switching to Mac/ what to expect

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by brantfordbandit, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. brantfordbandit macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2013
    After 20 years of using window's and playing with Linux a bit lately i'm buying a Mac. What can i expect as far as confusion. Remember, 20 years of window's so be gentle.
  2. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  3. Jacksonc macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2013
    Jony's house
    It should be very easy. Everyone I know that converted from Windows to Mac didn't have hardly any trouble and never went back to Windows.
  4. Daysight macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2011
  5. DavidMonteiro macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2013
    What to expect, what to expect...

    Keyboard layout is different, Minimize, Close, and Maximize are on the opposite side, etc. It doesn't take much to get used to a Mac, to be honest.

    Apple made this basic video on how the Mac works, and moving from Windows to a Mac. Click here for that video.
  6. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Your whites will be whiter and your colours will be brighter.

    Oh wait. No. That's switching to Tide. Never mind.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    There are plenty of books and articles about switching from Windows to OSX/Mac.

    I worked with PCs since days of DOS, Windows 3, OS/2 up to XP so I do understand your hesitation or rather normal anxiety level. For me, it took one day to learn basic features by search and discover and then nuance items over the next few days. Over all, wasn't that hard and once you get used to it, you'll find it is rather straight forward for the most part and yet, you'll feel comfortable going back and forth between Windows and Mac. - I run Windows 7 in a virtual for 3 applications and the rest are all Mac based.

    Enjoy and take a few days to discover the advantages (and some minuses) with OSX.
  8. Moakesy macrumors regular


    Mar 1, 2013
    For me, the biggest thing about switching was constantly thinking "Is that it?" when trying to do something. It seemed like there should have been two or three more steps to follow, it was all too easy and so I must be doing it wrong. I wasn't.

    And if you already have an iPad/iphone with an AppleID account, you won't believe how quick it will be to get your new purchase up and running.

    A couple of weeks ago I took delivery of my new MacBook Pro. From the point I took it off the hands of the delivery guy, to getting a fully working machine with all my email setup, iTunes sorted, web favourites etc in place.....it took 7 minutes. That includes opening the packaging.

    Enjoy, you'll love it!!
  9. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005

    Apple has some pretty good transition info at this link.
  10. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    When I made the transition, I laid some groundwork on the Windows side first. I picked up a free copy of Syncback and set it to copy "my documents" and a few other folders I care about to a network drive every night at 1am. The day I brought home my 2008 Macbook, I simply switched off my Dell and moved it out of the way, plugged in and turned on my Macbook, copied files down from the server that had been backed up from Windows and I was up and running. Of course I had to go download a few freeware programs to get stuff done. One was OpenOffice which later became LibreOffice. I also bought iWork (Pages/Keynote/Numbers) which is now free with any new Mac purchase.

    As for learning curve, coming from Linux I was very well prepared. It turns out the OSX command line is a LOT like the Linux command line. Be careful, though. Let Apple's gui manage your OS rather than going crazy with sudo. It's there if you need it, but I quickly found I almost never needed it.

    I've found that an SSD is a basic survival requirement on Windows. On OSX, not so much. It's nice to have but a fusion drive, a hybrid SSD or even a 7200 RPM spinning disk will do just fine. It turns out memory management in OSX is nothing like the swap-happy environment in Windows where everything slows to a crawl on any machine with a spinning disk. I had a 5400 rpm drive in my old Macbook. I moved to a hybrid drive and things picked up nicely. On my newer Macbook Pro, I'm back to a spinning disk. Eventually I will pop in a Samsung EVO drive but for now, I'm quite happy with performance. Boot time? It's a bit slower on a Mac with a HDD versus Windows with an SSD but I really only reboot for software updates and power failures.

    There are a few things I found on OSX that make my day. (1) One is Spotlight. I use it to launch apps and ignore the app launcher and mission control. (2) Another is Quick Look. What a concept! (3) Another is tabs in Finder. I can have 3 or 4 tabs open at a time and it makes managing several directories a breeze. (4) Another is the way (many) apps behave in installing themselves to /Applications all in one "package" that can easily be dragged to the trash. Yes they will leave some chaff behind in ~/Library but it's nothing like the tangled spaghetti that is the Windows registry. (5) I like the Apple ecosystem and the way Photostream makes photos taken on my main camera (iPhone 5) simply "show up" on my Mac. (6) I like OSX Terminal and the ease with which I can open an ssh into one of my headless Linux boxes.

    hope this helps...
  11. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    I didn't really experience much confusion, and this was after 20 years of windows as well. Most of the time, it was actually researching how to get something done, only to find out that it can actually be carried out quite ably using some app or feature native to OSX, as opposed to having to download some custom software for Windows. For example, the stock preview app lets you view and annotate pdfs, while the quicktime app lets you do screen recordings. Taking a screenshot is a cmd+shift+4 away, while cmd+spacebar launches the finder.

    Shortcuts are different. For instance, you have to get used to the cmd key (essentially the ctrl key in Windows) being beside the spacebar, rather than the edge of the keyboard. Which actually makes a lot more sense after a while (it's where your thumb is positioned, after all). I find I have been able to "code-switch" between OSX and Windows quite well. :D

    Deleting an app simply means dragging it into the recycle big. It can be a bit disconcerting at first, especially when you are unsure if you have left any stray system files lying around, but after a while, you learn to "trust the OS" quite well.

    Don't bother with maintaining your system unless it somehow slows down dramatically. My iMac still works as smoothly as the day I bought it without me needing to do anything on my part. No antivirus, no defrag, nothing.

    Apple also likes to make the drives quite hidden. They are still readily accessible, but Apple clearly doesn't expect you to go digging inside.

    That's all I can think of at the moment. Basically, don't stress yourself, and just focus on enjoying your own machine. :)
  12. YMark macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2008
    You're headaches will be fewer, your blood pressure will come down, and you'll be more productive.
  13. brantfordbandit thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2013
  14. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Now that there are Mac equivalents to open just about every popular file type (i.e. txt, doc, gif, etc), you shouldn't have many problems at all. I think the most difficult part will be getting acclimated to the UI and keyboard shortcuts.

    Lastly, remember, on a Mac, when you close the the windows on an app, the app itself can still be running. You need to go to the menu bar, click File, and select Quit.

    Good luck.
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I was never "a switcher", but would suggest that you keep BOTH the Windows computer and the Mac set up for a while. Perhaps a time frame of 2-4 months.

    This will allow you to "ease over" from the old to the new gradually. And if you "get stuck" on something, you'll still have Windows to go back to, as you work the difficulties out...
  16. Virinprew macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2012
    You will get used to it in no time. The only thing I miss from Windows 7 is aero snap feature. But I install Cinch so everything is fine.
  17. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    David Pogue has good books about "Switching to the Mac".. definitely worth it
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    You will spend less time worrying and dealing with viruses. You will hardly ever have to reboot your machine. You will never see the blue window of death.

    In short you can just get on and use a computer instead of maintaining it.

    Welcome to the club. 12 months since I switched and loving it.
  19. And macrumors 6502


    Feb 23, 2009
    92 ft above sea level, UK
    Installing applications is an area which catches people out at first. Everything is straightforward if you go via the app store, the programs will be installed. However, not everything you will need is on the app store. So, if you get a dmg package it will not install automatically. Usually the disk image file will open, you then need to manually drag the file to the applications folder which will install it. Usually the disk image will have an applications folder for you to drag the file to. It's still pretty easy.

    Just to second a comment from a previous poster. Using a computer will now largely be about doing the thing you wanted, rather than maintaining a computer.
  20. Jedi Master macrumors regular

    Apr 5, 2013
    ar the moment on the Death Star
    What to expect, what to expect... You'll now have a life

    You'll now have a life, enjoy :)

  21. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Here are some key points to remember:
    • Shortcuts use the Meta key rather than the Control key - this key is marked "Command" on recent Macs.
    • On typical Mac keyboards, the Alt and Meta keys are transposed.
    • OS X does not distinguish keys that have left and right versions from one another.
    • The menu bar is global, at the top of the screen, and dynamic - its contents change based on which application is active.
    • Mavericks-specific: OS X does not have a concept of primary / secondary monitors anymore. All monitors are treated equally.
    • The Dock, which sits at the bottom by default, but can be moved to the sides, serves the same function as panels in Linux and the Windows taskbar.
    • OS X doesn't provide any way from the GUI to open multiple instances of one program, even though the OS itself supports this, because each instance shares settings with the others.
    • OS X is based on FreeBSD, so many UNIX things you've learned will work in the Terminal on an OS X system.
  22. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  23. VI™ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2010
    Shepherdsturd, WV

    Quicksilver. I know finder does some of what Quicksilver does, but Quicksilver is a pretty powerful app that was very helpful in helping me when I first started using OS X. Crtl + Space and you can find and use programs and files without having to browse through menus.
  24. robo456 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2008
    New Jersey
    I've had a macbook for a while, but my main has been a PC forever. I too am looking to make the full time switch, but there's one thing that has been plaguing me.

    In windows, I can highlight a bunch of folders and right-click->properties and it will give me the TOTAL amount of files and space in one window. I have yet been able to figure out how to do it in OSX without having to make a parent folder, move all the folders into that folder, and then "get info" on the parent. Not ideal.

    (What happens on the OSX side, is that if I get info for multiple folders, it pops up an 'info screen' for each folder selected...)

    Not sure if that info will be useful for the OP, but I know a few people that have that same issue. Seems like it's a basic function not to be able to do?

  25. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    All you had to do was ask :D
    Here's your answer:
    Command-select your set of folders/files
    Right-click on the selected folders, and hold Your Control key. You'll see the right-click menu change from Get Info to Get Summary Info.
    That will show you the number of files, and space used of the selected folders, all in one window. Not EXACTLY the same as what you may see in MS Windows, but maybe it's close enough.

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