Some advice on getting a second Mac

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Hey everyone.



A little bit of background first. I got my first iMac just over a year ago. It is a 24" beauty, with a great processor, great memory, 500 GB HDD, all that. Really a great machine, perfect for my needs for Photoshop and the like. I love it and I am gonna keep it for several more years (wont need to upgrade as often as I had to with my old PCs).



However, more and more I have taken to writing and the people I show my work to say I have a nack for it. So now, I have a desire to get a MacBook so I can do this work while I am away from home (such as when I visit my folks in northern Washington, or durring my lunch breaks). Pretty much, I need a mobile computer.



Now, I am going to wait until May to get one for two reasons. 1-I suspect we will see updates to the consumer models by or around then, including more environmetally designed cases and displays. 2-It will be my birthday and I can somewhat justify it as my birthday present. :-P



Now, the issue comes, of course, that if I get one, I will actually have 2 full computers, which seems odd to me. It just feels really weird having 2 computers. Obviously, to this extent a MacBook air is tempting but at $1799 for the base model, it is too much.



So my question is...to people here who have multiple computers (specifically a desktop AND a laptop/notebook), is it odd having multiple computers? Do you favor one over the other? Do you find balance between them? Once you have a laptop, does your desktop go unused a bit more? Is it something you would recommend or just consider it a waste of money? And, just to put this out there...does anyone have a Mac and a second computer that is a Windows based computer (considering getting an HPTX2000 as it is a tablet with an active digitizer for a good price) and do you find any difficulties there if you do?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    I've an iMac (20") as well as a 15" Powerbook (older version of the MacBookPro) ... I'd have a hard time having only one, but I travel all the time... 3-4 nights a week away from home.



    At home though, I'll usually sit down in front of the iMac, just because it's got a bigger screen and is more comfortable... The iMac also serves as a media server... sending files to the TV via a PS3.



    Having two computers is where .mac really becomes a great value (to me.) Each computer syncs with the other (and with the iPhone) via the internet... so both have the same Safari bookmarks, the same AddressBook, the same Mail accounts (imap is avail from gmail now!) A change made to any of these things on one computer automatically shows up on the other via .mac syncing. It really makes for a seamless transition moving from one computer to the other.



    I've also got an XP computer on the home network, but I'm trying to find someone who'll give me a few bucks for it... no-one here likes to use it and I'll replace it with a Mini. The XP doesn't network as seamlessly as the macs do... everything is more of a hassle to keep connected... networked printer, other computers, PS3.... probably just because I'm more proficient with the Macs, but I just don't need the hassle of the XP machine anymore.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    I've an iMac (20") as well as a 15" Powerbook (older version of the MacBookPro) ... I'd have a hard time having only one, but I travel all the time... 3-4 nights a week away from home.



    At home though, I'll usually sit down in front of the iMac, just because it's got a bigger screen and is more comfortable... The iMac also serves as a media server... sending files to the TV via a PS3.



    Having two computers is where .mac really becomes a great value (to me.) Each computer syncs with the other (and with the iPhone) via the internet... so both have the same Safari bookmarks, the same AddressBook, the same Mail accounts (imap is avail from gmail now!) A change made to any of these things on one computer automatically shows up on the other via .mac syncing. It really makes for a seamless transition moving from one computer to the other.



    I've also got an XP computer on the home network, but I'm trying to find someone who'll give me a few bucks for it... no-one here likes to use it and I'll replace it with a Mini. The XP doesn't network as seamlessly as the macs do... everything is more of a hassle to keep connected... networked printer, other computers, PS3.... probably just because I'm more proficient with the Macs, but I just don't need the hassle of the XP machine anymore.



    Wow, I didn't know .mac was that strong! I know "Back to My Mac" in Leopard would let me access the files, but lets say I am working on a screenplay or some other writing project on my MacBook. Can I use .mac to update the file back home?



    I HAVE been considering getting a full subscription to .mac...maybe this would be the final thing to push me there....



    I think, too, that since I will be moving in with my girlfriend when my lease expires that the iMac may become the media computer as well, with out Apple TV out in the living room with the HDTV (no PS3...yet...MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA).



    Thanks for your input, my leige! :-P
  • Reply 3 of 8
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    I've tried to use multiple computers - a desktop at home and a laptop for going between home and work. I hated it because I always had to try and manually sync data. The .Mac service likely wouldn't have helped as I still wanted to separate home and work data.



    In your situation, I'd sell the iMac and get a Macbook Pro.



    The Pro for the bigger non-glossy screen. The battery in the laptops helps in case of power failure in the middle of a long writing session.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogzilla View Post


    ... my leige! :-P



    hmmm... i could get used to that...





    As for syncing individual files with .mac... i simply save the file onto the iDisk (a virtual drive on Apple's .mac servers)... the only catch to that is that you must make sure you have been internet connected and synced (from both computers) to know that the file on one machine will reflect changes made on the other machine. Hasn't ever been a problem for me though.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    I use a 20" alum iMac at home and recently replace my Dell notebook with a Macbook Air. I love both the iMac and the Air, the Air is really more of a companion to the iMac, which is my workhorse... but the Air is worth every penny!



    Whether you get an MB or MBP or an MBA, you will not be disappointed, but honestly, the MBA is pretty neat, especially if you travel alot
  • Reply 6 of 8
    dentondenton Posts: 725member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogzilla View Post


    However, more and more I have taken to writing and the people I show my work to say I have a nack for it. So now, I have a desire to get a MacBook so I can do this work while I am away from home (such as when I visit my folks in northern Washington, or durring my lunch breaks). Pretty much, I need a mobile computer.



    Quote:

    It just feels really weird having 2 computers. Obviously, to this extent a MacBook air is tempting but at $1799 for the base model, it is too much.



    Quote:

    So my question is...to people here who have multiple computers (specifically a desktop AND a laptop/notebook), is it odd having multiple computers? Do you favor one over the other? Do you find balance between them? Once you have a laptop, does your desktop go unused a bit more? Is it something you would recommend or just consider it a waste of money?



    My preference would be for one computer, but with an external display/keyboard/mouse for use at home. Since you're talking about photoshop and mobility, if you want one computer to do this, the 15" MBP would probably be the best choice.



    If you want to keep your iMac, then I would suggest the following: get a 12" ibook or powerbook off of ebay. You say you only need the notebook for writing, which means that you can use any machine that is mobile and can run a word processor. Why spend $1800 on a MBA or even $1200 on a MB when you can get a portable Mac for a few hundreds that will do the job just as well?
  • Reply 7 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton View Post


    ...If you want to keep your iMac, then I would suggest the following: get a 12" ibook or powerbook off of ebay...



    I've nothing against buying used ... great bargains can be had there. But I'd have a hard time recommending anything other than an Intel Mac these days. And an original MacBook can still be had on eBay for half the price of a new one. Especially to someone who already has an Intel iMac... as time goes on more and more stuff may require that hardware (Universal Binaries, I know... but that's my opinion.)
  • Reply 8 of 8
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    If you just need to write text on the go, why not grab an Asus Eee? More portable than MB Air, costs about as much as a used iBook. I'd definitely go for one of those for a second computer if I wasn't practically married to some Mac-only apps.
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