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The Harris Media Services advisory board

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Moderator1, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    OK, friends and colleagues. Help a brother make a bidness decision here.
    I got home the other day and realized I did not have a computer. For years, I've used a work computer for everything. Dropped one off at the paper, picked one up at VCU. Dropped it off at VCU and **** oh shit.
    Our desktop hasn't been booted up in nine years. The Queen has a Dell laptop that has her school jank everywhere.
    I'm using my son's computer now. And I'm out the door in a few to buy a combination personal/business computer. Going with a laptop, that much I know.

    My TD computer was an old Dell model of some sort that worked great for me.
    My VCU computer was a Dell Latitude that was excellent until a basketball landed on it and crashed the hard drive.
    My son has the identical computer. His has Vista (which t-totally blows), my VCU machine had XP. Much, much, much better in my mind.

    I can't buy a Latitude straight from Dell because I don't have all my business paperwork yet (son got his through Virginia Tech but no longer works there).

    Suggestions? Alternatives? Is it time to jump into the MAC pool? I will not use Vista, period. If I can't find a PC with XP, screw it.

    I will have InDesign, PhotoShop, word processing programs and the like running.

    You guys are da best. Save the b.s. for other threads, give me straight answers here. HMS thanks you in advance.

    (let me add that I have found some Latitudes on eBay for good prices but I remain leery of electronics on eBay. I may have to get over that and just do it)
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    If you're going to have InDesign and PhotoShop and you plan to use that for graphics design purposes, I'd highly recommend getting a Mac.

    I have a now-5 year old iBook G4 which is only now slowing down. The new Mac laptops are much more powerful than mine is. Look up the MacBook or the MacBook Pro.
  3. Gravy Boat

    Gravy Boat Member


    This coming from my my iBook G4, which I received as a refurbished model... 5 years ago. Meets all your requirements.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  4. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    I've used both PCs and Macs, I personally like the PCs better...
    Dell's got some pretty good models, I have a B120 and I've had zero problems with it. Obviously, you'd want and need something much more powerful that the B120... i think Dell is a pretty good brand to go with for your new business.
    Congratulations on the new venture, btw.
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks. My main concern with Macs is the cost - though perhaps they've come down?
  6. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    For those graphical needs, get a Mac -- a Macbook Pro.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Another stupid question: I have a portable hard drive loaded with documents, pictures, music, etc. that I have gathered over the years - all on PCs. They transfer to a Mac easily?
  8. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Just make sure you get Microsoft Office for your Mac.
  9. sostartled

    sostartled Member

    the pictures and music should. The documents, it depends. I think a Word doc is a Word doc is a Word doc if you have the correct version (i.e. Office 07, vs. Office 03). Some PC executable files aren't compatible. But you should be ok.
  10. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Mike, I know InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. run on a PC, but if you are doing any kind of print work--and you think you will be working with outside designers (99 percent of who will be working on Macs)--I would go with a Mac/Macs. One major reason is that I have found it is easier to resolve typeface/font issues when you are both on the same OS, even though the files themselves open across operating systems. This will also be an issue if you work with an outside production house or let any printers you work with do the production/proofing work. They can work across platforms, and are used to people with PCs, but most will be more Mac friendly when it comes to print and those programs.

    Also, Macs are just friendlier, even if they are costlier. If you are going to do any design work yourself, you might want to invest in a Mac Pro and load it up. It will be expensive. But it will last you for a while (I still have a couple of G5 PowerMacs from 2004/2005 that are plenty powerful, for example, and we use them for design work) and you can put a big screen monitor on it. At the same time, you might want a get-around machine, like a relatively inexpensive Macbook. You can add the Adobe software to it, but I wouldn't use it as a primary machine for working with those programs.

    Because the Macs are now Intel-based, you can dual boot them, so you can run XP or Vista on one. It will come in handy, because sometimes you just need Windows. Also, from a business standpoint, if you decide to run Quickbooks (and it is a good idea, especially if you work with an outside accountant, which is also a good idea if you incorporate or go LLC), the versions for Windows are much better than the Mac version.

    One other thing to think about... But since I am rolling. Not sure if you will have an office or work out of your home, but again, if you end up working with freelancers or independent contractors (writers, designers, copy editor, etc.), you will have to consider workflow. You will probably set up a domain name for your business, and use it for e-mail, etc. You can get the name and a host fairly inexpensively, and some of them have nice web-based control panels to manage the different things you will need like e-mail accounts, website, ftp access. You will want to set up an FTP system of some sort and a system to control workflow. It is great, though, because it allows people in different places to work on the same files. Designer pulls it off the server, works on it and then uploads everything back onto the server, for example. Then you can pull it down and look at it on your machine, etc.

    Anyhow, I know that is a lot, but for a short answer, I'd start thinking Macs just because of the type of business you are in.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    For starters, see if the VCU bookstore has a deal worked out with Microsoft for students/employees and software. Local university here does and I got a copy of Office 2007 for far less than MS would have wanted. Am sure you know a student who can buy one for you if you dont want to use your now-worthless ID card.
    If you're going to use InDesign get the Mac. Hate to say it being a PC guy, but it works better. Photoshop, Illustrator will work wonderfully on a PC. (In fact, I know where you can get Photoshop Elements 7 for dirt cheap... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=150335292501)
    As for the PC, you can get a lot of bang for the buck from Dell, if you search and research. Both my laptop and desktop cost about $1,300 and each one was about 700 bucks off at the time. Found coupons for one, used the EPP plan of the company I did freelance work with for the other. Loaded up the warranty on both which A) got me an extra 15 percent off and B) has saved me bucks on the laptop, which is on the third power pack in 39 months (nothing wrong with the pack, but the power cord frays.)
    I like Dell, but it's not for everyone.
  12. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Do not, under any circumstances, try to run Indesign, photoshop or any other desktop publishing software on a PC. They suck on that platform.

    If that's a big part of your business you need to the Mac route.
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