Making "the big switch"

Avon4447

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
15
1
Chicago
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I've been looking at buying an iMac over the past few months, but I have held off since my current PC (Dell XPS) has no problems and is still fairly new.

However, today my building lost power, and even though my PC was on a surge protector, I believe my PC is fried... I can't get it to turn on.

Well, long story short, I take this as my "opportunity" to get that new iMac I have had my eye on.

So, my question is, since this will be my first Mac, what can I expect from switching from a PC to a Mac? I've played around a little with them at the apple store, but no amount of demo time can give you a true feeling of what day to day use will be like. Have other people here experienced any problems or hang ups when switching from a PC to a Mac? Is there any critical information I will need to know as a novice Mac user?

Any advice or suggestions would be of great help. Thanks guys.
 

Avon4447

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
15
1
Chicago
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Billdemart said:
You and I are in the same boat. Will be following this one.
Just saw your other post. Congrats on your purchase. I'm excited for you. You'll have to let me know how it goes.
 

Drask

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2012
228
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B179 Safari/7534.48.3)

I've been looking at buying an iMac over the past few months, but I have held off since my current PC (Dell XPS) has no problems and is still fairly new.

However, today my building lost power, and even though my PC was on a surge protector, I believe my PC is fried... I can't get it to turn on.

Well, long story short, I take this as my "opportunity" to get that new iMac I have had my eye on.

So, my question is, since this will be my first Mac, what can I expect from switching from a PC to a Mac? I've played around a little with them at the apple store, but no amount of demo time can give you a true feeling of what day to day use will be like. Have other people here experienced any problems or hang ups when switching from a PC to a Mac? Is there any critical information I will need to know as a novice Mac user?

Any advice or suggestions would be of great help. Thanks guys.
Do you really need it and are you willing to pay $2000 for it? otherwise my advice would be change your dell's power supply for $50.
 

Billdemart

macrumors newbie
Mar 14, 2012
13
0
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Just saw your other post. Congrats on your purchase. I'm excited for you. You'll have to let me know how it goes.
Thank you, I most certainly will.
 

applefiend95

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2012
111
0
I'm also in the verge of buying my first mac - the iMac. waiting for the new refresh. currently on HP 6710b C2D 2.1 4GB. hopefully i can purchase the base 27" and add 8GB more to the RAM - total of 12GB. would be the best idea to buy right when came out or after a month or two?
____________________
iPad 1 32GB black, iPad 1 16GB black, iPhone 4S 16GB black
 

BasilFawlty

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2009
437
3
New Mexico
I'm also in the verge of buying my first mac - the iMac. waiting for the new refresh. currently on HP 6710b C2D 2.1 4GB. hopefully i can purchase the base 27" and add 8GB more to the RAM - total of 12GB. would be the best idea to buy right when came out or after a month or two?
____________________
iPad 1 32GB black, iPad 1 16GB black, iPhone 4S 16GB black
Buy the base amount of memory when you buy the base 27". Don't pay Apple for the upgrade. you can do it yourself for a fraction of the cost. In fact, not even an upgrade to 16GB isn't going to break the bank (I just upgraded my MBP to 16 GB fort $109).
 

Billdemart

macrumors newbie
Mar 14, 2012
13
0
Buy the base amount of memory when you buy the base 27". Don't pay Apple for the upgrade. you can do it yourself for a fraction of the cost. In fact, not even an upgrade to 16GB isn't going to break the bank (I just upgraded my MBP to 16 GB fort $109).
Yep even the Apple rep at the store said not to do it... I can't believe how much they charge for RAM. I ordered 16 GB for 89 bucks yesterday.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
You have to unlearn the "Windows" way and not force the Mac into behaving like a Windows computer.
To learn more about Mac OS X: Helpful Information for Any Mac User by GGJstudios
If you purchase Applecare, you can take advantage of training seminars too..You won't regret making the switch...I wouldn't look at Windows now, own 3 Macs, and iPhone 4S and (Tomorrow) the new ipad3..

Off topic...Simsaladimamba....Great new Avatar!!
 

/V\acpower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2007
549
370
Hum, Apple have some "videos" for peoples used to PC : http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#switcher

But if I had to state some of the "differences" to know.

The "Command" button on the keyboard is the main "shortcut" button. A lot of the shorcuts you know in Windows as " CTRL + key " work as " CMD + key " in OS X. Of course some are different.

The "CTRL" is still used on OS X, but normally for more "second category" shortcuts.

Applications : in OS X, like you probably heard, don't really need installation or desinstallation. When you see an App in the Application folder as a big Icon, the big icon is actually like a folder holding everything the App need. (you can explore it with right clicking). So basically, the App icon serve as a launcher but its also the App itself.

One important thing to know, there is no registry like windows, and when an App need to save some settings, it create files into the "library" folder. Library is the place where apps keep their settings.

To uninstall an App you simply delete it. If you care you can also look into the library folder and look for the settings folder there, but the reason to do that is really just to save HD space because it wont affect the system if you keep the library folders of one particular App.

DMG : you will have to manipulate ".dmg", those are simply like a "virtual mountable disk" that you can mount and access files inside. Normally when you download an App from the Web, it will have the form of a .dmg, you will click on it, it will then mount the drive with the app inside where you only have to copy or drag it into "Applications" folder (or any folder you want actually, it will still work)

Think of it as the virtual equivalent of a "USB Thumbdrive" that someone give you containing an App.

One more thing : when you "close" an application window, even if its the last one open, in OS X the App stay open, unlike Windows. You have to press "Command + Q" to quit, or right click on the dock icons and Quit, or "App menu" on the top left and chose quit.

After that, I guess that everything is basically self-explanatory in OS X. If you really want a different experience than Windows then you will love OS X, if you don't really want to change some of your habits, then you will be frustrated because OS X is not Windows.

It sound stupids, but some peoples buy Macs and then complain that everything isn't like they are used to.
 

Clubber

macrumors member
May 29, 2009
92
7
Grats!

Congratulations! I switched over in 2008, but still use Windows at work. Here are some good videos from Apple to watch if you get some free time. It will help with the transition. The one thing I still can't get past is the slight keyboard differences when using Windows in a VM, but that's only because I use shortcut keys heavily in Windows.

Apple Intro-to-Mac Videos
 

Southernboyj

macrumors 68000
Mar 8, 2012
1,652
37
Mobile, AL
I have always used Windows computers, in November I bought my first iMac.
Got to say, it took a little getting use to but now I doubt I could go back to Windows. OS X is such a better user experience. Plus now a days almost EVERY program made for windows has a Mac version too.

Now I will say, I wasn't feeling the Apple Wireless Keyboard or Magic Mouse though.

So I swapped the Apple Wireless Keyboard for a Apple Wired Keyboard (gives you the numerical pad plus more USB slots.

And since Lion is all about multi-touch gestures and I was losing that ability with swapping away from the Magic Mouse. I bought a gaming mouse called a Cyborg R.A.T. 7 it has several programmable buttons, I used these to program them to do the same as a Magic Mouse.

Hopefully this helps. :p
 

interrobang

macrumors 6502
May 25, 2011
369
0
After that, I guess that everything is basically self-explanatory in OS X. If you really want a different experience than Windows then you will love OS X, if you don't really want to change some of your habits, then you will be frustrated because OS X is not Windows.

It sound stupids, but some peoples buy Macs and then complain that everything isn't like they are used to.
QFT. Some people are led to believe that everything on a Mac will be the same, but smehow better. In reality, many things are better, a few are worse, and many are just different.
 

Liquinn

Suspended
Apr 10, 2011
3,016
56
QFT. Some people are led to believe that everything on a Mac will be the same, but smehow better. In reality, many things are better, a few are worse, and many are just different.
What can you do in OSX that you can't do in Windows?:p
 
Nov 28, 2010
22,668
27
located
What can you do in OSX that you can't do in Windows?:p
You can do many things in both OSs, but they are just done differently in either OS.
Just look at Control Panel and compare it to System Preferences.
Windows 2000 and XP had a better organisation of the settings in there than Vista and SixPointOne.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
What can you do in OSX that you can't do in Windows?:p
The answer is a bit more, but the question is one of software cost, and speed, the lack of anti-virus protection, the constant updates, the reinstallation process, it's a big picture...I know many people who have switched from Windows to Mac...I know nobody who has gone the other way.

IMO XP Pro was Windows best offering...I have seen the likes of Vista / Seven in action, and I have to say I was underwhemed....Plauged by legacy code required to run the big MS corporate products Access being the chief here, MS have HAD to go down the road they have...I have nothing against Windows, I just prefer OSX, and the sheer quality of Apple products. Yes, I can build a PC for Peanuts, good spec. too, but I wouldn't...Not now.
 

Joerig

macrumors newbie
Mar 15, 2012
3
0
All the information about using tutorials are great. But personally, the best advice I can give you is to sign up for the "one-to-one" service at your local apple store at the time of purchase. Its 99$ lasts an entire year, you can sign up for training at any apple store in the planet. It helped me a lot and I'm pretty savy on a pc but macs are not pc's (windows computers).
 
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Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
All the information about using tutorials is great but personally the best advice I can give you is to sign up for the one-to-one service at your local apple store at the time of purchase. Its 99$ lasts an entire year, you can sign up for training at any apple store in the planet. It helped me a lot and I'm pretty savvy on a pc but macs are not pc's (windows computers).
Excellent advice...I hear they are good too.:)
 

SlugBlanket

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2011
130
7
I switched last summer and overall It's a step forward. What i do miss is the single click folder option; some things on a Mac are single click but accessing folder items is always a double click.

I also think that Windows handles folder views much better. You CAN get OSX to auto arrange folders but its a little hidden and you will almost inevitably mess it up before you find out how to do it for every folder. I did a post on the problem and a resolution of it here.

The main benefit I found on the mac was that things are fine if you don't want to tinker. If you do want to tinker then whereas on Windows you have to remember just where that option was located, on the mac the options are easy to find. There is simply far less muddling through options or menus or toolbars that aren't shown by default.

There is a learning curve as with any new software but it's not steep at all. And don't worry about the 3rd party software choices as there is tons of it out there and much of it free.

The best thing I like about the Mac though is the ability to automate tasks easily with Automator. I didn't know where to start in Windows if I wanted to set an alarm, start a program, have that program send an email with photo attachments and also convert a whole load of .flac files to .mp3 all in 1 go.

You might say hey, you can do that with xml scripting in windows (I don't know if you can) but with Automator I don't need to know a programming language.

There is so much more I can do with my Mac that I could never do with Windows that I have no regrets even with the quirks that the Mac has.

If you are already thinking of switching then you have already convinced yourself that there is a need to switch. Just do it and enjoy :)
 

Joerig

macrumors newbie
Mar 15, 2012
3
0
If you're interested in getting a iMac I'd advise you to play around with the apple magic trackpad. If you feel it is something you could get used to I'd recommend getting it.
It's great for the multi touch gestures in OSx lion (and will be in mountain lion) if you ask the apple store specialist about swapping the mouse in your box for the trackpad at no cost they will usually do it. also if you're a business customer or your current employer gets a discount ask about the business services. If it doesn't get you an immediate discount it will get you one in the future.
 

Joerig

macrumors newbie
Mar 15, 2012
3
0
Yep even the Apple rep at the store said not to do it... I can't believe how much they charge for RAM. I ordered 16 GB for 89 bucks yesterday.
Was that an official apple store or an authorized seller? An official apple store would have also told you that using third party ram while cheaper is not covered under apple care. Just be careful about things like that. If you have an issue with your Mac and you show up to the genius bar with non apple ram you may run into problems. Better to replace the standard ram if you ever need to bring it in for service.
 

/V\acpower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2007
549
370
Was that an official apple store or an authorized seller? An official apple store would have also told you that using third party ram while cheaper is not covered under apple care. Just be careful about things like that. If you have an issue with your Mac and you show up to the genius bar with non apple ram you may run into problems. Better to replace the standard ram if you ever need to bring it in for service.
Totally false.

Actually changing RAM is totally fine and DO NOT void the Warranty. Apple explain in the documentation how to install RAM and which "specification" you need for the RAM you buy.

Of course if there is a problem with the RAM you buy elsewhere, you have to contact the Ram seller and not Apple. But installing ram has no effect on the warranty, even Applecare.
 

Great Dave

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2007
116
0
Don't buy now!

Ok... I am sorry to say this, but...

Don't Buy an iMac right now!

As it says in the macrumors buy it guide - don't buy.

The iMac is about a year old now and is way too expensive for what you get. Plus, I hate Lion - you're better off with Windows 7 than Lion - it is painful for me to say that, but it is true. Maybe Mountain Lion this summer will fix this.

Actually, I won't buy a MacBook Pro right now either. It is terribly overpriced for what you get.

Either wait to a buy a Mac or if you have to buy right now, I would say stick with windows.
 

Billdemart

macrumors newbie
Mar 14, 2012
13
0
All the information about using tutorials are great. But personally, the best advice I can give you is to sign up for the "one-to-one" service at your local apple store at the time of purchase. Its 99$ lasts an entire year, you can sign up for training at any apple store in the planet. It helped me a lot and I'm pretty savy on a pc but macs are not pc's (windows computers).
I did that. I'm really looking forward to it, even though the closest Apple store isn't close.