Computer Advice Wanted

January 16, 2008

My desktop is starting to quit on me.  It’ll be a slow decline, I think, and so I have time to consider what to get as a replacement, but I want input from you all.  My current desktop is a Dell Dimension 4300 that I bought in December 2001.  I also own a Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop that’s only a couple of years old.  But I like working at a desktop for most of my writing.  I’m considering switching to an I-Mac.  Why?  Well, my wife is a dedicated Apple person and loves her computer.  Also, I have no desire to get anywhere near Vista.

I have several applications that are Windows specific, but I can run them on the laptop. (One of these is the foodlink software I use for our local food buying coop.  I’m the coop coordinator — I run the whole thing, so I absolutely have to be able to run that software on SOMETHING or the coop will die, and I don’t want that.)  Other applications are not tied to Windows, including ms word, which would allow me to use both a Windows machine and a mac for writing.

So my question, to those of you who have switched from Windows to Mac:  Any regrets?  Any problems you’ve encountered, or has it all been cyber-bliss?  

Today’s music:  Fiona Burnett (Counterpoint)

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9 Responses to “Computer Advice Wanted”

  1. I haven’t done it. But I thought of it. I am going to need to get a laptop soon and the idea of dealing with vista is horrifying. XP is fine. Let me keep that and all will be good.

    Good luck!

    Hey! Any word from Jim on the book that you had with him at WFC?

    Di

  2. Jeff Hannes said

    Heh, well now you’re in my domain. I’d absolutely recommend getting an intel-based Mac, and pick up a copy of Parallels (www.parallels.com) to run your windows applications. This is going to sound like a pitch, but Parallels is unbelievably good. I do a lot of cross-platform programming and I use Windows on my MacBook all the time. All I have to do to switch between the two is Alt-Tab. You can copy something to the clipboard on the Mac side, and then paste it into an application on the Windows side (and vice versa), easily transfer files back and forth… it really is the way to go.

    And for writing I’ve started using Apple’s Pages software instead of Microsoft Word. There’s a lot you can do with styles (like automatically change all italics to underline). You can probably do that stuff in Word too, but I’ve found it much easier to manage and figure things out in Pages. And with Pages you can just save your file as a Word version if need be.

    But regardless of which word processor you use, the convenience of being able to run both Mac and PC applications on one machine is very nice, and with Parallels they finally got it right.

    So my biased view… get a Mac! And if you do go that route and need any help setting things up, feel free to drop me a line.

  3. It’s cyber bliss. I made the mistake of switching from Mac to PC for my laptop. Big mistake. Now, I’m getting a new MacBook Pro, finally. 🙂

    One thing you may not know about Macs, is that they can run Windows. Better than PCs can, in fact (a recent study/article found out that Vista runs better on Apple computers than it does on PCs).

    If you’re set on a desktop (no reason not to be, in fact), I’d get one of these:
    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nnmm=browse&mco=7B72367F&node=home/shop_mac/family/imac
    Any processor size should be great. Depending on what you want to do with it, an iMac would be great.

    If you’re an aspiring video editor like myself, a Mac Pro would be best (or MacBook Pro, like I’m getting). Since you didn’t mention that though, an iMac would be great (and the computer is built into the monitor; how amazing is that?). And again, it can run Windows, so you’re all set.

    Now, if you want a new laptop, too, to write on the go, et cetera, get the new MacBook Air:
    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nnmm=browse&mco=916FC33&node=home/shop_mac/family/macbook_air
    It is literally the thinnest laptop ever created. Just announced it yesterday. Preorders start now, and it comes out soon. Some setbacks for people looking to do heavy multimedia projects, but perfect for internet surfing, basic application users (Microsoft Word, iPhoto, etc.), and road warriors.

    And it looks so cool, haha.

    Oh, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed The Sorcerer’s Plague. Can’t wait for the Horseman’s Gambit.

  4. Mark Wise said

    Most people who perfer the Mac, do so because it is easier to use (more user friendly), the stability of the OS, and the infrequency of viruses. However, the people who go with the PC generally do so becuase it is the “industry standard” as of right now. ALl your friends, co-workers, and business contacts have PCs, so in order to interface well with them, people keep the their PC.

    In actuality, Apple has just about any program you want as a PC user in Mac form with a few noted exceptions.

    But of those that I know that have switched, they generally like Mac better after the switch. Although I have heard second hand of some horror stories.

    I guess ultimately it is a roll of the dice… :\

  5. Yea, but all programs will work fine on Macs now that Windows can run on them. No negatives about Macs that I can see, now.

  6. Tina Parker said

    I got an iMac for Christmas and Leopard is beyond wonderful. The stacking alone is worth it. I find Macs to be intuitively easy to use. I do have Windows for Macs to make it easy on the PC people but I don’t use them as often as I thought I would.

    My workplace uses Macs (we are a newsletter company) and some suits made the decision to switch to PCs — for only one application that everyone hates. The mutiny is almost under control four months later.

    A quick aside, the only good thing about the snow (okay, mostly ice) we are getting is that I get to read Seeds of Betrayal. I finished Rules of Ascension two nights ago and haven’t been able to get the Qirsi out of my mind. That is some world! Thanks for the pleasure of a visit.

  7. davidbcoe said

    Thanks to all for the good advice. It’s hard to find anyone who’ll say anything negative about mac, which I suppose speaks well of the product. Thanks as well to Alex and Tina for the kind words about my books. An author never tires of positive feedback.

    I think I will get the mac eventually — as I said in my post, I’m not in any great rush yet. The computer I have now is getting old, but, to paraphrase those silly folk in Camelot, it’s not dead yet! (Don’t worry: I’m good about backing stuff up.)

    I’ll let you all know when I make the big leap!

    Thanks again.

  8. Matthew Wadsworth Grove said

    Hello-

    I found this exchange after searching for FoodLink and Windows Vista… I know that FoodLink is NOT supported by Vista and I haven’t found anyone who has been able to figure out an alternative. As for Foodlink on Macs, you can run Foodlink on a mac with “Virtual PC” or similar products. Also, the new Intel-based Macs allow you to run Windows XP, and hence, Foodlink.

  9. davidbcoe said

    Thanks for the helpful, hint. Is Virtual PC a program that makes the mac run as a windows machine?

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