new to mac long time pc user.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by miked125, Sep 11, 2005.

  1. miked125 macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2005
    I am contemplating about buying a powerbook but I don't know very much about macs, can I install pc programs on a Mac? I like to watch divx clips/movies and other formats like that can macs play them? what else should I know before buying a PowerBook?
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    To run actual PC software on your Mac, you have two options:

    1. Install an emulator like VirtualPC which pretends it is a different machine (Windows XP or 2000) but is incredibly slow and unusable for many apps. This really is only viable as a last resort.

    2. Find a Mac equivalent of your programs. If you give us an idea of what you are after, we can probably find you a (usually better) Mac alternative.

    A Mac will play all video file formats except for the very latest WMP ones. These are rare though.

    Macs are much better than PCs for most things, including ease-of-use, reliability and intuitiveness. The only reason I wouldn't consider switching is if you have a program (app or game or whatever) that will only run on Windows and OSX has no equivalent, since VPC is so slow. :)
  3. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    PC programs on the Mac, sorry, No, not directly. (see above post about VPC) You will need to buy the Mac version of the software in question. Such things as Microsoft Office can be purchased for the Mac, so before you buy your Mac, make sure you line up all the software you will need to get to make the move. Most large companies do make a Mac version of their software. You can even call them up and tell them that you are switching, and would like to turn in your PC copy for a Mac version. They will sometimes let you do this because they don't want to loose a customer, Mac or PC.

    Divx can be watched by many programs, including VLC, MplayerOSX, and others. I prefer MplayerOSX since its lightweight and you can use the up and down arrows to fast forward and rewind a lot easyer than VLC, which you have to setup yourself because its not default with VLC.

    After doing updates or installing any software that requires you to input your admin password, that you run a Repair Permissions. There are so many issues people post here that all they had to do was Repair Permissions and it would be fine again. Look up on the forum on how to do that.

    Great place to look for software is Just type in what you are looking for, and it will return what is out there.
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    The only thing you really need to know with the Mac is how to turn it on. Everything else is pretty much on it out of the box (except a Divx program, but easy to download).

    I hear mixed results on Virtual PC, but I run it and think it is good option for running PC programs. It is not as fast as a PC, but its not too slow either.
    The only thing I would advise against buying a Mac is if you are looking for gaming. Upgrade your PC or just buy a PS2 or other console.
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    It's only really viable for apps that don't require much CPU or GPU though. Something like Office would be fine, although the Office for Mac is much better. However, since there is no 3D support, games are out of the question, as are videos. :(
  6. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    You'll find that most of the things you do on your p/c have a like or better version for Mac and tons of extras are available at VersionTracker.

    If you have any licensed versions of Adobe or Macromedia, they will
    send you Mac versions for the cost of shipping.

    If you are heavily invested in P/C software or Games, the best solution is to back up anything important on your p/c and then run a clean install.
    Forget the patches, anti-virus and anti spyware stuff and just retire
    your current machine for offline gaming and general office work.

    Then all your new work and online work is done on your Mac
    without all the hassle.

    I know lots of people doing this now and most of them barely use their P/C
    for anything but games now.

    Once you transfer all your important files over to your Mac, most people
    barely ever touch their p/c/ again.
  7. SummerBreeze macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Many people talk about "incompatibility" problems on a Mac, but I can honestly say this isn't much of a problem. Anything you can do on a PC can be done on a Mac, especially multi-media related tasks like watching movies and creating music. I love VLC player for Mac, it works much better on Mac than it does on my Winows box. Also, most of the big programs for Windows are avaliable for Mac. I'd recommend Microsoft Office for Mac (although since I can already see people running at me with pitchforks for recommending a Microsoft product, I should mention that Open Office works fine too) and any Adobe program you can get your hands on (Photoshop is a must, Illustrator is also fantastic).

    Although I should mention that if you want to share files with a Windows computer, you'll nee to manually add the file extensions. Mac can figure out that Word will open my term papers, but to send them to a professor I have to call them paper.doc
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    Unless you tick this box in the Finder preferences (show all file extensions). :)

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