Will I be happy?

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Hi! I'm hoping I can get some info that'll make my decision crystal clear...Here is my story:

My husband has agreed to take my 6 month old Dell for his office. I haven't been thrilled with the computer from the beginning (paid too much for what I got, IMO). Anyway, now I'm in the market for a new computer. I was actually thinking of going back to Dell, and getting a cheaper model, which I think will do what I need it to. But then, I thought of mac. Maybe...am I brave enough to step out of my windows nightmare and embrace something different? I'm not sure. I can only afford the cheapest Imac, according to the apple website, which means I'll be getting 1.83 GHz. If I were to buy another Dell, I'd get 2.8 GHz. Unfortunately, these numbers mean nothing to me, except that I'll be getting less with the mac. Are you satisfied with your mac's, or do you wish there was a little more speed to them (that's what these numbers mean, right? Complete computer dummy, here, folks...sorry!).

Also, my main use on my computer is Microsoft Office. Mac's can run these, though, correct?

And, when I got my Dell, I got a printer with it. Will I have any problems hooking a mac to it? Or do Mac's use the same USB as pc's? (The printer was the best part of my purchase from Dell, so I hope it'll still work!)

I really want to get a computer that I'll be happy with for the long haul.
I'm really leaning towards mac, but I haven't even seen one in use since high school (15 years ago). So thanks for any help you can give me!!!

Sandy
 
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Hello 'SandyT' welcome to M-F

Macs can run microsoft office but you will need to buy seperately or use open office
Microsoft office mac open office

I dont know if your printer will be compatible
but i got a free printer with my mac on a "rebate"
You could always make it a network printer if its compatible

Also many USB modems dont have drivers for the intel macs, only power pc's so you will most likely have to purchase a wireless router kit.
These are pretty easy to set up, but make sure you assign a wep key so you dont have some "war driver" using your connection
Link to post concerning network theft

Hope this helps ~ mikeyman
 
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Who makes your printer? You could always go online with the printer model number and see if it has mac drivers. You can usually find them on the printers manufactures website. Not sure about msoffice. I use neooffice myself for the occasional report needed for work, but I am military and don't do a whole lot of paperwork. I do know that what neooffice produces is microsoft compatible.
 
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Hello Sandy and welcome to Mac-forums. To try to answer your questions, first of all you'll find that 99.9% of the people here will tell you how much they love their Mac's. You could read all day about the plus side of owning one. But everyone has a different use for computers so you must decide for yourself what might work best for you.
1. Mac's have plenty of speed and if you only use your computer for MS Office, 1.83 gigs would be sufficient.
2. Yes, Mac's can run MS Office, but you'll need to get either Parallels or BootCamp which is software that enables Mac's to run Windows programs. You'll be able to switch from Mac to Windows on your one computer.
Having said all that and since it's been 15 years since you've seen a Mac, you should go to a store that carries them and get a demonstration before you make a choice. It really makes a difference to touch one and see how it looks and feels. Do you have a place that you can try one out?
The other comment that I would make is if all you really need is MS Office, it could be that another PC would serve you better. Mac's are not necessarily for everyone (except I hate saying that!;>) Good luck with your choice.
Also, there are many helpful people on this forum who can answer your concerns so you'll probably get several comments that will be helpful to you. Good luck!
 
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Who makes your printer? You could always go online with the printer model number and see if it has mac drivers. You can usually find them on the printers manufactures website. Not sure about msoffice. I use neooffice myself for the occasional report needed for work, but I am military and don't do a whole lot of paperwork. I do know that what neooffice produces is microsoft compatible.

I believe lexmark make dell's printers
Link 1

Link 2

Link 3
 
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I can only afford the cheapest Imac, according to the apple website, which means I'll be getting 1.83 GHz. If I were to buy another Dell, I'd get 2.8 GHz. Unfortunately, these numbers mean nothing to me, except that I'll be getting less with the mac.

Not at all. The different processors (Intel Core 2 Duo in the Mac, Intel Pentium D in the Dell) can't be compared directly. Without going into a lot of detail, a 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo is a much faster chip than a 2.8GHz Pentium D.
 
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The speeds are much different. my 1.44 mac ,that i find, is faster than our 3.0 ghz dell.
this link should answer most of your questions about the speed

http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48585

Yes you can buy microsoft word, and most, if not all printers will work for macs. and the best thing about it, you dont even have to restart your computer when you hook up your printer. (well i did'nt atleast)
 
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I can only afford the cheapest Imac, according to the apple website, which means I'll be getting 1.83 GHz. If I were to buy another Dell, I'd get 2.8 GHz.

Ghz are not representative of speed - it's the processor design that's the main thing. Think of it in terms of cars - a 1.7 diesel is less powerful than a 1.6 petrol engine, despite it having a larger capacity.

The Intel Core 2 Duo is the fastest CPU at the moment. Have a look at some benchmarks here to see it's usually near the top: http://tomshardware.co.uk/cpu/charts.html?modelx=33&model1=430&model2=464&chart=187

Remember that unless you're playing games, the difference between processors isn't actually that spectacular despite all the marketing hype.
 

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The Dell printer will most definitely be a problem - just about any other printer will not. Unfortunately Dell does not support Macs. The only suggestion I could offer is to try to find the corresponding Lexmark printer that is identical to your Dell model (Dell's are nothing more than re-badged Lexmarks).
 
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Oddly, in this, a Mac group, I would offer a dissenting opinion in your case. If Microsoft Office is your KEY application, you may wish to stay with Dell for now. Consider this. Microsoft Office is not presently available in Universal Binary for the Mac. This means that there is no Intel compatible version. Instead it is a PPC (G3/G4/G5) application and has to be interpreted via the Rosetta interpreter on the Mac. Its OK - it works, but it works quite a bit more slowly than a native application.

What about the processor on the Mac? Is it slower? Well, not really. The iMac you would get would be a 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo chip. The Dell you would get would be a 2.8 GHz Pentium IV (since there are no 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duos, it is safe to assume it is a Pentium IV). There is a world of difference between these two processors. The speed ratings don't tell the story at all. A 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo is very nearly as fast as a 2.8 GHz Pentium IV. I would consider them to be nearly identical. So, the difference in performance for your Microsoft Office apps will come mostly from having to run through Rosetta. Even with equivalent speed processors, Microsoft Office will run more slowly on your Mac than on your Dell. Plus you will have to buy a new version of Microsoft Office when the Universal Binary comes out if you find the interpreted version too slow.

So, in summary, if Microsoft Office is your key app, you will get a faster box for what your are doing, for less money, with the Dell. I hate to recommend PCs to *anyone*, but in your case, it may just fit.
 
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2. Yes, Mac's can run MS Office, but you'll need to get either Parallels or BootCamp which is software that enables Mac's to run Windows programs. You'll be able to switch from Mac to Windows on your one computer.

The other comment that I would make is if all you really need is MS Office, it could be that another PC would serve you better.

I'm not sure whether you genuinely are unaware or if I'm reading your post wrong, but in case it's the former, I should probably clarify this so that both you and the OP are better informed.

Microsoft makes a Mac version of Microsoft Office. So you don't need to boot into Windows just to use it. This is actually one of the main draws of the Mac platform. People don't have to worry about reading or sharing Office documents with people who have PCs since there's an identical version for the Mac.

Sandyt, if you could tell us what model printer you have, it's possible we could tell you whether it will work with a Mac or not. Even if it doesn't work directly, I'm sure we can recommend a way for you to get it to work.

I'm sure you will love Macs, especially if you're coming over from a Dell :black:
 
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Ok, the processor comparison's make sense.
I have a Dell Photo964 for a printer.
Would the imac come with software comparable to microsoft word, etc.? I could reenter my info without too much hassle, if needed. Also, can I transfer pictures? Most of my photos are untouched, just "stored" on my computer. Will a mac read my cd fine?
Thanks for all the info...my head is spinning a little, but thanks:)
Sandy
 

cwa107


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Ok, the processor comparison's make sense.
I have a Dell Photo964 for a printer.
Would the imac come with software comparable to microsoft word, etc.? I could reenter my info without too much hassle, if needed. Also, can I transfer pictures? Most of my photos are untouched, just "stored" on my computer. Will a mac read my cd fine?
Thanks for all the info...my head is spinning a little, but thanks:)
Sandy

1. The Dell printer will be difficult to get working. As I mentioned, you will need to find the corresponding Lexmark model that it is based on.

2. It will come from the factory with a demo of Microsoft Office for Mac which will work just like Office on the PC. If you choose to buy it, you will continue to be able to use it after the trial period. If not, there are many alternatives that will read/write/edit Microsoft Office documents. One such product called NeoOffice is a freeware alternative based on the excellent "OpenOffice.org" suite

3. Yes, all Macs come with a suite of products known as "iLife". One of them is a Photo organization and editing product called "iPhoto". You should be able to easily import your photos into iPhoto.

4. Yes, your Mac will read your PC CD-ROMs just fine.
 
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After doing some searching, it looks as though the Dell Photo 964 printer is the equivalent of a Lexmark P4350, which definitely offers Mac OS X drivers.

So there's really nothing preventing you from going with an Apple computer except your own personal experience with OS X :black:
 
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I'm not sure whether you genuinely are unaware or if I'm reading your post wrong, but in case it's the former, I should probably clarify this so that both you and the OP are better informed.

Microsoft makes a Mac version of Microsoft Office. So you don't need to boot into Windows just to use it. This is actually one of the main draws of the Mac platform. People don't have to worry about reading or sharing Office documents with people who have PCs since there's an identical version for the Mac.

Sandyt, if you could tell us what model printer you have, it's possible we could tell you whether it will work with a Mac or not. Even if it doesn't work directly, I'm sure we can recommend a way for you to get it to work.

I'm sure you will love Macs, especially if you're coming over from a Dell :black:

Thanks Kash, I stand corrected. I knew that because I almost bought MS Office but went with iWork instead. I guess i was thinking more about other programs. Thanks though for the clarification. :(
 

cwa107


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After doing some searching, it looks as though the Dell Photo 964 printer is the equivalent of a Lexmark P4350, which definitely offers Mac OS X drivers.

So there's really nothing preventing you from going with an Apple computer except your own personal experience with OS X :black:

Ugh.... can't give you any more rep since the new changes, but that definitely deserves it.
 
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Forgot to add in the link pointing straight to the OS X drivers. Edited it into my previous post :black:
 
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Wow!!! Thanks for all the info! My dh is definitely pushing me towards the dell. Last night we were talking about it, and I determined my main reason for leaning towards mac is this: THE ERROR MESSAGES. Mac's don't get these problems like pc's right? For instance, when I shut down, 3/4 of the time I get a message saying something about ccApp isn't responding (I think; I don't even read it anymore...just click "end now"). Or my web page will freeze up: "internet explorer is not responding". Uggh!!! I'm so sick of it. My previous computer was used for gaming, had lots of downloads on it (Sims players would understand). So when it got slow and filled with errors, I understood somewhat. But this one, I've never put any games on it, never downloaded like I used to, and still. I'm just so frustrated!
 

cwa107


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Wow!!! Thanks for all the info! My dh is definitely pushing me towards the dell. Last night we were talking about it, and I determined my main reason for leaning towards mac is this: THE ERROR MESSAGES. Mac's don't get these problems like pc's right? For instance, when I shut down, 3/4 of the time I get a message saying something about ccApp isn't responding (I think; I don't even read it anymore...just click "end now"). Or my web page will freeze up: "internet explorer is not responding". Uggh!!! I'm so sick of it. My previous computer was used for gaming, had lots of downloads on it (Sims players would understand). So when it got slow and filled with errors, I understood somewhat. But this one, I've never put any games on it, never downloaded like I used to, and still. I'm just so frustrated!

Macs are not perfect, but I truly believe them to be far more reliable and require far less maintenance than Windows machines. I can not say that you won't ever see an error message - that's just the nature of the beast - but I think you will find that random error messages that seem to appear out of nowhere on Windows are far less common on Mac.
 
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Let me start by saying. I love my Mac. And I really am learning to enjoy using this OS, its wonderfully designed.

That said. I have run Windows OSes since 1995. 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, XP. None of them hung 3/4 of the time when shutting down. Since '95 ALL those Windows machines have had TWO viruses. TWO. (And I have never run active virus protection, just done spot scans a few times a year.) A bit of basic education (things like, DON'T use IE or Outlook!) and a few very, very simple usage rules and a Windows computer can and does work well for a long, long time.

My father is STILL using the computer I built in 2000. Yes, it runs Windows.

No OS is perfect. Not even OSX with all its great features (I discover more every day). All will run better if the user at the other side of the keyboard has educated themselves properly. I run 3 OSes, all three can and do run well with just a bit of care.

I bought a Mac for the form factor (small & light!), for the software available, for the OS features, etc. I didn't' buy it expecting it to be problem free. In fact in the first two days because of an uneducated user action I DID end up with errors and broken software. Once I educated myself it was easily fixed and back in action.
 

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