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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?" :)

Afraid to make the switch


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PC2MAC
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Hello All,

Is it hard to switch from using a PC all my life to a MAC? I seem to go through Dells about every two years. My kids and I have been to the Apple store here in town and have very much enjoyed trying them out. I've have alot of people tell me that once I make the switch I'll never go back. So, I know PC's inside out, upside down, and backwards. Here is my question what are the PRO's & CON's to switching to a MAC? Please be objective. Any previous PC user in here.....I would LOVE your input!!

Thanks-
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caveatipss
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I am a PC user who owned a PowerBook once, and am thinking of buying a Mini.

Pros: more stable, looks better, faster in some regards, less chance of virus or spyware, faster in design or artistic applications, cheaper if compared component-by-component to a PC

Cons: no third party hardware ease of use/modding, not all games play on a Mac, ultimately less clock speed on processors, less choice in customizinga system, less selection of software
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PC2MAC
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One more thing.....are MAC's upgradeable after you buy one? I often upgrade my PC's and was wondering it the same is possible with a MAC.

Thanks-
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caveatipss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC2MAC
One more thing.....are MAC's upgradeable after you buy one? I often upgrade my PC's and was wondering it the same is possible with a MAC.

Thanks-

From what I understand, they are sort of upgradeable, but nowhere on the level of a PC. You can gut and replace all of the parts on a PC from third party vendors if you want. On a Mac, you can only replace some parts, and they have to be Mac parts.
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geekboy2000

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC2MAC
Hello All,

Is it hard to switch from using a PC all my life to a MAC? I seem to go through Dells about every two years. My kids and I have been to the Apple store here in town and have very much enjoyed trying them out. I've have alot of people tell me that once I make the switch I'll never go back. So, I know PC's inside out, upside down, and backwards. Here is my question what are the PRO's & CON's to switching to a MAC? Please be objective. Any previous PC user in here.....I would LOVE your input!!

Thanks-
From a Windows user, and someone who has built their own boxes (up until about a year or two ago) since Windows 3.1:

Don't buy a Mac with the intention of switching. Buy one as an additional machine. You absolutely will not regret it. Whether you switch or not, doesn't really matter, but I suspect you'll find yourself in front of the Mac virtually all of the time. I got my first Mac (a mini) in late December, and have visited the Windows machines more just to keep them up to date, than for anything else.

As a Windows user, I'm sure you know this scenario very well:
"Hmm, that app looks great, but will it's drivers blow something else out of the water? Maybe I shouldn't risk installing it."
With the Mac, I encountered such a scenario only once, but it was of my own doing. Want to install something? No worries.

Want to do something with a Mac? At first, you'll wonder, "Well, where's the wizard?", but then you'll find yourself saying, "Oh, so that's all I had to do?".

What about virus updates, and the CPU resources used by your anti-virus app in Windows?
No such issues with the Mac. No need to run A/V software.

In Windows, I use Acronis Drive Image to frequently create a backup image of my drive. Acronis is great, but with the Mac, I can use a freeware app (or even just the Disk Utility that's in OS X) to create a bootable copy of the OS on an external firewire drive. Just choose the drive to boot from at startup, and instant recovery. Actually, not "recovery" per se, you're just running the OS from another drive seamlessly.

Despite my primary Windows box being a relatively high-end Pentium 4 Gateway Media Center PC, the audio from this Mac mini is crystal clear, and believe it or not (though just stereo I have pumped through 2 speakers and a sub) better sounding than any audio I've heard from any Windows machine I've ever built or purchased.

Video quality/DVD playback? Flawless, and again, IMO, better looking than in Windows.

Can you exist with just a Mac? IMO, absolutely. If you prefer not to use Open Office, you can buy MS Office for Mac. It's mail client, Entourage, blows Outlook away. I wonder why MS couldn't have made Entourage the Windows Office mail client.
There are plenty of apps to round out what you'll need. Unison (shareware) is a great usenet Newsreader (coming from XNews and Agent in the Windows world). Roxio's Toast is again, a far superior product than it's Windows counterpart, and so much easier to use.

iChat, Adium, and other instant messaging apps are great, and compatible with folks using Windows. Opera, Firefox, Safari, Camino, Shira, are just some of the browsers you can use on your Mac. Currently, Opera 9 (weekly build) is my default browser. I am able to render every site that I visited with IE, with no problems.
So far, I've not found a Windows app that I leaned on, that has no Mac counterpart.

Now, is there a wrinkle in this otherwise seemingly perfect Mac world? Well, to me, as someone who's accustomed to popping the case off whenever there's trouble, I'm a bit concerned about the lack of end-user serviceability of something like the iMac. You can pry the lid off of a mini with a putty knife, and if so inclined, swap out at least a few components. I have no familiarity with the Power Mac (the tower case behemoth), but at least you can get inside one. The iMac on the other hand, appears to be designed only to be serviced by Apple. I don't own one, so who knows, they might very well run forever, but that's the only thing that's keeping me from buying an iMac.

I'm sure I left out a lot, but to conclude (before I ramble on forever), I really believe you'll love what a Mac has to offer. No need to commit to switching. Just get one and enjoy it.

Mark
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveatipss
From what I understand, they are sort of upgradeable, but nowhere on the level of a PC. You can gut and replace all of the parts on a PC from third party vendors if you want. On a Mac, you can only replace some parts, and they have to be Mac parts.
Because generally, you don't need to upgrade them. Macs work just fine the way they are, unlike a PC which may or may not need some extra "help" by the way of an upgraded part for enhanced performance or to get some extended life out of it.

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chuckalicious

 
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I switched from a life long use of Windows PCs to Macs (iBook G4) in November 05. I still use PCs every day at work and program on them every day, however, when I get home, I like things to just do as I ask (or click).

I figured out how to use OS X in a couple of days with a little help from these forums, so I'm sure anyone can.

I guess some people may not like OS X, it's just a personal preference, but for me, it's great. All I do is email, web surfing, music (some Garageband) and playing about with photos, and it's great for that. The more powerful desktops will be faster at everything, and will be able to play games. However, if gaming is your number 1 priority, buy either a console or a PC, Macs don't cut it in the gaming world.

Really all I can say is give one a go in a shop for as long as possible, try doing the normal things you'd want to do at home and see how you feel. There are equivalent applications for pretty much everything a Windows PC can do, some are better, some are worse, some are just as good. I guess you could turn it round vice versa for a PC

Upgrading, they aren't as upgradeable, I think. Obviously laptops aren't, but I imagine you can do a bit of upgrading on a desktop, but, as was said earlier, you don't need to upgrade very often. I get the impression that from reading about, software designed for Macs will run on all Macs, whereas stuff released for PCs is designed to run on only the newest and best hardware. You need to upgrade PCs to keep them going, Macs just keep going themselves
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PC2MAC
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What does everyone think if I buy a used MAC to get an idea of the system? Would that be a good idea? If so, what model of used MAC would be good to purchase allowing me to get a flavor of MAC?
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Carla

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC2MAC
What does everyone think if I buy a used MAC to get an idea of the system? Would that be a good idea? If so, what model of used MAC would be good to purchase allowing me to get a flavor of MAC?
I would recommend the iMac G5 for you, and your family to get acclimated to. I bought my 55 & 56 y/o parents one from the refurbished products from the Apple site. I bought them the refurbished 20" iMac w/ iSight as a gift in December, and they are REALLY loving it.

Just my two cents. :-)
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slyydrr

 
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Not to barge in or be a nit-picker, but it's a Mac, not MAC... No acronym involved

Also, in response to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckalicious
I guess some people may not like OS X, it's just a personal preference, but for me, it's great. All I do is email, web surfing, music (some Garageband) and playing about with photos, and it's great for that. The more powerful desktops will be faster at everything, and will be able to play games. However, if gaming is your number 1 priority, buy either a console or a PC, Macs don't cut it in the gaming world.
I coulda sworn reading/seeing somewhere, on top of hearing from a friend, that the latest wave of Macs have no problem handling games, if not even outperforming PCs. Maybe I'm wrong, and if so, someone please correct me, as I don't wish to speculate.
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It's not the fact that the hardware can't handle them, it's that there is hardly any games available for them.

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go and grab one and if your really worried about tryin to use one you always have us guys here or you can get pro care from the apple store which IMO is well worth considering if your not too sure about getting on with your mac alone



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dan828

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfwax95
It's not the fact that the hardware can't handle them, it's that there is hardly any games available for them.
And that's the rub. Companies just don't do the ports all that much-- it's a lot of work for a fairly minor share of the market to port something over to OS X. Something like Cedega for OS X would be nice, but even that has it's problems. But hey, you could aways "switch" to Linux on your PC hardware and then see if Cedega works well enough for your gaming needs.

And with the possibility of dual booting XP on Apple hardware, developers might become less inclinded to make OS X versions of their products.
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Honestly, all it took for me to get accustomed to OS X tiger was as a few hours (couldn't have been more than three) on a snowy day and I knew my way around it. Just do it, you'll be glad you did. But, I suggest keeping your PC as well just to use the apps that aren't available for macs.

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