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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?" :)

Mac: A good match for us?


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JeremyZ

 
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I'm another one of those guys who has always been a PC guy. Came to PCs right from the Apple IIe.

At work, I use a Windows machine. Not bad, maybe because I'm familiar with it. My mom and sister both love Macs. My sister's a graphic designer. My mom bought a Mac a while ago (had an original iMac) because she was a music teacher at the time. She came to the computer world. She was delighted with the Mac because everything was so easy & intuitive to her. She bought a PC to make her work easier; she has to enter grades on a PC. (she teaches 5th grade now) She *****es about it all the time. Says that when she retires, she's going to get a Mac again, if she can afford it.

So here I am. Comfortable with PCs for the last 20 years. I'm an amateur photographer, but can do everything I need to do with a PC and simple IrfanView software. Most of what I do is web surfing and Irfanview. I'm active on a few different internet fora. I do general surfing, and some video editing. Also not too bad on Windows Movie Maker.

Then, there's my wife. She's going to be starting her residency as a family doctor in June probably. She surfs too, but wants to make sure she can use a Mac for presentations. She had just learned PowerPoint for PC. It doesn't appear that PowerPoint is available for Mac. It also doesn't appear that the Macbooks have a regular monitor output such as PCs have to plug into a video projector.

So here are the specific questions:
  • Is web surfing as fast on a Mac as on a PC? (with similar spec equipment)
  • Do Macbooks include software equivalent to PowerPoint?
  • If so, how does a Mac user connect to a video projector?
  • What are the Mac disadvantages? (be honest!)
  • What kinds of websites will I NOT have access to with a Mac?
  • What kinds of applications will I NOT have access to with a Mac?
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JeremyZ

 
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Also, I have to admit that buying a $1000+ Macbook is going to be hard to swallow compared to a $600 PC that is similarly equipped.

As an engineer, I can see that they are simply designed better. Trip-proof cord, better touch pad, better screen; they just put a lot more thought into everything. But Apple pricing is not very attractive, I must admit.

Please tell me what else makes Macs worth so much more money to you.
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droflex

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
I'm another one of those guys who has always been a PC guy. Came to PCs right from the Apple IIe.

At work, I use a Windows machine. Not bad, maybe because I'm familiar with it. My mom and sister both love Macs. My sister's a graphic designer. My mom bought a Mac a while ago (had an original iMac) because she was a music teacher at the time. She came to the computer world. She was delighted with the Mac because everything was so easy & intuitive to her. She bought a PC to make her work easier; she has to enter grades on a PC. (she teaches 5th grade now) She *****es about it all the time. Says that when she retires, she's going to get a Mac again, if she can afford it.

So here I am. Comfortable with PCs for the last 20 years. I'm an amateur photographer, but can do everything I need to do with a PC and simple IrfanView software. Most of what I do is web surfing and Irfanview. I'm active on a few different internet fora. I do general surfing, and some video editing. Also not too bad on Windows Movie Maker.

Then, there's my wife. She's going to be starting her residency as a family doctor in June probably. She surfs too, but wants to make sure she can use a Mac for presentations. She had just learned PowerPoint for PC. It doesn't appear that PowerPoint is available for Mac. It also doesn't appear that the Macbooks have a regular monitor output such as PCs have to plug into a video projector.

So here are the specific questions:
  • Is web surfing as fast on a Mac as on a PC? (with similar spec equipment)
  • Do Macbooks include software equivalent to PowerPoint?
  • If so, how does a Mac user connect to a video projector?
  • What are the Mac disadvantages? (be honest!)
  • What kinds of websites will I NOT have access to with a Mac?
  • What kinds of applications will I NOT have access to with a Mac?
Oh man! Great questions!

In order:

>Yes.
>Dont know.
>Dont know.
>Less variety of software but more than enough available.
>Access to all websites.
>You can run Windows on your mac too! How do 'ya like that?

You can do everything your doing on a mac that you are on your pc. Dont know about the projector thing tho.

Have fun!
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dtravis7

 
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On Powerpoint. Remember most Windows machines come with either a demo of Office or not at all, so Office still has to be purchased. Same can be done with OSX. Office for Mac. So yes, you can have Powerpoint on the Mac. Some like iWorks (from Apple) presentation manager called Keynote better than PowerPoint. There is also Open Office that is free that gives you a PowerPoint compatible solution.

There are many adapters that plug into the Mini Display Port to plug in your projector.

On the Web page part, there is Apples Safari, but you can also use Firefox, Opera, Chrome and other browsers, so you should be able to get to pretty much any page.
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cuhnool

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
  • Is web surfing as fast on a Mac as on a PC? (with similar spec equipment)
  • Do Macbooks include software equivalent to PowerPoint?
  • If so, how does a Mac user connect to a video projector?
  • What are the Mac disadvantages? (be honest!)
  • What kinds of websites will I NOT have access to with a Mac?
  • What kinds of applications will I NOT have access to with a Mac?
1. Yes
2. Not included, but many available. As dtravis has mention, Office for Mac, Open Office (or NeoOffice), and iWorks
3. Adapters
4. Disadvantages? I haven't met a disadvantage yet. you WILL (I promise) have to do things the Apple way, so that may be a disadvantage to some people.
5. You should have access to all websites, unless the web master hasn't been around for many many many years. . .
6. That depends on what you are needing. There are lots of applications for the Mac that are equivalent to lots of PC programs. Lots of software may also have versions for both. As there may be PC exclusive software for PC, it's the same way for Mac. An example of a Mac exclusive application.

P.S. That is an amazing application. Here's a link if you want to try it out when you get your Mac.

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Collin Bl

 
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i have loaded a number of powerpoint presentations and both shown in Keynote or exported in Power point for sending to others. Using Keynote with projector and facing the audience and running the presentation by controlling it with slide actually showing on iPhone is great. Using the Wooi Juice App even allows finger touch on iPhone screen to show on slide as highlight. And using Keynotes Magic Move for a scrolling page in a slide show is brilliant.

Check it out - http://www.wooji-juice.com/products/...tation-remote/
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J.Fo

 
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Quote:
As an engineer, I can see that they are simply designed better. Trip-proof cord, better touch pad, better screen; they just put a lot more thought into everything. But Apple pricing is not very attractive, I must admit.

Please tell me what else makes Macs worth so much more money to you.
Recently, my soon to be sister-in-law was in the market for a new laptop. When she asked me what she should get, I told her a Mac. I did my best to sell her on one, citing the availability of Microsoft Office (which is totally compatible with the Windows version), ease of use, and just overall better design.

Ultimately, she decided to get an Hewlett Packard instead. Her reason? She said that she could not justify the added cost of a MacBook. I told her that's fine, but if she had purchased the Mac, she would be telling me how glad she was that she spent the extra money on it.
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Corato

 
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As for disadvantages, I worked on PC's and other OS for many years and Windows has 50 ways to do everything, on a Mac there are just a few and it wants you to do it a certain way. That said, it is an easy adjustment with all the tutorials, forums etc.

Presentations can be easily created with an free Open Office variant such as Symphony or Neo Office.

You may find some web applications that may not work with Safari but Firefox can cover that.

Corato Blog - Macbook Pro 2011 15" 240GB OCZ Vertex4 + Corsair 240GB, Optibay, - iPhone 4s - Synology 207+NAS
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baggss

 
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Aside from hardcore gaming, you can do pretty much anything on a Mac that you can do on a PC. That being said, if your comfortable with Windows why "rock the boat" so to speak...?


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Mac Pro

 
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1) Yes, if you are using the same connection your pc is on, you will have the same internet speed.
2) Nothing like powerpoint is included but there is a mac version of microsoft office and there is also iWork which includes Keynote which you can buy seperately.
3) Depending on the projector you may need to buy an adapter or anoter type of cable for it to work with the macbook.
4) I really can't think of any disadvantages honestly.
5) You will have access to all websites but with safari, some websites weren't written for both internet explorer and safari. That means there might be a few websites that don't work with safari but there are other browsers you can use.
6) You can run windows on your mac so you can have access to any apllication you had on your pc.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baggss View Post
Aside from hardcore gaming, you can do pretty much anything on a Mac that you can do on a PC. That being said, if your comfortable with Windows why "rock the boat" so to speak...?
This is a very important point, and one that trips up a lot of long-time Windows users.

Let me be clear - if you are entirely satisfied with Windows, you will most likely be frustrated with a Mac.

Just as Windows has its own eccentricities that you have come to understand, the Mac does too. And you will find as a switcher that you need to drop your Windows habits and get used to doing things the Mac way. If you're not inclined to do that, or you don't like change, you'll be very dissatisfied.

I can't tell you how many people we have here on this forum who come to complain because they're trying to make their Mac work like Windows and expect that is should be so out of the box. Yes, there are many tweaks you can make to be more comfortable, but at the end of the day, you need to take your Windows hat off and put your Mac hat on and realize that "different" does not mean "inferior", it's just a matter of personal preference.

Baggss' post here is spot on. Now, if you are sick of Windows and are ready for something different, by all means, the Mac can be very rewarding. But don't do it just because your friends and family like it.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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G3XOI

 
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Why don't you pay your sister a visit and try one for a while!?
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JeremyZ

 
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Well, I'm not thinking of switching just because my mom & sister love Mac. I'm thinking of it because when I talk to the occasional Mac person, the points they make are valid.

I don't really care that Macs are more intuitive any more, because I have already gone through the Windows learning curve. But both my work and home computers are on Windows XP. Vista has come & gone, so if I buy another Windows machine, I'm going to have to relearn. I thought maybe as long as I'm going to have to learn where stuff is all over again, I may as well try it on the one that is more intuitive.

My wife has learned a lot of stuff about Windows. Enough to muddle through and do what she needs to do. But she has a hard time getting her head around "right click" and "right drag" and also as someone mentioned understanding that there are 5 different ways to do everything. She figures out one way (usually the least efficient way) to do something, then gets very frustrated when I say, for example, "why don't you just press F12 to Save As" or "just enter the website name, then press Ctrl + Enter"

As an engineer, I really appreciate the thought that Apple put into the entire design. Not just: "Let's design the motherboard, then slap in this hard drive, slap in that DVD ROM, package any cheap monitor, keyboard, mouse and it will work." My sister pointed out that Apple designs their products, not just throw together something that works for as cheap as possible.

My wife appreciates that they're "cute" or "beautiful."

{rant}
There are two things right now that are frustrating us about our home PCs. She's got a cheaper laptop. The wireless card just seemed to stop working with no reason. The battery crapped out. And she is always seeming to pick up viruses out of nowhere, just from surfing her Polish websites. She tries to avoid using the thing altogether. We're afraid to use Skype to talk to my new nephew, because of the security scare a few years ago.

My own old desktop PC has started doing this thing where Windows Explorer locks up whenever I open a folder that contains an .AVI file. So all the videos I took on my digital still camera in video mode are now useless. I can't for the life of me figure out how to fix it. I updated Windows, and uninstalled & reinstalled QuickTime. No dice. Very frustrating. I may have done this by deleting a system file that I shouldn't have. But there's no way to know. Microsoft's website is 95% useless if one is looking to solve a problem like this. Their solution (if there is one) is "buy this new $400 software package."{/rant}

Thanks for listening.

I guess what it comes down to is that as long as we're going to have to learn a new operating system (thanks for changing it every few years, Microsoft) this might be a good time to go.
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JeremyZ

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G3XOI View Post
Why don't you pay your sister a visit and try one for a while!?
My sister's in LA, I'm in Chicago, 2500 miles away. I tried her Macbook and had a **** of a time doing simple things. But I only tried for a few minutes and didn't look at any tutorials. When I asked for help, she just dragged something somewhere and it was done.

I think I will drop in on my neighbor, who has the 6 year old Mac desktop and have him give me the tutorial.

I hesitate to go to an Apple store; I'd have to leave my wallet behind, or I'd end up financing some kickass Macbook.

One more question, and this is not a troll: Is Jobs' health a legitimate concern? Is there really a chance Apple will flounder & die just because they lost their CEO? I'm unconvinced by his latest statement of his health. I think it would be better for him to say something like: "I'm fine, but even if I weren't, we have in place a lot of innovative thinkers here in a position to take the reigns who would run the company just as well as I would if I weren't fine."

Re-reading that last paragraph, it seems pretty cold. It would be a shame if Jobs dies, also because he is a human being, not just for my own selfish concerns.

Oh, one more thing. No matter how I look at it, I couldn't buy a Mac right now. To those who have financed, have you regretted it or thanked yourself?

Thanks for your time everyone.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post

One more question, and this is not a troll: Is Jobs' health a legitimate concern? Is there really a chance Apple will flounder & die just because they lost their CEO? I'm unconvinced by his latest statement of his health. I think it would be better for him to say something like: "I'm fine, but even if I weren't, we have in place a lot of innovative thinkers here in a position to take the reigns who would run the company just as well as I would if I weren't fine."
Well, your guess is as good as anyone else's. Apple is certainly not going to say anything to scare the investor community. Personally, I don't see it being issue. If anything, Steve has built up enough talent over time that it would take years if not decades for things to stagnate at Apple. This was clearly evidenced by the "business as usual" attitude that Apple seemed to take when Jobs was out on medical leave.

Again, just my opinion, but with the successful tiers of business that Apple has grown over the past decade, I don't see Apple losing any ground without Steve Jobs in the near term.

Quote:
Re-reading that last paragraph, it seems pretty cold. It would be a shame if Jobs dies, also because he is a human being, not just for my own selfish concerns.

Oh, one more thing. No matter how I look at it, I couldn't buy a Mac right now. To those who have financed, have you regretted it or thanked yourself?

Thanks for your time everyone.
I used the Apple financing when I bought my first MacBook Pro, only because it was "free money" and it came with an iTunes gift card since I had spent $1250. If it hasn't changed since 2006, it's just a Barclay's Bank credit card with interest free financing for 6 months. I would say if you know you can pay it off during that term, go for it. Otherwise, stay away, as the finance rates are incredibly high.

And if you're going to do it, do it soon as the new credit laws that are being enacted will pretty much eliminate interest free financing deals.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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