
    Exactly. Since Windows and OS X handle deleting files differently... in OS X, the files are in the trash can, but until you press empty, the files are still present on the source drive. So if you have a fully used 2GB jump drive, and delete a 100MB file. Until you actually empty the trash, it will not register that you have that 100MB of free space.
     
  12. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Well that isn't funny.

    The rest of your advice is good, except that large disks for Windows may well be NTFS formatted which can only be read, not written to, on a Mac.
     
  13. hdsalinas macrumors 6502

    hdsalinas

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Location:
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    #13
    I would advise you to get a copy of iWork08, It is cheaper than office and works quit well. You can open and export files to word or excel formats. Keynote, apple's version of powerpoint, is far superior to powerpoint.
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I own/have (in the case of NeoOffice) a copy of MS Office 2004, iWork '08 and NeoOffice 2.2.2

    I've had some powerpoint presentations to watch recently, in order of goodness of doing this Powerpoint 2004>NeoOffice>>iWork. NeoOffice is pretty good, though NeoOffice has the advantage that it can edit .pps files, which means you can jump to the slide you want.
     
  15. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #15
    I have all 3 on my system as well, and frankly, they all will play PPTs just fine. And in fact, if you just need to look at them, and are in Leopard, just QuickLook them. What I like about Keynote (haven't used NeoOffice's PowerPoint Alternative yet) is that you don't have to just save as a keynote file. You can export it as a youtube movie, a quicktime movie, HTML, a PPT, and I think one other that I can't recall. If you are using a projector, the second screen options (in this case your laptop) are great, as is the ability to use the remote natively without any other software.

    But OP, if you need a good alternative at a great price, certainly look at NeoOffice... heck its free, what can it hurt to try it?
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    It depends how advanced they are, the more advanced the more difficult it'll be for non-MS software to play them ;).
     
  17. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #17
    OK, well that's fair. I am more used to just the standard fare ppts... the fancy pants ones with the timings, and the animations and all the flash are just that.. flash...
     
  18. ale500 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #18
    In my field (chemistry), people want to see reactions. Flashy animations, sounds, and all that is worthless. Anyone with such a presentation will be laughed loud, in their faces, by lots of people, that happened, was fun. We ask difficult questions in lectures, like what is all that good for, or better what the students can learn from that, every time.

    Once I wanted to do something different, so I made a 5 minute movie. It is a 5 minute animation at 25 fps, thousands of frames, rendered with povray. Very good quality, but a bit dark.

    Videos and animations embedded in ppt presentations, sometimes bomb, during the presentation. After my 15 slide presentation (made with OpenOffice) I fired up mplayer and presented my movie, full 1024x768. 5 minutes on the air costed me months of render and re-render on 3 computers... that was before quad cores were 200 € a pop :).

    (Here we call it windoof)
     

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