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after 20 years getting ready to switch to a MAC

I am finally getting ready to make that switch to a Mac and need a few last questions answered if anyone knows the answers out there, thanks in advance for everyone's help.
- Will all my USB printers/scanner/external HD/PDA make the switch fairly easy? Will it be difficult to find drivers and softwares to run them on the MAC?
- Will all my current graphics/pictures/data files convert fairly easy from my external HD? examples of files are avi, mpeg, jpeg, doc, xls, etc.
- Use my PC for picture and video management, light office work, internet browsing and email. Looking at getting a 2.16intel core 2 duo 24 inch MAC. Anyone have any comments on upgrading to a 2.33? 3 GB memory versus 1 or 2? 250 versus 500 GB HD? graphics card with 128MB versus 256 MB? Also does anyone recommend buying MAC from any particular store for a better package? I am in the military and qualify for a government discount from Apple but they do not mail to APO for some reason.
- Any other issues I should consider before making the plunge? Thanks again for all your help out there any Happy New Year from overseas!

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Making the switch

In reply to: after 20 years getting ready to switch to a MAC

I just made the switch after running Windows since the 3.0 version.

I just bought the machine you are considering...2.16 intel core 2 duo 24 inch MAC with 1 GB Ram and the 128 NVIDIA graphic card. I love it!!!

The first thing I did was to partition the HD using a program called bootcamp (free download from the Apple web site) and installed XP on one partition. You will need the full install disk with SP2. These are available now at very steep discounts. I can now boot to either system, however, after a month I am using the OS 10X almost exclusively.

If you bootcamp your HD you will be able access your Windows C drive and open any file that is Mac compatible (jpeg, txt, mpeg, etc.,) while in OS 10.X. This saves a lot of time backing up and copying files.

I see no need to upgrade the video card and HD unless you are a hard core gamer, or really need a 500 GB drive.

The only problem I have had is finding a print driver for my Lexmark 1200 series printer/scanner. Until I work this out I just boot to XP and print from there.

As far as I can tell the price is the same at all retailers. As for software that does not come installed drop me a line. You will also find a lot of freeware and shareware at the Apple site, like Open Office, which is the equivalent of Windows "Word".

The only thing I don't like is the way windows are resized in OS 10X, but I am getting used to this.

Think no one.

Message was edited by: admin to remove email address

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Email addresses

In reply to: Making the switch

it is never a good idea to include your email address in an open forum such as this.

For that reason, CNET provides a secure method of allowing the use of your email address.

Just edit your profile to include your email address and switch on the "all posters to conact me" (words to that effect).

Your email address is then safe from the mailbots trolling forums.


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Parallels does wonders

In reply to: Making the switch

If you really want to be able to run Windows programs on your new Mac you can install Bootcamp to partition your drive and install windows. However any time you want to run Windows you must reboot, which is annoying if it's something quick and small you need to do in Windows. The upcoming release of Parallels will let you run Windows from your Bootcamp installation (previously you had to do an independent installation).

As far as drivers go, check with the websites for each company. Most drivers are already installed on the computer, so things are truely plug-and-play. If you have an old printer and aren't sure about drivers, I would recommend just buying a simple new one since a new printer costs as much as 2 sets of print cartridges.

For your XP install if you look around you should be able to find versions that come with a free upgrade to Vista. If you plan to do upgrade to Vista I would recommend going for the bigger video card and 2GB of ram over the larger hard drive. If you plan to do video/lots of photo editing I would recommend the above upgrades plus a larger internal hard drive.

The documents on your computer should all be recognized on your new mac, but if you have an external hard drive with data that you want to copy over check if it is NTFS formated. The Mac can read NTFS formated drives, but cannot write to them; therefore you should reformat any external backup drives after copying the data to your new mac.

Enjoy your new computer.

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PC VM, Full Size Windows

In reply to: Making the switch

There is a way to make virtual pc open it's window into a full screen in macos X. I don't recall offhand, but I've gotta take my powermac G5 into the shop tomorrow and will ask.


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The answer is Yes

In reply to: PC VM, Full Size Windows

If you look at the manual you will see the relevant key combination to achieve that


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Prices at various retaulers

In reply to: Making the switch

freighterman_1999 says, "As far as I can tell the price is the same at all retailers." I may be way off-base, but in my explorations of recent days to find out more about getting a new Mac, OS X and so on, I have found variations in the price of both hardware and software--some of them pretty considerable. Some online places such as PC Warehouse and others seem to have better prices; some of the better-known places, both online and in stores, seem to do worse. I was at the B&H store in Manhattan (New York City, for those of you not from there), yesterday, though, and their prices seemed good. I think that J&R has reasonable prices, too, and those are only a couple that I've looked into. Many stores are online, too, making things easier for those who don't live wherever the store is located.

I know that the computer in question has already been bought, but you might want to buy something else, one of these days. All I'm saying is that it pays to do a little research. Actually, mine started with some material that appeared at the bottom of a CNET review, so you can try searching for the review of whatever you are looking for and see what you can find out about a selection of stores and online places that carry it.

I hope this is helpful. I am aware that in some cases (such as being in Greece) the options may be less than overwhelming, but it's a way of informing yourself, and it might even save you some money.



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Hi GI from old time GI

In reply to: after 20 years getting ready to switch to a MAC

A long time Macie, I must admit Hewlett Packard drivers for Mac have been hit or miss. During Mac OS 10.1 & 10.2 - I couldn't use the HP printer at all. Since then HP has improved but still has a couple of annoying glitches. By the way, HP has always said they maintained Mac drivers, but that didn't always work. At least I always stayed registered for HP upgrades so I found out quickly when I was able to get back into the HP as my primary printer.

But partitioning to be dual platform will both help you over some conversion annoyances & also delay your immersion into the world of more elegant Mac software. Welcome to Mac. They are the company moving more towards convergence. And with more open code more people can escape the MS monopoly.

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Decide to upgrade memory at purchase time!

In reply to: after 20 years getting ready to switch to a MAC

The standard memory 1Gb is in fact 2 x 512Mb : there has to be 2 sticks - one for each of the two memory slots that have to be filled. If you decide to upgrade later you lose at least one 512mb stick (or more). I have the 24 iMac and I don't regret having gone to 3Mb and the top end video card right away. I've seen a definite difference in photo editing with Aperture, DxO Optics Pro and Adobe Photoshop software.
So, if you think you might upgrade something in the future, make it now : you'll "save".

Love my Mac while my PC watches....

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Up Grade

In reply to: Decide to upgrade memory at purchase time!

I agree 100% with your comments. However, for email, surfing and occasional printing the basic set up is more than adequate.

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Mac confusion

In reply to: after 20 years getting ready to switch to a MAC

I am completely confused. Why buy a Mac for run XP, not cost effective. If you want to run Mac operating systems and software then you buy a Mac, if you want to run Windows then buy a PC. Question, althugh bootcamp lets up run XP on a Mac will it allow you to Vista on a Mac?

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About running Vista on a Mac!!!!!!

In reply to: Mac confusion

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Bought an upgraded model

In reply to: after 20 years getting ready to switch to a MAC

Thank you everyone who responded with great advice! Hard to get such extensive info overseas. Since Apple would not ship overseas I bought an upgraded model from a PC/camera store. I got the 24 inch 2.16 intel core duo, with 2GB of Ram and 500 GB HD. So, how about a few more questions for the field if I haven't worn out my welcome yet:

- If I get a printer that is blue tooth ready, will that mean I will be able to print wirelessly, they will be located very near each other. Anyone recommend a particular all-in-one photo printer/scanner? Looking at getting one of the higher end Canon models.

- I want to get a wireless keyboard/mouse. Do I need to get the Apple which is much higher in price?..Anyone recommend a good internet shop for this?

- Will the memory card readers that I currently have for my MS PC work on the Apple, or do I need to get a particular one for the Apple.

- Anyone use iWorks? Considering getting this over the higher priced Office, will not be doing anything more then basic word processing, simple spreadsheets, and holiday flyers.

- Thanks again for all your help and Happy New year.

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Some, but not all, answers

In reply to: Bought an upgraded model

Wireless Keyboard and Mouse. Almost all the current collection of wireless keyboards and mice will work with the Mac. However, check the box/literature before buying or buy from somewhere you can return it to if it does not work. I use an Apple wireless(Bluetooth) keyboard with a Belkin Bluetooth USB adapter with no problems. I have seen an MS wireless keyboard work just as well.

Your existing memory card reader will function as designed in your Mac.

iWorks is fine but it does not have a spreadsheet capability. You might take a look at Open Office or NeoOffice, both free, which are compatible with MS Word & Excel.

Theoretically, a bluetooth printer will work but, once again, check with the manufacturer before you purchase it.

BTW, where are you located?


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In reply to: Some, but not all, answers

I am based out of Piraeus Greece, but work throughout the Balkans, parts of Middle East and Africa.

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I can see how

In reply to: location

that would cramp a visit to the Apple Store.

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(NT) You'll regret that.

In reply to: after 20 years getting ready to switch to a MAC

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