What do I need to know about Switching to Mac from PC?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by skippymoe, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. skippymoe macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2004
    I have been seriously thinking of switching to Mac for about 18 months. I have used PCs for the last 10 years, but grew up on the Apple IIGS and then a Mac and then after college I went PC because of my work.

    I am a technology guy, but I'm not a programmer. I do some PHP and Java troubleshooting, but not a hardcore computer programmer guy who can take apart a machine and put it back together again.

    Also, I want to move to Mac because the laptops are light, powerful, and better integrated with hardware. I have worked with XP for 2 years now and it doesn't crash, doesn't give me the blue screen, and it's a good OS. So my reasons for switching to Mac are maybe different than others.

    I really rely on a number of different software and I was wondering if you could help me figure out if these are available for MAC or what I should use:

    1) I constantly ping websites and servers. I use the built-in Dos Prompt on XP to do this. What should I use for Mac?

    2) I also use Sam Spade to ping and do whois on servers. What is similar in Mac?

    3) What type of software should I use for FTP and SSH to servers?

    4) I have about 4 gigabytes of email on my Outlook 2003 from the past few years. How can I cross that over to a comparable Mac email program?

    5) I heard it's possible to have a PC environment on Mac. If this is true, does that mean I can also install PC software?

    6) This sounds like a stupid question, but what should I do with a mouse with one button? I rely so much on the right-click to get info on Properties of files and View Source of HTML pages. How hard is it to migrate my mind into a one-button scenario? Also is it ata ll possible to still use a 2-button mouse on Mac?

    I greatly appreciate your thoughts on these issues. I have done lots of thinking and value the advice of others. My friends joke that usually it takes me 10 years to buy a pack of chewing gum because I analyze it from all sides. :>

  2. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Mac OS X has a terminal for doing most command line tasks, but you'll need to get used to using Unix commands rather than DOS. Still, you don't need to use the terminal if you don't want to. Mac OS X comes with an app call Network Utility that provides a GUI for many of the common tasks (including whois inquiries).

    As one of the Mac OS X old-timers, I've been using RBrowser since before Mac OS X was called Mac OS X. There are other apps and I'm sure that others can point them out and their relative strengths. One of the things I like about RBrowser is it feels like working in the Finder.

    I'll leave that up to someone else. I don't use Microsoft products (even on the Mac side) so I have no experience in the area of converting Outlook files.

    Yes you can. There are a couple options for this, but they are all slow compared to the relative speed of the system as all the hardware has to be emulated to run the software.

    I've heard good things about the latest version of VirtualPC, but after it was taken over by Microsoft I heard that the support for other PC operating systems had dropped off greatly in quality (before it was a Microsoft product there was even a Red Hat Linux version). The current version is 7.1 as I recall, I haven't used any version since 5.0.

    Again, someone else could give more direct experience.

    The Mac OS has had contextual menus since Mac OS 8. These can be use either via ctrl-click or with a third party multi-button mouse.

    My main system is a PowerBook so I use ctrl-click a lot. Also some apps respond to click and hold to bring up contextual menus (a good example is OmniWeb).

    Hope that helps a little.
  3. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816


    May 3, 2004
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    1. You can ping through OS X terminal (like DOS command line) Or through OS built-in network utility

    2. As mentioned above use OS built-in network utility for ping, lookup, traceroute, whois, finger, and port scan.

    3. Not to sre on this one but there are many free ones available

    4. You can network your windows box to your mac and do a transfer

    5. Yes through Virtual PC which runs very slowly but will get the job done.

    6. This is the thing that pisses me off about most uneducated PC users. Any USB mouse can be used on a mac. Yes you can right click! And if you are on an ibook or powerbook then hold control while clicking to right click.

    Get a mac they are awesome!
  4. skippymoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2004
    Yes! Many thanks! I am going to investogate RBrowser and find out about it.

    My work is pretty intensive so I need to make sure I am as prepared as possible before I make the switch--I can't take more than a week to get uptospeed on all these things.

    I have been to the MAc store a few times to play around with the systems and I like what I see.
  5. skippymoe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2004
    Ah, one more thing. You said:

    Do I need to reboot to use this? Can I just open the VirtualPC program and run from there? Is it like on a PC where I need to designate a drive a certain about of space to hold all the PC programs?

    For the 2-button mouse, I had never heard of that-that's very cool! But do I need to install extra drivers? So you mean it works virtually the same?

    Thank you so much for the quick replies--I'm impressed that this board is so active and helpful.
  6. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816


    May 3, 2004
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    No, Virtual PC requires no re-booting as it is a program. It doesn't need its own drive. It stores all of the virtual PC drive info in a disk image which mac OS X sees as an individal file. I am not sure if you will need to designate before hand, how much room you want the PC image to use.

    As for mice about 95% of them will work without drivers for right click, left click, and scroll wheel. If your mouse has any additional buttons you might need some drivers. Logitech (and many other companies) offer free mac drivers to download for their mice and if you cant find the drivers you need you could try the all prupose USB driver USB Overdrive. And as for your last question, no, I don't mean it works the same, I mean it works easier.

    Well thank you, we try to help the mac community to grow. And if you like the site try clicking a few advertisements. It is how the web masters make their money.
  7. jestershinra macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2004
    As far as Outlook to Mac, it's not incredibly challenging, but it's a bit more than drag-and-drop.

    You'll first need to export your Outlook Mail to Outlook Express.

    Once it's there, you'll need to convert all the .dbx files with oe2mbx (look around to d/l it. It's a command line thing and it's not well documented, but it works). Once this is done, you'll need to change each resulting .mbx file to a .mbox file.

    Both Mail and Entourage will import .mbox files.

    You can also use an email client called The Bat! for conversion from Outlook to MBOX, but it's not as quick. Seeing as your experienced with a command line, you should be fine. The only advantage would be if you have many Outlook mailboxes. I had around 40, and manually typing in the oe2mbx command was annoying. The Bat! worked well, just slowly.

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