New Mac user

in macOS edited January 2014
Hello all! I'll be soon purchasing the entry-i5 Mac mini and performing some RAM upgrades on it. I'm migrating from an aging HP Pavilion dv5 that has starting to wain after only a year of constant use, running Windows 7 Home Premium.

I've been browsing places like and reading up on a lot of things about Mac OS X. I'm well acquainted with iOS 5 on my iPhone 4 and have experimented a bit on a 13-inch MBP on display at the store I work at. What I want to know is:

- What's the best way to transfer data from Win7 to Mac OS X?

I'm backing up everything I want to transfer onto a modest Seagate 250GB HDD. What file format issues will I encounter and what kind of reformatting will I have to perform?

- What software is a must?

What would be good recommendations for software?

- What should I avoid?

I know that the Mac ecosystem is much different from that of Windows, what advice is there on what to avoid? Hardware, software, or otherwise.
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