Switching resove is getting shaky... help

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SumacFire, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. SumacFire macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2007
    What a great site. What a great things to be able to get help. I've learned so much information, including narrowing it down to which Mac might be best for me (MacBook, 2GB ram, 120 HDD, white). Thanks to all the knowledgable folks who generously respond with your obvious breadth of experience.

    So here's my dilemma.
    I need to buy a new computer, still running Windows 98 and the new Ipod I got as a gift is not compatible! And a few of the applications I've been considering required Windows 2000 or XP. Plus it's just time, been about ?3-4 years since my last computer and I want a laptop. Obviously, I'm not a demanding, savvy high-tech computer consumer. My computer uses: email and internet, MS Word/Excel, Quickbook (for myself, and for a few financial clients), photos/Photoshop Elements, Sonic Stage/Net MD Simple Burner (mini disc downloading), maybe a few other things. I'm pretty strongly wanting to switch to Mac from PC. But I've considered Mac in each of my last two times purchasing computers and then decided against it.

    Now with Boot Camp and being able to run Windows on Mac for a few things, that takes care of some of my concerns/needs. But here are the 2 things rearing their heads as I zoom in closer -

    Nobody around me knows Apple/Mac, for help with computer problems.
    I've got 2 great guys at a part-time workplace who always help me with my computer snafu's - gratis - (like last month upgrading to DSL from dail-up (told you I'm a little behind the computer 8-ball) it was a real bear, and they figured it all out). Just this past week, they've been trying to upgrade me to Windows 2000, a band-aid until I get some kind of new computer, and a second computer backup. That's also been a real struggle, finally got all my email folders loaded but then STILL couldn't open any of my email. And these guys know quite a bit. So I'm still hanging out with Windows 98. And they know nothing about Mac's. So, I'm on my own in facing computer problems.

    Second, I'm worried about how I will get all my current data/files/email, etc transferred over to a new Mac. My local indie Apple store said they'd help - for $90 an hour. I can feel my switching energy wavering...

    For a woman who doesn't know much about computers, having someone(s) who can help me out in this crucial area where I feel pretty impotent is a comfort of sizable magnitude. I can't be the only one who has faced these things.

    Looking forward to your wisdom.

    Of lesser importance -
    Concerning who to buy from, I don't want to buy from the Apple store, they seem unconcerned and unhelpful. I've been thinking of buying from a local indie Apple store (3 or 4 in Seattle area), liking idea of having a real, local person to go back to if any problems. Is this sound thinking?
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    My, my... aren't you in a bind? I mean, running Windows 98, and relying on a couple of guys for all your computing help needs.
    The good news is, if and when you switch to a Mac, you probably won't be needing those guys anyway. Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve, things are a bit different, but if you're willing to spend some time to really figure your way around, you'll see how much simpler things really are. Support-wise, I think you really shouldn't worry about things. Apple has a great support site, and these forums are that bad either. Any question you may have has either been answered before, or there is going to be someone that knows the answer.
    Screw the guys at the Apple store. I'm assuming you went to the one in the U-village. I've been there once, and they are real dip*****. There is another store on 45th Ave (right before you get to the freeway), that has some really friendly folks.
    Also, you shouldn't worry about issues running Windows on a Mac. I've been using Bootcamp since I got my MacBook Pro last November, and I haven't had any issues.
    Take the plunge- it's liberating and it will help you develop some independence.
  3. volvoben macrumors 6502

    Feb 7, 2007
    nowhere fast
    Just a quick something to consider, but while there's a learning curve to OSX, there's also quite a difference between windows 98 and vista (or at least XP). You can work to make your vista computer look like windows 98, but there are many differences you'll encounter while actually using it.

    Also, if your 'some guys' computer help service fellows are worth their weight in heatsinks, they can handle most simple problems on a mac. There are really more things in common between computers these days, I hadn't used a mac in 6 years when i started helping my girlfriend with her iMac, but it isn't very complicated. If nothing else, i would look online for a fix. in fact, i did this with windows when i used it as well. people who are 'good with computers' don't just know everything off the top of their heads, generally they're also able to look for information online and teach themselves on the fly. setting up DSL (should be) as easy as plugging in a few cords, calling to say 'yup, i'm set up' and badabing. and it's definitely not OS dependent.

    Things like migrating email from an OS like windows 98 is always a giant pain. when my parents migrated to XP years ago I went home to help move junk off their old computer. Turns out it was such a pain to transfer their old messages that i set up their old computer in the basement for 6 months or so until they no longer needed to access any of them. in outlook 2003 and other newer programs it isn't so hard, but they all use browser accessible email now. That way the computer could incinerate and they'd lose nothing, or they can just use multiple computers anywhere they please and still see the same inbox.

    Moving data isn't as tough as long as you figure out a means to do it. I always just network computers together, but for you burning CDs or a little flash drive might be easier. most of your files will work fine on a mac (photos, video, office documents), except files which were created with a windows-only application. There are programs to do anything you'd possibly need to do which are written for mac, but if you can't bear the transition to new programs, you can just run them through bootcamp or parrallels/vm.

    The bottom line is that upgrading your OS every 9 years is not a recipe for smooth transitions. No matter what new computer you buy, it will be different in many many ways. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to make the jump to mac to me, but then again, I've used at least 7 newer operating systems after I last dumped windows 98...
  4. Mojo The Monkey macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2003
    Consider visiting a Apple Store

    I know that you expressed a preference for an indie shop, but I think you should really consider making another visit to your local Apple Store. There are 4 Apple Stores in the Seattle area, and they have great resources for switchers.

    One service they provide at the Apple Store is something called Pro Care, and it's exactly what I think you need to feel comfortable making the switch. It's a one time cost of $99 for a year. The first part of ProCare is that they'll do a data transfer from your old PC to your new Mac. The second part is that you can have weekly one on one training classes on how to get the most out of your computer and the software that is on it.

    Here's the Apple web page on Pro Care: http://www.apple.com/retail/procare

    If you feel like you aren't getting help from someone who is concerned and helpful at the Apple Store, let the store's manager know. All the Apple Store employees I know really pride themselves on being helpful and concerned about their customers. You might have just gotten somebody on a bad day. Anyway, the store's manager will certainly make it right for you.

    Have fun with your new Mac!
  5. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    Queens, NYC
    Advice from a switcher from Windows ME (which is almost like Win98) to a Mac 2.5 years ago:

    If retrieving all your email from your Win98 computer is vital, and most of the messages are not accessible by accessing your email account via a web browser, then I'd seriously consider getting professional help to port the email over. Apple Store, independent reseller, or freelance techie, it doesn't matter as long as you're confident they can do the job.

    I was able to convert all my email from Outlook Express to a Mac-friendly format, but it took tons of research to find a program that can do the conversion, then took hours more as I watched my pokey Windows computer convert years of email. Ugh.

    Since you're also considering having Windows installed on your Mac, this may be added incentive to get professional help until the day comes when you can handle most of this stuff yourself.
  6. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2006
    Plus you have thousand of willing and helpful experts here on MacRumors. There is someone willing and able to help literally 24/7 no matter where you live.

    No worries, it will be easy.
  7. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I would either get it from an indie store another apple store. Remember those indie stores are sometimes very helpful after the sale and sometimes just want to charge you tech support fees for the littlest advice.

    As far as support goes- the MacRumors Forum is the best place to start. I have solved 90%+ of my issues here on this forum- most within a few hours of posting!!! Then i would try the apple.com site and other sites after that. Phone support at Apple is great as well.

    There are several guides on MacRumors about switching- this is one for email moving from windows to Mac Mail Guide

    I can't seem to find the one guide that tells how to move all your data easily- can someone else point it out please!!!

    What programs do you have to run on Windows? Because there are almost always alternatives on the Mac- not always as good, but often times they are.

    Remember, Consumer Reports rates Apple computers at the top for reliability, support, ease of use, etc. Tech departments that run Macs spend far less on support for a reason- they just work (most of the time- they are not perfect of course~)

    Good luck to you with whatever computer you purchase.
  8. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2005
    Queens, NYC
    That's partly because the best solutions vary wildly from user to user, depending on the amount of data, the kind of data being ported, the operating system of the two computers, and the available hardware connections.

    From emailing to burning disks to using external drives to the several methods of networking the computers, there's a ton of choices. I think it'd take me a whole day to go through all the permutations in a proper guide.

    The worst part is that in Windows, important data is scattered everywhere. (Took me forever to just find my email data files on my Windows computer.) A proper guide has to document that, too. Ugh.
  9. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Woops- I remembered a discussions lately about moving data but I dind't realize it wasn't all in one guide- makes sense that it would take many different methods to move it from a PC to a Mac. That being said, MacRumors forum is a great resource and can always help you find your data to move it easily (or at least get it moved.):rolleyes:

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