Advice on converting to Apple please.

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I¡¦m looking at upgrading an old PC to a Mac and was after some advice / answer to questions. Here goes.

Having done a bit of research I think I¡¦d like to get a 12 inch powerbook (nice and portable but with sufficient oomph?) and then by an additional desktop Mac in the future to set with which to do all the network things.

Requirements from system

?h learn how to set up a computer and how things like networking actually work (ie. not just using it for word processing, photos etc). Basically I¡¦d like to become more technically apt rather than just using them.

?h good with photos / film

?h compatible with broadband

?h potential to be wireless

?h std applications

Some questions

?h Apple UK has a refurbished site with upto 45% off powerbooks. These are fully fixed or just orders returned with no problems. Anyone have experience with this?

?h What are most important spec for computer (at least G4, superdrive, OSIX or X)????

?h How compatible are Mac with PC. ie. If I want to send friends / family: photos, movies, e.mail etc are there many problems or will I need special software?

?h Will I be able to copy my old photos / files from the PC to Mac?


Andy H


  • Reply 1 of 7
    im in the same position as andy and id like to add one more question:

    i have 2 windows computers at home hooked up to the internet through a WLAN. will an imac with airport extreme card be able to use this network without any problems? is there anything i have to configure?

    thanks in advance.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    okay, lets get this going....

    1)Refurbished is usually a fixed/repaired computer from my understanding. However, I have heard people laud their experience with refurbished Apple Products.

    2)Depends on what you want to do really. Everything is a G4 now, so obviously that is the minimum you should go. If you are going to do video and use apps like Motion, then you should get a G5 and a decent graphics card. I use my PB 12" for Professional Photography, and it is at the point where I need to upgrade to a G5 from some of the techniques I use in photoshop that can take forever(not really), though it seems to render on large files. You should also get as much ram as you can afford, and stick with OS X!

    3)Photos are pretty easily shared, they are all mostly .jpg, both Macs and PCs use that file fine, movies, again easily shared, any format. Email, no issues there either. Fully compatible with PCs, probably moreso than PC to PC.

    4)Yes, you will be able to copy your photos, music files, etc from your PC to your Mac.


    and now rob...

    1)My friend runs a WLAN at his house all PC. I brought my powerbook over, and it recognized that there was a WLAN available. I simply needed to enter the username and password, and it was up and running. Now every time I go and visit, my Powerbook remembers the username and password, and I connect automagically every time I am over with no more configuration necessary. Yeah for Mac!

  • Reply 3 of 7
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Hi guys.

    Andy, a Mac of any stripe is going to be good for what you want it to do. On the power front, a PowerBook is going to be the most powerful laptop you can get from Apple, but do be aware that a pro laptop != pro desktop. Heck, even the iMac has more raw power these days. But, since laptops have very different engineering requirements, the PowerBook is quite robust in the laptop realm. (Sorry if that's old news to you, we just went a few rounds with a member who was disappointed that his PowerBook couldn't perform as well as a G5 PowerMac, based on 'Power' being at the front of each. Best to clear it up ahead of time. ) But again, for your list, a PB would be just spiffy. It comes ready for WiFi to boot.

    I can't speak to UK refurbished units, haven't had any dealings with them. Perhaps another member can step up and give some advice there.

    As for most important spec, I'd say OS X. Make sure it has plenty of RAM (512MB is where it starts to get comfy, 1GB if you can swing it), and you can't go wrong. OS 9 is no longer being shipped or developed by Apple, and is simply a dead end at this point. A SuperDrive is nice, but unless you're going to be burning DVDs, of questionable value above and beyond a CD-R/DVD player combo.

    Compatibility: MacOS X is simply the most compatible OS on the market - if your friends and family are using applications that can handle any of the most common graphics and video file formats (and I can almost guarantee you they do), you'll be set. "On the Internet, no one knows you're a Mac." I send mail, files, and such every day to and from Windows users without a hitch. Apple has wisely chosen to adopt open standards for networking, mail, web, and data formats whereever it makes sense to do so (which in practical terms is just about everywhere in the system). Not MS standards, but true open standards - this means you can interact with Linux users, Sun users, or anyone else easily as well. MS just happens to have to have support for these open standards as well.


    rob: Well, that depends. Some PC wireless networks are a system produced by Intel that is not compatible with WiFi, which everyone else uses. Check your wireless router manual, and see if you can find out what protocol the thing uses. If it is 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g, then an AirPort Extreme card will work with it 100%, assuming the router manufacturer implemented the protocol correctly. (Some very early units of each type were actually produced before the standards were finalized, and are a bit... off. However, every manufacturer I've run across with product in that position has also offered a firmware upgrade to fix it.) In a nutshell, if it's WiFi, a Mac is happy as a clam on it.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    thanks ijerry and Kickaha!!

    looks like i will finally be converting to mac, now that my last "concern" has been taken care of! cant wait!!
  • Reply 5 of 7

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    I can't speak to UK refurbished units, haven't had any dealings with them. Perhaps another member can step up and give some advice there.

    The UK refurbs are fine in my experience. They're returned, working units (such as ones that have beeen built to order then returned) or units that have a problem and are then fixed by apple. There may be a few surface blemishes, but nothing major. You get the same warantee as with an original, so there shouldn't be too much to worry about.


    Originally posted by Kickaha

    If it is 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g, then an AirPort Extreme card will work with it 100%, assuming the router manufacturer implemented the protocol correctly.

    NOT TRUE ? Airport is not compatible with 802.11a. This standard is incompatible with the other two - g is an extension of b in that it uses the same frequency to transmit information. a uses another frequency entirely. Some third party cards support all three, but airport and airport extreme only support b and g. Don't worry, though - the vast majority of networks are based on 802.11b, with increasing numbers using g, so it's very unlikely you'd have a problem.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    i have b, so i guess im ok
  • Reply 7 of 7
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    You're golden, then.
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