G’Day World #301 – Migrating From Windows To A Mac

Before I move into the “making the world a better place” motif for Season 04 of G’Day World, I wanted to do a show about my recent experiences of migrating from Windows to a Mac.

Yes – hell has finally frozen over and I’ve bought a Mac.

As some of you (those who read my Twitter feed) will know, about two weeks ago the terrific folks at Global1Training sponsored a 17″ widescreen MacBook Pro for your humble host. Global1Training are the folks who run Dr John Demartini’s seminars around the world. If you haven’t listened to the interview I did with Dr John (G’Day World #276) then you really should. He’s got a lot of good tips for taking control of your life. If you’d like to attend the upcoming Demartini seminars, click on the Global1Training link above for a 2 For 1 discount on tickets.

So.. onto the Mac.

This show is going to detail my reasons for getting a Mac and my experience of the migration.

Is a Mac as easy to use as Mac aficionados claim?
What is a .dmg?
What does “eject from disk” mean?
What is the “Command” key?
Why doesn’t CTRL-C work?
Where is the “Backspace” key?
How do you drag to “Applications”?
Why doesn’t tapping the touchpad work?
Where is the right-click button?
Where is the “START” button?
Why won’t Safari or Firefox go full screen?
Do Macs “blue screen”?
Do you have to buy two versions of all of your favourite programs if you are still running a Windows machine and a Mac machine at the same time?
Which is the best 3G card – the Telstra NextG card or the Three NetConnect card.
What do I think of the Blue Snowball USB mic?

These were just some of the issues I faced after cracking the seal on the MacBook. Is the Mac truly superior to Vista? Listen to this show to find out.

Update: A good suggestion by Raf, here are the recommended apps that Jono from Xero and Duncan Riley sent me:

Jono’s list with his comments:

Twitterrific: Best twitter client, IMHO

Growl: Notification software – ties in with a whole bunch of Apps. So, new emails, downloads finishing, etc.

Delicious Library: Cataloguing software… Sounds nerdy, but it looks soooo good…

Sapiens: Mouse gesture launcher. Version 1, so doesn’t do much yet.

Transmission: Nice BitTorrent App, very clean interface.

xTorrent: More fully featured Bit Torrent & downloading App, has very good search feature.

Download these so quicktime player will play a lot more codecs:

Perian: This adds DivX playback, amongst others…

Flip4Mac: This adds WMV playback.

Any other movie files should work in either VLC or MPlayer…

And of course: Google Earth, Skype (features lag behind on the Mac unfortunately).

Use iPhoto, its awesome 🙂

Duncan’s list with his comments:

Twitteriffic: you’ll love it

Audio Hijack Pro for Podcasting: Hijacks any audio on your mac (ie Skype calls). easy to use but you do have to pay for it after a trial. If wasn’t expensive for memory. General podcasting support is built in via Garageband for non-sykpe calls.

Cyberduck for FTP: it free, there are paid clients out there but this does a pretty good job

Snapz Pro if you want to do screencasting, captures SL as well. Payware but fairly cheap after trial.

For running Vista
Parallels: if you’ve only got the upgrade Vista I can tell you how to install. Parallels allows you to run windows from the Mac desktop, and programs like they were native on your mac. Bootcamp from Apple is free but you cant run Windows and OSX at the same time.

I presume you’ll stick with Microsoft Office under win, but if you switch try Neo-office, its Open Office code but customized to be more Mac friendly. It’s a little slow in loading, but its cheaper than buying office itself. You’ll find Thunderbird for Mac cool as well.

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16 thoughts on “G’Day World #301 – Migrating From Windows To A Mac

  1. Hi Cam
    I bought my first iMac two days ago. Being an ASP.NET developer it was quite a surprise to me that after so many year I’m on a Mac. Now, I must say that 20 inch iMac with Leopard is really nice and slick and I would recommend it to anyone. I still don’t get the ‘obvious’ things that when I double click on the top bar the window minimizes or why the mouse was set up to support only one button :].
    Got my AirPort working, Parallels Desktop with Visual Studio and it’s really nice to be making the move. I feel like when I was around 10 and I got my Atari 130XE. Everything is so new.

    Happy learning!

  2. I don’t :] I migrated from Sony Vaio 2GB of RAM to iMac 4GB of RAM with a windows xp on Parallels, so the perfomance comparison is not possible. I only need VS.NET and that works quite well. I still have to check if VMWare Fusion could work in coherence mode. Maybe their product is better, but so far I’m happy.

  3. You listed a few questions. I have a few answers.

    Is a Mac as easy to use as Mac aficionados claim?

    What is a .dmg?
    – A disk image file. When you double click one, it opens as a pseudo disk. You can treat it the same as a disk that you have inserted in the Mac….. drag files from it to your hard drive, and eject it.

    What does “eject from disk” mean?
    – Never seen ‘eject from disk’ …. but I’ve only been using Mac OS since 1984.

    What is the “Command” key?
    On my new iMac with the aluminium keyboard it is the key with ‘command’ written on it.

    Why doesn’t CTRL-C work?
    -What do you expect it to do?

    Where is the “Backspace” key?
    – try using the left arrow.

    How do you drag to “Applications”?
    – There is an Applications icon in the list on the left in Finder windows. Drag the file to that icon.
    If you want to go to your applications folder you need to be in the Finder. Use ‘command – tab’ to access a list of active applications…keep the ‘command’ key depressed and tap the ‘tab’ key repeatedly to access the Finder ( or just click on the desktop ) and once you are in Finder you can choose ‘Applications’ from the ‘Go’ menu. Or you can use the ‘command – shift – A’ keyboard shortcut. Easier done than said.

    Why doesn’t tapping the touchpad work?
    – Because you haven’t explored the trackpad system preferences.

    Where is the right-click button?
    – Explore the trackpad system preferences. You can set the trackpad to respond with a ‘right click’ by tapping with two fingers at the same time. You can also set the trackpad to scroll windows with a two fingers drag ….you will find this extremely useful.

    Where is the “START” button?
    -There is no ‘start’ button. Perhaps the Apple icon will produce some of the functions you are used to finding there.

    Why won’t Safari or Firefox go full screen?
    – Why would you want to do that? You can make the browser window as large as you like by dragging the title bar to the top left and then drag the bottom right corner to the bottom right. In Leopard you can assign a Space to your browser and leave it there filling the screen.

    Do Macs “blue screen”?
    -Yes. But very infrequently – many Mac users have never seen it.

    I’m sure you will soon get used to the differences and enjoy using the Mac.

  4. yeah good point Janotte. I installed TextExpander in an attempt to try to replace Activewords which I have been using on Windows for many years. Unfortunately, I can’t get TE to work the way I want it to yet.

  5. Another option for “right click” is to hold down the CTRL key and click.

    I find installing applications to the Mac so much easier than Windoze. No “registry” crap to deal with, you just drag a new application into your HD and it’s installed. Want to uninstall it? Toss the folder in the trash.

    I also use Windoze and Mac interchangeably and you’ll get used to flipping back and forth between platforms pretty quickly. Just remember that on the Mac, the “Command” key does what the “CTRL” key on Windoze does.

    Mac Windoze
    Command-C – Copy CTRL-C
    Command-X – Cut CTRL-X
    Command-V – Paste CTRL-V
    Command-P – Print CTRL-P
    Command-O – Open CTRL-O

  6. If anyone is interested in why the Command key is what it is (see the link for where the ‘propellor’ came from) and why Windows uses Ctrl etc this is good (very slightly too ‘Apple fanboy’ for my taste but so much it’s unreadable)

    PS: Everyone does know that ‘OS X’ is pronounced ‘Oh-Es-Ten’ and not ‘Oh-Es-Ex’ don’t they? Saying ‘Oh-Es-Ex’ identifies one as a ‘noob’. The ‘cool kids’ with their Macs will taunt you if you do it (cool and cruel rhyme for a reason).

  7. Thanks for the link to Roughly Drafted and the tips on how to pronounce OSX (I didn’t know). The thing about the CMD key is interesting. For some reason though, my MBP does NOT have “Command” written on the key, it’s got the Apple logo and the propeller.

  8. Ah yes. It’s only the very newest of the iMac keyboards that have the word ‘command’. All others (like MBs / MBPs / etc) have just the Apple logo and the ‘Propeller’. Dropping this secret ‘only the cool kids know this’ bit is another sign that Apple is lowering the ‘barriers to entry’ to let ‘outsiders’ into the Mac world without making them serve an apprenticeship under a Mac sensei. (wash car, sand floor, understand apple keyboard ‘runes’). Where will this lowering of standards end up? People just walking into Mac stores and buying things without having to learn ‘the Mac way’ the hard way, sacrilege! (removes tongue from cheek).

    I’m only two and a bit years ahead of you changing to Mac from 15+ years on Windows. I gave up waiting for Longhorn. The Mac way is pretty much settled into my mind and muscle memory now now but those first few weeks were tough. Worth it, but tough. The problem now is getting frustrated with the incomplete and inconsistent keyboard commands on XP and its apps at work. Once you get the Apple ‘chords’ happening the productivity leap is significant and losing them in Windows makes it seem like a pain to use. It’s unfair to compare like this, but hey it’s how I feel.

    I will be interested to hear how you find the system/app ‘hangs’ etc in, say, 6 months. My first few weeks I had a ‘lot’ of these but once I stopped using Windows key combos that upset the Mac and gave it the Mac commands it liked the system and apps became heaps more stable. (And that was with heaps more dodgy freeware etc running than at the beginning.) So in my case the problems were 99% user error. I’ll be interested to see if, once you have ‘settled in’, you also find things running better or if the problems continue.

  9. Hi Cam,
    Congratulations for your podcasts, theys are fabulous and I share a lot of your thoughts! And welcome to MACINTOSH!

    Your conclusion about OSX and Vista being similar and much the same concerning error infos and some unfriendliness, its all right, but I would say that your opinion would be very different if you had compared OS9 with windows95 or what there was before that! There was a huge difference! Two things happened since then: Apple tried to be similar to windows (believe it or not) and windows copied a lot of apple’s, features. Today, they are allot the same. OS9 was very friendly, just for an exemple: the applications menu was very easy to access just from the apple icon on the finder menu, very similar to what today is the start menu.
    Anyway, I started with computers in 1990 with pc when its operating system was DOS (all shortcuts, no mouse) and at that time I started with mac OS6 (with mouse), doing editorial production. That was fun, what a difference!!!
    Today, its all very similar and thats good. It all about making things easier, anyway. I believe that the open source apps and systems are working things out so everything can finaly be compatible, friendly and finish with the APPLE/WINDOWS empire.
    Anyway, I still believe Apple is far away yet, ahead from their competitors.

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