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Advice for [firstime user of Macs] Pro and adding XP?!


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#1 of 13 Mary M S

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Posted February 12 2007 - 07:58 AM

Excuse the mess of thoughts here but I'm in a panic over this purchase after my PC crashed.

Goals:
Get rid of the constant battles beating back virus/spam/etc on a PC acquired via heavy surfing.
I'm sick of MS phoning home, {not that I'd don't assume Mac will do some of this also, but at least I can look forward to not reparing my internet as often acording to happy Applets)
Want power for media manipulation when I have time to chose software for transferring VHS, digital, avi files, meshing all into family DVD's with audio.
If I ever wish to deal with it, - set up a HTPC.

Issue: Had already mulled over purchasing a MAC for the first time, - and intended to replace the old PC this year.

Unfortunately, the hard-drive crashed when I was not ready, have not researched and am not prepared.
I'll need a new compatible printer, (my old laser is not). So I'll be buying add-ons quick, don't want to end up with a whole new system and regret it.


The rush comes from the fact I need to do a powerpoint presentation for school, I have never used powerpoint before, it was not even loaded on my PC.

SO,,, its a crazy crunch to learn MAC for the first time ever!
load XP onto the MAC
load 97 Office into the XP portion (if this will work?)
learn powerpoint
buy a printer
Nervous that if I work a powerpoint presentation up on the MAC it will play on the schools XP loaded PC.

Normally, I'd buy the Mac, research loading XP, etc. But I have no time.

Questions:
I read you are required to decide when loading XP to use FAT32 or the other one.
Something about not being able to write to XP if you chose N???. While FAT is bit clunkier but more usable?

Can't quite grasp what all is at issue here, so if any advice on the partition choice?


There seem to be 3 ways to get XP onto the MAC.
Bootcamp
Parallels
Parallels in a Bootcamp partition.

Any advice why one of the above would be better than another?
Drawbacks & pluses?

Right now I'm in basic Mac feel-out mode, with basic quickie things all missing-in-action for me, till I get used to the Apple user interface. I've lost things like back-clicking via the mouse to return to a prior page while surfing. [So far, all I can find to do, to back up a page is to laboriously roll the curser to top of page and hit the "back arrow"...much slower, than a simple Back clic on the PC mouse]
Having to open the top "file tab" to select copy/paste no tool-bar icons I'm used to to do the same task.
Hard to adjust in a couple of hours!

A further question for any Macbook Pro users.
I'm tired of the real-estate towers take,
would prefer to dock a laptop using my own 20" monitor,
including the luxury of portability in a all-one unit.
So I am not sure why I purchased the Mac Pro tower versus a Macbook other than vague concerns about heat wear & tear, while using a laptop like a DT for heavy daily use.
Additionally concerned the macbooks would limit expansion vs Mac Pro's.
Worried if the Macbooks can add/do anything a Mac Pro can do?

I have two weeks for the project, and 29 days to decide if a Mac Pro is what I want?!

Any thoughts/ help for a scared new-Mac convert would be greatly appreciated!
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#2 of 13 DaveF

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Posted February 12 2007 - 09:41 AM

A quick, minor question: why not buy Mac Office to go with your new Mac? That seems simpler than installing XP in bootcamp to Office 97.(?)

#3 of 13 Andrew Pratt

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Posted February 12 2007 - 10:11 AM

Quote:
Goals:
Get rid of the constant battles beating back virus/spam/etc on a PC acquired via heavy surfing.
I'm sick of MS phoning home, {not that I'd don't assume Mac will do some of this also, but at least I can look forward to not reparing my internet as often acording to happy Applets)
Want power for media manipulation when I have time to chose software for transferring VHS, digital, avi files, meshing all into family DVD's with audio.
If I ever wish to deal with it, - set up a HTPC.
All good reasons to switch to Apple's products.
Quote:

Issue: Had already mulled over purchasing a MAC for the first time, - and intended to replace the old PC this year.

Unfortunately, the hard-drive crashed when I was not ready, have not researched and am not prepared.
I was in your shoes as well and just made the switch over to a MacBook Pro and don't regret it at all.

Quote:
I'll need a new compatible printer, (my old laser is not). So I'll be buying add-ons quick, don't want to end up with a whole new system and regret it.

What Laser do you have now? Does it have a USB port on it?

Quote:
The rush comes from the fact I need to do a powerpoint presentation for school, I have never used powerpoint before, it was not even loaded on my PC.
Easy enough. If you've used Word or Excel you're half way there already.

Quote:
SO,,, its a crazy crunch to learn MAC for the first time ever!
load XP onto the MAC
load 97 Office into the XP portion (if this will work?)
learn powerpoint
buy a printer
Nervous that if I work a powerpoint presentation up on the MAC it will play on the schools XP loaded PC.
Yes Office 97 will load just fine in XP on a Mac...its no different the running XP on your former PC. As for the printer if it has a USB port we have options.

Quote:
Normally, I'd buy the Mac, research loading XP, etc. But I have no time.

Questions:
I read you are required to decide when loading XP to use FAT32 or the other one.
The other one is NTFS. OS X can only read from NTFS not write where as it can easily read and write to FAT32. The downside to FAT32 is that the partitions are limited to 32 gig and it can't deal with files greater then 4 gig in size.
Quote:
There seem to be 3 ways to get XP onto the MAC.
Bootcamp
Parallels
Parallels in a Bootcamp partition.

Any advice why one of the above would be better than another?
Drawbacks & pluses?

In a pinch install XP under BootCamp. BootCamp is free and gives you full native speeds. When you're ready we can discuss Parallels which long term is a better solution for most people. BootCamp sets up its own space on the hard drive and when you boot the computer you can choose which OS to boot into. Parallels on the other hand works by giving you access to Windows from within OSX...meaning you don't have to shut down OSX to work with Windows. The downside is its slightly slower and USB support isn't great at the moment.

To get started you might as well install XP via BootCamp. When you get Parallels you can point it to your BootCamp install so the work involved in setting up XP under BootCamp isn't lost.

Quote:
Right now I'm in basic Mac feel-out mode, with basic quickie things all missing-in-action for me, till I get used to the Apple user interface. I've lost things like back-clicking via the mouse to return to a prior page while surfing. [So far, all I can find to do, to back up a page is to laboriously roll the curser to top of page and hit the "back arrow"...much slower, than a simple Back clic on the PC mouse]
Buy a good mouse that has the dedicated front/back buttons (I use a Logitech MX510) they'll work just fine in OSX.

Quote:
Having to open the top "file tab" to select copy/paste no tool-bar icons I'm used to to do the same task.
Hard to adjust in a couple of hours!

Copy/Paste are available via Right click on a two button mouse.

Quote:
A further question for any Macbook Pro users.
I'm tired of the real-estate towers take,
would prefer to dock a laptop using my own 20" monitor,
including the luxury of portability in a all-one unit.
So I am not sure why I purchased the Mac Pro tower versus a Macbook other than vague concerns about heat wear & tear, while using a laptop like a DT for heavy daily use.
Additionally concerned the macbooks would limit expansion vs Mac Pro's.
Worried if the Macbooks can add/do anything a Mac Pro can do?
The full sized towers are more powerful as they now use Xeon chips and can have a lot more Ram...but they're obviously not portable. I bought the MBPro and really like it.

Quote:
I have two weeks for the project, and 29 days to decide if a Mac Pro is what I want?!

Any thoughts/ help for a scared new-Mac convert would be greatly appreciated!

Ron and I both have threads in this area about our recent experiences switching over that might give you some tips etc. Also as Dave points out there's a version of MS Office for Mac that would give you access to the same programs in OSX without having to worry about Windows. The files will work in either version as well. I'm not sure I'd recomend buying the current copy of Office though as its going to get replaced with a new version this summer/fall.

#4 of 13 Christian Behrens

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Posted February 12 2007 - 10:20 AM

Why not use the test version of Keynote, Apple's own, very good presentations program, that comes with every new Mac? Otherwise, if it has to be PowerPoint, just use the Mac version would be my suggestion, which should also be on the system in a test version.

-Christian
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Benjamin Franklin)

#5 of 13 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted February 12 2007 - 11:02 AM

Another recommendation for Mac Office or Keynote. One thing for people that get a Mac to escape viruses, spyware and such and then install Windows via Boot Camp or Parallels Desktop...it's still Windows. You still have to have anti-virus and spyware protection for the Windows partition. It's unlikely anything will jump from there to the Mac OS, but your PC setup will be contaminated in a hurry if you fail to protect it. Best thing to do is use the Mac OS as much as possible and Windows only when you absolutely have to.

If portability is a big plus for you, the MacBook Pro is a no brainer, as you aren't going be throwing that Mac Pro in a shoulder bag to bring to a meeting. Posted Image

#6 of 13 Mike Heenan

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Posted February 12 2007 - 01:15 PM

On the Mac, you can download a program called Lil Snitch or Little Snitch that will prevent the computer from calling home

#7 of 13 Mary M S

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Posted February 12 2007 - 04:41 PM

Wow!

Thanks to all!

Quote:
why not buy Mac Office to go with your new Mac? That seems simpler than installing XP in bootcamp to Office 97
no experience with these things, assuming the Mac version of office would not produce a powerpoint which would {guaranteed} play without a hitch in a PC loaded with XP?

Quote:
What Laser do you have now? Does it have a USB port on it
It's a HP Laserjet 3100, a dinosaur I have been perfectly happy with, when I upgraded the OS on my PC from 98 to XP, To force the HP to work with XP, it was about a two hour process of commands and reboots that did it, after two weeks research.
I pulled the book & disc today, which required an IBM compatible PC Windows 3.1x or Windows 95! {its that old}.
Contacted HP they stated it was never geared to work with a mac, so no force allowed ...looks like.

Yes I've used both word & Excel, but haven't built anything in Excel for a few years.

The Office 97,,,, was because I have it. And I didn't want to purchase an later PC Office to get a more advanced powerpoint, if I end by having issues trying to meld XP into the mac.
The Mom has The latest PP installed if I can just get back to saving jpegs and formating text and carry it to her on a disc, we can build the final product in her version.

Hate to be a ninny but when you state OS X cannot write in NTFS, I'm still not sure what I'm losing. You can write? in XP to XP, but not transfer work between the 2 OS's?

Andrew, I like your suggestion of dealing only with Bootcamp for the present till I'm past this project. Thanks for helping me prioritize during this sensory overload!

I have a old mouse I love from the PC, a Logitech, will try to load it to get some familiarity back in that area.

I was a little worried about purchasing the Mac now, since Leopard is due out? But your saying if I purchase Office for Mac, A PowerP should play no hitch on a XP PC?

Quote:
if it has to be PowerPoint, just use the Mac version would be my suggestion, which should also be on the system in a test version.
Yes powerpoint, and I don't' spot a test version on this mac? It was an open box purchase, it looked complete but I was shocked at the lack of paperwork included. One tiny booklet, 2 discs for the OS X, that's about it.
And I'm finding Apple could improve a few items. I looked and looked just how to open the slot to insert a DVD, Pulled up "HELP" which stated "use the eject button or F12" F12 did something else and there was no "EJECT" icon. Nor picture of what it looked like in the help screen. After feeling like an idiot I finally figured out it is basically the ^ button far-right keyboard! Posted Image

Michael you gave me the best laugh of the day when I read,
Quote:
you aren't going be throwing that Mac Pro in a shoulder bag to bring to a meeting

..tis true. I'm just tired of the space the tower takes in the house, the idea of the neat and tidy look of a laptop appeals, but I'd end up with dock, peripherals etc. I guess I can always add a 'Mac'top, used/refurbished, later on if I really want the portability.

Mike, thanks for the tip, shall be researching those type things when things settle down in a few weeks. What burns me about all the phoning home is I know for a fact some of 'problems' have attached themself to legit [sneaky] MS phone homes to have the freedom to come & go. Less is better this area, as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks to all! Will be checking in here, - but with two tests in one week to study for, will be trying to get the mac rolling in between studying. Ready to roll on building the PPoint in about 4 days after Tuesday of next week. [due March 1st].

I really really appreciate the help/advice!

What's really weird is this Mac, is our first ever, ready-built in the box, purchase. A billion years ago we were given an aging 286? which morphed many times/many parts into what sat on my desk today. You think since we have always upgraded/built our own I'd better at this. But I don't retain anything I don't deal with/use on a regular basis!

Last night I was on the phone with AT&T trying to get the internet setup, Tech left us with it not functioning. I don't know how I did it but this morning I started roaming around setup again, - kept resetting this and that, and here I am. [But I dont' know what on earth I did! Posted Image ]
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#8 of 13 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted February 13 2007 - 12:23 AM

Do NOT install the Microsoft Office 2004 Test Drive (presumably on the install CD/DVD's you have) and expect to build your PowerPoint presentation with it. It's a limited 30-day trial, with the key word being limited. A lot of templates are not available in it and worse, you aren't able to print from it.

#9 of 13 Michael Harris

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Posted February 13 2007 - 12:31 AM

Quote:
I looked and looked just how to open the slot to insert a DVD, Pulled up "HELP" which stated "use the eject button or F12" F12 did something else and there was no "EJECT" icon. Nor picture of what it looked like in the help screen. After feeling like an idiot I finally figured out it is basically the ^ button far-right keyboard!

Mary, don't feel bad. If you've seen the thread on my purchase of an old G-4, you'll see that I too had that problem. Took some digging and the advice of this forum and finally I got the eject to work and I placed an eject incon in my finder.

Good luck.

#10 of 13 DaveF

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Posted February 13 2007 - 05:41 AM

Quote:
no experience with these things, assuming the Mac version of office would not produce a powerpoint which would {guaranteed} play without a hitch in a PC loaded with XP?
In the bad old days of Win98 and OS8, sharing could cause font problems between Mac and PC. But today, I don't know. Perhaps someone here has direct experience.

#11 of 13 Thomas Newton

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Posted February 13 2007 - 03:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary M S
no experience with these things, assuming the Mac version of office would not produce a powerpoint which would {guaranteed} play without a hitch in a PC loaded with XP?

I don't know about "guaranteed", but Office v.X for Macintosh and the (XP) version of Office for Windows are supposed to be highly compatible. I don't know about the Vista Office (and whatever new formats it might introduce).

Note that Office v.X is a PowerPC program, so it would run in emulation / translation mode on an Intel Mac. However, it's probably something where performance would be adequate (if you had enough RAM). Eventually there should be a Universal (MacOS/PowerPC + MacOS/x86) version of Office; the question is when.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary M S
Hate to be a ninny but when you state OS X cannot write in NTFS, I'm still not sure what I'm losing. You can write? in XP to XP, but not transfer work between the 2 OS's?

It means that if you are working in Mac OS X, you will be unable to copy any files to the NTFS partition. Like downloaded documents that you might want to use on the Windows side. You'll only be able to read files there (e.g., you could copy out a .doc or .ppt file to burn to a CD).

On the Windows side, Windows doesn't normally know how to work with Mac filesystems at all. It won't be able to read OR write any normal Mac files. (I believe there were $80 commercial programs to allow Windows to read 1.44M Mac floppies; these programs might also let Windows read Mac HD volumes.)

So if all you have is HFS+ (Mac) and NTFS (Windows NT/XP) partitions on the HD, you may need to use external workarounds (CD-Rs, USB drives) when you want to get information from the Mac world to the Windows one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary M S
I have a old mouse I love from the PC, a Logitech, will try to load it to get some familiarity back in that area.

If it's a USB mouse, you probably won't need drivers on the MacOS side.

#12 of 13 Andrew Pratt

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Posted February 14 2007 - 01:53 AM

I beleive the universal version of Office for Mac is due out this summer/fall

#13 of 13 Scott Kimball

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Posted February 15 2007 - 07:27 AM

The currently available version of Office for Mac runs well enough in Rosetta that I wouldn't consider waiting for the Universal Binary to be imperative.

Powerpoint for Mac vs Windows sees very few compatibility issues. Watch your fonts and you should be fine.

2GB RAM is imperative for running XP under Parallels.

I have both a MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro at work. Unless you're going to be doing lots of 3D rendering, or encoding lots of MPEG 4 video, the MacBook Pro will serve well. It handles those tasks just fine, but I do piles of MP4 encoding for work (15 - 20 source hours per week) and need the speed of a dedicated tower.

-Scott


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