First Two Weeks with a Mac: Impressions of a New Switcher

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by theNEOone, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. theNEOone macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2007
    Below is a list of likes/dislikes about my migration, with a majority of the headaches stemming from the fact that working within a joint OS X & Windows ecosystem hasn’t worked as well as I had hoped.

    What I like:

    It’s been 2 weeks since my shiny new MBP (320gb 7.2k/2.8ghz) arrived at my door. I know it’s been said, but I’ll say it again – this is how notebooks should be engineered. The computer is gorgeous: excellent design, sleek lines, and solid feel. I’m extremely happy with the computer, although I must admit that I wouldn’t mind a lower price tag. However – given the option between a less expensive Dell and a more expensive MBP, I’d stick with the MBP.

    Trackpad: One of my main drivers for switching was the trackpad and gestures for multi-tasking and manipulating items. My main concern is that what I would gain in gestures I would lose from not using a mouse (I used a Bluetooth mouse on my old HP). Although I haven’t been able to perform any sort of formal test, I’m happy to report that productivity appears to have gone up considerably because of the combination of window management and trackpad gestures on the MBP.

    OS X: Works great – I haven’t had any issues and although I’m still not nearly as comfortable in OS X as I am in a Windows environment, there hasn’t been a major occasion where I’ve wanted to do something but was limited by constraints that Apple placed on the operating system. The only limitations so far have stemmed from my own lack of familiarity with OS X – which is easily remedied. I’ve been able to find suitable substitutes for most of my programs (still have Office 2007 and Money running through Fusion) with the exception of an MP3 tagging program as powerful as TagScanner. I’m sure something exists – I just haven’t found it yet. My overall impression of OS X so far is that it’s fast, responsive, and does what it needs to do. If I would have to compare it to Vista, I’d have to put it on top, although I wouldn’t label it as being leaps and bounds better than its Windows competitor. However, being a huge tech geek, I really like playing in the new operating system and discovering new things.

    Time Machine: I love Time Machine. Although I haven’t yet actually used it to recover anything, I really love how easy (and how cool!!) Apple made the backup experience.

    iPhone: Syncs incredibly fast on OS X. This isn't an issue of gaining a few seconds - it honestly feels as if syncing in OS X is 500% faster than in Windows.

    What I’m slightly annoyed with:

    Keyboard: I’m still getting used to the layout and the shortcuts, but considering the amount of space on a MBP’s surface, there’s no reason why we can’t have dedicated end/delete/home keys. I also like the feel of my HP’s keyboard better, although I’m not sure if it’s just an issue of having grown used to the placement after 2 years of usage.

    Finder: Doesn’t retain the “viewing” options. Some folders I want to see in lists, others I want to see in cover flow, others I want to see in “tree expanded view.” It’s annoying how Finder keeps switching the view on me.

    iTunes: Porting over my library (and maintaining ratings/playcount/etc) from PC to OS X was a freaking nightmare, because I’m one of those people that likes to organize his own music. I had to migrate over several times and edit XMLs to get things working properly. Overall, I probably wasted 5 hours just trying to migrate a 25gb library of music. In the end (thankfully) it all worked out.

    iMovie: I only used iMovie for the first time last night, but I spent a considerable amount of time recording a movie from iSight and exporting it to my movies folder – somewhere between exporting and trying to go into my folder to view the file, something was deleted. I’m not sure what happened – perhaps it was user error. Unfortunately, I had Time Machine turned off (because I was making duplicates of large files and didn’t want them picked up in a backup).

    Fusion: Doesn’t work as I had imagined. For some reason, I was under the impression that I could launch Windows applications directly from the dock without opening Fusion. I know now, that although you can create startup icons on the dock, clicking the application first opens up Fusion and boots up the VM before actually opening the program. This was slightly disappointing, and part of the reason why I’m getting Office for the Mac. I know this isn’t an Apple issue, but I’m including it because it was a major consideration for me when making the switch. Someone else might find the information useful.

    Trash: can’t restore files to the original location. Is this just me, or is this really not an option in OS X?

    What is making me pull my hair out:

    I want to be able to use Windows Media Center on my Xbox 360. This isn’t just an issue of sharing media – I realize that Connect360 will stream my media, but I want full WMC. There are a couple of options, but because I’m slightly anal with how I do my computing I’ve essentially limited myself. I don’t want to be running Fusion in the background all the time and I don’t want to have to go downstairs to my computer and load BootCamp/Fusion every time I want to pull something up on WMC from my 360. The only other option I’ve been able to come up with is to use my old HP as a media hub, and sync folders between my MBP and the HP. I’ve been using Windows Live Sync for this, but have been limited by it’s 20,000 file per folder cap. I’ve also been having issues with how Sync performs – I want to only Sync one way (Mac to PC), but because Sync works in both directions I get stupid Windows-only files (like desktop.ini) synced back to my Mac….ARGHHHHHH. I think what I’m going to have to do is to suck it up and run Connect360 for the majority of my media sharing and boot up Fusion for when I need WMC. The other option is to manually manage the files on the HP….ANNOYING.

    All in all, I’m someone who now really enjoys Macs but who also really enjoy PCs.

    My problem now is that I hate how I can’t merge the two ecosystems the way I want. My perfect operating system would merge features of both.
  2. Prekesh macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2009
    Glad you switched :D the iTunes thing, personally i had no problems taking my music from my PC > Mac, maybe thats just me.. and yes i also have all my music perfectly organized :p what i did was zip the iTunes folder in my music, and then sent it to my mac using using MSN (yes msn LOL).
  3. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    i hear you on the iTunes thing.
    I recently switched as well. My first Apple was my iPhone in July. After that, i knew i JUST had to have a mac, plus i use macs' quite a bit at school.

    I really haven't ever liked windows, or got excited using windows. Mostly it was probably me. I always got either viruses or spyware really badly. It wasnt even the sites i would visit either. I didnt download torrents or anything.

    However, Win7 has me excited. I want to use it, but will wait until i get another HD.

    I dont really have any experience with media center. I just usually hook up my MBP to the TV via my 15 foot hdmi to dvi cable (monoprice, thankYOU!). I would like to hook up my Elite to the MAcbook Pro.

    Also, i am assuming you are using VMWare 3.0?
  4. Pixellated macrumors 65816

    Apr 1, 2008
    I always like it when someone else post their impressions, I like to compare them to mine and I often find they are all very similar.

    BTW: There is Office '08:Mac.
  5. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    This finder thing is something that is "new" to OS 10.5. You can, once you have a finder window set the way you want make it stay that way, but you have to specify that you want it that way. Once you have it the way you want hit command+j. This will bring up a window that will allow you to specify how you want the stuff displayed.

    Personally this is one of the things that i hate about 10.5. In 10.4 and down this process did not have to be done. When you changed the look of a window it would automatically update the ._DStore file that these values are put into. When you changed the view back and forth it wold change it accordingly. But now, unless you specify how you want the folder, it will go to the default view on next "launch"
  6. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008

    I always like using new things, and couldnt wait to use my MBP for the first time. I actually thoroughly enjoy using my mac all the time. Plus i really love the applications for the Mac and the ability to customize it anyway you like. Candybar is great. I just love the appearance of the windows in OSX; in windows (XP, 2000, etc) they look dated and just not very attractive.

    It is sad to say, but i have been pretty obsessive about customizing everything about my computer:)

    you can thank the iPhone for that.
  7. theNEOone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2007
    This is good to know - thanks! It is somewhat annoying that you actually have to actively set your viewing preferences, but it's better than not being able to change it at all (which is the assumption I've been operating under for the last week or so).

  8. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    Yup, glad i could help you out and point this out to you. I agree about having to actively set this stuff. It is a step backwards as far as i am concerned. The way i always thought of it is that if i change it from the default then i must have wanted it changed, so why not do it for me? Oh well, such is life and i got use to it, I now have most of my important folders specified the way i want them to be.
  9. WorthBak macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    i'm not sure if this is what you're after, but if you hold down the option key while resizing a finder window or changing finder view options, the changes should be recorded. i actually prefer this system over 10.4, because often i'll make a temporary change to the size of a finder window that i don't want to use permanently. using the option-click method makes this possible!
  10. theNEOone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2007
    Also good to know! I'll try this when I get home.

  11. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Jul 20, 2008
    I also like to organize my music, and the lack of flexibility annoys me sometimes.

    Apple also changed Get Info from 10.3. In 10.3 if I Get Info'ed multiple items, one window would pop up. In 10.5, individual windows pop up. Really annoying if I just want to find the total size of several items.
  12. Aumz macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Very interesting post thanks.

    Today I just picked up my first Mac..a Macbook, entry level but still cost £900. This is a problem with apple no budget priced laptops.

    After reading through your posts I am kind of glad that I have not opened my Mac up yet as I feel I want to return it to the store.

    The iTunes transfer I do not look forward to and also not sure if I could learn a new OS such as OS X and all the keyboard shortcuts needed to work as comfortable as I do with a PC.

    I had reservations before I bought it but still did. After reading this I am going to givie it some serious thought about keeping the MB.
  13. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    This is the primary complaint from Windows users. Ultimately, my arguement is "why do more work than you have to?" Apple asks that question in every product they ship.

    I care about my album art but could care less what things look like within Music Folder.
  14. bpd115 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2003
    Shortcuts aren't that different. instead of control you use command for the most part, and shortcuts are totally customizable in system preferences.

    OS X does not have a big learning curve and the iTunes thing isn't a big deal (unless maybe you care about keeping playcount and rating info?).

    I agree about the folder management thing for music and photos. I let iTunes and iPhoto handle the folder arrangement. iTunes sorts by artist, and photos are in iPhoto and I can drag a copy out and to any other location I like. I never bother looking at "pictures - album data - iphoto - 2007 - blah blah" I don't care to.

    If I want the actual song file from iTunes, I right click and say "show in finder". Done.
  15. theNEOone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2007
    I'm not doing extra work. I've just been putting my files in a particular folder structure for years and don't want to be forced to use iTunes' folder structure. The question isn't "why do more than I have to." It's "which system is flexible enough to work with a variety of different approaches." No single method works best and platforms should take into account the array of user preferences. Another issue is that I don't want to be tied to any particular platform or application's method of organizing. I'm sure that over my lifetime I'll migrate to several other platforms and use countless other applications.

  16. theNEOone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2007
    OS X is easy to learn and learning shortcuts is just a matter of time. In fact, today at work I caught myself performing an OS X shortcut on my Windows machine....I thought it was pretty funny.

    The iTunes thing was definitely an issue...but during setup. Luckily I only had to deal with it once.

    Like I mentioned in my post, my overall experience is definitely a positive one. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

  17. gvegastiger macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    "No single method works best and platforms should take into account the array of user preferences."

    Welcome Apple products. Apple takes the method they deem best and thats what you get. I love the way iTunes organizes my music so I'm cool with it. But if you don't like it, then you're going to struggle with it and that does suck for you. But get used to it. :)
  18. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    iTunes organizes your music however you want it to be organized. It just does not use a folder structure to do it. It's a database. And you can organize it 6 ways to Sunday compared to a folder structure. So who cares how your folders are organized. You're not accessing your music that way. You use the database to organize it with keywords and the standard artist/album/genre/etc.

    A folder structure is antiquated by comparison. Get into the 21 century Windows users! :p

    I think these complaints stem from users that haven't explored iTunes much.
  19. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Actually, this is only partially correct. True, iTunes does use a database to organize things. However, this only handles references to all the files. The files themselves are also organized within the iTunes Music folder by artist then album.
  20. LFC.SL macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2008
    Huh? I untick the box in options that says "let iTunes organise my music"

    Then drag the music folders onto the HD, then set folder in iTunes. Job done. My own file structure preserved. Like this on both my HP and two Macs. What 5 hours of editing XML files? :rolleyes:
  21. petermcphee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    I like reading these threads because I always find solutions to problems that I was not aware I had.

    As a switcher myself, I approached the conversion to OS X with an attitude that I was going to learn how to use it. I did not consciously try to set things up so they would be more recognizable from a Windows point of view. I think this approach made things a lot easier for me to switch.

    Now, though, I am picking up small tips and tricks to make things about OS X more usable for usability's sake. Not just so that it is more like Windows. It sounds like the OP approached the conversion in a similar way. So kudos to you for that.
  22. jzuena macrumors 6502a


    Feb 21, 2007
    Lexington, MA, USA
    I think the issue that the OP ran into (back in January) was that in order to preserve play counts and song ratings you can't just plop your music files down and have iTunes scan them to enter into its database. You have to take your old database and convert it from a Windows file structure to a Mac structure. Letting iTunes organize the music may have made things work better, if Apple organizes the music in the same way on a Mac and on Windows.

    Personally, I just use the drag files over and uncheck Let iTunes organize my music method but I don't care if play counts and ratings get preserved.
  23. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    This feature was in version 7/8/9 of the Mac OS, disappeared with OS X, and is coming back in OS X 10.6.
  24. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    Yeah, but I think you're missing the point. The point is it doesn't matter what the file system looks like. You're not using the file system when you use iTunes.

    I just never understood why folks are worried about how their music folders look. iTunes is there so you don't have to worry about that.
  25. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    I had the same idea, but in the end it makes sense it would have start the WV in order to work.

    ...that, and I keep forgetting how to put the icons on the dock in the first place. Thanks goodness I don't have to use Fusion everyday :)

    My dad used to be the same way - He never looked at his folders other than to criticize the way iTunes organized it. It took me forever to talk him into realizing it doesn't matter since he only ever uses iTunes anyway.

    I think he figured that by trying to micromanage his music folders himself he was saving space or something.. I dunno..

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