PC Owner looking to consider Mac...Help needed.

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
First off.

I have used Macs very very rarely in my life.

I have always been a PC guy.

My friends all know me as the PC guru. I know where to find this and that, I know how to solve problems, etc.



Now I find myself fed up with PC's. I got a laptop 6 months ago. Fully equipped, best options available.



Now this thing is dying on me. The harddrives are going, and I just don't want to go back to another PC and start anew because its just too much of a hassle.



I am a huge photoshop user, I consider myself an amateur photographer, and I am going to go to film school.



Now being a beginner to Macs....I don't know where to begin really.

What is the best browser? Safari? What is the most used mp3 player/most reliable? (I hate iTunes on PC) What kind of anti-virus programs are needed?

What is the most prevelant P2P software for music, etc.? (besides bit torrent)

I worked on a mac the whole summer as I interned at a production company at their digital imaging sector.



Where is the best place to buy from? The local apple store? Mac Mall? Apple Store online?

I am most probably looking to get a PowerMac G5. Probably a dual 2.0ghz. The 2.5 is too much because I need a display!

Are there any places that sell display/PowerMac combos?



Its all these little things that I need to know to be fully up to the switch. Is there a PC to Mac user guide out there? Haha...there should be.

Anyways, I thank you for reading and appreciate any posts helping me out.



Thanks
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    Well, as far as the best browser goes, I say Firefox. I think it may be even better once the version optimized for OS X comes out.



    Music; iTunes by far. Forget the PC version! You're getting the 'real' thing.



    Anti-Virus: To date, no known viruses for Mac OS X. Its not much needed, but if you must use one, AVOID Norton and Symantec. Horrible I say. Horrible.



    P2P: LimeWire, Acquisition, etc.



    The best place to buy: well, it depends. I think Apple store is the best place to buy, but that may not turn out to be the best for you because there may not be an Apple store around where you live. MacMall is good, and Apple online is good too.



    If you want a how-to book or a manual, check out "Mac OS X: the missing manual" by David Pogue. http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/macosxmm/



    Other than that... welcome to the world of Macs!
  • Reply 2 of 65
    ? best browser: safari - personally, for me safari is still the best. i can't explain why. firefox seems to render type in a strange and not-as-attractive manner as safari for me.



    ? mp3 player: itunes - i don't know what you hated about itunes on the pc but it's nearly the only option really on the mac. there ARE others but nobody really uses anything other than itunes.



    ? anti-virus: none - in the 12 years i've owned macs i've had maybe 3 anti-virus programs. and they've solved exactly ONE virus. now, with os x i don't think i've ever even run an anti-virus program since i bought the public preview of os x in 2000. also, there's no spyware on macs.



    ? p2p: acquisition/limewire: all part of the gnutella network i believe. seems to work for anything that i ask of it. but i don't have any comparison on the pc side to draw from.



    ?_best place to buy: you'll get the same warranty everywhere. so it boils down to 1) extras and 2) taxes. in california i can save hundreds of dollars on machines by ordering from a mail order company out of state. plus you can also get extras like cheap inkjet printers and more memory thrown in from other vendors. apple enforces a pretty strict price control on their resellers, so they have to resort to "sweeteners" to compete with the mother ship.



    that said, i still usually buy my machines from apple just because they can get them to me faster and i to built-to-orders most of the time. my brother bought my mom a g5 imac this year. he ordered it from macmall and it was on backorder for months. we went back home and drove to the apple store and walked away with one immediately.



    if you can, find a student or an apple employee to help you buy. that's the best deal out there. if you know a university student who isn't into macs, just get them to buy a machine for you.
  • Reply 3 of 65
    I'll just add my two ? cents in as well.



    ? Best Browser: Toss up between Firefox and Omniweb. Both have features I like. If they combined the two it would be the best browser on the planet.



    ? Best MP3 software: iTunes.



    ? Anti-virus: I don't bother with it but if I did I would choose Intego's VirusBarrier.



    ? Best P2P: I am currently trying aMule which is a port of the PC's eMule software.



    ? Best place to buy: As I am in education I got mine from the Apple Education store with a nice 15% discount.
  • Reply 4 of 65
    kedakeda Posts: 722member
    Since you are not a computer novice, I think you'd figure this out quickly. Never buy RAM from the Apple Store. They charge an arm and a leg for it. Besides that, the prices seem to be comparable btwn the AS and other places. Sometimes you can get a deal on a RAM or printer combo at MacMall, etc.
  • Reply 5 of 65
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kabz

    First off.

    I have used Macs very very rarely in my life.

    I have always been a PC guy.

    My friends all know me as the PC guru. I know where to find this and that, I know how to solve problems, etc.



    Now I find myself fed up with PC's. I got a laptop 6 months ago. Fully equipped, best options available.



    Now this thing is dying on me. The harddrives are going, and I just don't want to go back to another PC and start anew because its just too much of a hassle.



    I am a huge photoshop user, I consider myself an amateur photographer, and I am going to go to film school.



    Now being a beginner to Macs....I don't know where to begin really.

    What is the best browser? Safari? What is the most used mp3 player/most reliable? (I hate iTunes on PC) What kind of anti-virus programs are needed?

    What is the most prevelant P2P software for music, etc.? (besides bit torrent)

    I worked on a mac the whole summer as I interned at a production company at their digital imaging sector.



    Where is the best place to buy from? The local apple store? Mac Mall? Apple Store online?

    I am most probably looking to get a PowerMac G5. Probably a dual 2.0ghz. The 2.5 is too much because I need a display!

    Are there any places that sell display/PowerMac combos?



    Its all these little things that I need to know to be fully up to the switch. Is there a PC to Mac user guide out there? Haha...there should be.

    Anyways, I thank you for reading and appreciate any posts helping me out.



    Thanks




    Advice



    Don't make the common switcher mistake. Macs/MacOS X require a different skillset than Wintel. You are in a new land; You must learn new ways. Just because the Mac is easy to learn and use doesn't mean that you, as a proficient Windows user, will be immediately proficient on the Mac. It takes time. Some skills are transferrable, but many are not.



    Many Windows users switch to the Mac and then spend their time trying to rebuild their Windows environment on their new computers. Rather than hunting for a Mac port of all of your old Windows apps, search VersionTracker and MacUpdate for Mac applications that will suit your needs. One of the things that you will find is that there is a wealth of shareware and freeware in addition to commercial titles that you may not know.



    The Windows environment is more than just a set of applications. So too is the Mac environment. As I said before, they require different skillsets. They also require different sets of expectations. To me, the Mac mindset is best encapsulated by an Apple tagline from a few years ago: "The Power to be Your Best." One of my observations of the difference of the two sets of users is that Windows users tend to expect an application to do a job for them. Mac users tend to expect an application to allow them to do their job. Also, Windows users expect to devote a lot of their energy to administering their systems. Mac users expect their systems to "just work."



    You have a transition to make. However, you will have a large return for a relatively small investment. Good luck with your new Mac.
  • Reply 6 of 65
    kabzkabz Posts: 53member
    These are very helpful replies.



    I use Firefox on PC....so I'm glad to see its also available on Mac.



    Thanks for all the comments.



    Apple does have G5+Monitor Combos right? Cinema Display is kinda pricey, so the LCD Plastic ones might be the option. But I can't find it anywhere on apple.com and many Mac sites don't even show anything BUT Cinema Displays.
  • Reply 7 of 65
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kabz

    These are very helpful replies.



    I use Firefox on PC....so I'm glad to see its also available on Mac.




    Be sure to give Safari and OmniWeb a fair shot, though.



    Quote:

    Apple does have G5+Monitor Combos right? Cinema Display is kinda pricey, so the LCD Plastic ones might be the option. But I can't find it anywhere on apple.com and many Mac sites don't even show anything BUT Cinema Displays.



    The plastic ones are discontinued, so you'd have to pick one up used, refurb or surplus.



    If the Cinema Displays are a bit rich for your blood, any DVI display will work, and there are some attractive third-party alternatives. Apple even offers some at their online store, although you might want to look elsewhere for better deals.



    Good luck, Happy New Year and welcome to AppleInsider.
  • Reply 8 of 65
    kabzkabz Posts: 53member
    Discontinued.....ARGH

    Anyone know a reputable place that will have them.

    I should check out the Apple store around here...There are two.

    I have also been warned about getting RAM from Apple because its too expensive?

    I plan on 2 GB of RAM at least....should I only get 1gb from apple and buy more from another place? If so....where?



    I thank you for your patience and replies.
  • Reply 9 of 65
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Re: Apple RAM: get the minimum you can, in the minimum number of slots you can. If you're getting a tower, you should have plenty of RAM slots left to fill, otherwise you can ditch the 128MB stick or put it in another machine.



    Really, there's an insane markup on Apple RAM. Avoid purchasing it if at all possible.
  • Reply 10 of 65
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    I don't particularly like iTunes either; particularly the library concept is difficult and frustrating when all you want to do is the same I did with WinAmp 1.xx eight years ago - load/save/create playlists and play MP3's. iTunes' UI is space-consuming, heavy and sluggish too. Still, there's a lot of good in iTunes, especially if you want to do something more. I got used to iTunes, and this far I haven't bothered to look for another player, though a Winamp clone might still be better for me.



    Good advice from Mr. Me. I also recommend going with the flow, seeing how things work in Mac land. After I switched, I got obsessed over some things that I felt weren't as good as in Windows. Over time, once I realized how things were supposed to work on the Mac, I have understood I was partly right and some things suck on the Mac, but for the most part I could actually be more efficient doing things in an another way than the one I was used to. How much overall time you actually lose in a given "fault" like sluggish UI can easily be shadowed by the overall efficiency gains.



    Firefox and Safari are both very good browsers. It doesn't matter which one you go with. Safari has more polished behavior for OS X, but I use Firefox for its "Smart Keywords" or "Quicksearch" feature.



    edit: There's no special reason to buy a display along with the computer, is there? Just get a good Samsung/Benq/HP/Viewsonic/Dell from whichever place gives you the best deal, and get your Mac from Apple.
  • Reply 11 of 65
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Gon

    .... There's no special reason to buy a display along with the computer, is there? Just get a good Samsung/Benq/HP/Viewsonic/Dell from whichever place gives you the best deal, and get your Mac from Apple.



    That depends on what your eyes find acceptable. I am spoiled by the crispness of the images displayed on my 23" Cinema Display and my AppleVision CRT displays on my older computers. I find the blurriness of the Dell LCD monitors that I purchased with some new Dell towers to be quite annoying. I am lucky that I don't have to use the Dells.
  • Reply 12 of 65
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. Me

    That depends on what your eyes find acceptable. I am spoiled by the crispness of the images displayed on my 23" Cinema Display and my AppleVision CRT displays on my older computers. I find the blurriness of the Dell LCD monitors that I purchased with some new Dell towers to be quite annoying. I am lucky that I don't have to use the Dells.



    So? It's not like every Dell monitor is the same. Have you seen the equivalents of your display from Benq and HP?



    Even if there are other differences, a monitor running the exact same panel isn't going to be any more or less "crisp".
  • Reply 13 of 65
    okay how about this. right now i am trying to burn a CD on XP... the steps needed to do this is just crazy. as i am typing this i am also waiting for Roxio to 'reformat the CD' prior to me writing to it. it's been about 8 minutes and it's halfway through.



    but first i had to go to my Windows XP Simplified manual. i have to admit i do this everytime i use my PC. Windows XP Simplified is an oxymoron. to just burn a file to CD via the Os it takes 15-16 steps and 4 pages of illustrated instructions. then in the middle of doing everything it says, i get an error dialogue and cannot proceed. so now i am using Roxio to burn the CD. haven't got to it yet because the CD is STILL being formatted...



    now compare this experience with burning a CD on a Mac, where all u have to do is insert the disk, give the disk a name in the first automatic dialogue box. double click the CD disk icon on the desktop and drag whatever files u want to put on the CD. wait momentarily as those files are copied to the CD folder window. once done click the little yellow and black 'burn' icon in the finder window and the burn begins...



    that's it. no reformatting. no hoops. no errors. no third party cd burning software because the system utility sucks. no BS...



    heck even Roxio is a pain. okay i can now proceed to burn the CD now on the PC... wish me luck



    ghi





    ps. okay so now it appears the reformatting has just rendered the CD as final!?! hmmm so as i am using Roxio and select the files i wish to have burned, it displays a dialogue telling me i have to reformat the blank CD before burning to it and now it is telling me it is full and can't burn to it? hmm. okay i admit i know little about the PC CD burning experience (got it to finally work once before) but does it have to be this complicated?



    okay it looks like i'm going to have to erase the CD on the MAC and go for it again...
  • Reply 14 of 65
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    I don't recall it being that difficult on XP... should be something along the lines of:



    1) Insert CD

    2) Dialog pops up. Choose "open writeable folder" or similarly titled action for the CD

    3) Drag files in

    4) Click "Write CD" or whatever they call it in the action list on the left sidebar

    5) Follow the wizard (I think you title it and choose a burn speed)



    Now, if you're using Roxio... that's probably a completely different story. Maybe they complicate it beyond recognition.
  • Reply 15 of 65
    dcqdcq Posts: 349member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kabz

    Discontinued.....ARGH

    Anyone know a reputable place that will have them.

    I should check out the Apple store around here...There are two.

    I have also been warned about getting RAM from Apple because its too expensive?

    I plan on 2 GB of RAM at least....should I only get 1gb from apple and buy more from another place? If so....where?



    I thank you for your patience and replies.




    Buy it all from another place. Or get whatever minimum you can from Apple: 256 or whatever. Order the 2 Gig sticks from whoever (I've used ramjet and ramseeker in the past, but I never buy the dirt-cheapest memory; I usually go for the next up, which is usually a more credible source; search the threads for good memory vendors advice). Then, before you even start up the G5, open the side panel, insert the sticks, close it up, and then boot the baby up. With the G5, you'll have plenty of slots, so you'll end up with 2.2 GB of memory.



    cheers,

    DCQ
  • Reply 16 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MCQ

    I don't recall it being that difficult on XP... should be something along the lines of:



    1) Insert CD

    2) Dialog pops up. Choose "open writeable folder" or similarly titled action for the CD

    3) Drag files in

    4) Click "Write CD" or whatever they call it in the action list on the left sidebar

    5) Follow the wizard (I think you title it and choose a burn speed)



    Now, if you're using Roxio... that's probably a completely different story. Maybe they complicate it beyond recognition.






    wish it was that easy. but it is not happening for me. i am using various blank CDs from different makes. it seems that XP is having trouble with all of them. the PC has a CD-RW/DVD optical drive and all the CDs are compatible. looks like the CD is not able to be formatted on the Mac so i'm back to the PC. have had to restart and hope to get the thing working somehow.



    anyway this is how it is for me working between a Mac and PC. oh well
  • Reply 17 of 65
    dcqdcq Posts: 349member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MCQ

    I don't recall it being that difficult on XP... should be something along the lines of:



    1) Insert CD

    2) Dialog pops up. Choose "open writeable folder" or similarly titled action for the CD

    3) Drag files in

    4) Click "Write CD" or whatever they call it in the action list on the left sidebar

    5) Follow the wizard (I think you title it and choose a burn speed)



    Now, if you're using Roxio... that's probably a completely different story. Maybe they complicate it beyond recognition.




    I was pretty atounded when I came to the conclusion this fall that I had to use Roxio to burn a simple CD-R on my dell work laptop. I didn't have a problem with Roxio, and was done quickly. The thing that delayed me the most was picking up my jaw off the floor when I realized that I would be better off burning a simple CD in a 3rd party app rather than in the OS.



    Kabz, one thing you'll love about the Mac (or at least it's one of the many things I despise about Windows): no friggin' stupid "wizards." Those things make me dumber every time one pops up.
  • Reply 18 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kabz

    First off.

    I have used Macs very very rarely in my life.

    I have always been a PC guy.

    My friends all know me as the PC guru. I know where to find this and that, I know how to solve problems, etc.



    Now I find myself fed up with PC's. I got a laptop 6 months ago. Fully equipped, best options available.



    Now this thing is dying on me. The harddrives are going, and I just don't want to go back to another PC and start anew because its just too much of a hassle.



    I am a huge photoshop user, I consider myself an amateur photographer, and I am going to go to film school.



    Now being a beginner to Macs....I don't know where to begin really.

    What is the best browser? Safari? What is the most used mp3 player/most reliable? (I hate iTunes on PC) What kind of anti-virus programs are needed?

    What is the most prevelant P2P software for music, etc.? (besides bit torrent)

    I worked on a mac the whole summer as I interned at a production company at their digital imaging sector.



    Where is the best place to buy from? The local apple store? Mac Mall? Apple Store online?

    I am most probably looking to get a PowerMac G5. Probably a dual 2.0ghz. The 2.5 is too much because I need a display!

    Are there any places that sell display/PowerMac combos?



    Its all these little things that I need to know to be fully up to the switch. Is there a PC to Mac user guide out there? Haha...there should be.

    Anyways, I thank you for reading and appreciate any posts helping me out.



    Thanks




    Go here: Ars Technica MacAchaia
  • Reply 19 of 65
    yomamayomama Posts: 21member
    A good place to shop for RAM:



    http://www.ramseeker.com/pc/index.php
  • Reply 20 of 65
    jccbinjccbin Posts: 476member
    I've bought hundreds of RAM sticks from www.datamem.com for all kinds of Macs and have NEVER had a bad stick.



    "Free RAM" add-ons from the catalogs have had to be sent back about 1 out of 5 times. Not a very good record from Macwarehouse/ CDW.
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