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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 advice...thinking of switching


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Spd9075
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HI, first time post here so I apologize if this is in the wrong spot. Feel free to move it if necessary. Here goes. I have been a Windows user for years, having Windows at work, school, etc. I am really thinking of switching, but have a few concerns/questions. First, I have a daughter that is grade school age. She knows windows fairly well and is comfortable with computers in general. She is in need of a new computer and I was looking at the Mac Mini. I was wondering if A Mac would be easily used by a youngster compared to Windows. I personally would like a MacBook as well. I have an existing network at home that I would like to utilize and expand but I'd like to keep my Windows desktop (for now). Anyway, as far as stability and security are concerned, I understand the Macs are superior, how about software? I don't see many titles at local stores. What would your advice be...I mean are Macs kid friendly? Any advice is welcome...I have a lot to think about and welcome everyone's opinion. Thanks!
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Macs are extremely kid friendly, and there are also a good amount of parental controls and security features built into the opperating system that you can turn on. You will be able to utilize and expand your network with your windows system still there and sharing files with the macs, Windows and Macs work well together. It is not the case however that there are a lack of mac software, there is alot and alot of brands make their software for both, even microsoft. Most of the time if you can not find software for the mac that you can install on windows then there will be a mac equivlent peice of software. If not you can always install bootcamp and have windows on your system as well.

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asolo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spd9075
HI, first time post here so I apologize if this is in the wrong spot. Feel free to move it if necessary. Here goes. I have been a Windows user for years, having Windows at work, school, etc. I am really thinking of switching, but have a few concerns/questions. First, I have a daughter that is grade school age. She knows windows fairly well and is comfortable with computers in general. She is in need of a new computer and I was looking at the Mac Mini. I was wondering if A Mac would be easily used by a youngster compared to Windows. I personally would like a MacBook as well. I have an existing network at home that I would like to utilize and expand but I'd like to keep my Windows desktop (for now). Anyway, as far as stability and security are concerned, I understand the Macs are superior, how about software? I don't see many titles at local stores. What would your advice be...I mean are Macs kid friendly? Any advice is welcome...I have a lot to think about and welcome everyone's opinion. Thanks!
Are you anywhere close to an Apple Store? If so, go there. Hands-on place. All the machines will be there and up and running and you can play with them. You will get your specific questions answered and otherwise be amazed. If not, who ya gonna believe?

I'm a recent switcher -- and cynic/skeptic dug into PC to the tune of 15 years. What I've suggested above is what I did.

Don't trust anyone. Go see for yourself and decide that way.
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Spd9075
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Thanks for the quick reply. I went to a local retailer and was just astounded at the product quality of Apple and wonderful user interface of Tiger. Mainly all She would use it for would be pictures, internet, school work, iPod and games. It looks like the Mini comes out of the box with everything she would need software wise. I really use my personal computer for a lot of the same stuff and really feel the MacBook would fit the bill nicely. I have been reading about the parental controls on the Apple site, but can't seem to find any further info as well as screenshots of the "kid's interface" that is described. Thanks for the input.
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Spd9075
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asolo
Are you anywhere close to an Apple Store? If so, go there. Hands-on place. All the machines will be there and up and running and you can play with them. You will get your specific questions answered and otherwise be amazed. If not, who ya gonna believe?

I'm a recent switcher -- and cynic/skeptic dug into PC to the tune of 15 years. What I've suggested above is what I did.

Don't trust anyone. Go see for yourself and decide that way.
Yeah, I've been annd "played" but I didn't speak to a rep. I think another trip is in order, though. I wish I knew someone who had one I could spend some time with. Thanks for the advice.
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I highly recommend the switch. Personally I have been a Windows user for almost 2 decades. About 2 weeks ago I made the switch and I haven't looked back. I have 2 kids that are going into 6th grade and are very proficent with windows. since the macbook arrived the windows pc has been fired up maybe once. The kids love the Mac. I am now seriously thinking about getting a mini to replace my PC desktop. I will say that the Mac OS is not difficult at all to navigate and understand. It is just different. This is important to remember because if you think like a windows pc user you will get frustrated. Trust me, been there done that. Luckily there are places like mac-forums full of people willing to help you. So far I am very pleased with the macbook and am diving deeper in everyday. I strongly recommend you revisit the apple store and spend some time with a genius and let them give you a tour of the OS. I probably spent a total of 6 or 7 visits before I made my purchase. hope this helps.

Good Luck.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spd9075
HI, I have been a Windows user for years, having Windows at work, school, etc. I am really thinking of switching, but have a few concerns/questions. First, I have a daughter that is grade school age. She knows windows fairly well and is comfortable with computers in general. She is in need of a new computer and I was looking at the Mac Mini. I was wondering if A Mac would be easily used by a youngster compared to Windows.

Hello Spd9075 and welcome to the Mac-Forums!

I switched back 10mths ago after using Windows for about 2yrs or so. I was used to the Classic (older style of Mac OS) and when I started using my new iMac G5 I thought it would be hard to get to know.

My experience was that I found it so similiar to Windows and so radically changed from the Mac OS I was using before my switch to Windows, that the transition was very smooth!

So in a nutshell....if you're daughter is used to Windows and will mainly be working with pictures, internet, school work, iPod and games, then it should be a relatively painless switch to Mac OSX. :dive:
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Spd9075
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Thanks for all the great replies! I'm feeling really comfortable with this. Everyone I know uses a PC and warned me that Macs are "only good for graphics". I'm glad I found this forum. I've been doing a lot of research and they couldn't be farther from the truth. I think I'll schedule some quality time at the apple store. Thanks again!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spd9075
Thanks for all the great replies! I'm feeling really comfortable with this. Everyone I know uses a PC and warned me that Macs are "only good for graphics". I'm glad I found this forum. I've been doing a lot of research and they couldn't be farther from the truth. I think I'll schedule some quality time at the apple store. Thanks again!
You're most welcome! :headphone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spd9075
Thanks for all the great replies! I'm feeling really comfortable with this. Everyone I know uses a PC and warned me that Macs are "only good for graphics". I'm glad I found this forum. I've been doing a lot of research and they couldn't be farther from the truth. I think I'll schedule some quality time at the apple store. Thanks again!
This is one thing I hate, though I used to be one of them. How many of your acquaintances have actually had experience with using a Mac on a daily basis?

I used to be one of the people who said Mac's are junk, PCs are superior. And I had never used a Mac. Even being a computer nerd, there was just such a strong vibe against Macs around, that I bought in to them.

Eventually, I started looking in to them, because the hardware looked so cool and the UI (User Interface) looked great. I learned that Macs had UNIX under the hood, which is fantastically powerful but not very user friendly, but had an easy to use beautiful UI on top. It had the power of the Linux I had been playing around on with my PC, but looked good and was easy to use.

I took the plunge and bought an iMac about 15 months ago. Now I am a Mac evangelist. I now have a computer that I never once have to delve into to fix a problem, but I always have the ability to dive into and play around if I want. I don't have to worry every time I use it about security or viruses. I can just use it to do what I want to do, or I can get down into the UNIX at it's very core, seamlessly, and on my terms.

Add in the ability to run Windows if you absolutely hate it (which I highly doubt) and you have, to quote the commercial, "the only computer you'll ever need"

Of course, I could be biased :spook:

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kevin_msu

 
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use parallels, have her become good with both OS's

you'll be shocked how fast kids can learn this stuff.

it will only stand to benefit her later in life.

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You should ask if they have a "Switch at Six" class in you local Apple Store.
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I bought my first mac (intel mini) about the first of June. I'd never messed with a mac before that, except maybe 5-10min total the few times I'd walked into an Apple store.

I almost bought a mini when they first came out as I was curious to see what the mac OS was like, but didn't want to spend a grand or more on hardware (at the time the low end model mini was $499 I believe).

I actually went into the Apple store to buy one and immediately I was like "what am I doing? Why do I need a mac? I could spend this $500 on pc upgrades" so I left and that was that.

When the intel macs were announced I didn't pay much attention. That is until boot camp was released. I was already thinking about upgrading my aging pc (always built my own) but the thought of being able to tinker with OSX while having a full fledged windows box a couple of clicks away was certainly appealing.

So I take another trip to the Apple store. Once again, I get that funny feeling like "what am I doing here?" I asked 1 sales guy "do you have XP on any of these?" and he said "no." I just wanted to see how it ran. But when he said "no" I said "ok, thanks", turned and left. But this time it was still in my mind that I wanted one.

So I was at Fryes a week later and got talking to a sales guy there that was a mac user. It basicaly came down to "if I don't just buy it on the spur of the moment, if I take time to think about it, I'll never buy it." So I bought it, got home with no clue what to expect.

I can't say that I found it immediately easy to use. It was just that things were different from what I was so used to. I also had a few glitches at first that didn't set me off on the right foot (had a couple crashes where it just kept rebooting because I had a cdrom stuck in the drive). But since then its been pretty smooth sailing.

I never did install bootcamp like I thought I would. When I bought the mini I had it in my mind I'd instal bootcamp and XP right away. I'd continue to use XP primarily while learning OSX slowly. But weeks went by and I never did it.

I did get parallels before the price went up in mid July I think it was but have only used it a handful of times, just to see what it was like (it IS cool). I need more ram before I can really use it (only have stock 512mb). I reformatted my old pc and put in my sons room. I've not been on a pc at all since I bought the mini, except to reformat my old one and set it up in my sons room.

About all I do it web, email, pictures, music, so basic other things, and the mini is ideal for that. The one major thing ive said over and over that I LOVE about it is the tiny size and its absolutely whisper quiet. My last pc had so many intake and exhaust fans it was stupid. Sooo loud and annoying.

My younger kids, 3, 5, and 7 have no problem with the mini. They know how to get on the internet and how to bring up itunes, that's all they care about.

I won't proclaim a mac is the greatest thing in the history of the world like other people. Frankly, I never had any real issues with my XP boxes (win98 is another story though, very crash happy). XP was very stable in my experience with it. I just simply didn't want to build another pc box. Already had enough sitting around the house. And I was curious to see what OSX was all about. That's why I went with a mac.

I will say that my wife and I did like mac/osx enough that we ended up getting her a macbook within a month of buying the mini. Her 2.5yr old sony vaio was about to totally die from undiagnosed hardware problems (overheating, bad power supply on mobo, video problems, who knows). Luckily it held out long enough to transfer all her files off to the macbook. And the most ironic thing is the vaio cost us $1300 when we bought it, and the macbook only $1000. So much for macs being more expensive. (I just sold the vaio to a guy yesterday for $175. It did finally give up the ghost and wouldn't power on at all. But he knew that, he was a laptop repair tech and didn't care)

Anyway...long story short, unless you have things that can ONLY be done on a windows box, and with bootcamp and parallels you can do those on a mac anyway, you won't be sorry. If you are just an average user of basic things like me (web, mail, music, etc) the mac will more than suffice.
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