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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 The Dark Side: Some PC Concerns


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mrchef1

 
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After 20 years as a PC user I am making the switch to the dark side in two weeks. I have finally realized the errors of my ways and am ready to make the plunge. That being said the fact is itís still a PC world and I have some concerns.

I have read many reviews, posts and articles and have some ideas but would like to hear yours.

BTW I am buying the 24Ē iMac 2.4 upgraded to 2GB of ram.

My biggest concern is that the documents and files that I create on my Mac will be usable at my office on a PC. Most of the documents are Word & Excel. There are a number of options so let me list what Iím looking at and will await your advice. Thanks in advance for your input.

1) To create Word & Excel docs I could:
A- Run Windows on the Mac and switch back and forth using either Parallels or Boot Camp but Iíd have to buy an XP OS. If I do that which XP should I buy?
B- Run the Mac version of MS Office.
C- Use iWorks
D-Use both

I think that iWorks will export its docs into Word & Excel formats, is that the way to go?

2) I am a web designer; not a good one but I do have a number of web clients. I use DreamWeaver. I donít have the money to buy the DW suite for Mac so Iím going to have to use the windows version. This may partially answer question one.

This question is about iWeb. Is it a robust enough program to create relatively simple commercial web sites or is it more of a ďWhat I did on my summer vacationĒ type of program?

Itís not clear to me if I can create web sites with iWeb and upload them to my existing server or if I have to use the .mac service. If I create a web page with iWeb can I then manually alter the HTML code, add meta tags and stuff like that? Can I export iWeb files to DW? And vice versa?

Here are a few of the web sites I have built and maintain:

http://www.newportstationers.com/

http://www.monarchstone.net

http://www.selectcigars.com

http://www.makoelectric.com/

3) Iím doing more and more work with video and have lots of .WMV files. How will I access them and use them with my Mac?

4) I just bought Adobe PhotoShop Elements & Premier Elements are iPhoto, iMovie & iDVD suitable replacements? I donít make extravagant movies but would like to at some point. I do realize that Final Cut would be the next step but what direction would you suggest for now?

I didnít see an option for GIFís in iPhoto and believe that it is mainly a photo organizer, am I wrong?

5) Keynote- Is this just the Mac version of PowerPoint and if so is it worth buying? If I go with Keynote how will the PC world be able to view the presentations?

6) I need to create weekly flyers for my company. Currently I use mostly Word and occasionally Publisher. What would be the best Mac program to use to create good looking sales materials for my company and again how would I get them from my Mac to my PC office?

7) Most of my stuff is stored on an external HD. I know it will have to be reformatted once everything has been migrated over. As a Mac user should I still have the same back up concerns as a Windows user? What do the Mac gurus do?

8) I need a new router. Mine is years old and quite slow. Is the AirPort Extreme worth the $179? Or does it just look really hip? My daughter uses a PC laptop and connects wirelessly to our home network.

8) Whatís the best way to get up to speed on everything? And/or what order should I take it in?

9) Am I over thinking all of this?

10) Will I be as cool as the Jackson Browne looking guy in the commercials?

11) Will women find me more attractive?

Thanks again if you took the time to read all this and especially for your responses. Iím very excited about making the switch but canít afford a lot of down time so Iím a little paranoid.
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technologist

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchef1 View Post
After 20 years as a PC user I am making the switch to the dark side in two weeks.
Okay, let's examine this analogy in detail.

Microsoft: Large, powerful company.
Apple: Smaller company that predates the dominance of the larger company.

Have you ever even watched Star Wars?!
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PrimalYeti

 
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Wow, a lot of questions. I'm going to do the best I can.

1) MS Office 2008 for Mac is coming out in January, so you could wait for that. I believe I heard that the new version of iWorks will also let you export files to Word docs.

I personally own MS Office 2004 for Mac, and will be getting 2008 when it comes out (Office is just the standard, why break away?)

2) iWeb is no where near as robust as Dreamweaver. I haven't taken the time to really sit down and play with it, but when I tried it...I felt restricted. Your best bet is to really get Dreamweaver for Mac.

3)1 word: Flip4Mac

4) Never used this Adobe package, sorry

5) Keynote is the same as PowerPoint, but different templates really. They do the same thing. Thing is, if you are going to get MS Office 2008 for Mac as mentioned in #1, you'll get PowerPoint.

6) Word for Mac does everything Word 2003 does on Windows.

7) Backup is the same no matter what OS you're using. In Windows you're backing up incase you get a virus, in OS X its really in case of hardware failure. For OS X Tiger I recommend Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner (free) for back ups. If you're going to be gett OS X Leopard, just use Time Machine (built-in).

8) I have a MacBook Pro, and then 2 Windows machines in the house and all I use is a D-Link. Try and get something with Draft-N though. All new Macs come with Draft N wifi cards, the speed is amazing!

8 (again?) ) What?

9) Probably not, lol

10) No one is as cool as Jackson Browne.

11) People will surely notice the sexy piece of technology you own.

How thats everything, lol

I play WoW on a Mac!
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technologist View Post
Okay, let's examine this analogy in detail.

Microsoft: Large, powerful company.
Apple: Smaller company that predates the dominance of the larger company.

Have you ever even watched Star Wars?!
Personally, I find the whole "Light Side/Dark Side" bit really silly, not to mention completely irrational. It really doesn't fit as any sort of analogy by any means.

To the OP:
Quote:
8) What’s the best way to get up to speed on everything? And/or what order should I take it in?

9) Am I over thinking all of this?
Check out the sticky forums we have in the "Switcher Hangout" here. They will answer many of your questions.
You should also check out the links at Apple's site:
http://www.apple.com/support/mac101/
http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/

And yes, you are over thinking things.

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technologist

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
Personally, I find the whole "Light Side/Dark Side" bit really silly, not to mention completely irrational. It really doesn't fit as any sort of analogy by any means.
Very true. The Force and computers...almost diametrically opposed. Just geeks mixing their hobbies.

Though there definitely is an "empire" in the market.
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AK47

 
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He was only kidding, sheesh.
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mrchef1

 
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Thanks for the feedback...I guess I could have posted different questions in different forums...but thought I'd get it all out in one breath...

I've been reading the stickys...very helpful....

Had not found mac101 or switch101...I'll sit down with those next...

I did see Star Wars once when it first came out in the late 70's? Early 80's?...Don't remember much though...lot's of explosions...

Jackson Browne is cool...I've seen him a couple of times in the last few years and he still rocks...in a mellow, sad kinda way....

Thanks again....
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AbSoluTc

 
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Was/am sorta in the same boat as yourself. Switched a week ago and I am not looking back. Been using window since I was able to use a computer. I had my concearns with switching and wanted to make a poing by NOT having to use windows at all. So far, so good.

Your Adobe products allow you to switch to another OS at NO CHARGE from what I was told by Adobe. So if you want to, you can do that. As for your documents, there is Office 2004 for the Mac which I myself am using. Mainly for Entourage.

So far, I have not hit any bumps that require me to use a windows machine. I did have an issue with RDP (remote desktop) that would not allow me to have a bigger window than 800x600. I quickly learned that the Beta version fixed this and let the user select a multitude of larger resolutions. So now I use that and no complaints.
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Desdemonica

 
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Prior to Adobe's CS3 release of Dreamweaver, the discs supported both windows and Mac, if you have Studio 8 or earlier it will work on your Mac. I swapped my install from my pc to my Mac when I switched a year ago.
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DonkeyKong

 
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Quote:
11) Will women find me more attractive?
Who doesn't find a Apple sign sexy
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jonnyd

 
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I don't think you'll have too much trouble - the only question that really isn't totally resolved is the office one. Office 2004 for Mac and office XP for example seem to be totally compatible - I have never had any probs with docs or spreadsheets, although if you use access you'll be in trouble.

Office 2007 for Windows has compatibility issues with all other versions of Office - in their never ending search for 'something new', MS have decided to completely revamp their formats, which is a royal PITA.

So I'd imagine 2008 for OSX will be the same.

If you're really worried, keep the PC for a while. It took me about 2 years to totally move to OSX at home (although my wife still uses XP). I have Windows in the office, but compatibility isn't a problem. I use office (XP vs 2004), Dreamweaver and photoshop, and they all happily coexist across both platforms.

I have bootcamp and parallels on this Mac, and rarely use either. Just if I need to run an exe file, usually.
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mrchef1

 
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WOW...one thread and lot's of answers...Very Cool...

Desdemonica: You are correct...I had over looked that fact. I run DWMX...Old but does exactly what I need it to do. THANKS!

AbSoluTc: I did not know that about Adobe. If that is correct then that issue is put to bed. I've alread sent them an email.

jonnyd: This one seems to be a "six of one, half a dozen of the other" kinda thing. But I think as PrimalYeti said Office is the standard so why mess around.

What I'm going to do is keep my old PC around until I know I'm good and then it's a doorstop...Actually I'm gonna give it my Mom

I'm really glad I found this place. Very helpful and I've learned a lot in just one day. Especially about the Star Wars references...I know some wounds are deep and heal slowly...I've been to that dark lonely place myself...It ain't fun...I will be more sensitive from now on...
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knightlie

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrchef1 View Post
Desdemonica: You are correct...I had over looked that fact. I run DWMX...Old but does exactly what I need it to do. THANKS!
One thing you'll find with DWMX is that it's slow to operate - this is because it's a PowerPC app running under emulation, so bear that in mind as it can get frustrating. It works perfectly, just not as fast as it could!

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ibookclamman300

 
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there is a reason the Sith have more fun ya know.

Mac: Macbook C2D 2.0ghz, 120gb hdd, 1gb ram, black
iPod: iPod nano 2ng gen. 8gb, black
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mrchef1

 
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Noticeably slow...Like go get a coke while I'm waiting slow or just slow in comparison to how native Mac apps run...???
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