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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 31, 2010
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    Question Want to switch to Mac at work, but have Windows server
    Hi everyone. I switched to a Macbook Pro a little over a year ago after some convincing and i absolutely love it. I couldnt be happier, but at my office i am still stuck with my old PC desktop and i just cant stand using it anymore. I am thinking about trying to get a Mac desktop in my office. The problem is we are all connected to the server and it runs windows. Now i am not sure what version of windows server it is running so i dont know if that makes a difference.

    Our company mail does not go through an exchange server, instead its a POP3, so i dont figure that to be a problem. But the real question is how do i get all my old mail that is saved up on my current computer (in a pst file) over to the Mac so i dont lose all my old e-mails i need?

    Also, another major hurdle is we use a few accounting programs and i also use a CAD drawing program (AutoCAD LT) which are windows only programs. I have heard you can use things to run windows at the same time, or just run a program so you can open these windows programs without a problem. I really dont know anything about this so if anyone could shed some light id appreciate it. Also, if i got a regular iMac would it have enough power to run all these programs smoothly at the same time?

    Can it hook up to network shared printers even though they are run through the Windows server?

    Im sure theres tons of other things im not thinking of, but it seems i have a lot of hurdles to jump to make this work.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    1. Yes, there are several methods these days to get PST files imported properly into Mac Mail or whatever. No issues there.

    2. Boot Camp or a virtualising program such as VMWare Fusion will allow you to run Windows programs as you like. Again, no issue.

    3. Macs can connect to Windows servers just fine.

    Don't know why you think there are "hurdles" ... I would say you're looking about about 10 extra minutes of setup work to make this happen.

  3. #3

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    10 minutes maybe for someone that's done it a few times and knows what in the world they're doing.

    Someone that's never done any of this before, let's be realistic here, an hour or several.

    I would recommend a whole day set aside for installing all the software you require and getting everything up, running and tested to make sure it all works, prior to putting it on your desk while you need to be in production mode.
    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.

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Question
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    1. Yes, there are several methods these days to get PST files imported properly into Mac Mail or whatever. No issues there.

    2. Boot Camp or a virtualising program such as VMWare Fusion will allow you to run Windows programs as you like. Again, no issue.

    3. Macs can connect to Windows servers just fine.

    Don't know why you think there are "hurdles" ... I would say you're looking about about 10 extra minutes of setup work to make this happen.
    That is reassuring. Thanks for letting me know. I think i have more of a mental hurdle than anything in understanding that i can actually run windows only programs on a Mac. Does running VMware or parallels or boot camp really slow down the computer because its running 2 OS's? I usually have a lot of programs open at once when im at work and right now on my PC i get so frustrated when its slow. If i got the entry level 21" iMac i want to make sure im not going to bog myself down. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks again.

  5. #5

    JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Well, I love my Mac, but I don't think I'd try it. Even if you get everything working, if you need tech support some time, they're going to forever be blaming it on the Mac or telling you to switch back to the PC. Not only that, they probably won't be able to help you.
    If it's worth doing, it's worth OVERdoing.

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
    Well, I love my Mac, but I don't think I'd try it. Even if you get everything working, if you need tech support some time, they're going to forever be blaming it on the Mac or telling you to switch back to the PC. Not only that, they probably won't be able to help you.
    Yeah that is something im afraid of. I work in a small company and honestly right now i really dont ever need tech support for anything, but who knows.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Ok heres a question. Will the server any any problems with nightly backups because of the Mac i would get, or the files? Im guessing not but i dont know for sure. We really dont save anything directly to our computers, everything is saved and accessed on the server.

  8. #8


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keebler View Post
    Does running VMware or parallels or boot camp really slow down the computer because its running 2 OS's?
    Well, let's be clear about this: virtualisation (VMWare, Parallels) is not the same thing at all as Boot Camp's ability to run Windows natively.

    So if you're in Boot Camp, you are not using a Mac at all; you are using an Intel-powered Windows computer made by Apple. No compromise.

    When running Windows in a virtualised environment, obviously some small portion of the system's resources are going to keep the "less active" OS open, so there's some small compromise. It's barely worth discussing unless flat out 100% full power is required all the time.

    I usually have a lot of programs open at once when im at work and right now on my PC i get so frustrated when its slow.
    You are likely to run into the same problem on a Mac, for the same reason: keeping a lot of programs open all the time eats *RAM* and resources. You'll get better results on both PCs and Macs if you either vastly increase the RAM, or get in the habit of closing programs you're not actually using. Most Mac programs launch in about 1 second, I find that because of this I don't feel the need to keep anything beyond 2-3 programs at a time open.

    If I had a Mac capable of more than 4GB of RAM, maybe I'd get lazy and keep up to a half-dozen programs open all the time, but I'm kind of in the habit now.

    PS. Spaces helps too.

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Well, let's be clear about this: virtualisation (VMWare, Parallels) is not the same thing at all as Boot Camp's ability to run Windows natively.

    So if you're in Boot Camp, you are not using a Mac at all; you are using an Intel-powered Windows computer made by Apple. No compromise.

    When running Windows in a virtualised environment, obviously some small portion of the system's resources are going to keep the "less active" OS open, so there's some small compromise. It's barely worth discussing unless flat out 100% full power is required all the time.



    You are likely to run into the same problem on a Mac, for the same reason: keeping a lot of programs open all the time eats *RAM* and resources. You'll get better results on both PCs and Macs if you either vastly increase the RAM, or get in the habit of closing programs you're not actually using. Most Mac programs launch in about 1 second, I find that because of this I don't feel the need to keep anything beyond 2-3 programs at a time open.

    If I had a Mac capable of more than 4GB of RAM, maybe I'd get lazy and keep up to a half-dozen programs open all the time, but I'm kind of in the habit now.

    PS. Spaces helps too.
    What does Spaces really do other than make different viewing panes? Maybe im oblivious to what it actually does.

  10. #10

    cptkrf's Avatar
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    Spaces (or Workspaces or Desktops in Unix/Linux) is one of the best features of a *nix based OS GUI. In fact, I would never go back to Windows for that reason alone. Heavy use of a single Windows desktop is like trying to do your income tax on an airplane tray table. You spend most of your time just shuffling views around.

    But... Spaces is just a visual aid to allow you to spread the papers out, so to speak. It does not mean that software will run any faster or slower if you use the feature. That is, all programs run the same whether you are using Spaces, or just have them all stacked in one window.

  11. #11


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    I have a really short attention span, so I didn't fully read everyone's replies.

    That said, I'm a Windows Server Administrator, and I use my Macbook Pro as my primary desktop computer at work.

    I have a number of applications I run on my Mac that I use everday.
    I run VMWare Fusion for Windows-specific applications.
    Mail works just fine with my Exchange server.
    I use Symantec BackupExec, which has no problems backing up Windows and Mac file systems, given you have the appropriate clients and licenses installed.
    The Mac has no problems connecting to Windows file shares and domain printers.
    There is even ways to get a Mac to authenticate against A.D.

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