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ngatel 04-14-2014 04:43 PM

New Member – lots of questions – sorry long post
 
I am going to move to a Mac platform and have a lot of questions and research to do.

I plan to work for another 2 years and then retire, so my computing needs are going to be minimal when that happens. I use a Windows machine and build a lot of MS Office Applications (think heavy VBA programming) for my company. Also use Lightroom 4 and Adobe CS 2 for instructional design of products we sell. Along with graphic design there is a lot of post processing of RAW files of 20MB each into JPG. So moving away from most these Windows-based applications is not an option until I retire. I also have been using Quicken for Windows since ’92 and probably need to stay with that (haven’t check on a Mac version yet). There are also some other Windows based programs I probably need to stick with unless there is a better Apple option.

I travel about 2 weeks per month and need excellent mobile tools. Right now I use an iPhone 5S and an iPad 3 for much of my work (this takes a lot of tweaking for business). I use a Dell Latitude for travel and as an office workstation. Here is what I have:
- Dell Latitude
- Dell Docking Station (not port replicator)
- Wireless laser printer
- Wireless ink jet printer (Air Play compatible)
- Two 20” monitors with extended desktop
- Two 4TB external hard drives for back ups (NTFS file format)
- One of the 4TB hard drives backs up to Carbonite
- One 1TB external hard drive for windows system back up only (use Carbonite)
- Wireless keyboard, mouse and keypad

This is what I am thinking of moving too:
- MacBook Pro 13” with Retina display
- i7 processor
- 16 GB SDRAM
- 1 TB flash storage
- USB Super Drive
- Thunderbolt display (1 or 2?)

Some questions…

I think I want to stick with mostly Apple hardware to make things easier and more productive.

OPERATING SYSTEM AND SOFTWARE

Since I am going to be working mostly with Windows apps for the next two years, it looks like I would be best served using Boot Camp. I plan to run Windows 7 Professional. Probably going to use MS Office 2010 for Windows.

MONITORS

Currently I do a lot of work with dual monitors. When I build Excel applications I run the VBA code on one monitor and Excel on the other. Also I do a lot of Power Points with training guides, so I need to see both on separate screens. Does the Thunderbolt display have enough real estate for running separate windows, or would I be better served with two displays. Also the Thunderbolt appeals to me for attaching peripherals and getting rid of my bulky speaker system.

EXTERNAL DRIVES

It looks like it will be easiest to get a couple Mac compatible hard drives. Will it be (easily) possible to use the NTSF file drives at all? At least to copy files onto the MacBook?

There is probably a lot I don’t know or haven’t thought about. This is not a cheap upgrade for me, and I hope to use the system for a lot of years.
Any feedback, thoughts, advice will be greatly appreciated.

Well, off to do more research.

Thanks, in advance!

RavingMac 04-15-2014 12:05 AM

Welcome. I'll try to answer a few of your questions in no particular order, and leave the rest to others.

No need to purchase "Mac Compatible" drives. HDs are HDs, just how you format them.

Paragon Software sells driver pack to allow Mac to Read/Write NTFS; there are other packages available (some free) but Paragon is the one that comes readily to mind.

If you already have good monitors I'd stick with them. I'm using a Caldigit Thunderbolt Docking Station for peripheral expansion, seems to work well.

VMWare or Paralllels may be a better option than BootCamp, but I don't run Windows on my Macs, so I could be wrong.

Mint is one potential substitute for Quicken, though I gave up using CheckBook software several years ago, and use Excel and my Online Bank software instead.

BTW Macs will natively Read NTFS, just won't Write without 3rd party software/drivers.

TattooedMac 04-15-2014 01:46 AM

Sorry and don't take this wrong, but all I see in the OP is everything to do with Windows, so I'm wondering what the OP, wants to move to a Mac and Run Windows via Bootcamp where you can get everything done on another Portable Windows machine ?!?!?!?
Am I missing something ??

To use everything you have there needs a Windows Operating System, and to change over to Mac, will cost you a lot of $, for the sake of 2 yrs work.
My advice would be stay with a Windows Machine for the next 2 yrs, then move over to Mac then, wham you won't need to power of 16GB RAM i7 and 1TB Flash.
To go now to Mac and OS X Mavericks, you will need PS CC & LR5 and the only way to get that is by Subscription, now.
Food for thought ??
But as Razor mentioned Paragon NTFS is the ONLY one IMHO for NTFS Read and Write

ngatel 04-15-2014 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RavingMac (Post 1578084)
Welcome. I'll try to answer a few of your questions in no particular order, and leave the rest to others.

No need to purchase "Mac Compatible" drives. HDs are HDs, just how you format them.

Paragon Software sells driver pack to allow Mac to Read/Write NTFS; there are other packages available (some free) but Paragon is the one that comes readily to mind.

If you already have good monitors I'd stick with them. I'm using a Caldigit Thunderbolt Docking Station for peripheral expansion, seems to work well.

VMWare or Paralllels may be a better option than BootCamp, but I don't run Windows on my Macs, so I could be wrong.

Mint is one potential substitute for Quicken, though I gave up using CheckBook software several years ago, and use Excel and my Online Bank software instead.

BTW Macs will natively Read NTFS, just won't Write without 3rd party software/drivers.

Thanks RavingMac. I just read about Parallels and it seems to be a much simpler installation option.

I would want to keep my present Hard Drives with the files on them. Just need to move files to a new Mac. Makes more sense to me to get new externals for a Mac.

I need to keep Quicken as my investments and several bank accounts are tracked in them. I do 100% electronic for financial transactions.

ngatel 04-15-2014 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TattooedMac (Post 1578091)
Sorry and don't take this wrong, but all I see in the OP is everything to do with Windows, so I'm wondering what the OP, wants to move to a Mac and Run Windows via Bootcamp where you can get everything done on another Portable Windows machine ?!?!?!?
Am I missing something ??

Excellent point.Thanks!

My current machine is 3 years old and is beginning to develop quirks and the such, which is typical for Window machines. I have never had a Window machine last longer than 3 years without developing major problems.

So I need to buy something soon. My thought was to migrate to Apple, as they seem to be more reliable and much less finicky. So the question for me is do I buy a Windows ultrabook now, which will be pretty easy to set up and add my current peripherals.

Surprisingly, I have found that top of the line ultrabooks are about the same price as a comparable Macbook Pro.

Eventually I will reduce my computing needs to just personal stuff. Also syncing iWork files with the iCloud would be much easier than my current solution for personal computing.

I haven't made a decision yet, but will need to get a computer withing the next month or so.

RavingMac 04-15-2014 01:57 PM

My 2007 MBP (since replaced by a 2012 version, but I still have the 2007 Model) still runs just fine. I'm running OS X 10.9 on it and it handles Lightroom and Photoshop without issue.


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