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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > why go Mac? URGENT HELP NEEDED!

why go Mac? URGENT HELP NEEDED!
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Jan 25, 2001, 08:36 AM
 
I'm organising a new IT system for a interior design business (as a favour). They need 6 computers all together:
2 to run AutoCAD
4 for admin/word processing/internet.
They need to be networked to each other - for file sharing.
I have used Macs for 15 years - and am inclined to go the Mac route - but the boss wants to go Win2000 route. He has just bought AutoCAD 2000 (PC) so is unlikely to want to go the Mac route - but if I can convince him (from your posts) to go the Mac route all the better!

I think 4 entry-level iMacs for the admin and 2 G4s (with 21" screens) - but there is no Mac AutoCAD version - would the Mac PC emulators work properly (ie speedily?) on a G4 (running AutoCAD through the emulator). (there is a tight budget here folks - so no cinema displays - but I reckon he would go for a budget of around $8000).

What I need to know about the Mac option:
1) What Macs would be the best.
2) Which 21" Screens are the best for design work (AutoCAD)
3) What other software and hardware will they need for networking other than simple file sharing - say they want to send internal e-mails to each other.

If the Mac route is not viable (he wants compatability between all the office computers - but presumably we could work with 2 PCs for design and 4 iMacs for Admin - network them -ideas please for compatability!), what would he need in the PC world to allow the computers to be networked for file sharing - or just internal e-mail? With Win2000 on all the machines (with ethernet) what extras would he need for networking (simple file sharing would be ok).

Thanks in advance - also please post the <true> benefits of using Macs - particulary SUPPORT costs vs. Win2000 and any useful technical URLS - as I expect the intial purchase if they went the Mac route would be higher than going the PC route.

I need this info fast (next 24 hours).

Many thanks

Mike


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Mac Elite
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Jan 25, 2001, 01:51 PM
 
Do NOT try to run AutoCad through emulation! There is no way that it would be usable because it would just be too slow (It'll run like a low end Pentium with a crappy video card).

-s'fit
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Jan 25, 2001, 02:25 PM
 
One letter for you:

X
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 25, 2001, 03:14 PM
 

Where to start.

For now, there is no new version of AutoCAD for Mac. However, AutoCAD might return to Mac OS X, as reported in Architosh.com (see below). Plus, there are other alternatives to AutoCAD. Examples: ArchiCAD, VectorWorks, FormZ, PowerCADD, the new DenebaCAD 2.0, and the very new parametric model-based BOA CAD.

Architosh.com is a web site for Mac CAD info: http://www.architosh.com/

File sharing between Macs & PCs is easily done with DAVE. See here: http://www.thursby.com/products/

The office applications for Macs are as good as PC, since they come directly from Microsoft. Office 2001, Outlook 2001, etc are all available. Third party reviews indicate the Mac versions are known to be even better. http://www.microsoft.com/mac/

FileMaker is an excellent, simple and powerful database system used by small & large enterprise. Includes, web integration tools. http://www.filemaker.com/

MYOB AccountEdge does book keeping, etc.. http://www.myob.com/us/appleindex.htm

Some Mac advantages (without going into great detail):
  • great portable computers http://www.apple.com/powerbook/
  • the upcoming Mac OS X (not enough can be said about this)
  • low maintenance, high reliability
  • integrated Internet tools like Sherlock & iTools
  • integrated wireless networking in all Macs (even without base stations)
  • integrated software & hardware solutions from Apple (one stop shop, tech support)
  • industry leading multimedia tools & software, including QuickTime and iMovie for creating great multimedia presentations and such (can be embedded in PowerPoint, Word).

Some less tangible qualities:
  • space saving designs (iMac, Cube)
  • fanless computers (very quiet)
  • low power consumption computers

There is much more, but as a Mac user, you should be able to elaborate on the ease of the OS 9 and soon, the power and reliability of OS X. http://www.apple.com/macosx/

Your hardware needs will have to fit your budget. I can't comment on that. But iMacs are popular for office admin & processing.

OS X will have to be a must, to make it all near perfect.

Obviously, there is much more to be said, but it is beyond the scope of a forum like this.

G'luck.
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penfold  (op)
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Jan 25, 2001, 03:25 PM
 
Thanks - but

OS X is not an option at the moment - no real apps. yet - even MS Office for OS X is not out till the fall.

So why buy Macs now with OS 9, then pay for 6 copies of OS X, later this year and a new version of Office?
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Jan 25, 2001, 04:31 PM
 

OS X is something to look forward to and plan for, but not an immidiate benefit to owning Macs.

Was the rest helpful?
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Jan 25, 2001, 05:08 PM
 

unfortunately, if your boss has already purchased autocad, you are probably in an unwinnable fight.

however, if you are looking for other cad applications for the mac, i highly reccomend vectorworks, which used to be minicad, and is a great program. it can do (afaik) most anything that autocad can do, and is updated regularly. it is also cross platform, which can be very useful.

good luck!

poocat.
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penfold  (op)
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Jan 25, 2001, 05:13 PM
 
Originally posted by NeoMac:

OS X is something to look forward to and plan for, but not an immidiate benefit to owning Macs.

Was the rest helpful?
Sorry NeoMac, I did not mean to appear rude - the rest was helpful, but unfortunately I see this as a bad time to try and get PC users to migrate to the Mac - in a years time once OS X has established itself - then is the time. Thanks
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penfold  (op)
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Jan 25, 2001, 05:15 PM
 
Originally posted by poocat:

unfortunately, if your boss has already purchased autocad, you are probably in an unwinnable fight.

however, if you are looking for other cad applications for the mac, i highly reccomend vectorworks, which used to be minicad, and is a great program. it can do (afaik) most anything that autocad can do, and is updated regularly. it is also cross platform, which can be very useful.

good luck!

poocat.
Thanks poocat but the designers are used to AutoCad - So I think I might try a Mac / PC hybrid situation.

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penfold  (op)
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Jan 25, 2001, 05:17 PM
 
What exactly do I need to get 4 iMacs and 2 PCs on Win2000 networked - does Win2000 have built in networking.

Also - an Airport question - if I network the Macs how many base stations do I need (4 Airport Cards) - if say I want to dial up to the internet on all 4 at once?
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rugby.
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Jan 25, 2001, 05:59 PM
 
Forget wireless networking. Nothing beats hard-wired networks. Why not get an Appleshare server and iMacs for the office requirements and use Autocad on a dual pIII beast? That should work nicely. It probably will shoot your budget, but what the heck.
     
penfold  (op)
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Jan 25, 2001, 06:25 PM
 
Originally posted by rugby.:
Forget wireless networking. Nothing beats hard-wired networks. Why not get an Appleshare server and iMacs for the office requirements and use Autocad on a dual pIII beast? That should work nicely. It probably will shoot your budget, but what the heck.
Well forget the iMacs then why not G4s with cinema displays - please the budget is ~$8000

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Jan 27, 2001, 09:58 PM
 
Forget wireless networking. Nothing beats hard-wired networks. Why not get an Appleshare server and iMacs for the office requirements and use Autocad on a dual pIII beast? That should work nicely. It probably will shoot your budget, but what the heck.
I think rugby has a good idea. Get a Windows box for the CAD program and the rest iMacs. Network them all together for file transfering.

Well forget the iMacs then why not G4s with cinema displays - please the budget is ~$8000
The iMac is going to be you cheapest option. A G4 would cost you more then a low end iMac especially with a cinema display. It would eat up your $8000 in no time. Apple's 22" Cinema Display sells for $3999. The smaller version of this which is a 15" flat panel Studio Display sells for $999. The most economical route to take as for as monitors go would be a 17" Studio Display (not flat panel) which sells for a mere $299. The cheaper monitor may lower the price enough to go with a G4 tower. Go to the Apple store and do some pricing. Have you talked to an actual Apple representative about this. He/She may be able explain better how to go about handling this situation.

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Jan 27, 2001, 10:10 PM
 
as much as i would like to say for you to get the macs, i cannot. they're much too expensive route for this case. imac's are okay but there are way too many downsides to having them. you'd end up getting way better packages if you went the pc way. as screamingFit mentioned, trying to emulating such a large program would bring up too many problems.

if you get pc's now and make enough, then i would implement macs into the environment.
     
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Jan 28, 2001, 05:05 PM
 
I work in an environment with mixed pcs and macs, and networking is terrible. Perhaps there is a solution, but I would recommend going with PCs at this point. If your boss already bought his pet-program and he likes PCs, then he will likely blame you for any problems if you get macs...and with networking PCs and Macs you will have problems. Better to go all PCs and then when there's problems you're the one who can say, "if we had gone mac...". On a limited budget, PCs offer more than macs, so much more. There will be more maintenance on the PCs, but he's already got you for that, it would seem.

If he hadn't already bought a cad program then maybe there would be hope, but it sounds like he's set on PCs. Must be a PC bitch. Sorry you have to work for this nut.



[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (edited 01-28-2001).]
     
penfold  (op)
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Jan 28, 2001, 05:20 PM
 
I don't work for him, it's a favour - and most people who use PCs are not nuts but just not informed about alternatives -
"if everyone else is using a PC - then I must be a fool not to use one as well" is the publics attitude.

Macs are still viewed as the domain of designers
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Jan 28, 2001, 05:50 PM
 
penfold, it is good to see someone putting forth the effort to support Apple. Can't win them all unfortunately but keep up the good work.
     
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Jan 28, 2001, 09:53 PM
 
Doesn't AutoCAD come with a dongle? If so, then there's no way of running it on a Mac in emulation or otherwise, except perhaps in demo mode. The dongle would be for a PC serial port, which Macs have never had except through adapters to the old mac serial ports. But of course, Macs don't even have a standard serial port into which to plug such an adaptor anymore, they've got USB (different serial) ports now. Much more than a simple adaptor would be required for that.
     
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Jan 28, 2001, 11:37 PM
 
AutoCAD doesn't use a dongle. At least R14, which I occasionally have to use, doesn't. I would not think about trying to run it on a Windows emulator - it's too processor hungry and very finicky about it's environment.

Once your boss has paid the cost of installing AutoCAD and training users, you should get a demo of Ashlar Vellum 3D (or better: Solids) to show him how easy it is to model and draft in. The learning curve for Vellum 3D is measured in days, as opposed to the geologic timescale needed to measure AutoCAD mastery! It is available for both Mac and PC, BTW. As you might guess, I use Vellum 3D 99% of the time and only use ACAD to view other's drawings.

Good luck!
     
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Jan 29, 2001, 01:52 AM
 
Another reason unassociated with AutoCAD. The a gradeschool principal I know will purchase only Macs for two reasons. They are easier to use AND they physically last longer. How many PC's will your client have to purchase over the lifespan of a Mac? Something to think about as you work your budget.
     
penfold  (op)
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Jan 29, 2001, 07:25 AM
 
So, I'm going to have to go the way of PCs for now - so anyone know what I need to netwrok 6 PCs togeather, running Win2000 via ethernet?

Thanks
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Jan 29, 2001, 02:31 PM
 
I just want to chime in and say that I've used AutoCAD R14 on an iMac 266 with VirtualPC ... it worked fine. Slow and chunky, of course, but it was good for the quick fix solution I needed. But if I needed to run AutoCAD full time, I'd just get a PC.

Unfortunately, for many of us there's no alternative to AutoCAD. I use it at work. All of our consultants use it. Many of our clients (gov't, military, and university) require you to provide as-builts in AutoCAD. I'm currently in the process of moving to another (larger) city, so hopefully options are more varied there, but in this little town of Tucson, if you need to work with other people, you need to use AutoCAD. I really hope these long standing rumors about AutoCAD in OSX hold true.

Anyway, a reason to get iMacs for the office and admin side... most every single virus written to take advantage of the holes in Outlook affect only Windows machines.
     
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Jan 30, 2001, 12:58 AM
 
Originally posted by penfold:
So, I'm going to have to go the way of PCs for now - so anyone know what I need to netwrok 6 PCs togeather, running Win2000 via ethernet?
I believe you'll have to go to Hell Forum to get that question answered.

(just being militant)
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Jan 30, 2001, 01:47 AM
 
So, I'm going to have to go the way of PCs for now - so anyone know what I need to netwrok 6 PCs togeather, running Win2000 via ethernet?
Luck....and some advice from a PC forum.

Actually, I've found that most people use PCs because they are conformist. They know about alternatives, but since everyone uses PC, they figure they will to. It's all about fitting in and being in synch with modern trends. After all if you have a mac you can't brag about having the latest pentium.

Sorry to call your boss a "PC bitch", but he sounded like one for sure. Sounds like it was a lost cause from the get go.

[This message has been edited by Phaedrus (edited 01-30-2001).]
     
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Jan 30, 2001, 02:24 AM
 
Originally posted by penfold:
So, I'm going to have to go the way of PCs for now - so anyone know what I need to netwrok 6 PCs togeather, running Win2000 via ethernet?

Thanks
go to: http://www.practicallynetworked.com/networking/lan.htm

it should be somewhat helpful. it's not that hard networking computers together with win2k. good luck.

[This message has been edited by ariella (edited 01-30-2001).]
     
ap
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Jan 30, 2001, 04:53 PM
 
It might be a very good solution with 2 Cad stations (win200/autoCAD2000) and the rest powermac G4's.(administration, graphic design, web, prepress etc).

arguments:

The pc is best for cad drawing/file exchange with ingenieers.

The mac is best for stability, easy maintainance, and most of all producing and printing graphics. Quark Xpress, Illustrator, photoshop, and ColorSync are all originally mac applications and neccesary to produce presentation material of all kind.

ap
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Aug 25, 2003, 12:12 AM
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by penfold:
[B]I'm organising a new IT system for a interior design business (as a favour). They need 6 computers all together:

If your boss isn't a dedicated AutoCAD user, try getting him a copy of the Ashlar CAD products CD. Vellum is an amazing app--it practically reads your mind. I think you could get in under your budget, but to do real CAD work you need a 21 inch monitor (your boss might not think so now, but he will) and lots of memory and disk space. No decent CAD software is gonna be really productive on an a low end iMac.

Unless your boss is actually hell-bent on doing AutoCAD you can do a lot better. If you actually need AutoCAD for some of your clients, any first line Mac CAD product will probably be able to import AutoCAD .dwg files. I know Deneba CAD and Vectorworks will.
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Aug 25, 2003, 05:10 AM
 
Wow! This thread is really old now.



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Aug 25, 2003, 02:33 PM
 
Looks like someone replied 2.5 years late
     
   
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