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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Time to change


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timetochange

 
Member Since: Mar 17, 2009
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I am a 40 yr old mom of 8 who has decided to go back to college in a few weeks and my husband has offered to get me a new laptop for school. I want a MAC! of course I have never used a Mac, but most of my family has made the switch and loves them. They are warning me that once I switch I will need to purchase my kids and imac or my laptop will go missing on a regular basis!
My question is what macbook so I need, I plan to use it mainly for surfing the web, writing papers, going to school, downloading our photos, and music. My first choice is the less expensive Mac book White, will this work for me? and do I need to add anything to it to make is do what I want it to do? My papers need to be written in Word so I am assuming I need that program?
Oh and before you get too technical my computer skills are limited and I have only ever used a PC . Any info or input would be great!
thanks
kim
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tjmoor

 
Member Since: Mar 14, 2009
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The white MacBook that's still being sold new for $1k would be perfect! Sounds like you just need the MacBook, a copy of Microsoft Office 2008, AppleCare, and a case, and you'll be set! Many may tell a new Apple customer to try using iWork, but Office really does have some nice other features, it's easy to get used to if you're coming from using a PC and it has some nice other features. Compatibility is the main thing though that makes using Office 2008 for the Mac better than iWork. Office comes with 3 licenses where iWork comes with 1 (unless you get the 5-installations pack for an extra $20-$100, Office is $150). Check to see if there's an Apple retail store near you. You can try out everything there, get help, and they sell everything right there, too. All these things added up SHOULD cost you about $1450, but it's worth it. This computer will last you a long time IF you take care of it. Hope that helps in what will hopefully become your transition to using/owning a Mac!

2.4 Ghz Aluminum MacBook (250GB HDD, 3 GB RAM, 32GB Vista partition for BootCamp/Fusion)

16GB iPod Touch (2nd Gen)
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cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
Location: Middletown, Pennsylvania
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I would recommend finding an Apple Store near you and setting up a "personal shopper" appointment. They will spend time with you going through the different Mac models and answering any questions you might have. It's free and there's no obligation - it's well worth the time in my opinion - especially if you've never used one before.

As to your question about Word - there are a number of programs that you can use to both read and create Microsoft Office documents. The one that I use is called OpenOffice.org and can be downloaded free of charge. It behaves much like Word and is compatible with MS Office. Additionally, you can try Apple's own iWork suite which is also compatible. And worst case scenario, you can always purchase Microsoft Office for Mac (there should be a free trial on your new Mac) - although I would save your money and give OpenOffice a try first.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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timetochange

 
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thanks so much I plan to hit the Apple store on Friday night, I will call ahead and see if they have any personal shopper appts open for that evening.
I would love to download the free OpenOffice and save some money so think I will try that before I buy teh MS word program for my Mac. I will let you know how it goes, I am really excited and can't wait to get my new Mac and start using it!
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bobtomay

 
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Member Since: Dec 22, 2006
Location: Texas, where else?
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Just don't let the kids use "your" computer. Tell them that's your school machine, it's not for play. What they don't know... Once you let 'em on it, there'll be no end to the "mommy, I want one".

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timetochange View Post
thanks so much I plan to hit the Apple store on Friday night, I will call ahead and see if they have any personal shopper appts open for that evening.
I would love to download the free OpenOffice and save some money so think I will try that before I buy teh MS word program for my Mac. I will let you know how it goes, I am really excited and can't wait to get my new Mac and start using it!
I would recommend looking up your local store on Apple's website and booking your appointment online. As far as I know, they don't take phone reservations - and if your local store is as busy as mine, they may be booked well in advance.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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timetochange

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Just don't let the kids use "your" computer. Tell them that's your school machine, it's not for play. What they don't know... Once you let 'em on it, there'll be no end to the "mommy, I want one".
this is what I have heard LOL! oh well our computers have seen better days and I told my husband this morning that this might happen so at least he has been warned LOL< I am getting the idea that this is a long slippery slope! The kids have each picked out a new Ipod and I am looking at Iphones!! somebody stop ME!!!
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cwa107

 
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Member Since: Dec 20, 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timetochange View Post
this is what I have heard LOL! oh well our computers have seen better days and I told my husband this morning that this might happen so at least he has been warned LOL< I am getting the idea that this is a long slippery slope! The kids have each picked out a new Ipod and I am looking at Iphones!! somebody stop ME!!!
I would take it a piece at a time. As great as most of Apple's stuff is, don't be fooled into thinking it is infallible or won't take time and effort to get completely comfortable with. You don't want to get yourself overwhelmed with so much change at once.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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bobtomay

 
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Member Since: Dec 22, 2006
Location: Texas, where else?
Posts: 25,054
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP 2.33 C2D 256 4GB, MBA 13" i7 1.8, MB 2.0 2GB, Nano 4th, 3GS, iPad 1

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
I would take it a piece at a time. As great as most of Apple's stuff is, don't be fooled into thinking it is infallible or won't take time and effort to get completely comfortable with. You don't want to get yourself overwhelmed with so much change at once.
cwa's got that one right. Keep in mind, it is a new operating system. It's not Windows, so there will be a learning curve. Not a big one, but there is one. You've already made the right step by signing up on an active forum with plenty of folks to help out with your questions.

Make sure to check out the Switcher Hangout and look at the top of the list for the sticky of eric's switcher's faq. It's filled with little nuggets. Take it slow, don't have to learn it all at once to enjoy that new machine. (My wife hasn't learned any of it and still enjoys her MB. She's 60 and doesn't want to know anything except how to do what she wants. Plus, she has me for all that technical gobbledygook.)

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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timetochange

 
Member Since: Mar 17, 2009
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I signed up for a "get started" class at my local Apple store this weekend has anyone taken this class and is it worth the time??
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bobtomay

 
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Member Since: Dec 22, 2006
Location: Texas, where else?
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP 2.33 C2D 256 4GB, MBA 13" i7 1.8, MB 2.0 2GB, Nano 4th, 3GS, iPad 1

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Didn't sign up or take any of those myself. But then I like reading, doing, making my own mistakes, and fixing them.

For the average (non-techie) user, I think that would be a big head start. Save yourself a lot of reading, be loads of fun, and leave those 8 kids with the hubby for a couple of hours. It'll also give you a preview of whether to take advantage of their other free classes. I did take advantage of the one-on-one hour they'll give you before you purchase and was lucky to get a grizzled old veteran of multiple operating systems.

Not sure how much it is now, but at the time I bought my first Mac, for $99, you could also sign up for once a week one-on-one instruction for a year. Really think that's a great value for those that enjoy and learn better by being shown how or walked through while you do it rather than figuring things out for yourself.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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timetochange

 
Member Since: Mar 17, 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Didn't sign up or take any of those myself. But then I like reading, doing, making my own mistakes, and fixing them.

For the average (non-techie) user, I think that would be a big head start. Save yourself a lot of reading, be loads of fun, and leave those 8 kids with the hubby for a couple of hours. It'll also give you a preview of whether to take advantage of their other free classes. I did take advantage of the one-on-one hour they'll give you before you purchase and was lucky to get a grizzled old veteran of multiple operating systems.

Not sure how much it is now, but at the time I bought my first Mac, for $99, you could also sign up for once a week one-on-one instruction for a year. Really think that's a great value for those that enjoy and learn better by being shown how or walked through while you do it rather than figuring things out for yourself.
Thanks I love to read but can't stand anything technical LOL so this must be the class for ME!! I do like trial and error as well, but I start school on the 30th plus I am afull time private duty nurse for 1 patient so it might be a good idea to know how to use my computer the day school starts instead of banging my head against the wall for days trying to figure it all out! I did not realize that you get an hour of one on one time when you buy your Mac at the Apple store , I think I will cancell my Personal shopper appt and just take the class then when I buy my mac I will use the hour to ask any questions I have.
thanks for all the help!
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bobtomay

 
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Member Since: Dec 22, 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timetochange View Post
Thanks I love to read but can't stand anything technical LOL so this must be the class for ME!! I do like trial and error as well, but I start school on the 30th plus I am afull time private duty nurse for 1 patient so it might be a good idea to know how to use my computer the day school starts instead of banging my head against the wall for days trying to figure it all out! I did not realize that you get an hour of one on one time when you buy your Mac at the Apple store , I think I will cancell my Personal shopper appt and just take the class then when I buy my mac I will use the hour to ask any questions I have.
thanks for all the help!
That personal shopper hour is what I did. Just happened to luck out and get it as a walk-in. I'd keep the appointment or just do the class, or both.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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