Any Computer Geeks Here?

Vegan702

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I at one time was a geek, even worked for the Fed. Gov. as a IT Specialist/Network Admin. However, after I left that position I got out of the computer business and never really kept up with the changes in technology, etc. So now I am in the market for a new computer, maybe even a Mac. I know squat about Macs, never even touched one. The last Apple computer I played with was a Apple IIc in school. Anyways, I will be replacing a laptop that I use docked that is a Dell with a Intel Pentium M 1.73ghz, 794mhz and 2gb Ram. I don't use any programs that are processor intensive, but I do have a lot of programs open at one time. I will have multiple IE windows open, a pretty memory intensive data entry program and a few other smaller programs, probably about 5-8 total programs running at once if you count the multiple instances of IE that are open.

So are there any recommendations at what I should be looking for? I have been debating getting a Mac mini and running parallels as I do have 1 program that only runs on Windows and it is my main work program. Another thought was I see where multiple people have hacked the Mac OS and you can run them on PCs now getting double the speed for half the cost of a comparable Mac without any issues. This may be a course I could go down if it made sense. I am pretty much fed up with pc's, so I am looking for a reason to go to a Mac. If it is too much time to invest in learning a Mac then I will stick with a pc though.
 

osuncaachamps03

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I at one time was a geek, even worked for the Fed. Gov. as a IT Specialist/Network Admin. However, after I left that position I got out of the computer business and never really kept up with the changes in technology, etc. So now I am in the market for a new computer, maybe even a Mac. I know squat about Macs, never even touched one. The last Apple computer I played with was a Apple IIc in school. Anyways, I will be replacing a laptop that I use docked that is a Dell with a Intel Pentium M 1.73ghz, 794mhz and 2gb Ram. I don't use any programs that are processor intensive, but I do have a lot of programs open at one time. I will have multiple IE windows open, a pretty memory intensive data entry program and a few other smaller programs, probably about 5-8 total programs running at once if you count the multiple instances of IE that are open.

So are there any recommendations at what I should be looking for? I have been debating getting a Mac mini and running parallels as I do have 1 program that only runs on Windows and it is my main work program. Another thought was I see where multiple people have hacked the Mac OS and you can run them on PCs now getting double the speed for half the cost of a comparable Mac without any issues. This may be a course I could go down if it made sense. I am pretty much fed up with pc's, so I am looking for a reason to go to a Mac. If it is too much time to invest in learning a Mac then I will stick with a pc though.
I really think mac's are overrated. You are paying for the name really. Recently I've really realized that gateway products are really good. They lost there name over the years so they are putting together great hardware computers and laptops for a great price.
 

Harry Longshanks

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I really think mac's are overrated. You are paying for the name really. Recently I've really realized that gateway products are really good. They lost there name over the years so they are putting together great hardware computers and laptops for a great price.
Gateway screwed me when they sold their consumer division to Acer and their business division to MPC Corp, which subsequently filed for bankruptcy. My laptop was "deemed" a business computer (despite XP Home) and I couldn't get support or parts.
 

Diane

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I recently got a MacBook Pro at work - it's an extra computer just for fun and it is fun.
 

C-Tech

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I've spent very little time playing around with a Mac a friend had at work. I have stuck with the Windows OS and have had relatively little trouble over the years. People complain about stuff I have never had happen, so I suppose Windows has its problems, but the world is literally filled with their products and apps that work with their products.
 

Graz

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I love my Macs and only use my pc when I have to. They are worth the extra money in my opinion.
As for a learning curve, it is very short. They are very user friendly.
 

JB

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We use both and have both in our homes. I like a lot of things about both. The extra cost factor of the Mac compared to what you get for your money is not worth it. It used to be because they were not putting out new machines every 6 months, but now they are.
 

dannyka

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So upfront disclaimer: Yes, I am an Apple fanboy.

Okay, now that that's out of the way...

I'll give you my favorite answer -- It depends. :smile:

I really like the Mac OS. A lot of my "geek" friends don't like it mainly because they don't get to tinker around under the hood. I think they actually like that Windows and cheap PCs break down just so they can go in and figure out how to fix it. Personally, I'd rather have something that just works, and that's my Mac. (hmmm... sounds like a commercial) And if/when it doesn't work, I've never had a problem getting Apple to take care of it. (Okay, that was only once) I guess that's a lot of what you're paying for. Apple consistently is rated highest for customer support.

Your options for a Mac-on-the-cheap sound pretty good, really. I'm thinking about the same things myself. It doesn't sound like you'd need earth-shattering performance, so a basic Mac Mini will do fine. (You probably know that Apple just upgraded it.) I'd get one mainly to be a file/media server. I'm also thinking about one of the "netbooks" that people have hacked the Mac OS for. Just remember that not all hardware is supported, and of course, no official support from Apple at all. But it sounds like you know your way around computers, so that may not be an issue for you.

However, if it was up to me and it's going to be my main computer, I'd go with a Mac Mini. I know it will work, and for some reason if something doesn't, it's totally supported. It's also a relatively inexpensive solution (for Apple).

Finally, for your uses, be sure to get as much RAM as you can afford. Not having to swap applications in and out betwixt memory and disk will be a lot nicer. 4GB should do it.

And finally, part II... I run Parallels as well, but if you want to save yourself a few bucks, you might want to try VirtualBox. It's free, pretty easy to set up VMs, and I have no problem with it. It seems a little slower than Parallels, but nothing that keeps me from using it.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!
 

pjcedog

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I have built all of my computers for the past several years. I was fed up with retail computing and the service problems, the bloatware, all that headache that comes with a retail computer purchase. In my opinion 99% of the problems people have with their computers are a result of conflicts between the different bloatware installed and not necessarily a problem with Windows itself. I would highly recommend finding someone local to build your systems for you to your spec and you will be much happier with them, and one of your problems to be honest is hinted at when you mention having several IE windows open at one time. Internet Explorer is junk software, I have not used it for several years, Firefox and Google Chrome are all I use on any system. I am not a Mac guy because although it may be possible to build a Mac these days I am not interested in pursuing it. I think given the right circumstance the PC is every bit as stable and reliable as a Mac, and getting rid of the bloatware is where you start with that.
 

Vegan702

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I have to use IE for a website I use for real estate to access my MLS system. So I am stuck with IE for that purpose.
 

rrhb

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Hi Vegan702,

With a Mac you're stuck with Safari or Firefox for mainstream browsers. You can use IE but only if you can run a virtual machine running Windows within your Mac.

It sounded like you're also running other software besides a browser and the question is whether there are versions available that can be run on a Mac too.

Additionally, these days when you buy any Windows machine you will probably get Win 7 preloaded on it. I mention this because I have a feeling that you were running Win XP on your current laptop. Beware of incompatibilities between the 2 versions of Windows for whatever software you want to run and also for the drivers of any existing peripherals you want to connect up to especially printers and scanners.
 

Guoseph

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I have a Macbook (first mac) and also several PC's. My favorite is the Mac, its just simple to use for most tasks. I have to use my PC for Excel though, can't get used to the keyboard wierdness for my shortcuts.

One thing to note on my Macbook, I am on my third harddrive (thank god for Applecare), so I am not sure about the quality on the stock HD's. Also I felt that parallels sucked up a bit too much resources for me (1.83Ghz Dualcore, 2GB Ram) to be running a lot of apps at the same time.

I am someone who likes to keep a lot of things open at the same time, and I think the Mac OS makes it easier to manage. (No experience with Windows 7 yet)
 

Vegan702

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Yes, I run XP Pro currently on my laptop, I never had a reason to upgrade over the years. XP had been pretty darn stable until recently. I could probably get away with formatting my HD and starting with a fresh install of everything, but I hate to do that and still be stuck with a 4 year old laptop if I am going to invest that amount of time into this. If I am going to invest 4+ hours I would rather just upgrade to something that is faster, has more memory, etc. and relegate my current laptop to my travel pc.
 

Graz

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I have to use IE for a website I use for real estate to access my MLS system. So I am stuck with IE for that purpose.
This is the exact and only reason I have a PC on hand but I mostly use Parallels to run Windows on my Mac and use the MLS from there.
 

Harry Longshanks

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I am someone who likes to keep a lot of things open at the same time, and I think the Mac OS makes it easier to manage. (No experience with Windows 7 yet)

Win7 is SO much better than Vista or XP with managing lots of open apps. The Aero feature and the new taskbar are great.
 

Diane

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Email Question

Email Question

I have an email stuck in my outbox in Outlook. It won't send and it won't delete so all other emails are stuck behind it. Does anyone know how I can get it to delete?
 

Smallville

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It's happened to me too. You should be able to open up your outbox, right click it and delete it. Funny thing is, if it's anything like mine, it's actually sending it but you don't know it. (I've sent contest entries to JB that he gets like 15 times!)
 

Harry Longshanks

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I have an email stuck in my outbox in Outlook. It won't send and it won't delete so all other emails are stuck behind it. Does anyone know how I can get it to delete?
Try shutting down Outlook and restarting it. Then try to delete it.
 

Diane

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It's happened to me too. You should be able to open up your outbox, right click it and delete it. Funny thing is, if it's anything like mine, it's actually sending it but you don't know it. (I've sent contest entries to JB that he gets like 15 times!)
It says it's sending so it won't delete. It's been sending since last night.
 

Diane

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Smallville

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Try this: http://www.howto-outlook.com/faq/messagestuckinoutbox.htm

It doesn’t happen too often but when a message is stuck in the Outbox it can be a real pain. Below you’ll find three methods to get the message out of the Outbox.

Method 1
Open the message from the Outbox and close it again. Now select the message and press DELETE

Method 2
Put Outlook in offline mode. To do this go to File-> Work Offline. Now restart Outlook and see if you can delete it (you can try this in combination with method 1). Don’t forget to put Outlook back On-line again.

Method 3
Create a new pst-file; File-> New-> Outlook Data File…
Set this pst-file as your default delivery location in your Account settings; Tools-> E-mail Accounts-> button Next
When you now restart Outlook your original pst-file will show up as the secondary set of folders where should easily be able to remove the file from or even the complete Outbox folder
Set the original pst-file as the default delivery location again and restart Outlook; the Outbox folder will be recreated and will be empty.

Method 4
Use the Microsoft MDBVU32.EXE tool to forcefully clear the Outbox. The instructions for this are the same for when removing a stuck read receipt but instead of choosing “MDB-> Open Root Folder” choose “MDB-> Open IPM Outbox”.
 

Diane

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Smallie - Method 2 worked. :flowers4u:
 

Smallville

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Good. Still odd that you couldn't manually delete it from the outbox. Maybe it's an Outlook 2007 thing. (Mine is 2003)
 

dannyka

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I have to use IE for a website I use for real estate to access my MLS system. So I am stuck with IE for that purpose.
This is the exact and only reason I have a PC on hand but I mostly use Parallels to run Windows on my Mac and use the MLS from there.
There's actually a project out there that lets you run IE on the Mac without running Windows. I haven't looked at it in awhile, but I think it was called ie4OSX or something like that. I'll do a little experimenting with it and report back. I need to do some IE based testing anyway.
 

pjcedog

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I have to use IE for a website I use for real estate to access my MLS system. So I am stuck with IE for that purpose.
I thought those days were long past. I have not been on a site that would not work with Firefox in several years now but I understand the issue.
 

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