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...


  1. I was a mac convert back in the late 80's,you'll love it! My first was a mac2,so simple and easy to use.But,and there is always a but,there is no software that I use as cheap as windows,so I'm stuck with that issue.I've seen some converter type programs,but they are slow.And the price issue is a major pain.I'd rather buy a new computer than fix an old one,so windows is a better issue there.Mac is a lot more user friendly,almost reads your mind! No disc's to insert,driver's whatever.A true plug and play! But,again,have fun finding any usefull software!
    Dean in az

  2. I made the switch several years ago and never looked back... now the only time I touch a PC is when a family member's is having problems...

  3. Mac & Anti-gun goes hand-in-hand.. PC all the way!

  4. As a Mac toting, gun-owner (or is that the other way around?) I have to disagree with Matt. Good for you Flea. My house has been PC free for years now and the biggest change I've noticed is that I NEVER have to fix a computer. Macs work. The switch to the Mac version of Office can be odd at first, but if you turn on certain toolbars you'll get by just fine. - James (formerly RangerSquirrel)

  5. article published quite interesting to read because it can increase knowledge

  6. Great article! I've been a windows guy for 20 years. However, I am about to make the jump to Mac. I love the ability to dual boot with os x and windows so I will have the best of both worlds! Your point on malware is important. The Mac is not any more secure than windows. Since the market share is around 90% windows, 10% Mac, it makes more sense for bad guys to target windows. As macs become more popular, it's inevitable for more people to target Mac. Anti-virus software will be a good idea!

  7. I made the switch to a MacBook and even did the boot camp so I can boot the Mac in Windows mode. Mac is so versatile I am glad I made the switch.