Contemplating Making the Switch

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I've been on Windows all my life, but I want to make the switch to Mac. I'm planning to as soon as I have the money to buy one -- unless it won't do all I need it to do. Hence, I am posing a question or two here.

I have some software that isn't available for the Mac that I have to use for my business. Therefore, I am planning to run Parallels (I think that's the name) so that I can use those Windows applications. Here are my questions:

1. I normally run 5-6 programs at one time including Photoshop and a couple of other memory-heavy programs. I will have to run at least 1, maybe 2 Windows programs concurrently. With Parallels I understand I have to allocate computer resources. Will an iMac handle all this? If so, what would be the best iMac configuration (how much memory, processor, etc.) for me to purchase?

2. Parallels is supposed to run a full release of Windows so theoretically it will run all Windows programs. However, theory doesn't always pan out in real practice. Do you know of any Windows programs that don't run on it?
 

chscag

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Welcome to the Mac Forums!

Which Windows programs do you intend to run in Parallels? And are you sure there isn't an equivalent program for the Mac? We have had many folks over the years switch from Windows to the Mac platform and after a while usually find a Mac program that will do the same thing as their old Windows program.

As for the hardware.... an iMac is a great choice for a desktop machine. The 27" iMac is the one I recommend (I have one) since it is memory upgradeable and comes with a discrete graphics chipset and controller (GPU). You can go to the Apple store on line and look at the machines and prices. Or, if you live near an Apple retail store (not Best Buy) go on in and play with the machines on display and ask questions of the sales persons who work there.
 
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chas_m

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And yes, whatever you end up buying it would be recommended to get as much RAM as you can afford, since you're going to run two operating systems in parallel. Or perhaps you should consider the Boot Camp partitioning option, where you can run the iMac as a pure Windows machine for "business" and reboot into OS X for pleasure. Of course, as chscag noted, most Windows programs (with a couple of notable exceptions) have Mac versions or equivalents, and that's always a better option if available.
 
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I hope that there are Mac equipvalents. The primary windows program I need is appgini (Redirecting to AppGini homepage). It allows me to design very complicated MySQL databases with a user-friendly interface for working with the relational data in literallly just minutes. It cuts hours/days off programming time.

Email is another area that I'm wondering about. I will be working in a mixed computing environment not just for my company but also myself. I need a new desktop which is what I plan to replace with iMac. However, my laptop for travelling will be windows. My email, which is not web-based, will need to be compatible. I currently use Thunderbird using an external drive fo the eail. I can literally just unplug the drive from one computer, plug it into the other and go. I would like to be able to do the same thing with the Mac.

Any suggestions for these two software pieces?
 
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Given a new iMac with plenty of ram, I think what you need to do in Windows can be well handled by virtualization (Parallels, VirtualBox).

Is some of your mail POP3 only? If it can all be accessed as IMAP, there is no need for the external mail drive. ThunderBird also runs on the Mac.
 
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Given a new iMac with plenty of ram, I think what you need to do in Windows can be well handled by virtualization (Parallels, VirtualBox).

Is some of your mail POP3 only? If it can all be accessed as IMAP, there is no need for the external mail drive. ThunderBird also runs on the Mac.
Thanks, Ron. I choose to have POP3. I don't want all the mail to remain on the server as I receive a large amount and have to keep an archive of clients' email going back for a few years. However, it is good to know that Thunderbird is available on the Mac. Does it use the same file structure as the Windows version so they are interchangeable?
 
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