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PC AND Mac...Twice the "problems"????
Old 09-21-2009, 08:24 AM   #1
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PC AND Mac...Twice the "problems"????

Good Morning...We are at a stage were we are going to become a 2 laptop family. DW has become computer and internet "literate" to the point where she want her own laptop.

One option is to give her my Dell laptop that still is working fine and under extended warranty...just got a new motherboard and new Ram.

My choice is then to buy another Dell (or alternative brand PC)...OR venture in to the Mac world with a MacPro with all the goodies. I usually buy at the leading edge of technology/power and storeage and keep for about five years.

Question...will maintaining TWO different technologies be a real burden One particular concern is router and monitors? Will the Mac pick right up on my Linksys router (wireless) and my Qwest DSL wireless in our other residence? Or if not is it "simple" to get set-up working...same monitors...does a Mac need Apple monitors?

What about printers...are some/all new printers work on both Mac and PC?

Ever since I had a Mac back in the late 80s I have had an urge to have another.

Should I avoid the urge and stay within one thechnology? BTW...I am probably an above average "tech" guy and ussually can get any issues fixed with online help. Been maintaining my own system since I went self employed nearly 10 year ago.

Also, use is heavy Excel/Word/Internet...nothing too fancy. I use my laptop for client assignments...mostly financial modeling. I need Excel file transfer and I understand that Excel files now transport seamlessly between PC Excel and Mac Excel?

What has been your experience? Those who maintain two systems or those who have made the change from PC to Mac? Thanks...Tom R
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCat View Post

One particular concern is router and monitors?

Will the Mac pick right up on my Linksys router (wireless) and my Qwest DSL wireless in our other residence?

if not is it "simple" to get set-up working...same monitors...does a Mac need Apple monitors?

What about printers...are some/all new printers work on both Mac and PC?
Wireless routers, printers, and monitors are generally no problem at all. Occasionally, a mfg does not have an up-to-date OSX printer driver, but OSX includes CUPS now which works with most printers. A little googling should get a specific answer.

Quote:
Question...will maintaining TWO different technologies be a real burden
Well, they are different and take some getting used to. Either way it can be a little frustrating to know how to do a simple fix on one system, and have to re-learn that on another. OTOH, sometimes having two perspectives helps you learn new ways to work with both systems.

A recent example: Helping my daughter get set up in her college apartment, all the girls were having trouble getting a reliable wireless connection (two Macs, two WinTels). One of the boyfriends said "Oh, Macs don't work so good with that router". I mumbled to my DD that wireless is s standard, Macs will work just fine with it. I little googling, and I found refs to problems with the comcast DNS, set them up with some different DNS servers (OPEN DNS and some AT&T numbers), and both PC and Macs started working 1000x better. One girl with a Wintel said she had troubles all last year, and now it was working fine with the new DNS numbers. They were just suffering with the problems, some "blaming" the Macs, instead of fixing the problem.


For the most part, I think you answered your own question:

Quote:
BTW...I am probably an above average "tech" guy and ussually can get any issues fixed with online help. Been maintaining my own system since I went self employed nearly 10 year ago.
IMO, that's all it takes (along with a desire to learn the ins/outs).

Quote:
Also, use is heavy Excel/Word/Internet...nothing too fancy. I use my laptop for client assignments...mostly financial modeling. I need Excel file transfer and I understand that Excel files now transport seamlessly between PC Excel and Mac Excel?
There can be some minor weird stuff with excel, and macros don't convert well, or at all (I think). Basic stuff has never been a problem though, and I share a lot of excel files between systems.

Also a question for you - do you really think it is best to go to the high end? I generally do the opposite, I find the low end machines have plenty of power/features in Macs. I keep them pretty long, but it seems better (for example) to spend $1K and trade in after four years, than to spend $2K and trade in after 5 years. That low-end replacement at 4 years will be faster than the 4 year old "high end" machine. I think on average, you stay faster for less by buying at the low end. DW loves her entry level MacBook Pro ($999 at edu price, got a iPod Touch included). I am super impressed with both of those items.

-ERD50
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:11 AM   #3
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Routers, wiireless access, monitors, printers, spreadsheet and other MS program compatibility will almost always work out of the box or with minimal set-up. Since the devil is in the details, it might be worth buying your Mac at the Mac retail store where they are generally pretty knowledgeable about compatibilities.

Aside from the "elegant" interface and user experience issues the three overriding considerations for me were reliability of the OS (you turn it on and it rarely needs restarting, rarely crashes, has protected memory, consistency, etc.); and the fact that virus invasion is so far just a theoretic problem -- so rare it is negligible, at least for now. If you have an iPod or iPhone, the associated software and interfaces are amazingly slick; the analagous windows tools work fine, I am told.

Both OS's will get the job done, but IMHO the Mac is much less frustrating for me. You'll pay more, but you already know that .
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:32 AM   #4
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This may be a little off topic but still about laptops. Going on a trip and DW can't stand to be away from her computer for long so she wants an adapter to convert the 12v system to laptop power. I see some on the market starting at about $50. Is there anything I should consider when purchasing one? Any satety concerns for the laptop? I don't think she can access TV signals but she could watch movies. Any ideas?
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:53 AM   #5
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My house has 2 desktops, the big 17" laptop, and a netbook (all XP). I cannot imagine buying at the leading edge nowadays unless I was heavily into gaming or perhaps video editting. I buy the cheapest available systems and keep them until they die. Most of my use is simlar to yours - heavy internet / Excel kind of stuff - and my desktop (512M memory, 2.7G Celeron, bought new for $400 long ago) seems faster than most of my friends because I keep it clean.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:38 AM   #6
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We have both PC's (Dell) and Macs.
My MacBook Pro connected with my wireless hp printer right out of the box. As well as finding the lynksys wireless router right out of the box.
I then installed Windows because the Mac doesn't have support yet for a number of my peripherals and I am just more comfortable with the Vista side of things.
The peripherals I speak of were all gaming peripherals (gaming KB, gaming mini kb, etc).
Outside of that narrow focus, I found no issues with the Mac connecting on a network or using any peripherals my PC was using.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:49 AM   #7
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DH has a MacbookPro set up and I have PC. The biggest problem we have is during the Apple commercials when we call each other Mac and PC and say ours is best.

His Mac connected with our wireless Internet immediately.

Although his printer could be configured to be wireless, we couldn't figure it out and since we already have two printers we just each have our own.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:17 AM   #8
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I have an Imac that I do most of my home stuff on. Also have a Asus Eee pc. DW uses a Macbook. Also bring a laptop pc home from work. All seem to behave together - wireless access, printing and file sharing - even an occasional bluetooth transfer from my blackberry.

Seams like compatibility issues have really improved in the last few years - and there's always the internet for help if you get stumped.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:37 AM   #9
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DD got a Mac for college, I have PCs (laptops) for work and personal. No problems with wireless, etc. The only issue I remember is that we bought an external hard drive for her to transfer her files from the personal PC to the Mac, and then use it for backup. I can't remember the exact problem but the Mac wouldn't read the hard drive, and I think it needed to format it (and then the PC couldn't read it). She didn't have that much data so she just transferred it with a thumb drive and that was no problem.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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Like RB I had an issue with formatting external hard disks for backups or large file transfers, so USB thumb drive was used. I have Macs at home and had PCs @work until I retired last year. This year I bought a HP netbook because Apple does not have that size computer. No problems using both formats. The netbook does not do any heavy lifting and I try to keep it clean. The Macs just work.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
DD got a Mac for college, I have PCs (laptops) for work and personal. No problems with wireless, etc. The only issue I remember is that we bought an external hard drive for her to transfer her files from the personal PC to the Mac, and then use it for backup. I can't remember the exact problem but the Mac wouldn't read the hard drive, and I think it needed to format it (and then the PC couldn't read it). She didn't have that much data so she just transferred it with a thumb drive and that was no problem.
If the drive is formatted as FAT32, both Macs & Windows can read it. Only "catch" is that FAT32 supports a max file size of 4GB.

Comparison of file systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Have not tried it, but this should allow a Mac to read/write NTFS formatted disks:

NTFS-3G - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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