IT Professional Switching to Mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pcmofo, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. pcmofo macrumors member


    Jan 11, 2008
    New York
    My very first computer was an Apple ][e way back when I was 8. When our family got the computer (nearly as old as I was) I had no clue how to use it. We had a box full of unlabeled disks, wires, connectors etc. that my uncle had given us. I figured out some basics, like getting a sweet Knight game to work where I could joust, shoot arrows, and other Knightly activities. After the Apple we finally got a REAL computer when I was 10, a modern Gateway Pentium I 75mhz with a CD Rom!!! We spent the next 2 nights on the phone with tech support trying to figure out how to launch applications from the CD drive. My gateway was a POS and multiple parts on it died regularly. Gateway would ship the new part, give me instructions on how to replace it, then I would send back the old one. Through this process I began to learn all the parts inside the computer.

    About a year later (and with Gateway replacing the entire PC to a 100mhz!) me and my new found friend Sebastian, took the Gateway, an old PC I had acquired, and some new parts we bought at a local PC store and spend the next 48 hours in my basement assembling 2 good working computers. It took so long, and into a third day, because the new huge 20gig hard drive we got had errors in it, as did the replacement one we picked up the next day. The third one worked and I had officially built my first computers. Since then I have been interested in PC building and tech.

    I have been a long time PC user for 14 years. I have built 50-75 systems and repaired countless others. I have a degree in Information Science and Technology and I have a computer consulting business Ctrl Tech. Today I did the unspeakable, I switched to a Mac.

    Frankly, I was tired of windows. I do advanced programing, web development, video, audio, and photo work on my PC. But 80% of the time I do what everyone does, brows the web, listen to music, watch movies, use standard office apps. I have a legit, FREE, copy of Vista. I installed it for a month, tried really hard to like it. It's just a huge POS. When my good friend Todd when to buy a new laptop to replace his dieing 5year old HP I just could not recommend anything out there because it all had vista on it. He decided it was worth trying a Mac as we had used them on campus before. Worst case, he would pay a restocking fee and get a different PC. After a week of getting to know the new OS etc he loves it and wont go back to a PC again. I helped him set up the laptop and took a tour around it (pre leopard) I was just releaved with how easy it was to do basic tasks. I'm not entirely sure that a Mac is faster than a windows PC, I think that the OSX tricks you into not realizing things are taking as long as they really are.

    Now that the latest version of the MacBook Pro is out, with the multi-touch and twice as much video ram, I have sold my old dell laptop (xps m1210) and decided to switch to Mac. I will be writing a full review of the Mac when I get it next week. Stay tuned and find out what a long time Windows user thinks of Apples latest offerings.
    (also posted at
  2. Animalk macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2007
    Montreal Canada

    I have followed a very similar path as you and can relate. I wish you happy computing with your new mac :)
  3. aforty macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm in the same boat as you. My dad got himself an Apple when I was little, mid 80s (not sure of the model) and been around Macs almost my entire life, I've just been a little hater. Became very excited about Windows since 98 and been using it ever since spanning over many systems I've built. I've even been somewhat of an advocate. I like Windows Vista for the most part, but OSX and the underlying Unix excite me. Then there's Apple's build and hardware design that I really like, things like the Magsafe and keyboard lighting, things like that. OSX will be great but of course I won't be able to get rid of Windows entirely since I do some gaming and a ton of .NET programming for work. My new laptop should be arriving shortly (like a few hours from now!) and I simply can't wait. I got all giddy when I read that my package was out for delivery (a whole 2 days ahead of schedule) and I know I'll love this machine.

    Good luck to you, I think you'll love your new Mac.
  4. elcid macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2007
    My IT brother-in-law was thinking bout getting a mac and was asking me all sorts of questions. And if OSX didn't do something I only had one thing to say.

    Boot Camp.

    Apple really made it too easy.
  5. IC3D macrumors regular


    Feb 15, 2008
    Fairfield County, CT
  6. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
  7. digitalfrog macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007
    Big switch for me too in the last 6 months...

    Nikon to Canon, Micro$oft to OSX :)
  8. Sage Harupyuia macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    congrats on the switch to Mac! I hope your new Macbook Pro will be nothing but a joy to use and learn. ;)

    and you can bet most of us here will be eagerly awaiting your writeup on the Macbook Pro and OS X. :D
  9. tanjacob macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Congrat! Also a fellow soon-to-be-ex XPS m1210 user. :D
  10. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    What took you so long?

    Most of the IT guys here are on board. Even the penguin's here are taking a look.

    MS blew it with Vista. You can actually buy a new PC for what they charge to upgrade to Vista. That alone caused a bunch of folks I know to make the switch.
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Welcome back from the Dark Side. After you're fully immersed, we'll show you the secret handshake. ;)
  12. pcmofo thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 11, 2008
    New York
    Yes! I get to learn the secret :apple: hand shake now! :D
    I plan on doing a two part review. When I get the MacBook Pro in the mail (this week) I will be unboxing it to take pictures and do an initial build quality and testing as well as a reaction of my first thoughts. I am ordering 4gigs of ram from new egg but the one that I want isnt in stock currently. So I plan on using the mac for about a week and trying to use it for everything my PC did before and see what I think. That review will be split into hardware (MacBook Pro) and software (OSX, built in apps, and common apps for IM, CS3 etc)

    Being an Tech guy most of my life I am naturally excited when a new toy is on its way to my house, I myself, like many of you, have become friends with the local delivery guy (ups/fedex/dhl) to the point where they show up and you start thinking its Christmas. But this time, its a little different, I am excited to change the way I use a computer, to make my life a little easier, and hopefully more productive.

    I realize there are lists of "must have" apps on the internets but any other IT professionals doing any web coding work use something thats not dreamweaver? All I want is to edit PHP, CSS, and HTML files and sync the changes I make locally with a web server. Thats all I use dreamweaver for now anyway. Anyone have any must have apps for web developers?
  13. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    If you don't need WYSIWYG editing of HTML, it sounds like Panic's Coda might be right up your alley.
  14. BowZinger macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    You might want to check out the apple developer connection

    that is the link to a bunch of Apple web dev stuff!

  15. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I love Coda but I have had some problems uploading script files that just won't upload with a unix line break. I never figured out why or how to fix that but got around it by FTP with CyberDuck--a great free FTP progam.

    But back to the original story--as I too am a recent Windows convert. I didn't want to try and learn Vista and I needed a new computer to replace my 5yo Dell. I've done some work in the IT field--mostly in web development. I have been impressed hearing from so many IT-types who have converted to Mac. That seems to say a lot about the OS and hardware architecture. I have some experience with Linux and so to me that too is a big plus in favor on OS X. So far no regrets from me--I love my iMac!

    I'm sure you'll not regret your switch--look forward to your next report.
  16. pcmofo thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 11, 2008
    New York
    Wow. That seems like an amazing program! It even has a built in PHP and CSS library so when I "forget" something I wont have to run over to to look it up! I can't wait to try this!:D Great tip!
  17. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    People bitch, moan, and complain about the way Mac OS X is laid out or does some things when they switched to it from Mac OS 9 and Windows.

    But after about 30-90 days of getting used to it, their productivity picks back up and they stop complaining -- especially when you searched and found OS X replacements for your current apps.
  18. davinche macrumors regular


    May 3, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm also an IT professional I switched in early 2003 and I have never looked back. Welcome to the party. As someone else mentioned above I did the reverse of their switch from Canon to Nikon this year....
  19. tip macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2006
    Just to chime in, I'm also in IT and switched back to Apple (from Linux and FreeBSD (which I still use for servers)) in 2006. I also switched from Canon to Nikon in that year. Lastly, I also have a Sony Vaio which I'll be switching to XP from Vista this week ...
  20. GRN99EX macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2008
    South Jersey
    You will wonder why you waited this long!

    I have been working in IT for the past 11 years doing various levels of Middleware architecture and administration. I currently work for a software company as a Solutions Architect doing pre-sales work around SOA testing and governance. Up until about 4 months ago, I have always used Windoze based PCs, but my current company is very Mac centric. I got a two year old MBP when I started, and last week went and bought a new MBP 2.5GHz, 512MB graphics card, but with the stock 2GB of RAM. A quick call to NewEgg got me the Mac 4GB RAM upgrade kit from Kingston for a whopping $138 shipped.

    I may offend some of the true Mac purists in here, but here are a couple things I have learned already... 1. If you do a lot of presentations to clients, go ahead and spend the money on Office:Mac 2008. Keynote doesn't always render graphics and charts properly, and I hate presenting a slide show to upper management that looks shoddy. 2. Get VMWare fusion instead of Parallels. Learn to use the Unity feature of it as well.

    I have had some raised eyebrows when I walk into a demo with a Mac. I explain it away saying our software is written exclusively in java, so it will run on anything. Coming from a 3GB thinkpad to my Mac was a world of difference. I can run a VM on my 4GB Mac, allocate 3GB of RAM to it, and Leapord still runs fine. (Just remember to shutdown Entourage)

    I think you will be very please with the versatility your Mac will give you, along with the low overhead that OS X uses when compared to Windows.

  21. youradhere4222 macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2007
    I love Macs ever since getting my first one Christmas.

    It was an iMac - though I sold it to save up for a MacBook. I don't plan to switch back. :)
  22. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I use Keynote almost every day. It blows PowerPoint out of the water. I can't tell you how many meetings I've been to where people try to run their PowerPoints off of different WinPCs and they get different outcomes. Images display fine on some WinPCs, but not others. Same for the fonts. And don't even get me started on Word.
  23. GRN99EX macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2008
    South Jersey
    It really depends on what platform the Presentation was originally created. We don't create our presentations (our marketing department does it for us), and then we trim the slide deck down to fit the customer's requirements. We have one slide in particular, that when viewed in anything other than PowerPoint, completely screws up a very important bar graph. I have used Keynote/Numbers/Pages, and found that office:mac 2008 is more compatible and offers the same functionality. I never used Office 2004, so I cannot comment on that version of the software. I am regularly asked to forward a copy of my presentations to my customers, so they can use them in a business justifcation type presentation. The fact that there is a Mac version of MS Office gives me the peace of mind to know that when they go to create their own version of the presentation, the slides will render the same way.

    IMHO if you are in a professional setting, and your customers are on on Windoze based PCs, the office:mac 2008 suite assures that your presentations will look the same, regardless of the OS on which they were created. I will sacrifice not being a died in the wool Mac guy for making sure that I get my deals closed. You can withhold the secret handshake if you must. :D
  24. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
  25. darfel macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2007
    Windows server admin 8 years, Mac user 1 year...I don't know what took me so long. I guess the spell finally wore off.

    Welcome and congrats.

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