getting a new mac


I have finally got enough saved up to buy a new mac. I currently have an old bondi blue iMac running 8.6. My question(s) : does anyone have any tips or suggestions for getting up to speed on OSX? My cuurent mac has been running pretty solidly now all these years and the thought of a new OS seems a little daunting.

I do have dsl and an external 30gb hard drive, usb cd drive (original internal died 6 months ago), and Imation Superdisk. Can these or should these be used on a new system?



Where mah "any" keys at?
I know I've replied numerous times with recommendations about buying specific Macs, or types of Macs; search the board with regard to this.

As for the peripherals: DSL will work wonderfully well with OS X. I don't know about you, but here we have to use MacPoET to sign into our Earthlink DSL under OS 9. When I haul my iMac in and plug the DSL into it with OS X, it works completely transparently, and automatically connects to the service.

If you don't want to replace your current hard drive, I recommend you buy a Firewire enclosure and place the disk within this drive. USB is incredibly slow for hard drives, and you'll get much more responsiveness out of a Firewire enclosure. However, hard drives are relatively cheap, and you can get in excess of 100 GB for barely over $100.

You probably won't need the external CD-ROM drive (it's a CD-ROM drive, right? Not a burner?) unless you want to copy CD's directly without needing to make a disk image, as I believe all Macs currently ship with a single burn-capable optical drive. However, as I stated before, USB is very slow and you'd probably only be able to achieve 4x write speeds when copying CD's. There are advantages, though, like being able to directly copy CD's (as I mentioned) and being able to mount more than 1 CD at a time (something I do rather often). You can keep a commonly used CD, like a game CD, in one drive and put another CD in the other drive when you need to get to the data stored on it.

The Superdisk will work fine. If this is your choice of removable/transferrable media, like vs. Zip, and/or you like to work with floppies (why, I have no idea), then the Superdisk will work wonderfully well. And you won't get any annoying messages that the drive works like with Windows XP.

If you have any more questions, I'll be happy to help.


Registered Bot
Definitely consider:

Mac OS X: The Missing Manual by David Pogue (O'Reilly Press)

I learned a lot from that book, including helpful keyboard shortcuts. It also includes comparisons between OS 9 and OS X.

Advantages to OS X are numerous, including that you won't have to manage memory manually (no Get Info - Memory anymore)
- protected memory
- real multitasking (preemptive)
- the ability to leave open the apps you use every day.
- no need to regularly reboot the machine
- better graphics

Give it a chance and be a little flexible. I'm sure you'll appreciate it before too long.



Where mah "any" keys at?
Here's a quick breakdown of Apple's computers and who should get them, moving low end -> high:

  • eMac: consumer machine for people on a budget or anybody who still needs to boot into OS 9
  • iMac: consumer machine for people with a little more money and like the form factor
  • Powermac G4: professional machine for those who need power or extensibility on a budget
  • Powermac G5: professional machine for those who need lots of power and have the money for it
  • Xserve: high-end server, not recommended for desktop use
  • iBook: consumer machine for those who want/need portability but not necessarily lots of power or high-end features
  • Powerbook: professional machine for road warriors who need lots of power in a small(ish) package
Hope this helps!


Scratch & Sniff Committee
As a previous Mac user, you shouldn't need to worry too much about the transition to Mac OS X. The interface is almost identical to the previous Mac OS, at first glance. Application switching is a little different, and the System Preferences in X is a huge improvement on previous incarnations of Mac OS. The Dock is the most noticeable difference, and a welcome addition.
Of course, the real difference is "under-the-hood", but unless you're a programmer, hacker or unix guru you probably won't even notice this.


Where mah "any" keys at?
Unless you run across permission problems, kernel panics, or other fun UNIX problems that leak into Aqua.


Heehee. Indeed. After working for a year at a cable TV/Internet/cellular/VHFcom company that has all sorts of computers, I've touched deeply into Linux, Windows (all of them), the older mac operating systems, and OSX (Unix below)... I have determined that OSX is the undeniable gold metal winner.

And just imagine, before that I was steadfast that Windows is the only way to go because it was the most popular and therefore the best. Duh... I should've rememberd the Beta vs. VHS thing.



Where mah "any" keys at?
Mikel, have you seen Hulk's cockroaches quotation? It's in his signature; I think you'd agree with it.


Cockroach? I'm still really new to this forum and not familiar with the regulars.


Oh, heh. Yeah, just found the Hulk's signature.


Looks as though we will be getting an iMac. Keeping a little money in the pocket for a laptop for the son going to college in a couple years.

Thanks to all for all the input. It helped alot!!

Brian (soon to be upgraded mac user)