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PC's, Apples and me
Old 09-15-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
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PC's, Apples and me

OK, now that I have mastered taking a photo from an email and turning it into a red cross up in the left hand corner of a post, I feel itís time to move into a more sophisticated area of the computer/internet world.

Here we go:

It turns out that I need to take a lap top (one word or two)? to work. The lap top needs to be connected to the internet both at home and at work.

Hereís the deal:

I have a fairly new PC at home.
I would like to use an Apple lap top at work. So I need to buy an Apple.
I would like to store my information from my as-not-yet bought Apple onto my PC.
I would like to use my HP LaserJet 2200D printer to print out stuff from the Apple (maybe from the PC if I can transfer stuff from the Apple to the PC. The HP is really old, but works really well . Kind of like my furnace. (Btw, we now have three carbon monoxide dectectors placed in the house, so thanks for the suggestion of that).
The building I work in and the house I live in is not set up for Wi-Fi (did I mention we now have three carbon monoxide detectors set up in the house)?

So, regarding this computer situation, can I get an Apple lap top and make this whole thing work?

When I do stuff like this, I am not so much interested in saving money. I am interested in simple and easy and am willing to pay for it. (That last sentence taken out of context doesnít sound so good).

Any ideas (regarding the computer situation)? As in, can I do what I hope to do? Keep in mind, I don't have a degree in engineering, but the person who helps me with this stuff, well, she has a degree in accounting.

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Old 09-15-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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I'll comment on the easy part. It's laptop (one word) .
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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Interesting parallel; I have a similar setup. I have an old reliable Toshiba laptop which is getting slow and is rather heavy by today's standards. I have it connected to the Internet and to my printer/scanner by cable. I have a wireless router within my home, so the laptop can be unplugged from cable and connected wirelessly anywhere in the home. I connect to my workplace via remote access.

I recently decided to make the old laptop play the role of a desktop, meaning it's going to stay home, and I purchased a MacBook Air, which is extremely portable. It has 8GB of memory. I added a USB SuperDrive, which also has the capacity to burn and pay CDs and DVDs. My MacBook Air is connected to my wireless network, enabling me to print directly from it. I access my workplace by Remote Desktop Connection. So I can work from anywhere in the world and access work files on both my laptop and Mac. I can access my personal files on the laptop using Logmein, or I can email them to my gmail account, or transfer them by jump drive, or CD, or use Dropbox. The only catch with Logmein is that the computer you are logging into must be on.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I'll comment on the easy part. It's laptop (one word) .
Great! "Laptop" it is. I'm on my way: It's kind of like, "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by redduck View Post
I have a fairly new PC at home.
I would like to use an Apple lap top at work. So I need to buy an Apple.
I would like to store my information from my as-not-yet bought Apple onto my PC.
I would like to use my HP LaserJet 2200D printer to print out stuff from the Apple (maybe from the PC if I can transfer stuff from the Apple to the PC. The HP is really old, but works really well . Kind of like my furnace. (Btw, we now have three carbon monoxide dectectors placed in the house, so thanks for the suggestion of that).
The building I work in and the house I live in is not set up for Wi-Fi (did I mention we now have three carbon monoxide detectors set up in the house)?
I have a similar setup. Let me address these requirements one-by-one.

Wifi/Internet access: you will be able to take any Apple laptop online. Since your house isn't set up for wifi, you will need to buy a wireless router. I personally like the netgear n600. I assume you are paying for an internet service provider already. The Mac and the PC can both connect to the same wireless router. If you want the PC to connect wirelessly to it, you will need to buy a wireless adapter for your PC, but you could also just connect it directly using an ethernet cable.

Printing: you will be able to print from the Apple. The drivers can be found here, if you need them: HP LaserJet 2200 Printer series*-* Download drivers and software - HP Business Support Center
Your printer has an ethernet port, so you will be able to set it up so you can print wirelessly from your laptop (assuming you get a wireless router). Or you can just plug your printer in to your laptop using a USB cable.

Sharing data/files between the Mac and the PC: this is where it gets tricky. The problem is that files are stored differently on the two platforms. They use different "file systems". The PC typically uses file systems called FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. The Mac typically uses HFS+ (aka Mac OS Extended). If you want to copy files between the two, that's not too hard. But if you want to store files in one place and have both computers access the files, you will need to store them on a hard drive that is formatted with a file system that both computers can read from and write to. One easy solution is to buy an external hard drive or flash drive, format it using the FAT32 file system, and store your files on it. Plug it in to the computer you're using at any given moment. There are more sophisticated methods using wireless networking, but that may be overkill for you.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:52 AM   #6
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If there's an Apple store near you, I'd go ask them (sometime when they're not so busy) and then buy a laptop if you're happy with the answers. I've shared pictures of many formats, music of many formats, PC Excel files to Numbers on my iPad with no trouble between a Dell PC, Dell laptop, iPad and iPod for many years - hard wired, via wi-fi, and two email types. I've also opened Word and Excel files from an Apple user on my PC, no trouble. IOW, maybe I've been lucky but I've yet to have anything I couldn't share back and forth easily.

But again, I'd do some homework to be sure before buying an Apple laptop. Best of luck...
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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For my personal and now infrequent part time work, I use Macs exclusively. EXCEPT when I want to get paid; the enterprise software the company uses demands a PC, and no, they won't let me load a copy of the company licensed software on my personal Mac (and use an emulator like VM Fusion). So you may want to talk with your company IT folks about any issues that may arise like that. Many of whom are likely to show complete disdain for anything Apple. They prefer to keep life simple, as in one operating platform. I prefer simple too, as in a computer that does not require IT support! More expensive? Yes, but for me it's worth it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:27 PM   #8
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OK, I plan on going to my friendly Apple Store tomorrow. I will type out (yes, type out--I have a Wheelwriter 3, which I love) all your thoughts and suggestions and go over them with whoever gets stuck with me.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:54 PM   #9
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Wi-Fi would be nice, especially for the laptop. Once you are networked, you will be able to use file sharing between the Apple and PC to exchange files, though sometimes it can be really funky.

One thing that may make things easier is to sign up for free cloud storage, such as Dropbox or Google Drive or Skydrive or others. This gives you 2GB to 5GB of storage that synchronizes automatically anytime you are connected to the Internet. Works on Apple, PC, and many smartphones. Definitely easier than traditional file sharing.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:09 AM   #10
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Wheelwriter 3? I have a distant memory of the word but had to look that one up. Now I know why - at the time they were waaaay out of my price range.

If yours dies you can still get a reconditioned one: IBM Wheelwriter 3 Typewriter
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:41 AM   #11
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Wheelwriter 3? I have a distant memory of the word but had to look that one up. Now I know why - at the time they were waaaay out of my price range.

If yours dies you can still get a reconditioned one: IBM Wheelwriter 3 Typewriter
Thanks for the link. Hope that I won't ever need it. I do take the typewriter in to be serviced about every three-four years. Other than that, it's been a charm. I do worry (sort of) a few times a year that Staples will stop carrying the typewriter ribbon and the lift off tape cartridge, but so far so good. It takes me about a year to go through a ribbon and cartridge.

For sure, one of my better investments. Much better than the used Mercury Monarch I bought a very long time ago. Unfortunately, it was in my price range.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:46 AM   #12
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There are more sophisticated methods using wireless networking, but that may be overkill for you.
I would take that personally (except that it's so darn true).
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:15 PM   #13
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I would take that personally (except that it's so darn true).
I certainly meant no offense; I just know I've spent way too much time struggling with mapping network drives across two operating systems and then dealing with differing OS support for file systems and then reformatting system partitions and reinstalling OSes in attempts to get it all to work seamlessly. It's easier to just keep all your files on an external hard drive, trust me
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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I certainly meant no offense; I just know I've spent way too much time struggling with mapping network drives across two operating systems and then dealing with differing OS support for file systems and then reformatting system partitions and reinstalling OSes in attempts to get it all to work seamlessly. It's easier to just keep all your files on an external hard drive, trust me
Chesh, have you considered a reconditioned Wheelwriter 3 ? If interested, see Walt34's post in this thread.

Glad to be of help.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:54 PM   #15
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Just a note on the printer. I don't know your printer, but many printers that have WiFi, USB, and ethernet inputs can only have one these inputs active at any one time. For example, if such a printer is connected by USB to your PC, it won't be available to your Mac.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:08 AM   #16
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Macs can print to Windows attached printers. Not sure about the other way around but I don't think so.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:23 AM   #17
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Macs can print to Windows attached printers. Not sure about the other way around but I don't think so.
It is possible, but not a sure thing. Look into Bonjour. The way to avoid such issues is to purchase a network-ready printer. The pc or mac does not have to be powered on for printing.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:44 AM   #18
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Just a note on the printer. I don't know your printer, but many printers that have WiFi, USB, and ethernet inputs can only have one these inputs active at any one time. For example, if such a printer is connected by USB to your PC, it won't be available to your Mac.
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It is possible, but not a sure thing. Look into Bonjour. The way to avoid such issues is to purchase a network-ready printer. The pc or mac does not have to be powered on for printing.
This particular printer has an ethernet port and OS X drivers. If he just plugs it in to a wireless router and leaves it powered on he should be able to print from either computer. At least, that's the first thing I would try.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:31 PM   #19
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If it is a model 2200dn, then it is a network version.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:21 AM   #20
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So, we went to the mall on Monday to check out the Mac laptops (one word). The trip was a complete success. Got a pair of pants at Macy's one size smaller in the waist then a few months ago.

Then, we went upstairs to the Apple Store (such a great place). And, at 2:00, it was practically empty, except for a bunch of employees willing to help us. We looked at both the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. What I wanted doesn't exist. I'd like to get a MacBook Air with a 15" screen. The largest it comes in is a 13" screen. The MacBook Pro comes with a 15" screen, but this laptop quite heavy. Anyhow, I will figure it out. The sales people didn't know that the MacBook Air could be upgraded to 8GB. That's when I told them about Meadbh's upgraded computer. (Felt it couldn't hurt to be dropping names). Both suggested I get an Air Port with the computer (one or two words)? They also suggested I get a Mac Microsoft Word Home and Student program ( think that's close to what they suggested).

Anyhow, I have a question: Where do you tend to use your laptop (e.g. On a table or desk, on the couch, in the backyard)? And, do you ever use it when it's on your lap? One of my concerns is that the heavier Mac Pro might be too heavy to keep on my lap for any reasonable length of time.

I'll go back after the iPhone rush is over and buy a Mac laptop (don't know which one yet).
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