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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?" :)

Soon-to-be mac convert


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kuklachica

 
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Hola all,

So, I have been using PCs all of my life until I started teaching in a public school. Here in my state, the schools are dominated by macs. I have a new MacBook 13" (through my school district) and LOVE it, and I also got a 30GB iPod for Christmas and love that. Now I'm wicked tired of Windows and error messages and 10 minute boot-up time, etc., so I'd like to replace my Dell desktop with an iMac... but I have a few questions. My computer programmer cousin works for mac in their "secrets" department, and I've asked him all sorts of questions, but he basically tells me he'd have to kill me if he told me. I do get good discounts, though, so I can't complain too much

I really don't like the looks of the current iMacs - I don't like the big white empty space at the bottom. I am hoping they will update them soon; what are your thoughts? If they do update them, what will they look like? The only thing my cousin has told me is that he doesn't know anything about iMac updates, and even if he did, he couldn't tell me anyway. But he guessed that IF they were to be updated, it would be in the August-October time frame. So that leads me to another question: if I wait til they *possibly* release updated iMacs, do I want to buy them with the new OS and all of its bugs? Would it be better to get an iMac now and buy Leopard several months down the road when the bugs are worked out? Or is it safe to buy a re-designed iMac with the new OS? What are your thoughts?

Thank you in advance for any and all help! I am so new to macs that I am not sure how buggy their new OS's are or what their updating schedule for hardware is like. Thank you for your help!

Bethany
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snoslicer8

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuklachica View Post
Hola all,

So, I have been using PCs all of my life until I started teaching in a public school. Here in my state, the schools are dominated by macs. I have a new MacBook 13" (through my school district) and LOVE it, and I also got a 30GB iPod for Christmas and love that. Now I'm wicked tired of Windows and error messages and 10 minute boot-up time, etc., so I'd like to replace my Dell desktop with an iMac... but I have a few questions. My computer programmer cousin works for mac in their "secrets" department, and I've asked him all sorts of questions, but he basically tells me he'd have to kill me if he told me. I do get good discounts, though, so I can't complain too much

I really don't like the looks of the current iMacs - I don't like the big white empty space at the bottom. I am hoping they will update them soon; what are your thoughts? If they do update them, what will they look like? The only thing my cousin has told me is that he doesn't know anything about iMac updates, and even if he did, he couldn't tell me anyway. But he guessed that IF they were to be updated, it would be in the August-October time frame. So that leads me to another question: if I wait til they *possibly* release updated iMacs, do I want to buy them with the new OS and all of its bugs? Would it be better to get an iMac now and buy Leopard several months down the road when the bugs are worked out? Or is it safe to buy a re-designed iMac with the new OS? What are your thoughts?

Thank you in advance for any and all help! I am so new to macs that I am not sure how buggy their new OS's are or what their updating schedule for hardware is like. Thank you for your help!

Bethany
If you don't like the look of the current revision of the iMac, and you have an external flat-panel display from your computer now, my suggestion would be to get a Mac Pro. It is much more expandable, and if you're willing to front the cash now, it has twice the processing cores of an iMac.

If you feel like you need to wait for the iMac revision, there are rumors of August-September, which would coincide with the end of the Apple Back-To-School buying season/promotions. Leopard will be out in October. If you purchase a Mac within 14 days of the new release of OS X, in the past, the upgrade has been free. Otherwise, you're looking at a $129 price tag (still much better than Windows XP or Vista).

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kuklachica

 
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Thank you for your quick response. Unfortunately, I don't have the money to buy the Mac Pro. I wish I did!! The only things I use my computer for are word processing, internet, iTunes for my 30GB iPod, the OCCASSIONAL photos and photos editing, the VERY occassional game (SimCity), and possibly blogging in the future. I think that a Mac Pro would be overkill, or am I wrong?? I don't know macs well enough to know what I need. I'm not worried about paying for a Leopard upgrade (I can get it through my cousin for like 50% off), but just worried that updated iMacs would ONLY have Leopard, and if I bought them right when they came out, there would be all kinds of bugs. Or are mac OS's not as buggy as Windows when they first come out??
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snoslicer8

 
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Mac OSs simply aren't as buggy as Windows, period, in my experience. Since I am, for all intensive purposes, an Apple, I will be purchasing Leopard on release day.

I would be (and will be) a teensy bit wary of installing Leopard over my internal hard drive without doing a full clone backup of the drive first. This does a few things. Just in case something goes wrong during the upgrade, I have a FULL duplicate copy of my drive sitting on an external drive, and can use disk utility to restore everything back to the way it was. Also, who knows what programs will be compatible with Leopard that you ran on Tiger? Not every developer will have their products upgraded to run on Leopard by release day...some may never update. If this is the case, you can clone your internal drive to an external FireWire drive before upgrading. During the upgrade, choose a completely clean install, and during the setup assistant, you choose to import user settings/files/programs from the external FireWire drive (since it technically runs OS X as a backup drive). During this process, the Leopard assistant will examine all architectures of the incoming program files. If any program that you have will not run under the new Leopard architecture, it will simply not copy the program back to your internal drive, and will tell you of this, so you may have a chance to find a more suitable program when the assistant finishes.

As far as overkill is concerned: If you have the money (or can scrounge it up) for a Mac Pro, I say go for it. It is much more upgradable than an iMac, and from the sound of it, the aesthetics please you more. Whatever your choice is, I think the common recommendation here will be to buy the MOST machine that you can afford, to avoid regrets 6 months down the road when your machine is suddenly the lowest model available.

Cheers!

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Alexis

 
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I surprised you don't like the white space at the bottom of the iMac - you don't even notice it when you're using it, unless you were sitting below the Mac and looking up.
It's a nice white material - it's nice to touch!
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joshbrez

 
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Honestly, I wouldn't recommend the Mac Pro. It does sound like overkill for a teacher! You'd never end up using that computer to its fullest capacity with the tasks that you do - you just don't need it. Unless you'd like to do the occassional gaming or high end graphics work, the Mac Pro isn't a great fit for the money, IMHO. snoslicer8 does have a great point about getting the most computer you can afford, but I think that philosophy should be balanced with getting the right machine for the job. If you were fond of the iMac, I'd recommend the highest end iMac you could afford.

Speaking of iMacs, it seems likely, with the current design nearly three years old, that the line will be refreshed with a new form factor soon. This is never a guarantee, however. It's your call if you want to wait and see. I don't think there's much of a worry about buying a new Mac with Leopard installed on it, though. New versions of OS X are basically akin to the Service Packs of the Windows world (despite Apple's occasional claims that they've released 5 OSes in six years). New bugs probably won't be that serious, and any that do pop up will most likely be taken care of quite swiftly by Apple.

Anyway, if you decide that you've got the cash for the Mac Pro, then that's cool. However, I think your money might be better spent on a cheaper model, along with peripherals and accessories.

Cheers!
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Brown Study

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshbrez View Post
Honestly, I wouldn't recommend the Mac Pro.
It's murder on hiking trips, though the extension cord would be no more trouble than it would be with an iMac.
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PunkRockTuba

 
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I also think the Mac Pro would be total overkill for what you want, and the money could be better spent on something else. If you really dont like the way the iMac looks you could look at the mac mini w/ cinema display. It would probably be all the computer you would need, it looks nice and doesnt take up much room, and the cinema display is fantastic.

If you arent in a hurry, I would wait until the supposed updated imacs and see if they are what you want. If not you could go the rout of the mac mini if thats what you decide.
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Title27GT

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snoslicer8 View Post
Mac OSs simply aren't as buggy as Windows, period, in my experience. Since I am, for all intensive purposes, an Apple, I will be purchasing Leopard on release day.

I would be (and will be) a teensy bit wary of installing Leopard over my internal hard drive without doing a full clone backup of the drive first. This does a few things. Just in case something goes wrong during the upgrade, I have a FULL duplicate copy of my drive sitting on an external drive, and can use disk utility to restore everything back to the way it was. Also, who knows what programs will be compatible with Leopard that you ran on Tiger? Not every developer will have their products upgraded to run on Leopard by release day...some may never update. If this is the case, you can clone your internal drive to an external FireWire drive before upgrading. During the upgrade, choose a completely clean install, and during the setup assistant, you choose to import user settings/files/programs from the external FireWire drive (since it technically runs OS X as a backup drive). During this process, the Leopard assistant will examine all architectures of the incoming program files. If any program that you have will not run under the new Leopard architecture, it will simply not copy the program back to your internal drive, and will tell you of this, so you may have a chance to find a more suitable program when the assistant finishes.

As far as overkill is concerned: If you have the money (or can scrounge it up) for a Mac Pro, I say go for it. It is much more upgradable than an iMac, and from the sound of it, the aesthetics please you more. Whatever your choice is, I think the common recommendation here will be to buy the MOST machine that you can afford, to avoid regrets 6 months down the road when your machine is suddenly the lowest model available.

Cheers!
Aesthetics? IT'S A GIANT HARD DRIVE TOWER. IMO, the iMac is already a sleek, elegant, and streamlined design. I'd prefer to have no hard drive tower at all than one that looked cool.
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kuklachica

 
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I think the reason that I don't like the looks of iMacs (or really any of the macs) is that they remind me too much of work. I've only used macs with relation to work, and iMacs are what all of our classrooms and secretaries have. I'm getting over associating MacBooks with work, but I've never seen an iMac outside of a school setting, so I still have a hard time picturing it in my house. I think that is why I'm hoping/waiting for a new form factor, so I won't constantly be reminded of kids not behaving!!!
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Title27GT

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuklachica View Post
I think the reason that I don't like the looks of iMacs (or really any of the macs) is that they remind me too much of work. I've only used macs with relation to work, and iMacs are what all of our classrooms and secretaries have. I'm getting over associating MacBooks with work, but I've never seen an iMac outside of a school setting, so I still have a hard time picturing it in my house. I think that is why I'm hoping/waiting for a new form factor, so I won't constantly be reminded of kids not behaving!!!
Really? I associate the look with pure awesomeness....
But that's just me...
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israelvalenciac

 
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ok, now you'll have to introduce us your cousin so we can all get discounts! loL!

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kuklachica

 
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Hola israel, ¿habla español? Vi en tu profile que vive en México...

I wish I could introduce everyone to my cousin!! He's been a big help getting me started with macs! He was even nice enough to let me use his 25% off my 30GB iPod last Christmas!! I am not sure what department he works in, but it's programming of some sort, since that's what he majored in, but he can't tell us what he works on specifically. But when new Apple products come out, he says, yup, I worked on that, just couldn't tell you. Grrr!! So close, yet so far!!
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elbolao23

 
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chica preguntale algo nada mas. una pregunta ?! Para cuando van a cambiar los iMac...que yo quiero los modelos nuevos!
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