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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?" :)

Calling all Windows Power Users


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consultant

 
Member Since: Aug 10, 2009
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I was writing software 20 years ago on an Apple IIe when I was 12 years old in machine code, assembler and basic and shortly after running what amounted to a baby AOL with my huge 5MB Sider Hard Drive with subscription checks coming to my parents house. I eventually switched to a PC when I discovered Windows 3.0. I've been involved with computers ever since in almost any capacity you can think of from PC Tech, to Network Admin, to Webmaster. All my friends and family have always used Windows and I was always the one to come to with their problems.

I currently am now just a freelance Intrernet Consultant and leave the coding to sub-contractors and just maintain the devices in my own household including three PCs (1 desktop running Vista and 2 notebooks running XP), two iPhones (mine and my wife's) and my 8-yo and 9-yo's iPod Touch devices. (I am SO loving the iPhone, previously I always owned the latest greatest WinMobile device like the HTC Touch Pro or Tilt - never going back after getting my hands on a 3GS.)

Now I could write a novel about all my frustrating experiences with Windows (and WinMobile for that matter) but I am not going to waste my time as Windows has already robbed me of hundreds of hours of time over the years troubleshooting problems. But with experience I was able to get very proficient at setting up Windows so it works decently to the point it never pushed me to buying a Mac. I always viewed Macs as way overpriced for the processing power and for the people that were scared of computers.

However I think a recent experience or two may be the nail in the coffin for me with Windows. First, when I got the iPhone I switched my Outlook to getting my e-mail from my 4 accounts via POP3 to IMAP. I like IMAP much better as then I don't have to worry about leaving Outlook open on my PC and when I delete email from my phone, it is removed from Outlook whether I left it open or not. Problem is, I've found Outlook frequently cannot connect to the IMAP server and most of the time the only way to resolve it is to delete and re-create the account which I have had to do dozens of times now. Is Microsoft trying to steer me towards buying an Exchange server but making Outlook not place well with IMAP servers? (I believe my host is running QMail.)

I'm in the process right now of trying to find an alternate to Outlook that will alow contacts and calendars to sync with my iPhone and allow me to check and reply from several accounts. Would be nice if it was also compatible with Outlook appointment requests - but I can live without that and manually enter appointments. I started down the GMail road and it appears I can only check other accounts via POP3 which means if I delete e-mail from my iPhone it will still be in my Gmail (unless Gmail is smart enough to check the server and reconcile and delete local mail that no longer is on the server?) I think Thunderbird may be the answer - setting that up right now.

Anyway, to make a long story longer, I've read that Windows 7 is FINALLY something semi-solid of an O/S from Microsoft. I'm not a Microsoft loyalist - it's just what I've used. I realize this board is going to be VERY biased. But last night when using Vista my wife couldn't e-mail a photo because it wouldn't load Outlook (it actually did load it in memory just never came up and you couldn't load Outlook after that without bringing up Task Manager and ending the OUTLOOK.EXE process!) This is typical Windows CRAP. And I'm fed up with it.

I realize the Mac hardware is considerably more expensive for the same processing power in a Windows PC. I'm a huge power user. Edit video, run several apps at once always finding myself waiting for my laptop and I have Intel Core2 T7200 2.0 GHZ CPU with 2GB of RAM on my laptop which is pretty good even by today's standards (Bought the thing about 18 months ago - I always use a laptop so I don't mess with syncing data between a PC and a laptop trying to Keep It Simple.)

So I'm wondering, for those long-time Windows Power Users out there that have recently switched over to a Mac, do you have any regrets or things you missed about Windows? I have a lot of specialized Windows software, such as my SEO software. Will everything run on the Mac, no problems? Can I edit all my complex Excel spreadsheets no problems? Can I please WMA and WMV files? Does it place nicely on the network with Windows PC's?

This fall it's going to be a Windows 7 laptop with a Solid State Drive, or I'm defecting from Microsoft for good and getting a Mac laptop. I'm getting too old and my spare time to valuable for this ongoing care and feeding of Windows and their bloated and sometimes buggy software.
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vansmith

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by consultant View Post
I always viewed Macs as way overpriced for the processing power and for the people that were scared of computers.
Since OS X is a Unix based OS, it is much easier to play with the innards IMHO. While it is easier to maintain and setup, you have much more power over the OS than you do with Windows. That said, if you don't know *nix, you can also cause a lot of problems as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by consultant View Post
So I'm wondering, for those long-time Windows Power Users out there that have recently switched over to a Mac, do you have any regrets or things you missed about Windows? I have a lot of specialized Windows software, such as my SEO software. Will everything run on the Mac, no problems? Can I edit all my complex Excel spreadsheets no problems? Can I please WMA and WMV files? Does it place nicely on the network with Windows PC's?
1. No, I don't have any regrets. I didn't use much that depended on Windows or if there was something, I found an OS X replacement.
2. No, your Windows software will not work unless there is a Mac version. While you might be able to get some of it to work through something like Wine, I can't guarantee that it will work (or, if it does, work well).
3. You can get Office for Mac. Some of the features of Office 2007 are not available for Office 2008 so it depends what you mean by complex.
4. Yes, you can play Windows Media files after installing flip4mac. Although, if you can, it might be easier if you can convert/get the files in another format if you can.
5. I can't comment enough on this as I don't network with Windows boxes (I only network with Linux). What kind of networking are you looking to do?

I suggest that if a lot of your software is Windows only, you look into either running Windows on your Mac or a virtualization solution. This way, you can have both OSes.

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Nethfel

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
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No, I don't regret.

I switched via a Mac Pro (cost wise, wasn't terribly far off from what it costs to get a Dell high end workstation - considering once you put dual quad xeons in at 2.9 GHz, the price of the dell Precision shoots to 6,200 w/ 6 gigs of ram, a similar build for a Mac Pro is only $5900 - granted I bought mine used, but comparing similar systems at the high end) and I don't look back. I only dual boot to play COD WAW and sometimes Sacred 2, and sometimes use a VM for my scanner software (since my scanner isn't OSX compatible). I have since acquired a Macbook and a Mac mini.

In terms of audio / video files - you may need a plugin to play some of the different containers / codecs. DRM files from Windows will not work on OSX (unless it's DRM files within iTunes of course). I never use WMV or WMA files for my audio or video files as I prefer a more open format then being limited to M$ formats (even when I used windows, when not making a DVD, I would output my video to .mp4 or .mkv container)

Will everything run on a Mac no problem? well, it all depends on what you want to run - will it run on OSX? not directly, as OSX doesn't run .exe files, so if you have specific windows apps that you MUST use and can't find OSX replacements for, then you will need to use one of the following:
bootcamp
virtual machine
Wine (through crossover or darwine)
Any software you can replace with an OSX specific version would be better.

In terms of Excel spreadsheets - if you get Office '04 (I think is the version number) you will have good luck as it has VBA scripting for macros (assuming your sheets use VBA scripting), Office '08 did away with VBA on OSX, but it is slated to return in the next incarnation of Office for Mac. You can also try opening your spreadsheets in something like OpenOffice, which I use to edit a lot of my spreadsheets as long as they don't have a bunch of custom scripts not compatible with Open Office.

Does it play nice on a network? Mine does. I use a laptop at work where I maintain ~200 windows PC's and ~10 servers, I use MS remote desktop (it's available for OSX), I can browse the network, mount remote shares, use printers on the network, etc. It also works on my network at home just fine, my wife still uses a windows PC w/ vista on it. The only problem I've ever had is a problem that similarly affects windows pcs as well where one of my osx boxes went into an auto update period and sucked down my bandwidth at home until I stopped it (it was updating at a bad time for me and my wife as we were both online in games we enjoy ) - but that is something that can happen with Windows as well when automatic updates are enabled when set to auto download the updates.

I'd say try an OSX laptop - either use a friends (if any has a Mac that is willing to share) or see if you can rent one, or get a cheap second hand one (you can get some of the older Macbooks for really cheap on ebay or craigslist) and see how you feel about it before making a decision for a more expensive/powerful one.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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pratnala

 
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Member Since: Jul 17, 2012
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Get a mac. bootcamp for windows. thats what im doing. and windows 7 runs so smoothly
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thesimpleswitch

 
Member Since: Aug 20, 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by consultant View Post
So I'm wondering, for those long-time Windows Power Users out there that have recently switched over to a Mac, do you have any regrets or things you missed about Windows? I have a lot of specialized Windows software, such as my SEO software. Will everything run on the Mac, no problems? Can I edit all my complex Excel spreadsheets no problems? Can I please WMA and WMV files? Does it place nicely on the network with Windows PC's?

This fall it's going to be a Windows 7 laptop with a Solid State Drive, or I'm defecting from Microsoft for good and getting a Mac laptop. I'm getting too old and my spare time to valuable for this ongoing care and feeding of Windows and their bloated and sometimes buggy software.
I miss the software choices from PC. There were many more options for software (free, demo, etc.) so that if I wasn't completely satisfied with the way something worked, I could jump to another option. Since the drop of the Mac App store, options have increased but there still aren't as many options as PC users have.

As far as your Windows-only software goes: Virtualization via VMWare or Parallels. The Mac version of Office isn't flawless but it's close. If close isn't good enough, lump Office into your virtualization use.

Mac and Windows play nicely together on a network. They can share printers and files no problem.

The things I don't miss: All the maintenance work. No need to repair registry, defrag HDDs, constantly scan for viruses and spyware. Also, apps take care of file management so no need to root around in Finder (Mac equiv of Explorer).
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chscag

 
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You're both replying to a post that's over 3 years old.
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thesimpleswitch

 
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Didn't realize it when I replied but someone may still pop by who's got the same questions.
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