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I just purchased a new 21.5" imac and have a few questions as I am a traditional pc user:

- my imac is installed in the basement and my 2wire bell wireless router on the main floor. The signal strength indicator on my imac seems to say full bars but I am having many drop outs and slow connection. Speed test says it is a little slow as well. I was thinking of getting the airport or airexpress to help with signal, printer connectivity, ipad connectivity etc. Is it worth the price?

- I plugged in my WD elements 1TB hardrive and it did recognize it, however, I assume that I need MS Office for Mac to read all the office files like word and power point? If I have this can I then easily transfer files over from either my PC or external HD? What is an inexpensive way to get the office for imac suite?

- Will running bootcamp help with any of this?

Any help appreciated.
 

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but I am having many drop outs and slow connection.
Sounds like your not set up correctly so I'd be inclined to work on that and with the money you save, buy Office for Mac.

Look for Microsoft Office for Mac Home & Student 2011 at $149.

Will running bootcamp help with any of this?
No. Bootcamp is for when you want to run Windows on a Mac.
 

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I agree with Hugh, the Office for Mac, Home & Student Version is the way to go. Don't get me wrong, Open Office is fine but I just prefer the Microsoft Office product. It is the ONLY Microsoft product on my Mac Book Pro and it works flawlessly.
 

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Basements can be tough on wireless signals, so try moving your iMac around to different places to see if it improves. If you're a big iTunes user you'll want the best network performance you can get.

About office documents, save your $$$ and go with OpenOffice.org if you can. If you are a student and want the MS product there might be a discount available.
 

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You do not need to be a Student to get the Student version, I have bought my copies in FS and never been refused at the Checkout. On-Line would work too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
New to imac

Thanks everyone. I likely will go with the Office for Mac option.

Sounds like most of you do not see the value in the Airport Express, extreme routers?

Can I still do sharing b/w ipad, laptop pc, and imac on a network with my regular wireless router if set-up properly?

Thanks
 

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Yes, you would still be able to share between all your networked devices using your existing bell router. However, an airport extreme would allow you to connect your iMac and iPad using wireless n (faster). Btw, you don't necessary have to get an airport extreme, there are other n routers available that would be as good or better.
 

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As for Bootcamp, I ran Parallel's for a short time but decided that running Windows on a Mac was not for me. It meant all the old issues again, Anti Virus, etc so I removed it and just search out programs for the Mac that do what my old Windows progs did. It took a while and I tried a few but now I could not be happier.
 

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I have a 2TB time-capsule.

It operates as a wired, and wireless router as well.

It backs up all my files, and works flawlessly. No problem connecting any device. Great range as well.
 

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I believe the iMac comes with a 30-day trail version of iWork which is Apple's Office alternative. It includes 'Pages' that can read/write 'Word' files, 'Numbers' which can read/write 'Excel' files and 'Keynote' which can read/write 'PowerPoint' files. I would give that a try as well before making the investment in Office. iWork only costs $79.00 for a single licence or $99.00 for a 5-licence family pack.

I like Pages much more than Word. It has both a word processing mode and a page layout mode that gives you much more control over the look/layout of the elements on the page. It allows you to work like you would in a professional page layout program like Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress. Checkout the included templates for examples of what you can accomplish with it.

The difference between Keynote and PowerPoint are night and day. Keynote is a much more powerful program for creating presentations.

The only place where Office is still king is in number crunching. Excel is still a much better spreadsheet program than Numbers is but if your needs are simple then you won't notice the difference.

I say give iWork a try before you invest in Office.

As for your wireless network problems, before investing in a new router try temporarily moving the iMac closer to the 2-Wire router and see if things improve. If they don't improve by just getting closer to the 2-Wire you know that it isn't a distance/interference problem.

If it does improve then you have some choices to make. Either move the 2-Wire so it is in a better place in relation to where you would normally like to locate the iMac or see if a different router or a combination of a couple or routers, creating a distributed network, will fix your problem.

What I mean by a distributed network is that by using a combination of two or more routers/access points you can create one network that expands the signal throughout a larger area of your house.

Distributed networks only work if you buy the same routers/access points from the same manufacturer. For example use all Apple Airports or all D-Links or all Linksys equipment to create the distributed network as the protocols each manufacturer uses to communicate between routers/access points is different.

If moving the iMac closer does not improve things then it could be a settings problem. In that case you could try a different channel from the default or check your network settings on the Mac. Sometimes bad DNS settings can have an adverse affect on your Internet performance.

Try setting any pair of these as your DNS settings and see if things improve.

DNSResolvers
205.210.42.205
64.68.200.200

OpenDNS
208.67.222.222
208.67.220.220

Google Public DNS
8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4
 
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