If I go Mac will I want to go back?

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by hackmac, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. hackmac


    I have an old Dell Dimension 8100 and need a new computer desperately. I am planning on the 20" iMac. I want to install Parallels 3.0 with XP Pro SP2, and MS-Office 2008 Enterprise Edition.

    I don't know the first thing about being a Mac user, Parallels or the interface it gives you to your Windows Applications.

    Enlighten me with your insights.
  2. kat

    kat Product Expert

    hi hackmac,

    Before you make your purchase why don't you visit an apple store. They should have an imac with parallels on it. Ask if you can take a look at it, possibly with one of the apple associates that is a trainer. Or someone that is familiar with the software.

    For me Parallels works great. My only suggestions are to make sure that you read the installation manuel, (or at least have it handy) and as a new user I might not try a Custom Installation the first time out.

    Good luck with apple, I hope you find Parallels as useful as I have. It's a really great product.

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  3. snowfox


    It's hard to answer this question

    I bought my wife an iMac for Christmas 2 years ago and she loves it. She previously had a Windows PC, and still uses a Windows machine 8 hours a day at work. The things she loves about the Mac is the GUI, the crispness of the iMac display and the quality of the hardware. The things she hates about the Mac is that it is that the OS is different from Windows. In other words, since she has worked on PCs for 20 years, the Mac is just different enough to confuse her occasionally. For example she couldn't figure out how to shut down the Mac. I showed her the Shutdown menu item under the apple. "Oh," she said, "I though the apple was just a decoration. It's silly to put Shutdown up there." So I said, "Really. And to a Mac user trying Windows, we can't figure out why we have to click a 'Start up' button to shut down!" So we both got a laugh out of that, but it demonstrates some of the issues.

    My pal is a realtor and he had a Mac for a while. Virtual Windows was all that was available then, and it was too slow for his realty application, so he had to go back to Windows. He said he still misses his Mac and may go back to it now that Parallels is available and can run Windows applications at reasonable speed.
  4. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    If all you need from Windows is Office just get Office for Mac and skip the whole virtualization thing.
  5. mattyb


    If you're into heavy graphics FPS type games, DON'T get a Mac. Games are the only thing that the Mac falls down on. I do *EVERYTHING* on my Mac - except play Call of Duty 4 :-(

    I switched in Feb 2007 (am I still a noob then?) and I wouldn't ever use Windows for anything other than games.
  6. snowfox


    That's good advice, mattyb

    Macs have never been the best for games. If you're a big gamer, stick to PCs.

    As for the previous comment about Office for Mac, I do not use Office for Mac because Google docs does a superb job of handling Office documents. It's free at Google. Give it a try and you'll be surprised.

    There are some things that are very hard to do without running Windows, but you can usually (not always) figure out a way around them. For example my mobile phone is a smartphone running Windows Mobile. For a while I didn't know how I could synchronize my phone to my Mac calendar and contact list. Eventually I found a commercial program ($40) that does the job very nicely. (Missing Sync for Windows Mobile)

    But I still have to use Windows on my Mac to be able to install most software on my phone. There's just no way around it.
  7. rickbsgu


    I just got a look at Vista (wife's PC) - real unimpressed. I've always thought that Windows would collapse under it's own weight and Vista looks like the iteration to do it.

    Personally, my fave OS is Ubuntu (and I can run that under Parallels, too.) I have to use Win and Mac for the cross-platform developing I have to do, and I need win for the win stuff it does (accounting, Word, etc.) But, I'd rather stay in Mac over Windows, especially with Vista.

  8. Alicia

    Alicia Parallels Team


    I'd better not telling my opinion as I am obviously an interested party :)

    But it is a good advice above to go to the Apple store and have a test of Mac with Parallels.

    snowfox, great story about shut downs! :)
  9. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    I take it you haven't played games on a Mac Pro yet... And for those without OS X compatibility, you can take your four drives, and set up a RAID 0 and a RAID 1, the former for BootCamp, and the latter for OS X. Make them raptor drives, drop in a beefy graphics card and you'll run circles around most 'gaming' PCs.
  10. mattyb


    The OP is coming from a Dell Dimension 8100. I'm pretty sure that the first Mac that he buys SHOULDN'T be a Mac Pro !!!

    Yes, if you've got the cash (I haven't) then buy a Mac Pro with a NVidia Quadro FX and you MAY be able to play Crysis. 5000 euros for that beast.

    In my not so humble opinion, the best value for money machine done by Apple is the iMac.
  11. itsdapead


    First, do you mean Office 2008 for Mac (which wouldn't need Parallels) or Office 2007 for Windows? What other Windows applications do you use heavily? Have you researched the Mac versions or equivalents of these applications? E.g. Mac Office 08 doesn't support macros (which may be irrelevant to you or a show stopper).

    My feeling (feel free to disagree) is that there's no point getting a Mac unless you plan to switch to using Mac OS versions or equivalents (e.g. for office work, MS Office for Mac, Apple iWork or NeoOffice) of your most commonly used software.

    What Parallels is ideal for is when you are almost ready to switch but there are one-or-two Windows applications that you sometimes need/are obliged to use - or you hit a broken Website that only works with IE. Don't get me wrong - Parallels is almost as good as having a "real" PC, lets you run windows and mac apps side-by-side and makes sharing data between the PC and Mac "sides" a breeze. That's excellent if you use Mac apps most of the time, but if you're going to spend 99% of your time running Windows apps in Parallels then its a rather round-about and expensive way of getting to "almost as good".

    There's lots of good arguments for switching to Mac but those are off-topic for this forum.

    Alternatively, if anything other than an iMac or MacBook is just too darned ugly for you but you don't plan to use Mac apps, you could look at BootCamp which lets you run Windows directly on Mac hardware and gives better performance (but won't let you run Mac apps at the same time).
  12. snowfox


    That's a great summation!


    You did a great job of explaining the issues in switching.

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