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Breaking into the Macworld

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Hi there,

I just wanted to say how much I enjoy listening to the podcast. I have a few questions for all the Mac Geeks out there. I'm looking at taking the plunge into buying my FIRST Mac.

1. Which 15" Retina display with the graphics card needed or just better to have now? What about RAM?

2. Will I be able to transfer all my music, photos, etc. to a time Capsule before I put them on my Mac or just back it up?

3. Any recommendations about buying Office for Mac or will my Xcel and Word files transfer over?


Thanks and keep up the great job!



Jeremy Sherman

Sterling Heights Mi.


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the best Mac is the cheapest MacBook Pro - the not retina version. use the money you don't spend for AppleCare extending the warrantee to 3 years. this is the last upgradeable MacBook in the series. you can replace the hard drive and swap the DVDr for more storage for when you need it in the future. the memory can be MAXd to 16G. but you won't need that today. but you can upgrade it unlike the other retina MBP versions which are stuck exactly like you buy them forever.

a Time Capsule isn't really needed. you can use ANY external hard drive to do Time Machine backups. once again, use the money you don't spend for TWO drives so you can alternate backups every other week. remember, if you have just ONE copy of something it might as well NOT exist. to make it work you just plug the drive in then the Mac will ask, "hey can I use this for backups?" click yes. done. coping music, photos, words, etc from you old computer will automatically make it to the backup drive.


Office. the only thing I can suggest about Office is that if you have to work with other people on the SAME documents there is possible insanity when working between Windows versions. in my experience it never works 1:1. usually I give up and use Windows to save the grief of WTF excuses about formatting, reading and can't open this file because "I'm on a Mac." never mind that the person on the other side might be the problem and my Mac had nothing to do with it. other times, the Mac version IS THE PROBLEM. it is a good idea to test things before you share a workflow. I worked with a Word that had linked Excel regions. editing on Windows worked as expected but editing on a Mac then round tripping back to Windows was just a daymare. YMMV.

Edited by johnfoster

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John Foster is one of our best resources,


From my perspective, I have never used Time Machine or a Time Capsule. I have two external drives which I use to clone my internal on Wed and Sat using Super Duper. For a long time I had a third drive I used with Super Duper to make a copy which I took to the office, but the AC adapter died and I just never had the energy to replace.


As for Excel/Word docs, I must admit I gave up on conversion ideas and just use a WinXP installation using Parallels. It REALLY does depend on what you are doing with those documents. If they're just for you, Numbers and Pages are great alternatives.


All of that said, BUY the Mac. Been my primary home machines for 30 years.

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