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radiocam
1st January 2008, 10:33 PM
Hello,
I'm waiting on delivery of a new macbook for my 15 year old who's going into year 10. I must admit to be far more excited about this than she is as I've been a PC user since 1983 and grabbed this opportunity to sort of break a pattern - and because I think she will be better served by a mac.

So...as a newcomer to this world, there are a couple of really basic questions that I'm hoping someone can advise me on:

1. Her school network has a system for backing up their Windows PCs but Mac owners are left to do their own thing..(suits me fine, more control): So, I'm expecting to set up a USB external drive - but know nothing about backing up a macbook. What software would you recommend?

2. The school has some PC programs that the kids are expected to run on their computers. I'm not sure I can find mac equivalents to all of these (or that they will supply them) so I may need to run these apps using one of the Windows software enablers - any recommendations again? I've heard Parallels mentioned at school (for rebels like us) but know nothing about it.

Last is a more generic question: Are there any good sites for newcomers like us to learn the basics without asking questions on here that have probably been asked gazillion times?

Thanks in advance,
Cheers

leon
1st January 2008, 10:40 PM
1. Leopard has time machine which may suit your needs, and backup her laptop for here when she connects the external drive at home. I would recommend a Firewire HDD over USB as they are much faster. I tend to not use automated backups, but rather manually backup my documents that I have altered each day.

2. She could always use Bootcamp to boot natively into Windows, and thus her machine would be just like anybody using a PC (as a bonus it is free with Leopard). Have not used Parallels so can not comment, but I use Bootcamp without a hitch. If you go down the Parallels route, just make sure that she can get support for it at school just in case something goes wrong.

3. You could just use the search function on this site to try and answer your questions.

areal
1st January 2008, 10:42 PM
To backup your data you simply need to connect an external hard drive that is larger than the internal hard drive and run Time Machine (http://www.apple.com/au/macosx/features/timemachine.html). It will be installed on the MacBook when it arrives. The first time it will backup your entire computer but after that it will backup only the changes that it sees each time you connect the external hard drive. It's really easy.

radiocam
2nd January 2008, 10:23 PM
areal, leon: thanks for the advice. Time Machine sounds very good - had heard the name but knew nothing about what it does.

good point too about firewire vs USB. Since I'll be getting her a dedicated ext HDD, it makes sense that it's firewire....though I have not been able to find a firewire case yet (so I can roll my own)

cheers

Mac Ram
2nd January 2008, 10:38 PM
Welcome radiocam.

For advice re external hard drives you could do a lot worse than looking at this article (http://mactalk.com.au/forums/showthread.php?t=41005)

Johnny Appleseed
2nd January 2008, 10:42 PM
Are there any good sites for newcomers like us to learn the basics without asking questions on here that have probably been asked gazillion times?

Apple's own Mac 101 (http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/) and Switch 101 (http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/).

der
2nd January 2008, 10:44 PM
some useful sites for newbies:

www.apple.com/support/switch101

www.apple.com/support/mac101/work

www.switchingtomac.com/wp/category/training

www.myfirstmac.com

www.guides.macrumors.com

www.macosxhints.com

www.macfixit.com

www.osx.iusethis.com

www.macupdate.com

www.versiontracker.com/macosx

www.macsurfer.com

http://the.taoofmac.com/space/Switch

http://the.taoofmac.com/space/HOWTO/Switch%20To%20The%20Mac


good luck!

El Guardo
2nd January 2008, 10:45 PM
1. Her school network has a system for backing up their Windows PCs but Mac owners are left to do their own thing..(suits me fine, more control): So, I'm expecting to set up a USB external drive - but know nothing about backing up a macbook. What software would you recommend?

As already noted, external drive with Firewire connection. From memory the MacBook only comes with FW400, thus narrowing your selection of cases and simplifying the equation somewhat. Clockwork has provided a good thread (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/showthread.php?t=41005) on this topic and I'd heartily recommend you take his advice.

I have two further suggestions. One, don't rely on TimeMachine as it's not a true backup solution and you're therefore likely to be disappointed/frustrated in a worst case scenario. Instead, complement TM with a true backup program like SuperDuper! (http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/)(the best as far as I'm concerned - although the current lack of Leopard compatibility is a bit frustrating - it should be out before she heads back to school) to take a mirror copy of the MacBook's hard drive.

Second suggestion would therefore be to get an external drive of say 500Gb in size, create two partitions, one for a mirror copy of the MacBook's HDD, and the other partition for TM. And make sure you exclude music/photos/movies from the TM archive if your daughter has a lot of such - or get a larger external HDD!


2. The school has some PC programs that the kids are expected to run on their computers. I'm not sure I can find mac equivalents to all of these (or that they will supply them) so I may need to run these apps using one of the Windows software enablers - any recommendations again? I've heard Parallels mentioned at school (for rebels like us) but know nothing about it.

Admittedly it's only been in playing, and not solid business case usage, but I've found VMWare's Fusion to be faster. Of course should you go the virtualisation route, max out the RAM in the MacBook and don't buy it from Apple (there are threads here on where to source cheap RAM).

bennyling
3rd January 2008, 06:08 AM
2. The school has some PC programs that the kids are expected to run on their computers. I'm not sure I can find mac equivalents to all of these (or that they will supply them) so I may need to run these apps using one of the Windows software enablers - any recommendations again? I've heard Parallels mentioned at school (for rebels like us) but know nothing about it.

Besides the plethora of virtualisation apps (Parallels, VMware) and bootcamp methodologies, you could also use CrossOver Mac... (http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/)

Although, I haven't seen it mentioned in these forums... It acts as a "wrapper", and allows you to run Windows Apps straight from within OSX!


Last is a more generic question: Are there any good sites for newcomers like us to learn the basics without asking questions on here that have probably been asked gazillion times?

Hey, that's what the Applecare is for.. You DID buy the APP, didn't you?

Other than that, just pop into your local Applecentre, and start badgering them ;)

WonderBoy
3rd January 2008, 07:58 AM
...2. The school has some PC programs that the kids are expected to run on their computers. I'm not sure I can find mac equivalents to all of these...

Can you rattle off a few radiocam?

radiocam
4th January 2008, 02:25 PM
Folks - may I say that in many years of posting to pc and various hobby forums I have never been made so welcome and had such a deluge of great advice. Thank you very much. It's almost inescapable with the apple aura that when you become an owner you feel you are joining a sort of elite group - but this really has been great.

bennyling: I have an Adobe PS Elements licence (Win) from my daughter's last computer - any idea which of the Win enablers it will run best under? (if at all!)
And yes, i did get applecare, especially as the school IT dept will enjoy watching any problems from the sidelines...

macram/el guardo: great article on ext drives! - not sure if USB2/FW400 will be much different, but i'll do more research. and yes, she does have the mandatory music collection (not very big) and photographs (huge- probably needs more disk space than all that was available in Aus when I started in IT...amazing) - so yes, there will be a separate one for that stuff.
thanks for the recco on SuperDuper - was wondering about it.

Re the RAM, yes, Apple wanted $198 for another 1GB (ouch) so will scan here for cheaper RAM - is it important to use matched pairs?

wonderboy: i don't have a full list yet, but here are a few that i know of:
Crocodile Physics
Crocodile Chemistry
FX Math
Graphmatica
Geometers Sketchpad
Inspiration
Audacity
(the problem is that some of these are handed out as part of the network connection setup by the school, but i think they will only give win versions even if there are mac versions - so i'm trying to be prepared in case the win stuff doesn't work)


Thanks all for the links, lots of good reading there by the look of it.

And a parting question that I've been really curious about, given the petri dish i spend the rest of my time in - does a mac need antivirus and antispyware apps - or is that a dumb question?

again - many thanks for the advice - i will search the forum for information in future but as a starter set I really appreciate the help.

Cheers
(PS: Still waiting on the postman/courier...)

Mac Ram
4th January 2008, 02:45 PM
does a mac need antivirus and antispyware appsAs always on these forums, there is an article or thread which will assist....http://forums.mactalk.com.au/showthread.php?p=295560

Kuma
4th January 2008, 03:13 PM
might be worth watching the leopard propaganda video - eerrr video guide that is.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/guidedtour/

El Guardo
4th January 2008, 10:49 PM
May I say that in many years of posting to pc and various hobby forums I have never been made so welcome and had such a deluge of great advice. Thank you very much. It's almost inescapable with the apple aura that when you become an owner you feel you are joining a sort of elite group - but this really has been great.

I just wanted to increase my post count. Don't expect to hear from me again... ;)

bennyling
4th January 2008, 10:58 PM
El Guardo, is, of course, kidding. He and myself have had a heated debate over an issue - but that's not the issue at hand.

For the RAM, you want to use matched pairs. I've talked to Apple on this issue, and they responded with: "Matched ram in an integrated graphics chipset (MacBook, Mac Mini) gives an approximate 15% speed boost to graphics preformance." From that, I'd say that matched pairs is prettty important.

As for the wrapper application (to run your Windows apps in OSX) you could always use CrossOver Mac... I haven't tried this with PS Elements, though. Good to know that Adobe don't currently make a version of PS Elements for Mac that is compatible with Leopard, hey :confused:


It's almost inescapable with the apple aura that when you become an owner you feel you are joining a sort of elite group

Why, that's exactly what you ARE doing, you now (or will shortly) own a Mac!! ;)

Andrew T Chadwick
5th January 2008, 12:28 AM
A warm welcome to the the "apple owners" club which isn't as exclusive as it first appears.:D

timothy
5th January 2008, 12:43 AM
put an apple sticker on the back windscreen of your car, that will tell everyone at school you have joined "the club"

samwalk
5th January 2008, 06:22 AM
Inspiration is available for the mac. When we purchased it for my school it came on a cd with both mac and windows versions. I would be asking the school whether they have a mac version available or whether they would order you one. The school will pay a licencing fee based on a volume, or per seat, figure. They can get it for you much cheaper than you can get it for youself.

leon
5th January 2008, 08:36 AM
From the apps you have mentioned I would probably start off using Bootcamp (native windows environment) and enquire about Mac versions from the school. The only problem I can see with her using Mac versions and not the Windows versions, is that there might be differences in the layout of the programs and/or features, which may create issues when she requires help from a teacher who is used to the Windows version.

I would recommend Anti-virus as windows on a mac is still windows. I would also recommend one on OS-X as it will prevent her from passing on Windows viruses to other people should she receive them in emails etc.
I currently use Sophos in OS-X and Windows XP.

El Guardo
5th January 2008, 10:10 AM
I would recommend Anti-virus as windows on a mac is still windows.

Good advice.


I would also recommend one on OS-X as it will prevent her from passing on Windows viruses to other people should she receive them in emails etc.
I currently use Sophos in OS-X and Windows XP.

You really don't need an anti-virus for the Mac (at this point in time) and I prefer to pass on Windows viruses via email anyways - it means I don't have to waste my time scanning and quarantining other peoples problems that can't impact my machine, and it helps reinforce the consequences of bad decision making by the aforementioned said people.

If, however, you want an anti-virus package for the Mac, the best is ClamX AV which, coincidentally, is free. Beats the other packages hands-down and doesn't come with any scaremongering to boot...

Kuma
5th January 2008, 10:57 AM
I would also recommend one on OS-X as it will prevent her from passing on Windows viruses to other people should she receive them in emails etc.
I currently use Sophos in OS-X and Windows XP.


bah!!! If people still insist on using windows.. and not protecting themselves it is their own problem.

Why use a condom if you don't need to! :D

radiocam
5th January 2008, 09:22 PM
You really don't need an anti-virus for the Mac (at this point in time) and I prefer to pass on Windows viruses via email anyways
.....If, however, you want an anti-virus package for the Mac, the best is ClamX AV

Thanks. And also with ref to leon/samwalk/bennyling's comments, the more I look into/think about it, the only only reason she will ever use Windows will be for PS Elements (which I bought her just a few months ago) and for a few school apps - but all those will involve data flowing outwards, ie. creating something on the mac and submitting it.

All the other stuff (mail/chat/browser/music/wp) will be native mac, so I think it will be quite safe. Of course, I probably will still load ClamX AV as I live in the jungle (see the nervous tic and constant glance over my shoulder?) and those survival habits die hard...



bah!!! If people still insist on using windows.. and not protecting themselves it is their own problem.
Why use a condom if you don't need to!

umm..Kuma...I hear you (see above) but I think I'll pass on using that analogy with a teenager....

El Guardo
5th January 2008, 10:33 PM
the only only reason she will ever use Windows will be for PS Elements (which I bought her just a few months ago) and for a few school apps - but all those will involve data flowing outwards, ie. creating something on the mac and submitting it.

Two or three years ago now it was measured just how long it took for a Windows XP machine to get infected (by the BBC from memory). Can't remember for sure but it was either 3 or 7 seconds after establishing an internet connection. Computer technician didn't even load a web browser, open an email and couldn't update his virus definitions.

So, just because your daughter is creating data and flowing it outwards is irrelevant. As soon as she plugs in an ethernet port or connects to a wireless network, she needs to have anti-virus running or the Windows half of the machine will be infected...

radiocam
5th January 2008, 11:32 PM
So, just because your daughter is creating data and flowing it outwards is irrelevant. As soon as she plugs in an ethernet port or connects to a wireless network, she needs to have anti-virus running or the Windows half of the machine will be infected...

hey, no argument from me there. my bread and butter actually comes from supporting a larger hardware platform and larger networks than what i'm concerned with here - similar, as it's a proprietary system that is almost impervious to viruses - but can have built in wintel stuff which is fair game, of course. hence my comment about ClamX.

But it also makes me realise there's a whole heap of factors as yet unknown - like what the school means when it says it will give us a network connection: assuming that's a connection for the macbook/leopard - i have no idea what the networking implications are of Boot Camp/Fusion/CrossOver. I'd like the network to never see the windows side of this mac - but that probably isn't realistic - so then do I need Av for the windows side? most definitely...

in other words...i better shut up on this for now till i, (a). get my hands on this machine and see it strut its stuff and, (b). take it in to the school IT dept and discuss it with them....

thanks tho...useful discussion, fuzz factor greatly reduced

radiocam
8th January 2008, 11:07 AM
Delivered yesterday.

Apple aura notwithstanding, it is just a brilliant example of total product design - and I'm including the UI in that statement.

Still bumbling our way around it, but when a new system in this house encounters my three wireless networks, just pauses and asks for a key to be entered ONCE for the network of choice (bless its little soul).. and then quietly moves on, I know there's a very competent new kid on the block...

don't get me wrong..i still have my IBM PC1 on the shelf - 64k of RAM, 180K diskette drive (cost me $3500)...i have built interfaces, systems,etc etc - in other words, i am a masochistic cyber-fiddler-junkie and love it. But this is something else - I can see where that mac=productivity equation comes from. and its minimalist approach to everything is truly COOL.
Sigh...I tried to avoid the c-word, but how can one?...

(dare I say it...I'm rather envious of my daughter now...:) )

cheers

(PS And with rather good timing, office 2008 is being released next week.)

El Guardo
8th January 2008, 11:32 AM
(PS And with rather good timing, office 2008 is being released next week.)

Why sully the machine?

radiocam
8th January 2008, 05:24 PM
Why sully the machine?

unavoidable as ms word and excel are standard for a lot of her assignments, but with what info i've been learning/researching/scavenging i'm starting to think i might be able to keep this a windows-free-zone. or at least that's the current objective.

- which actually started from my getting greedy about parting with GBs of mac disk space to install an OS that already sprawls around my house like Jabba the Hut....

kim jong il
8th January 2008, 06:36 PM
Two or three years ago now it was measured just how long it took for a Windows XP machine to get infected (by the BBC from memory). Can't remember for sure but it was either 3 or 7 seconds after establishing an internet connection. Computer technician didn't even load a web browser, open an email and couldn't update his virus definitions...

A mate of mine picked up a PC the other day and tested out the theory (he's a Mac man normally) and it took 7 minutes from the time he established a connection to the time it (XP) was so damaged that it required a reinstall. XP turned out to be far more secure than we thought. :D