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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?" :)

Switching to a Mac


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joe.morgan

 
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Hi Macforums,

Been using and building PCs for years now and have finally decided to make the switch over to Macs.

Just a few questions really i want to ask before i finally go and buy one.

1. How easy is it to upgrade and build on macs? Say if i had a g5 but wanted to add some more RAM or another HDD or a 2nd GPU how easy is this to do?

2. Whats the best way to store data on Macs? On my PC i run two 250GB hard drives which are then partitioned into different drives i.e:

C: System
D: Software:
E: Games
F: Music
G: Data
H: Videos
I: Downloads
J: Work

Whats the best way to organise and store files on the MAC or the standard way of storing the best?

3. I do alot of web and graphic design, are photoshop, dreamweaver etc all the same layout and shortcuts? Or is there different keyboard shortcuts for mac?

4. I used a friendís mac and learnt about F9 and F11 and the different types of shortcuts, is there a guide online that will teach me all of these type of things? Also stuff on windows like windows task manager etc that i use to close programs down if there is a problem and run>cmd stuff for maintenancewhats the best way for me to learn all the different things for general maintenance? Or is just a case of me picking it all up as i go along?

5. Are there any OS components that i can or should get rid of when I get my mac? Like on windows i get rid of live update and donít use the windows firewall and turn of system restore and get rid of outlook express and the games and any other rubbish I donít need.

Is there a guide to setting up the Mac to a perfect configuration or any tips or things i should do when I get my Mac so it all runs that little bit better?

I think thatís about it for now, any advice would be hugely appreciated and any links to articles or forum write ups about new users to Macs would also be appreciated

Thanks

Joe
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Zoolook

 
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Hey mate - I am a Windows old timer too... built Windows PCs for about 9 years before switching. I'll try and address your questions.

1) A desktop Mac is just as easy to upgrade as a Windows PC in terms of new RAM, HDD and any external USB/Firewire drives. Upgrading the Motherboard, adding specialist Sound Cards or Video Cards is a little more limiting.

2) Macs handle disc drives a lot better than PCs, but it takes a little getting used to. Macs can see all the drives as a single volume (if you want), so your 'Music' folder can have data across 12 drives, but you'd see it in one folder via iTunes if you want. Having said that, I split my backup into Apps, Library (User and root), Pictures, Documents and Music onto different volumes (all FAT32 for maximum compatibility if the worse happens and I need to rescue stuff from a Windows machine or Linux machine). You could do what you did as well. I recommend you have at least one backup stored on FAT32 file system.

3) I cannot answer this because I dont have those apps, but just remember that ctr-c, ctr-v etc are the same, only you use the 'Apple' key rather than control. The Mac has great short cuts.

4) You will learn as you go along, but some of the short cuts are in the manual and others you'll find online. If you get an unresponsive app, just press 'Apple-Option-Esc' and you get a Force-Quit dialogue box. I have only ever needed to use this once (Firefox Beta 2) and it seems to work fine. The eequivalent of Task Manager is in the applications folder by default (press 'Apple-shift-A' to bring up, assuming you're in Finder. Go to the 'Utilities' folder and look up 'Activity Monitor'. This will show you everything thats going on and is similar to (but more detailed than) task manager. Of course you can simply put a shortcut on your dock for this app and there are widgets that show summaries of this that you can download and view with F12. This is also useful for seeing what is being run native (Intel) and Emulated (Rosetta/PowerPC)

5 and onwards.

This is personal taste. I didn't actually get rid of anything. There is not always a concept of uninstalling apps with the Mac (as you'll find out) and it's easy to leave lingering folders (same as Windows in some ways). Definitely check out the enthusiast sites for Mac tips. I have learned many things, but from a wide variety of sites, not just one. Google is your best friend here.

Let me know how you get on, email me for any questions.

**edit - One big tip, because this threw me for about a month. When you download a new app, you'll get a DMG file on your desktop (or where ever you saved it). You double click on it and usually you'll get a temporary drive mount on your desktop. In it, you'll see the file (executable) and occasionally txt files or documents. Now for about 4 weeks, I ran all my downloaded apps from this (I can hear the Mac veterans laughing). BUT... what you're supposed to do is this.

Copy (drag) the Executable to your applications folder, and any documents you want to save to your documents folder. You can then delete the DMG file (drag into the trash) AND unmount the temporary disk (again by dragging to the trash). You then run the app from the Applications folder. Also, from the applications foler, you can drag the app to your dock to create a shortcut.

Learning what copies and what creates short cuts in OS X by default is more of an art than a skill! So beware!

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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novicew

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.morgan View Post
Hi Macforums,

Been using and building PCs for years now and have finally decided to make the switch over to Macs.

Just a few questions really i want to ask before i finally go and buy one.

1. How easy is it to upgrade and build on macs? Say if i had a g5 but wanted to add some more RAM or another HDD or a 2nd GPU how easy is this to do?
It all depends on which Mac you choose to buy. If you deceided to buy a Mac Pro there are hundrends of different combinations of hardware you could choose from where as with a Mini you may be able to upgrade just the memory and the HD. Unlike with PCs you are not encouraged to do complicated upgrades yourself(Except MacBooks) for guarantee reasons. The upgrade possibilities are certainly not as much as with PCs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.morgan View Post
2. Whats the best way to store data on Macs? On my PC i run two 250GB hard drives which are then partitioned into different drives i.e:

C: System
D: Software:
E: Games
F: Music
G: Data
H: Videos
I: Downloads
J: Work

Whats the best way to organise and store files on the MAC or the standard way of storing the best?
There is no need of partitioning unless you want to have a Windows partition. OS X do the defregmenting on the fly. You are better off having all your data in one partition than having it scattered in different partitions. (It is not easy to resize the partitions at a later stage)

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.morgan View Post
3. I do alot of web and graphic design, are photoshop, dreamweaver etc all the same layout and shortcuts? Or is there different keyboard shortcuts for mac?
Yes. They some of them are different but getting used to them is really easy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.morgan View Post
4. I used a friendís mac and learnt about F9 and F11 and the different types of shortcuts, is there a guide online that will teach me all of these type of things? Also stuff on windows like windows task manager etc that i use to close programs down if there is a problem and run>cmd stuff for maintenancewhats the best way for me to learn all the different things for general maintenance? Or is just a case of me picking it all up as i go along?
Refer to link1 or link2

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.morgan View Post
5. Are there any OS components that i can or should get rid of when I get my mac? Like on windows i get rid of live update and donít use the windows firewall and turn of system restore and get rid of outlook express and the games and any other rubbish I donít need.

Is there a guide to setting up the Mac to a perfect configuration or any tips or things i should do when I get my Mac so it all runs that little bit better?
You shouldn't get rid of any Mac core components unless you are sure of its effect on other components. However IMO Dashboard widgets eats up lot of memory(roughly 5mb each). If you don't need they, you can shut them off. Setting up an ultimate desktop entirely depends on your personal taste. Get the feel of OS X and you will learn things in no time. If you are adventurous, create a test user and do all the experiments by loging in to that account. That way you wont distroy the core components.

Good luck with your purchase!
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joe.morgan

 
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Member Since: Nov 27, 2006
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Thanks alot for your advice, this has cleared up alot of queries i had about Macs

Im wanting to get a g5 or a mac book pro. haven't decided which yet as i might be travelling to America for 15 months on work experience (im from London,England)

As as i cant afford to buy one new from the shop im going to have to get a 2nd hand one. Now as i haven't bought a Mac before i dont really know what to look out for.

A few queries i have about buying a 2nd hand mac:

1. What should i look out for when i have am purchasing/have purchased the Mac?

2. How do i ensure that the machine i have purchased is functional? I mean, what happens if it is spoilt, what do i do? Do i return it to the seller? What if he/she refuses? What things can i check for to make sure its not spolit or duff?

3. How long has the new intel core duo been out? Is it worth the extra money purchasing the new intel core duos rather than say the old dual 2ghz systems


I want to use my mac for:

1. Surfing the web
2. Music/Videos/Movies
3. Univerisity and business work - Photoshop/Flash/Site Creation/3ds Max/Video editing
4. Games


I have been looking at a couple of second hands macs online:

(sorry im not allowed to post a link, please delete if i have been naughty )

http://www.gumtree.com/london/79/6586679.html
http://www.gumtree.com/london/93/6503193.html

Thanks again

Joe
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NanoBite

 
Member Since: Oct 27, 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.morgan View Post
Hi Macforums,

Been using and building PCs for years now and have finally decided to make the switch over to Macs.

Just a few questions really i want to ask before i finally go and buy one.

1. How easy is it to upgrade and build on macs? Say if i had a g5 but wanted to add some more RAM or another HDD or a 2nd GPU how easy is this to do?

2. Whats the best way to store data on Macs? On my PC i run two 250GB hard drives which are then partitioned into different drives i.e:

C: System
D: Software:
E: Games
F: Music
G: Data
H: Videos
I: Downloads
J: Work

Whats the best way to organise and store files on the MAC or the standard way of storing the best?

3. I do alot of web and graphic design, are photoshop, dreamweaver etc all the same layout and shortcuts? Or is there different keyboard shortcuts for mac?

4. I used a friendís mac and learnt about F9 and F11 and the different types of shortcuts, is there a guide online that will teach me all of these type of things? Also stuff on windows like windows task manager etc that i use to close programs down if there is a problem and run>cmd stuff for maintenancewhats the best way for me to learn all the different things for general maintenance? Or is just a case of me picking it all up as i go along?

5. Are there any OS components that i can or should get rid of when I get my mac? Like on windows i get rid of live update and donít use the windows firewall and turn of system restore and get rid of outlook express and the games and any other rubbish I donít need.

Is there a guide to setting up the Mac to a perfect configuration or any tips or things i should do when I get my Mac so it all runs that little bit better?

I think thatís about it for now, any advice would be hugely appreciated and any links to articles or forum write ups about new users to Macs would also be appreciated

Thanks

Joe
Here are some useful links:

http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/switcher-hangout/

http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/

http://flernk.blogspot.com/2006/07/g...switchers.html

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75459

http://www.apple.com/macosx/quicktours/

http://paulstamatiou.com/2005/12/19/...ould-download/

http://pixelspread.com/site/journal/...switching-easy
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Zoolook

 
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Well you might want to buy the Mac here in the States (especially now you get almost $2 to the pound). I am British too but have lived in NY for a while now.

You might get a bargain on a MacBook Pro Core Duo (now that the Core2Duo is out). Get at least a gig of RAM and you're set.

I'd avoid a G4. It might seem tempting, but it's essentially 3 generations behind now (G4, G5, CoreDuo, Core2Duo). I can't imagine you'd need more power than a 2ghz Core Duo - even with Video editing, it'd do the job. Also the screens on the Intel machines are far superior than the previous generation.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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joe.morgan

 
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thanks for your help zoolook, hope you dont mind but i have added you to msn.

My current PC packs alot of power (AMD 5500 FX, 4gb Corsair Ram and 2 x 1024mb 7950GTs SLi to be exact) so dont want to get a Mac and feel like its sluggish! would the core2duo be the one i want to go for, or is that still going to be quite expensive?

Thanks
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joe.morgan

 
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Does anyone know if 3ds Max is available on Macs? i cant find any info on this online while searching on google. If its not then i might not be getting a mac after all!
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Zoolook

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.morgan View Post
thanks for your help zoolook, hope you dont mind but i have added you to msn.

My current PC packs alot of power (AMD 5500 FX, 4gb Corsair Ram and 2 x 1024mb 7950GTs SLi to be exact) so dont want to get a Mac and feel like its sluggish! would the core2duo be the one i want to go for, or is that still going to be quite expensive?

Thanks
No problem on MSN.

Your PC is quite a monster, but frankly it's unlikely any notebook will match that in terms of raw power. A 2gig loaded CoreDuo should feel just about as quick, but it won't match the rendering power of the nVidia SLI setup you have.

3DS Max is not a Mac application! There are alternatives of course, but not that programme.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death.
- Joan D. Vinge

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D3v1L80Y

 
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AutoDesk doesn't make 3dsMax for Macs.
They do however make Maya, which is essentially the same thing.
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joe.morgan

 
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I have to use 3ds for my uni work you see. That’s just completely ruined my switch over to mac! Lol

How easy it to dual boot windows? So i can have windows for 3ds max and all my animation stuff and OSX for everything else? Whats the best way to go about this?

Thanks again
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hclincha

 
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It isn't hard to dual-boot. You'll need an Intel mac for that (or you can dig up a copy of WinNT 3.51. Kidding of course)

The best way to do that? Your choice really. If you want write to the Win partition you'll have to make it FAT32, but that's all I can think of.
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samoan_ridah
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Zoolook,

I appreciate your tip on downloading and installing programs. I will have to re-do Firefox as I did just what you were talking about and now I have a Firefox volume on my desktop.

I only have used my iMac for about 2 hours but I am so scared I won't get it. I make a living on Windows PC's so it is going to be extremely hard mentally and emotionally to make the switch.

I do have to say that those new commercials really impacted me. They hit every single flaw of the PC right on the head and really make the Mac's look like God's gift to every frustrated PC owner out there. I hope it works out for me.
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joe.morgan

 
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OK i have decided i will get an intel core g5 with 2 hard drives (one for OSX and one for windows)

Another thing that hit me is all my documents. My word and excel documents, images, vidoes, PSD, GIF and RAW files etc. Will it jsut be a simple case of copying them from my PC to the Mac and hey they will open or is it more complicated than that?

Thanks
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novicew

 
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Quote:
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OK i have decided i will get an intel core g5 with 2 hard drives (one for OSX and one for windows)
There is no Intel Core G5. I think you meant Core Duo or Core 2 Duo, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe.morgan View Post
Another thing that hit me is all my documents. My word and excel documents, images, vidoes, PSD, GIF and RAW files etc. Will it jsut be a simple case of copying them from my PC to the Mac and hey they will open or is it more complicated than that?
You wont have any problems.
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