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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?" :)

Ordering First Mac tomorrow! Some minor questions too.


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Alright, while it's not official (pretty much is) I'll be ordering a MacBook Pro tomorrow. The $1999 version with an upgrade of 512Mb of memory (total a Gig) and iWorks '06 with it.


Now, I had some questions which I got answered today but if any person who is capable of telling me 100% answers I'd be greatful. Also, maybe direct me to the right forum for questions if this is the incorrect place.


1. My USB devices, will they transfer over to Mac with no problems? I have: USB card reader (for camera), USB Maxtor External HD, USB Memory Stick, and a printer (HP 1115) that runs through USB.

- According to a store employee (store sells Macs) they all will most likely have no problems if they're plug and play. (they are)


2. Virus Protect, not needed for a Mac? I'll just flat out say it, my college's wireless network and landline ethernet is just a cesspool of viruses and spyware.

- Answer I got today was, pretty much. There are not that many viruses for Macs around and there is no real thread of people creating them seeing that out of the majority of computer users, a LARGE chunk of them are PC users.


3. Being a college student, I NEED access to a Word processor. Which is why I'm getting iWork '06 with it seeing it says it can export files in many different formats including Microsoft Office. Will iWork '06 and iLife '06 practicly cover everything I could ever need for basic "needs" that I as a PC user would find in Microsoft Office and similar?


4. Alright, last question. I know Mac are based on the Unix system. Now, my computer science classes require us to log onto a local server and do our programs there. So, where can I find a program similar to Putty for Mac? Mac being Unix based do I even need a program?


Thanks for any answers, I look forward to my Mac some time this month and getting away from the constant **** of my college server that comes with running a PC on it.
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1. I agree with the store employee. Although I have heard in the past that a few people had issues with USB card readers. Printers can be an issue if there is no driver, but the Mac is pretty good now days. If the your PC drive was formatted with the latest XP format, than writing to it might be an issue, so just copy the contents and reformat for an older windows format or Mac OS X format.

2. There currently are no known (ZERO) viruses for OS X. Zero is different from not many. I think employees are told to hedge the stores bet and are told to say 'not many'. I've heard of only one problem software that as I understood it had to be installed by the user. Unlike Windows malware.

If someone tries to convince you to install anti-virus software and they run a PC, just tell them there is no current need. Besides, any files you transfer to them should be found by their anti-virus software, 'right'. :ninja:

If a company or school insists you run anti-virus software, then avoid the retail companies and try ClamXav.

3. I'll leave the Word issue alone. There are some free and other retail software that may be better than iWork for Word compatibility.

If you end up needing a database, then you'll have to look for options. iWork and iLife don't have that. Also you may end up needing a spreadsheet. I susspect your only solution will be open source or Microsoft. By the way a version of Microsoft Office is available for the mac, less Access. Student tend to get good discounts on software.

As a comp-sci student you'll get into relational databases and I susspect now days that will be MySQL or Postgres, along with the big retail names. Hopefully you won't be asked to tough the stinky pile of crud know as Access.

4. telnet and ssh are built in. You use both from the Terminal program. Telnet allows insecure connections while ssh allows for secure connections. For file transfer ftp and sftp are similar. As a computer sci student you should know how to use the Unix command line.

If your class work involves working on Unix type systems, then the Mac should allow you to do some work on it and transfer the work to the remote box for test and completion.

Other.

You likely will be required to do diagraming at some point. When that issue comes up check out the Omnigroup's OmniGraffle.

Good luck.
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XStep answered most of your questions so well I will just comment on one thing. All the USB stuff should work. Check HP and see if there is an OSX driver for your printer. Most HP's work out of the box with OSX.

On the Card Reader, I just the other evening bought a 12 in One Sandisk USB 2.0 reader. Just plugged it in, plugged in my SD card from my camera and it was mounted on my desktop and brought up iPhoto! Worked great and totally Plug in Play. Not sure about other card readers, but this SanDisk sure works great!
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Quote:
Being a college student, I NEED access to a Word processor. Which is why I'm getting iWork '06 with it seeing it says it can export files in many different formats including Microsoft Office. Will iWork '06 and iLife '06 practicly cover everything I could ever need for basic "needs" that I as a PC user would find in Microsoft Office and similar?
Seeing as how Office is the de facto standard on most campuses, I suggest you get that to be honest..
It'll make life a lot easier if you have to ever share files with people...
Obviously Openoffice / Neooffice/J and Pages are also options, but it's never quite as easy as just using Office.
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Tip on Microsoft Office Student/Teacher Edition for Mac: CompUSA tends to put it on sale quite frequently. Not as cheap as Ebay, but still cheaper than buying from Apple!

Also, congratulations, your printer DOES have Mac OS X drivers: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/s...&cc=us&os=219#

Finally--and I'll approach this subject lightly--what kind of computing needs are leading you to need something as powerful as the MacBook Pro? That's a whole lot of machine for a college student, unless you're studying graphic design or something.
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Originally Posted by jn4jenny
Finally--and I'll approach this subject lightly--what kind of computing needs are leading you to need something as powerful as the MacBook Pro? That's a whole lot of machine for a college student, unless you're studying graphic design or something.

In all honesty the power is something that I can mess around with, not to mention I would call myself a Gamer. Though college has pretty much put that aside. I will be looking into a few games. Hopefully, it's pretty much top of the line no? The MacBook should have no problems with whatever I throw at it.


Another reason for looking at the MacBook Pro is well... I have heard that the Powerbooks/iBooks are all getting either upgraded or replaced atleast before the summer. Which, innitially I was going to buy a new laptop over summer but due to issues I will have to be purchasing it early. I see no point in buying a laptop that's going to be discontinued, or replaced with a current up-to-date version, in a few months. I was looking at the PowerBook 15.4" and then realised the MacBook Pro was the same price and came with iLife '06 for free. Counting in all the extras, such as the built in camera, it was a rather easy dicision I'd say.


Any other reasons would be mostly me messing around. I like to mess around with video/image editing while I don't have the time for the most part. I also play guitar, which I'm rather excited to say the least about Garage Band on the Mac.
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if you want to record with garageband and your guitar you'll need a cord that has the standard guitar plug to the standard mini plug (headphone size). one end goes into the guitar the other end into the microphone input. i have one made by griffin..works great.

http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...geband_cables/
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Originally Posted by UncSki1218
if you want to record with garageband and your guitar you'll need a cord that has the standard guitar plug to the standard mini plug (headphone size). one end goes into the guitar the other end into the microphone input. i have one made by griffin..works great.

http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...geband_cables/

I have a converter, yes. Though, most of my recordings now a days (being at college) I only use my acoustic so I have my trusty, yet old, mic which was from my first computer, a '97 Packard Bell.


It's just really lame recording with Windows recorder, as I can record a whopping 1 minute! Then I have to press record again... for another minute... **** windows.


Thanks for the site though, I'll check it out just to see what they have.

// Edit

Eh, it seems sorta worthless seeing I already have a converter. Thanks though.

// Edit 2

If any one was wondering, I did order it this morning. About an hour ago. I'm super excited due to the money i'll be saving not having to constantly worry about a virus protection, the fact that GarageBand is said to be a really good program so I can actually get some decent recordings, and while I'm sad that Battlefield 2 will be around for Mac (most guess) in a year or so... I'll have Civilization 4 and a few other games until then. It's practicly perfect past the whole... games issue.
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yeah i have an acoustic too and it works good. garage band is awesome...
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