by  creed3

The publisher I work for has a book out now by this title.  I've scanned through it briefly but as in all things technology related, I prefer to just dive in head first and figure it out.

My employer for the past 6 years uses Macs in many areas.  This was really my first hands-on experience with one.  Had seen them before, even knew a few people who had one, but never really had used one.  I was a little unsure as I started my first day, but after diving in I quickly discovered the similarities to windoze was very comforting.  Actually Microsoft took the idea for windows from Apple.  So, yes, there are differences.  Over the past several years they have become fewer, but still remain.  THANK GOD!

The first thing you notice If you're one to use shortcut key strokes, is that those change.  ugh…  well if I learned them on windoze I can surely get it on the Mac as well.  So not a huge deal.

The next thing you notice, almost immediately, is that you're not spending time waiting for the computer to do something.  ANYTHING.  The Mac operating system (OS, with the latest being OS X) is, to put it very simply, built upon the same underpinnings as UNIX.  This makes the OS extremely stable!  Where, depending on what you're doing and the load you put on your machine, you may need to reboot your windoze system after a few hours, while OS X hasn't even begun to break a sweat.  You can easily leave OS X running for weeks and really not see a dramatic loss in speed.  There is no constant hard drive chattering.  In fact the robustness of the OS makes using a Mac such a pleasure that the inconveniences of different key strokes or software seems a rather trivial matter.  Don't get me wrong, there are times you can bring OS X to it's knees, but it won't happen by just surfing the web for an hour.  

The most difficult hurdle is not so much in adjusting to the OS as it is in finding applications that are similar to what you're used to using on the PC.  Many of the high end (big dollar) applications are available and for the most part look and feel and function the same. Of course you'll have to purchase them again because software that runs on a PC will not "natively" (as a true OS X application) run on a Mac (more on this later).  So you may wish to budget in some software purchases as part of the cost of changing.

For me, many of the applications I have embraced through my PC years are either freeware, open source, or simply just no longer being upgraded.  This presents a problem for finding new applications to replace these trusted "friends" with.  Fortunately some of the applications I use are what is known as multi-platform, meaning they have versions for windoze, Mac, and in some cases LINUX.  This is a wonderful thing.

There is a footnote to needing all new software.  Now that Macs are using Intel processors there are a couple of Mac applications that will allow you to run your windoze programs on your Mac and they aren't brutal on the wallet.  So if you're inclined to go that route, the change to a Mac won't be as big a hurdle.  However I'm not inclined to do that because I don't want to sacrifice the stability of the OS by running crappy windoze software.  So I've decided to make the switch completely which means several hours of research and testing to find software to do what I want to do.  I'll try to document that process here.

viva la Mac  

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