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Discussion Starter #1
Just need a couple of reassuring bits of advice before I make the switch. I've had my fill of PC's, endless blue screens etc. So I need something stable, are Macs as stable as they say they are?

Secondly the main issue is swapping files between PC's and Mac's. I need to be able to work on MS Word, MS Excel, PDF files etc in the office would I be able to work on these files at home with a Mac?

Thirdly there is so much choice on the Apple website it's pretty difficult knowing which piece of kit to buy. At the moment I'm thinking of getting the G5. But any input would be appreciated.

Thanks
Andy
 

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I have run Apple systems ever since the Apple II, and my first Mac was a Mac Plus. The only time I have had issues with stability was when I was a kid and deleted some of the system files, well that was a learning experience.

Stability is never a problem. I have never had a crash. I find that performance stays optimal if I do a re-install of my OS every two years or so. This is not necessary, but I am trafficking in so many files, it is a worthwhile thing to do. None of my files are lost, as just the system files are re-installed and updated. My prefs may go away, but only for system apps.

I run Microsoft Office on my Mac which runs the newest OS X. I can run files generated and intended for Windows Office, there are zero compatability issues. This includes Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc etc. Adobe PDFs...come on Adobe was originally a Mac software company...Adobe is optimized for Macs! All your files should run on a Mac. I cannot run .exe files simply because I do not have the program to run them installed and I do not choose to. However, there is little point in running .exe on a mac anyways (unless you have Windows ported on your Mac).

As far as which Mac you would benefit the most from depends on what sort of computing you are going to be doing. If you could detail what exactly you want to do or if you dont really have any particular thing in mind, just say that and then the proper steps can be made from there.
 

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Good decision! Mac’s stability is really good, comparable stable unix/linux versions but then the Apple’s user interface is light years ahead of them. Just take your time to get familiar with “think different” concept and probably you will find it much more convenient than the windows one.
As deWitt mentioned, running MS Office and Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, etc is not the problem, but purchasing mac versions would be wise move. Also majority of PC software will run on mac via PC emulator (VirtualPC) but this eats system resources and is pretty much pointless in most cases as there a lot of wonderful applications for mac.
Any G5 model should be ok, but just make sure you have 1GB RAM (order with minimum configuration and add additional RAM later) because sooner or later you will try iPhoto and iMovie and probably get hooked. Also new operating system called Tiger will be launched soon with magnificent search capabilities, what appreciates additional GHz/RAM.
If you are power-user and will like to upgrade hardware form time to time – go for PowerMac. If not, then iMac is probably all you need. Also you may want to consider noise factor when purchasing computer, so iMac is definitely much quieter.
:byebye:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the information guys. :cheers:

I would say that the main uses of my home computer are work (mainly number crunching, word processing), browsing the net and e-mail. All of the people I've spoken to no one has had a bad word to say about Macs. So it's now just a case of choosing the right piece of equipment.
 

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Hi Andy, here are my quick thoughts. If you want even more detail just shoot me an email:
[email protected]
#1: Stability: Macs are very stable. But just like PCs, the further off the beaten path you go, the more instability you invite. I kid you not when I say adding things like 3rd party hard drives and memory can cause mac instability. However, I have done both with no problems until recently- a company sold me the wrong memory! They are fixing the problem.

2. PC compatability: In a word: Yes! With office for the mac (if they have the student ed in the UK, get it as the pricing is much lower and (well here in the US) its the same product as the full version!). In terms of getting files to the mac if you have win 2000 or XP you can easily network the computers :) You can always email files back and forth too. The mac has a great email client standard with the OS- just be sure to check "windows compatible attachments" when you do attachments and youre good to go. Attachments from a PC come in with no problem. MS Entourage is kind of like an outlook program that is part of office, but I use Apple's own Mail, Address Book & iCal. I use iSync to sync my home and office macs (it syncs the web browser Safari's bookmarks + the addresses and calendar info) .

Which mac to buy: Heres my quick take: For any I say get at least 1gb of RAM.

iMacG5: great home computer. I like the 20" one because, well, bigger is better! If you are only going to do web browsing, word, the usual stuff, this is a great choice. Its also super cool looking. You'll find that whereas with new versions of windows your PC gets slower, with new versions of the Mac OS, the computer seems to get faster! I find that software on the mac stays "relevant" a lot longer than on the PC (eg- you wont feel like you need to buy the latest version of this or that, and when you do it won't feel like you need new hardware, so long as you have a somewhat up to date mac).

G5 towers: Awesome- really for people running a lot of photoshop or other pro stuff. Or if you are like me and want to have expandability and play with the computer because you just like that, then this is a great machine. Its so well laid out and has fantastic ventilation. Be sure to put it somewhere it can breathe. One suggestion is the deskmount by Marathon:
http://www.marathoncomputer.com/deskmountg5.html

I'm very happy with mine.

eMac: skip this

Powerbooks vs ibooks. Honestly, right now I would go with the ibook and save the money. They have updated the ibooks enough to be so close to the powerbook performance so I think the price differential is not justified. However, the powerbooks do feel better made if that matters.

MacMini: Fun! But IMHO- this is really for someone who is entirely budget conscious and I take it that since you mention the G5 in your post you are not looking for bargain basement.

My guestimate based on your post: iMacG5. We have 2 in our office and we are all so impressed by it. IMHO this might be the best truly "personal" computer ever.

I think you will find the mac is a bit of an adjustment, but not nearly as much as you might worry about. One last thing, the apple mouse, IMHO, is not very good. Its a single button affair. I like the MS Wireless Intellimouse Explorer. It has lots of buttons and although its not bluetooth, works very well (I was told to avoid their BT wireless mouse but I dont remember why!). Hope this was helpful. Just my thoughts... :)
 

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Go for the Mac. My wife has a PowerMac G5 and loves it. As long as you have MS Office for the Mac you will be all set for the file types you mentioned.

With that said, the biggest stumbling block my wife has run into is that some third party applications are not offered for the Mac OS X. Which brings me to a question - has anyone tried Virtual PC? It simulates a Windows environment on a Mac machine and supposedly allows one to run Windows apps on a Mac.

Jerry, I also have a question about networking a Mac and a PC. At home I have an ad hoc network setup using a wireless 802.11g router hooked up to a cable modem. My wife and I, her on her Mac and me on my PC, both get our internet connection wirelessly from this router. What do I need to do so that my wife and I can share files? I tried enabling file sharing on both the Mac and the PC but they don't seem to 'see' each other.
 

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CEC said:
Which brings me to a question - has anyone tried Virtual PC? It simulates a Windows environment on a Mac machine and supposedly allows one to run Windows apps on a Mac.
Basically VirtualPC emulates x86 processor and you can run on it pretty much any kind of Win OS with compatible software. On high-end G4 and G5 systems it runs quite well, but if the application is graphic intensive then better forget it, as the performance will be painfully slow grrrrrrr
 
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