Windows Bigot Buys First Mac - Advice?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by mac_geek, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. mac_geek macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2004
    I am a self-confessed Windows bigot - having spent the last 14 years playing with mainly MS technology, building my own PCs etc. I have always been amused by the passion that Mac users show for their platform.

    Having looked around for a decent windows laptop as a personal purchase I found that such a thing does not exist, they all suck. Therefore I have bought a 17 inch Powerbook which if Apple are to be believed will arrive this afternoon (17 inch, 128 MB Graphics, 1.0GB RAM, Fast HDD, iSight).

    This afternoon will be the first time I have ever used a Mac.

    I would therefore be intested in anyones thoughts / tips / advice on what to expect, what to look out for etc etc.

  2. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    Try not to lick it too much.... :D

    I've used Apple laptops for years, the 17" is a great machine, some say a bit big, but it's really almost a portable desktop.

    My advice is read the forums and ask your questions.

    Don't expect the Mac to be the be-all-and-end-all, it isn't, what it is is a very well integrated soft/hardware solution that is still evolving, you'll love some things and hate others, but you'll probably never go back to a PC.

    The hardware looks great, but the secret is the OS integration, try out all the iApps, they are worth the price of admission alone.

    Oh yeah, buy an iPod too....

    Have fun, and welcome to the dark side.... ;)
  3. kewpid macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2003
    New Macs tend to mysteriously eat up more HD space then expected. What you might want to do is do a fresh install of OS X when you get your powerbook to correct this. You can also pick and choose which Apps you actually want installed.
  4. DGFan macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    The only thing I have noticed is that they tend to have lots of languages installed which take up space. But there are programs out there to get rid of these and can be used at any time.

    But if you're fairly computer savvy it should be a piece of cake to use the Mac. If you don't want to buy a book (OS X The Missing Manual is pretty good) then I would just recommend poking around the System Preferences (found under the Apple logo menu) - a "look but don't touch" adventure - and look around the Applications folder to see what's there. Other than that - just have fun! I am sure that any specific questions you have will find a quick answer here or on many other sites (macnn, etc...). You will also find threads topics relating to different software that's available (much of it free but lots of shareware/crippleware too).
  5. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    First of all, look around, see what came with your new Mac - then, if you have questions, just post them on this forum. I will try my best to help you, and I'm sure other members will too.
  6. mac_geek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2004
    Thanks for the thoughts.

    Bought a 40GB iPod 3 months ago and this helped me choose a mac as my laptop.

    I like the iPod but the battery life sucks and the headphones are terrible :rolleyes:
  7. mac_geek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2004
    BTW - Apple were not to be believed. Despite a "shipped date" of 7 July, they now estimate delivery next week.

    Lesson for anyone getting excited at the time of placing the order - don't believe a word they say (when I ordered it they said it would be here on the 7th, rather than shipping on the 7th and here maybe on the 19th).

    I believe that Steve is personally delivering it by bicycle, judging by the time it has taken :(
  8. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Apple uses a strange shipment time quoting method. The ship date Apple gives you is not "time from the factory to your location" but rather "time from the factory to Apple's distribution center in California". "Time from Apple's distribution center in California to your location" is usually 1 to 5 business days, longer if you're outside the USA.
  9. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    The 12" Powerbook I ordered on Wednesday had a ship date of Thursday (which it shipped on) and has a FedEx arrival date of Monday (which I will pick it up on). Not too shabby in my opinion. Granted... non-stock machines will take longer I'm assuming...
  10. mac_geek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2004
    Ironically the thing which has held it up is the extra battery I ordered.

    The BTO PB was in the main distribution centre in the Netherlands in 2 days, everything else in 4 and the battery took 7. They wait for everything to get together then put it in the backpack and walk from the Netherlands to the UK with it - ooops sorry I mean put it in a truck ;-).

    Ignore my rants - I am just massively disappointed as I wanted to play with my new toy and am away on business all next week so will have to wait til next Saturday......
  11. Calvinatir macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2003
    Wow, you are the same as me! I've been workin on windows, building M$ computers for years and i was looking for a nice laptop. I also found out that it didn't exist! So i saw the 17" one day when my roommate drug me into the apple store and i bought it on site! I have since never turned back, i also plan on selling my desktop PC that i built and getting a'll LOVE your 17" Powerbook dude..
  12. Krizoitz macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    My only suggestion is to be open to using it. While there are similarities, MacOS is also much different from Windows. Alot of people who are die hard Windows users complain about how it doesn't do something like Windows did, etc. Be open to the idea that MacOS does somethings differently and you might find you actually like them better. From my experience working with both platforms its the fact that the MacOS feels more polished and complete that I love about it.
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I was a Mac user from the late 80's until maybe 1995 or so. Then I got fed up with them, with OS issues, with cost, etc. So I left them behind for Windows. I stayed with Windows, even after I got the use of a 1999 PowerBook when someone at work left the company. OS 9 - which was what it came with - didn't particularly appeal to me. My Dell laptop had a better screen, bigger hard drive, etc. I'd ended up using Windows the way 99% of Windows users use it - merely as a way to get to their applications. I had a Dell PC at home that worked just fine for me and my family.

    Then, in 2002, we moved and were in a temporary apartment without most of our stuff for a while - including the PC which had inadvertently been left in storage. We wanted to get a new PC anyway, as ours was almost four years old and 350 miles away. By chance, we walked into an Apple Store. We saw the 17" iMac and bought it that day - I wanted it to see what OS X was like, and my wife wanted it because it wasn't ugly. But my main goal was to get it home, set it up, and let my wife use it so she wouldn't bother me while I was working on my Dell laptop or call me while I was at work asking me how to do something.

    I sat in front of that damn thing for virtually three straight days - Friday afternoon until I had to go to work (late) on Monday. It was the coolest thing I'd ever used. My wife was mad because she rarely got to use it until we bought the G5. I loved OS X Jaguar, and I love Panther. It took me only a few minutes to go from "I'll set this up so I can go back to my PC" to "why do I want to go back?".

    The thing I've realized is that, while people use Windows to get to their apps - sort of like taking the car to get to the store - people often use Macs because of the OS itself in addition to their apps - sort of like taking the Jeep to the store just so you can go over through the woods to get there. OS X is fun. I don't know many people who love Windows. I know a lot of people who love what they can do with their Windows PC - meaning apps. I know a lot of people who love OS X in and of itself.

    So be prepared to fall in love with it.

    Practical advice: just play for a few days. Get one of the suggested books - I happen to think "Mac OS X Panther Killer Tips" by Scott Kelby is a fun one - one of those you can pick up and flip anywhere and see something cool.

    OS X is stable but not perfect, so backup just like you'd backup any other system.

    Don't worry about viruses, etc. Not yet, anyway.

    Read this forum, post any questions you have, and realize that 95% of the time people will help you within the hour.
  14. omala macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2004
    One suggestion: if you're coming from Windows, and don't already have a multi-button USB mouse handy, you'll want one. Panther happily supports right click and scroll wheels, and they behave in much the same way as on Windows, which I think is a great semi-hidden feature ("hidden" since you'd never know about it from Apple's mice) ;)
  15. kzoonut macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2002
    First off congratulations on your new PB! I switched from a long M$ background as well about 2 years ago. Some websites I found useful in the transition are: (of course) (software repository) (hints/tips) (deals on gear) (news)

    and if you are into the tech side of things at all -

    Some shareware/freeware applications that I use all the time are:

    Firefox (Safari is great, but sometimes it's nice to have a backup browser)
    Desktop Manager (Slick implementation of virtual desktops)
    Salling Clicker (If you a bluetooth phone/pda) has a great FTP client and Newsgroup Application if you have the need for those utilities.

    As for business applications:
    Office X (Hate to say it, but essential for me using my PB at work)
    Omnigraffle (Think Visio on steroids)
    Keynote (Jaw dropping presentations)

    Finally, if you are upgrading RAM - be sure to get a good brand name such as Crucial or Kingston. My first stick bought from OWC caused applications to crash about twice per day (intermittent kernel panics as well).

    Well, once you get it - I think you'll really enjoy your PB!

  16. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2003
    my tip would be to turn on full keyboard access... i know when i'm using a pc, i tend to kb my way through everything, and if you don't know how to turn it on for the mac, it can be kind of annoying.

    luckily, its easy to turn on.... system prefs, kb and mouse, click on the tab (sort of a tab) for keyboard shortcuts, and click 'turn on full keyboard access'

    this will allow you to tab between options in dialog boxes and such... very handy.

  17. mac_geek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2004
    You guys are really helpful.

    If I had posted this on a Windows board I would have got a ton of RTFM responses.

    Many thanks and I will post a follow up when the beast arrives!

    I do plan to buy a bluetooth mouse but based on the on/off switch problem am waiting for the mac-mouse to come out. In the meantime I will plug in a nice Micro$oft one with a wire :p
  18. bertagert macrumors 6502

    Jan 13, 2003
    Mac Geek,

    here is a link that might come in handy. Heads up, its actually a guide line for developers porting their programs from windows over to mac os x. However, even though some of it might not interest you, it shows programmers why things happen in OS X. Things like, why does os x use disk images instead of installers to install programs, why windows aren't contained within one main window for all the documents in an application, why the User interface is set up the way it is, etc., etc.

    I remember when I switched I didn't understand the logic behind some of the OS X features. Articles liek this cleared things up so it all made sense. Well, most things anyway.

    Hope it helps. -->
  19. jimjiminyjim macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2003
    Bertagert: As a long-time mac user, I found the link you posted very interesting. It articulates what I feel instinctively about the OS. (this is not particularly thread related, but honestly, it's a good read, check it out in the previous post).
  20. bryanc macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2003
    Fredericton, NB Canada
    Hey Mac_Geek, RTFM! :D

    Seriously, I expect you'll love your new PowerBook. I was a Windows user from v.3.0 on, and I still have a PC running Windows 2k as well as my PowerBook (they get along fine).

    I found getting used to OS X took me about 8 minutes, and getting really attached to it took a couple of days. Despite being perfectly competent with Windows, everytime I sit down at a Windows system it just feels like going back in time and using DOS...OS X is so much more elegant and polished. I'm also much more easily annoyed by Window's foibles (registry corruptions, having to re-boot to clear fragmented memory, etc.) than I used to be...I've gotten used to being able to use dozens of applications simultaneously and run my PowerBook continuously for months at a time.

    However, there will certainly be a few things that make you wonder 'why do Mac's do X?!?' (where X is something that seems obviously stupid to you). First, I suggest you try to keep an open mind...X may not be as stupid as you think...decades of windows-use can do strange things to your've learned to do a lot of things the hard way, and relearning a better (simpler) solution may take a little time, but you'll get used to it, and then wonder how you ever tolerated the windows way. Alternatively, there are plenty of tweaks and little utilities you can get to change the way your system behaves, making it more to your liking.

    Finally, I suggest you buy a 2 button mouse with a scroll-wheel...this is one place that almost everyone agrees Apple is wrong WRT interface design. Fortunately, your Powerbook will support a multi-button mouse out of the just have to buy it from someone other than Apple.

    And, if you have time, let us know how your conversion goes...we all love hearing about it when people discover how much better computing can be.

  21. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    That's why I got better headphones. ;) Yeah, I know, but it's worth it. Battery life is ok, but I plan on buying a third party one when the built in one kicks it. Some have a little longer life.

    I think you'll really enjoy the PB though.
  22. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    What's wrong with the headphones that come with the iPod? As far as earbuds go, the iPod headphones are pretty good IMO. I've never tried using other headphone types with my iPod.
  23. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    If you think the iPods earphones suck, wait till you find out that it's not the earphones that are causing bad audio quality, it's the iPod's headphone amp, and sound processing.
  24. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    On a semi-related note, how do you access the menus from the keyboard? With Windows you hold Alt then press the letter for the menu you want, but I can't figure out how to do this in OS X.
  25. fossicker macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2004
    Omnigraffle comes free with the pb in the us -- not sure about the uk

    One OS X feature I love -- in any app, select File, Print, Save as PDF

    I've saved a lot of paper -- there are a lot of things (like online orders) where I might want or need a printout later, but I don't really want a printout right now.

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