Questioning if I made the right choice in switching

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by galgould, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. galgould macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #1
    Hello everyone :) Let me introduce myself. I'm 24 years old and from the Metro-Detroit area. I work in health-care, but I've recently decided to go back to school and wanted a nice portable computer (and will most likely end up getting that LiveScribe pen to use with it in class -- anyone use this?).

    After a month or so of researching, I finally decided to make the switch from "PC" to a Mac, as I haven't used a Mac since the early 90's in grade school. I used my student discount to get the base 13" MBP, iPod touch (upgraded to 32GB -- which will replace my 16GB 1st gen touch), and the canon MP560 printer along with MobileMe and iWork. After rebates I'll end up paying close to $1500, which is about twice as much as I've ever spent on a computer before. After about 3 or 4 days of using this thing, I'm not sold that I made the best decision. It's a great machine, runs very nicely, everything about it is 'pretty', but honestly I feel dumb using it. I knew all the shortcuts and could do anything I wanted on Windows PC's, but on this Mac it's basically learning to use a computer all over again.

    Also, although the MBP was able to find my Netgear wireless network, the load time absolutely crawls. When hooked directly up to the Comcast box, the internet seems to run fine, but even plugged into the Netgear router, it wasn't much better than trying to connect wirelessly. I'm not sure why this is, because my old iPod touch runs on the wireless network flawlessly, and my xbox 360 runs just fine plugged into the router as well, but not my MBP.

    Also finding a free program to convert my .flac music files has been a challenge. It's just been a little bit of a hassle making the switch, but I expected it to be somewhat difficult. I just purchased book called "Switching to the Mac", so I'm hoping that helps my transition. I'm sure I'll fall in love with these machines after I get used to it and learn all the tricks and cool apps, just as all of you have. Thanks for listening! This forum has already been a huge help, and I appreciate all feedback!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Try making your wall of text easier to read. You know- add some line breaks and paragraphs.
     
  3. model citizen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #3
    Can't help with the wireless problems I'm afraid but you've definitely made the right decision. The change of OS is always a challenge but once you've 'settled in' you'll probably never want to go back to Windows and you'll find OSX much more intuitive.

    As for software, have a look at this open source link where most of your Windows programs will have an alternative;

    http://www.opensourcemac.org/

    For converting .flac, I found the free tool XLD to be great, it converts it into any format;

    http://tmkk.hp.infoseek.co.jp/xld/index_e.html

    Also, if iWork isn't 'Microsoft compatible' enough for you, try the open source Neo Office.
     
  4. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #4
    :D
    First, I'm sorry you were victimized by a poster who, instead of responding to your good faith question, criticized your punctuation skills. Social skills are frequently not the best around here, alas.

    To the issue, though. I think that you have made a very good choice for a back to school computer. Don't worry about your early frustration with OS X. It will pass as you become more comfortable with it. As you are learning, OS X is very different from Windows. Once you learn the drill, most things, are far easier to do in OS X than they were in Windows. Also, don't forget that you have 90 days of free telephone support from Applecare. Don't be afraid to call them. They do a uniformly good job. I have bought Applecare on all of my Macs and even have them on my speed dial.:)
     
  5. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #5
    Just stick with it and you'll be fine. Takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do it'll be worth it.

    Also you can install Windows on it via bootcamp and it runs it pretty well now a days, just don't expect the battery life to be as good lol.

    The Switching to Mac book you got, is that one of the Missing manual ones? Very good if so, worth a read. Once you get used to how things work differently and stop trying to do stuff like you do in Windows it'll get better.

    And apart from a few spelling/grammar nazis :p there's a lot of helpful people in here to give advice. I know I've learned a lot from this forum.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #6
    You'll get great advice if people read your question. As it stands, it's not so much to ask to make your original question more readable. Then again, I don't particularly care whether or not you get the help you need- so it's up to you.
     
  7. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #7
    Mac definitely isn't for everyone, that's for sure. If you stick with the mac for a bit longer, you'll get to know it better, but that still doesn't mean you'll like it. It took me about a week to get used to the way OSX does things, but the learning curve wasn't too bad. I've had it for almost a month now, and still really don't like the feel of OSX. The hardware also looks and performs great, but i can't stand typing for any length of time on the macbook keyboard, so I have to use an external one.

    Learn the ins and outs of OSX, and if you still don't like it, or find yourself missing some features then the Mac may just not be suited for you.
     
  8. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #8
    While I agree with miles, I did read what you wrote.

    There's nothing that seems to point that you made the wrong choice. there are a lot of things on the mac that are hidden per say and those are some of the greatest advantages. For example, the lack of viruses (let's not start a debate if they exist, it's not comparable to the PC world), the reliability, battery life, etc...

    Things will take time to get used to, but you are only three days into this and the OS is much more advanced then something you could simply learn in 72 hours. In addition, you are programmed to use a computer like you use a PC. Not having a Start menu was my hardest thing to get used to but programs like Quicksilver and Alfred really make life a whole lot easier. Come back to us in a week and I imagine you'll be feeling a lot better. After being at a PC college (all students and faculty are given Lenovos), I can say there are few people with Macs that want to use the Lenovos, there are plenty of people with Lenovos that would take a Mac in heartbeat.

    As for .flac. XLD is my program of choice. It would be great if iTunes supported it natively though.

    Make sure and check out Apple's site. There is tons of great information at:
    http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/
     
  9. galgould thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #9
    Edited my original post for those of you that need line-breaks.

    Anyway, yes the book I bought is one of the 'Missing Manual' series. I'm really enjoying reading it so far, but I was too anxious to try out my new MBP before reading the 650 page book haha.

    I'm not sure what the deal is with the wireless connection (or lack there of). My netgear router is probably at least a few years old, but like I said, everything else seems to work fine with it. I'm really hoping I don't have to spend $180 on an airport extreme. That just seems ridiculous to me.

    I'll try out the XLD, and try to find some other helpful apps to download. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Again, I appreciate the feedback, and I'm sure with time I'll grow to love using the MBP. I'm really trying to avoid using Bootcamp to run Windows, because then I should have just spend <$1000 on a really good Windows laptop. The MBP will just take some getting used to, but I was in this position with PCs at some point, so I'll just keep trying. Thanks for the advice!
     
  10. Pentad macrumors 6502a

    Pentad

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana
    #10
    Wow, you criticize someone else for bad 'text' and you write that? :eek:

    Do you read your own sentences? If one of my students wrote "As it stands, it's not so much to ask to make your original question more readable" I would fail them. Ack!

    ...and then you try to use a dash in your final thought. :rolleyes:

    Um, you might want to take the phrase "People in glass houses" to heart...

    To the OP:

    I apologize that you and your post were attacked. Some of the members here forget that new users can feel confused and frustrated when moving to the Macintosh platform.

    As you look around the forums here, you will find a wealth of information from users, other posts, and FAQs that can help you accomplish what you are trying to do. Most of the users here are very friendly and will try to help out new users.

    Cheers!
    -P
     
  11. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #11
    I'm drunk, I'll edit this in the morning. But I just wanna say, I too was woo'd by MAC. but eventually I switched back to PC (after my entire house was mac) because Windows could do what I wanted, where as Apple's OS X could not. Don't feel like Mac's are perfect, they're not for everyone. I couldn't stand the lack of customization. I'm going to bed now. Goodnight. P.S. Sorry for the lack of paragraphs, this seems like a common issue in this thread.
     
  12. flyfish29 macrumors 68020

    flyfish29

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    New HAMpshire
    #12
    I don't see how the OP was attacked? I saw someone post a request for paragraphs and some spacing. Nothing was said about grammar, punctuation, or "bad text."

    I agree that the original post is much easier to read now with space and paragraphs!

    To the OP- I agree it is like relearning how to use a computer again- for most it is well worth the time put in, but only time will tell. Give it time, get your connection issue resolved by calling Applecare, and be sure to post a specific question with details in the forums here if you need help.

    As far as your connection goes- When you connected the MBP directly in, did you shut off the airport wireless card? I am unsure if the ethernet takes over when the wireless is still on. It may be that you were still connecting wirelessly even though you were hard wired?? Again, call Applecare and they will take great care of you- I bet after you call Apple and get the BEST customer service available for computers you will be glad you switched! The only other place for top-notch help is MacRumors of course!;):apple:

    Good Luck
     
  13. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #13
    I like Windows but hated how I had to keep buying antivirus software so my computer could run. It's like buying a car but the key always disappears every 360 days. You have to buy another set of keys to open the door and turn on the engine.

    Anyway, to OP. Macs are a bit different from Windows. Most of the shortcuts are the same. Control + W to close a window becomes Command + W. Command + C/V is copy and paste. Also, you don't need an Airport Extreme Base Station, a new $50 Netgear router did the trick for me. Mine's also dual band too. You have to stop thinking about how you did something in Windows but how you do in Mac OS X. Otherwise, it'll be hard to transition. But once you do, you know that Windows is truly a POS.
     
  14. Mark.W macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    #14
    He didn't criticize the OP's grammar or writing style. He simply asked for the wall of text to be broken up for better readability, which I think is a reasonable request. It's a fact that people are more likely to read (and therefore more likely respond to) a post that doesn't hurt their brain.

    And by the way, your writing is not particularly exquisite either, especially for someone who tries to bolster his credibility by implying that he is an English teacher. Overusing the ellipsis and using speech disfluencies in written language are not exactly signs of a literary virtuoso.

    To the OP: try a different router. I have no experience with netgear but my MBP works fine with Belkin and Linksys routers. And by the way, I also recently switched to a Mac and the learning curve has been minimal. You can safely return that book for a refund.
     
  15. Trygil macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    #15
    I really wonder how everyone has such problems with viruses on Windows. I'm on the internet 12+ hours every day with no protection and have never had a problem in XP, Vista, or 7 except for the occasional site trying to force me to install something before I leave (which happens in OS X as well). Just a quick kill/end of the process is all that's required (in Windows, OS X, or Linux).

    If one takes care to make regular backups of a know safe-state, viruses are not a problem beyond the time required to restore that state (in the absolute worst case scenario). This should be a safety precaution taken regardless of your platform. Treating you data as volatile will keep you covered even if you happen to get a virus on Mac or any *nix.

    Back on topic - OP, I would just take a little longer to mess around with OS X. It does many things differently than Windows, but I think you'll ultimately find that there is little (if anything) you can't easily do in OS X that you did in Windows. You just have to get in the Mac frame of mind.
     
  16. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #16
    The virus excuse is often a placebo for people to try to justify their reasons for not liking Windows. There are some people who keep falling for the ridiculous malware out there, but those are the same type of people who would give their bank account info to a Nigerian prince in order to inherit his jewels.
     
  17. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #17
    If people don't like Windows, then they just don't like Windows regardless what excuse they use. This is a Mac forum, Windows people will just have to accept that.
     
  18. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #18
    We can argue all day but the fact remains viruses are much more likely on Windows than Mac OS X. I really don't like Windows/PCs because of poor build quality, horrible customer support, and battery life. My friend's Toshiba laptop's keyboard keys just fell off and Toshiba refused to do anything. My Dad bought a few Dells for his company and they all had something wrong with them (motherboard, monitor, missing keyboard/mice). Viruses is my personal issue. But that was Windows XP and undoubtedly, things have changed since then. Either way, OS X all the way.

    Back to OP. I forgot to say in my last post that you could try connecting to your router through an ethernet cable. That should remedy your problem without resorting to fix any reception issues with the router.
     
  19. runebinder macrumors 6502a

    runebinder

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #19
    On the router thing, have you looked to see if there are any firmware updates for it? My Linksys used to be really flakey with my PS3 until I updated the firmware, has been fine ever since.
     
  20. noodle654 macrumors 68020

    noodle654

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Location:
    Never Ender
    #20
    This seems to be the best response in this thread. You are totally correct, OS X isn't for everybody, and the entire Mac environment is not perfect.

    As for the wireless issue, this can be easily resolved with changes to your routers settings.
     
  21. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #21
    having grown up using Macs - you learn what software to use over time. the OS eventually "works" for you after a while. keep at it and im SURE you will pick it up. the UI is very easy to play with :)

    personally i prefer Max, it has never failed me and its just dead set easy to use :)

    as for your networking issue OP, im afraid we will need some more info to troubleshoot where the issue actually lies. you have already concluded that it lies between the Mac and the router. so if you could open Terminal (you can find this via spotlight, or via Applications->Utilites through the Finder) and type:

    Code:
    ping google.com
    and
    Code:
    ping apple.com
    and show us the results from that. also,

    Code:
    nslookup google.com
    now if you can open Network Utility located at the same location as Terminal above ^^ and post the Link Speed that would be great :)

    also, what other wireless devices do you have on the network? ensure that their IP addresses are separate to each other :)

    thats all for now :)
     
  22. aeboi macrumors 65816

    aeboi

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #22
    I definitely wouldn't buy a mac desktop just because I can build my PC to my specifications especially in the graphics level. I can swap out the CPU or mobo at my own leisure. Or troubleshoot the individual parts in my gaming rig.

    But laptop wise, the above is hardly possible therefore the macbook was one wise choice for me at least. I couldn't find a superior built PC laptop for $1000. Also couldn't deny the beauty of the glowing apple logo :)

    Best of both worlds I guess.

    Best part of owning a mac is that there are forums like these filled with people who have the same exact macbook as you do to help with issues.
    Tried to find a forum dedicated to my Compaq CQ60-224NR...doesn't exist.
     
  23. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #23
    So it looks like I'll keep my unedited rambling from before... who would've thunk? ;)

    I think the only thing I didn't mention is that if you purchased the mac due to its "cool" factor, than you might have made a mistake. However, if you switched cold-turkey from Windows to OS X, than there will be some growing pains.

    Here are some websites that might help

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2477
    http://www.apple.com/support/switch101/

    Best of luck!
     
  24. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Location:
    New York
    #24
    I have been sort of in the same boat with regards to learning the new OS. (Started using Mac back in April, so about 3 months total so far). But I've been treating it like an adventure, and it's been a lot of fun. Sure, I miss being able to whip around like I do in Windows. Some things feel awkward, but it's definitely been getting easier and more natural. One thing I've had to remind myself is not to overthink things. With Windows, I think I am hyper-aware of everything going on under the hood, which in some ways you need to be with Windows. But with the Mac, I don't need to KNOW everything going on under the hood. It's the difference in knowing every move Windows is going to make before it makes it, and not knowing what my Mac is doing, or if it's doing anything. I've found Mac does a lot of things quietly. Meaning, it doesn't always tell you when it's finished doing something. I can't think of an example right now, but it's just a very low-key OS. It doesn't bombard you with status messages, but definitely tells you if something is WRONG.

    There's a lot of cool/useful features in OSX. And only about 15% of them are second nature to me at this point, but that beats the 0% I had going on the first time I booted this thing up.

    Just hang in there. The more I use this MBP or mine the more convinced I am that I'll never spend another cent on another Windows computer in the future.
     
  25. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #25
    I never had any interest in a Mac desktop machine, either. I bought my first Mac, a 17 inch Powerbook G4 in 2003 because at the time it was the only 17 inch laptop on the market. Better yet, it was less than an inch thick and weighed only 7.5 pounds. It was so eminently satisfactory for 5 years, I bought a 17 inch MBP to replace the old G4. The MBP has been a great machine, too. I have a Windows desktop machine but it mostly gathers dust these days. I run Windows apps on the MBP so the Windows desktop has been relegated to serving as a network file server.

    There are many powerful Windows laptops out there these days and I would be very interested in getting one when and if one became available that could run Windows and OS X apps simultaneously without having to hack the machine.
     

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