Computer Newbies forum

General discussion

Neither PC nor Apple

by DoggoneDeb / July 31, 2005 2:08 AM PDT

We found this forum quite by accident yesterday when looking for help in uninstalling Norton Internet Security 2005. You people were most helpful in dealing with that problem, so I wonder if you might share your wisdom regarding our quandry. We own both a PC (an old Gateway Astro that can not be upgraded) and a six-month old iBook (loaded with all the extras). We can't seem to make the leap to Apple and are wondering -- at this crossroad -- whether to turn back or go ahead.

First, you need to understand that my husband hates computers and only has one because he runs a small (one man) business and uses the machine to run Quickbooks to generate invoices and provide bookkeeping for his tax accountant. I enjoy using a computer to do research on the internet and to play Scrabble with the always-willing Mavin. We use dial-up because we can't justify broadband on our limited seniors' budget, and would be scared to death trying to deal with what that would mean.

We ran into trouble with our PC because of Norton Security. When we joined the world-wide web a few years ago, we did as we were told and bought Norton Internet Security. Between the dial-up and Norton, it would take 3 to 4 minutes to load a webpage. It certainly dampened the internet experience. When we upgraded Norton in 2004, the computer became unusable. We spent months trying to get the software off the machine. Friends told us to get an Apple: it was easy to use (true), the software always worked because it was made for the machine (mostly true), and you didn't need to worry about using Norton (sold!). We, who know nothing about computers, had a wireless home network up and running in two hours.

The downside of the Apple has been: all our files are on the PC so we lose the history in Quickbooks and Microsoft Money, and I can't read the LCD screen. I find I keep using the old Gateway CRT because my arthritic hands like the keyboard and my tired old eyes love the computer screen. We looked at the iMac but even the 20'' screen, though it is easy to see, didn't have the sharpness of our little Astro. But we're told all the new PC computer systems are coming with LCD screens. Sigh.

I figured I should again install an internet security package on the Astro if I were going to insist on using it to go on the internet. I consulted Consumer Reports (Wish I'd consulted this website!) and once again tried Norton for protection. The computer once again became unusable -- couldn't even get on the internet. But the good news is that it has led me to this forum for the computer-challenged. I see that there are some better options for internet security software on the PC so we might live happily with a PC on the internet -- which brings us to our quandry: to Apple or to PC?

We love the Apple because we have their protection plan, which means we have great support with people who speak fluent English (very important), and a system that is pretty easy for neophytes (also very important). But the reality is, we keep using the PC because the software is familiar and provides historical data (We thought we'd be able to convert the data, but haven't found a way.), some websites don't seem to work with the non-PC browsers, and the CRT screen and keyboard are easy on the hands and eyes.

Before we invest any more time and effort and money, we need to fish-or-cut-bait with the Apple. But if we do, can we buy a PC system (our new HP printer says our computer is lacking) with a CRT? and from someplace that can understand us? It was a nightmare trying to talk to the HP person who was trying to help us figure out what had gone wrong with our old printer; it became easier to buy an inexpensive new one. There have been computer businesses in our tiny town but they never last more than a year-and-a-half so we are reluctant to rely on a local shop to build us a computer. And we wouldn't know a competent computer person from a nincompoop.

Your insights would be most welcome. Thanks.

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Neither PC nor Apple
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Neither PC nor Apple
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Wow, what a subject!
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 31, 2005 4:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

Hi Deb, you have certainly asked an interesting, if not highly controversial, question here, [g].

Controversial because views and feelings on the universal PC or Apple? question tend to be very polarised and personal, and can generate extreme stances and arguments.

I believe wars have even been started over the question, Happy

At the end of the day, I don't believe that we can tell you and your husband what to do or what to buy. I'm a PC man myself and have never used an Apple Mac but I hear that they are very good computers indeed. On a par with, and in many circumstances, superior to, PC's. From what you say you like your Apple very much but you would prefer a CRT Monitor and not an LCD one.

I don't know if it would be possible to attach a CRT monitor to an Apple as they are an integrated computer/monitor system I believe, but other people here can perhaps help you with that.

All I can say is that with the PC you can attach any type of monitor and keyboard that you wish, and that LCD's are now becoming much better at picture quality than they were before. Still not CRT standard perhaps, but not that far off, and if you do not intend to play high graphic games such as Doom 398, (or whatever the latest version is), or Fighter Pilot, etc, then you may consider that LCD's are now a good enough option for the tasks you and your husband use the computer for.

With regard to software, many people report problems with Norton products, and yet many more find the software very good for their needs. So it is difficult to be judgemental about Nortons. But there is now plenty of smaller software applications to tackle individual security issues, like viruses, spyware, adware and hackers, and many of these are free to download and free to use indefinately. If you hop along to the Virus and security alert forum in this site, (link on the left), you will find many options for complete security suites that serve very well indeed.

I hesitate to talk about the software your husband is using now, Quickbooks. It may be possible to convert the data files to PC format, but I simply don't know I'm afraid.

It is unfortunate that your town has seen so many computer shops come and go, because in my view that would be your best option, to go and see what is possibly at first hand. I don't know how close you are to a larger town or city, or whether it is possible for you to travel there if there is one close by, but what about your friends and relatives? Do any of those have computers and if so, can you see what they use and what they are like to use and manage?

Not a very useful reply from me I'm afraid. But I wish you good luck in your quest.


Collapse -
How Would You Find A Competent Computer Shop?
by DoggoneDeb / July 31, 2005 8:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Wow, what a subject!

If you didn't speak the lingo, how would you go about finding a place to buy a computer that is custom built/supported?

Our friends have Apples or family members who hold their hands over their PC's, so no one we know makes use of a professional shop, hence no recommendations.

We could travel the hour and a half to the city for we rarely need anything. In the six years we have had the Astro, we only once needed service, when the drive stopped working. Back then there were Gateway stores so it was easy. My husband's business can make do without a computer for a week if he has to. We rarely change software (we are still running Windows 98), and do so only when something forces us. So I agree with you, a "local" computer shop would suit us very well. We just don't have any confidence picking one out. How would you do it were you without computer expertise?

Collapse -
new pc
by ddbpack / August 6, 2005 1:31 PM PDT

go with a new dell as the price for wht the 2 of u need isnt very great u can a very decent system for around 500!

Collapse -
by pacifist / August 7, 2005 4:04 PM PDT
In reply to: new pc

Your profile does not have the contact member option available. Please contact me for advice on spelling and basic grammar.

Collapse -
Deb, Personal Choices...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 31, 2005 4:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

...are best made by the one being affected...It would help us to know the operating system on the Gateway PC..If it's Windows 98, you still have quite a few options. If it's Win95, for example, I would certainly think about getting a new one..(You can find some really cheap "basic" models right now if you check the adverstisements.)

Both the Apple and the PC will work for you but if you're familiar with the PC type of system and software, then stick with it. If you're preference leans toward the Apple, go that way...And of course, there's no reason why you can't keep them both..You should be able learn the "ins and outs" of both operating systems and you may find advantages for each one...Graphics are great on Apple...Since PC are used by more folks, universal programs are an advantage with PC's. In addition, as long as they both have modems of some type, you should be able to use the internet with both machines.

If you're looking for a nice (and Free) antivirus program for your PC, (yes NORTON can really hog the resources), try either of the programs below:


AVG by Grisoft

Hope this helps.


Collapse -
Our Operating System
by DoggoneDeb / July 31, 2005 7:55 AM PDT

is Windows 98. When we attached the new printer it said we had less than optimal Hz and something else. I understand that the Astro was built as-is, without room for expansion so I'm assuming we can't add Hzzzzzzzzzzz's or the other thing. That's why we agreed it was time to either get a new PC or fully convert to the Apple.

Collapse -
by chuck5761 / August 5, 2005 1:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Our Operating System

Hi Deb,

Unfortunately, one of the things that people don't explain or recognize, is that computers are like boats. If you leave your boat sitting in the water year after year, barnacles start growing on the bottom and slow the boat down.

Every little bit of software you install acts like another barnacle... And the net effect is what you saw, it eventually becomes unusable.

What's worse, is as the years go by the new software coming out has HUGE barnacles (because it assumes you have a fancy new PC with a lots of Hz's to push it through the water.)

To keep the iBook:
To address your concerns about the LCD screen and small keyboard, you can buy an external monitor and keyboard and use them instead. (Unfortunately, if you had anything *other* than the Astro, you could use the monitor off your old computer.)

There's Quickbooks for the Mac (not cheap, as a $200 upgrade) but that will import the quickbooks files from the PC.

You can also get Quicken for the Mac, and transfer the Microsoft Money data files from the PC. You'd have to learn a new checking account program, but that would seem to solve your key financial programs.

The Astro appears to have USB ports. Hopefully your version of Windows 98 (Second Edition?) has USB support. If so, I imagine you should be able to buy a little usb "flash drive" that holds 128 or 256 megabytes of memory (more than 80 floppies) and copy files onto it from the PC. Then move the little drive to the Mac and import them into whatever software you have.

Going back to the PC:
Unfortunately, having knowledgable computer help makes things soooo much easier. You might want to get a computer expert in your pocket that you can pay to fix or help you with things. I suggest you call your local high school, track down a teacher who's familiar with the computer skills (and responsibility level) of his students, and offer a smart kid $20 an hour to help you. They'll fix things that would save you hours on the phone.

To replace the PC I'd recommend Dell, since you can get a relatively powerful box cheaply (with a nice big screen) and spend the money you save on having that kid get your software installed and your files moved over.

Good luck - chuck

Collapse -
Deb; sunk with Norton. AVG free! My Heroes!
by Roy Stewart / August 6, 2005 8:31 AM PDT

Hi Deb,

While Norton was installed my HP/PC Win XP became so jammed with pop-ups that it ceased to function.

Guru deleted well over 400 spy and worm ware.

Guru installed Ad Aware SE personal along with SpyBot.
Norton still frustrated our system.
As with yourself, we discovered C-Net.

AntiVirus: Had read about AVG in Sunday Magazine, found it online and downloaded the free version through C-Net. Download was totally painless!
Also; AVG ( automatically updates and scans system.

Gaining trust in C-Net and C-Net's ''; we tested 'Spy Blaster' and it remains our spyware killer of choice.
SpyBlaster is far simpler for our purposes, updates simply, checks system to our satisfaction. SpyBlaster stays on top of mal-intentioned spy issues.

Recently downloaded the free 'Opera' browser, which I really like. Have also Internet Explorer, Netscape and Netscape 8, Mozilla and Firefox. 'Opera' is in the lead at the moment; lots of extras which are less daunting to try and to use.
The advertisements have been no issue. Lack of compressability of 'tool bars' requires more scrolling when reading/researching articles.

We have both PC and Mac. And like yourselves, have not figured out how to convert critical history files from Windows to Mac and vice versa.
I personally find Mac Word Processing software vastly superior to Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word offers no shortcut to the simplicity of the Mac 'word' system.

Hope this is of some assistance. Like yourselves, we are Digital Neaderthals with diminished sight/hearing.

Roy Stewart
Phoenix AZ

ps. Question for anyone that reads this far:
How does one identify good cookies from bad cookies?

Collapse -
A lot of questions... here's some answers (I hope)
by Adi / August 1, 2005 9:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

The old Apple/PC debate. Generally I think it really depends on what you've been brought up using. I have been brought up with PCs, so generally that's what I've used, but I've also worked with Macs and been impressed with them.

However, you say you have backdated files on your PC. Unfortunately, many file types are hard to transfer between Apple and PC, because the operating systems (OS's) are so different. PCs generally use Windows, and are therefore based on "DOS", whereas Macs use Mac OS, which is based on "Unix". It's a different way of working.

Because you probably can't transfer those older files, I'd advise sticking to the PC, or at least keeping it, if those old files are important. You also sound as though you are more comfortable with PC software.

Personally I don't like Norton anymore. Before, I always thought they seemed a really reputable company, with good products. However, although they are still a reputable company I'm sure, their products have become more and more resource intensive, beyond what I think is necessary. I want to use my computer memory for loading other programs, not just my anti-virus! There are many alternatives out there. Your main threats on the Internet are hackers, viruses and spyware. So, you need programs to combat these.

Anti-virus: I would advise Avast! It's free, uses minimal resources, and has worked incredibly well for me. Ever since using it I have not had any trouble with viruses. I have heard of problems with AVG, so that is why I recomment Avast! rather than AVG. You can get Avast! from

Anti-spyware: it's a good idea to run more than one program, just to make sure Happy I'd recommend Lavasoft's Ad-Aware ( and Spybot: Search and Destroy ( Both are free. You can also use Microsoft's AntiSpyware as well, but this is still in beta testing (the program is released to the public but may still contain errors and bugs - it is essentially incomplete).

Firewall (anti-hackers): definately ZoneAlarm. They are the best from what I have seen, and it is also free. You can get ZoneAlarm from

So that should sort your security troubles out. It's more programs than just installing Norton Internet Security I know, but once you've spent time getting it all sorted, it should be worth it. All the software I have listed only works with PCs though (I think).

This is the "trouble" with Apples. PCs still have the majority market share, despite the surge in Apple sales. Because of this, nearly all software will work with a PC, and is generally developed to do so (with some exceptions), but will not necessarily work with an Apple, unless Apple versions are specifically developed.

However, we don't want to rule the Apple out. It tends to be considered a more user-friendly computer system, and less susceptible to Internet problems like hackers, viruses, spyware etc. As I mentioned before, this is again because Microsoft still has the majority software market share, so illicit software authors tend to target Microsoft OS's. This does not make Apples invulnerable however, although some people think so.

I'm sure there are similar security programs as the ones I've listed for PC available for Mac, but of course I've never really looked for them Happy I think Mac OS X Tiger has a built in firewall, so it may have other security programs built in as well, but if not, looks like it might have some of the stuff you need as well.

If the keyboard is a problem, you can always get an external keyboard. These are relatively cheap, as far as I know, and will connectly painlessly to a USB port on your iBook.

An external CRT monitor is less easy. I'm not sure that the iBook has a monitor output as PC laptops tend to have. So you'll have to put up with the LCD on the iBook as far as I know.

However, you can still buy computers with CRT monitors. They are being gradually filtered out, replaced with the LCD technology, but they are not fully gone. So if you want a system with a CRT, you should be able to buy one. You could always keep the monitor you currently have (if it still works well) and buy a system without a monitor, and use your current one with the new PC. No problems there.

There's a lot of info here, and I hope I haven't waffled too much Happy If you lived anywhere near me I would happily come and give you a hand, but chances are you won't. Hopefully something here will be useful to you however.

All the best,

Collapse -
The Apple solutions
by mggpatt / August 4, 2005 9:04 PM PDT

While I agree you have to go with what you feel comfortable about, let me point out the solutions to your Mac concerns.

Security: I have been running a Mac for over 15 years, with LOTS of internet activity and downloads...and I have NEVER had a virus protection software or a virus on my machine. If you use the Mac, immediately remove all Norton software of any kind. It will only slow down your machine.

Monitor: I'm not quite sure why you are saying you like the CRT monitor over the LCD, images are too small? not sharp? Anyway, you can hook your beloved CRT monitor up to the I-book if you want to. It kind of defeats the idea of portability of a laptop, but hey it can be done. You should have gotten a monitor adapter with the new I-book that allows you to convert from the smaller Apple plug to a conventional PC type plug. If not, they can be bought. You also have the ability to make your images a little bigger on the Apple LCD. Go to System PReferences> displays and pick a slightly lower resolution, one with lower numbers. This will make the images appear larger but you will have less room on your desktop.

Software transportability: The ability to "read" and use files on one system or another is NOT a function of OS as one poster pointed out, it is a function of the progrsm software. QuickBooks for example, is available on both PC and Mac and if you have a QB file on the PC you can easily import it onto a Mac. I do it all the time. The only caveat is I think you need the same version on both machines. If you are up to date on your PC QuickBooks, and you upgrade to the new Mac QB it is easy to open one on the other. Any other program you have on your PC, if there is a Mac version like Microsoft Excel or Word is totally transportable from one to the other without conversion.

Apple has stores in major cities., if one is close to you, they will offer unlimited free in person support to help you with your concerns (such as the correct cable for your CRT monitor or data transfer) also check out

The last piece of advice for Mac maintenance is forget all other software for maintenance except for two programs: Buy Disk Warrior from Alsoft and use it once a week. Also learn to use the free Apple program called "Disk Utility". Run it once a week and "repair permissions" If you do these two things, like changing the oil on your car, you Mac will hum a long for many miles!

So before you cut bait, make sure your line is good!

Collapse -
Very good
by geekie / August 5, 2005 1:00 AM PDT
In reply to: The Apple solutions

Excellent post by mggpatt, couldn't have said it better myself. But I'll note that the Quickbooks versions on each machine don't have to be the same version. If the Mac version is newer, it will import data from an older PC version. So newer Quickbooks can take older files, but older Quickbooks can't take newer files.

If you know how to transfer files, great. If not, some options are floppy disks, USB plug-in drives or simply e-mailing the file to yourself and opening on the other machine.

Collapse -
PC Proctection
by DoggoneDeb / August 5, 2005 7:10 AM PDT

Thank you for your very good advice. Obviously, we have found the right spot to sort through our computer dilemma.

We are a little concerned about using several different software programs to run the PC protection gauntlet, afraid that the upgrade of one might interfere with another in future.

From our reading on this website it looked as though Pc-cillin might do it all, or is that just wishful thinking?

Collapse -
Neither PC or Apple
by Andrew_g / August 4, 2005 10:00 PM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

Hi Doggone Deb,

I'm typing this on a Gateway PC while listening to some R&B playing on my Ibook so hopefully I may be able to offer some advice to you.

Picking through your original message you would like some help with the following issues please jump in if I get these wrong!

-Getting your quicken files onto the Ibook and transferring some of your legacy files over to the I book.

-Making the the Ibook a little easier for you to use by improving the screen and keyboard.

-Internet security...A perennial favourite!

Okay, lets start with the file compatability issue...

Your Ibook is only about 6 months old so it is running a fairly recent version of the Apple operating system, probably 10.2 or later. This operating system is based on the UNIX operating system which has been around for a long time, is fairly stable and most importantly is very flexible when it come to dealing with files created on different computer systems. Most PC files can now be read on a Mac without too much fuss. This wasn't always the case!
Quicken is available for the mac and your PC Quicken files can be transferred to to the mac using the export function. To find out how to export check your manual or the Quicken online help. It may be possible to use a different program with your quicken files but If you like Quicken then I would stick with it.

Your message mentions a wireless network setup. If you can use that to move files from the PC to the Mac then that problem is solved. If not, can you burn the files onto a CD? If you want to network the 2 computers we can probably work that out instead.

One down, two to go. You can solve your screen problem by hooking up your Gateway monitor to the Ibook. My Ibook came with an adapter that will allow you to do this. If yours did not, you should be able to get one through your nearest Apple dealer or order one online.
You may also want to play with the monitor settings to see if that improves things. I would start with the contrast setting. If you're not sure how to do this please let me know.

You may be able to use your Gateway's keyboard on the Ibook if your Gateway keyboard uses USB to connect up. The Ibook will accept an external USB keyboard and mouse so you can stop using the built in keyboard and trackpad. I'm not sure about hardware costs in your neck of the woods but Logitech do some pretty good keyboard and mouse combinations for very modest sums of money. Remember to look for the Apple compatible and USB logos.

Hmmm.... Internet security. Two words that do not belong in a sentence. The most important tool in the struggle against Spyware, Malware, Viruses, Trojans and all their kin is grayware. The good news is you already have it in abundance between your ears! Most nasties can be avoided and if they can't then the impact can be reduced with a liberal application of commonsense. You have already demonstrated this by seeking out a forum to help with your problem.

Your Ibook is probably the better way to go web surfing at the moment. There have been no serious virus threats targeting mac users since the move to this latest operating system. Viruses written for PC's don't work on the Mac. The operating systems also ha a built in Firewall designed to keep nosy people and other nasties out of your computer and to give you toal control of who and what can use your computer online. The bottom line is that I rarely worry about being online when I use the Mac. Eventually, somebody will get around to writing malicious code for the mac so enjoy hassle free surfing while you can!

I hope I covered everything? I would recommend seeking out the mac forum here as they are a pretty savvy and helpful bunch.

Best Regards,

Andrew G

Collapse -
hi Deb
by p.lefebvre / August 4, 2005 10:05 PM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

Use the mac on the net and put office for mac and/or virtual pc xp on it for opening files (get it from ebay or other mac users ) or have somebody download it from limewire or carracho etc.
Use the pc for the book-keep programs and backup.
Is there someone near you that uses a wifi hook-up to the internet what you can share ?
My eyes are not that good so i make all the letters on the screen bigger and zoom in on a screen for details.
Si the " HELP " for beginners it helps for how toes .

Collapse -
Ignore the advice in the last post
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 5, 2005 12:46 AM PDT
In reply to: hi Deb

it is illegal to do what is being suggested by piet


Collapse -
Or -- use with caution!
by davideash / August 6, 2005 8:36 AM PDT

I agree that the kind of file-sharing (programs, music, etc.) suggested by ''getting from other users'' is indeed illegal in most cases. Additionally, I would advise against downloading anything through a Peer-to-Peer connection. I repair and often have to re-install windows due to virus and spyware received from such downloads. It has been a while since I used my PowerPC, so my experience is dated, but the information is good none-the-less.

You asked about using information from the PC on the Mac. When I was using both (several years ago) I generally used the Mac for the business records and the PC for personal use. I had a full office suite for both computers, and a local net to connect them and move files. When I decided to transfer everything to a newer PC, like you, several problems arose. Here are some solutions I used:

1. Many documents, reports, and even sales data can be save into a ''non-native'' format. This can be as a text file, a CSV (data file), or even even a different type of office file that can be converted again into the new office program. I converted from applewrite to Word Perfect then to MS Word for many documents. I used CSV (a text style) to move sales data. Check out the Save-As features where they are available.

2. Buy a PC Emulator program. I bought a Mac Emulator Program that would run full screen and look like my Apple. I installed a few of my apple programs that had problems converting files and ran them on the PC. I used them to access the data transferred from the old computer while I started using new programs on the new computer. A note here - I put the apple in the closet and kept it as a backup if the PC failed. By only using the one copy of the apple programs, I avoid copyright problems. If you want to use the program on both computers, make sure you are allowed to. Some allow a ''home'' and an ''office'' copy provided there is only one user (i.e. your husband and his business) and both are not in use at the same time. The idea is to bring work home not to save you money. Your old PC becomes a ''backup copy'' of your files ... just in case.

3. Consider a docking station. While I did not buy this for my notebook, I do see the advantages. You can connect a CRT, mouse, keyboard, etc. and have just one connection to make, or disconnect, when you want to be mobile. I just used a CRT and mouse, and I hooked them up directly to the notebook. Easy to surf.

As I have not read all the answers posted, my suggestions may be repeated here by someone else. And, often there is more than one solution. Find what works for you, and good luck.

Collapse -
by GFWC-NC / August 4, 2005 11:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

I work in an office with both a Gateway and a Mac. We we need to share files all the person with the Gateway does is E-mail what I need and I have no problem with it.

Collapse -
what are you trying to say?
by pacifist / August 7, 2005 4:09 PM PDT
In reply to: PC or MAC


Collapse -
Comments from a 18 year PC tech that switched to MAC
by ngcomputing / August 5, 2005 12:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

I regards to the 20'' iMac, by defauilt it is running at a very high resolution screen mode. You can set this mode down to 1024x768, even down to 800x600. From rumors, the iBook, esp the 12.1'' are not very good with font rendering. However, my 17'' Xerox Flat LCD is bright and crisp. I could have opted for a 19'' Brand X, however, I recommend when buying a LCD to spend the extra money on a good NEC, HP or in my case a Xerox and avoid the Wally-World specials.

After 18 years of programming, building and working on PC's, I moved to a MAC G5 duel 1.8GHZ system about 7 months ago. Honestly, I doubt if I will ever move back to a PC, however, I do continue to work on them for clients.

About 90% of major brand software titles you can buy for a PC, you can buy for the MAC. I would check at the Apple store for the software you need for accounting, for instance MYOB First Edge, which should import the data files you referenced.

Yeah, yeah, someone is going to reply factoring in that more games are availble on the PC -- well, if you want to be productive use a PC or MAC, if you want to play games, a Playstation or X-Box is cheaper and you don't have to install special drivers and other garbage -- the games run right out of the box.

Funny thing, PC folks look at the low end Apple products, like the 1.2 GHZ systems and say, ''for that price I can buy a 2.5Ghz PC'' but, if you take into account that the MAC doesn't have to run Anti-Virus and a bunch of other non-sense utilities and applications in the background, the 1.2GHZ tends to perform faster.

Another claim is that a MAC is easier to use than a PC. I would disagree, it comes down to the complexity of whatever application you are running on either platform. In addition, MAC OS/X runs Linux under the hood, which is a huge learning curve for Windows users who frequent the DOS prompt.

If all else fails, consider getting a serious MAC G5 and thrown on Virtual PC. IMHOP my MAC system runs Windows XP better than many of the PC's that run XP.

Collapse -
just to pick a nit...
by Edward ODaniel / August 5, 2005 4:14 AM PDT

but an important one, the Mac OS X does NOT "run Linux under the hood", it is based on BSD which actually is UNIX rather than a UNIX work-a-like.

I just feel that a "tech" should keep up to date and technically accurate.

I do agree that it is nice to work with, but I will stay with Microsoft as long as it does everything I want and need that the competition doesn't.

Collapse -
What is it
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 5, 2005 4:51 AM PDT
In reply to: just to pick a nit...

that you need that Microsoft gives you that the competition doesn't?



Collapse -
Where to start...
by Edward ODaniel / August 9, 2005 10:40 AM PDT
In reply to: What is it

The ability to run specific software that I like as well as specific software that I need (Access, FoxPro, and VB would be a small sample as well as DTP. Scribus for instance can't import or export to other DTP applications and using EPS, SVG or PDF as a work-a-round is a handy way to destroy a project).

I am not a game player but Microsoft is the only OS that will do what many ardent gamers "need" to do also.

Collapse -
PC & Apple
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 5, 2005 1:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

Intuit makes QuickBooks for the Mac and all the data files that you used on your PC can be transferred into the QuickBooks program on the Mac.
Your iBook will accept a full sized keyboard, any USB keyboard will do, and a USB mouse. That will make your typing easier.
The screen resolution can be changed to make the icons and the writing larger or you can connect your trusty CRT to the iBook using the adapter that came with the iBook. On your wireless home network, what computers do you have that are connected to it? I understood you to only have an old Windows 98 machine and the new iBook. Does the Windows 98 machine have wireless capabilities? From what you said about it, regarding your new printer, it does not seem likely. You also mention a Dial-Up connection,is the phone line connected to the iBook or the W98 machine?
is a Mac Forum on CNET that has more Mac speakers than this one. See you there

Collapse -
The Set-Up & The Good News So Far - Thanks All for HELP!
by DoggoneDeb / August 5, 2005 6:57 AM PDT
In reply to: PC & Apple

The printer is physically hooked to an Airport extreme base station and to the Astro so both computers can use it to print. The extreme base station is connected to a telephone outlet. The stereo system to connected to an Airport express base station, which talks to the iBook somehow. We just did what the booklet said and it all worked, to our amazement. The PC and the iBook are not connected.

I don't know what you mean when you say I should have gotten an adapter with the iBook. The only adapter I remember is the one that plugs into the wall to re-energize the battery. What do I call it so I can look it up on the Apple website? I'd love to run the Astro monitor from the iBook.

We had no idea the Quickbooks Mac would convert the files from the PC. We were told that we had to find an interim conversion tool. Oh, Lordie, we were lost in space for weeks trying to find that sky hook.

The iBook has Quicken. Will my Microsoft PC Money files convert to Apple Quicken?

We looked up a USB thingy to transfer files from the PC to the iBook. Who would have guessed! We thought we were stuck: the Astro has those little hard floppies and the iBook has those CD's. Internet travel is arduous at 50,000 bps but that USB plug in should do the trick.

And, very good news. I just plugged in the Astro logitech mouse and Gateway keyboard to the iBook and they work! The mouse response is slooooooooooooow and sort of wavy, like it is drunk. We bought an Apple mouse, which is quick but way too stiff for my arthritic hands. Can I do anything which will make that mouse run tightly?

So far so good.

Collapse -
Answers to Deb's questions..
by mggpatt / August 5, 2005 12:03 PM PDT


Here is the cable to use your CRT monitor:

You should have gotten one with your I-book if you got it new, look again, now that you know what it looks like.

I don't have MS Money, so I don't know if Quicken will open it but try this, see if there is an "export" option in Money. If so try all the formats available, then try opening them in Quicken.

The mouse settings are in system preferences. Again, there is a setting for mouse speed and keyboard preferences.

Any other concerns?

Collapse -
RE: Neither PC nor Apple
by ChiTwn74 / August 5, 2005 3:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

This is becoming more and more relative, as former Windows users, have taken the ride over to the Mac side. The best suggestion that I have for you, is goto your nearest Apple retailer or, and order a copy of Virtual PC 7.0 by Microsoft. With this program on your Mac, you will be able to emulate (run) Windows XP, from within your Mac operating system. From there if your PC files are on a disk, you can easily access your files. Even if you network your old PC to your Mac, with Virtual PC 7.0, will be the necessary bridge to keep you having a great computing experience.

Collapse -
Keep 'em both
by arthurtrager / August 5, 2005 4:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

I had similiar problems. If you have a Mac keep it and keep the PC. Having both enables you to conquer all. The programs you mentioned are available for OS X Mac. and for sure you don't have to worry about all those viruses out there. There is nothing wrong with becoming knowledgeable in both OS's.

Collapse -
Protection avoiding Norton
by cobaltgreen / August 5, 2005 5:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple are right that Norton causes troubles and probs. of slowness and is virtually impossible to remove from your system.

I know of Tech. consultants who say they would never dream of putting Norton On WinXP Home.... after experiences.

The answer is simple around, plenty of security products out there and NOD32 anti-virus is the best for me and a lot of other discriminating users, probably has the fastest scanning engine too and comes tops beating Norton in all tests.

Use that and a good firewall...say, the free zone alarm and you will be well secured.

Oh ...and don't forget the excellent Microsoft Antispyware...(free at the mo.) and Adaware, Spybot and SafeXP...all free too....that'll sort yer more than a bit.

Collapse -
Neither PC nor Apple
by jcrobso / August 5, 2005 6:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

Well you did get a lot of reponces!!!
Keep in mind that you maybe able to get DSL service for very close to the cost of dailup service and IT IS SO MUCH BETTER!!
You can get a router for the DSL that has a firewall in it and this will block most of the hacks.
CRT monitors are still going to be around for a long while you can get a very good 19" for around $200.
Have you consided the MAC mini??? Just choose the keyboard, mouse and monitor that YOU like.

I have 10 PCs running Nortons System works at home, about 60 at the office with out problems. It looks like Nortons internet Security 2005 has problems. John

Collapse -
all should not be lost
by batavier / August 5, 2005 6:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Neither PC nor Apple

As long as the program ('application' in mac-speak) that you used on your PC, is also on your new Mac, you should be able to transfer your files. MS Word for Mac for instance, reads PC files, as long as the Mac application is of a later version date than the one on the PC, which in your case should not be an issue.

I would expect that Quicken, (or QuickBooks) on either platform should be able to read the MS Money files; if not directly, than through import functions.

If all you want to do is file transfer, you may want to put the files on a mutually compatible medium. (I've had the best luck with ZIP drives, using standard PC disks, which the Mac can read without a problem. Not sure about CD-ROM disks)

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Free trip to the Grand Prix

Don't miss your chance to win a trip to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco for you and a plus-one.