Considering the "Dark Side"...Please Help Me Decide...

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by JoelBC, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. JoelBC, Jun 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012

    JoelBC macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Apologies to the extent that this is covered elsewhere but I have not been able to find the answers despite spending some time searching...

    I have been a Windows user for 20+ years and am considering moving from a Windows 7 /8 environment to a Mac OS X lion / Mountain Lion environment...

    The one issue that is keeping me from moving is the loss of functionality which -- based on my research to date -- could come in a number of ways:

    1. New paradigm...I am extremely familiar with Windows, have my laptop extensively customized for how I like to work and know where essentially every file is and what it does...though I will not have this were I to make the move this does not concern me as it will come with time, particularly with assistance through this forum...

    2. Programs...I have 5 to 10 key programs that are Windows based for which a) there are no Mac versions[i.e. Quicken 2012, DVD Profilerm dBPoweramp, etc.] or b) for which I do not know whether there are suitable equivalents / replacements [i.e. VPN application in my Cisco server [i.e.The GreenBow], screen capture and print [i.e. MWSnap], etc.]...I have read about parallels but have never seen it in action...I would appreciate any comments / insight into:

    -- will I have full functionality of my Windows applications [i.e. does Parallels really work as advertised]?

    -- will I have issue regarding file formats [i.e. how are Windows file formats treated with a Mac environment]? will I have to have different folders for my mac files and my windows files or can they be stored together? does Parallels really work as advertised and what is better merging or keeping separate the Mac folders / Windows folders and why?

    -- will parallels allow me to use the scan capability of my multi-function HP LaserJet 3390 as there appears to me no Mac OS scan driver for it?w

    3. Software feature...will there be a loss of functionality...for example -- and without explaining why -- I current save / store all my Windows Outlook files as *.msg files as I rename name to ease their organization and search capabilities...will this be doable in the Mac environment [i.e. were I to purchase Outlook for Mac would I continue to have the capability to drag my Outlook based e-mails to a folder and rename them...would Outlook for Mac be able to pen my old *.msg files, etc.]

    Though I am willing to invest the time and effort to make the switch I do not want to either lose functionality or spend an endless amount of time fighting files formats, Mac versus Windows difference, etc. and, to this end, would appreciate any and all assistance that can be provided in a) answers my above asks and b) providing additional insights as a lot seems to depend on how well Parallel actually works.


  2. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    I’m not familiar with some of the programs that you’ve listed but I do know that Mac OSX has a built-in Cisco VPN client. Screen capture and print is easier on a Mac (⌘⇧3 for example) or you can simple run

    For the programs that have no Mac equivalent then you have 3 choices: VMWare Fusion, Parallels or Bootcamp. Bootcamp will allow you to dual-boot between Mac and Windows. Parallels and VMWare will allow you to run Windows within your Mac, indeed with either of those products you could clone your entire Windows machine. Your virtualised Windows installation will run a bit slower. You’ll need to consider that the virtual machine will eat up a chunk of hard disk space and will require a chunk of memory whilst it’s running, so I think 8GB is really the minimum for your Mac.
    Your Windows files will live in your Windows VM and your Mac files on your Mac. Both Parallels and VMWare will allow you to easily access your Mac files from within Windows and vice versa.

    I’d be very surprised if your printer does not have Mac drivers. Printers are pretty much plug+play. OSX will detect the printer and install the necessary drivers. Not sure if Parallels will share your Windows configured printer/scanner. It will however work the other way round.

    I don’t use Outlook (on a Mac) so I don’t know if it saves .msg files. I do use Outlook at work and often enough to know that its search facility it terrible and frequently locks the main application thread. doesn’t suck in that way, all your emails are searchable either directly from within or via Spotlight.

    It sounds like you have very specific use case scenarios some of which will not translate easily to a Mac. So in general be prepared to have to change the way in which you do things if you move to the Mac.
  3. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Appreciate the response

    The VPN client that I am currently using connects to my Cisco router via IPSec...can you please let me know whether the built-in VPN client supports IPSec...thanks..

    I have done a fair amount of reading about both Parallels and VMWare though I know more about Parallels as their website is more user friendly as it include the entire user's guide...

    I have no interest in Bootcamp as dual-booting would removed the supposed advantage of a Mac -- usability...I have no issues though spending the incremental dollars to get either 8GB or 16GB of RAM...

    The issue that I am trying to zero in on is the supposed benefit of a Mac over Windows -- USABILITY and hence this thread...will I i) be able to what I am currently doing today easier albeit using a virtual machine and ii) be able to increase this usability in the future as I migrate to Mac only apps...

    The one item that I could not find about Paralells is whether or not it released the resources allocated to it when shut down...that is, when running in other than COHERENT mode will it release the RAM that it uses while you know the answer to this?

    There is definitely a printer driver in Lion...there does not however appear to be a scanner driver which is critical I have gone digital image and scan essentially all important papers so that everything is easily and readily available...the inability to scan either with the Mac or Windows environment would be a show stopper and, ideally, it would be best to be able to scan in the Mac environment...

    I am determined to find answers and have discovered that this is possible only that they are *.eml files in the MAC world...I do this i) to have all correspondence in the same folder be they e-mails, documents, etc. and ii) to follow a standard naming convention which is extremely -- at least to me --- helpful..

    I am open / willing to change...the real issue is whether once so done it will be easier than it currently is...also, there are very mixed reviews regarding Windows 8 as to whether it is easier than even Lion...

    Looking for answers from those who know...
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I used to use VMWare all the time when I had to do Windows programming or run Visio (Or access my works website since it ONLY works in Internet Explorer 7, thats crappy web developers).

    I work in IT supporting Windows environments but use a Mac at home. Its a great change. I assure you Mac OS is not the dark side, you'll actually find it bright and efficient over here :D
  5. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I know it is not necessarily the "Dark Side" which is why it is in quotes but it is certainly the "Change How You Work Side"...better or worse for me remains to be seen...unlike a lot of other Windows user I am open minded to the change but need to make sure that I do not loose functionality...

    I wonder whether my newly purchased iPad 3 -- the first iPad I have ever owned -- will push me over the edge as I still do not know how / what I will do with the iPad 3 other than fight to keep it away from the wife and kids so that I can try to figure out its uses... :D

    Thanks for the response...
  6. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    It does. I use it to connect to my workplace.

    Parallels leaves 3 services running whilst the VM is in a shutdown state. On my machine they consume a total of ~50MB of real memory and virtually zero CPU.

    Looks like the scanner support for your printer in Mac OS X is a bit crap. Seems that it’s possible to get it working but not without getting your hands dirty in the terminal.

    To a certain extent it’s subjective. Personally I find Windows to be very naggy, lots of wizards and lots of badly designed dialog boxes. Dialog boxes which a frequently modal. I don’t have to reboot my Mac as often. I have more control over my Mac since it will never reboot without me telling it to. OSX and the apps that run on it are more consistent in many ways e.g., keyboard shortcuts, look and feel.

    I’d recommend visiting an Apple store if you can and having a play around with one of the Macs.
  7. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Thanks for the responses...they are very helpful and very much appreciated...

    I will definitely go and spend some time in a Mac is too bad that Apple does not allow a potential new customer/user the ability to "rent" a Mac for a month to see whether or not the change is worthwhile as I would surely take them up on this and invest all the time that was necessary to make this determination...

    Again, much thanks...

  8. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Here's a few thoughts I have. I've been a power windows users for about 20 years. I bought a macbook about 3 years ago and have been duel booting between Snow Leopard and Windows 7 (originally windows xp for a short time). At work, I had an iMac for a short time with parallels and windows 7.

    1. You can customize your mac, not as much as a pc, but pretty darn good. You will have a widgets button on your keyboard. Unlike windows gadgets, widgets are not always running on the desktop, you press a button and all the widgets show up at once as on overlay on the screen. You will have the mac version of windows explorer called finder, where you can locate all files and programs. Finder is a pain in the butt compared to windows explorer, but it gets the job done. Search in "spotlight" is much faster than windows search. in fact, I open almost all my programs through spotlight. Same in windows, I almost always search a program rather than look through the start menu.

    2. Cisco VPN client is built in, and you can also use the cisco vpn client, which is somewhat obsolete nowadays. Quicken has a mac version but might be crippled. Windows apps do work in parallels but it opens sort of a remote desktop or remote client program. I don't like it this way but I have heard there is a mode to make windows apps look more like native mac apps and not run under a remote client. From what I remember, running in the remote mode, a lot of power shortcuts didn't work. Excel was almost impossible to use. But programs that use more mousing work fine.

    3. As for file formats, they are nearly all the same between mac and windows except for .exe's. For example a word document created in windows will open fine in mac as long as you have word for mac installed. In general, mac os x will open more files on a clean install then windows will. For example, pdf's and raw files open without any plugins needed in mac but windows requires plug-ins and apps. Zip files will uncompress when you double click them.

    I think parallels can access the mac partition, but I forget how. I run bootcamp right now and keep a 3rd partition as FAT32 so both mac os and windows 7 can read and write to it. You can't use a 3rd partition with parallels so maybe someone else can explain this better.

    4. I use Outlook for windows and mac. I don't know about the renaming but I know outlook for windows by default saves all the emails in convenient .pst files. Outlook for mac can import .pst files but won't save in .pst format because "time machine", essentially a back up utility from apple, can't handle large files. So outlook for mac will save each email as an individual file.

    Word, powerpoint, and excel have nearly all the same features as the windows versions but to be honest, the windows versions are a lot easier to use. Web browsers are similar across platforms. I use opera and I like it on both windows and mac os. Most internet programs like skype, google talk, and kindle work on both mac and windows.

    A couple things I really like about mac hardware:

    1. Sleep mode actually works, and works much faster. I only shut down my laptop once a month.
    2. Battery life is good (without parallels running)
    3. The built in pdf reader called "Preview" can open lots of files and is fast and doesn't have the bloat of adobe reader.
    4. Wifi connects faster in mac os x.

    A couple things I dislike about mac hardware and software.
    1. No start menu, no nice way to uninstall apps and preference files without manually deleting them.
    2. Finder is terrible, plain and simple.
    3. Laptop looks silly with glowing apple logo. It's not a backlight, it's extra energy cost and reduced battery life because of the logo.
    4. Function button only on the left side of the keyboard.
    5. Opening documents or downloads from the taskbar is a mess.
    6. Trackpad is not useable in windows.
  9. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012

    Very much appreciate the detailed response...appreciate at the same time the balanced perspective of the Mac versus Windows debate...that said, a few additional thoughts...

    The widgets issue does not concern me...the finder issue does concern me though I found a thread [see ] that makes Finder work like explore and would be most interested in your thougts...the thing that concerns me most about this point is whether I will be able to setup the desktop in a fashion that will ultimately work for me.

    That Cisco VPN that supports IPSec is built in is great...Quicken has not had a Mac version since 2007 so this means I must run Fusion or Parallels...the issue you not about Excel has been raised which is also a problem...thought that could be solved by Excel for Mac but I hear that Excel for Mac is crippled relative to Excel for Windows which again means Parallels albeit with its limitations...

    Nothing to add here as there is no + / - for either OS. Parallels has an excellent user manual which I have already read through. Seems simple enough though costly in the sense that I will need to buy more RAM.

    Outlook file saving is not an issue fro me as I save my individual e-mails on my hard drive as *.msg files as I can more easily search and sort them though admittedly it is extra work.

    Office being less friendly is BAD.

    These are all definitely pluses and, in particular, items 2. and 4.

    A number of items of concern here including item 1. [as I like a clean computer and the idea of manual uninstalls is NOT appealing], 2. [I would need to try the finder configuration work around to determine this for myself but I take your point], and 6 [particularly as I will need to run Parallels].


    As to this point in thread there appears to be some significant issues in my moving from Windows to Mac including:

    1. Additional costs [i.e. Mac is more costly].

    2. Ergonomics in that there appear some issues / items that will be more difficult in a Mac environment than a Windows environment [i.e. MS Office and in particular Excel, removing applications, etc.]

    3. Functional issue [i.e. some applications will need to be run in Parallels, some hardware will need to be run in Parallels (i.e. Lion does not support scanning for my HP LaserJet 3390)]

    At this point what would you Mac experts / supports suggest given that I am open minded to moving to a Mac -- even received my first iPad today -- but am struggling with understanding the benefits of moving to a Mac...and please do not suggest that I buy a MBA or a MBP and return it within the 14 day period should I not be convinced as it would likely take me a month to get it properly setup with sufficient time on it to evaluate its benefits.

    And, as much as I would like to make the move, as the graphics are appealing I am having trouble getting there and need some ideas as to how to get me over the hurdle...


  10. laetusviator macrumors member


    May 31, 2012
    I would suggest you find out if the differences between the Win & Mac versions affect your use of Excel. It could be that the missing features are ones you never used anyway.

    This sounds like you might be making a lot of unnecessary work for yourself. The search facility in Apple's Mail app is fast and thorough (and as mentioned, mail can even be searched globally from OS X's spotlight search). If you need to manually sort messages, you could also move them into mail folders. You might have other reasons for wanting to store messages in folders like that, but if it is simply to make searching / sorting easier, there are better ways that can save you time and effort. :)

    The latest version of Office for Mac is much improved over the previous, but still I almost never use it anymore. It seems clunky to me. I tend to use the iWork apps instead. Of course, whether this would work for you depends largely on how you use Office for your work. For example, I don't need or care about .doc compatibility, so this isn't a concern for me (although I think .doc compatibility is pretty good anyway). Most documents I produce end up as PDFs or printed. (Incidentally, pdf support on OS X is fantastic, if that matters to you.)

    Apps in OS X appear as a single file (though they are actually directories). Uninstalling is almost invariably as simple as dragging the app bundle to the trash.

    This may leave some very small (i.e. usually a few kilobytes) preference files and such, which are stored outside of the app bundle. The advantage is that if you install the app again, everything is as you left it. The disadvantage is that you don't get a 'clean slate' when you remove an app. There are 3rd party apps that deal with this problem (so instead of dragging an app to the trash, you drop it onto your uninstall app, and it will find the preference files and such for you).

    Regarding some of the other apps you mentioned:
    'Quicken 2012, DVD Profiler, dBPoweramp' - there are definitely alternatives to these apps. Quicken might be hardest to replace, depending on which features you use, but there are plenty of mac finance apps available (and many can open quicken files). I can understand if you've built a database with DVD Profiler that you wouldn't want to recatalog everything again (is there any way to export your database?). There are similar Mac apps though. For dBPoweramp: I don't know if it does anything special, but there are lots of ways to rip CDs & convert audio on OS X. (I think there's even a command in terminal to convert audio files!)

    As has been mentioned, screenshots are easily captured in OS X. There are a bunch of built-in commands for this. (I wrote a little guide to taking screenshots.) But there is also a variety of third-party apps for screen recording & screenshots which provide additional features.

    As a general comment:
    I think a lot of the friction you're experiencing has to do with thinking 'I do it like this now / I use these applications & this workflow now - how can I exactly replicate that on the Mac'.

    At least, that's how I felt before I switched over a few years ago. (For example, I used Outlook for email, tasks, calendar, etc. and didn't want to give that up.) The thing is, if you want to exactly replicate your windows experience & use your windows applications: why change? You can have that exact experience now with your windows computer. ;)

    With a Mac & running OS X things WILL be different, but in most cases this also means better. So, for my outlook example: instead of using one (very bloated!) swiss-army-knife app, I now use a few different ones that do their dedicated tasks very well indeed. It's not what I was used to before, I was resistant to that change, but after switching I discovered that I much prefer it this way! I had even bought VMWare Fusion in order to run Outlook (Office for Mac came with Entourage at the time)... but I decided to give the mac apps a try first, and ended up never using Fusion!

    So part of switching over for me was letting go of my ingrained Windows habits. Come to think of it, back when I was still using Windows and got my first iPod, I switched from using WinAMP as my media player to iTunes and had a similar kind of experience... I used to obsessively organize my mp3 files & directories in windows, and was resistant to how iTunes wanted to manage all that for me. At least, I was resistant until I realized that there was no real point in micromanaging my mp3 files when all I really cared about was being able to find songs quickly & listen to them, and iTunes let me do that and saved me the extra time & effort. I can't even remember when the last time was that I needed to actually mess with any of my music files directly.

    Hope that helps. :)
  11. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Thank you for your extremely helpful and informative response…truly appreciated

    Agreed…I played on a Mac earlier today at Best Buy and could – with time – become accustomed to the differences…

    I do have other reasons for storing e-mails as I do including more descriptive names. version control, works limits on PST file sizes, etc….I will likely continue to do so as this works well for me…

    Work is an MS Office centric environment so no choice here…

    Excellent…this addresses one of my concerns…could you point me in the direction of your preferred / recommended uninstall app?

    Quicken…there is no current Mac versions and it is o highly customized I doubt moving it to another application would work…

    DVDProfiler…this is one which I could / would move to a Mac environment as the database is exportable…

    dBPoweramp…this will be very difficult to replace as it compares – on a bit for bit basis – the rip that you have just created against that the database of rips from all users…

    Thanks, good to know…

    Again, thank-you for sharing your experience and thoughts…as far as the immediate preceding paragraphs are concerned I think it is important to note the following:

    1. I am NOT stuck on I do x this way in Windows and I want to do x the same way in Mac….I know this will never happen and I am open to the change.

    2. I am however concerned about whether the new method / paradigm will in fact be easier to work with in the long run and at present I am not convinced either way.

    Though it will never happen the best thing would be to get my hands on a Mac for 4 to 8 weeks to set it up and live with it to decide but I have yet to find a way of economically getting my hands on a “test unit”…any ideas?
  12. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    It sounds like you are doing due diligence before taking the plunge.

    I am running Windows 7 on a Mac mini after trying OS X after a 20 year absence from Apple in the middle of last year.

    Also ran for a while Windows under VMware but function keys got the better of me.

    Son got a top of the line iMac (given by his partner's father who has a bunch of them and is a die hard Apple fan) and after a while he too switched back to Windows 7.

    I love the 2010 Mac mini (had for a while the 2011 2.5 Ghz but switched back to a 2010 server but that is another story) for its form factor and build in power supply - small, compact and silent and easy to take with me when travelling (use hotel's TV as a screen).

    Be aware that OS X is morphing into iOS (the OS for mobile devices) and Apple as a whole appears to be moving more and more to iCloud and mobile gear.

    Functionality of MS Office under OS X leaves much to be desired. MS Outlook for OS X is a bought in package from someone else and is absolutely the pits. I am repeatedly asked for my license after doing a restore with Timeline and then need to phone up when needing to register.

    You'll use the mouse a lot more than udner windows - what takes one click in Windows sometimes takes three in OS X. Productivity is down, OS X is targetting the home user, not the professional user.

    You'll be in for a long learning curve - it will be just like learning to program in C: you have to do it full time for about 6 months. ( This is also what Dale Carnegy mentioned in his book: "How to win friends and influence people"> Bascially people forget what they have been used to and forget what they have been told and can do a u-turn on a previous perception / opinion in about 6 months. This is what politicians use.) After 6 months you have become "acclimatized" to OS X.
  13. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    PS - uninstalling VMware is neigh impossible, it delves deep into the OS. Ensure to have a backup.
  14. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    The cheapest way I can see would be to track down an old model refurbished Mac Mini and get acclimated to OSX there. You'll spend $400-$500 on one, but you can always turn around and sell for roughly the same price a year later.

    Or you can try to hackintosh your current PC. It'll cost you $30 for a copy of Lion, and...yeah...a ton of potential headaches. If you want cheap, though...
  15. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Thank-you for your e-mail...

    Exactly...I have no issues investing the time up front to know what I am getting into not to mention avoid spending $3,000+ on a laptop that I do not want...

    Truthfully...I am also very curious as to whether a Mac is in fact easier to use and the only way to know is to try using one myself...

    This is a first -- at least for me -- hearing that two Windows users tried a Mac and went back to Windows and, interestingly enough, for the same reasons that "scare" me...

    Perhaps your son's partner's father has a spare Mac for me to test with ;)

    Not encouraging...

    Sounds like joining the Borg...still interested just have to look for a cheap box...


    That is not very helpful as any pre VMware backup would not contain any fiels created thereafter...seems to me that removing apps in a Mac environment is a little more difficult absent an uninstall application, should a good one even exist...


    Good idea but I do not have a monitor and the TVs are hard to get to as they are all flush mounted to the walls...

    Cheap is good but not a the cost of of hours and hours of time...perhaps a refurb MBA / MBP or ebay MBP now that the new MBP is out...suggestions as to which model is best?

  16. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    I'm in the same boat as the OP. I'm jumping on this thread in case more gets added.
  17. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I might be able to help with this so stay tuned...I think I might have a source for a cost effective MBA that will enable to perform my own test...

    I will need to sit with a manual or two to try to figure out how to navigate the GUI...for example, I could not, the other day, figure out what the apps to the right of the dashed / dotted line were for or how to close them without first opening them...very annoying to me...
  18. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Son is in Australia and I am in New Zealand. I hardly spoke to him on the subject - I certainly encouraged him to stay on OS X. I thought he was just being overly picky with his complaining and took no note of it.

    It was after he had switched back that I bought myself a Mac mini and I tried for about three months (12~14 hours / day computer activity) but in the end I just gave up. Still use OS X occasionaly but mainly use the OS X for backing up windows and have an "emergency" internet access in case something happens to the SSD / windows install. (cannot see both drives getting issues at the same time).

    I do like the way time machine works but it eats up space like there is no tomorrow. In all honesty I might have persevered if MS Office had been working properly and if OS X was not morphing into iOS. Am not looking forward to Windows 8 and beyond, skipped Vista and intend to skip 8 as well. (I suppose I am not into this tablet stuff.) The Windows 8 thingy was one of the major reasons (but not the only one) to try out OS X. As mentioned before - I love the mac mini form factor and would love the os on it for which it was designed. As the expression goes: "it was nice to meet you (the OS) and I had a wonderful time but I do not get that indescrible feeling that it would work out in the long run".
  19. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Agree with you on turning my laptop / dekstop into a big tablet...too much clicking for my liking...with that, most must like it because that is the direction...

    I am determined to try to like OS X but, more than anything, I want to experience it first hand out of native curiosity...

  20. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    Being a PC user who also uses Macs, I don't see any reason not to give OSX a try. It's not hard to use OSX and once you get a feel for it, it won't matter much if you're using Windows or OSX.

    I'm not the type that feels the need to bash one type of platform over the other. Windows 7 is a very good OS, in fact I had to do less to it to get it to where I felt comfortable using it. OSX on the other hand had a lot more headaches involved just to get it setup the way I like it and needed some additional 3rd party tweaks just so it was on-par with Windows 7 (like Windows snapping through BetterSnapTool).

    I view OSX and Windows like how I see a box wrench and a socket wrench. I use whichever that seems to be most convenient and appropriate for the task.
  21. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Agreed...this is why I am curious...with that, the problem is finding the time...

    As I have highly customized Windows 7 to function the way I want it to your above comment has me curious, i) what customizing did you do and ii) what did you find difficult as I thought -- at least from hanging out here -- that OS X was "the friendly OS"...

    Agreed, even though I am rethinking this a bit re: OS X...the above comments that Apple is taking OSX in the iOS direction has me thinking that this may not be something that I like as it involves a lot more clicking, etc. to get a job which to me is not good...

    Give me one desktop that is highly customizable and I am good to go and, in point of fact, I very much like the current Windows 7 setup I have...

    Thanks for the insight...

  22. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I switched to the Mac some time ago because I really love the iPhone, iPad and AppleTV eco system. I did have some Windows Programs that were not Mac Compatible so I ran Parallels at first. Even though it worked well, like others have said it does run a little slower then on a dedicated machine and my Mac Mini is not as fast as my prior Windows Machine. For me I have to Remote Desktop into a Windows Machine for work so the few Applications I need I just run on that machine. I did install MS Office for Mac for some files that did not convert well with Pages and Numbers. But I do so little with them it is not a big deal for me. I now have a MacBook Air which I love for mobility and I also use iCloud so going back and forth between the two is very smooth. I am looking forward to Mountain Lion for addition integration with iCloud and therefore better integration with all my devices. I have a file server at work that I share files between Windows and Mac users without any problems. I also do not see the big complaint about integrating iOS features in the Mac OS but since I started with Mac 10.6 maybe I don't have the history as others. My first computer was MSDOS in 1981 so been through most systems. I like Windows 7 as well but it really is mostly about the applications for me. I simply like the Mac eco system better then what MS Offers with there Phones and Tablets.
  23. Hyper-X macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2011
    Won't take you long, if you're already quite decent on Windows 7, you should find OSX not much of a challenge to learn the basics and intermediate functions.

    Friendly can mean many things, to me it was a burden since it oversimplified some tasks. For example I got used to having Right-Click Notepad being available whenever I needed, there's no such thing on OSX so I had to download a mod that allowed me to do that.

    Also Windows snapping (Win + arrowkey) shortcut is very useful to me when it comes to viewing multiple windows on the same screen. On OSX I had to tediously drag and manually resize each window until I discovered BetterSnapTool which allowed me to do it much more easily. Some of the OSX Lion gestures were quite annoying and useless so I had to install another tool BetterTouchTool by the same author to allow me to change the gestures so that it made better sense.

    Being that I work with the Gov't, I needed to use Windows as some of the apps don't exist for OSX. I chose Parallels over VMware due to its speed then chose Windows 7 32bit install to keep the installation small as possible. I needed more than what the Starter Edition provided so I went with Home Premium. If you plan on using VM's a lot, I recommend investing in as much RAM as you can afford. My 13in MBP went from 4GB to 8GB almost immediately.
  24. mfvisuals macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2009
    SacTown, CA
    After reading through this thread, it seems to me that a lot of the advice given is based on what users perceive is happening with the Mac OS X operating system, but it all strikes me as speculation and not very helpful to the OP.

    Claims that Apple is becoming entirely consumer focused are completely inaccurate, seeing as Apple still offers many things that are geared towards certain professional markets. Software like Final Cut Pro, Aperture, and Logic Pro are geared towards creative professionals. Hardware like the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro Retina are designed for professional use. And Apple has entire support services dedicated to helping businesses incorporate Macs into their workflows (Joint Venture, Apple Consultants Network, etc.).

    Concerning the OPs questions, I would say that I think you're over-thinking certain aspects of this proposed transition to a Mac. For example:

    - Several people in this thread mention certain tasks requiring more clicks to accomplish the same task than on a Windows machine. This might be true in certain, likely rare, situations, but it ultimately depends on what applications you are actually using on your Mac. Most well-maintained Mac apps are now taking advantage of time-saving features like the gestures built into OS X Lion, which let you do certain things without clicking at all (like scrolling up and down a window, switching between apps, etc).

    In my experience, I've found that most people think that the Mac is less efficient because they don't know how to do things more efficiently. It's like buying a Porsche and wondering why it doesn't perform as well with the regular unleaded gasoline that you're used to using with that bucket you were driving before.

    - If you're worrying about having to learn everything all over again, stop it. There is a built-in help article for just about every end-user question you could ever pose, not to mention that you get 90 days of phone support (three years if you get the AppleCare) with the purchase, and of course you have all of us here on MacRumors. Plus, if you're as technically-inclined as you claim to be, I doubt you'll have any trouble acclimating.

    I was entirely a Windows user until I started attending a graphic design college where 80% of the school hardware sported an Apple logo. I picked up on all the essentials of how to use the Mac within a day or two, at which point I was able to focus on more important things like the software they were training me to use.

    - Because the Mac has so little market share compared to the Windows platform, there are certain things you'll have to deal with (No Quicken, etc.) and accept as a trade off for a superior interface (in my humble opinion) and less technical issues. I read somewhere that only about 10% of Apple's user base actually calls in for tech support, which has to say something about their products...

    You may run into a lot of people with Mac issues on this forum and others, but forums like these do not represent the majority of Mac users by any stretch. Failing to remember that will certainly skew your perspective on the reliability of Macs in general.

    - Also, I don't understand why people are so freaked out about Mac OS X adopting a lot of features currently in iOS. If you read the information on the Apple website about the new features coming to the Mountain Lion OS, you'll notice that it is really just including Mac versions of a lot of iOS stuff (Reminders, Notes, etc.) so that iCloud syncing between OS X and iOS will be more seamless and make more sense. Why is that a bad thing? How is that going to make the OS less usable in a professional environment?

    - Finally, I use a Mac at home and at work, and I have yet to find a single business-related task that I can't accomplish on a Mac. The tasks that I do find take longer on Mac, generally take longer because the software I'm having to use for that task is poorly designed (usually some app that was originally written for Windows and was hastily ported over to the Mac to make the developer a few quick bucks).

    I think renting a Mac is a good idea, but why can't you make your decision based on what you read and learn, just like with a Windows computer?
  25. JoelBC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012

    Thank-you for your input much appreciated...I think on some items you missed my point in that I am very open to learning the Mac OS, I am very opening to learning and trying new things...I truly just want to know the pros / cons and efforts involved...

    Once again, much thanks...


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