General Discussion If it's Baja Related but Don't Know Where? Post it Here...

Old 09-15-09, 06:10 AM   #1
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Default I need computer advice

My laptop (Dell with windows XP) just fried yesterday, fortunately my files are backed up

I'm right in the middle of finishing up the plans for our Baja home and I need to get a new laptop ASAP. I've been thinking of switching to Mac eventually, but this is sudden and I haven't had time to research them yet.

My current working files are in Office 2003: Excel, Visio and Word, I need something that will run those programs so I can finish my work. I also need to be able to run Flash Pro 8 to keep my Nicaragua real estate website updated...and I need to be able to run Adobe Acrobat 7 Professional as well as Adobe Photoshop elements 5.0. I really don't want to spend the big $ to replace or update those programs.

Right now I'm considering just buying a used laptop with XP to get me through what I'm doing, then sit down later and figure out what Mac I need unless I can determine with certainty that a new Mac can somehow run those programs.

Anyone familiar with Mac's know if I can run the above mentioned programs on a new Mac Book?

Last edited by BigWooo; 09-15-09 at 06:19 AM.
Old 09-15-09, 12:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: I need computer advice

If you need something right now, your idea of looking for a used or inexpensive laptop makes sense. I mention this because next month Windows 7 is to be released. Industry buzz is that it will more than make up for the problems of Vista. Once it appears that they have a real winner with "7", you can lay out some real money for a state of the art machine. Aside from the problems associated with viruses, Windows is a more versatile operating system than OS X.
Old 09-15-09, 05:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: I need computer advice

Newer Macs will run Windows as well as the Mac OS, so you should be able to install XP on a partition and use your existing programs. Otherwise, Windows and Mac OS require different versions of programs. Office, Flash, Acrobat and Photoshop Elements are available in Mac OS versions but would normally have to be purchased separately. Not sure about Visio.

Files of most programs can be freely exchanged between Mac and Windows users. We did this at work all the time. My colleague could email me (say) a Flash movie created on his PC, I could edit it on my Mac and send it back, etc. So if/when you do switch to Mac OS and install the appropriate versions, your files should still work.
Old 09-15-09, 08:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: I need computer advice

Don't know what your budget is, but you can get good reconditioned laptops with XP for around $500, maybe less. The one I am using at this very moment was less than $600 18 months ago. We bought it through TigerDirect to have a little bit of warranty protection.

Since time is an issue, I'd suggest sticking with the XP program you know how to work and will work your files and later look at upgrading/changing.

Now that I think about it, this is a pretty descent sized IBM ThinkPad with CD/DVD, floppy, most of the bells and whistles. If you just need a workhorse laptop, you can probably get one for less than $500.
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Old 09-16-09, 04:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: I need computer advice

Thank you for the suggestions. I think I'll wait for windows 7 to come out and compare that to Mac OS, then figure out which direction I want to go. For me the biggest downside to going with Mac is that I'd have to run two operating systems, or replace software that cost more than the computer Everyone I know that's switched really likes the Mac's though.

In the meantime I found some decent looking refurbished laptops on Ebay for $350.00. They're actually an upgrade from the one I was using. At least that will get me through the planning stage of our Baja Casa. Right now I'm anchored to the desktop which really cuts down on my available computer time. Still LOTS to do.

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