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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?" :)

Making the Right Choice?


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Ashers

 
Member Since: May 09, 2011
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Hello all,
I'm hoping this is the in the correct place.

Ok, so I'm considering making the jump to the ways of a Mac.
Basically I'm just looking for some advice and confirmation that I'm doing the right thing.

Here's a bit of background about what I'd be doing and some questions to.

Firstly, I'm looking at getting a 27" iMac.
I plan to use it for the following,

1. I'm currently in the process of starting up a photography business which started out as a hobby, and I'm after a machine that is capable of image editing as well as storage and organization for all my images. Also some form of backing up would be required as I wouldn't want to be losing images from a wedding for example.

2. I'm currently considering branching out into video production as well and would want a machine capable of editing and again, storage.

3. I'm currently at college studying NVQ Level 3 Mechanical & Electrical Engineering and plan to do an Electrical HNC from September onwards so would be after something to do all my assignments on and be organized with my work.

4. For internet use, I mainly only need something for Facebook, various forums, Flickr, updating my blog daily and emails. Also, I'd like MSN Messenger if possible as I have close friends in Ireland that I want to stay in touch with.

5. I'm currently using 2 laptops. One is an old 17" Toshiba Equium P300-16T, which I have filled the HDD up and is quite slow, and the other one is a HP TouchSmart TX2 which is nearly filled up, but is very slow! I'm fed up with them both now and always seeing the notification '(Not Responding)' everytime I try using them. I feel that with an iMac, this issue will not arise.

6. I have an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2 which would be easier to manage with a Mac I feel.

7. I'm fed up with iTunes being slow on both my laptops and its getting increasing hard to manage my always growing music library! (Over 35000 songs)

8. Is there anyway to run a 5.1 surround sound system with an iMac as I have one that I don't want to get rid of.

9. I considered a MacBook Pro, but I would prefer having a fixed in place machine as I have an iPad 2 for portable needs such as visiting clients with portfolios for the photography business.

10. Last of all, what version of the 27" iMac would benefit me more. Would I notice the difference of the faster processing speed? And is really worth the extra money? Bearing in mind I'll be using a student discount and paying over a few years.

Basically I'd just like people to convince me that this is certainly the correct path for me to go down as I really need to improve my current setup so I can get my business running effectively and also my own personal use can be fast and efficient.

Grateful for any advice given,
Ashers

(Sorry to go on a bit)
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MYmacROX

 
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Any of the current iMacs can certainly handle your needs. Whichever flavor you decide on, what your post tells me is that you need LOTS of storage. The new iMacs have Thunderbolt ports and you would benefit greatly from getting yourself a couple of large external drives with Thunderbolt ports as well. It will save you so much time transferring and backing up all those music files and large image files. I'd suggest keeping your enormous iTunes library on an external drive.
How to transfer iTunes library to external drive.

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Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.
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Ashers

 
Member Since: May 09, 2011
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Storage is probably going to be one of my more important needs. The majority of my music files are already on an external drive and I intend to keep them there and eventually sort them out over a long time! I would be more likely to sort it out if I had iTunes that would actually work when I wanted it to. I'm assuming iTunes is much better when used on a Mac?

Everything I have read about Macs just keeps adding to the feeling that a Mac is the way forward for me. I think I'll be making the jump when I redecorate my room as there is no room for one at the moment.
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Shikarnov

 
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This is by no means meant to put you off an iMac -- which I really believe would be an excellent system for your needs... However, having started a business myself, I know how daunting and time consuming such a venture can be. Are you sure you want to be learning a new operating system at the same time as you're learning what it means to be a business owner?
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Mini_mi

 
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The iMac 27" with I7 processor will be fine for what you want. As mentioned by someone else, just keep your data on external drives so that basically you will have unlimited space.
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chas_m

 
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And make sure you have ALL of your data redundantly backed up.

Thunderbolt drives are going to be scarce for the next few months, you may want to start off with Firewire 800 units in the meantime (there will eventually be Thunderbold-FW800 adapters so you won't lose your investment).
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Ashers

 
Member Since: May 09, 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shikarnov View Post
This is by no means meant to put you off an iMac -- which I really believe would be an excellent system for your needs... However, having started a business myself, I know how daunting and time consuming such a venture can be. Are you sure you want to be learning a new operating system at the same time as you're learning what it means to be a business owner?
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
And make sure you have ALL of your data redundantly backed up.

Thunderbolt drives are going to be scarce for the next few months, you may want to start off with Firewire 800 units in the meantime (there will eventually be Thunderbold-FW800 adapters so you won't lose your investment).
I feel personally that I am a quick learner so hopefully I would pick it up relativley quickly. And as for the business, its a secondary thing to my main full time job which is on a continental shift, giving me plenty of time off to put into it.

Thus far I'm not advertsing for jobs as it where, just through word of mouth at the moment, so by the time I've learnt the new OS well enough, it will hopefully be around the same time I'd be looking for more jobs. Ideally, I want to make sure that I have a good workflow so that I can process jobs much more quickly and efficiently than I currently can.

I've just been looking at external hard drives this morning and have a question.

Is a Time Capsule really worth the extra cost?
As Firewire800 drives are half the price and more, with twice the capacity! If its just a matter of having a wireless connection with the Time Capsule, with faster speeds, then I reckon could deal with having a cable in the way and a slower transfer speed and save myself some money.
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Shikarnov

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashers View Post
I've just been looking at external hard drives this morning and have a question.

Is a Time Capsule really worth the extra cost?
As Firewire800 drives are half the price and more, with twice the capacity! If its just a matter of having a wireless connection with the Time Capsule, with faster speeds, then I reckon could deal with having a cable in the way and a slower transfer speed and save myself some money.
I don't have a Time Capsule, so you can take my opinion for what it's worth. But I didn't buy a Time Capsule because reviews are poor on Apple's site with many people noting data loss, overheating, and more. The price is also a killer -- $500 for 2TB is nuts. (Tiger Direct has quite a few 2TB external drives for around $100.)

Something like Drobo (which I learned about on this board) might work better for you. It can still act as a network drive, but it's an expandable, redundant, storage system -- perfect for backups and file services.
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bobtomay

 
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I have a 1st gen TC which are what most of the complaints about it are from. Well over 3 yrs old now and not a single issue with it. As for heat - don't have a clue... It sits in my entertainment center supplying ethernet and wi-fi connections to multiple devices and I've never walked over and put my hand on it to see how warm it is. Haven't done that with my receiver, TV, or any other device that sits there either.

Having said that, I can't conscientiously recommend one at $500 with the way drives have dropped in price since I bought mine. I'd go with chas_m's suggestion of a FW800 external drive or two and a good 3rd party 'n' router if you're looking for a new router.

I would suggest checking out OWC for a good quad-connectable external drive.

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Ashers

 
Member Since: May 09, 2011
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Been looking at external drives and quite like the look, and price, of the 2TB MyBook Essential.

I went into an Apple reseller today and had a little play around with an iMac and liked what I saw. Had a play with iPhoto and was amazed at how quick it was and what I could do so easily, and the quality of the screen to! Plan to be going to the Cambridge Apple store soon to discuss buying one and student discounts etc.

Also going to start redecorating my room so I can get it as soon as possible!

Can someone inform me if its possible to use a 5.1 surround sound system with an iMac? As I like my music and the odd film.

Thanks,
Ashers
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chas_m

 
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re: 5.1 surround

Yes. All Macs are equipped with a combination of analog and optical audio output (otherwise known as "the headphone port." It auto-detects when you put an optical audio adapter in there and handles 5.1 automatically. It can also do this through USB adapters if you don't want to use optical for some reason.
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Deckyon

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
re: 5.1 surround

Yes. All Macs are equipped with a combination of analog and optical audio output (otherwise known as "the headphone port." It auto-detects when you put an optical audio adapter in there and handles 5.1 automatically. It can also do this through USB adapters if you don't want to use optical for some reason.
Wait, what?

Does this include the MBP's? I can just take the optical cable in my preamp and plug it into the headphone jack?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deckyon View Post
Wait, what?

Does this include the MBP's? I can just take the optical cable in my preamp and plug it into the headphone jack?
I'm curiouse about this too. If true, then I want to try this with my iMac...


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Ashers

 
Member Since: May 09, 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
re: 5.1 surround

Yes. All Macs are equipped with a combination of analog and optical audio output (otherwise known as "the headphone port." It auto-detects when you put an optical audio adapter in there and handles 5.1 automatically. It can also do this through USB adapters if you don't want to use optical for some reason.
So something as simple as this adapter would allow run my 5.1 with the iMac?

Techlink WiresNX - Toslink Optical Socket To 3.5mm: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

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I can't answer for every model of Mac released in the last 10 years, but yes every model of recent Mac I'm aware of can do this via the adapter Ashers referred to. To be certain, of course, look up your specific model on MacTracker or EveryMac or Apple's site.
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