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Old 11-03-2004, 03:54 PM   #1
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Switching to a Mac?

i'm really interested in switching to a macintosh. i've been using windows xp home edition for three years, but os x is looking really appealing. the 'i hate macs' thread awhile ago made me start actually considering switching. but i have a couple questions.

1. should i wait for 'tiger' to come out? the dashboard feature looks excellent, but if it's not coming out for years, i don't want to wait that long.

2. the eMac looks really nice and affordable -- does anybody have one? how well does it work? i like the price but if it's crap i'd rather pay more.

3. how easy is it to switch from windows to mac? are there any specific problems many people have?

4. how would i go about getting my documents/applications/etc. onto another computer? this is a really dumb question, i know, but i've never done this before.

5. when you download from the internet, is there an option to select which folder you send the individual file to? that is, i'll put .mp3s in a different folder than i would put .exes in -- can i do that before i start the download like i can on windows?

6. is there a program like 'notepad'? it's probably my most frequently used program, just for copying stuff down, etc. and i can't imagine not having something like it.

7. is there a good rss reader for macintosh? currently i use blogexpress and it works very well.

anyway, that might be it. thanks for any help!
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Old 11-04-2004, 08:13 AM   #2
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i will try and help you out here being a diehard mac user.

1. tiger should be out in the spring of '05...at least that was its status last i heard. so if you can hold off until then you really don't have to wait too long.

2. if i were you i'd spend the extra money and get a g5 imac. it is just a better machine all around and the g4 processors in the emac are being phased out of apple's line up at this point...not to mention the smaller footprint of the imac.

3. i'm not sure what to address with this question.

4. i'm assuming all of your apps are for XP, so unless they also came with OSX software they will not be compatible on your new apple machine. if you buy an external firewire hard drive moving all of your files, documents, etc. would be a snap.

5. yes

6. sort of. appleworks is a basic word processing program that comes installed on all macs.

7. i'm not up on rss stuff. sorry, can't help you here.

look around the forums at http://discussions.info.apple.com/ if you have more questions. there are a ton of helpful people there.

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Old 11-04-2004, 11:34 AM   #3
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Old 11-04-2004, 11:44 AM   #4
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:13 PM   #5
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Some of these are duplicate answers to Se7en, but hopefully you'll find them of some use

1) It doesn't matter too much if you wait. Any Mac sold now, and really any Mac sold in recent years, will be fully compatible with Tiger. The only advantage is that you won't have to pay for the upgrade. However, it could be until June before Tiger is released. The current test builds of it are really shaping up nicely though, and I'd assume it could be slightly earlier than that. I'm actually typing this through Tiger.

2) Se7en covered the processor and space aspect of the iMac G5, but the other real advantage is the display. While the eMac uses a CRT, the iMac uses a widescreen 17" or 20" beautiful LCD display. In addition to allowing the iMac G5 to be so small, LCD displays are much sharper and brighter. The LCD panel they use in the iMac G5 is very high quality, and it's actually impressive that the cost of the machine is so reasonable. As mentioned, the performance is miles ahead of the G4 -based eMac too. If possible, the iMac is the way to go.

3) It's really not difficult. There are programs that allow you to easily transfer data from Windows to Mac over a network or other means, which can include your e-mail, documents, and so forth. If you have any specific worries, I could probably provide a more useful response though.

4) See above Doing it manually is very easy though. You could copy them over a network, burn them on a CD, e-mail them to yourself, etc. As for applications, it's important to note that Mac's do not natively run Windows applications. Instead, they run applications specifically built for OS X. This shouldn't be a worry though, as OS X applications are truly leaps and bounds above the quality of Windows applications. If there is a specific Windows application that you can't replace on the Mac, which would be surprising, you can always run Windows through VirtualPC on your Mac.

5) Definitely. There is a system setting to define the default download folder, which nearly all applications will respect. However, when you are wanting to save to a specific folder (as you mentioned), that's very easy to do.

6) TextEdit is the equivalent of Notepad on OS X. It's just as fast and simple as Notepad, but does have a nice handy features that Notepad lacks, such as the ability to open rich text (RTF) files or Word documents. Here's a screenshot: http://g0rman.com/textedit.jpg. There are tons of third-party applications that provide little features like tabs, syntax highlighting for programming, etc.

7) Yes, and you'll never find better! Check these out: http://www.newsfirerss.com/ and http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/. However, in Tiger, Safari (Apple's web browser) will have built-in RSS support, which is very nice.

Feel free to message me on AIM (screen name is g0rman), and I can answer any other questions you have. Or show you some Tiger stuff Good luck getting your Mac; you'll love it!
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:23 PM   #6
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Hello again, gorman :

I just want to address one of the person's worries - #3: It can be difficult if you're not a 'computer person'. As far as I know you can't even run .exe applications on MacOS. If this is true, you have to get different versions of your major software(i.e. Word, Acrobat, etc). Some people might not be so into that.

That's it. Sorry to disappoint you with such a short post

Oh, I may IM you later today(can't do it now, am on stupid college computer with stupid overbearing security meaning I can't dl AOL messnger)...I think last week you said there were some things you wanted to show me.
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:27 PM   #7
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Yep, as I mentioned, OS X does have its own set of applications. However, that shouldn't be a problem. There are comparable (and usually better, in my opinion) of every type of application. In the case of Word, Microsoft puts out the entire Office suite for OS X, and it's quite good. Adobe's full line of applications is also fully available on OS X, including Acrobat, Photoshop, the whole CS suite, etc. Like I said though, if there is some specific Windows application that you need and can't replace with an OS X application, VirtualPC (which runs Windows on top of OS X) works well. Honestly, the third-party applications is one of the best qualities of the Mac world

Seriously though, what was up with the short post? You let me down
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:36 PM   #8
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A family member has an eMac and it is wonderful...matter of fact, I go to her house often to use the eMac rather than my computer. The DVD quality is excellent, much crisper than my own highend TV....watched Boston Elevation on it many a times. The eMac is highly recommended on my end.

If you are considering switching to Apple, I'd suggest that you call 1-800-MY-APPLE a talk to a rep. They are extremely helpful and will help you choose a Mac that's right for your needs and your budget. (Damn, they should pay me for doing this!)
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Old 11-04-2004, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by starsgoblue
(Damn, they should pay me for doing this!)
That's how I feel The eMac is definitely a good machine, no doubt about it. If you can afford it though, the iMac is very, very much worth the money.
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Old 11-04-2004, 03:39 PM   #10
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thanks a lot for all your replies! you've definitely convinced me to get the iMac G5.

most of the apps i use on a daily basis are media players, instant messaging programs, and image editing (as well as browsers) -- namkcuR, you mentioned .exe applications don't work on the Mac OS, so i assume i'll have to re-download/install them? that's fine then.

also, is there anything similar to the windows task manager? (it's a built-in function that displays the currently running apps and processes, and allows you to forcibly end a program/process.)

finally, i've been reading up on OSX a bit (though most of it has covered 10.1 rather than anything newer) and am wondering about the Classic environment. if i have, say, a browser window up in the normal OS environment and have to run a program in Classic, can i still access the browser, or do i have to finish working in Classic to return to the normal interface?

thanks!
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Old 11-04-2004, 10:10 PM   #11
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Reading about 10.1 is kinda pointless, as OS X has changed a _lot_ since then. You'll really never need to worry about Classic, as it was designed for people coming from Mac OS 9 and earlier that needed to still run their applications. OS X was a total re-write, so they added "Classic" as a way for people to still run their OS 9 applications through OS X. Pretty much no one uses this anymore, as all of those applications are native on OS X these days. You won't need this

You are right in that OS X does not run .exe applications, as those are Windows applications. I definitely want to make sure that you know OS X does not natively run Windows applications, and not every Windows application has a Mac version. For example, Winamp doesn't have a Mac version, so you wouldn't be able to use that on OS X, unless you use Virtual PC, which runs Windows on top of OS X. However, while there is no Winamp, there is iTunes. Fortunately, iTunes is really awesome With that said, there are Mac versions of many applications, such as Photoshop, Firefox/Mozilla, Dreamworks, Acrobat, etc etc.

Let me be more specific about the applications you'll probably want to look into, based upon what you said you used your computer:

For media players, iTunes is ideal for MP3s/AACs, VLC is a great all-in-one movie player (supports DivX, etc), Quicktime allows you to change media formats (i.e. turn a movie into an MP3), and Apple's built-in DVD player is perfect.

For instant messaging, Apple's built-in iChat is the best AIM client you'll find (far better than AOL's AIM client), there are versions of MSN/ICQ/Jabber/Yahoo IM from their makers natively available on OS X, and there are also a bunch of third-party IM clients that support multiple messaging services at the same time. One example of a third-party IM client is Adium, which is is _very_ customizable (see http://adiumx.com/images/actionshots/adium-3.jpg and http://adiumx.com/images/adium/overview.jpg and http://adiumx.com/images/actionshots/1081482691.jpg for examples), has tabbed IMs (i.e. multiple IMs in one window), supports AIM/ICQ/MSN/Yahoo/Jabber, and has very nice log management. Totally free, of course. Although, I tend to use only AIM, so I prefer iChat, as it's really the best AIM client there is.

For image editing, you have a number of options. If you're looking for an awesome photo manager that synchs with your digital camera and has basic editing abilities, iPhoto is perfect. However, if you use something more powerful like Photoshop, you'll be happy to know that that's natively available on OS X. iPhoto can use Photoshop as its photo editor too, so that's sort of the best of both worlds. There are a number of different applications in the middle though, but those are the two most popular.

Finally, for web browsing, there are also a million options. Apple's browser, Safari, is my personal favorite. It's very fast, renders pages perfectly, supports pretty much every web standard, has tab support, popup blocking, built-in Google searching, a fantastic bookmark system, and so forth. Then there's OmniWeb, which uses Safari's engine, but adds a bunch of features like visual tabs, RSS viewer (Safari 2.0 will have this), and some other things. If you're using Mozilla or Firefox at the moment, you'll be happy to know that both are fully available on OS X and look and work perfectly. While Microsoft's Internet Explorer is available on OS X, that's really something you should stay away from -- on any platform. IE is really the most outdated browser, even on Windows. Safari is definitely my favorite.

You hadn't mentioned an e-mail client, but let me just quickly say that while Outlook (called Entourage on OS X), Eudora, and Thunderbird are all available on OS X, Apple's on Mail is really the best e-mail client. It has awesome spam filtering, great e-mail organization abilities, and uses Safari's engine to render HTML e-mail.

By the way, http://www.macupdate.com is the best Mac software download site.

Finally, let me answer your task manager question. OS X has the Dock, which is a very innovative (and cool looking!) approach at replacing the task manager, and it does an awesome job at it. It's an all-in-one bar that allows you to launch applications, see the ones running, see minimized applications, quit any of them, force quit if needed, and so forth. You can also do stuff like dragging a folder to the Dock, right clicking on it, and basically using it as a quick-launch for the contents of that folder. When right-clicking on an application in the Dock, you can quickly access important functions of it. For instance, if you right click on the iTunes icon on the Dock, you can play/pause/rewind/fastforward. Other neat features include the ability for applications to dynamically display information in the Dock (for example, the Mail icon has a badge on it that shows you the number of unread messages), and if you minimize a movie to the Dock, you can actually have it continue playing down there. The Dock takes a few minutes to get used to, but once you do, you'll see just how powerful of a setup it is.

I'd love to show you a few screenshots of things I've talked about so that you can get a visual example of them. If you want to, feel free to message me on AIM (screen name is g0rman -- ignore the away message), and I'll show you whatever parts of the OS or applications you want to see.
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:03 AM   #12
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thanks a lot! this has been really helpful. i'd been planning on using iTunes, AdiumX, and Photoshop already, but it was great to see your views on them. i generally use webmail, so a mail client isn't needed, but Mail does look excellent. so the Dock is sort of a combination of the task manager, the quick launch menu, and the taskbar? that's terrific.

thanks again for all your help!
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by alia612
so the Dock is sort of a combination of the task manager, the quick launch menu, and the taskbar? that's terrific.
Exactly
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by gorman
Reading about 10.1 is kinda pointless, as OS X has changed a _lot_ since then. You'll really never need to worry about Classic, as it was designed for people coming from Mac OS 9 and earlier that needed to still run their applications. OS X was a total re-write, so they added "Classic" as a way for people to still run their OS 9 applications through OS X. Pretty much no one uses this anymore, as all of those applications are native on OS X these days. You won't need this

You are right in that OS X does not run .exe applications, as those are Windows applications. I definitely want to make sure that you know OS X does not natively run Windows applications, and not every Windows application has a Mac version. For example, Winamp doesn't have a Mac version, so you wouldn't be able to use that on OS X, unless you use Virtual PC, which runs Windows on top of OS X. However, while there is no Winamp, there is iTunes. Fortunately, iTunes is really awesome With that said, there are Mac versions of many applications, such as Photoshop, Firefox/Mozilla, Dreamworks, Acrobat, etc etc.

Let me be more specific about the applications you'll probably want to look into, based upon what you said you used your computer:

For media players, iTunes is ideal for MP3s/AACs, VLC is a great all-in-one movie player (supports DivX, etc), Quicktime allows you to change media formats (i.e. turn a movie into an MP3), and Apple's built-in DVD player is perfect.

For instant messaging, Apple's built-in iChat is the best AIM client you'll find (far better than AOL's AIM client), there are versions of MSN/ICQ/Jabber/Yahoo IM from their makers natively available on OS X, and there are also a bunch of third-party IM clients that support multiple messaging services at the same time. One example of a third-party IM client is Adium, which is is _very_ customizable (see http://adiumx.com/images/actionshots/adium-3.jpg and http://adiumx.com/images/adium/overview.jpg and http://adiumx.com/images/actionshots/1081482691.jpg for examples), has tabbed IMs (i.e. multiple IMs in one window), supports AIM/ICQ/MSN/Yahoo/Jabber, and has very nice log management. Totally free, of course. Although, I tend to use only AIM, so I prefer iChat, as it's really the best AIM client there is.

For image editing, you have a number of options. If you're looking for an awesome photo manager that synchs with your digital camera and has basic editing abilities, iPhoto is perfect. However, if you use something more powerful like Photoshop, you'll be happy to know that that's natively available on OS X. iPhoto can use Photoshop as its photo editor too, so that's sort of the best of both worlds. There are a number of different applications in the middle though, but those are the two most popular.

Finally, for web browsing, there are also a million options. Apple's browser, Safari, is my personal favorite. It's very fast, renders pages perfectly, supports pretty much every web standard, has tab support, popup blocking, built-in Google searching, a fantastic bookmark system, and so forth. Then there's OmniWeb, which uses Safari's engine, but adds a bunch of features like visual tabs, RSS viewer (Safari 2.0 will have this), and some other things. If you're using Mozilla or Firefox at the moment, you'll be happy to know that both are fully available on OS X and look and work perfectly. While Microsoft's Internet Explorer is available on OS X, that's really something you should stay away from -- on any platform. IE is really the most outdated browser, even on Windows. Safari is definitely my favorite.

You hadn't mentioned an e-mail client, but let me just quickly say that while Outlook (called Entourage on OS X), Eudora, and Thunderbird are all available on OS X, Apple's on Mail is really the best e-mail client. It has awesome spam filtering, great e-mail organization abilities, and uses Safari's engine to render HTML e-mail.

By the way, http://www.macupdate.com is the best Mac software download site.

Finally, let me answer your task manager question. OS X has the Dock, which is a very innovative (and cool looking!) approach at replacing the task manager, and it does an awesome job at it. It's an all-in-one bar that allows you to launch applications, see the ones running, see minimized applications, quit any of them, force quit if needed, and so forth. You can also do stuff like dragging a folder to the Dock, right clicking on it, and basically using it as a quick-launch for the contents of that folder. When right-clicking on an application in the Dock, you can quickly access important functions of it. For instance, if you right click on the iTunes icon on the Dock, you can play/pause/rewind/fastforward. Other neat features include the ability for applications to dynamically display information in the Dock (for example, the Mail icon has a badge on it that shows you the number of unread messages), and if you minimize a movie to the Dock, you can actually have it continue playing down there. The Dock takes a few minutes to get used to, but once you do, you'll see just how powerful of a setup it is.

I'd love to show you a few screenshots of things I've talked about so that you can get a visual example of them. If you want to, feel free to message me on AIM (screen name is g0rman -- ignore the away message), and I'll show you whatever parts of the OS or applications you want to see.

You're my hero
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:48 PM   #15
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Macs rule. They really become part of your life.
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