Switchers - first impressions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by IBrown, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. IBrown macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2007
    Calling other recent switchers,
    Now that you've taken the plunge and got your Mac, what do you prefer or dislike about OSX compared to Windows? I'm not looking to start a flamewar - I was just wondering what other recent switchers think.

    I'll start the ball rolling:
    1) Overall I'm very impressed.
    2) The trackpad is easier to use than PC based ones I've used.
    3) I don't miss the second button as much as I expected.

    1) There really should be a right-click option to restore an item from the trash - it took a while to realise that you could drag individual files back out.
    2) I do miss the ability to resize windows from any edge - not just the bottom right.

    I'll probably think of some other things later but ... comments please.
  2. tardinha macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2007
    Finder is a bit weak. But not enough to worry about :)

    There's nothing I miss. I say that, never having had a problem with Windows. My last mac was in 96. Since then I'd used Windows NT/2000/XP. It always worked fine, fast and efficiently.

    I got a MacBook Pro and a 30" ACD in July because it's awesome hardware, that no Wintel maker can match. I'm a web designer/photographer, so as long as I have Photoshop and Dreamweaver I'm happy.

    Of course, outside of that requirement, I am VERY happy with OS X. It is everything as OS should be, minus a few minor things which in the scheme of things don't make much difference. Even with Finder's lack of more detailed control (Windows Explorer is hard to beat), the only thing I would change is it's use of invisible files (DS_Store etc). And of course, this is only an issue when working in a mixed OS environment.

    Outside of OS X, I'd say my only complaint is a lack of an Audio Player as good as WinAmp. I have tried pretty much every player available and nothing comes close. VLC is about as close as I've found. I know there is iTunes, however, I'm not interested in a library. I have about 200GB of music on a server, all organised meticulously. iTunes doesn't play well over a network.

    All in all, I give it 9/10 for my needs. But, compared to what's out there, 10/10

    Bravo Apple :)
  3. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Hopefully Leopard's Finder will be much better for you (assuming you'll upgrade). Also, while Songbird is in a buggy preview stage, hopefully it will do what you want in a couple of months or so :)
  4. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    I bought a MacBook Pro about three months ago -- my first Mac. You can read my review. My initial reaction was excitement and early frustration. Apple is missing some obvious features in Finder plus the loss of a decade's worth of muscle memory in Windows really threw me.

    Two months of active use later, and I quite enjoy it. Learning the new system is rewarding and a fun change from Windows. Spotlight, Expose, Dashboard and Fast User Switching are killer features. iMovie 08 is lots of fun, iPhoto is again better than Picasa, and iWork demo is very encouraging. I still get annoyed some of the OS X's weaknesses and gaps (e.g. no sort options in Column View. Much weaker keyboard shortcut system for applications. Weaker app installation methods.)

    My current serious frustrations are.
    - No finance program equal to Quicken or MS Money on Windows
    - No hobbyist image editor equal to PaintShop Pro or PhotoImpact on Windows
    But I manage this with Parallels / WinXP.

    In all, a good switch. :)
  5. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Your joking? Those are two of OS X's strengths over Windows. No need to install the vast majority of applications and a pretty standard set of keyboard shortcuts amongst all applications.
  6. lukegarnz macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2007
    i got my macbook about 2 weeks ago and i love OS X. It is just so much nicer to use than windows. the main reasons are

    1. It looks so much nicer
    2. The dock is pure genius
    3. it looks good
    4. everything seems to flow so much nicer on OS X
    5. did i mention it looks amazing????

    I am so impressed and amazed by the whole mac experience that i am planning on replacing the 2 pc's me and partner have with a sweet Mac pro and then turning completely windows free. I can't beleive it took me so long but i'm glad i made the switch.
  7. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    What can be an easier way to install apps than to drag and drop?
    In the system preferences you can add and edit shortcuts as you wish.
    For image editing you can use LiveQuartz or ImageTricks or others, all are free and good enough for the occasional image editing.

    As for the app launching problem in the other review (nice review by the way) I use QuickSilver the following way: Put the shortcut to Apple+the button below esc. Then just type in the first letters of the app and hit enter. I actually use it only as an app launcher but people use it for all kinds of things. Look around the web for some tutorials if you want.

    Other than that, it hasn't been updated in a while but you might find some useful information in my Mac beginner's guide. The link is in my signature.
  8. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    I appreciate the intent behind Mac's installation process: what could be easier than dragging an app into the desired folder? Except that it's inconsistent and should be automated further.

    On Windows, I insert a CD and an installer autoruns and starts. I hit "Next" a bunch of times, and it's done.

    On my Mac, I insert a CD and...nothing. Go find the CD, open it, find file and run it. Maybe its a DMG and I run that and manually drag it to my Application folder. Maybe it gives me an Applications shortcut in the DMG, maybe not. Or it's a SIT and I uncompress it and find the uncompressed file and run that and see what happens. Or maybe it's a Package and it runs (!!) an installer and does it all for me. And maybe it places it in my Applications Folder. Or maybe it sticks its apps in a sub-folder, as iWork08 does. Even Apple doesn't seem to follow its own guidelines for installations.

    I never know how I'm going to install on app on a Mac. On Windows, it's pretty much the same thing every time.

    As for uninstalling, on Windows, I use add/remove programs and uninstall something. It deletes the app, the user settings, the related folders. Easy.

    On Mac, they forgot the Uninstaller, so I have to buy AppZapper or get a freeware. Otherwise all the crufty settings folders and data bits are left behind.

    As for Keyboard shortcuts: All the Cmd-X stuff is fine. It's the fine-grained keyboard control for ever single menu item in every app that's missing. I can use Alt-I-N-R to insert a reference in Microsoft Word in Windows. In Mac Apps, i usually have to mouse-click through menus to do things; it's less efficient.

    But, I do use QuickSilver for launching. I really like it. It's eliminated my need for a Start Menu->Applications organizer. :)
  9. dariusperkins macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2007
    i love the intuity of OSX but i completely agree with the above poster: installation of apps is very poor.

    i've used it for over 3 years now, but i remember first starting in OSX and leaving aliases to apps in unmounted DMGs all over the show - new switchers i see do this all the time.

    some apps are drag n drop, some have VISE, zipped, DMG, some have the finder window minimised so you can't drag to 'apps', some have shortcuts to 'apps', one app i remember even has a picture of the apps folder!

    very confusing.

    oh, and i definitely agree key shortcuts are, and have been since OS9, a mac strength.
  10. X5-452 macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    My first impression when I switched?

    "Oohhhhh, shiny..."
  11. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    I actually loved the cube effect in the setup when I first switched...but more substantially I wasn't happy at first due to random shutdown issues...
  12. Jebus macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2007
    the only thing about OS X that i don't really like, and like about windows is the taskbar.

    while i love the dock, when i have a lot of windows open it becomes very hard to manage.
    if i send them all to the dock, the dock becomes long and cumbersome, and it's hard to tell which window is which. on the windows taskbar, it simply states the name of the file/program whatever, which for me is quicker and easier than trying to view the actual window or having to hover the mouse over all the windows to read what they are.

    other than that, I'm loving my mac.
  13. brewno macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2007
    Montreal, Canada
    Recent switcher here. I got my MBP SR in July, my first Mac. The switch was easy and now Windows feels weird: I was blind and now I see.
    1) I love Exposé, can't live without it. Everytime I have to use a Windows machine I tend to drag my mouse to the corners... :p
    2) I don't like Finder very much, because if there's one thing MS got it right was Windows Explorer, but I am learning to like it. Lets see how Finder will be in Leopard, Im anxious to try it out.
    3) I miss the FTP capabilities in Windows Explorer, Finder could have one built in (not just in read mode - the Apple+K thing). Nothing that Transmit can't fix it though as it is a great FTP program.
    4) Dashboard > Sidebar -- anyday, anytime.
    5) Startup was way faster until I installed (and uninstalled) Bootcamp. Now it takes longer than a minute, and that I regret. I still wonder why. So I'm not happy about that, but I usually let my MBP on sleep mode, so it doesn't bug me much.

    Overall, I'm quickly becoming an Apple fan. Convinced my mother to buy the new iMac for her as soon as Leopard gets out. My father couldn't wait for Office 2008 so he got a Vista laptop for him, and he's very happy with it. Maybe his next computer will be a Mac, who knows?
  14. tardinha macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2007
    I'd have to agree about the lack of keyboard shotcuts. Yes, there's lots, however, the one thing that I miss the most is using the Alt key to get to an applications menus. Especially in Photoshop, in Windows I'd us the Alt Key and then the Letter for that menu, and the the letter for the particular item I need from that menu.

    For example, if I want to set a new guide, in Windows I would press Alt+V then E, which brings up the New Guide box. Since moving to OSX, I've set up Command+G for new guides. No big deal. But as stated, many years of keyboard shortcut memory is hard to shake off.

    Another slight annoyance, again using that example, I would then type in the value of the new guide, then press Shift+Tab to navigate up to the Orientation bit, and use the Arrow keys to choose which one I wanted. In all it would take me only a second or so, and no mouse involvement at all. Now days, I have to use my mouse.

    Of course, these are not deal breakers, however, it seems that with almost every aspect of the OS, everything is taken care of, but then there are these tiny things that have slipped through...

    (Not to mention the Home key not taking you to the beginning of a line)

    Anyway, I dont wanna complain. I'm so very glad I Switched, and look forward to Leopard.

    Mark :)
  15. jrg24 macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2007
    I just got my first mac about a week ago. i got a white mac book, and so far i love it. Im not really a power computer user. I mostly use it for surfing the internet, and using iwork apps. if i had to make a list of my favorite things about my mac this is what it would be:
    1. form factor and size. to me, this is the size a laptop is supposed to be.

    2. battery life is far better than my acer travelmate i had with an AMD Turion processor. (i know that i could probably have this with a windows machine, but i still count it as a plus for my mac). i feel like i actually have a portable computer i can use anywhere and not just one that can be moved from one power outlet to another

    3.The dock is awesome. It helps me easily organize my most used programs and keeps my workspace clan.

    4. Even though some others seem to feel finder is a negative, i love the simplicity. the only software i have installed so far is firefox, and no hitches there.

    5. iwork is really good. again, i am not a power user but i love how numbers allows you to create your own spreadsheet size and not have an infinite abyss of cells.

    6. Preview i love how i dont have to wait for adobe acrobat reader to open so i can read pdfs.

    6. networking- this is the reason i switched. setting up my network with airport extreme was so easy, and not to mention it operates as a print server that actually works ( i have had no problems with freezing even though i have downloaded all recent updates). networking on windows is tiresome and finding a reliable print server is impossible i went through two the week i ordered my mac book and got so fed up with cheap hardware i switched.

    7. the learning curve is very small. i have not used a mac since i was in kindergarten playing Oregon trail, 20 years ago and it took me all of an hour of exploring to see how to use the computer in an efficient manner. The shortcuts are awesome.

    I am sure there are more than this. As far as i can see any future computer purchases i make will be a mac.

    The only downside so far has to do with the mac book itself.. the edge is kind of sharp.
  16. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    Queens, NYC
    Three years after the big switch, I still try to delete files with the DELETE key and open files by pressing RETURN.

    Even with a "delete" button in my Finder toolbar, I still can't completely rewire myself.

    And can we get Apple to make the HOME, END, PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys fully functional across all apps? They seem to be there for strictly ornamental value, like the F16 key and the HELP key...
  17. seanneko macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2007
    One thing that I never realised until I got a Mac is that the word 'free' is virtually unknown when it comes to OS X.

    On Windows, you can find dozens of free programs to do almost anything you want (and very often, the free programs are better than commercial ones), but on OS X people are trying to charge $10-20 for the crappiest little applications. The best one I've seen was someone who was charging money for a Bittorrent client. I really don't see the logic there.

    That's nothing to do with OS X itself though. The thing I like most about OS X are the visual effects. Even things like changing the screen resolution are animated - it fades out to black then fades back in with the new resolution. On Windows everything will flicker and move about while it's working.
  18. HawaiiMacAddict macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2006
    On one of my Macs of course
    Aloha seanneko,

    You've obviously never been to Free MacWare - after I switched last August, I spent literally days (if not weeks) on that site. There's TONS of free software for you to download and use. Give it a whirl and you'll be amazed at the sheer number of available apps.

  19. Slumbercub macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2006
    Gloucester, England
  20. IBrown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2007
    Yes - finder. Hmph.

    Mostly it's ok. I do miss the address bar though - easily seeing the whole path to the currently shown directory. I know you can do the multiple column view but that seems a little wasteful of screen space.
  21. Ludde macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2007
    I switched in January and I'll never switch back. I was surprised that all the things I'd been criticizing on the Mac suddenly turned wonderful. The lack of complicated setups(imaginative freedom of choice), the cursed install/uninstall software, everything! I was also surprised with the ease to switch. The learning curve was non-existent. I did try parallels with Win XP but deleted it since I never used it.

    The dock is wonderful, hiding applications is wonderful. shutting down windows instead of programs is wonderful, exposé is amazing, it's stable as a rock, the bundled software is great, the lock-in gives you a healthy opportunity to get rid of hardware obsession, the freeware is awesome and has much higher quality than the stuff on Windows, and so on.
  22. saxman macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2004
    As an IT person, I spent a lot of time in windows. Never really spent much time on a Mac until I bought one. I'm glad that I use Macs as my primary computer platform, but I often find myself still wanting to do some "windows" things.

    Maximize windows to full screen, the Alt-first letter of menu, copy and paste instead of drag and drop, etc. It took me a while to see that the Mac OS approached file management differently. Overall happy with the switch though, but old habits die hard
  23. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    Some minor complaints for a start:

    Mouse responsiveness is much worse than in Windows. I used to game a lot, which probably makes me much more sensitive to these things, but some of my friends mentioned the same thing. OS work is not too problematic, but i have to run Warcraft 3, ET and Quake 3 from windows. I googled about it a lot but noone seems to have a decent solution, guess the drivers are simply bad.

    I miss a couple of features from Windows like proper maximising or cutting files that have been deliberately left out.

    I also miss some utilites, but nothing major really (a torrent client that tops Azureus for example).

    There could be more tweaking available for users who want to tinker with their system, especially hardware wise.

    Other than that i am very satisfied. Sleeping works great, expose is cool and i love how i can sync my mobile phone/calendar/address book/todo list and other stuff seamlessly. My next computer wil also probably be a mac.
  24. robcoles macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2007
    Application Install

    Also a recent switcher, but I have to say I completely disagree with those above who prefer windows installation packages..

    After using a windows machine for sometime.. I always seem to end up with a confusion of junk on the start, programs menu, a bunch of stuff which didn't unistall correctly when asked, and loads of junk all over the system.. The mac approach of giving you the choice of where you file the applications as part of the install process via a drag and drop to Applications - I think is great.. it makes it nice and easy to add and remove stuff gives me a clear way to file stuff into folders if thats what I want to do. Anything important / frequently used gets put on the dock.

    I hate those packages that mimic the windows next, accept, next some options, next dance.. and even more those that stick files everywhere.
  25. aperture01 macrumors member


    Jun 27, 2007
    Washington, DC
    I agree with the above posters on the installer thing. It's not so much the installing that sucks on OS X. It's the bloody uninstalling. I hate the idea that i'm leaving scattered files everywhere allover my computer. Programs put files everywhere and you have to know where they are. In windows at least it tends to get most of the files with it's uninstaller.

    OS X is beautiful though. Oh and I wish the finder had an address bar so I could just type in a location. And I like in windows how i can hit backspace to go back a folder level. I dun know I just feel the keyboard shortcuts on PC are a bit better but I suppose I need to play more with my new mac.

    I'm not unhappy because I have a macbook now and i'm looking at a new iMac now so we'll see.

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