View Full Version : I need some advice/assistance

4th May 2007, 04:02 PM

I'm pretty new to all of this, even though I was converted about 3 years ago, but now there's so much more that I want to do with my Mac and iBook.

So, I have a few questions:

First, I have been considering a virtual pc (or similar) program for some time, but I'm not sure how to go about it ... My Mac is an eMac circa 2004, 1.25GHz Power PC G4, with 512MB DDR SDRAM, running OS X 10.3.9. If I got Virtual PC (the only option I can see because of my Mac's age and the system requirements of other programs) complete with a windows operating system, would I then be able to install windows only applications (such as CorelDraw) onto my Mac to use through the virtual pc? (sorry I really am quite ignorant, but I am trying to learn!) Are there any other alternatives out there?

Plus, I am sick of setting up my old PC at the end of every financial year just so that I can do my tax through etax! (stupid ATO!)(even stupider PC cause it runs sooooooo slowly!)

Secondly, how many good graphics programs are there for Mac? (I'm looking at starting a home business around my kids, but graphics is a key part of it - And I n=have a lot to learn there too!)

My iBook is circa 2006, 1.42GHz Power PC G4, with 1GB DDR SDRAM, running OS X 10.4.8. Should I consider setting everything up on this instead, and if so, wouls I still need Virtual PC? (I'm pretty sure the iBook doesn't have an intel chip).

My other option is, we are looking to upgrade our eMac (pass it onto the kids) to a new iMac in the next financial year - should I wait for that, download Boot Camp and install a windows OS on that? Or would parallels be a better option? If so, do I just get a normal copy of windows, and which version do people recommend? Again, will other windows only apps work?

Sorry to seem like such a pain, but I am starting to recognise the true potential of my macs!

Thanks for any assistance or advice!

4th May 2007, 04:06 PM
You are correct. iBooks do not have intel chips. I'll be dead honest, Virtual PC runs like a dog, you also need to buy windows to run on it (I'd recommend nothing more than XP at the moment)... I'd also recommend you chuck a lot of ram in.

Regarding your iBook/eMac - the difference in processor speed is not huge, but I'd be looking at the eMac, as that will have a faster HD, and can probably take more ram

As for design apps, take your pick:
- PhotoShop
- In Design
- illustrator

with kids you might want something simpler, not sure of these, Comic Life? is good.

If you upgrade to an intel, you can run parallels with Windows, and it will be sooooo much faster.

4th May 2007, 05:59 PM
mac rules the graphics design front.

the leader is adobe photoshop, which comes in an express/less features/cheaper version called elements, which i have never used.

quark is the next major player i think (it to has "quark express" for the less cashed up or less feature dependent).

adobe bought macromedia a year or two back. macromedia had established itself as the leader in terms of mass-market accessible software for web and other content-delivery creation (flash etc).

each of these superpowers are predominantly for the mac, but adobe and macromedia products (not sure about quark) have cross-platform versions for windows that are also quite fully developed and more or less totally compatible to the extent that you wouldn't need to worry which platform you use them on unless you want perfect integration and access to all their other suites of products, in which case remember to use the mac side of things.

any graphics design production work will be with a few tools chosen by the user, not just one program. the adobe and (former) macromedia suites for me on a mac form 90% of the work i do in these areas, which i must admit is on a very small scale when compared to some of the professionals who are much more focussed on this type of work (i only dabble).

4th May 2007, 06:10 PM
The imac with parrallels would more then suit your needs, maybe even an intel mac mini if the budget is tight.

While photoshop is nice lets not forget our free buddies like gimp it runs on all os's and ppc & intel included and offers a lot of what photoshop does just for free, maybe a good option again for a strt up until moneys starts to come in

4th May 2007, 06:11 PM
If you don't want to plunk down a good deal of cash for software, try The Gimp (http://www.gimp.org/macintosh/) for your graphical needs, for the kids download Tux Paint (http://www.tuxpaint.org/download/macosx/). Both run fine on an eMac BUT more RAM would be the cheapest performance upgrade you can do, the 1.25Ghz e-Mac's maxout at 1GB so its probably as far as you want to go with it upgrade-wise. Good luck.

4th May 2007, 07:54 PM
Hey everyone,

Thanks for all your advice. I now have one further question ... I have been sussing out extra ram - how easy/hard is this to install in the emac? If the emac maxes out at 1 gig, then I'd only need to look at another 512 mb unit wouldn't I?

4th May 2007, 08:01 PM
Check here, http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/eMac_OriginalUserGuide.pdf, i am pretty sure it covers apple emac ram upgrades

4th May 2007, 08:14 PM
Thanks, but now I am confused! It says that it needs to be 3.3 volt, PC133 compliant, 64 bit 168 pin, but the one I currently have is PC 2700u-25330 ...

4th May 2007, 09:48 PM
The Emac 700MHz ,800MHZ and 1GHz(exception being the 1GHz USB2 Model) all take PC133 168pin SDRAM.
The Emac (USB2 and 2005 models) take PC2700 184 pin DDR Ram.
Look in System profiler to find the type you have.
Hope this helps.
http:///Users/stevej/Desktop/Picture 2.png

4th May 2007, 10:03 PM
Your eMac does use 2700 DDR Ram - Ignore those specs in the document, as that's for the earlier eMac. Just follow the picture instructions on adding more RAM. And if you need cheap ram, check out http://www.ramcity.com.au they are a sponsor of the site!

4th May 2007, 10:44 PM
As noted by stevej & hawker: Your eMac runs PC2700 DDR RAM, not PC133. Your machine is officially known as an eMac (USB 2.0). Whether you can add double the RAM by just buying one more 512MB stick will depend on what is currently in it.

This eMac has two slots for memory. Yours may have both slots filled - with 256MB sticks - or have a single 512MB and a free slot. The easiest way to find out is to open the System Profiler and select Memory from the left hand pane. Find this program in your Utilities folder or by Selecting the Apple Menu, (top left of screen) then clicking on About This Mac and then clicking the button at the bottom of that window, called More Info… If you have both slots filled, you will have to discard one existing stick, meaning you will only end up with 768MB after adding 512MB. Installing RAM in these is easy enough. Apple has a good instruction page for upgrading eMacs (http://www.apple.com/support/emac/doityourself/).

Parallels Desktop, the virtual machine that allows Windows to run at more or less native speed, is only available for Intel machines - it won't run on either of your G4 Macs, which use the older PowerPC architecture. Virtual PC is the only way if you must run Windows apps. It is slow but you won't njotice that if you're just using it for eTax.

In terms of overall performance, I would tip the eMac over the iBook, even though the latter has a faster processor. The iBook is slower in other ways - bus speed and hard drive - so the eMac should be a little better, as long as it had the same amount of memory, though there would not be a lot in it.

If you decide that running Windows apps is an ongoing necessity, I would definitely look at upgrading, to any current machine - they all run Intel chips - and running either Bootcamp or Parallels.

5th May 2007, 10:45 AM
Thanks - and yes, I just have one slot with a 512mb stick in it, so adding another 512mb stick seems the way to go.

Thanks everyone, you're helping me understand my macs so much! I knew I always wanted to go Mac, and I will NEVER go back to PC (my old pc was nick-named "pc crap" - sounded like piece of crap if you said it fast enough!)

Thank you thank you thank you!