Buying my first Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CableDolt, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. CableDolt macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2008
    Greets all,

    I'm in the market for a new laptop and have been trawling the internet for a new one. Until today the thought of buying a Mac hadn't occured to me, mainly because I didn't know anything about them other than the fact their mice have one button (something I ribbed a friend about - "What can Windows users do that Macs can't? Right click! roflcopter-im-hilarious-etc!"). Windows Vista has turned me into a bitter and twisted shell of my former self with all of it's security prompts and general imcompatiblity with life in general so I've taken a good look at Macs and they seem quite decent.

    Anyway, I've taken quite a fancy to this Macbook which seems to be a pretty solid piece of kit and is just within my budget.

    My main concerns however aren't the money and whatnot but the transition from Windows to OSX. I don't game as much as I used to and now will only play a few games of Dawn of War and Defcon once in a blue moon but I'm planning on getting a new Windows gaming rig in the near future anyway. I basically use my current PC for general surfing and idling in a few IRC channels I frequent. I also dabble a bit in Photoshop and string together home movies in Windows Movie Butcher.

    My main question is, how easy is it to shift from Windows to OSX? I've been using Windows for years now and know my way round it like the back of my hand. Is it much of a change going from one to the other?
    Also, how stable is the Windows XP emulator/boot camp thing? The only Windows programs I can see me wanting to run on a Mac are Defcon and possibly a few more that the names are lost on me. Finally, are there any IRC clients that can compete with Windows' mIRC+nnscript for general awesome IRCness?

    Cheers for reading and any replies,

    -- Cable
  2. fivepoint macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007
    I switched about 5 years ago. I found the experience to be extremely easy... As a general rule of thumb, I found the Mac to be more logical and the folder structure/layout simply made more sense to me. There are many reasons why the Mac OS is considered to be superior, but the simplicity, ease, and logic behind the core of it... is one of my favorites. Someone like you who is obviously slightly advanced compared to the normal person will have ZERO problems making the switch. It will maybe take you a couple of weeks experimenting to get it down 100%, but after those two weeks you will be singing its praises like the rest of us.

    Boot Camp (allows you to run XP/Vista) is not an emulator. It simply allows you to start the computer as a Mac or as a PC. It has the same hardware as a PC would, so it is absolutely no different than a PC in that regard... It will have the same speed, compatiblity, and stability as a PC.

    Just don't connect the computer to the internet while started up as a PC! You'll be just as volatile to viruses as any normal PC.

    Good luck! Go with the mac, and you won't be sorry.
  3. starprincess8 macrumors newbie


    Dec 26, 2007
    So Cal
    I just got my first Mac for Christmas. I found the switch very easy and now can work my way around Leopard very well. The only prior Apple use I had had was with my iPod and iPod not very much prior experience.
    Very easy switch though! And just remember, once you go mac, you NEVER go back! ;)
  4. Pees330 macrumors 6502

    May 26, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    I switched about 3 years after not having used Macs since about 6 years before that during school. It was a great transition. There were some new things that I had to get used to, but after about a week I would say I knew my way around pretty well.

    There are some things that it takes a while to grasp when you switch over to OS X. It's weird not having to worry about viruses and spyware. I don't have all of these programs having to load up every time I log in.

    I thought that I might miss gaming, but to be honest I never really missed it. I have my consoles for my gaming needs now. All the programs that I need to use are available on the Mac.

    There are numerous features that I miss when I have to use my Vista box. All of the programs are integrated so well with each other in OS X. I love Finder as a way of organizing my files. Spotlight is a great feature for quick searching. The iLife suite is great for the basics that everyone needs for their basic media wants.

    The list can go on forever. I love my Mac and will never go back to only windows. I'm looking to get my first Intel machine in the coming weeks, so that is a plus to be able to run any OS on the same machine. The quality of Apple's products are second to none. I wouldn't worry if I were you on switching over. It might seem like a leap to take at first, but you won't regret it. If you're still not sure, you could always use your friends machine and see what it all about. Good luck!
  5. donmei macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    The first time I ever laid hands on a mac was a year ago. I got my Mom a base MB. Vista was just coming out and i didnt want the hassle. XP was a proven system, but . . . wel if you are buying a new PC, do you want a 6 yr old OS?

    The macbook allowed me to get her on the internet for the first time with minimal hassle.

    Fastforward to a couple of weeks ago. I want a new laptop. I'm now helping a small nonprofit support a couple of Vista machines and now have 1st hand experience what a F&*KING disaster Vista is.

    End of life for XP is coming. Whats a man to do. (I'm an IT guy by trade. Started as an infrastructure technical guy and am now a project mgr)

    So 2 weeks ago, I opened up my shiny new Mac Book Pro. Wow.

    The doc is kindof stupid. It groups open apps with icons to open apps. But once you figure it out, it is a non issue. Lets see. I think thats it for my pissing and moaning. Oh yeah, and the maximize button doesnt really maximize.

    Thats it. My only complaints. Its fast. It boots cold faster than my PC wakes up from suspend. It comes up almost instantly after being suspended/slept. (<5 seconds)

    All in all it is just wonderful. I'm still learning how to do things that are pretty common in windows.

    Generally speaking, if you cant do something and are cursing the apple, there is a way to do it, you just need to find out how. The OS is very well thought out.

    With that said. There is a downside to the help offered on a site like this. About 80% of the people are VERY helpful. the other 20% are Apple fanboys who will not admit to any fault in their beloved Macs.

    You ask them "why wont the mac to this . . " and their answer is "why would you want to do that??". Idiots. Just ignore them and you will be fine.

    So . . let me point you towards this thread I started a couple of weeks ago. it should answer most of your day to day questions.

    Also. budget for a copy of VMware fusion. It will allow you to run windows inside OSX. Not dual boot, but inside the apple operating system.

    You may want to use the dual boot functionality in Boot Camp for gaming for maximum performance, but if you just need to run a windows app, run it in Fusion.

  6. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
  7. steeler macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2008
    I switched about 3 years ago. My first personal laptop was a Powerbook G4. I'd used Dell and HP laptops for work, but those just taught me that when I buy my own, I wanted a good one, therefore I got a Mac.

    The switch was relatively easy for me. I like the added features and that everything "just works", however, it did take some time to learn a few of the keyboard shortcuts. I am often using Command-Q on the Mac. My only problem now is that is sometimes find myself trying to use Alt-Q to quit programs at work on a Windows laptop (since the Alt and Command keys are in the same location on the keyboard.)

    I do miss having good finance software on the Mac. There are a bunch of applications, but none I have really liked. I was using MS Money and when I get an Intel based Mac, I might look into VMWare Fusion to run Windows on the Mac and use MS Money again. I've used Virtual PC on my Powerbook and even that ran surprisingly well.

    In addition to the help you can find here, you can also search the internet and you'll find a ton of Mac switcher blog posts and articles to help you make the switch. You'll find stuff like application comparisons (like the mIRC app for OS X), lists of FREE apps, keyboard shortcuts, etc.

    I switched and don't regret it at all. I helped convince one of my friends to get a Mac as well, but the rest of my friends and family haven't made the jump. I know that Macs aren't for everyone, but I think too many people mock them in either jealousy or just aren't willing to have an open mind about it.
  8. LotusLord macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2008
    The Capital of the Land of Cheese and Beer
    I'm strongly leaning towards a Mac Pro as my next computer. I'm in IT, so I'd need to run Windows XP, and likely Vista in the next couple of months, but I really like OS X for the security, and the creative stuff. The wife demands I purchase a computer, not build one myself as I usually do, since I work on computers all day at work. I have a practically brand new display(not to mention the fact that I despise the glossy look), so the iMac is out for me, and the mini is too under powered IMO.

    We went to the Apple store the other day, and she was impressed with her first introduction to OS X (but hated the crowd and most of the employees). I also got my first hands on with the iPhone and iPod Touch, both of which I really liked. So if I get the Pro, the next computer would likely be a Mac Book for her:cool:

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