Thinking About Switching

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kevbo111, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. kevbo111 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2006
    Hello All! I'd just like to start off by saying that I used to be a hard-core PC user, probably even a Mac-hater, but now I can truthfully say that I've seen the error in my ways. Apple has caught my eye of late, and I'm really interested in getting my hands on one of their machines.

    Anyways. A friend pointed this forum out to me as a good spot for a potential switcher, and I've learned a lot just by reading a couple of the threads here. I'm looking to get a laptop for college next year, and Apple's new line looks really tempting. I'm currently weighing PC vs. Mac issues, and in the case that I get a Mac, Macbook vs. MBP stuff too.

    So what I guess I'm really looking for is any advice/insight/experiences from first-time switchers (and helpful Mac loyalists) on anything and everything; usability, difficulties in switching, etc. I'm also keeping a blog on my thoughts ( which I update periodically, and I'll probably spend some time posting both here and there, so feel free to visit and drop a comment on something I've already posted. The blog has more of my deeper thoughts, so I won't bore you by reposting them again. Thanks in advance!
  2. amholl macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2004
    Glad to hear you are so open. That is a great first step. In Mac OS, things work a bit differently than Windows based systems or linux. Some things are in different places and a couple things are done differently, such as installing/uninstalling software, but once you figure it out, it will hit you and you will say, what have i been doing all these years. Also, with a new Intel Macintosh, you will be able to dual boot, which will help you ease your way into OSX, if you choose to. These forums are a great resource for anything you might need, and don't worry, no question is to 'stupid'. Feel free to ask anything from buying advice to OS or App support. Good Luck!
  3. farqueue macrumors 6502


    Jun 18, 2006
    Hi, i suggest you not to change because if more ppl move to mac, we will be more prone to viruses, and other BS. U Peecee users are infecting us:p
  4. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    I'm in the same boat that you're in. With the new Intel Macs I no longer have to sacrifice anything by choosing a Mac. I've read every single MBP review on the net, as well as a few OSX/Mac impressions from Anandtech. I would recommend you do the same as I have in regards to reading as much as you can stomach. I would start with this article for a general overview of the feel of OSX (and Macs in general) coming from a Windows user. Part II for a continuation of that experiment can be found in the Mac section of that same site, as linked here. Part II is more tailored towards mobiles (I believe Anand tested the Powerbook in that article; both articles are a tad dated) which appears to be one product category in which you have expressed interest.

    Personally, I've come to the conclusion that with Apple's new pricing, and especially with their student discount, there is no longer a significant gap (if one exists at all) in pricing between their products and that of Windows notebooks. That, along with the asthetics of both the machine and operating system have convinced me that if I can afford to do so, I'll be buying a 17" MacBook Pro come August when Merom (hopefully) arrives.
  5. X5-452 macrumors 6502


    Feb 16, 2006
    Calgary, Canada
    I just switched to a Mac on Monday, so it's been a little less than 4 days now. At first, I missed Windows, simply because it was what I knew. However, these past 4 days have been insane. Mac OS X is so intuitive. I knew the hardware was beautiful, but the OS is impeccable. I've only run into a few snags here and there where I didn't know what to do. The hardest thing for me when switching over was having the "File, Edit" etc. menu now be at the top of my screen, independant from the application I was working in. The finder is a lot like Explorer so that was nice. Just overall, the feel is really nice. It just makes sense. I did read a book on how to install programs, how some apps worked, etc, but I can honestly say that I didn't need to. I definitely don't regret switching. The only thing I don't like about my new MacBook is that the official MSN client for Mac lacks several features, but that's not Apple's fault, and hopefully MS will get on the ball with the next release.
  6. tyoelin macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2005
    I made the switch about 9 months ago, since then my laptop has been in service for one full month. I won't say the switch has been a complete disaster, but I'm very turned off from Mac right now. I've talked to a few dozen people over the past year about their Mac computers, and the majority have said that they have serious problems with their Macs regularly.

    Over the past 4 years I have had one PC. I keep it well maintained, and clean, and I would say that in those past 4 years I have only had one month of downtime (compare that to one month of downtime in 9 months of owning this mac).

    My school A/V manager also said that the last few desktop computers they bought from Apple arrived defective and had to be sent back, or developed problems within the first month.

    I'm not convinced that Macs are the better way to go just yet. I only switched because my industry uses Macs almost exclusively. I'm split whether or not I will be replacing my PC desktop with a new intel one, or just giving my 4 year old PC a performance overhaul.
  7. chanwaiming3 macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    i just made the switch

    I just made the switch... got an barely used G4 powerbook 17 instead of the new Intels... after using PCs for like an eternity... i realized i have been missing out all these years. The Mac OS rocks! it's just a better system.

    You won't regret it!
  8. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    Well mac hardware asside I say I truly do prefer Tiger to XP. I made the switch about a year ago and the first two days I thought I may have made a mistake in selling my computer because OS X did the same thing as XP. After I learned the OS I couldn't be happier. It's just wonderful that nothing randomly starts up when I first boot up. I can find everything so easily with spotlight. I can plug in so many things and they just work. Working on research papers for my sociology major is so much easier when I can hit F12 and my wikipedia and dictionary widgets are right there. I love knowing that if something unusual occurs, it won't be a virus. Overall I'm just more creative with the software package I have. My itunes library is growing and sending the video I convert to my ipod couldn't be greater. I have pictures of parties and old school comic books on iphoto and it's easy to navigate. When I get inspired I record my songs using garageband. iCal keeps me organized and omnioutliner has my random notes. Overall I couldn't be happier.

    I can't say I never had a problem. When I first received my powerbook from someone on this forum, within a month the hard drive failed. Applecare took care of it in about 5 days including shipping and it hasn't stuttered since. I use to use yahoo to watch music videos, but macs can't view that web page. That was a blow but I got over it. Just went to VH1 instead. Lastly, the emulators aren't the same quality. That's about it I say I've gained so much more than I've lost. Good luck with your decision
  9. bowdeni macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2005
    I made the switch 7 months ago and haven't looked back.

    I used to be a PC only user, but when I was going to university, I had the ability to buy a computer that only I would use, so didn't have to worry about my parents learning OS X etc.

    I'm extremely glad that I made the switch, and this week added to my mac collection with a G4 ibook 12". There are a few things that I miss. Thats gaming & video on MSN messenger, and slow updates on Skype.

    I fixed the gaming issue by buying an xbox 360, and yahoo messenger does video. But I just love my imac so much! I bought it with lisenced copies of Studio 8 & Creative Suite 2. I'm doing a marketting degree so am tryin to pick up the software to increase my job prospects after I've done my finals.
  10. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    Here is a link to my first post after making the switch.

    Its been almost 2 months now and I don't regret switching. Everything in OS X is very intuative and much easier to learn than any version of Windows you're used to.

    I had to unlearn doing things the hard way. For instance, if I wanted to find a file in XP..I'd open up Explorer and manually find it. Sure XP has a search function but it always seemed slow. It was usually just faster to manually find the file myself. In OS X I use Spotlight to find what I'm looking for. Much faster and easier.

    Installing programs is different but very easy. Decide to uninstall it , just drag it to the trash. All the hardware I've thrown at it just works. No device drivers to fuss with or install so far.

    I've had fun finding mac replacement programs for things I used to use. I spend more time using my computer now vs maintaining it. I don't worry about spyware or viruses anymore although I do realize this could change someday. Mac OS X is just beautiful.

    My advice still stands. Read all you can about OS X and Apple hardware, be informed before you make the switch. I dont' think you'll regret your decision.

    Side Note: Even though I have XP installed via Boot Camp, and within Parallels, I can't tell you the last time I actually used it.
  11. regre7 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm in the same boat as you (well, except for college). I'm getting ready to buy a MBP. As for your MB or MBP decision, I know that the college I am hoping to attend requires a >=15" screen, which only the MBP offers in Apple's current lineup.

    Don't look back.
  12. Core Trio macrumors regular

    Core Trio

    May 16, 2006
    New Jersey
    I switched on August 4th, 2005 when I came home from work to my Powerbook G4 on my doorstep.

    Best purchasing decion I've made since my iPod in December '04. The only problem is I constantly find myself in envy of the MBP:p . But I plan on getting a new 'book once Merom matures with the Santa Rosa chipset. 800Mhz fsb in an apple notebook just sounds so unreal.
  13. Core Trio macrumors regular

    Core Trio

    May 16, 2006
    New Jersey

    Your college requires a certain screen size??? Where are you going?
  14. MMcBride macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2005
    I switched back in November of 04 when I bought a iBook. Had problems with the screen and had it replaced. The replaced screen had two stuck pixels, the repair shop said it was normal and I would have to speak with Apple. The pixels are out of the way so I didn't bother. I still use my desktop PC a lot and don't find some of the problems that other users claim with Windows. Would I buy another MAC? Not sure right now, but I would like to build a new PC and use OSX on it.
  15. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
  16. kevbo111 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2006
    Wow. Thanks for all your responses. Apparently I have nothing to worry about in terms of usability and the differences in uses between OS X and Windows. The only obstacles I'm facing now are the computer's "professional usage" and its price.

    By "professional usage," I specifically mean what I'm going to use the computer for in college. I'm going to be studying engineering, and the engineering college specifically said that they do not recommend buying a Mac because of all the specialized software that (apparently) is Windows-only. Are there any other Mac users that have run into this problem? I'm interested in finding out any solutions to this problem.

    Another thing I'm facing is the price. If you've looked at my blog, you know I'm most interested in getting a laptop, and more specifically the Macbook Pro, for various reasons (screen size, independent graphics, aluminum case, etc.) Unfortunately, this model carries with it a hefty price tag. Dollar for dollar, I can get a Windows computer for $500 or more less. And to a college student, that's a significant chunk of change.
  17. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    There are certianly some problems with people bringing over design/engineering software. I forget the name of the biggest one, but they have refused to port it. It's their loss really. They don't want to see that Apple will be one of the dominant systems in years to come? Screw em.

    As far as more of the digital art type stuff like Macromedia/Adobe (which are the same now) and others, it's all here. However, with an Intel Mac you can just used Windows for that one particular app that's needed for your enigneering class.
  18. regre7 macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Hopefully Georgia Tech. Very engineering-y.
  19. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Also depends heavily on the type of engineering (EE, ME, ...). It's the mechanical guys that have the worst problems with AutoCAD / SolidWorks not being available for Mac. Many EEs can live with MATLAB/Spice which are available.

    Check out this thread: for more useful info.

  20. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    YEs, AutoCad was the software title I was thinking of! Good save! lol
  21. coffey7 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2006
    I also have been a big pc user the last 4 years.I have switched to linux and mac.The only problems you might have are the higher prices for apple products(why is apple selling 2 gb ram for $500) and using video players. it kind of sucks not having windows media player 10 or 11. You can overcome the media problems with ease but the prices will just drive you nuts. don't ever expect the prices to go down.I thought that when new products came out the older ones would go down in price like windows products. Not so. good luck and if you get a macbook go with a larger hardrive.
  22. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    The solution: Don't buy the RAM from Apple. I don't. Much cheaper to use
  23. Cybix macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2006
    Western Australia
    I switched to Apple this year (when MBP was released), this is my first mac since my old Mac Plus (yonks ago when I was in primary school)..

    When bootcamp came out, I installed it, and installed XP on my MBP on a 20gig partition, thinking I'd use it. I think I've used it two or three times, AND I've only ever used it to demonstrate to some stubborn mates who cant understand why I switched. (look it books XP too, it's super cool), pfft.

    I'll be removing XP, and bootcamp. I dont use it.

    I'm still learning new things in OS X, and the wife and I teach each other things as we learn/find stuff out.. etc.

    Unfortunately I have to use an IBM thinkpad at work, I hate it. Infact, I just dont like windows any more, I really hate it. I find myself trying to do things that are only possible on OS X.. (expose, etc).. it's very awkward now!

    I haven't looked back. There's nothing (app) that I need to windows installed for.

    I've sat some mates down and given a 10 min demo of my MBP and they've been amazed. Things like expose, front row, the installed daemons (apache, etc)... It's killer.

    There is no better portable computing device/solution available in my opinion.

    loving it
  24. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Various solutions:

    A) Parallels- run simple apps in a virtual environment.
    B) If the app is RAM-intensive or uses your graphics card, use Boot Camp to boot in Windows.
    C) Keep an eye on DarWine. This is a Mac OS X port of WINE for Linux.

    WINE (stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator) is an app that loads up the core chunks of Windows (the API and all) into Linux, enough so that Windows applications will run within Linux at full speed. The Linux version is very advanced and even runs most games at full speed- in fact, some rare games have been benchmarked to run FASTER in WINE than on Windows because there is less overhead without the entire Windows operating system.

    The Mac version, DarWine, is still early in development, but it runs the Windows version Photoshop at full speed on an Intel Mac, as well as a growing list of other applications. That's only what they've tested. Who knows if your required app will run or not? It's worth a try- if it works, you can run that Windows app while in Mac OS X.

    Boot Camp is your best bet, because it's SURE to work. Parallels will work if the program doesn't use your graphics card, but it might be slow if it's RAM intensive. DarWine is least likely to work, but if it works, it's the most convenient solution.
  25. kevbo111 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2006
    I've been thinking long and hard about my computer predicament, and I might just have to wait a bit before I switch. I'm desperate to jump head-on into the Mac world, but so many things (my college's recommendation, my comfortability with Windows, price, etc.) are keeping me from switching. For college, I'm planning on bringing my desktop PC to college, as well as getting a laptop. I figure I'd still need the usability of Windows on the laptop though. Maybe I'll wait until the second revision of the intel laptops and/or the release of Leopard.

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