Wow, do I need some advice. Eesh.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by inkster218, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. inkster218 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2004
    Ok, enough is enough!

    I am a potential switcher. Not switch hitter, just switcher.

    I have been running a small PC based graphic design firm for about 15 years and took a couple years off to travel Italy. I met the girl of my dreams and am moving there to create a new design firm there.

    Since I have been back, a pal of mine has been gently nudging me to check out Mac's. I guess I have been feeling the tug of Macs for a few years, and purely for visual reasons mind you. But I am officially hooked on the idea of being a Mac user.

    Here's the hitch. I must stay on a PC platform for the sake of a software application project that I am in partnership with. In a previous thread I realized that I must use PC for this.

    I have been thinking of buying a new Mac PB and keeping my PC desktop for the work involved on it.

    I know this board is about being a Mac supporter, but I really need hard hitting advice on the logic of running both systems in a small apartment in Italy. Can I share a monitor? Can I share printers? Is this an idiotic plan? Should I be medicated?

    I am totally open to just playing on PC's for a couple years until this project is over or until I am independantly weathly and can rent people to do my PC work. :)

    I love the creative kick I get from sitting in front of a Mac, but that is about all I have under the experience belt with Mac's.


  2. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    I don't know what your budget is, but to give you a simple answer....YES, you can run both units with one monitor and one printer, but maybe not with one input peripherals.

    This is not an idiotic plan. I only joined the Mac community 3 weeks ago, and my hardcore PC living and softcore Mac life co-exists in harmony.
    But my setup is kickass self built PC for gaming and other PC stuff and stable mobile work on Mac for on the go stuff that doesn't involve too much computing power.

    If I were you, I would wait to switch. But I assure you that for a business, it may or may not be worth the switch. If you do a lot of work and require software that is only on PC, inevitably, you must stay on that platform. But if you believe that Mac has everything that will fit your business, I know that it is much more stable system.
    You could just purchase a PowerBook and see if you can slowly integrate Mac into your PC environment.

    As much as I like Mac now, I don't see it every replacing my PC life, unless the world changes to accomodate so many things that can be done on the PC.
  3. inkster218 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2004

    I am looking at the PB 17" with the upgraded video and 1 Gig Ram. Are the powerbooks enough to FLUIDLY handle a few decent sized Photoshop docs?

    I am also wondering what added equiptment if any would I need to link the two systems together using the same monitor, printer, and network so I can trasfer files back and forth.

    Ah yes. Also, can I use airport to network the PC and the Mac or would I have to use my Linksys?

    Thanks all.
  4. itsumo macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Yes, this is totally possible. I have a PC desktop and a PowerBook in a small London flat, and when I need to I share peripherals between the two. Just un-plug them, nothing fancy! My Mac is great at picking up "plug and play", unlike Mr Microsoft PC.

    I'd say go for the PowerBook if you can - just see how it fits into your life. You might be surprised at how little use your PC gets after a while...

    edit: I share them over a Netgear router but AFAIK you can share over an AirPort base station if you want to. I already had the Netgear but dimly remember looking into AirPort.
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I don't see any problems with this at all. I see this all the time where I work. You surely can share a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, using a KVM.
    If you're unfamiliar with a KVM, press a button on it and poof, you're looking at and typing/mousing on your Mac. Press another button, poof, you're using your PC.
    A couple things to note, you'll have to get a USB KVM, because Macs don't support PS/2 connections, so hopefully your PC has USB. I suggest a Microsoft keyboard, because I know that they have software (IntelliType) that will remap it's keys (they keys are different on a Mac & PC keyboard) to Mac specifications within the Mac OS. There may be other software that can do this with other keyboard, I don't know.
    Macs can also use multibutton mice, usually straight out of the box without software drivers, but some mice software allows programability, which is a nice feature.
    The powerbook has a special DVI to VGA dongle that comes with it. Through this, you can hook up to a KVM that uses VGA as well. I'm fairly certain your PC uses VGA as well. :)

    Sharing a printer gets a little more complicated. In most instances it can be done. If it's a networked printer, no problem. If it's an inkjet it might be more difficult, but it's fairly rare in my experience that it cannot be done.

    (Sorry, pizza came and I stopped to eat, so this post is coming in about an hour later then I started)
  6. jcook793 macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    Yeah, as mentioned before, you can definitely do this with a USB KVM switch. I have this exact setup in my home office right now. Works like a charm, no problems.

    I'm currently using this KVM switch and it works great. Even at 1600x1200, I don't see any ghosting.
  7. inkster218 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2004
    You guys are freakin rock stars.

    So I can KVM using a PB17 and a PC desktop with EITHER a Dell flatscreen or an Apple Flatscreen?

  8. Natalia81 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2004
    As you will see here in many threads, if you plan to upgrade to 1 Gig of ram don't go thru apple to get that extra gig. They charge an arm and a leg for ram. Find your ram somewhere else. many people say is a good source.

    Good luck
  9. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I think Dell flatscreens have multiple connections and ports to allow for VGA or DVI. Apple flatpanels (at least the old ones) all use an Apple proprietary connection called ADC*. In order to use any KVM with the Apple flat panel, you'll also have to get an ADC to VGA converter box.

    *edit: Looks like the new ones (20"+) now use DVI.
  10. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    People keep saying this, but in some cases (edu. and other discounts) the Apple RAM is actually cheaper than Crucial's gig stick (which was $479 last time I checked :eek: ) Apple also seems to price RAM lower for the 15" and 17" models... as low as $380 last time I checked. That way you can get the AppleCare on the RAM, too.

    But yeah totally, pay attention to how much the RAM is.
  11. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    If you want to get a KVM for an Apple LCD, you need to get an adapter that takes the VGA out from the KVM and makes it DVI. However, if you get a Dell LCD, it may already have a VGA port on it. You can't get the 30" Cinema Display at all, so don't even dream :D (it requires a G5 with Nvidia 6800).

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