Blown Away by iMac

  • Posted: 13 December 2010 11:46 AM

    I know this is stating the obvious and completely preaching to the choir with you guys. But I can’t express how amazed I was by the iMac this weekend. I’ m not only new to AAPL stock, but also their products. 1st gen iPod 6 years ago and then a Touch this year when that died. That’s about it. Always been a PC guy. So this weekend I was at Best Buy picking up some other stuff when I decided to go “play with” the iPad. Of course I couldn’t even get close to the thing.  But there was a spot open in front of a 22” iMac so I sat down to check it out. I didn’t get up for the next half hour. Most of that time I was just playing with iPhoto and iMovie. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to use and the range of functionality it had. Slideshows, Faces, Albums?everything was amazing. We have thousands of photos on whatever piece of crap photo software is on my Dell and I never see them. The few times I have ventured into that swamp I got overwhelmed and bailed quickly. Just a maze of horrible folders. Impossible to find anything. Ugly presentation. Uploading to my Touch? Took me 2 hours to get 2 dozen photos there. I’m constantly asking my wife to put together hard copy albums for us and she says it takes hours upon hours to organize and is a miserable experience.

    Anyway, after 30 minutes at Best Buy I thought I could do whatever I wanted with that computer. And the screen is just amazing. So now I’m thinking I’m going to just trash my 2 year old Dell and upgrade soon to the iMac. Just had a couple of questions for you guys. Any former PC guys that have recently come out of the darkness? Trying to figure out just how big a deal the transition is. Pretty seamless from an old PC to a new PC. Plug em together, wait a couple hours?done. What surprises should I prepare myself for?

    One thing I think I’ve figured out with a little research is there is no Financial software for the Mac? I really loved MS Money and still use an old version. Now I find out Quicken doesn’t have a full-blown Mac version? I find that crazy. Would be really hard to give up on Financial software entirely.

    What else might I lose from the transition? How about exporting my thousands of photos to iPhoto? Easy? Hard? Any pointers on making the change would be appreciated.

    One last thing. I was surprised by how affordable the iMac was. Priced it out on-line and it seems I can get a more than adequate 22” iMac for about $1,500. That’s less than I spent on my POS Dell 2 years ago. Good for my purchase?.but a little worried about margins.

    Thanks

    JRay

         
  • Posted: 13 December 2010 11:58 AM #1

    There is financial software for macs.  I don’t recall what my wife uses but she likes it.
    As far as file transfer, I think you can bring your PC into the genius bar and they will assist you with everything.
    I switched to mac about 3 years ago now.  I will never go back.  As a matter of fact I did the change for much the same reason as you.  I happened into an Apple store on a business trip to Miami and the rest is history.
    Make the change,  you wont be disappointed!

         
  • Posted: 13 December 2010 12:01 PM #2

    I have 20” and 27” iMacs, and 15” and 17” MacBook Pros, and a MacMini all running a $79 program called Parallels that allows you to run Windows flawlessly (mostly) on a Mac. I run some heavy duty GPS software, and it works fabulously. Apple makes a program called Bootcamp that allows the same thing, but you have to boot your Mac up as a Windows machine. Parallels allows me to run Window XP Pro side by side with my Mac applications.

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    Posted: 13 December 2010 12:03 PM #3

    I’m not a PC person, but let’s venture in anyway.

    1. there is little software that is needed to update right away.  (More on that later).
    2. There are usually 2-3 ways to accomplish the same function.  Keyboard, mouse and something else.
    3. Playing around is the best way to learn.
    4. Keep asking questions a few times a week here in a forum.
    5. A good regular mouse (Kensington, Microsoft, Logitech)  may or may not be in the cards for situations when the Apple mouse is not appropriate.
    6. printers can be an issue, but statistically, you’ll be okay with your current printer.
    7. Photos are not a problem—Buy your iMac at an Apple Retail Store if one is nearby.  Set up an appointment.  Bring in your PC.  They will transfer the stuff for you.  EDIT:  Mac will be ready for pickup within a day or 2 after your appointment. 
    8. Otherwise, transfer your photos via a USB Flash drive or something.
    9. Some people enjoy buying a Mac book designed for switchers.

    [ Edited: 13 December 2010 01:54 PM by Tetrachloride ]      
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    Posted: 13 December 2010 12:05 PM #4

    This page may help show you financial SW for the mac.  I use Quicken 2007 which is pretty full-featured.

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    Posted: 13 December 2010 12:08 PM #5

    10. Recommended software for all users:
    a. Perian (helps with video files)
    b. VLC (plays video files and DVDs, sometimes better than the Apple DVD Player app).
    c. More browsers:  Firefox, Chrome, Omniweb, iCab, Opera, possibly Flock.
    d. an RSS reader for news junkies: NetNewsWire (or if you can find it—NetNewsWire Lite)
    e. how about a good game:  Enigmo (not Enigma)  http://www.pangeasoft.net/enigmo/downloads.html  not to mention Enigmo 2.
    f. iWork—buy it at the same time that you get the iMac for a discount.
    g. Chax (helps with iChat)
    h. MoreichatSmileys
    i. Yasu or Cocktail or Onyx (software maintenance)

    Total price for the above.  Less than $ 40.

         
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    Posted: 13 December 2010 12:09 PM #6

    You can keep a PC around for PC software.  But given the security on a PC, I’d be hesitant to keep it connected to the internet.

         
  • Posted: 13 December 2010 01:21 PM #7

    Ditto on just letting the genius bar transfer your data.  I did my own but it was a pain.  Toughest part was exporting outlook files but after some research I used a utility someone developed.  Microsoft’s new version of Office for Mac would negate the problem but I’ve pretty much gone Microsoft free with nary a problem.  iWork with it’s spreadsheet, word processor and Keynote (powerpoint) all work well and are exportable to Office formats should the need arise.  Power excel users should probably stay with that from what I read. 
    I would add Handbrake which utilizes VLC as a DVD ripping device.  Excellent product and free to download.  It will also take .avi and other formats and convert/optimize them for an AppleTV which you’ll soon be acquiring to effortlessly stream your new found photo’s to the big screen.  smile

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  • Posted: 13 December 2010 05:36 PM #8

    You might want to consider Apples new track pad instead of a mouse.  it’s a convenient way to use multi-touch gestures and works quite well.  It took about a week to get to the point where I preferred it.  I should note that I’m use to most of it’s actions from my MacBook Pro.  It’s a lot less finicky than my logitech or Microsoft RF mice.  Didn’t try either companies blue tooth offerings.

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  • Posted: 13 December 2010 05:40 PM #9

    If you’re willing to consider an alternate personal finance software package people seem to rave about this.

    http://www.mint.com/

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    Posted: 13 December 2010 06:01 PM #10

    BillH - 13 December 2010 09:40 PM

    If you’re willing to consider an alternate personal finance software package people seem to rave about this.

    http://www.mint.com/

    I currently use mint, and would recommend if you primarily are interested in tracking and rely on electronic banking.  If your primary focus is balancing a checkbook, it doesn’t really fit the bill.  I used Quicken forever but their most recent version in lacking in investment tracking capabilities so I was waiting for something better, but picked Mint because it did most of what I wanted and was free.

         
  • Posted: 13 December 2010 07:00 PM #11

    I was using Quicken 2005 but switched to iBank 4 a few months ago and I’m glad I did. The best thing about it is the iPhone app. It makes it a snap to enter transactions when they happen and then it can sync back to the Mac version to update. Cuts down on the tedious data entry.

    The investment tools are the most lacking part of the software, but for credit card/checking, etc. it’s great.

    It is possible (and easy) to import from Quicken as well.

         
  • Posted: 13 December 2010 07:04 PM #12

    I use Mint, and though I think it’s great for what it does, it really doesn’t have nearly the functionality of Quicken.  I was on PC for years and used Quicken Home & Business (since I’m freelance) to handle finances, bills, and invoices.  Since switching to Mac I’ve been unable to find anything that really replicates the capability of Quicken H&B, so in the end I installed Crossover and run it that way.  This is the one area where I feel Mac developers need to step up their game and bring something to market like a full-featured Quicken H&B.

         
  • Posted: 13 December 2010 07:35 PM #13

    One often overlooked benefit with a Mac is that a Unix prompt is only a click away at any time.  Just open Terminal (in the applications folder) and there you are.  If you have shell access on a remote server just type “ssh <servername>” and you’re at your remote login screen.  If you’re a Unix geek you can’t beat a Mac.

         
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    Posted: 13 December 2010 08:24 PM #14

    If you don’t mind going the Apple Store route (you’ll miss out on some savings from shopping at Amazon and possibly sales taxes), you should get some quality service to compensate.  They’ll help you move files over, make some migration suggestions, etc. 

    Parallels/Boot Camp will make the PC transition almost seamless.  With proper file transfer software and a little setup (you would need a Windows license though) it’d be as if your PC never left.

    iPhoto migration would be a piece of cake.  Get all your JPGs and videos in a folder, dump ‘em in iPhoto.  It should do the rest.

    One word of advice - iPhoto ‘11 is absolutely horrific for e-mailing photos in a “normal” way (you’re forced into using templates, can’t just send photos as regular attachments, etc.)  If there’s any way to use the previous version of iPhoto, look into it.  Sadly, my guess is every new Mac comes with iPhoto 11 preinstalled now.

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  • Posted: 13 December 2010 08:46 PM #15

    Mav - 14 December 2010 12:24 AM

    One word of advice - iPhoto ‘11 is absolutely horrific for e-mailing photos in a “normal” way (you’re forced into using templates, can’t just send photos as regular attachments, etc.)  If there’s any way to use the previous version of iPhoto, look into it.  Sadly, my guess is every new Mac comes with iPhoto 11 preinstalled now.

    I just upgraded and wondered about this myself.  Just found a tip from the Apple Support forums.

    simply select the photo(s) and drag them to the mail icon in the Dock - it will open a new message with photo(s) attached exactly the way previous versions did

    In the lower right of the message window is the file size control that lets you choose small, medium, large or actual size.

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