Switchers first impressions with Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jburrows500, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. jburrows500 macrumors regular

    jburrows500

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    #1
    Having been a fairly content windows user I decided to make the switch to Mac because of all the positive things the reviews were saying about the ease of use, stability and the fact that Final Cut Express was said to be better than Adobe Premier... With a box full of home movies, I felt going Mac in the end would be the smartest move. The decision to buy a new iMac or a refurbished Mac Pro was an easy one for me given the ability to upgrade alone.

    Before ever plugging the box in I installed two new hard drives and 4GB of ram that I purchased from OWC. The ease of the installation was amazing to say the least... that was until I plugged it in. Nothing. It fired up, but nothing on the monitor. Thought my monitor settings were wrong.. nope. Called Apple.. was told I wasnt the owner of the box despite trying to explain to her through a pretty difficult language barrier that I bought refurbished and that I may not be listed as the original owner. I was given three options.. go online and search for a clue on apple.com, pay $50 for phone support, or buy Apple Care for 249.... It was at that point that I almost tossed the thing in the box and shipped it back..

    I removed the HD's and 4GB and fired it up one last time... it was fine. Went back and put in the HD's.. still fine. Went back and reinstalled the ram.. no good. Tried several combinations.. called OWC and got a RMA on it..

    So.. three hours later.. internet connection took another hour.. four hours now and I import my itunes library.. all goes without a hitch.

    I have used picassa and loved it.. I import all 4000 pics into iphoto and I find my pic folders are scattered.. I cant seem to find a way to sort them correctly.. I later went out and took some pics to try the import feature from the camera. I usually just create a dump folder, import them to that, delete the ones I am not keeping, rename the remaining ones by doing 50 at a time with two clicks of the mouse... but not so easy tonight... After trying to batch rename I gave up... too frustrated.

    So.. after 8 hours with the box I walked away with the feeling of, "jesus I hope I made the right move". With almost $3,000 invested I hope so.... I know its only been 8 hours.. but I guess I was hoping it would have been a bit easier... I have to say, my first impression is that its not all that intuitive guys.. and man do I miss that right click button... Tell me it gets easier...
     
  2. qpid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    #2
    It gets easier :)

    One thing to remember is that OSX is not Windows. I know it sounds dumb/obvious but it is true. Things may not be where you are expecting them or may act differenty. This is not a bad thing just different.

    That being said, Picase for OSX would be a nice addition. ;)

    Take things slow, ask a lot of questions, also play around and have fun.
    Have you tried Final Cut yet?
     
  3. jburrows500 thread starter macrumors regular

    jburrows500

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    #3
    I havent tried final cut.. I just figured that would send me over the edge.. Put it away for the night.. I was just reading a thread on iPhoto and I guess I wasnt going crazy.. It seems that you can not change the file name once you import it into iPhoto... ummm.. thats sounds pretty odd.. I wish Picassa came over from windows with me.. oh well.. tommorow is another day... It will get easier I know... but never imagined it was so different from windows.. I first need to learn there is no right button and you dont close open windows by clicking a red sqaure box in the upper right hand corner...
     
  4. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #4
    You can set the mighty mouse to respond to a right click just like in Windows, in the system preferences.

    Or are you saying you want a mechanically independent right click button? I was a hardcore windows user for 10 years before switching to a Mac Pro, iMac, and Macbook all at once, and the first thing I did was set the mighty mouse to work with the right click.

    As far as the ram goes - not apples fault, could happen on any new PC.

    iPhoto - it's a ultra beginner level simple photo program, I am sure there are plenty of advanced user photo management apps that are as good as Picasa. Aperture is one I beleive. I am not sure, I don't collect/use photos much.

    The close button is the red circle in the top right, also.
     
  5. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #5
    How can you blame Apple or worry about the mac pro? The RAM was OWC's fault, and has nothing to do with worrying about the mac pro.
     
  6. CatharticFlux macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    #6
    It gets easier. I had the same experience coming from being a Picasa/Windows user to coming over to OSX/iPhoto. The problem wasn't on a go-forward basis, the problem is migrating all your pictures. Particularly since Picasas xml files with the non-destructive changes aren't reflected in iTunes. I was woe. Eventually I bought Lightroom. I had outgrown both Picasa and iPhoto.

    I don't regret my purchase and now (almost a year later) I'm the most obnoxious kind of mac fanboi. That being said, it's the migration that kills ya. There's a lot of 'metadata' that you lose along the way. Picasa ratings, changes, edits... Getting your address book set up the way you like it will take a while, same with mail, etc.

    But it's worth it. One day you wake up in OS X and realize that you aren't involved in some epic battle against systray litter. Msconfig isn't on speed-dial and you won't have to become well versed on what its many intractable entries are really doing. You'll suddenly notice that you're not spending time manging your anti-virus, your anti-spyware and what seems to be an oppressive amount of patches and updates. The software culture is just different. Applications will not shoehorn their way into your startup. There's no cheesy OEM software. You get the point. In short, it may sound cliched by now, but you will spend a LOT less time managing the OS and more time working.

    You'll then notice that the OS is much more responsive, particularly during load. Sure, the clickiness of it might not 'feel' as snappy (known issue,) but your Mac is unlikely to have frozen windows that seem to make your whole system crawl. Browsing the network isn't going to induce shock or awe on your scheduler. You'll be ripping a DVD in Handbrake, browsing the network, updating your system, copying large files all over the place and yet you'll feel in control. It's oddly refreshing.

    That's when it'll hit ya that you made the right choice. Your time is valuable, we all grow up and realize that the best way to spend a weekend isn't reinstalling Windows because it got cranky, and it isn't wondering if you should visit that not-so-reputable website in case there's some new technique hiding in there that will infiltrate your PC. Call me old.

    P.S. Finder sucks. Yes, sometimes the snap-to-grid arbitrarily changes grid. Yes, the cleanup can produce horrifying results. Set your windows on list view and go get Pathfinder right now. While you're at it, go get Quicksilver, it's really, really cool.
     
  7. jburrows500 thread starter macrumors regular

    jburrows500

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    #7
    I dont think I said I was blaming anyone.. as I said, I called OWC and asked them for a new set... I didnt say I called Apple.
     
  8. jburrows500 thread starter macrumors regular

    jburrows500

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    #8
    I appreciate your thoughts.. I will certainly look into both Quicksilver and Pathfinder. I might also look at arpeture.. several have said it might be a good choice over iphoto... On the list for tommorow is quicken.. I hear quicken for mac isnt took great but right now it is said to still beat out ibank and liquid something... I suspect that wont be a painless process from what I have read despite a few hours of preparing the file for importing into mac... Thanks again!
     
  9. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #9
    Have you enabled the right click yet? I NEED to know if you:
    a) just want a physically separate button or
    b) didn't know you can enable right clicking and use any mouse you want.

    At work I use a microsoft intellipoint mouse, works great.
     
  10. jburrows500 thread starter macrumors regular

    jburrows500

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    #10
    No, configuring the scroll button to right click is fine.. Aside from scrolling it is now set to bring up desktop widgets.. I'll do that tommorow.. clicking on the two side of the mouse was a surprize.. brightness control...
     
  11. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #11
    Why not just make the right side right click? The scroll wheel usually does the dashboard, and the 2 side pinch buttons does expose.

    never heard of them doing the brightness.
     
  12. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    Nowhere
    #12
    I semi-switched to OSX from Windows a while ago. Right click is essential for graphics people and editors. I recommend a different mouse than the mighty mouse, which I have never even touched, and it's still in the box. I use a 6x11 Wacom tablet.
     
  13. stimpycat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #13
    This is my 2nd week after switching from a Dell Box to a Mac Pro with 23"ACD

    Gopt to say I am much happier - everything is a little different but it's starting to feel like second nature already.

    The mouse - you just need to go into your settings like everyone said. Had you read the instructions you would no doubt have seen this, there are actually quite a few buttons on that mouse - I quite like mine now.

    I agree iPhoto sucks the way it wants to move your photos - tyhere is a way to create a different folder / library rather than the my pictures one and that is by holding down ALT as you launch the application - I believe one can do the same thing in iTunes.
     
  14. shayesky macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Wow dude, sorry you had so much trouble with your amazing deal box.
    sucks yours was registered. I sure hope to hell mine isn't. After reading,
    I am GLAD I spent the extra money to get RAM from DMS vs OWC. I read may horror stories on them, and damn, get your money back and order it from somewhere else. Mine has run flawlessly. First thing you need to do with iPhoto, is move the folder to one of your other drives, and get it
    off your system drive. Secondly, uncheck the box that says to copy
    files to iphoto, just import them at their location. I put all my photos
    on a seperate USB2 HDD, and reference them to there. Or, you could
    be done with iPhoto and get Lightroom ;) Oh, and lastly, Mighty Mouse sucks ass.
    get a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer, you will be MUCH happier
     
  15. peterm10 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    #15
    I switched also....

    I bought a 2.66 MacPro and added 5 extra GB of Ram and three extra 500GB of internal hard drives from OWC. Coming from a Dell laptop, the MacPro is incredible! It was so simple to install the Ram and hard drives, and I set up a Raid system in seconds.

    I am into photography, so I download my pics to a 500GB drive, which is linked to a second 500GB drive in a Raid 1 mirrored configuration for backup purposes. Then I bought another 500GB drive and partitioned it into 2 equal partitions. I use one partition to back up the Mac hard drive that came with the computer using SuperDuper (a great third party app - I paid to register it and now it automatically backs up my main hard drive every night and I don't have to think about it).

    One of the reasons I switched was so I could use iLife 08, although I was not happy to learn how it messed with photo files so I could not easily go back and forth between iPhoto and my other photography applications like Lightroom, PSCS3 and iView. So instead of using iPhoto as my main photo organizer, I am going to use it instead to make and upload webgalleries, books, etc. I will just make extra copies of the photos I want to use in a project and import them into iPhoto.

    I am not thrilled with the mouse yet (I did implement the right click feature). I have a Wacom tablet and mouse which I may use instead. I did buy the new wired aluminum keyboard though, and I love it (people either seem to love it or hate it).

    I bought a bunch of books on OSX (Pogue's Switching to the Mac, Killer Tips for OSX and the Rough Guide to OSX). I didn't really use Pogue's book much since I didn't switch over too much stuff from the PC.

    I am still learning, but I have to say I am becoming a Mac fanboy (and I have the iPod iTouch on order ;)

    Peter
     
  16. jburrows500 thread starter macrumors regular

    jburrows500

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    #16
    As I play with iPhoto more and more.. I really like it less and less. I now see that the pics I imported yesturday although taken weeks or years ago now claim that the picture was taken yesturday at the time of being imported. Thats totaly bogus! Why would a program do that? I have over 4,000 pics and in 10 years I'll look at these pictures and wonder what the hell was I doing there in 2007 when I was actually there in 2004...

    The other app that is worthless is quicken for mac.. I imported my 4 years worth of data into what looked like a GUI from a version from the early 90's... The data is a mess...

    I have another 20 days to decide if i'll eat the 5% restocking charge.. I am a little hesitant to unwrap my Final Cut Express box thinking at this point I am leaning to going back to windows and buying a q6600 for $1,000, buying adobe premier and calling it "the experiement of 2007"...

    Yep.. 2 days into it, $3200 in the bucket... and i'm not impressed yet..
     
  17. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    #17
    What about loading windows on it with Bootcamp?
     
  18. dkoralek macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #18
    I can't stress that observation enough. I can be running multiple statistical analyses at the same time, putting 100% load on all four cores and still check my e-mail, surf the web, etc. with only a very slight slow down in performance. windows would have choked on that.

    cheers.
     
  19. Alican macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    LONDON, UK
    #19
    I've read a lot of posts which imply the mac pro is very very fussy with RAM. I had a couple of sticks that wouldn't work (didn't stop the machine from booting though) and had to get them RMA'd.

    The only problems with OSX I've had is assuming it's as fiddly as windows XP. Take burning files to CD in XP for example. It takes a few weeks to get under skin of OSX. I'm almost tempted to say it seems to know what you want to do, but I think it's more accurate saying it seems to know the best way to do something with minimal fuss.

    I hate iphoto but don't see it as a loss - it's just something that came free with the mac.

    With regard to renaming loads of files at once - get to know Automator - it's part of OSX and it's great. I renamed hundreds of photo files with it with minimal fuss.

    Whether FCE is better than Premiere is a bit like apples and oranges. It certainly is better than Premiere Elements. You'll certainly find your way around FCE ok if you've used Premiere. It's sort of somewhere between Elements and Pro but leaning towards Pro. The biggest drawback is that it has no native DVD authoring
     
  20. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #20
    I'm a recent switcher (Mac Pro - Mar 2007).

    First off....ditch the Mighty Mouse and use whatever mouse you are comfortable with. Basic blue M$ mouse for me.

    If you are serious about photos and photography, don't use iPhoto. Get the trials of Aperture and Lightroom, and pick one of them up. If you use iPhoto, you just have to let go of the old file system way of doing things.

    I had problems with 2 sets of OWC RAM.....lots of people had good luck...just not me. Went with Crucial and it finally worked. The Mac Pro IS picky with RAM. Just make sure it's all seated correctly and keep the machine cool.

    Stop thinking about how things are done in Windows. Once you learn a lot of OS X, you come to enjoy it and realize that the experience is SO MUCH BETTER than Windows.

    Keep coming back to these forums.....the people here are amazing. The Mac community is always willing to help each other out.

    Lastly......smile....you've got a killer machine.

    -Kevin
     
  21. jburrows500 thread starter macrumors regular

    jburrows500

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    #21
    I thank you all for your tips and hand holding... Two people so far today said to ditch iphoto and go with lightroom... I did play with iphotos I definetly will try it. Actually the mouse is fine after you configure it to right click.. that one I should have figured out... I actually had a promising moment tonight when I was playing around with imovie (havent unwrapped FCE yet). I downloaded a DV tape into iMovie.. came to 67 clips and 12.5GB... it was very intuitive.. I had one window up containing all the clips while I selected and pasted to another new project.. never made a little movie faster...

    Question.. do most people keep a copy of the uneditied tape on an archive drive in the event the kids 20 years down the road ever want to watch it uncut... Man, with 50 tapes to go at an average 15GB each.. thats what 750GB of storage.. I never realized that a DVD holds only 4.7GB... so a standard video tape is going to have to broken into 3 DVD's... or do I have this wrong?
     
  22. jburrows500 thread starter macrumors regular

    jburrows500

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Location:
    Hells Kitchen NYC
    #22
    The new 4x1GB sticks are on schedule to arrive Friday.. I am hoping for the best... but with only 1GB in it now.. in terms of speed.. I have no complaints for the little I have used it.
     
  23. jrichman63 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    #23
    I'm a switcher too! bought a 1.8 mac mini to get me through my thesis and hold out till the MP update. I LOVE IT! end of first week feelign like I'm getting used to things. 2nd week it's part of you, you'll have it down by then. The mini is a steal and freak'n powerful too.

    Must say as an industrial designer that all mac mice are no good. keyboards are eh... but the mice just buy the best mouse made to date.



    *The Logitech MX Revolution w/ USBoverdrive software*



    (DO NOT INSTALL LOGITECH MAC DRIVERS they don't work) USBoverdrive will drive it and eliminate the mouse acceraleration BS.

    oh and get a Spacenavigator by 3Dconnexion a cool 50 bucks.
     
  24. Alican macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    LONDON, UK
    #24
    I don't keep unedited tapes, but I always write the final production back to tape
     
  25. roybfr macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #25
    I am a switcher as well (kinda, had a mini and MB in the past for play, and my wife has always had a Mac). I had a Q6600 /w Vista that I built to replace a AMD 4200 X2 w/ 2 7800GTX in SLI. I wanted to run more Ram, but with Vista 64 not quite ready for prime time IMO and not wanting to go back to x64 I decided to get a MP. Plus I had been playing with OS X86 for some time, so I now I get my cake and eat it to, and my room is not 1000 deg from the space heaters the old boxes seemed to be.

    I keep all my tapes. Even with the storage that is available now I just feel safer with the unedited left on the tape. I usually delete the full rip after I have made a compilation unless I am going to use it in another. Mini DV tapes are not that big, and not overly expensive, plus maybe the IT side of me that used to haul back up tapes home rubbed of on this part of my life.

    There are things I like about the MP and a few I don't. I kept my logitech G15 keyboard and MX518 mouse. Not using any drivers, ok with the G15 programmable keys not working, I just like it for the back lit keyboard these days. The Ram being FB thus more expensive and not economically available locally kind of stinks but oh well. I had 2 500gb and a 750gb SATA drives from the Q6600 that I tossed in. Have bought VMware Fusion and loaded XP ( will be loading Vista, Windows Server, and Suse Liniux in the next few weeks for some work stuff) on there.

    For video I picked up Final Cut Express HD, have not used it much yet. I used to use Pinnacle Studio on the PC. I had used iMovie HD on my MB and liked it so I figure FC should be fine for what I do.

    I am also thinking of picking up Aperture after messing with it at the Apple store. I have thousands of photos I am migrating from my PC. Plus I have been making an effort to put my EOS RebelXT to better use and learn to be more creative with it in manual modes.

    Not sure if any that helps. Good luck with the machine, in the long run I don't think that you will regret it. I was and still am a pretty "hardcrore" pc person, have my MCE ect ect. But I can honestly say I have not enjoyed using my home machine this much in some time.
     

Share This Page