My First Mac?

Dear me, I’m weakening. The marriage bonds of PC with Mac software and hardware has enticed me. I never thought I’d do it. I haven’t yet. But I feel the gravitational pull of Apple drawing me into its orbit!

There’s just no joy or energy in the prospect of doing the Dell/Vista thing when the time comes to replace this 4-yr-old desktop system. Besides, we’ll keep the current PC desktop should I have (Mac users will laugh) “Windows withdrawal” because–you can’t really appreciate the enormity of this statement–Ann wants this box upstairs in her office! But that’s another story.

I got all excited a few days back, early in my hopeful and eventual conversion. The Mac Pro/Quad 2.66GHz Xeon lists at $2500. That’s steep, but it’s about where my PC systems have settled for the past couple of computer replacements–with the same dollars buying more and more machine. Then I realized in my giddy shopping spree-glee that the monitor is not included in the price. Gulp. And what software will I need to transition to a “universal” or Mac version? Does a Mac come with the equivalent of MS Office, for instance?

And it seems the “universal” dual-OS thing on the same machine is not quite ready for prime time. “Non-native software (notably Adobe Creative Suite) must be translated via Rosetta Stone.” That’s coming along, but sounds like I should wait a while, and can’t jump anyway until I am able to purchase it from the Words and Pixels account (Lilliputian income from writing and photography). So keep those book and note card purchases, sponsor visits and sidebar donations coming in! Maybe there’s a Mac coming to Goose Creek in our lifetimes!

Suggestions, warnings, encouragement appreciated in this scary change of life adventure. It’s a bit overwhelming. Virtual PC? Boot Camp? My First Mac is bookmarked and as good a starting place as any, I suppose.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Fred:

    There’s a reason why most of the world’s professional photographers use Macs for image processing and that most video production is done on a Mac. Although I work in both environments I prefer Macs for all my image and video work. Photoshop runs better on Macs and color calibration is better as well. And Final Cut Pro is, in my opinion, the best tool for serious video production, especially in HD.

    Are they more expensive? In some ways but if you make a living with images and video then you should never scrimp on tools that let you do a better job.

  2. hi, fred,
    i tried to leave links to another windows user’s notes on converting (happily) to a mac, but it didn’t seem to take. link spam filtering, perhaps?

    at any rate, head to “notes from an eclectic mind” ranablog dot com and search for “mac conversion notes”. she goes into some detail … i think you’ll find it useful.

  3. If you are going to stick with Windows I would suggest acellerating your replacement timetable and doing it now while you still can get XP. Get a nice expandable machine and you will be good for another 4-5 years. Maybe by them Vista will be usable. Maybe.

  4. I just got a macbook pro and, because I have so many other computers that use windows XP and those programs and documents that I will need to continue to be able to use on the Mac, I got the Virtual Machine program. So far it works wonderfully, except for my one video game, but that’s okay… I’m getting it in the Mac OS so I don’t have to think about it. Didn’t know if I’d like a Mac, but I think I do… now if I can just remember what to click where. 🙂

  5. Fred, you should take a close look at an iMac if cost is an issue. They are really a good value. You can still add an extra monitor to get 2 side by side.

    Also, Adobe’s CS3 doesn’t need Rosetta. I think the only major software that hasn’t been updated for Intel Macs is MS Office.

    You’ll find lots of good stuff on My First Mac.

  6. The Adobe Create Suite CS3 (which you linked to in your post) is indeed Universal and doesn’t not need to be emulated via Rosetta. CS2 needed to be used via Rosetta.

  7. For what it’s worth, I’ve had MAC’s for years……….My desktop is about 4 years old with nary a problem – I use it for everything, including printing out my photos………..I recently bought a new camera, a Nikon D40x, and the photos that I print out from my MAC are exquisite! I have an iBook that I use for traveling to upload my photos on a daily basis. I am still using Photoshop Elements without any problems with my MAC – I would never change to any other PC!!

  8. Welcome to the Mac world! I recommend a pilgrimage to the Apple Store in Richmond before you buy. It’s fun to play with the ones in the store and the salespeople can answer any question. I think you should check out the iMacs.

    I’m writing this on my 2002 eMac which is still going fine. I also have an iBook that travels around with me, and an 8-year-old iMac that still works fine (just slow). I think the 1993 Performa 550 in the basement still works, too.

    You might be able to get a teacher’s discount from the Apple store; that’ll save you $100.

    See you Oct. 18 at the FC Library.