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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?" :)

My experiences of Mac & OSX


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miso

 
Member Since: Jul 12, 2007
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Just a few paragraphs on my experiences of using my first mac. Might be useful for switchers, twitchers, undecided's and OMGIMTOOSCARED....This is personal experience and personal opinion and in no way intended as flamebait or anything else.


I used Macs years ago in a work setting, upto the release of OS9. I have to say I wasn't impressed with it. Old Mac OS's were hideousy overpriced for their specs, crashed as much as Windows, were slow and sluggish. The office switched to linux and we ditched our remaining Windows PC's and most of our Apple machines (kept one or two on for Photoshop work and Quark).

I've been using Linux at home for 5 years now, and my main box still runs linux. That won't ever change. As someone coming from a linux environment, I was intrigued to see how a proprietary BSD based OS would match up. I have to say OS X matches up very well. More on this later.

So, if I'm happy with linux, why did I buy a Mac?

Well, I needed a high end laptop for work purposes. I needed something small, portable and powerful. I spec'd out the usual assortment of laptops at PC world and wasn't impressed. Most were too chunky, clunky and plain ugly. Most were too big and heavy. Then a freelance dev doing some work for us in the office turned up with his 13" 2.16ghz MacBook. I had a little play, my first time on a Mac since OS9 and was very impressed. I spec'd out the prices and found that, amazingly, Apple were competitive hardware wise on price.

So I bought a 13" 2.16ghz macbook for 800. I love it.

So, whats it like coming from an windows environment?

Well, firstly, OS X is built on UNIX foundations which means its solid and stable - much more than windows is, IMO. I've lost count at how much work I've lost to Windows over the years from random crashes, filesystem corruptions and restarts. OS X is very well integrated and is very responsive. The main stumbling block, I guess, for would-be Windows converters is apps - and I'm guessing again you'll want Office compatiblity.

Well, Neo office has that compatibility and I've used Neo/Open office for years and never had a single issue with exchanging .docs or .xls files with MS Office users. IMO, Neo/Open office is a better package - it automatically recovers files after crashes (which doesn't happen very often anyway) and as a built in PDF converter. And its free.

If you need a DB, use Filemaker - Access is a piece of crap compared to FM. I've lost alot of work in Access through file corruption, and personally I'd not touch it with a barge pole.

If you need photo/page layout apps then the Mac is the place to be anyway. So no issues there.

If you are coming from linux you will find OS X a little stifling. You can't change the gui very much, and you can't change the filemanager (as far as I know, could be wrong on this) - Finder is poor, IMO, compared to some of the Linux filemanagers (I prefer Nautilus or Krusader). Leopard however, looks sweet.

The other downside for linux users is the lack of decent repositories and free software. Hopefully the quality of free apps for the Mac will increase now that it shares common ancestory with linux (shouldn't be too hard to port linux code to BSD), but I do resent having to pay 10 for a decent audio converter when I can have a choice of 20 free ones in the linux repositories But that's just out of habit. Linux does spoil you in that respect.

The great thing about OS X and Linux is the ability to VM windows and windows apps, and I have to say again I have had no problems doing this in either environment. VirtualBox in linux runs Windows flawlessly and its being ported to OSX as well - its free and its superb. Bootcamp/parallels will offer the similiar solutions if you really have to have a windows app. Personally, I've never really needed to - I have found that OS X has more than enough Windows equvalents to keep me happy.

So why switch?

If you want a machine that looks nice, is stable, has eyecandy, and its virus free and superbly integrated, get a Mac. You can still run linux/windows but the quality of OS X will negate the use of Windows anyway.

If you want a fast stable virus free highly configurable fun low cost PC set up, use linux.

If you want a buggy, virus ridden, slow, bloated OS that you feel safe using, stick with Windows.

Overall, I am very very happy I bought a Mac and I'm really looking forward to Leopard. But one thing... multiple desktops - "only in Leopard...." hahaha, that's a little cheeky.

Conclusion: buy a Mac. Have fun. I will certainly be using one for life now. You'll be amazed at just how redundant windows can be.

One last thing to remember: An OS is a tool, not a religion. Use the best tool for the job you need to do.
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sLux

 
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Member Since: May 19, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 282
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One of the greatest reviews i have read! +rep!

http://www.last.fm/user/Pjawsk/

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Wow... that's just amazing. You pwn
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walkerj

 
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Member Since: Feb 13, 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miso View Post
Overall, I am very very happy I bought a Mac and I'm really looking forward to Leopard. But one thing... multiple desktops - "only in Leopard...." hahaha, that's a little cheeky.
While it looks like Leopard might be putting a stop to it's development, in the meantime Virtue Desktops is still a pretty good stop-gap multi-desk tool to get you by. It works a little differently from the classic linux multi-desktop approach, but once gotten used to works marvellously to expand your virtual 'real-estate'.

I work in it every day, and when using my Gnome environment on my Linux workstation wish I could switch between virtual desktops in the same way (control-shift-arrow with a cube effect, clicking a box seems so primitive in comparison.)

Nice review. Just try to always remember that you have a real UNIX idling under the hood. I like to think of it as the NeXT machine I always wanted back in the day. It's just more white and flat.
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novicew

 
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Member Since: Jan 04, 2006
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Mac Specs: MacBook Pro | iMac(2.1 G5) | MacBook(2.16 C2D) | MacMini (1.67 CD) | iPhone 4 | iPad (3rd Gen)

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Nice review miso
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Austin

 
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Member Since: Jul 29, 2007
Posts: 105
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Mac Specs: MacBook Pro, 15-inch, 2.2GHz 2gb RAM 15-inch Widescreen

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Great review you wrote there! IMO it is the best i've seen, but IMO i like osx better than linux. IMO windows is poor compared to linux. lol...


Windows fanboy gone Mac. Switching as soon as leopard launches. Can't wait for my macbook pro!
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mac57

 
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Member Since: Apr 29, 2006
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Mac Specs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, 256 GB SSD, 2 TB HDD, 8 GB RAM

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You might be interested in my Linux to Mac switchers guide, a linux user oriented switching guide. See:

http://www.campbell-tx.net/MacOSX/Li...linux2mac.html

Lots of good info on Mac equivalents to your favorite linux programs, maintenance of your Mac and so on. Read and enjoy!

My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
My iStuff: 64GB iPhone 5, 64GB iPad4, 30GB iPod Video, 16GB iPod Touch
My OS': Mac OS X Lion, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Mac OS 9.2.2, openSUSE 10.3
I was on the Mac-Forums honor roll for September 2007
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