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Getting a Mac

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Pulsar, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Hi guys,

    I have been a PC all of my life, but i shall be getting my first Mac later this week. I shall be getting it second hand from my mate who is upgrading to a laptop. The computer I am getting is a iMac. It is quite a good spec with a 500 Mhz G3, 384 MB RAM 20 Gig HD etc etc. I plan on using it for light internet browsing, playing MP3's and doing uni work etc. I want to connect it to my broadband internet connection, but am not sure how to. There is a ethernet socket on the imac, so can I use a router to connect it to my broadband along with my PC?

    I am also looking for general tips on using Mac's, as I have no experience. I plan on installing OS X as soon as I get it, as I have heard that is a very stable OS. I shall also get office for mac, as I am familiar with that. What other software is recommended?

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  2. cwick

    cwick
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    They start 'em young in the police force these days :D

    Connecting your iMac wont be a problem - as you say, a router or a hub will do the job. I'd suggest you consider more RAM if you're using OSX though - 384Mb is probably the minimum you'll get away with. Give it a try first, but if it's too slow, more RAM will certainly help.

    Tips ? None really - it's dead easy to use, although you'll suffer from culture shock for a while ;-) This site is worth bookmarking though.

    Other software ? I use virtually none - OSX comes with everything I need for the most part. The only exceptions are Launchbar and OpenOffice.

    HTH.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  3. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Hi Carl,

    What can I say, my parents were both coppers :D

    Cheers for the info. I haven't got the computer yet, but I think it has one 128 MB and one 256 MB of RAM. Can you recommend a good place to buy more RAM from? If the iMac and PC are networked, will I be able to transfer fils between the two machines?

    Thanks again

    Rob
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR
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    I have had an iMac for about 6 months. I have used/built/repaired/smashed (almost) PCs for years and this Mac stuff is a bit of a culture shock at first. The mouse doesn't right click and it can be frustrating trying to find things, but give it all of, oh... a day, and you'll find yourself saying 'yeh that makes sense'.

    I'm no PC basher, I use an HCPC for my projector and my work laptop is Windows so I still have a foot in both camps.

    What you will find with the Mac is that it very very rarely crashes, there is some great cheap software - the iLife package, iTunes etc and it all integrates very well, mainly because Apple make most of it. The latest operating system - Panther - looks fantastic and sits on Unix for stability

    I have Internet Explorer and Safari installed for web browsing- but use Safari - its very fast at loading pages and the permanent Google search box at the top of each page is a great idea

    Now, compatability

    I have a broadband connection fed into a Netgear modem/router. There was no hassle when I plugged the mac into its ethernet port. Click on your web browser and there's your homepage - it just knows. I can't remember having to do anything. My PC, laptop all plug in to the same router and they work fine.

    I have Microsoft Office for Mac and prefer it to the Windows version. I have never had a compatability problem between documents using different 'Offices'. Expensive to buy of course, but you'll get a student discount;)
     
  5. cwick

    cwick
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    I get my RAM from Crucial. You can probably find cheaper, but they're online meory picker is easy to use, and the lifetime warranty is great (just keep the box the RAM comes in, otherwise the warranty isn't valid).

    I'm not sure how many slots the iMac has though, so check before you splash any cash. The crucial site will have details.

    Transferring files wont be a problem once you're using OSX - your iMac will be able to mount shared drives from the PC, just like you do in Windows. Just use the OSX Finder (equivalent to Explorer) to drag-n-drop.

    Have fun, but don't use iTunes - it'll only make you want to buy an iPod ;)

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  6. CrispyXUK

    CrispyXUK
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    Also OSX is a very bad OS I would recommend you use OS 9.2.2 with the spec you have, and remember... If it doesnt switch on for some reason unplug the power cord then put it back in and it will switch on :confused:
     
  7. cwick

    cwick
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    Can't let that slide ... how can you say that ? OSX is widely regarded as one of the best operating systems available, and generally thought of as the best unix (FreeBSD) based consumer desktop OS (not that there's much competition in that sector :devil: )

    Or do you just mean for the spec of machine Pulsar will be using ? I'd have to challenge that too - my reference point is a 600Mhz G3 iBook which is more than capable of running OSX. Not to mention that OSX is getting faster with each release - 10.3 offers noticeable speed improvements over 10.2 with the new Finder, faster Mail client, faster browser (Safari), faster iPhoto, and on and on.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  8. CrispyXUK

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    OSX is horrible compared to OS9, it may look better but has lost the simplicity of MAC OS, clunky and slow even on my 833 Quicksilver. I have yet to try 10.3 but I wont be paying for an update that really should just be a free service pack.
     
  9. cwick

    cwick
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    Oh well, each to their own I suppose ;)

    Personally I hated OS9 with a passion, just the mere mention of it sends shivers down my spine. But then I develop on Unix a lot, so I guess I'm predisposed to prefering OSX.

    Can't argue with you on the cost of 10.3 though - sure it's faster, expose is way cool, Finder is nicer (but I hardly use that) but worth another £99 (or whatever) on top of 10.2 ? I don't think so either.

    Cheers, Carl.
     
  10. CrispyXUK

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    Not gonna get a new mac at work, as I have decided that we should replace them all with well built/configured PC's too
     
  11. digitalsafari

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    Hi Guys,

    Don't forget that I am an Apple Solution Expert for Pro Video and Audio as well as certified trainer for Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro.

    So any Mac related video or audio questions just ask.

    I also work happily with PCs.

    Jonathan.
     
  12. Pulsar

    Pulsar
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    Cheers for the info guys.

    I shall try OS X, Panther becasue I can get a free lisnce from my uni. They have some sort of alliance with Apple.

    I will try and run with the current spec I have, but if it is too slow, I shall put an 512 MB stick in where the 128 is, and have 768 MB ram. Should be OK then.

    I am looking forward to seeing what the fuss is about WRT to Mac's. I have been very happily using Windows XP Pro for about a year now, and must say that it is the most stable OS I have had the pleasure of using. If this is what all apple OS's have been like like, then that is great.

    I shall report back after a week or so of use.

    Cheers

    Rob
     
  13. Madders

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    Just for the record, I have a G3 Powerbook (lombard edition) 333mhz processor and have happily run OSX since it came out with absolutely bulletproof reliability - recently upgraded to Jaguar and still no crashes - and runs faster.

    Oh and Safari is awesome!!

    But they just can't do the HTPC thing yet!

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  14. digitalsafari

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    Too right, the quality of Apple's DVD player in Panther is better but nowhere near PowerDVD or Theatertek, main problem is contouring/banding.

    At least it finally does DD and DTS pass through and has native support for WVGA, WXGA etc.

    Plus side is very low cost SDI both HD and SD and 10bit YUV with 32bit floating point processing for professional edtiing and effects work, cheap storage for HD.

    And dont forget the term Mac Gamer is an oxymoron.
     
  15. tomson

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    At home I have an ageing 733 quicksilver - 10.2.x was a bit sluggish too(I mainly use photoshop, flash, illustrator, freehand, indesign etc with 1.1gb of ram). The switch to 10.3 has made a world of difference and was worth every penny.
     
  16. CrispyXUK

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    Maybe I will give it a download erm I mean try... But I seem to be having bad luck with osx, maybe a fresh install.
     
  17. Madders

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    Spammonkey - Have you tried vlc? If so how do you rate the picture compared to Theatertek etc? I see that there is now a Powerstrip type program that does custom resolutions so a decent dvd player is really the last piece of the jigsaw!

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  18. digitalsafari

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    VLC has problems with digital audio pass through last time I tried it.

    Another issue is only a G5 is quiet enough for HCPC
     

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