Advice needed - thinking of switching to Mac

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Ajax, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    3,302
    139
    63
    I got a substantial gift card to Amazon from my family for my birthday recently and am thinking of getting a new computer... My current laptop is a 3 year old HP that has caused me all sorts of headaches since I bought it. It has always been painfully slow and the dreadful Windows Vista doesn't help. After it crashed for the 859th time I swore to myself that I would never buy a Microsoft product again so I'm considering switching to Apple. I'm a little bit worried about the transition because the couple of times I played around with my friend's Mac I couldn't figure out how everything worked... Would love to hear from other people who've made the switch from Windows PC to Mac. How was your experience? My computing needs are very basic, all I want is a CD drive, an SD card slot, internet browsing and a good media player for watching videos. Based on that which Mac computer would you recommend?
     
  2. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    16,417
    2,339
    113
    I'm bi-platform: I use both a Mac and a PC regularly. When I first started using the Mac, it took me about a day to transition - use your friend as a consultant, and buy the Mac customer support plan that they offer. It's really worth it. Their customer support is actually helpful, and they can talk you through things while you're transitioning.
     
  3. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    4,878
    829
    113
    I use PC at work and Mac at home. Mac is much more user friendly and doesn't freeze, crash, lose data, etc...like my work computer. Go to the nearest Apple Store and tell them you are thinking of switching and want to know what support they can give. There is plenty. They will even transfer documents and files for you if you need them to.
     
  4. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    30,860
    6,474
    113
    I have used both for a long time and hate how Macs are organized (even worse than stupid Vista!), but I will say that they've got it all over PCs in terms of customer support. They really like to help people overcome their PC addiction :lol: so just let them know what you need and they'll walk you through it.
     
  5. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

    16,862
    4,761
    113
    I use both too. The learning curve wasn't that difficult, but I do get frustrated with Mac's unwillingness to make things sharable. For example, I have to take extra steps to cut music for skating because all their songs are mp4 and I need mp3. However, I love that it rarely crashes, the desktop unit (which is what mine is) is all in one, and the screen is terrific.

    As someone who works a lot in Excel, I hate hate hate Apple's I-Works program. I wish I had spent the money for the Office for Mac suite.
     
  6. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston Well-Known Member

    1,169
    81
    48
    I bought a MacBook Pro in February after having used Windows-based pcs since the early 90's. I am in love with the thing! It took me about a month to get the hang of using it, and there are still some things that I'm trying to figure out, but the thing is amazing. It's fast and the video quality is much better than on any tv I own. The design is very slick and so user-friendly. I am a total convert.

    There are many tutorials on the Apple website for new-to-Mac users. I recommend reading these.

    The only downside is that I can't figure out how to make Ice Network videos work. The instructions from Ice Network are complicated and it seems like you have to go through AOL or something. However, I'm not blaming Apple for Ice Network's user "un"friendly website and I'm not renewing my subscription next year anyway, so it doesn't matter. The Universal Sports video plays beautifully - and it's free!
     
  7. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    16,417
    2,339
    113
    I absolutely got Office for Mac. But for me, because I work at a university, it wasn't expensive at all. If the OP knows someone who works in education, or is a student, you may be able to use their discount for software.

    I'd tried IceNetwork without success as well, but then blew it off when Universal Sports became available.
     
  8. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness Happy Russian Hunger Games!

    11,699
    1,565
    113
    For icenetwork.com you need to get the Flip4Mac plugin from Microsoft that allows the windows media stream from icenetwork to play in Quicktime. I have no problems getting icenetwork to work on my old (non-intel) Mac.
     
  9. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston Well-Known Member

    1,169
    81
    48
    Thanks! I'll give it a try.
     
  10. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    4,494
    1,595
    113
    I bought a macbook pro last summer after only using pc's all my life. It took a few weeks to transition but totally worth the small hassle. I would never willingly buy a pc again! I love the mac operating system and soooo many other things about my computer's design are just awesome.

    I find the iwork programs sooo much easier to use. I bought office for mac simply because for lots of statistical stuff I have to do for school the directions are all for excel, but for most things I use iwork. I will say though that I prefer office for mac to the regular office ;)
     
  11. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

    3,562
    675
    113
    And of course, you can always put Windows on your Mac these days, and run whatever you like to your heart's content....:saint:
     
  12. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    Yup! I don't have Windows on my Mac. but the Mac I use at one of my client's offices does. It's easy. Both are loaded and run independently. You shut down the computer, and hold down the control button when you start the computer. The screen will give you the option of opening in Mac or Windows operating system. Very simple. You can't go back and forth without turning the computer off, but that's no big deal, it re-starts very quickly.

    I have Word, Excell, Power Point, etc. on my Mac. I never, ever use them. Except for when someone sends me something in one of those formats and I need to open it in one. I do everything in Illustrator and In-Design. But if you have no real need for graphics programs, they are more expensive than office.

    Ajax, you will adjust to the Mac in no time. And you will be amazed at how much easier it is to use and how much more intuitive it is. My kids resisted Macs all through elementary school, middle school, and most of HS. whined, because the home computer was always a Mac (I need it for graphics). When it cam time for them to get a laptop for college, they both got MacBooks. Now, they wouldn't use anything else, if they have a choice. In fact my daughter is working in a new job with a PR firm and they gave her a PC, she hates it :lol:.
     
  13. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    4,891
    585
    113
    I've done it twice, once back in 1988 and then again in 2004. Both times were a piece of cake, in fact, especially the first time, I found the Mac infinitely easier to use.
     
  14. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    4,985
    982
    113
    Used Macs in college; then went to PC for about 12-13 years, finally came "home" to Mac this past fall. No regrets! I have the MacBook Pro, 15 inch. Almost wish I had gotten the 13 inch, as it is a little bit lighter, but I love it. Make sure you get the backlit keyboard. :) For an extra $100 you can sign up to have them transfer all the data from your PC to the Mac, plus take unlimited free classes to get to know the Mac and make full use of the applications. For me it was worth it as I have no techie sensibilities but you may be in a different boat.
    I've been meaning to get this done. That's my only mini-gripe with the Mac; it's a little harder to access my employer's PC-based network remotely.
     
  15. colinmom71

    colinmom71 Well-Known Member

    651
    272
    63
    Here's a nice first-timers tutorial and info site for folks who are thinking about or are switching to a Mac from a PC...

    http://www.myfirstmac.com/
     
    KatieC and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

    3,302
    139
    63
    Thanks a lot for the advice and opinions, everyone. colinmom71, that website looks exactly like what I need :) I'm going to order my new computer tomorrow, so excited!
    Antoher question: Do I need to get an antivirus program for a Mac??
     
  17. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

    4,494
    1,595
    113
    Nope!
     
  18. Meredith

    Meredith what a glorious day!

    1,673
    269
    83
    That's perhaps the best thing about Macs: you don't need anti-virus software (chomping away at your memory). I have no Microsoft product on my Mac and intend to keep it that way.

    Enjoy your new Mac, Ajax!
     
  19. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston Well-Known Member

    1,169
    81
    48
    That was the ultimate selling point in my decision to get a Mac. The Mac was more expensive than the Dell I was looking at, but when I figured in the cost of buying anti-virus software and the yearly renewal fees, they came out just about even.

    Enjoy your new toy. I guarantee that you will be so happy with your decision.
     
  20. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    13,419
    1,883
    113
    It took me no time at all to learn how to work a Mac. It is intuitive. PC - eek, even after Windows came out, there are always so many mystery issues.
     
  21. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    20,822
    2,372
    113
    I first began using a Mac when I met my bf. His desktop was a Mac. I had no trouble at all. I am sure I had to ask some questions from time to time but I didn't have any major problems because I can't recall any issues. I now have a Macbook and I love it, my bf says I love it more than I love him. hehe!
     
  22. Erica Lee

    Erica Lee New Member

    2,146
    304
    0
    I have a MacBook Pro and do love most things about it. There are some things I really hate though. The biggest pain in my rear right now is that it won't connect to my projector because at one point I forgot to unhook the projector before shutting the lid of my computer. Now it won't recognize external displays. I've troubleshooted (troubleshot) a bunch of different ways and researched a lot online - it's a common issue and many say the only way to fix it is to re-install the operating system. (Say what?!) And even when you do, the same thing will happen again if you don't unplug a projector before shutting the computer. Talk about annoying! So Macs do have weird quirks, too.

    I am still not used to the file management system and find that software like Aperture, iPhoto and iMovie store data in the most ridiculous ways. I have duplicate data everywhere and have filled my hard drive prematurely because of the weird and unexpected ways these programs behave. I'm sure I could remedy it if I could figure it out - but it's not immediately obvious and I haven't had time to play with it.

    It's also annoying when a program freezes and you get the spinning colour wheel taunting you (yes, programs DO freeze with macs).

    Oh, and viruses only account for about 10% of threats out there these days - malware comes in many many forms. My tech guy at school was saying that Adobe Acrobat Reader is the number one source of exploits, 2nd to flash. Both these things are cross platform - meaning it doesn't matter if you have a pc or mac, it attacks you just the same. And PDFs come across as all innocent and benign... not so much!

    That all being said... I love my battery life, my portability, my wifi and bluetooth connection options that are so easy and intuitive, the speed at which this thing loads up (pretty instant), etc. Lots and lots of good points... but the more I use it, the more I find it can have its own set of frustrations too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  23. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

    3,562
    675
    113
    Do you have an Apple store nearby? Maybe they can help you. Funny that you mention this problem, because I hooked my MacBookPro up to a projector for the first time a couple weeks ago. I'm trying to remember what was odd, I think someone pulled the plug on the projector while it was plugged into my Mac, and so that wasn't a problem, just an annoyance.
     
  24. Erica Lee

    Erica Lee New Member

    2,146
    304
    0
    No, no apple store close by. According to the research I've done, it's common and apple knows all about the issue (has for a number of years) but has done nothing to address it or change it.
     
  25. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    It may just be some sort of quirk they can't address, that's a shame. Have you called Apple? They might be able to help you do something that does not involve reinstalling the OS.

    Not sure why you are getting duplicate data problems. I use iPhoto a lot, and I open photos in Photoshop and Illustrator all of the time. In the case of Photoshop, it will save it's own version of the photo. Whether or not I save the changes I've made. I'm not having any hard drive problems. Everything is saved in a software format to my desktop. Could it be the way you are saving documents? I am no computer expert, so I have no idea :lol:.
     
  26. Erica Lee

    Erica Lee New Member

    2,146
    304
    0
    I get duplicate data because if I want to use images in Keynote, I click the "media" tab, but there's no way (I know of) to just browse for images anywhere on the hard drive - it only shows my iPhoto or Aperture libraries. I can't figure out how to drag and drop things into or out of iPhoto and Aperture libraries using finder - I have to "import" folders from within the program, which duplicates the files. I'd be happy with that and then delete where I imported them from; however, Aperture stores each photo in its own subfolder - completely impractical for transferring the files to other computers/websites/etc. So I have to export them again to have them all in one folder to upload them anywhere. It's a royal pain and I just can't get a handle on all my files and make them all work seamlessly with different programs, with my web-based needs and with my "windows brain" file management habits. I'm sure there may be ways around all this - but like I said, it's not immediately obvious to me and I haven't had the time to wrestle with it.

    Just like I haven't had time to call Apple Support. My projector is at work, where I usually don't remember to have my cell phone (and there's no phone in that room so I'd have to run back and forth from the phone to the computer). My laptop is most often at home. I haven't had the three necessary pieces of equipment in the same place at the same time while also having spare time to deal with making a tech support call. Have I mentioned I'm a phone-o-phobic? Hate making phone calls, especially ones to tech support.

    Anyways, I am FULL of excuses (obviously) and am not really looking to solve all these issues in this here thread. My point just is that I LOVE macs as much as the next mac fanatic, but I'm also realistic in that you DO sometimes run into issues and quirks. They're not the perfect little machines some would have you believe they are.
     
  27. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

    9,112
    1,478
    113
    Erica, I had the same issues when I used Mac at work. It was so frustrating to have to use iPhoto to get the pictures.
    I'm still considering getting a Macbook Pro next year, but there definitely are some cons to it. And yes, programs do freeze with macs, just as often as with Windows, IMO.
     
  28. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

    17,561
    1,170
    113
    Wish I could be of some help, but I am clueless with regard to your problem.
    I do realize that Macs are not perfect - I have also experienced the spinning beachball from hell. Whenever it shows up, my blood runs cold :lol:! I've also had applications just shut down on me. It only happens with Adobe programs, though. Usually when I have Illustrator and too many Photoshop photos open.
     
  29. Erica Lee

    Erica Lee New Member

    2,146
    304
    0
    "Spinning beach ball from hell" hahahha that is awesome. I hadn't heard that nickname yet :) Suits it perfectly!
     
  30. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    3,358
    538
    113
    I used to work in a 100% Mac office; there it was called the "pinwheel of death".