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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?" :)

Mac info needed


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nork
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I see there are a few threads similar to mine but our needs differ, so here goes.

I know nothing about Mac computers ( is it ok to call them Mac pc's?). Been a windows user for about 7 yrs, fairly competent at windows machines but zero in the Mac arena. I've built many windows systems but i dont know what is involved in building a mac system.

Is it wiser to learn about macs before deciding to build a mac system? Is building a mac about the same as building a windows system?

I'm guessing it's wiser to buy a used system and learn a bit first? I'd likely buy thru a forum as i've traded with forum people for years and dont trust ebay, unless i happen to find one locally at a good price.

But what do i look for? What do i want?

I want a system that is fairly new, not the latest and fastest but i do want the ability to upgrade. I dont want a unit that wont run the newest Mac os, or do I? What is the minimum system i should be looking for? Are things the same in that you have a mobo, ram, vid card or vid built in, sound card or sound built in, usb, firewire, add in os, add drivers and progs and go?

I imagine the minimum specs as far as what computer to look for would change if i wanted to have the ability to be able to dual-boot to windows?

As far as what i'd do with the mac, with my pc i use the net, email, do some audio work, collect mp3's and convert back and forth between wav and mp3. Same with video, convert back and forth between dvd and avi. I do word processing as well. I do have a tv tuner and a bunch of usb and firewire drives that i use to store music, movies, and other video. I download a lot from the net, with the exception of porn. Im not into heavy-duty audio or video editing. I use my burner for archiving, burning music and some movies. I do a fair amount of printing of family pictures. I like having the ability to scan docs and family pics as well. I realize this has to do with peripherals and not the main computer.

Thats about it. I dont see me moving over to a mac instead of a pc as my main computer, but you never know! I dont like the microsoft eulas and the way microsoft does business and overcharges (only my opinion) for their os's, but i do feel that the win 98se and win xp pro (site license) os's that i have are good and do the job.

I can do without some of the abilities i have with my pc, but if you are going to give me advice you need to know what i do on my pc, hence the long story here. Any advice you can give me would be appreciated.

What version mac os and what hardware should i avoid, what mac can i run with what version of the mac os, what mac os do i need to be able to dual boot mac\windows, is dual-booting so important when i mainly use a pc anyway, and i have more than one pc in my possession? All these questions and i dont really have any answers, that is where you come in. Of course, there are also issues i havent touched on as i dont know of them yet. Again, this is where you people come in.

Any help, advice, info, opinions, will be appreciated. I dont expect to be starting a war over Mac vs pc, just looking for info to make an informed purchase soon.

thank you very much.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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To sum up your post with a very short and complete answer...
You simply cannot build your own Mac system.
You can only purchase a model from Apple (or used) and possibly upgrade the Customer Installable Parts. That is it.

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mac57

 
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It sounds to me like you would like to dip your toes in the Mac pond and see how the water is. The best way to do this would be to go out and buy a new Mac Mini. These machines are amazingly small, suprisingly powerful, and great intros to the world of Mac. Many people use them as their main computer (no it is not alright to call a Mac a "PC"!).

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nork
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Quote:
possibly upgrade the Customer Installable Parts.
Can you tell me what parts that is and what you mean by possibly? I imagine you can upgrade your ram?
Are the upgradeable parts about the same as with windows, ram, video card, audio card, pci slots for add-ins such as more usb ports, tv tuner, etc?
Gee, this is starting to sound no so good to me. No offence meant. Its just that i am used to being able to swap in and out just about any parts i choose.
However, this is why i have posted here, to find out what i need to know.
Thank you for your advice so far.
Any other advice\info?
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imacmatt09

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nork View Post
Can you tell me what parts that is and what you mean by possibly? I imagine you can upgrade your ram?
Are the upgradeable parts about the same as with windows, ram, video card, audio card, pci slots for add-ins such as more usb ports, tv tuner, etc?
Gee, this is starting to sound no so good to me. No offence meant. Its just that i am used to being able to swap in and out just about any parts i choose.
However, this is why i have posted here, to find out what i need to know.
Thank you for your advice so far.
Any other advice\info?
It really depends on what your looking for if you get an imac or macbook/pro you can only upgrade the memory like normal laptops. If you get a mac pro or power mac you can change/upgrade video cards and there is a few pci slots for additional things. You can "upgrade" other things on them but the require a little modding and stuff. Most of the added devices are going to be through usb or firewire :mac:
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http://www.apple.com/support/macbook/diy/

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Mac: a brand name which covers several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc.

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Keep your PC. No offense, and not trying to be un-welcoming, but Macs aren't all that customizable and everything you say you want to do is being done by your Windows PC, correct?

Sometimes Macs just aren't the right choice.

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nork
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I wanted the facts and i got them.
Perhaps i should stick to my pc's as i dont like what i am hearing, lol.

Thanks for the info.
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xtophercaa

 
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There are certainly many differences between PC folk and Mac folk, that's for sure. There's a big group in the PC world that wants to be able to customize and swap this component and that component--and I think that's great (and am guilty of it myself). This group can argue that by being unconstrained by having a multitude of technology choices, that they'll ultimately be more creative or productive.

Now, I'm not nearly qualified to argue for or against that. I do feel though that creativity does blossom with constraint, you know? To write a haiku, you have to do it in three lines--and great creativity shows through past the boundaries. This thread reminds me of this notion of of "beautiful constraint" or "creative constraint" -- that clear constraints and boundaries can shape issues, provide clear outcomes and foster creative thinking.

When I turn on my Mac, I just get down to the business of creating content (reports, movies, music, PRDs, code, blogs, etc.) and worry less about the guts of my computer (and whether this or that app will talk to another, etc.) And in a couple of years, I'll probably buy another Mac with a new set of tech constraints (faster processor, more storage, RAM, etc), and my creativity will be enhanced even more.

Certainly this idea doesn't really resolve the dilemma of whether or not to buy a Mac or stay PC, but it's insightful all the same.

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I must say, the thing I will probably miss the most about my PC is being able to buy the latest processor, memory, hard drive, video card, DVD drive, etc. and keep up to date with the latest tech or to meet my changing needs without buying an entire new system. Of course one could argue that eventually you do replace your entire system, but instead of falling behind and catching up, you kind of flow with emerging changes.

There's also something to be said about taking pride in building something truely unique and, if you're good at it, better and cheaper than most. And the benefit of having individually warrantied parts which typically come with standard 2 or 3 year warranties as well as being able to quickly repair your own system, rather than paying for that extra time and losing you entire system while it's sent away to be fixed.
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I like xtophercaa's philisophical and romantic take on being constrained by not upgrading your own system. But I think that idea is more in line with necessity being them other of invention, or, in other words, working to find a way to complete a task because the necessary "tools for the job" are not available. But since being able to otherwise get the "tools for the job" is possible in another way, it seems like you're forcing yourself to work harder to achieve the same result.

It reminds me of the saying "work smarter, not harder" where working in constrained conditions is wokring harder and being able to upgrade as technology allows is working smarter. In realistic terms, how is having older, slower technology going to help one write a better program, get work more done faster, or not run programs as well as they could be run, as these are just a few of the goals of using modern computing. If creative constraint has any base, we would all do well to go back to the Apple I of 1976.
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Yeah...I didn't really mean it to be a good reason for switching or not. It's just a thought. Still, the more tools change, the more they stay the same.

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Quote:
I download a lot from the net, with the exception of porn.
LOL, thanks for clearing that up!
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yeah, i'd have more respect for him if he were honest...
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Everything i have stated is correct.
The reason that i noted that i dont download porn is that I care what people think of me, even online with no names and such, i still care. That goes for foul language and just plain rudeness. And when people point out that they download a lot then others may think they download porn. And i am so against that, thats another reason i point it out. I just wouldnt want anyone to even think that i would download this garage. I am a normal, healthy male and I feel that God made women attractive to us for several reasons and they are all good. And so there is nothing wrong with a pic of a naked woman, especially if she's good looking, lol. However, these days it seems that pics and flicks are very downgrading toward women and its this kind of stuff that i think of as porn and i would NEVER download this stuff and, again, i wouldnt want anyone to think that i might. Downloading professional or even amateur pics that show women in a good light, thats fine for me. But the other type is not. Now that is just my christian beliefs and i dont push them, to each his own. The only reason i have responded is because Eric has called me a liar, which i am not!
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