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Switch to mac?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Tfstairs, May 7, 2011.

  1. Tfstairs
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    Tfstairs iPF Novice

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    Should I switch to Mac (the new iMac)? Why?
    I've been a pc user since 92 but the more I integrate a computer into everything I do I feel like Mac is a more intuitive way to go.
    Your thoughts please...
  2. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Is this a trick question? :confused: Are we on Candid Camera? :)

    In a word? Yes! I've not only been using computers since my first Commodore 64, I ended up building my own for years. Lost interest after Windows Vista (Windows Me II) and moved to Linux for a bit but was never satisfied. Switched to Apple a few years ago and have never looked back.

    Remember what it was like to fire up Windows 3.1? That's what using a Mac is like today (although lightyears advanced of course). Nirvana IMHO. You'll hear about the "Apple Tax"...Macs are sooo much more expensive. Honestly, I've never spent less money on individual computers since switching (less software and hardware to buy)...or less time...a LOT less time working on them! "They just work" isn't a slogan, it's the truth. Are they perfect? No...but as close to anything like it in today's world...computer or otherwise.

    I still have some Windows machines around (Windows 7 is MS' best yet, but still no match for a Mac IMO) and a couple of Linux boxes too. Those are my "babies", dream machines I built and with which I cannot find the nerve to give up. However they are all collecting dust for the most part. My wife was a dyed in the wool Windows user and I had to drag her kicking and screaming into the light. Now she wouldn't give up her Mac Mini or our iPad for anything.

    Your next question will be "How hard is it to learn to use a Mac?" and my answer is, not at all. As you mention, they are terrifically intuitive and with a little patience (and a quick read of [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Switching-Mac-Missing-Manual-Leopard/dp/0596804253/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304837462&sr=8-1"]David Pogue's "Switching to the Mac"[/ame]) you'll have most of it down in hours and the rest in a few days. Oh, and if you can't live w/o Windows...Windows runs even better on a Mac.

    Be forewarned however...once you switch you'll never want to go back...and you'll want more. Think not? Take a look at my signature if there's any doubt. Don't say you haven't been warned!

    Click here for more and happy "upgrading"! :D
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  3. TonyR
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    TonyR iPF Novice

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    I've recently switched and there are a few things you need to consider IMO.

    First, how much have you got invested in software that needs to be replaced. By the time you've got Office, Acrobat, Photoshop etc in the Mac versions, it can cost quite a bit. For the PC you will already have the discs in a drawer somewhere. So seriously work out what software you will need and how much it will cost. If you want to run Windows on the Mac (works quite well) remember to cost in Parallels. I use it because there are just some programs with no Mac equivalent e.g. Poptray

    How much of your old data do you need? If you can start afresh and leave it where it is that's fine but if not think about what you will need to transfer over. ITunes transfer is a right pain for example and if you don't transfer it, the new iTunes will want to wipe your iPad/iPhone/iPod. Ditto moving over emails, browser settings, saved passwords etc. With a PC the swap is much simpler because you just copy the files over to the same location on the new machine or with Acronis you can even clone the old machine onto the new hardware.

    How much do you like to fiddle with the system? The basic transfer to a Mac is quite easy but if you do more than that do not underestimate the learning curve for all the tacit knowledge you have built up especially if you need to troubleshoot. e.g working out what the equivalent is to Ctrl-Alt-Del is to look at what processes are running. The Mac is also a lot more locked down against customising (as evidenced in the extreme by the iPad/jail breaking tussle) which is the price you pay for things tending to trip over less.

    My top tip though is to do what I did and get the Mac on their 14 day returns policy, get the trial downloads of Parallels, Office etc and see if you get on with it. If not return it. For me it was a choice of a 13" Sony Vaio or MacBook Air. After 14 days of serious thinking, I kept the Air but it was after carefully weighing up of the pluses and minuses and though I like the MBA, it does frustrate me at times when I don't know how to do something that would have taken a few seconds and have to start reading up instead.
  4. Hayles66
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    Hayles66 iPad Expert

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    Good point! I was thinking of getting a mac but you are right, it isn't just the mac it's all that goes with it and the knowledge. Thank you for this, I will need to find a lot more money than I thought - the mac way is certainly expensive but rewarding from what I've been listening to.

    from Somerset UK on my iPad using IPF app
  5. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Good points and considerations. Well done.

    With regard to the software replacements I'd add a couple of things. Most software manufacturers have Mac versions today and they more often than not cost less, sometimes considerably less than the equivalent for Windows. MS Office for example is about half the price.

    Another consideration is that there are often compatible programs such as Apple's Pages (Word), Numbers (Excel), etc. which, again, cost far less than their counterparts.

    Also with the Mac App Store instead of being forced to buy a suite of programs, some of which you may never use, you can buy almost everything ala carte.

    The other consideration is that there is no "tweaking" to get things working...no worries about drivers being compatible, fiddling with the registry, problems with virus software conflicts, etc. Again, almost without fail, software on a Mac "just works". Updates are generally one click...done.

    So yes, the one-time replacement of some software is in order, but that's often no different than it is with PC's as software goes out of date, updates have to be purchased, etc. I can't remember the last time I paid for a company's software update on our Macs. (I don't think I ever have?)

    FWIW, there's no need to buy Parallels to run Windows on a Mac as it comes with Bootcamp which works perfectly. If you want to run some Windows programs in your Mac environment (or just don't want to reboot into Windows) Parallels is a great program (I used to use VMWare Fusion, but really like Parallels now).

    So although like buying a new car you may have to buy new floor mats, the overall, long-term cost of maintaining a Mac has been less, a good deal less than that of a PC in my experience. YMMV of course.

    With respect to "fiddling" with a system...having done that for years...mostly because some software or hardware was not performing properly, using a Mac is pure heaven. It's not without faults once in a very long while (and usually nothing that a quick reboot won't solve), but I have saved hours, days, probably months of time simply not having to deal with computer problems. Crashes and freezes are a thing of the past. My wife has yet to call me into her office to fix anything on her Mac. Woo hoo! :) I don't know about anyone else, but I consider my time valuable and I can't calculate how much time I've saved not having to "fiddle" with anything since switching to a Mac.

    As far as reading up on how to do something, I haven't really had to do a lot of that as Windows has moved toward Mac in a lot of respects, but when I do I find it enjoyable. I subscribe to MacWorld and Mac|Life and really look forward to learning the finer points of OS X. I've even created an Apple Developer account just so I can have a play with OS X 10.7 Lion...what great fun! I guess that's one of the differences for me. PC's ended up just being work and Mac's on the other hand handle all of the workload, plus they are downright fun to use.

    So no argument about some of the considerations when switching to a Mac, all very good points and well worth thinking about. Been there, done that for sure. When I look back on it, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  6. henry2
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    henry2 iPad Junkie

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    the gentlemen was right about Macs and there easly to use system ..i love the simple to use OS and the fact it going to work when i need to work and not alot of problems or freezes or updates on the computer..

    My oldest grandkid took my mac laptop home with her and i had to replace the laptop with a Imac Desktop all in one unit and never look back ..
  7. bettafan
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    bettafan iPF Novice

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    I have to agree on the changing over to Macs. I have never looked back either. And time - thanks for pointing out how valuable our time is. I used to spend hours (and I do mean hours) on the phone with tech support and many times I could not understand the tech either, trying to get my Windows based Pc's to work. Finally, when another one "died" I was recommended to try a Mac. I did and am so thankful. As far as learning how to work it, I personally would recommend getting a One-to-One membership when you buy your new computer. You get a personal trainer for an entire year to study whatever you want. Different trainers for each class. I set up own website, budgets, form letters, photo books, and on and on. Also bought iWork (pages, numbers, and a power point like presentation) for only $30. with my Mac. Now I can do word processing (like MS Word), Numbers (like MS Excel) and Presentations (like MS Power Point). You can also buy each one separately for your iPad. There is iPhoto that comes standard (check out your Macs on the Apple webdsite). You may be surprised just all the software that comes standard on a Mac. If you want a Professional photo editing you might try Aperture. Lots of options. All I can say is Macs work for me. I will never go back to PC's.
  8. DaveSt
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    DaveSt iPad Junkie

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    I would say just go for it and see how well you like Mac vs. Windows. I recently purchased a MacBook Pro, having been a Windows and Linux user for years. There are things I like better in Windows and there are things I like better in OS X. Neither one is the "perfect" operating system in my opinion. I actually prefer using OS X as a mobile (laptop) operating system but at the same time I prefer Windows 7 as a desktop operating system. I think both operating systems are very good at this point, but for some reason OS X just seems like a better laptop interface. Funny enough, I have had more crashes ("kernel panics" as Apple likes to call them) in the two weeks I have had my MacBook than I have had on all of my other non-OS X machines combined. Nothing serious, but as I said neither OS is perfect.

    If you are a heavy Office user, you may very well prefer to keep the Windows version and run it through either Bootcamp (dual boot setup basically) or Parallels or VMWare Fusion as Office is missing a bunch of functionality in OS X if you are a power user. If you are a gamer chances are you will be going the Bootcamp route anyhow.
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  9. Ayrshire
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    Ayrshire iPad Fan

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    Smiling from ear to ear.

    I have had my iPad since Friday, March 25th and I'm still trying to figure out how to do things I use to do on my PC. Perhaps it is my age or the patience part...or a combination of both. Saying that though, I am getting to really like my iPad and the apple product.
  10. TonyR
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    TonyR iPF Novice

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    Unfortunately iWorks and iPhoto are no match for Office and Photoshop I'm afraid both of which have become industry standards. I tried Pages etc but there were too many issues reading .docx documents and authoring them. Open Office does a better job for free but it's still not there if you are working in most commercial environments requiring document sharing, creative industries excepted. IMHO!
  11. Tfstairs
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    Tfstairs iPF Novice

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    WOW!! I really appreciate all of the honest opinion. I believe I will be getting an iMac soon, and making the switch gradually as I integrate it into my business.
    Thank you again for all your input!
  12. wytey
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    wytey iPad Junkie

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    you won't regret it, far more reliable!

    only issues you might find is finding the exact software you need, but if you have custom written software anyway, it matters not really
  13. Good karma
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    Good karma iPad Addict

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    I am also very eager to move to a imac desktop or macbook pro and get rid of the windows laptop i have at the moment. Finances is what is what is preventing me. Apple computers are expensive, but the high price is worth it, the specs and designs and attention to detail is world class. And lets not forget the bragging rights :)

    Sent from my iPad using iPF, using iOS 4.3.2
  14. DaveSt
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    I'll agree with you on the design and attention to detail. The fit and finish of my MacBook Pro is fantastic. Spec-wise however I would put it middle of the pack in general and probably lower than that when compared to a Windows machine of similar price. I'm not complaining though. The high quality of the device is what drew me to it in the first place and in that area it does not disappoint.
  15. wytey
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    wytey iPad Junkie

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    indeed, you can get a much higher spec windows laptop, but with apple you are paying for quality and reliability
  16. Good karma
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    Actually you are Wytey are both right. What i meant in the context is that with a £500 budget one can get a decent windows laptop, where as the macbook starts at £999 which looks expensive. But the £500 laptop will not have 4 gig memory, nvidia graphics card, and for windows office (word, excel) one have to pay extra. By the time the windown computer is pimped to the the spec of the macbook the price is similar, but without yhe build quality or fit and finish. I have seen hp and samsung laptops on the £1000 range, and if the macbook did not exist i would highly recommed them, but not when the mac exists. Right now even the basic macbook and imac have I5 processors and amd graphics card

    Sent from my iPad using iPF, using iOS 4.3.2
  17. wytey
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    wytey iPad Junkie

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    if you are buying from pc world etc yes, well known for rip off prices

    Ho ProBook 6555b, 4gb ram, 500gb hdd, 15.6" LCD, dvdrw +\- d/l, webcam, windows 7 pro 64bit, ati radeon hd 4250 gfx card £817.27 Inc vat - not from pc world, but from the computer reseller I used to work for

    you can find similar spec as what you quoted for around £800, but yes, I would agree, I would rather pay that little bit more for a better os, quality etc
  18. Good karma
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    Exactly, this is why i am saving for a mac computer, not that long ago i had visus/ malware problems and had it not been for my friend i would have struggled as i am not computer literate. I just love the quality and sophistication of macbook / desktop and the fact that the operating system is safer from virus is the best icing on the cake. Like they say you get what you pay for. My next computer is a mac :)

    Sent from my iPad using iPF, using iOS 4.3.2
  19. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Couldn't agree more about the quality and bang for the buck. Exactly.

    We've all had to deal with the "specs people" as I like to call them. I was one of them for years and years. Getting past that was one thing that took me a long time when comparing Macs and Windows based PC's. It's really not, and forgive the pun, apples to apples. Being a bit of a "gear head" I was always of the mind that more is better, that faster is best and the resulting "greater horsepower" was always superior. Turns out it really depends on what you're doing. I know my iMac can run circles around my much higher spec'd Windows machine when it comes to video and/or photo editing. Can it run a bazillion decimal quadra-formula Excel program as well? I have no idea...nor does it really matter to me.

    As suggested, I'm not an Excel or Word "power user". I write business papers and magazine articles with Pages and run basic spreadsheets with Numbers...I can save them as Word or Excel documents if I need to give them to someone with MS Office. I also use MS Office for Mac sometimes. For my money Keynote blows PowerPoint out of the water, but I use PowerPoint regularly too. I love iMovie but use Final Cut Express when I want to get serious. Aperture is a terrific program but I also use Photoshop. All of those programs and more run spectacularly well on my Macs. I'm not a big gamer, but WOW does quite well too.

    When discussions about what you can get with a Mac Vs a Windows machine arises I used to be the one poo-pooing Macs for their "weak" specs. "Heck, I can get twice the machine for half the price!" I used to say (think). The fact is that Macs are built from the ground up - including hardware and software - by one team of people all working together to make the best of the best...to absolutely ensure that everything works seamlessly. There are very few Macs to choose from and that makes it even easier to control the quality...which IMHO no one can come close to.

    Software is another great example of why Macs "just work". There is basically one iteration of the OS and the differential between models is very limited. As a developer it is dead simple to program for a Mac as compared to the multitude of "what if's" one has to deal with in a Windows world. Every single program offered in the Mac App store is tested from top to bottom by Apple to be certain that it will work before it's added. Once in a while there are issues, and we've all seen programs pulled so it's not a perfect world, but no one at MS or Dell or any other company does that AFAIK.

    So I liken Windows Vs Mac kinds of comparisons to the difference between a 550HP Ford (which I can still drool over) and 350HP Lexus (which I can always depend on and the QC is second to none). They both can get you from A to B...decide which one makes more sense and really which one you would rather drive every day. As soon as I overcame my need to focus on the specs and really focus on what's important, to understand exactly what I was actually getting for my money and how well it worked, it became very clear who the "winner" was. ;)

    All great input everyone! Thanks!
  20. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Refurbished Macs are an excellent option. They carry the same warranty as new. Used Macs are also a great way to go. They hold their value very, very well but you can usually find a good deal if you keep your eyes open. A two-year old Mac can command 50% to 75% of the original value but they have usually been very well cared for...often having all of the original packaging, cables, etc. When it's time to upgrade, you can be guaranteed that someone will want to buy your Mac!

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