Top tips for a PC lifer who has moved to enlightened side ;)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LondonBigMac, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. LondonBigMac macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2012
    Hi All,

    I have been a long time non-registered viewer of your forums as I weighed up the decision to move to MBP 15" 2.3 AG, after all the research I have placed my order, so thanks all for your posts which have really helped. I do a lot of photoshop and video editing (home and some business use) so just interested to know what tips anyone may have to make the move easier from real experiences of windows PC to mac etc.

    I appreciate it will be very different and am prepared for that but any useful tips and tricks to get the best from the Mac for a newbie would be great, I am a relatively quick learner so looking forward to it.

    Just wondering how much software I will need to buy fresh now I am using a Mac OS too... Any great apps or software anyone would recommend to compliment this new purchase? :):apple::)
  2. nephilim7 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2008
    First, welcome. The retina is a wonderful machine. I made the switch around 2008 when the then-current macbook pro was being touted as 'the best windows laptop available'. This was another very good time to switch.

    Some mac-isms:

    Get a backup drive about twice the size of your internal, use time machine, it's a backup system that actually works.

    Don't worry about Applecare until you approach the end of the first year, you can buy the additional 2 years at any point. This is a good warranty, unlike the best buyish 'extended warranties', you will want it, but as I mentioned you are covered free for the first year, when you buy applecare you are buying 2 more years.

    Get gfxCardStatus, it's a program that lets you know the status of your graphics card and helps you make decisions about battery use.

    Coconut battery will let you know about battery health.

    For windows programs, get parallels or vmware fusion and run windows in a virtual machine. If you game a lot install Windows in bootcamp instead, and tell fusion or parallels to boot that. That way you can boot into windows when you want to game, and when you're running osx you still have access to it.

    any questions you have I, and others will be happy to answer.


  3. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    I don't think the OP ordered a rMBP, but otherwise everything else applies.
  4. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    Hi, hope you enjoy your new purchase when it arrives. Whilst they are expensive products, I would not bother with a Windows laptop due to the quality of the MBPs touchpad, unibody design and MagSafe adaptor.

    SW-wise Nephilim7 has made some good suggestions. I would also recommend BetterTouchTool as it allows you to program in your own multi-touch gestures and enables a Windows 7 snap like feature, one of my favourite pieces of freeware ever.

    Sophos do a free Anti-Virus for Mac which runs well, also scans for Windows malware so you do not have to worry about inadvertently infecting a friends machine.

    I do not do any video work, I am quite in to photo editing though and really like Apple's Aperture. I know there are a few people who aren't fans, and there are some complaints on performance, however since I upgraded to 8GB RAM I've had no issues with it. Apple do a 30 day trial of it so worth giving it a try to see if you get on with it or not.

    Photoshop is available for Mac as well, I do the subscription edition for CS6 which allows me a copy for my MBP and a copy for my Windows desktop. Apart from the placement for some of the options on the menu bar they run identically to each other.

    A couple of useful sources can be found here:


  5. nephilim7 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2008
    this is what happens when I post before coffee.

  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I recommend that you avoid using Sophos, as it could actually increase your Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here.

    You don't need any 3rd party antivirus app to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as you practice safe computing, as described in the following link.

    Mac Virus/Malware FAQ

    If you still want to run antivirus for some reason, ClamXav (which is free) is one of the best choices, since it isn't a resource hog, detects both Mac and Windows malware and doesn't run with elevated privileges.
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Get both Apple Care and One to One service. Have a Genius do your migration. Take every available training course at the local store.

    Be sure to get a discount on apple care. In the States I would say get it from B&H in NY.

    As for apps iWork and iLife app sets do a god job for cheap money. If you are into photography, you can move your Windows licenses for Lightroom,PS6, and plugins to Mac OS.
  8. pgiguere1, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    1. Unlike in Windows, closing all windows of an application doesn't necessarily means the app is closed. Apps with a light underneath their icon in the Dock are still open. If you want to completely quit an app, make sure to click the app name in the menubar and "Quit [appname]", or hit Cmd+Q. The good thing about this is that you may choose to leave the apps you use the most often (like your main browser) always open, even if no window is open, so that they launch faster.

    2. If you want the green button to behave like the maximize button in Windows rather than a "scale to fit content" button, download RightZoom (free).

    3. Multi-touch gestures. Learn them, you'll be much more productive. You can see them in the "Trackpad" section of System Preferences, and you can also make your own gestures using BetterTouchTool (free).

    4. If you're the kind of person who likes to constantly monitor your CPU/RAM/Battery/Bandwidth/Temperatures, you can download iStat Menus ($16) to see them at all times in your menubar.

    5. To uncompress archive files that are not .zip (.rar, .7z, etc.), download Stuffit Expander (free).

    6. To format or write to external drives in the NTFS format (most compatible with Windows and devices like TVs/consoles/DVRs), download Paragon NTFS ($20).

    7. I don't recommend any kind of Antivirus or security software. Just make all OS X updates every time and you'll be safe. No need for any PDF software either, OS X handles them just fine already.

    8. Microsoft Office for Mac ($120) is the best productivity software suite for Mac IMO. You'll be sure that your files are always 100% compatible with Office for Windows.

    9. If you plan to use some Windows software occasionally, set up a virtual machine in Parallels Desktop ($80) so that you can launch them quickly without having to reboot. If you plan to use Windows software often, or use applications that require a lot of performance (like gaming), set up a Boot Camp partition with the integrated Boot Camp Utility.
  9. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    I made the jump too, back in September. Being a windows power user, and knowing how Unix works, I found the experience surprinsingly easy, and so learning curve much less steep than what I was expecting. It just seemed to work right away.

    I did have a few things to learn, and still have a few pet peeves. Here goes.

    - Some slight behaviour things will surprise you and make you aware of your reflexes. Like the "maximize" button that's not a "maximize" button. Or the "close window" one that does just that: closes the window, but NOT the application.

    - Some concepts are different : a window and an application are NOT the same thing.

    - Keyboard's different. The Cmd key does not only replace the windows one (which I never used). It also replaces Ctrl in many many shortcuts. Like Cmd+C / Cmd+V. Since the Ctrl key is still there and the Cmd key is placed at the "Windows" key position, your hands are going to have to relearn a few placements that have become a reflex. Especially if, like me, you keep your external Windows keyboard.

    - Windows is a "mouse only" environment. In MacOS, you'll find that's not so true. We all know Mac users love and praise the keyboard shortcut power. What I didn't realize, is that some things just MUST be done with a keyboard shortcut. Closing an app, for instance, needs Cmd+Q. The red button at the top left will only close the current window, but the app will still be running. Sometimes nice, sometimes infuriating.

    - Keyboard shortcuts. Ah. They're pretty cool, really, and try to learn them (you'll have to "unlearn" a few things first :p). But you will soon realize that the Mac community is either very much into hand yoga, have a lot of Dexterity points, OR has very big hands. And small keyboards :D

    - If you're a power user, know Unix, or are willing to learn, you'll be in heaven.

    - Overall the macbook pro is the best laptop I ever owned, and I've always bought "pro" models.

    - The MBP trackpad have made me like trackpads for the first time in my life. Though I still like a mouse better, I can actually use it, and use it without cursing the thing at every turn. The gestures are pure genius. To the point that I bought the external trackpad to use along with my mouse and external keyboard. Love those gestures.

    - To this day, the things that still bug me are : mac font rendering (still looks blurry and/or bold to me), mac subpar external monitor management (re the font rendering), the fact that Apple advertises the use of your laptop in "clamshell mode" but doesn't allow it natively (close lid, sleep, ahah), and the "No sound control through HDMI" thing is a constant "WTF Apple" in my life. Oh, and the "Non-Save-As" - another WTF you need to be REALLY careful about !

    - Things I miss from Windows 7 : Window snapping and a few programs (snagit for example).
  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    You can mimmick exactly what snagit(which is really crappy software, in my humble opinion) does by use cmd+shift+f4. This will make a crosshair appear on screen, select what you can to screen shot, and it will save it to the desktop as an image. As simple as that. Why need software when the feature is built into the OS?
  11. pasadena macrumors 6502a


    Sep 12, 2012
    Because it does much more than that. The latest version for windows is really good. The Mac version, which I used as a trial, is a joke.
  12. RexTraverse macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2008
    To to OP: If you do opt to go for a virtual machine of Windows to help with the transition, please go with VMware Fusion. I say this as someone who is unfortunately locked into the Parallels Desktop system but am unfortunately stuck. Because of Apple's aggressive OS upgrade cycle, recent versions Parallels regularly drop support for new versions of OSX. VMware appears to support newer versions of OSX with older versions of Fusion for much longer.
  13. LondonBigMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2012
    Thank you all for you most kind and informed responses. I will take it all on board. Any more tips from anyone out there will be gratefully received. You guys are all ace, many thanks.

    Ps. yes I consciously stepped away from buying a retina model, just went for the standard with Hi Res AG at this point until some of the potential issues I have read about are ironed out.
  14. nephilim7 macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2008
    I agree with this, between the two I use fusion, having used Vmware products for many many years.

  15. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    I hadn't realised that, thanks. Will give ClamXav a try.

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