Making the jump

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BarCart, May 1, 2008.

  1. BarCart macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2008
    Hi all,

    I'm on the threshold of switching to the Mac Platform from years of PC (I go back to the Dos days) and need some advise and perhaps a nudge.

    How easy it to transfer my files from my PC?

    Will Mac read Lotus 123, Word, Excel and various pictures?

    How steep is the learning curve in adapting to the Mac(average intelligence here)?

    Do I go Mac Pro (current 15" laptop) or go with iMac at 20". The larger screen would be nice.

    I'm into spreadsheets, email, surfing, word processing and some graphic work.

    Thanks for the advise.

  2. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Depends. Do you already have a home network of some sort? If so, you can use file sharing on your PC and access it from your Mac to move over files.

    Obviously you will need to install the Mac version of Office to use Office documents from programs like Excel and Word. I'm not sure if Excel has a Lotus 1-2-3 import option. As for pictures you should be golden.

    Well, it's obviously different. The biggest challenge will be adapting to the Mac way of doing things. Going in expecting OS X to behave like Windows will just make you frustrated.

    I believe you mean the MacBook Pro. The Mac Pro is Apple's desktop tower system. That's entirely up to you, do you need portability? Do you foresee ever needing to take your system with you? Those are questions only you can answer.

    Either machine will be more than capable for your purposes.
  3. bms259 macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2008
    I just made the switch about a month ago or so, and I don't ever want to go back to windows. If you have a friend that is somewhat mac savvy or if you just watch some tutorial type videos, the learning curve isn't steep at all--even for a person that is as bad w/computers as me.

    File transfer is pretty easy over a network. I used an Ethernet cable and followed Apple's instructions online. Just make sure that you enable file sharing on the specific folder/drive you want to transfer.

    With MS Office for Mac, you can handle word and excel files fine.

    I can't speak for the mac pro or imac (I have a macbook), but either would be great choice.
  4. kleef macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2008

    To add to what's been said already, I also just made the switch from PC to Mac, and had many of the same questions. I actually find the Mac OS to be pretty intuitive. The biggest challenge for me, coming from the PC world, was to try not to think of everything as file-structured (like Windows Explorer). Apple wants you to work within applications and not worry so much about where every file is located. I am still getting used to that. And if you are a worrywart, you can still see where all the files are located.

    I haven't had too much trouble moving files from PC to iMac. I used an external hard drive (if you go that route you should partition the drive within the iMac first, using DiskUtility.) My main challenge at this point is moving Outlook Mail messages. Still haven't figured that out.

    And if you have certain applications that are Windows only (or certain websites that only work with windows), you can certainly partition your internal hard drive using Bootcamp and run everything you had before on the PC, that would only run using Windows. It's really pretty straightforward to do that.

    I got MSOffice for Mac, and Parallels (the latter lets you run Windows within a window on the Mac Desktop!)

    As a "nudge," I have not regretted my decision to switch. Good luck!
  5. jive turkey macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    I switched 5 weeks ago, so I am definitely still a newbie. I think I would have been frustrated more without the help of this board. I asked some questions, searched through a ton of threads, and used the guides when needed. While the transition hasn't been seemless, I would say it hasn't been difficult. Mac seems to be more keyboard centric, and that was the biggest learning curve....all those shortcuts for all the different programs, many being different than the few that I used on Windows. But now that I have gotten the hang of it I find life to be so much better without having to keep a hand on the mouse.

    As far as transferring files goes, most things work just as on Windows. The only differences I discovered:

    1. The formating on some Excel spreadsheets did not carry over because Office:Mac 2008 does not support everything that the PC version does. Please note though that I often use complex conditional formating and formulas, so you may not have that problem. Depends on what you do.
    2. Annimated gifs won't play in a standard viewer. You must use a browser, Quicktime, RealPlayer, etc. That is annoying as snot.
    3. I have had a few minor print problems, namely not being able to print a selection of a page. This may be the printer I am using, though.

    After these 5 weeks, I would certainly say I am thrilled with my move to Mac, and I would encourage others to investigate making the switch. But, I would also suggest that if and when you do, make use of these forums and other internet sites. They have really helped making the transition easier than I ever thought it would be.
  6. Delameko macrumors member

    May 1, 2008
    Hi, I just moved over from Window-land last month, so maybe I can help :)

    Here's how I did it:

    1. When you get your Mac, go to VMWare Importer and download that software.

    2. Run it on your PC and make an 'virtual image' of your PC. (Hopefully you've got enough room on your harddisk).

    3. Install VMWare Fusion on your Mac.

    4. Transfer the virtual image to your Mac and load it up using VMWare Fusion.

    5. Now you can run a copy of your old PC (in a Window) on your new Mac. You can drag files out of the Fusion window onto your Macs filesystem. And the best thing is you can keep using your old software until you find suitable Mac equivalents. It makes the transition less scary, and doesn't slow you down. Learn one new prog at a time and avoid the confusion.

    You can use Parallels instead of Fusion, I prefer Fusion but they're both good.

    Not steep at all. I'm planning to sort my parents out with an iMac when they next upgrade their computer.

    The things that got me are more annoyances that you get over (the @ and " keys are the opposite way round - can't count how many emails I've tried to send to person"

    Within a week I guarantee you'll feel at home.

    Like has been said, it depends on what you prefer.

    I bought a MacBook Pro first, and apart from an (irregular) business trip where I loved having it with me, I didn't like looking down at the monitor. So I sold it and bought a Mac Pro, which I'm loving.

    Hope that helps :)
  7. BarCart thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2008

    Thank you all so very much. Your input will certainly have an influence. I guess it's like standing on the edge of the pool looking at the water. You know that once your body gets used to the temperature, it will feel great and you'll enjoy yourself. All you have to do is make the plunge.

    Again, thanks.

  8. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    You should do it for sure. Jump in. If you have knowledge of how to use windows (which you do) you should be comfortable on the mac within 2 weeks.

    As was said earlier, if you expect it to work like windows, you'll be frustrated as all hell, because it just plain doesn't. You need to think LESS about things with Mac.
    For example...
    My dad is having trouble adjusting because he's been a Windows user for 15 years... He called me screaming and frustrated because he simply could not figure out how to add a user to his Address Book on the Mac...
    (My mom on the other hand, never understood windows at all, so her transition has been much easier, albeit she's just not great with computers so I have to help her all the time, but at least she doesn't get fed up like my dad!)

    The answer to that is so simple you almost overlook it... you simply need to press the " + " icon at the bottom of the address book list or right click on an email address in any application and press add to address book... ITS SO EASY

    Its little things like that you have to think differently about...and oh yeah...KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS ARE YOUR FRIEND!

    good luck.
  9. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    I've also been using Windows PCs since they were first developed... back to DOS days. After my daughter made the mistake of buying a Vista laptop, I concluded it was time to move elsewhere. I've wanted to try a Mac for years, and just recently got rid of some things that had to run on Windows.

    I took a different path. I bought a used Power Mac G5 Dual 2.0 Ghz machine from someone on Craigslist. I reasoned that if I did this and decided that I didn't want to stay on the Mac, I could sell it easily and lose nothing. I have a 30" LCD, so the only new machine that would really work would be Mac Pro at $3K+ or going with a laptop... Mac Book Pro. I want a desktop machine, so the prospects of spending $3K on something I'm not sure about were scarey.

    I bought the Power Mac a few weeks ago and had a few bumps initially but believe I'm now a Mac user for life. I have no intention of running VMWares or anything like that so I am looking at real solutions to do things with a Mac.

    I'm using two methods of accessing my old XP desktop and my employer supplied XP laptop. On the desktop, I'm using's free program which I already had running. It works great, and can also be used for remotely accessing my new Mac. For my laptop, I had been running UltraVNC, a very good remote desktop program for XP. I found a Mac program called Vines that is completely interoperable with UltraVNC and so I'm golden.

    One thing I don't like is Safari doesn't have a Google Toolbar option. I'm a Google Toolbar junky, particularly for bookmarks, so I am running Firefox for now and its fine.

    I migrated all my mail into the Mac's native Mail program (from Outlook) using the $10 progam called O2M, and that has worked out nearly flawlessly... and I had about 3GB worth of mail going back years.

    One of the best investments I made at the Apple store was to buy Oreilly Press's "Switching to the Mac Leopard Edition"... part of the Missing Manual Series authored by David Pogue. It is written for people migrating from Windows to Mac and got me off and running full speed.
  10. Odisey macrumors member


    Mar 10, 2008
    J U M P !

    Jump! I have had PCs since 1998. I started in 1986 using PCs. And every PC and I mean every has crashed, broke, lost files, had multiple problems.

    I am making a film - and guess what! The PC crashed and damaged a 500 GB HD. I ripped to HD out and took it to college. The MAC here read it! I bought a MAC that week!

    You can run your WIN programs a few ways that are simple to use. And you can move files a few ways. I am running WIN and the new MAC OS. I was lost for a week and now it is easy!

  11. BarCart thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2008
    Power Cord

    Hi all who've responded.

    I think I'm convinced and my choice will probably be the Macbook Pro 17" @ 2.55. It's more machine than I'll need so it looks like I'll grow into it.

    One thing bothers me however. I see that it comes with a rechargable battery but I can't see if there is a power addapter for plugging into the wall socket. I've seen a little magnetically attatched power cord on my nephew's machine so what about "just out of the box"? What comes with that?

    Again, thanks to all for your replies and encouragement.:)

  12. skwij macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2006
    Belleville, ON, Canada
    That magnetic thingie is the Magsafe. It's the power cord and yes, it does come with the laptop.

    Just do a search here for New Macbook/Macbook Pro and you'll find lots of pictures of people unboxing their new machines. Rest assured, the power cord DOES come with the notebook.


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