Some simple Mac questions

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP MikeFromMesa Senior Member • Posts: 2,849
Re: Some simple Mac questions

Tom_N wrote:

First, thank you for taking the time for such a complete set of answers.

Out of the box, Mac OS X can read NTFS volumes, but cannot format volumes as NTFS, or write to NTFS volumes. Out of the box, Windows cannot understand HFS+ (Mac filesystem) volumes at all.

Both can read and write to FAT32 volumes and to exFAT volumes. Some versions of Windows are not able to format FAT32 volumes larger than 32 GB, although they can use larger volumes created by Mac OS X or by third-party Windows disk utility tools.

There are third-party NTFS drivers (for Mac OS X) and third-party HFS+ drivers (for Windows) that you can get to overcome the native limitations.

Based on your response I looked on the web for ntfs to mac drivers and found, much to my surprise, free drivers from some of the disc manufacturers. I say much to my surprise because I was surprised that I had not though of looking for such drivers before I asked the question. I also found several general purpose drivers that should work for relatively low cost.

I do wonder if the drivers from companies like Seagate will work on Western Digital drives as well.

It depends on where the software is being made available. If you are talking about an application that is only available in the Mac App Store (the way Apple prefers to sell software these days), you will need a Mac for the initial download since the Mac App "storefront" is a Mac application. For a package like iTunes (available on Apple's Web site), or Lightroom (available on Adobe's Web site), you could download the file to a PC and then transfer it to a Mac.

I have downloaded most of the mac versions of my photo software to my PC and, when the iMac arrives (supposedly in a couple of days) I will transfer them to the mac and install them.

I have also noticed that there are some mac oriented web sites that, I guess, only work for a Mac. For example I went to the Pixelmator web site and tried to play some of their videos on my PC but they would not play. I guess that surprises me. Perhaps it should not. In any case I will revisit the site when my Mac is installed and running.

a. Get an external DVD or DVD/BluRay drive. I believe that the Apple USB SuperDrive (introduced to support the MacBook Air) is widely available (e.g. at Best Buy) and should work on your iMac.

b. Make a machine that has a DVD drive share its drive with the Mac, over your home network. I forget if Apple advertised this as a Mac-to-Mac thing or if the Mac can also "borrow" use of a PC's DVD drive.

c. Do some workaround with transferring files by USB stick, hard disk, network, etc.

I will probably do (a) but first try (b) to see how it works.

4) Is there any way to connect the PC and the Mac on my home network so that I could transfer files between them?

Yes. Assuming that you already have broadband Internet service, a router with at least one unused local LAN port, and possibly also WiFi support, there are two ways you can go about it:

a. Wired Ethernet connection from the iMac's Gigabit Ethernet port to a free router LAN port. This won't buy you faster Internet access speed (your broadband provider is the bottleneck there), but may provide faster file transfers within your home, if you don't mind the wiring.

b. WiFi connection to the WiFi access point / router.

You'll need to do the same sort of network configuration (or auto-configuration) as for a PC. Then once you have basic connectivity going, you can turn on file sharing service on one or the other.

This is probably going to be a bit of a challenge for me considering that I know nothing about how the iMac networking should be set up. But, I guess, that is what AppleCare is for.

Thank you again.

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