Friday, May 27, 2011

How to Survive Switching to a Mac

By Flea - Be A Survivor

I have always been a Windows person, I know Linux, UNIX and many other operating systems but I always came back to Windows. Recently I decided I had had enough of Microsoft and decided I would make the transition to a Mac. OS X is based on the BSD flavor of UNIX so I was already comfortable knowing I would be able to learn anything I needed quickly.

One thing about Apple, they are really proud of their computers, they are expensive as hell, but works of art. I decided to go with a 15” MacBook Pro, I sprang for the anti-glare screen (I hate those shiny glass screens that seem to be the standard on laptops now a days), and 8 gigs of RAM. I placed the order online and waited, I was supposed to be out of town but plans were scuttled so I called Apple about possibly upgrading the shipping (standard shipping was free), they upgraded me on the spot to expedited shipping at no charge!

The laptop arrived a few days ago and I was immediately pleased with my choices. The body of the MacBook Pro is milled out of a single piece of aluminum, just gorgeous. The setup was ridiculously simple and in ten minutes I was surfing the net.

In order to ease the transition I researched ahead of time the programs I use, mainly MS Office, Eclipse (a Java IDE for development), and Quicken. All of these programs had equivalent Mac versions. MS Office for Mac was available to me free because of my Technet subscription, Eclipse is free, and Quicken was $49 bucks.

I connected an external drive, copied all my files over to my Mac, reformatted that spare drive and set it up with Time Machines (Apple’s backup software). I did all this in like an hour, which I found incredible.

I also installed many of the other programs I use like Firefox, Skype, and I purchased Transmit (a quality FTP program to be used with my web site stuff). I now have everything I need and haven’t touched the PC since I finished my last task, which was importing several years of Quicken data into the Mac version of the program (no issues).

Despite what the Apple fanboys say about not needing AntiVirus (Malware) on a Mac I downloaded and have been running Sophos (the free version) on my computer with no issues. Mac’s are becoming very popular and will be targeted more frequently in the future. The Mac Defender scareware making the rounds is more of a nuisance but why take chances. One thing is for certain the design of OS X is inherently more secure that that of Windows.

I used to think I would never make the switch because of gaming, PC’s still own the gaming arena…but I have an Xbox360 and I haven’t played a game on the PC in a few years. The game thing put me over the edge and sealed my decision to switch over to a Mac. My wife saw the MacBook Air in Best Buy and now may soon become an apple convert herself. I will let you know how that goes!

Stay tuned as I will be putting together a list of resources to help you transition should you choose to do so...

That is all...