Mac OS forum

General discussion

(long read) Thinking about getting a Mac for the first time.

by NoRespectForNoRespect / March 5, 2007 10:36 AM PST

So I'm 16 (17 next month) and a junior in high school and im eventually going to have to buy a laptop for college. Now ive been using windows my entire life and i would consider myself "ok" with windows know-how. but ive noticed that windows has many problems, as im sure many of you have also noticed. The computer i use now is the latest one i bought. I bought it in May 2003 and it came with windows XP home. 4 years later, the thing lags, its slow, i get tons of different types of error messages just by booting it up, and i often run into the "Windows Explorer has encountered a problem" message, which completely freezes my taskbar. i always end up having to Ctrl-alt-del and maunally ending applications. The thing that annoys me the MOST is the fact that after you end a program through ctrl-alt-del, it asks you if you want to "send an error report to windows," giving you the FALSE hope that they will actually do anything to help you. Anyways, that was my little rant on windows.

Now, Ive been thinking about getting a macbook instead of what i initially considered, a windows laptop. But of course, with the introduction of Windows Vista, and my extreme lack of knowledge for Mac OSX, im lost on which to pick. With a new windows vista laptop, im probably going to face some new things that ive never seen before, but with a windows background, ill probably pick it up more easily. With a Mac its a different story. I have NEVER really used a Mac in my entire life. The only time i used Macs was in 3rd grade when i went to the computer lab to play reading rabbit. no one i know has a Mac, except my teachers, but i doubt theyll let me fiddle with the computer that contains all our grades. so im pretty much compeltely lost. Im just scared that ill pick a Mac, and then end up being completely lost with it in college and have to think to myself, "i shouldve stuck with windows."

*yea ok macs can run windows, im probably not going to do that anyways, so dont mention it.

But, i did read the other thread "Long time PC user thinking of switching to Mac." And based on the first page of posts that i read i learned that the mac consists of primarily 5 folders - Applications, Documents, Music, Pictures, Movies. Now on to the questions.

I guess to install a program, it would be like insert a cd and install. but how do i open it?
does it just show up in the application folder?
Where are these folders?
How do i find my files, do they all just go in one of the folders?
is there something like the C://Program files like in windows?
Does mac use the same file types?
can i transfer mac files to windows?
aiport extreme in just a fancy way of saying "802.11 wifi" right?
In windows, all open applications show up in a task bar, does mac have something like that?

i probably have more questions but i cant think of them right now. thanks in advance.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: (long read) Thinking about getting a Mac for the first time.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: (long read) Thinking about getting a Mac for the first time.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
one mroe thing

oh i forgot, is it possible for any screen shots of simple MacOSX operations so i can get a visual of maybe what it looks like?

Collapse -
Some responses...
by boya84 / March 5, 2007 12:35 PM PST

I guess to install a program, it would be like insert a cd and install.
Yes... double click the installer.

but how do i open it?
Open what? The application? How do you do that in Windows, today? Double click the icon or select it in the Task Bar (or the Dock, see below).

does it just show up in the application folder?
If that is where you want it installed, yes.

Where are these folders?
Typically in the Application folder at the system level of the directory structure.

How do i find my files, do they all just go in one of the folders?
The same way you find them today... For ease, you should probably gt in the habit of keeping your documents in your documents folder.

is there something like the C://Program files like in windows?
Yes, but it is Unix. I've been using Windows (now on XP, but I go back to the Win3.x days and even DOS) for a long time and just yesterday needed to get to DOS to delete a file that Windows would not let me delete.... On the other hand, I've been using MacOSX for a long time and have never had to get to a Unix prompt.

Does mac use the same file types?
It can - Macs generally don't require extensions the way Windows machines do, but it will use them if you have them. A .xls will open the Mac version of Excel or the spreadsheet portion of NeoOffice. A .doc will open Word or the word processing portion of NeoOffice. What file types do you have in mind? MacOSX does not deal with .exe type files as these executables are generally applications (or trojan horses). I just watched a movie encoded as a .avi - it played using QuickTime with a free plugin. I can work in iMovie or FinalCut and same video to pretty much any format people need. I can burn DVDs that play in my 3 year old Sony DVD player... or burn MP3s to a CD that will play in my car...

can i transfer mac files to windows?
Yes. I transfer files between my HP/Compaq nc6220 laptop and flatpanel G5 Mac pretty regularly either using network file transfer, CDs, email or USB jump drives.

aiport extreme in just a fancy way of saying "802.11 wifi" right?
Simplistic, but sure, I guess I'll agree.

In windows, all open applications show up in a task bar, does mac have something like that?
Yes. The Dock.

You might consider visiting an Apple Store, or an authorized Apple Reseller, or seeing if the is a Macintosh User Group <http://www.apple.com/usergroups> near you... They really arent THAT different. From my perspective, over time, Apple has provided Microsoft the ability to be more Mac-like... and Apple has incorporated some of the more useful Windows features...

Collapse -
(NT) What plugin did you use with quicktime that played the .AVI?
by grimgraphix / March 5, 2007 12:39 PM PST
In reply to: Some responses...
Collapse -
good question...
by boya84 / March 5, 2007 10:04 PM PST
Collapse -
Thanks, boya84
by grimgraphix / March 9, 2007 8:48 AM PST
In reply to: good question...

I started using flip-4-mac awhile back and it does do an excellent job. Still, there are those glitchy AVI files that resist that plugin. Usually VLC helps out after that.

I recently updated my version of VLC to 8.6 ... now it includes a video control bar on the viewing window and even runs a bit more smoothly as well.

Collapse -
ahsrtj
by NoRespectForNoRespect / March 5, 2007 1:12 PM PST
In reply to: Some responses...

1) ok lets say i install photoshop. usually it just goes into C://program files. and then a desktop shortcut is created on my desktop. so on a mac, is it basically the same thing, and the shortcut is placed in the Apps folder?

2)"Typically in the Application folder at the system level of the directory structure." what?

3)I can create folder within folders to be more organized right?

4) What's Unix? when i install, i usually just browse to the folder i want to install it on, usually Program Files. Is know Unix necessary? is there no "click and go"?

5) File types. I use video files aloton windows (ie avi, mpg, mpeg, divx). Photos (jpeg, jpg, bmp, png) Music (MP3, wav, wma). do those all work? and whats that about needing a plug in to play AVI on quicktime? and can i install windows media player on a mac?

6) why do you guess youll agree that airport extreme is just wifi? am i missing something? a macbook would work with my router right?

And yea, i want to go to an apple store, but the nearest one isnt that close. if i oculd i would probably go there every day to play with the macs. but i cant. so ill probably go there only a few times at most.

Collapse -
More Answers
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / March 5, 2007 8:59 PM PST
In reply to: ahsrtj

1) ok lets say i install photoshop. usually it just goes into C://program files. and then a desktop shortcut is created on my desktop. so on a mac, is it basically the same thing, and the shortcut is placed in the Apps folder?

When you install programs on your Mac, they will normally go into the applications folder which is on the HD. (Think of this place as the Program Files folder on a Windows machine) Some programs put a shortcut on the desktop, some do not. On the Mac, very few programs put shortcuts on the desktop. All you do is drag the program into the dock and this automatically makes a shortcut in the dock. The program remains in the applications folder


2)"Typically in the Application folder at the system level of the directory structure." what?

When you double click on the HD, the first level, that is where the Applications folder is resting. (Same as in Windows)

3)I can create folder within folders to be more organized right?

Yes, folders in folders in folders in folders. As deep as you want to go

4) What's Unix? when i install, i usually just browse to the folder i want to install it on, usually Program Files. Is know Unix necessary? is there no "click and go"?

UNIX is the basis of OS X. It is not necessary to know UNIX to be able to use OS X. (It is not necessary to know how Windows is written to be able to use it)
Everything on the Mac is "Click and go"

5) File types. I use video files aloton windows (ie avi, mpg, mpeg, divx). Photos (jpeg, jpg, bmp, png) Music (MP3, wav, wma). do those all work? and whats that about needing a plug in to play AVI on quicktime? and can i install windows media player on a mac?

You will need a plug in to run DIVX with QT, maybe for AVI too. Just about everything else will play and all the graphics files will open just fine. WMP is lousy on a Mac.

6) why do you guess youll agree that airport extreme is just wifi? am i missing something? a macbook would work with my router right?

Yes, a Macbook will work with your router. Wirelessly or wired

And yea, i want to go to an apple store, but the nearest one isnt that close. if i oculd i would probably go there every day to play with the macs. but i cant. so ill probably go there only a few times at most.

If you have any more questions, just post


P

Collapse -
detail on item 5 regarding Windows Media Player for Mac
by boya84 / March 5, 2007 10:12 PM PST
In reply to: More Answers
Collapse -
other stuff

MAS MAS MAS PREGUNTAS

lets say i download the Winamp installer from the internet onto my mac. where would the installer file go?
does it automatically go on the desktop?
when i download something, does a mac prompt me to specify a location?
after u install it, is there just the one application icon in the application folder?
or does it create a folder for each application i install, like in windows, with all the application files in it?

one of the reasons i used to always want windows was because i used to play a lot of pc games. now i rarely play any games at all, but maybe one day ill pick up some casual gaming or something. Ive always had this mindset that windows is better for gaming and macs are more for work. maybe thats true, maybe thats false, whatever.
Do games run pretty well, like how they should in windows?
What's it like to play a game with only one mouse button?
If i buy a mouse with two mouse buttons, will the game support it on a mac?

windows in the industry standard. everything computer related usually has "windows requirements" shoved front and center while "mac requirements" are usually some obscure place away. This seems really problematic because i like electronics and stuff like that. and when i want something, and theres no info for macs, what happens if i buy it and it doesnt work? (electronics have restock fees most of the time)
Generally is this hard to work with?
how would i even know if something is mac supported?
does a PSP work with mac?
i heard some MP3 players wont work with mac, is that true?
Obviously, i know i dont have to get an ipod, but is that the best for a mac?

another thing, usually when you buy peripherals for windows, theres like CDs with drivers and stuff.
does a Mac deal with drivers too?
or is it all based on the peripheral?
would i need to update drivers with a mac?


much of the online imbedded content on webpages is with windows media player.
can i view that stuff on a mac?
sometimes i run into a site with no right click available so i cant extract the URL for a video so i cant download it. Sometimes i right click the site and go to "view source" and see if i can find the URL in the jumble of HTML.
can i do that on macs?

macs can use flash player and shockwave right?

With only one mouse button, how do i save images from a website? with windows i right click and and save pic as and specify where.

is there a way to right click on mac?

Collapse -
I'll try...
by boya84 / March 6, 2007 1:27 PM PST
In reply to: other stuff

lets say i download the Winamp installer from the internet onto my mac. where would the installer file go?
** It will download to where ever you specified the download to go to. If you made that default your desktop, then it will go there. I would not bother downloading Winamp in OSX - it is a Windows-only application... It will not run in OSX. If, however, you are running Windows on your Macintosh hardware, and you downloaded using Windows, then it will download to where ever you told it to download... just like OSX.

does it automatically go on the desktop?
** If that is where you tell the preference to be for downloads.

after u install it, is there just the one application icon in the application folder?
** Yes, there is only one real application icon, but (as with Windows) sometimes there are a few shortcuts stuck in certain places - like the Dock (Task Bar).or does it create a folder for each application i install, like in windows, with all the application files in it?
** That is not always the case... I have Windows apps on XP that did not create a folder... but if there are multiple files associated with the application, then yes, typically, a folder with the app and all the associated docs and files will be in that folder.

Do games run pretty well, like how they should in windows?
** It depends on the game and the machine for which it was written. I've played StarCraft and Worlds of Warcraft and a few Star Wars titles and they work great on a Mac.

What's it like to play a game with only one mouse button?
** It depends on the game. And if it means that much to you, just go get a multi-button mouse. I think Kensington makes one... so does Apple - plus it is wireless... http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/

If i buy a mouse with two mouse buttons, will the game support it on a mac?
** It depends on the game - but likely, yes.

windows in the industry standard.
** Really? Don't tell the Graphics Designers and Music folks... or the folks who like the platform for video editing...
everything computer related usually has "windows requirements" shoved front and center while "mac requirements" are usually some obscure place away.
** Last time I checked, they "Computer requirements" were in the same place on the box.
This seems really problematic because i like electronics and stuff like that. and when i want something, and theres no info for macs, what happens if i buy it and it doesnt work?
** When you buy anything and it doesn't work, what do you do today? Why would that change? Do a little research before you get something. I've never paid a restocking fee in my life. Ever. Typically, I check compatability before buying. If the bax says it *should work* and it does not, no restocking fee. If the box says it won't work or if it does not specify compatability, guess what? You'll get charged a restocking fee.

how would i even know if something is mac supported?
** It says so on the box.

does a PSP work with mac?
Do a search using PSP +macintosh. What do you *want* that support to be?

i heard some MP3 players wont work with mac, is that true?
Might be. As I recall, it is not so much that the MP3 player has an issue with the Mac, but an issue with iTunes. Before iTunes, I used a Rio MP3 player. It worked great. I heard the Zune does not work with some Windows machines... what's your point? Which MP3 player do you *want* to use? Check that maufacturer's site for requirements and compatability issues. If they say it is good to go, then you are good to go. If not, then don't set yourself up to pay a restocking fee. Or just get an iPod and don't worry about it because it is cross platform when using iTunes.

Obviously, i know i dont have to get an ipod, but is that the best for a mac?
** If you want to use iTunes, yes - but that is not Mac-specific - the same can be said for Windows... if you want to use iTunes for Windows, then an iPod is required.

much of the online imbedded content on webpages is with windows media player.
can i view that stuff on a mac?
** Yes, if the files are AVI or WMV encoded. Yo may need to get "Flip4Mac" or some other decoder (DivX is another common 0ne)... free to download/install/use.

sometimes i run into a site with no right click available so i cant extract the URL for a video so i cant download it. Sometimes i right click the site and go to "view source" and see if i can find the URL in the jumble of HTML.
can i do that on macs?
** That depends on the site. Yes, you can "view source" in Safari or FireFox or other OSX-compatible browser.

macs can use flash player and shockwave right?
** Yes. Browser plugins.

With only one mouse button, how do i save images from a website? with windows i right click and and save pic as and specify where.
** on the graphic, with the mouse cursor, click and hold... and drag the image to wherever you want it. I find that much easier than right-click and following the "Save as" prompts... and see above - get a multibutton mouse if it means that much to you.

is there a way to right click on mac?
** It depends - the mouse controls/features can be contextual - that is, control-click may do different things in different places... depending on whether a certain functions makes sense to be available.

Example: When I Control-click on this browser page, a drop-down appears with Back, Reload, View Source, Save Page As, Print Page... but if I Control click a folder, a whole bunch more options/comands appear... and browser specific things like view source and back are not on the drop-down. Get a multibutton mouse if it means that much to you.

keep 'em coming...

Collapse -
PSP
by pro_chaliha83 / March 7, 2007 10:54 AM PST
In reply to: other stuff

Well, since you pretty much need to use SonicStage, the PSP is NOT compatible. However, if you want to go through all the folders and find the right one to drag music into, then it'll work with a MemoryStick Reader

Collapse -
theyre coming

my desktop: http://i18.tinypic.com/401ndis.jpg
look familiar?

Does a macbook have a built in mic?

Will macbooks ever get a build in media card reader?

Macs would support most, if not all, applications that windows supports right?
ie: google earth, bitpim, mozilla, 3ds max

I have Photoshop CS2 on my windows pc right now, but when i looked over adobe.com, i saw there was a Windows version and a Mac version.
If i get a mac, would i have to buy a new version of Photoshop?
thats a pretty expensive piece of software.

what do i run most on my computer right now?

music: i usually use winamp cause its simple with the playlists and it runs quickly. but i guess i can use itunes. i just have to get used to it.

video: i use windows media player for all videos. most of my videos are AVI, but it seems you can get a plugin for quicktime for that. I do have quicktime on my windows, but i rarely use it, dont know it that well.
does a mac come with quicktime pro or just the free one?
how would you compare quicktime to WMP in general (ie, better? worse? why?)

Chat: I use AIM a lot, its ok, MSN is better, but most people i know use AIM.
Does AIM work on Macs alright?
Does MSN work on Macs?
If it works:
i could use the built in isight to video message right?
i can send file and use the share picture feature right?

Processing: I dont use word, but i use powerpoint.
what's the Mac equivalent to Word, PP, Excel?
what about fonts, can i view windows fonts on Macs?
can i download new fonts to macs?
how would i install new fonts on a mac?

Antivirus: oh wait, NO VIRUSES!

In your opinion, what are the biggest cons of a mac?

Collapse -
Past my bed time - but here goes...
by boya84 / March 6, 2007 2:56 PM PST
In reply to: theyre coming

my desktop: http://i18.tinypic.com/401ndis.jpg
look familiar?
** a little like the view from my front yard.

Does a macbook have a built in mic?
** Yes. Many of your questions indicate you have not been to apple.com. Please visit there. It is very useful. http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html

Will macbooks ever get a build in media card reader?
** Don't know. Which media card shoudlthey build around (this is a rhetorical question as an answer to your question).

Macs would support most, if not all, applications that windows supports right?
ie: google earth ** Yes,
bitpim **don't know,
mozilla **I use FireFox,
3ds max **don't know,

I have Photoshop CS2 on my windows pc right now, but when i looked over adobe.com, i saw there was a Windows version and a Mac version.
If i get a mac, would i have to buy a new version of Photoshop? ** Yes
thats a pretty expensive piece of software. **Yes

what do i run most on my computer right now?

video: i use windows media player for all videos. most of my videos are AVI, but it seems you can get a plugin for quicktime for that. (**Yes) I do have quicktime on my windows, but i rarely use it, dont know it that well. It is only a player, typically for .mov files.
does a mac come with quicktime pro or just the free one? The player only. But it does come with iMovie and the rest of the iLife bundle. Go to Apple.com and read about it there.
how would you compare quicktime to WMP in general (ie, better? worse? why?) **No opinion.

Chat: I use AIM a lot, its ok, MSN is better, but most people i know use AIM.
** use AIM for Mac... or iChat
Does AIM work on Macs alright? **Yes.
Does MSN work on Macs? **Don't know.
If it works:
i could use the built in isight to video message right? **Don't know.
i can send file and use the share picture feature right? **Yes

Processing: I dont use word, but i use powerpoint.
what's the Mac equivalent to Word, PP, Excel? **Um... Word Power Point and Excel...http://www.microsoft.com/mac/ or NeoOffice at NeoOffice.org
what about fonts, can i view windows fonts on Macs? **There will be font substitution. Normal fonts translate fine. Strange fonts and symbols will get strange.
can i download new fonts to macs? **Yes
how would i install new fonts on a mac? Follow the instructions - likely just drag the file into the Fonts folder in the System folder.

Antivirus: oh wait, NO VIRUSES! **Yes... but there are othr infections, spyware, keyloggers trojan horses, etc... but they require the user to actually do something...

In your opinion, what are the biggest cons of a mac? **People want them. I used to be an IT Manager. 500 Macs; 500 PCs; 13 office nework connected throughout California. When it came time for machine retirement, people fought over the Macs and let the Windows machines of the same age (sometimes younger) pile up for reclaim.

Collapse -
dont worry...
by shahrokhan / March 6, 2007 9:09 PM PST

I have been a PC user since the beginning and have a nice level of knowledge in it. And beieve me Macs will are great. Just take my word for it and jump in and get yourself a Mac.

You can use Adium X which supports almost all chatting protocols. So GMail, MSN, Yahoo, AIM etc will all work under one program.

You can download VLC media player which play almost all file formats and codecs etc. Uptill now I have not come across something which VLC cant play. I have heard that MAcs have MPlayer which is even better than VLC. But because of popularity I prefer VLC.

Well games will work just like they do on a PC if you bootcamp and install Windows on your MAc. Some games can work on Macs natively such as World of Warcraft, Quake 4, Prey, Sims 2 etc. More games are coming out and it is rumored that Apple is going to tackle the games industry as well. For casual gaming Macs will be alright.

Almost an year ago, I used to play games and was addicted. I had been a gmaer for years and for some reason I got over games. Uptill that time the only reason stopping me from buying a Mac was games. They are OK for casual gaming but not for high end gaming. The best gaming card you can get in a Mac is the Ati Radeon x1900x on the Mac Pro. The quadro is much more expensive and you only get a few frames extra. But now that I dont play anynore games at all except for a few mins of CS 1.6, I wont mind buying a Mac at al and I will love the ease of use and stability and LOOOONG LIFE.

A 7 year old Mac can run todays Mac OS Tiger. So when Leopard comes out and you buy your MAc, you can expect to run it for quite some years. People who tried Vista say that the current gen MAc OS 10.4 Tiger beats it. Apple calls Mac OS 10.5 the next gen OS as Vista 2.0.

Collapse -
when
by NoRespectForNoRespect / March 7, 2007 8:02 AM PST
In reply to: dont worry...

so when does leopard come out?

Collapse -
Spring 2007
by shahrokhan / March 7, 2007 8:12 PM PST
In reply to: when

Thats all we know. Could be really soon could be end of spring. Developers who got new seeds of beta Leopard say that there is still some work to be done.

Collapse -
BTW supply is getting short
by shahrokhan / March 7, 2007 8:32 PM PST
In reply to: Spring 2007

In Europe, the supply of Mac minis and iPod Nanons and to some extent iMacs is getting wuite low. In the past the supply of Apple products went lower than in the US prior to a product update. A nice wave of new and updates products could come out as soon as next week. It looks like the end of this month is the final time. I hope Leopard and all the new products come out at the end of this month and that the iMacs have updated graphic cards.

Collapse -
GET A MAC
by stikkybubble / March 23, 2007 7:49 PM PDT
In reply to: dont worry...

It willl take a few weeks, maybe, to get used to, but is designed to be EASY. ie a lot easier than your PC was to learn to use.
When you install a program you get .dmg pop up on desktop- double click, a file opens with a picture that you drag to the applications folder. It's that easy.
Whether or not files are compatible with PC depends on what files- eg Word files are fine, or standard graphics formats. In general, mac applications have different extensions, and you always need to make sure you get the right version of programs for a mac, but it's usually not hard. Sometimes apps are only available for one or the other, and you have to do some research, and sometimes they are universal, or come with versions for all OS's anyway. For media (video) you install the players when you find you need them, as a lot of web stuff is PC-based. However, once this is done, there is no problem.
The mac is faster, more reliable, easier to use, and ALWAYS asks before updating itself and/or restarting, unlike PC.
Oh yes- viruses are virtually unheard of too.

Collapse -
RE: Past my bed time - bug here goes...
by mak_20789 / March 9, 2007 9:16 AM PST

I recently switched from Windows to Mac and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner and I couldn't afford the laptop version. As a network administrator, this is definitely crossing over "to the dark side" but I couldn't be more happier.

Following is a list of items/topics and what I use:

(1) First, any students college or otherwise (k-12) should use their education discount to purchase software (or hardware), especially for MS, Adobe or any high ticket items.

(2) Instant messengers. I have found that ichat supports google and AIM natively very easily. You're suppose to be able to use jabber.com to talk to Yahoo, MSN and other chat programs from w/in ichat. I have not fully tested this so I use the mac versions of Yahoo (which supports MSN folks) to communicate w/friends and family. Yes, the built-in insight webcam supports Yahoo and other messenger program (ichat, msn via yahoo) automatically. I prefer yahoo and skype. If I get ichat working w/yahoo, msn & google, I would just use Skype and ichat.

(3) Office Suites. I purchased the student version of MS Office 2004. No difference between student version and others but the cost....NOTE: This is not true in Office 2007 because Outlook is excluded. I do not have any issues sending or sharing docs with any Windows version of Office. I used O2M (www.littlemachines) to convert my Windows Contacts to Mac format for $10. It will convert mail but since I use POP3 accounts, I just re-downloaded the mail into Outlook via POP3.

(4) Photo's. I use Mac's iPhoto just when I'm uploading to iWeb or doine something quick for a friend. I have Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 for Mac (and want to sell) and Photoshop CS2 as part of the premium package. I needed CS2 for a class I'm taking but still like Elements and had no issue with it.

(5) Videos/Movies. Now, this was more complicated. I could play all my videos (.avi) using Quicktime but I could not use them in iMovie or iDVD w/out converting them and/or having an add-in for Quicktime to do the conversion. I had a second issue which is my less-than-one-year-old DVD cam was not recognized by Mac because they ONLY recognize video cams that support firewire or DV cams. In short, firewire cams procude higher quality/lossless type formats.

My solution was to use Mpeg Slipstream (http://www.squared5.com/) to convert my videos. I also purchased an add-in for Quicktime (maybe it was the mpeg2 playback...can't remember right now).

I also swapped my newer cam with a friend who had an older model DV cam (temporarily) to use. I also use Apple's Final Cut Express for video although I have used iMovie. In Windows, I used Cyberlink's PowerProducer and wanted something closer to that. Again, student version.

(6) FTP...I use Fetch (http://fetchsoftworks.com)

(7) Money Management. I CONTINUE to use Intuit's Quicken Home & Business version (from my Mac) using Parallel's Desktop for Mac (www.parallels.com). Intuit hasn't realized that they need to step up the version for Mac and make it just as robust as the Windows version.

(8) Taxes. Both Turbo Tax and Taxcut have a mac version. I still prefer Turbo tax and have used both 2007 versions.

(9) Additional diskspace. It's not cost-effective to get a large hard dive WITHIN the mac because diskspace is far cheaper on external devices. I already had a network-capable Buffalo Linkstation 400 HD so I use that to share files between my iMac and Windows machines.

(10) Remote access. I remotely manage some Windows systems and I use a web-based solution via www.logmein.com for free.

(11) Website development. I've used iWeb for funstuff but I'm considering Freeway4Express at www.softpress.com for more design options.

(12) Anti-virus -- None!! Scary!! In Windows, I use Trend Micro's Internet Security suite (www.trendmicro.com)

(13) PDA Support. I have a Blackberry and there's PocketMail for Mac. It works just like Windows and so far, no issues.

(14) Syncing contacts via multiple email addresses. I use the Premium version of Plaxo (www.plaxo.com. This is not as smooth on a Mac so I'm still working out the kinks. It is supported but not as well under the Mac version.

(15) Acrobat (.pdf) files. This is supported natively in Mac. I love it!!! You can just save your docs to .pdf and send them out to the world. Nothing else to buy.

(16) Music. I didn't realize it but there's a whole host of small apps for iTunes that are available via 3rd parties that are only for the Mac. Since iTunes is by Apple, it kinda makes sense but I didn't realize it until I got my mac.

(17) Peripherals. Ensure that your devices are Mac compatible. Mine were...I had an older all-in-one HP 2200cxi and a Canon IP4000R printer...both work well w/my Mac.

(18) Faxing. I did not get the internal modem as I didn't see the point. I fax via the internet using Trustfax's solution. (www.trustfax.com) and/or I scan in whatever I need and then email (or fax) as required.

(19) Burning/Authoring CDs/DVD. I purchased Roxio's Toast (www.roxio.com). It's the best and I have no issues w/it.

(20) TV on your mac. I have a WinTV USB device and I had purchased SageTV (www.sagetv) and it worked great under Windows. I will probably sell it and get EyeTV from Elgato (http://www.elgato.com/.

(21) Reading Newsgroups: Unison (http://www.panic.com/unison/)

(22) Web-browser: I use Mozilla's Firefox (www.firefox.com). I'll update Safari's bookmakrs from Firefox when I want to export my bookmarks to my blackberry.

(23) Extra USB or Firewire ports. I have a 7-Port USB hub that works under Windows & Mac. I will need a firewire one soon but haven't decided on one yet.

I think that's about it or at least all that I can remember.

Queengeek

Collapse -
I like your desktop...
by whizkid454 / March 7, 2007 5:05 AM PST
In reply to: theyre coming

Looks like mine. Wink I downloaded the same dock a month or two ago as I wantred to try it out and see if it is more useful than shortcuts or the Start menu, and it is.

Collapse -
What kind of dock is that?
by grimgraphix / March 9, 2007 4:02 AM PST
In reply to: I like your desktop...

It looks like the solution I'm searching for to make my work flow on my PC similar to my mac. What is it called?

grim

Collapse -
Object Dock...
by whizkid454 / March 9, 2007 5:30 AM PST
Collapse -
(NT) Thanks Whiz, I'll have to ttry it out.
by grimgraphix / March 9, 2007 8:43 AM PST
In reply to: Object Dock...
Collapse -
I switched last summer to a Mac Mini - no regrets

I switched to a Mac Mini last summer, with no regrets. And for the benefit of No Respect For No Respect, who is looking to buy a computer for college, I suggest you look into Apple's education program. I'm 46 years old, and attend the University of Michigan-Flint and got my Mac Mini while I was still at Mott Community College, also in Flint. I am majoring in graphic design.

There are a whole host of companies offering educational software discounts. And they are the big names, and for the most part, the complete program also made available commercially. The Adobe Creative Suite 2 is one of those programs that is the full version that comes with an educational discount.

One of the sites I have had a lot of good luck with is
http://www.ccvsoftware.com.

Do a Google search, you will be very pleasantly surprised. And also don't hesitate to talk to your school when you do get to college.

Collapse -
A recent convert
by MarcTampa / March 8, 2007 11:17 PM PST

I switched over to a Mac full time in September and I'm so glad I did. I've been using PC's since 1990 but I just got fed up with problems. I guess I'm looking for more simplicity as I get older.

If you have an Apple store where you live, they have free seminars all of the time and one of them is about Getting Started / Switching over. They also have these seminars about all of their software programs and how to use them. (Again, all free)

I'm on my computer pretty much all day and I haven't found anything I can't do on my Mac that I was able to do on my PC.

Another thing I'd recommend is a program called Parallels. It allows you to run PC programs on your Mac. It's very cool because you create what's called a "Virtual Machine" on you Mac, and it opens a window where you are running a Windows PC on your Mac. This is great if you have any Windows-only programs that you still need to run. Paralles is only $99 and you sometimes see it on sale for $79. I would recommend adding some additional memory to your Mac if you go that route so you get decent performance while running Parallels.

One more point (on this long-winded answer), wait until you see how much fun you can have with iLife (which comes free on every new Mac). Powerful, yet simple tools for photos, movies, Podcasts, even websites and blogs.

I hope this helps.

Marc
Tampa, FL

Collapse -
changing to a MAC from PC
by mcgil123 / March 8, 2007 11:48 PM PST
In reply to: A recent convert

Do Macs have the ability to support more than one monitor simultaniously, i.e. Mac on one and "Windows" on the other?

Collapse -
Most do...
by boya84 / March 9, 2007 12:38 AM PST

Check the various machine specifications at apple.com

There is a difference between "Support for external display in extended desktop" and "Support for external display in video mirroring mode"

MacMini supports 1 monitor.
iMacs support both.
MacPro can support up to 8 monitors, but a video card for each is needed. "Dual-display support for extended desktop and video mirroring modes"
MacBook: "Extended desktop and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 1920 by 1200 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors"
MacBookPro: "Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 2560 by 1600 pixels on an external display, both at millions of colors"

Apple.com resources are pretty good for this sort of research.

Collapse -
and for the most part,
by boya84 / March 9, 2007 12:49 AM PST

they have been able to do this (with some exceptions) since the MacOS 7 or 8 days and MacII machines (with added video cards).

10-12 years ago, I had a Quadra800 with its built-in video + two cards - so three monitors. Running F/A-18 Hornet (flight sim) and being able to see forward, left-wing and right-wing was great. Another card would have provided rear-view...

I also ran SoftWindows and had MacOS in one montor/window and Windows 3.x in the other monitor/window.

Later, I had a PowerMac that ran MacOS in 1 monitor/window, WinNT in another monitor/window and Win98 in a third monitor/window.

Multiple monitors support is nothing new.

Collapse -
Parallels Desktop
by Larry Launstein Jr / March 11, 2007 12:29 AM PST
In reply to: A recent convert

I have just installed Parallels Desktop on my Mac, and it is way cool.

However, I advise people to set it up so they can only access the Internet through their OS-X. If you set up Parallels to access the Internet through Windows, then the viruses, trojan horses, spyware, and the other security issues come back into play.

You do this by setting Parallels to run as local network only (meaning you can only access the Internet on your primary partition - Mac). The default setting allows you to set your Windows up to run on the Internet as well as your OS-X.

As far as two-monitor capabilities go, I believe the MacBook Pro and the new Mac tower computer can do this, but I don't think the iMac and the Mac Mini can.

Collapse -
Looks like someone came up with specifications for monitors
by Larry Launstein Jr / March 11, 2007 12:31 AM PST
In reply to: Parallels Desktop

Looks like someone came up with specifications for monitors on the various Mac machines.

My bad.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

The Samsung RF23M8090SG

One of the best French door fridges we've tested

A good-looking fridge with useful features like an auto-filling water pitcher and a temperature-adjustable "FlexZone" drawer. It was a near-flawless performer in our cooling tests.