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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Learning curve for Mac from Windows


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Not Orange

 
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Hi all,

This summer, I'm planning on switching from a pc to a mac. This would be the first time I've ever had and used one. I've been hearing about the new redesign of the mb and mbp, but I was in need of advice as to should I go ahead and invest in a macbook to have time to learn its ways or wait till the end of summer in hopes to get a better one. How difficult is the learning curve for a new mac user? I'll be needing to use it for computer programming and IT purposes, and I'm really stoked about getting my hands on one. I just don't know if I should go ahead and get one to get used to it before college starts up, or wait.
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Kash

 
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If you have no reason to buy one right away, then you might as well wait to see if Apple updates the notebooks. No point in getting one now just to have new ones come out a few weeks later.

As for the learning curve, it generally varies on how good you are with computers and how willing you are to forget the Windows way of doing things and embracing the OS X way. It took me literally hours to get used to the new operating system, and about a couple of days till I got proficient at it.

OS X is actually very simple to use, the only reason it'll take somebody a while to learn it is because everyone will try to do things the Windows way. Though once you figure out how to do things the Mac way, and realize that things really are simpler and more intuitive, you'll become proficient very quickly.

I figure a month before school starts up would still give you plenty of time to get used to the machine. If the rumors are true that the update is coming in June, that'll give you an extra month to play around with the machine


June 2007
July 2009
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LeAstrale

 
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Personally my learning curve from PC to mac was about a weekend. I started using my Mac this last thursday and by today i really didn't understand why my Vista Laptop didn't change to another space when i pressed ctrl+left.

I would say unless you desperately need it now for something or you old equipment is dead. Then buy it later on before you start college, but do keep in mind that you could be waiting around forever on the "next big update" Which is not a good thing, buy stuff when you feel like needing it.
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CL33Zero

 
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One week, and you will start to feel like you know what your doing

Its time to go...
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mac57

 
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The key is to make a conscious decision to leave the "Windows way" behind. Macs ARE different, and in a good way, but if you insist on trying to do things the Windows way on your new Mac, you will be frustrated by it.

So, I would recommend that you actively embrace the Mac way of doing things for at least a month, no matter how strange it may feel to you. After you are used to it, then make some decisions.

For example, no matter what browser you use now, use Safari. No matter what email client you use now, use Mail. No matter what file managers you use now, use Finder... and so on and so on. Actively seek out the normal Mac approach to whatever the task is, and do it that way. This forces a clean break on you and lets you grow quickly in Mac experience vs. trying to transplant Windows experience onto a Mac.

I call this "full Mac immersion" and I strongly recommend it. It is the best way to really experience Macs and to reduce the length of your learning curve.

And come here for advice! We are a friendly bunch and we are here to help folks who are making the switch.

Good luck!

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Noels

 
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Not Orange,

It's a quick trip from Windows to OS X. I was doing all essential tasks within a couple of days and had downloaded all the programs I needed for a while - especially Firefox (instead of OS X's Safari). OS X's Profile is just like Windows Explorer, so there isn't much difference in that regard. From there the learning curve is mostly to learn all the tricks and keystrokes that are useful.

In XP I used a mouse almost all the time. In OS X, you'll find a lot of the neat things to do use key combinations and not a mouse.

Figure on a week to get up to speed for school, then learn the other Mac niceties along with your studies...

Good luck, Noel
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Gbeav

 
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It took me a weekend to get fully accustomed to it. All I needed was new programs that would allow me to do what I wanted and set them up and get everything working properly.

And I am still baffled that somehow I actually had fun doing this for some twisted reason I still can't describe.
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tux08902
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I got used to OS X immediately. I use Gentoo Linux on my desktop, and OS X feels no different because my computing style is a blend between GUI and command line, and it has not changed on OS X. I use the same programs I do on Linux on OS X.
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rsmithgi

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not Orange View Post
Hi all,

This summer, I'm planning on switching from a pc to a mac. This would be the first time I've ever had and used one. I've been hearing about the new redesign of the mb and mbp, but I was in need of advice as to should I go ahead and invest in a macbook to have time to learn its ways or wait till the end of summer in hopes to get a better one. How difficult is the learning curve for a new mac user? I'll be needing to use it for computer programming and IT purposes, and I'm really stoked about getting my hands on one. I just don't know if I should go ahead and get one to get used to it before college starts up, or wait.
The biggest issue you could face is that developing software on the Mac and Windows is quite different. If your college doesn't require a specific development environment, you'll be fine. If there are any Microsoft requirements (VB, .net, C#, etc), you'll have issues. You'll be able to run Windows in a virtual machine but you'll need a licensed copy of windows.
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McBie

 
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Switched to my very first Mac recently and it took me 1 day to find my way around Leopard. Another day and I felt quite comfortable.
Biggest challenge for me was starting to think the Mac way and forget the Windows way. Especially the keyboard shortcuts were a challenge.

Still learning every day and I have no regrets making the switch.
I love Leopard and I am sure you will like it too.

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude towards the problem. You understand ?
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mac57

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tux08902 View Post
I got used to OS X immediately. I use Gentoo Linux on my desktop, and OS X feels no different because my computing style is a blend between GUI and command line, and it has not changed on OS X. I use the same programs I do on Linux on OS X.
I know what you mean. I came to Mac via Linux and I still make a lot of use of the command line. I am sure however that there is only a very small group of us who are command line literate.

I have always thought that one of the strengths of the Linux environment was that both UIs (GUI and command line) were fully supported and actively in use, unlike the general Mac (and Windows) GUI only paradigm. People who only use the GUI miss out on some real power.

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tux08902
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mac57, I agree with you on your comment about command line literacy, but I think that CLI should not be forced on users. The Unix functionality should be available for those who want to use it or need it. I can't live without it. There's just so much power under the hood that needs to be harnessed.

You have to say the Mac GUI is very nice. Only the KDE 4.1 GUI comes remotely close to it.
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mac0s9user

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tux08902 View Post
mac57, I agree with you on your comment about command line literacy, but I think that CLI should not be forced on users. The Unix functionality should be available for those who want to use it or need it. I can't live without it. There's just so much power under the hood that needs to be harnessed.

You have to say the Mac GUI is very nice. Only the KDE 4.1 GUI comes remotely close to it.
KDE 4 is nice but I still think it needs some work. I personally cant stand kwallet.
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swedevb

 
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I may sound like a broken record, but the two OSs (XP & OSX) just aren't that different. That's a plus and a minus. It's a shallow learning curve, but prepare to be underwhelmed. I just never got that MAC epiphany that everyone advertised. It's the programs (or applications) that matter and you'll find, or at least I did, that I mostly use the same programs on my MAC as I do on my Thinkpad, ie Firefox, Quicken, & Office apps for all heavy duty work.

Swedevb
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tux08902
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mac0s9user View Post
KDE 4 is nice but I still think it needs some work. I personally cant stand kwallet.
I use KDE 4.1 development, currently KDE 4.0.71. There's a world of difference between 4.0 stable and 4.1 development.
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