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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?


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swinler

 
Member Since: Apr 17, 2012
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Hi all

Been lurking here for a while, but have decided to post.

I'm a long time PC user, but have decided to take the plunge and switch to Apple when the new MacBook Pros are launched (hopefully later this month). Already an iPad and iPhone user.

I have read the various switcher articles on this forum and elsewhere, so have a good idea of how to get up and running. I just wanted to ask those of you who have also switched, what did you find to be the biggest lesson or thing that took you longest to get used to compared with a PC? Also, what is the best thing about using a Mac vs PC in your opinion?

Finally, anything you miss about your PCs?

Like I said, I'm definitely going to switch, but just wanted to get a feel for the experience of it, rather than the process itself.

Thanks

Andrew
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chas_m

 
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It's been so long ago for me I don't really recall. I guess the biggest thing for a lot of people is the "unlearning" of the "PC way" you have to do. Switchers who run into an issue tend to overthink the problem IME. Learning to let go and get back to simplicity is a challenge sometimes, but the Mac is (while not perfect in this regard by any means) much more logically designed. I find that when I encounter a problem, stopping for a moment and thinking "now what would be the simplest or most logical way to get out of this?" generally yields the answer.
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MacPastor

 
Member Since: Jul 01, 2011
Location: Montana
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Mac Specs: 27' iMac, 2.8 GHz Intel Core i5, 16GB Ram. 10.8.2 OSX

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Chas completely took the words out of my mouth. The most difficult thing for me was embracing the simplicity that is a Mac. I don't know how many times I found myself saying "It can't be that easy". And I would scour the net trying to find otherwise.

I don't miss a thing about all my PC's. Not one, single, thing. If I could afford it, I would replace every PC in my house with some sort of Mac.

The fact that I can sit down and just simply DO stuff and be productive is not something I was used to with my PC's. I had to screw with them constantly and maintain them constantly. Was constantly running system checks, defrags, anti-virus scans, anti-malware scans, etc, etc.

Now, I simply sit down and do the task that I want to do and call it a day.

If Apple continues to provide me with this type of user experience going forward, I will NEVER go back to the windows world again. Period.

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newscribe

 
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Member Since: Oct 16, 2010
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Quote:
The fact that I can sit down and just simply DO stuff and be productive is not something I was used to with my PC's. I had to screw with them constantly and maintain them constantly. Was constantly running system checks, defrags, anti-virus scans, anti-malware scans, etc, etc.
Totally agree, in fact I find it a pleasure to work through the day on my Mac, am sure it has been better for my health as well, have never wanted to throw it out of the window as I did on many occasions with the PC.
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ycl1688

 
Member Since: Mar 09, 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldscribe View Post
Totally agree, in fact I find it a pleasure to work through the day on my Mac, am sure it has been better for my health as well, have never wanted to throw it out of the window as I did on many occasions with the PC.
As someone paid tribute to steve jobs, being a mastermind of mac, not 'having to yell and kick my pc anymore'.
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swinler

 
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Thanks for the responses so far guys. I'm really keen to get my hands on my new Mac!!
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Aqua

 
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Everyone has said everything I would say... I don't miss virus scans, defrags, updates! I miss the time I would have saved if I hadn't have dealt with my mac earlier... I do miss 'knowing' how to fix it, but I don't miss having to fix and clean it out (both the software and the hardware. I can't get over the fact that I would constantly have to take my PC, keyboard and mouse apart and clean them out.. I took my mini apart to see if cleaning the lense of the optical drive would fix the issue I was having (it did) but was amazed that after years there was barely any dust etc to clean out of the vents!

I miss that there are a variety of free progs for PC but not so much for Mac (but there are more now and much better ones). I don't miss the sloppy and redundant programming/programs for PC (which would cause a lot of problems and more searching for fixes).

I could go on... I can say I like my mac mostly because I can use it when I have a migraine or am frustrated, my PCs stressed me out. LOL

invincible ignorance is an example of ignorance that can not be removed by any amount of evidence. It's now a widespread form of pollution. (Revised quote) An apple a day, keeps the psychiatrist away.. If you play a Windows install CD backwards it has satanic verses
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Brunhild

 
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Installing applications is going to really weird you out at first. When DMGs mounted to my desktop and then its just a drag and drop to the application folder it was definitely a lot different at first.

Programs staying open til you specifically close them is interesting as well. Just clicking the red circle/x at the top right doesn't exit the program.

I was/am sort of a neat freak with how I organize my documents and everything so at first I organized stuff really weird but I would say to follow the basic organization and layout macs come with for all your files.



My favorite app on my MBP of all time is this program called "quicksilver" its a pretty cool program launcher.

my beer blog, BEERUKEN! www.beeruken.com
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TBABill

 
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I just got my Mac last month so I can relate to your feelings. I was impressed with Macs from what I was told by others, my time with a friend's Macbook Pro and with what I had read. But that doesn't replace real experience so I was still hesitant.

I was, and still am, impressed with just how simple the OS is to use. My background is Linux and Windows so the Linux experience surely helped since there are many similarities, but OS X just goes steps beyond any Linux distro in terms of simplicity, beauty and ease of use. I really didn't even feel like I went through a learning curve and I haven't found anything I can't figure out, either on my own or with a quick Google search. The thing just makes sense in how it's used and the trackpad is truly the most amazing aspect of the machine...no Windows comparison is possible from any touch pad I ever used on a PC laptop. The accuracy, acceleration, simplicity...trackpad is awesome once you learn the gestures.

On the downside...needing an office suite and a different browser for me. I like Chrome for its speed but Safari is great too. I downloaded Libre Office, but will get iWork if a new one comes out.

Can't really point out any flaws for you. I've played games, used the Internet, printed, etc....all flawlessly. I'm on a new 13" Macbook Pro and completely satisfied with it. Hope you have a similar experience when you buy. I decided not to wait...wanted to DVD drive, heavier case (call me crazy) and had no reason to hold out.
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Krzykat

 
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Just remember down is up and right is left... Getting used to where various things were to close windows and shutdown was the biggest adjustment.
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Geekbabe

 
Member Since: Nov 24, 2011
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I received my 1st Mac ( Macbook Air) at the end of Nov as an early Xmas gift. Flash forward to today. I surf the web, make documents & spread sheets using Office for Mac, I run my own website & post to it using Mars Edit. I have my itunes & iphoto libraries stored on an external drive.

Initially, it was a huge change moving from PC to Mac but I decided to just dive into OS X & look for help as I needed it to learn how to do tasks that are important to me. Members here are very helpful & a Google search can turn up countless resources for any problem you might have.

I don't hate PC but have to admit that I don't miss the never ending stream of Windows updates. My MBA is the lightest, quietest computer I've ever owned. What do I miss about PC? The Windows Live Essentials apps, Mars edit is okay but it isn't Win Live Writer.
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Thymen

 
Member Since: Mar 18, 2012
Location: the Netherlands
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I purchased an iMac about a month or two ago, an iMac 27", having used Unix / Linux / Windows in the course of 30 years of intense computer use. I started out with a Sharp MZ80K, then a Schneider CPC, an Atari ST2, and from then Windows PC's.

At work I keep 20 Windows workstations with a server up and running for the Engineering apartments, aside from my job as a senior developer. I program all kinds off applications, from CAD add-ins to SQL DB applications with 50.000 lines of code in Visual Studio. My wife is running a home office, all together 4 PC's 3 laptops and a Homeserver.

For me, the incentive to get an iMac is to have something completely different from work and home office.Where I do not have to explain to others, anytime I have figured out something. I have been into 3D CAD development for over 25 years, with all kinds of pro tools, and it can get quite annoying being regarded as a speech-operated manual for everybody that is too lazy to learn things by themselves.

My wife does not like the iMac. Hurray! She learned enough of Windows to do her job, and leaves all the home IT stuff to me. With enough backups I can correct any of her goofs when I get home in the evening, and she learned not to call me in the office anymore. Don't ask me how I managed her to not do that ....

My kids are into gaming, couldn't care for Macs either.

So... iMac is all mine! And I need not share it with anybody!

But is a Mac really so very different from a PC? Yes... and no. In 15 years of PC use I never had major, longtime troubles. Hardware troubles? Some. I had disks broken, and my iMac came with a faulty memory module that kept me busy for the first month and a half with kernel panics etc, but software trouble? Not really. Discipline is the thing. Gaming and MultiMedia garbage does not belong on a WORKstation, and the OS troubles I have seen with others in the office was because they downloaded crap during lunch breaks.

With Windows, almost everything is being done via the GUI, where as with a Mac, having it's roots in Unix, you might need to side-step into executing commands in Terminal mode every now and then. Where as with Windows you map a network drive via the GUI, on my iMac fro instance I just wrote a small AppleScript to automount some server shares at login. It helps having experience with Unix of Linux, but is it daunting? No.. not with a Mac Forum, and my best buddy Google at hand. It is fun, provided you do not stress yourself.

I am neither Pro nor Con for either OS. With both, I can get things done. Stability depends on user discipline, with OSX enforcing it a bit more strictly then Windows. Liking OSX does not necessarily mean you have to hate Windows, doesn't it?

Enjoy your new Mac!

Thymen

PS: opinions expressed here are my personal opinions.. they may evolve over time.
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absent

 
Member Since: Apr 21, 2012
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Hi All,

I recently purchased a 13" MacBook Pro (top model i7) and think its great. Sure the cost of it with AppleCare wasn't exactly in the same ballpark as my cheap Toshiba laptop but at least when you pick the MacBook up it doesn't twist in your hands with this lovely casing.

I do have to say as being a PC user for 20 years from DOS up to Windows 7 It has been a little bit of a learning curve... But with Lion it shares so many similarities to iOS now that it works simular to my iPhone which is nice... I did use Linux for a number of years and I have found many similarities to the environment with OS X however it is so much more polished and functional.

The biggest thing I am trying to get used to is the lack of having to restart or in many cases click an "apply" button to have changes made, it is simply click and its done.

The installing apps was reasonably easy to get my head around but the gestures and standard keyboard shortcuts are the stand out thing, especially always switching between the mac and a windows PC at work.

The biggest issue I have faced is actually nothing to do with the addition of a mac to my network, I updated my router to a Cisco Linksys X3000 as had much faith in the brand only to find its wireless networking and firewall setup is useless and has caused much pain in being able to access my windows server. This issue includes my tablets and other windows based PC's and devices as well.

It is working as I write this but it works on and off with lots of playing around everytime it fails... The one thing I am learning is the automator which I configured tonight to run a script at logon to mount shares to the desktop to access my server shares (when they work) so I dont have to always "connect to server".

I have to say I moved to a Mac due to curiosity more than hating Windows... As far as Windows 7 I am more than happy with it considering I am very careful with downloads, etc and as such I have never had my virus scanner pop up with anything other than a couple of suspicious cookies...

I am looking forward to the continued experience of change and will see how I go. I have no desire to install windows on this device so it is OS X all the way on here.
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thymen View Post
Liking OSX does not necessarily mean you have to hate Windows, doesn't it?
Not at all. While I don't sully my lily-white woman's hands with the stuff anymore, a fair number of users here also have (or at least had) experience with Windows. I can think of several situations where I would hesitantly recommend Windows over Mac, though I'm pleased to say that situation continues to slowly evolve as well.

I don't think of the Mac as "just a tool" the way I do Windows, but that said Windows can definitely be a tool you might need someday. I do like that I have the OPTION to run Windows on my Mac if I choose to do so.
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swinler

 
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Thanks guys. A lot of interesting reading. Seems like there is nothing about the Mac that isn't a matter of learning and patience for a switcher!
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