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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?" :)

New guy who made the switch!


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tugboat

 
Member Since: Jan 07, 2010
Posts: 4
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How's it going! I recently made the switch to a Mac. My HP laptop's motherboard hit the crapper after only 2 years (that's the last time I neglect to get the extended warranty!). My sister loves Macs and they look so purty and I've yet to hear one Mac person say anything bad about Macs or regret their decision. I decided I'd try a Mac to get a computer that just worked. Vista on my laptop was utterly slow and files easily got scattered all over the place. I averaged about 4 updates per week requiring me to shut down my computer (took about 3-4 minutes to get up and running from a cold start there). I got some crashes and error messages with it but nothing I couldn't live with. My work computer is a slug (the typical posterchild for why not to get windows) with error messages galore, crashes, 10-12 minute startup times (literally) despite the 4gb or ram, intel core 2 quad processor, and dedicated video card (we run a lot of 3D modeling software at work). I think my miserable experience with my computer at work has more to do with the fact that our IT department loads so much firewall, security, and network crap onto our computers that it seriously screws things up more than anything. If all that stuff wasn't on our computers I'd think they would be significantly faster and less error prone.

But it did get me wanting a computer that requires minimal maintenance, is highly resistant to viruses/adware/spyware/malware, and where everything just works swiftly and seamlessly every time. So I got a Mac.

It's the base iMac. 21.5" screen 500gb hard drive, 4gb of ram 3.06ghz processor, shared video card. Plenty of computer for me. Bought it at Best Buy and realized afterwards that if I'd bought it online through Apple I could've gotten the version with a 1tb hard drive and dedicated video card plus Applecare for what I paid at Best Buy for the computer, their 3 year warranty, and tax. There's no Apple store where I live (Savannah, GA). Oh well. It really is plenty of computer.

First impressions.

1. This thing's a looker. The computer itself is gorgeous. The display is the best I've ever seen in a computer; bright, vivid colors in super detail. Apple just seems to put so much effort into making EVERYTHING visually appealing. Icons and everything.

2. Once you learn the Apple way it really is so incredibly simple. Easier and more intuitive than Windows IMO. I'm not a Mac snob Windows basher but I do think Mac OSX is easier and more intuitive than Windows. There are a few things here and there I like about windows better but I'm on OSX convert. You have much fewer places to look for stuff and the dock is all right there and is highly interactive. You want to e-mail a picture then drag a picture over the e-mail icon. To switch between programs just click on the icon. You can't see everything of one application you have open like you can in windows but you do have Expose which is really cool. So you have one more step than you do with Windows but that one step lets you do more stuff than the taskbar (at least on Vista and XP, not sure about Windows 7). The Dock also shows you when an app is opening up. The dock is always visible so if you want to open another program with all your windows up you just click on the icon (I don't like how you have to right click->open new if you want a second or third window of a certain program open but it's hardly a dealbreaker). Files seem to be in many fewer places than windows so it's easier for me to find stuff. I'm still new and finding out a lot more of what the Mac can do but I continue to be impressed! See more stuff below for more examples.

3. So far things seems to work together so seamlessly. I was impressed that I could just drag an item from my itunes library into GarageBand and it would play. You really dig a song you made in GarageBand? Just a few clicks and it's imported into your iTunes library. Just like that. Drag an item over your e-mail icon and a new e-mail pops up. iPhoto and Photoshop Elements seem to play very nicely together. You want to add a special picture as album artwork in your itunes library then just drag a picture file over the album artwork portion of the album menu. Things just seem to work so well and so easily with each other. There's probably many more examples but I've only had my computer for a month

4. Speaking of software, I'm floored that it comes stock with programs you'll actually use! Aside from calculator I haven't used one stock windows program. iCal is great, iTunes, FrontRow (though Windows Media Player was good too), iPhoto, GarageBand (which, due to apartment living has become my main amplifier for my electric guitar! It sounds surprisingly good too!), they all are great programs! I'm sure iMovie is good too. I might have to shoot some videos to play around with it. They're hardly professional grade programs but for their intended audience (meaning joe shmoe weekend warrior types like me) they're perfect! Simple and easy to use and not overwhelm you but enough tools to be very creative and manage everything well. I prefer Photoshop Editor for photo editing cause it does more but luckily it works well with iPhoto. So i manage my pictures with iPhoto and edit them with PS Elements

5. The speed of this thing is incredible!!!!! By far the fastest computer I've EVER used. Applications launch with lightning speed every single time. Even with a ton of crap open things run swiftly. No error messages yet (aside from one time when a CD wouldn't eject cause I accidentally closed the wrong program and the CD icon vanished). Safari on my Mac is by far the most reliable and fastest internet experience I've ever had. My internet was pretty fast to begin with but it's much faster than internet explorer, faster than Chrome on my HP and has fewer compatibility issues than Chrome (for example, for some reason the photo uploader on Facebook would never work with Chrome on my HP). Under 30 seconds and my computer is up and running from a cold start. Shuts down in seconds. Wakes up and is ready to go in a couple seconds, and goes to sleep in a second. This Mac just flies!

6. The dashboard and widgets are just awesome. Due to the Weather Underground and tide table widgets I can find out if I'm going fishing in just one click! Same with finding movies in the area.

7. The Magic Mouse just kicks butt! It looks so cool, works great, it has the right click function, and the swipe function is just so darn useful! I haven't clicked one forward or back button since I started using this computer! The ability to let you scroll side to side is also clutch.

8. I've only found 2 drawbacks so far and they're both very minor. One is I prefer Excel to Numbers (iWork's Excel rip-off). Navigating around the spreadsheet and entering even moderately complex logic functions is just easier in Excel. I've found a way around everything I've tried to do in Numbers but Excel is just a better program IMO. Not much experience in Pages and Keynote but I've heard great things. For my home stuff iWork will work just fine. The other drawback is that every once in a while on hi-def iTunes movies things get a smidge jumpy. Again I have the shared graphics card so that's probably why. DVD's it doesn't do it, but in long, slow sweeps of a camera (like closing credits and a couple shots overhead helicopter shots in Planet Earth in HD) it gets a smidge jumpy. Picture quality is incredible for a 720p download (better than DVD IMO) and it only gets jumpy in a select few circumstances so I'm still completely satisfied. I'd still recommend this computer for watching HD movies.

Those are some observations from a Mac newbie. No buyer's remorse here! I'm a Mac convert!
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droflex

 
Member Since: Nov 30, 2009
Posts: 144
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Right on! Have fun!

You mentioned the dock. You can move that to the left or right of the screen if you want and then your doc's/webpages have more room to "spread-out" top-to-bottom (less scrolling).
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OnceYouGoMac

 
Member Since: Dec 28, 2009
Posts: 396
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Mac Specs: Macbook Unibody 2.26 Dual, 2GB RAM, 250 GB HDD

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Congrats and welcome to the cult! lol
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clayneal

 
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Member Since: Mar 27, 2009
Location: Lincoln Nebraska
Posts: 2,146
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Congrats and welcome aboard. And thanx for the detailed switching report. I have no doubt your impressions will be a great value to people thinking of making the switch.

Clay

MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!
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MYmacROX

 
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Member Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posts: 3,599
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Mac Specs: 2008 15" MBP ML, 2012 21.5" iMac ML

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tugboat View Post
I prefer Excel to Numbers (iWork's Excel rip-off). Navigating around the spreadsheet and entering even moderately complex logic functions is just easier in Excel. I've found a way around everything I've tried to do in Numbers but Excel is just a better program IMO.
Welcome and congrats on your new iMac.

You may want to download OpenOffice.org and give it a try. It's a freeware application similar to MSOffice. You can save in doc and excel files and more. I use the "spreadsheet" (excel) often and haven't found an excel function yet that I can't do with OO.

I'm also impressed with your quick grasp of the OS and many apps. Good job.
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