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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?" :)

Convince Me!


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audioholic
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I want you to convince me to buy a Mac. I've only ever owned PCs, but I have done a fair bit of work on Macs in school.

Now, I was a PC technician for two years, when I recently quit to attend post-sec schooling. Therefore, I'm not an idiot when it comes to computers. BSOD is not an issue for me. I know what spyware is. What I mean to say is that the problems that bother me with Windows are inherent flaws in the system, not a result of misuse and poor maintenance(which I know is less of an issue on a Mac). I have heard too many arguments against PCs which are in fact a result of bad users, not necessarily a bad operating system.

Anyway, my interests and needs have changed. I want a laptop, I don't need power, and I don't have much interest in gaming anymore. The computer is more of a tool to me now. Therefore, I think the MacBook addresses my needs best. I don't need the larger screen, or the better video performance of the MacBook Pro. However, I have heard that the MacBook has some stability issues compared to the MacBook Pro. This doesn't seem logical to me, as they share so much hardware and software.

The reason I'm interested in buying a Mac is partly because I am sick of idiosyncrasies involved with PCs and the software and OS running on them. Is OSX really that much better?
For example, I noticed this post in another thread. Are these widespread issues? Surely OSX can't entirely refined.

Also, Windows suffers from what is known as Windows Rot. I don't want this. Is OSX vulnerable to a similar problem? Is there an equivalent of the windows registry on a Mac? How does uninstalling software function on a Mac?
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alucard

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Anyway, my interests and needs have changed. I want a laptop, I don't need power, and I don't have much interest in gaming anymore. The computer is more of a tool to me now. Therefore, I think the MacBook addresses my needs best. I don't need the larger screen, or the better video performance of the MacBook Pro. However, I have heard that the MacBook has some stability issues compared to the MacBook Pro. This doesn't seem logical to me, as they share so much hardware and software.
I think you answered your own question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
The reason I'm interested in buying a Mac is partly because I am sick of idiosyncrasies involved with PCs and the software and OS running on them. Is OSX really that much better?
For example, I noticed this post in another thread. Are these widespread issues? Surely OSX can't entirely refined.
OS X is a great OS. It's very easy to use, many programs that you would need to pay extra for come standard with OS X (iMove, iDVD, iPhoto, etc). I'm not really sure i understand the link you sent in. I think thats just a matter of tweaking the settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Also, Windows suffers from what is known as Windows Rot. I don't want this. Is OSX vulnerable to a similar problem? Is there an equivalent of the windows registry on a Mac? How does uninstalling software function on a Mac?
Never heard of windows rot. No registry exists in OS X since its unix in the background. For installing and uninstalling software all you do is drag the program to your computer (either in your applications folder or elseware) to install or drag it to the trash to uninstall. some programs have an installer wizard and uninstaller wizard. most of the time its just drag and drop.

I dont think anyone can "convince" you to switch. It's a matter of choice and all we can do is help along the way.
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KoDorSean

 
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have you been to an apple store to look at them and use them? if not go check one out at your local apple store!


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Slokunshialgo

 
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2) Registry: As was said, there is no registry. All settings are saved in various files across the system, depending on what they are, and what they are used for. For example, personal settings would be saved in your home directory in hidden folders, many system settings are saved in the /etc, etc.

3) by "Windows Rot" I think he means the usual thing of how, on a Windows system, it always seems to be that the longer you have it running/in use for, the more things slowly start to go wrong, or just don't go right. Just too many conflicts in settings and registry entries over time. I can;t answer this one as I have only had my mac for a couple of weeks, so not enough time for my apple to start rotting.

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i think one of the best reasons for people like you (us, really, i'm much in the same boat - and a recent switcher), is simply for the sake of education and exposure.

aside from the pros and cons of osx vs windows and aple hardware vs "pc"; it's really interesting just to learn how to use the new system. how to run it, how to tweak it, what the culture is like, what software is available. it's a kick.
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audioholic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodorsean View Post
have you been to an apple store to look at them and use them? if not go check one out at your local apple store!
I've used them regularly, but I haven't actually fiddled around with them from a technical perspective. I can use the interface, but I'm not dexterous within the system configuration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alucard View Post
OS X is a great OS. It's very easy to use, many programs that you would need to pay extra for come standard with OS X (iMove, iDVD, iPhoto, etc). I'm not really sure i understand the link you sent in. I think thats just a matter of tweaking the settings.
The link that I referenced was odd in that you would have to have a folder selected in order for a setting to be maintained. That seems rather strange to me. Unless of course, this is the normal method for changing user settings under OSX.

Quote:
I dont think anyone can "convince" you to switch. It's a matter of choice and all we can do is help along the way.
"Convince" was a poor choice of the word. I was mostly looking for more technical justification in owning an Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slokunshialgo View Post
2) Registry: As was said, there is no registry. All settings are saved in various files across the system, depending on what they are, and what they are used for. For example, personal settings would be saved in your home directory in hidden folders, many system settings are saved in the /etc, etc.
This is the sort of information that I was looking for. Thank you.

Quote:
3) by "Windows Rot" I think he means the usual thing of how, on a Windows system, it always seems to be that the longer you have it running/in use for, the more things slowly start to go wrong, or just don't go right. Just too many conflicts in settings and registry entries over time. I can;t answer this one as I have only had my mac for a couple of weeks, so not enough time for my apple to start rotting.
That is what I was referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric View Post
i think one of the best reasons for people like you (us, really, i'm much in the same boat - and a recent switcher), is simply for the sake of education and exposure.

aside from the pros and cons of osx vs windows and aple hardware vs "pc"; it's really interesting just to learn how to use the new system. how to run it, how to tweak it, what the culture is like, what software is available. it's a kick.
That's great and all, and I certainly appreciate that attitude, but unfortunately experimenting with new computers is a rather pricey "kick", especially for a college student.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slokunshialgo View Post
2)
3) by "Windows Rot" I think he means the usual thing of how, on a Windows system, it always seems to be that the longer you have it running/in use for, the more things slowly start to go wrong, or just don't go right. Just too many conflicts in settings and registry entries over time. I can;t answer this one as I have only had my mac for a couple of weeks, so not enough time for my apple to start rotting.

"Windows Rot" for the most part does not happen on macs, because of their lack of registry and the way the computer is maintained by automated cron scripts that you don't have to worry about. I have had my powermac for about a year now and Its still perfectly running, no slow downs what so ever.

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Jabjabs

 
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I'll back that up, my G4 mini is now 2 years old, I install and uninstall apps/files all the time and the machine is left on for an average of 16 hours a day doing work and it still runs as good today as the day I bought it, no maintenance at all.

Quote:
That's great and all, and I certainly appreciate that attitude, but unfortunately experimenting with new computers is a rather pricey "kick", especially for a college student.
I was in your shoes once, at first I was nervous at weather it would be a good choice, I decided to take a risk on it and jumped. Now days and even a few days after getting it I was thinking about why I was so worried. It may look foreign since you haven't used it before but there is very little risk when switching, unless there is one specific app that you need you won't run into any problems I feel.

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Why not get hold of an OS X Tiger book? There are plenty around covering simple stuff right down to the nitty gritty technical side.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post

Anyway, my interests and needs have changed. I want a laptop, I don't need power, and I don't have much interest in gaming anymore. The computer is more of a tool to me now. Therefore, I think the MacBook addresses my needs best. I don't need the larger screen, or the better video performance of the MacBook Pro. However, I have heard that the MacBook has some stability issues compared to the MacBook Pro. This doesn't seem logical to me, as they share so much hardware and software.
Source? I have not heard this or experienced this. We have two MacBooks in my household and they're both rock solid. The MBP is a better machine by default, but no more or less stable, AFAIK.

Quote:
The reason I'm interested in buying a Mac is partly because I am sick of idiosyncrasies involved with PCs and the software and OS running on them. Is OSX really that much better?
For example, I noticed this post in another thread. Are these widespread issues? Surely OSX can't entirely refined.
To be fair to Apple, they have had a single OS strategy for sometime now. OS X is exceptionally well refined and stable and most applications sit within in it, not on top of it (there is a subtle difference IMO). That post you quoted is fair enough, although I have never even noticed it so I am not sure if it only affects 2nd, 3rd and 4th users of the system and not the Admin user.

Quote:
Also, Windows suffers from what is known as Windows Rot. I don't want this. Is OSX vulnerable to a similar problem? Is there an equivalent of the windows registry on a Mac? How does uninstalling software function on a Mac?
OS X doesn't suffer from this, but I haven't had a Mac long enough to verify this.

Uninstalling software can be annoying if the install script was badly done.

Many apps place all the data so that simply dragging the icon out of the Apps folder clears the whole programme (you'll notice that when you copy a single icon to the apps folder, the OS is actually copying dozens of files, you just don't see them).

However some apps place files and folders in the Library folder, under Application Support. The problem is, some so this in the root library folder and others do it in the user library folder... and the app rarely tells you which, so you should always check. Some apps come with a complete uninstall utility, which you can save. There are also 3rd party uninstallers that apparently work really well.

Having said all that, leaving a few dregs here and there doesn't cause the kind of problems leaving a rogue .dll file in Win32 would.

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DrQuincy

 
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I'd never used a Mac before but if you need convincing just spend a day using the OS - it really is amazing. I was "convinced" within the first hour and completely sold within the first day of using it.

Installing / uninstalling programs is so simple!

I've not had a Mac for long but have used various distributions of *NIX and can testify for the lack of rot.

I'm such an inveterate Windows user and used to programs not responding and the OS slowing down that it's hard to get used to the OS "just working". It seems too good to be true but it isn't.
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I bought my first Mac (mini) on eBay a couple of months ago, had been using Windows and Linux for years and years. It is now my main system, haven't had any problems at all. I may have it easier than most with a lot of Linux knowledge since the Mac is very similar, but a new user would not have any problems. My wife was never ready to try Linux, but has now completely switched over to using the Mac.
The main difference: I mostly was 'maintaining' the Windows PC, I'm only 'using' the Mac.No virus, no malware, no Mac rot. I love it.
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audioholic
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Originally Posted by DrQuincy View Post
I'd never used a Mac before but if you need convincing just spend a day using the OS - it really is amazing. I was "convinced" within the first hour and completely sold within the first day of using it.
As I said, I have used Macs on a somewhat regular basis. I am rather competent with them, but I don't have enough experience with the "nitty-gritty" components of the system to actually judge them from a technical standpoint.

Quote:
I'm such an inveterate Windows user and used to programs not responding and the OS slowing down that it's hard to get used to the OS "just working". It seems too good to be true but it isn't.
I haven't had major problems with my PC. I haven't gotten a virus, haven't seen a BSOD in years, and my system hasn't hanged since I can remember. Windows 2000 and XP are pretty solid for that, except for the nuisance of Windows Rot, and the fact that the above success with Windows requires considerable maintenance.
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As someone who switched about a week ago:

You will not achieve nirvanna overnight by switching to a Mac.

If you had your Wintel box running exactly the way you wanted, every possible configuration set to your personal taste ... OS X out of the box will not be as pleasant. You will have to spend time customizing it just like you customized your Wintel.

If you understand the simple steps necessary to keep viruses, spyware, and the like off your Wintel box, OS X is not going to be a very big difference. However, one nice and noticeable difference is in startup time ... OS X starts up much faster from a cold boot because it doesn't have umpteen billion background programs (like virus scanners, spyware scanners, etc.) running. From power button to password screen on my MBP is perhaps 15 seconds. From entering the password to having the desktop in front of me able to go (as opposed to waiting for the computer to start responding as it loads all those programs) is maybe another 5-10 seconds.

If you know every nifty keyboard shortcut and trick in WinXP, OS X is going to make you pull your hair out for a while. Getting used to different keystrokes will take time. There are still instances when I want to select a word but instead go to the end of a line, or vice versa.

If fiddling with IRQs and registry settings is old hat, then OS X isn't going to run better for you. But you'll be amazed how pleasant it is when you don't have to fiddle with that stuff. That's the real beauty of a Mac ... it just works without you having to do all the stuff required by a Wintel system.

I look at it this way. I know how to change the oil in my car. But if someone came along with a new model that changed its own oil, I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

With Windows, the OS does things that frustrate you but you can figure them out and fix them.

Mac OS X just doesn't frustrate you to begin with.
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audioholic
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As someone who switched about a week ago:

You will not achieve nirvanna overnight by switching to a Mac.

If you had your Wintel box running exactly the way you wanted, every possible configuration set to your personal taste ... OS X out of the box will not be as pleasant. You will have to spend time customizing it just like you customized your Wintel.
I'm willing to go through this process, as I did switching from 2000 to XP. You really have to dig around in XP to get the same customization out of it that you can with 2000.

Quote:
If you understand the simple steps necessary to keep viruses, spyware, and the like off your Wintel box, OS X is not going to be a very big difference. However, one nice and noticeable difference is in startup time ... OS X starts up much faster from a cold boot because it doesn't have umpteen billion background programs (like virus scanners, spyware scanners, etc.) running. From power button to password screen on my MBP is perhaps 15 seconds. From entering the password to having the desktop in front of me able to go (as opposed to waiting for the computer to start responding as it loads all those programs) is maybe another 5-10 seconds.
This is certainly of importance to me, because it takes considerable time for me to boot to a usable system. I've pared down much of my unneeded Windows Services and boot items, but it's still somewhat slow, and it's getting worse by the day.
I expect that the low-end MacBook doesn't boot nearly as fast as, say, the top-of-the-line Mac Pro, right?

Quote:
If you know every nifty keyboard shortcut and trick in WinXP, OS X is going to make you pull your hair out for a while. Getting used to different keystrokes will take time. There are still instances when I want to select a word but instead go to the end of a line, or vice versa.
I have noticed this stuff simply in the occasional use that I have had on a Mac, but it never seems too major. Alt-Tabbing still works.
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