change from p.c. to mac?

good evening friends,

how difficult is the transition from windows to mac? i started with win95, and moved along with microsoft through xp pro. i am planning to get a macbook soon. for starters i plan to use it for music and photo management, word processing, email and routine web surfing. i am interested in trying to do a web page or two once i get a handle on it.

any tips?

Uh oh. You asked the question that should not be uttered. It is a little like saying BeatleJuice 3 times.

Have you used Macs recently? DO you know much about the current operating system?

To quote Pulp Fiction:

“I mean they got the same shit over there that they got here, but it’s just - it’s just there it’s a little different.”

Macs are more than fine for all the stuff you list. You aren’t exactly talking about obscure applications or uses. It basically just comes down to how you like their versions of the applications.

There are many ways to move your files from uploading them to a web site and then redownloading to USB drives to external hard drives. Some of that may take some tinkering. However, file formats like MP3 and standard image files like JPEG will work fine on a Mac once you get them there.

There’s a web site, MacOS X Hints Forum, which I think you’ll find helpful for answering questions, especially “I know how to do this on a Windows PC, how the heck do you do it on a Mac?” type questions. It’s got a pretty even mixture of Mac lifers like me, former (or concurrent) Windows users, and Unix folk who have embraces OS X as a good Unix with mainstream commercial apps available to it.

I had MS Dos. I was early into Windows 3.0 which was the biggest piece of shit ever sold to the public. Everybody that worked for Microsoft at the time should be in jail for even thinking of releasing such an abomination.

Nevertheless, I suffered through 3.1, 95 (rat shit), 98, Millenium (old fetid rat shit), and finally XP.

Finally, I succumbed to wiser advice and bought a Mac with OXS. While the Mac isn’t perfect, it is a galaxy better than Windows. I still have a laptop with Windows and I ask myself why, except that I can get the stuff on it that doesn’t work well with the Mac (because the programmers are too lazy to write the code).

If Microsoft was an auto company it would be out of business. They are the Veg-a-Matic of operating systems. If you want a slicer spend the money for a Cuisinart, don’t settle for the cheapie just because everyone else got one for a Christmas present.

Again, Mac and OSX aren’t the be all and end all but at their worst they are a whole lot better than Windows ever pretended to be.

The switch isn’t necessarily easy but in the long run it is worth it.

friend shagnasty,

thanks for the response. the obscure stuff i need to run won’t work on a mac. i will continue to use my thinkpads for work, but for fun, i think mac just might be what i need to break the monotony.

friend ahunter,

thanks for the site. i bookmarked it and will read there often.

Macs these days can run Windows so you can have the best of both worlds (or worst, depending on your POV).

My husband has a Mac. I want to love it, I really do. I want to use it. I want to be happy with it. I just can’t do it. Five minutes on the Mac reduces me to a tantrum-throwing three year old. It just makes no sense to me - I think my brain is wired up Windows-style (and that’s a scary thought). It’s completely possible to transition and people do it all the time, but I can’t do it.

Once you try Mac, you’ll never go back.

I switched to Mac (a PowerBook G4) a year ago. I love it. I like my PowerBook so much I bought an old iMac G3 that I have up at my house. There was a learning curve involved, and the Mac users here on the boards were a great help.

I got the G4 so that I could run Final Cut Pro in the studio I was involved with. I haven’t gotten round to using it for making webpages yet, but (again, thanks to SDMB Mac users) got some free downloads for that. I bought MS-Office for Macs from the Apple website, so I have everything I need. One thing I don’t have is The Blue Screen Of Death. My g/f has a PC laptop, and I find myself trying to use a two-finger drag on the mousepad to scroll. Doesn’t work on her computer. :wink: And I like the way the environment works (upper-left corner to show all windows, upper-right corner to hide all windows, etc.).

friend sparty,

my main work application runs in ms dos. i use a thinkpad 770 to run it. it will never run on a mac, but that’s ok. i think the macbook will be just what i need at home and on the road.

friend cazzle,

i have been saying that for years. i have just been windowed out…

I switch between the two OSs (XP/OSX) all the time. All the applications I use on both platforms are either identical or virtually identical. There are a few applications I prefer to use on my Mac (Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, Logic Express), but that’s just a personal preference simply because I learned those apps on a Mac, not because they’re really any better on the Mac.

The main remaining difference between the PC and the Mac from an end user persepective is how fonts are managed and used. On a Mac you’ll definitely want to install some sort of font manager, like Fontbook or Suitcase. I highly recommend Suitcase. it’s marketed by a company called Extensis.

The Mac still wins the ease-of-use challenge, though not by nearly as much as it used to. With the advent of OSX pretty much anyone who has experience with Windows 2000 or XP can use a Mac with no prior knowledge.

A major peeve of mine lately is the new Macs have the Intel processor but many of the applications haven’t been optimized for it yet, so they’re a noticeably slower than on a machine without the Intels. Because of this I highly recommend going with the dual-core processor if you’re buying a new Mac. You’ll thank me for that bit of advice later. Then when Adobe, Microsoft, etc… finally get around to optimizing their apps you get another bump in speed when you upgrade.

I guess the question to ask yourself is why you want to switch to a Mac. Is there something about a Mac that you find particularly alluring. i love the way mine looks, but I’m shallow like that. You may have more substantial reasons.

Crashes? PCs and Macs crash (or freeze, or lock-up…select the term you like best) about the same, which is extremely seldom. Our experience is Macs crash more. I have between 30 and 40 PCs running in my office at any one time, 24 hours a day, and they never, ever crash, of course they all have XP and are configured exactly the same. Our Macs, on the other hand, have been known to lock-up from time to time. You’ll quckly learn that ‘Force Quit’ is your friend.

Using files between systems? No problems whatsoever. Files on a PC are usable on the Mac and vice-versa. A challenge you’ll have is with Photoshop and Illustrator EPS files. The PC sometimes either doesn’t recognize the file type or opens everything in Photoshop, even if it’s an Illustrator EPS, but there are ways around that. The latest version of Microsoft Office on the Mac has the best compatibility with the PC version it ever has. The only challenge you’ll have is with fonts. The most commonly used sans-serif font on the Mac is Helvetica. The corresponding font on the PC is Arial. Don’t be fooled, they’re not the same. The kerning and width of Arial is slightly different than Helvetica. If you type a page of text on your Mac in Word using the Helvetica font, and then bring your saved document over to your PC, when you open the document a font substitution will occur, changing the font in your document from Helvetica to Arial. When this substitution happens your entire document will reflow. You’ll have the same challenge with the Mac serif font Times and the PC serif font Times New Roman. They are not the same font.

Speaking of fonts, I also recommend only using OpenType fonts. They’re platform independent. You’ll have fewer problems, especially if yo’re going to be transferring files containing text or text elements back and forth.

Anything else you wanna know?

You can run DOS programs on a Mac (or Linux, or Windows) using DOSBox . I use it all the time to run a few old DOS engineering programs. Works fine, with no slowdown at all, even on a PowerPC Mac. It’s mostly intended to run old DOS games, but it’s really a general purpose DOS emulator and will run just about any DOS software. Of course you can also run Windows on a Mac using Parallels virtualization software, or Boot Camp from Apple. With current Macs using Intel processors, there is no performance penalty to running Windows on a Mac, it runs just as fast as it would on a PC.

As for the switch to Mac in general, I bought a Mac about 2 years ago, and at this point I don’t any longer own a Windows machine (don’t even have Windows on my Mac) and I get along just fine, with far fewer problems than I ever did on my many Windows machines.

There are several sites with active Mac-discussion forums where you can go to get help. MacRumors, MacNN, and macosxhints are all good choices.

From what I understand, Parallels is the software you want to use if you’re going to need to run PC software on a Mac. Zero performance hit, and you can easily create “clone” PCs on the Mac, so that if you screw something up on the PC side, you simply delete the clone, and launch another one.

You can read a transcript of a discussion between Leo LaPorte and Steve Gibson on the features of Parallels here.

I have both, and I highly recommend having separate computers running for separate tasks if you can afford it. The Mac has a unique asthetic, but beyond its particular look, its not flexible. The pc is a tool that basically disappears and lets the software itself take center stage, which is why its “branding” is less powerful, but its essentially a better tool.

The mac is like a hammer that is encrusted with jewels…expensive and all about the hammer, not the job of nailing things.

The PC is that old dinged up hammer that gets well used and taken for granted.

I use my mac for some testing, and as a DVD and internet radio player. I also do some 3d modelling on it, which is nice on my 37" LCD screen. It crashes a lot more than my PC and I have both running 24x7, but the PC’s endure a lot more abuse. Im starting to think that the more you use a computer the less it crashes, but who knows.

For gaming I use a gaming console (Xbox) which I also recommend. PC’s for games just arent as good.

I have a pocket pC, cell phone, and and iPod(broke within a month of normal use), which sit in a drawer and never get used. Each is inferior to its “wired” counterpart at home, and when I leave the office, its great to listen to the trees, the sea, animal and people chatter, and be un-tethered to technology.

WRT USB thumb drives…this may no longer be a problem, but I know I would have to format the thing on a Mac if I was switching between a Mac and a PC because while the PC would recognize the Mac formatted drive, the Mac wouldn’t recognize the PC formatted one. The was a year or two ago on school (old) computers so it might not be an issue with newer models. Can someone confirm this?

A little surprised that no one has mentioned Apple’s own switcher references

Ive had the exact opposite experience with disk drives, mac formatted ones dont work on the pc but the pc formatted ones work perfectly on the mac

That’s like asking Pat Robertson about switching from Islam to Christianity.

I’m not a Mac guy, but a Mac should be fine for what you want to do. You’re going to have a to search a little for software, don’t expect to go down to Wal-Mart and buy any game or software off the shelf, most is for Windows.

If you’re getting a recent Mac, you’re already getting a dual-core Intel processor. I recommend Parallels, but you can also go native and dual boot into Windows with Apple’s Boot Camp installer for WinXP. I, too, still have a few applications that I can’t do without on Windows.

The switch to Intel is what inspired my current round of product refreshening. I still have a PC that I mean to put on Craig’s List when I get back home. I kept it around just for PC stuff, as VirtualPC was too slow for my patience. Now, there’s no need. It’ll run under Parallels at full speed (games, though, won’t, since the video card does not run at full speed with direct hardware access – yet).

As is, documents won’t be a problem for you. I have all of mine on a Linux box served up to Macs, Windows, other Linux boxes, and anyone on the internet that can ssh into my system with whatever computer they happen to be using. It’ll be seemless.

I’ve been using Macs since the Mac 128, and PC’s since the Tandy 1000. I’ve always been more partial to the Mac, even when I was a Commodore Geek and Apples “sucked” (meaning the Apple II line). These days? I’m still much more productive on the Mac, if for nothing less than that I don’t have to spend all of my time taking care of the operating system to keep it healthy.

No, this is wrong. Thumb drives come formatted in FAT format, which works just as well on a Mac as it does on a PC. No reformatting is necessary.

As for other disks (like regular hard drives), the Mac uses HFS+ which the PC can’t read. However, the Mac will read PC disks fine, assuming they’re in FAT32 format. NTFS disks can be read on a Mac, but not written (yet). If you need a hard drive that will work on both a PC and a Mac, format it using FAT32. There are utilities available that add the ability to read Mac-formatted disks to Windows. MacDrive and MacOpener are popular options.

What the hell are you talking about?

From the OP:

The site I linked to is just for those type of folks who have already decided to switch. Did you actually read the site or did you just decide to throw that snark in?