From PC to Mac: My Experience

Discussion in 'Macintosh' started by muzikool, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    It's been almost a month since I got the PowerMac G5 that I am using now. I remember NetRyder saying that I should post about my experiences once I had spent some good time with it, so that's what I'm gonna do. Warning: I might have too much fun with this, so it could be quite lengthy. :D

    History
    I've been using PCs since the 486 that my family had a friend build for us back in the day. Next came a piece o' crap Packard Bell Pentium desktop, then a 400MHz Pentium II Dell Dimension. The night I graduated from high school, I won a 450MHz PIII Acer desktop at a graduation event that my school held. I took the Acer to college and had it for 2 years before buying an 800MHz PIII Micron. I used that Micron until just under a month ago when I got the G5. It was perfect timing because I was really starting to get frustrated with the speed of my PC, and a couple that I'm best friends with needed to sell their G5 because they are moving out of the country. So I got the Mac, a 19" monitor and Canon Multipass for $1600, paid out over time, interest-free.

    My experience with Macs up until that point was minimal. My first contact with a Mac was in 8th grade on a Macintosh Classic II. I would do simple word-processing and play my first multiplayer network game called Bolo. My best friend at the time had one of the first PowerPC desktops, a Performa with a CD-ROM... that was a big deal. :) I never really used it though, just watched with amazement as he would talk to people on the Internet at a speedy 28.8 dial-up connection.

    I probably touched 3 or 4 Macs during my last year of college when I worked as a network tech for my school, but all I did was configure the network details. Needless to say, I knew very little about OS X when I got the G5 a month ago.

    Experiences
    The first comment I'd have to make is that the thing is fast... very, very fast. Bootup is fast, login is fast, applications load fast. It's also very quiet. Second comment is this: presentation is almost as important as power. I'm pretty sure that Apple knows this to be true, because it's probably not a mistake that the user experience is so enjoyable. Everything... the packaging, hardware design, and operating system... is so aesthetically pleasing that you'd think that's all that Apple concentrated on. Luckily, everything works as nicely as everything looks.

    I'm using OS X Panther, and while I found myself emulating its appearance for the past few months in WinXP, it's nice to be finally using the real thing. The icons and the animations are outstanding. You can make XP look like OS X, but it's nearly impossible to make it function the same way. It took no time at all to learn the basic functions of the OS, and not too much longer to learn many of the advanced features that I was curious about.

    The System Preferences are set up nicely. The only thing that took a bit to figure out was that the firewall was located under Sharing. The built-in firewall is simple, yet customizable enough to fit my taste, and I must say that it is very nice not having to install a 3rd-party firewall application. Actually, it's very nice not having to install any 3rd-party apps for security purposes. Running XP I had to install a firewall, antivirus, Ad-Aware and Spybot to make sure my system was clean of crap. It's great not having to worry about all of that.

    Things I Love
    • The integration of StuffIt into OS X - the automation of extracting downloaded files is great!
    • Safari - I was using Firefox on XP, but I haven't even downloaded it yet for OS X because Safari does most everything I want.
    • Installing programs - "drag and drop" to the Applications directory... that's it? Works for me! The few that do have installers are simple enough anway.
    • Sherlock - Just starting to use it... the potential it has is amazing!
    • View Options - Customizing different folders is much better than in XP.
    • The Dock - Simple and functional.
    • Stickies - I tried tons of 3rd-party apps for these in XP... Stickies are the best and they are built-in.
    • Activity Monitor - Talk about a replacement for Task Manager. MS, take note.
    • Fun GUI Apps - Konfabulator and CandyBar are great. There's a good reason why these and other GUI programs are being emulated on the Windows platform.
    • iTunes - It's great. That's all there is to it.
    • Check Spelling in Safari - It's built into the browser, and it should be. Take note (again) MS.
    • FileVault - A nice security feature.
    • No Crashes - I've had about 3 instances of apps closing on me unexpectedly, but not a single OS crash.
    I know I could list more, but these are the major ones, and this is getting long enough already. :p

    Things I Would Change
    Of course not everything can be perfect. These are a few annoyances that I have.
    • Preview - It's great for PDF files, but I should be able to browse through pictures in a folder without having to select every one before opening the app.
    • QuickTime - Pro should come standard. You don't get a dumbed-down version of WMP with Windows. And you really need to have a 3rd-party application to play any format of video. I'm using VideoLAN.
    • WMP - It only plays WMV files? This isn't really Apple's fault though.
    • No MS Publisher - I wish this came with Office for Mac. Again, not really Apple's fault though.
    That's about all I can come up with at the moment. Not many complaints so far.

    Conclusion
    Windows Longhorn will have to be pretty impressive for me to think about switching back to a PC. Plus, Tiger will have even more to offer so MS will really have to step it up with their next release.

    I'm really enjoying my Mac and OS X. Thanks to everyone, especially Dave, who answered questions for me starting out. I know that I will have more in the future, and hopefully I can start answering some questions myself someday! :D
     
  2. SPeedY_B

    SPeedY_B I may actually be insane.

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    Very nice write-up :)
     
  3. Henyman

    Henyman Secret Goat Fetish Political User

    very nice read :cool:
     
  4. Geffy

    Geffy Moderator Folding Team

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    nice work there
     
  5. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Glad you remembered, muzikool. [​IMG]
    Very well written, and nicely organized.
     
  6. Grandmaster

    Grandmaster Electronica Addict Political User Folding Team

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    Interesting read. :D
     
  7. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    really nice post...makes we want to give it a go...ps...what's tiger?

    *goes to google
     
  8. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    Apple Previews Mac OS X Server “Tiger”
    “Tiger” Server Includes Support for 64-bit Applications, Weblog Server, iChat Server & Windows NT Migration Tools
    WWDC 2004, SAN FRANCISCO—June 28, 2004—Apple® today previewed Mac OS® X Server version 10.4 “Tiger,” the next major release of Apple’s award-winning, UNIX-based server operating system that makes it easy to deploy popular open source solutions for Mac®, Windows and Linux clients. The fifth major release of Mac OS X Server, Tiger Server continues Apple’s blazing pace of innovation to deliver over 200 new features including native support for 64-bit applications, ideal for high performance computing; Weblog Server that makes hosting a weblog as simple as checking a box; iChat Server to deploy private, encrypted communications within an organization; and migration tools to make it easy to upgrade from legacy Windows servers to Mac OS X Server.

    “With more than 200 new features, Tiger Server is the best release of Mac OS X Server ever,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Tiger Server combines over 100 of the best solutions from the open source world with Apple’s legendary ease-of-use to create the easiest way to deploy powerful open source server solutions.”

    For the first time, Tiger Server can natively run 64-bit processes for database, engineering and scientific applications to take advantage of the increased performance unleashed when accessing massive amounts of memory while still running side-by-side with existing 32-bit applications. Combined with Apple’s Xserve® G5 server hardware, Tiger Server offers an affordable, easy-to-manage solution for high performance computing.

    Weblog Server is fully compatible with Safari RSS in Mac OS X Tiger and makes publishing a weblog as simple as checking a box in Server Admin preferences. Weblog Server is based on the popular open source project ‘Blojsom’ and is fully integrated into Tiger Server with an easy-to-use interface, Kerberos authentication support and LDAP integration. Weblog Server provides users with calendar-based navigation and customizable themes and users can post entries using the built in Web-based functionality or with weblog clients that support XML-RPC or the Atom API.

    Tiger Server includes a brand new iChat server designed for organizations that need to keep internal communication private. Organizations can define their own namespace, use SSL/TSL encryption to ensure privacy and Kerberos for authentication. Tiger Server’s iChat server works with Apple’s popular iChat conferencing software in Mac OS X Tiger and is compatible with open source Jabber clients available on Windows, Linux and popular PDAs.

    Tiger Server has also been updated with tools that make migrating from Windows-based servers easy. Administrators can now migrate the user and group account information from an existing Windows Primary Domain Controller automatically into Open Directory. Tiger Server can then take over as the Primary Domain Controller for Windows clients and even host Windows users’ home directories, group folders, roaming profiles and shared printers.

    Other new features in Tiger Server include:

    Mobile Home Directories that give mobile users the best of both worlds—access to files and preferences while on the road with the user’s home directory centrally stored and managed on the network;

    a Software Update Server that lets system administrators host their own proxy/cache server to control the availability of Apple’s software updates for Mac OS X Tiger and Tiger Server systems;

    Access Control Lists that provide a more flexible permissions model that gives administrators better control over files, folders and network services, making it easier to set up collaborative environments;

    Internet Gateway Setup Assistant to make it easy for small business and home office users to set up complex network services, including DHCP, NAT, DNS, Port Routing, Firewall and VPN services; and

    Xgrid™ 1.0, Apple’s easy-to-use clustering software is integrated into Tiger Server to make it easy for scientists and researchers to build a distributed computing cluster that supports up to 128 agents, up to 10,000 queued jobs and up to 10,000 tasks per job.


    Pricing & Availability
    Mac OS X Server version 10.4 “Tiger” will be available in the first half of 2005 through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for a 10-client edition and $999 (US) for an unlimited-client edition. At the time of release, current subscribers to the Apple Maintenance Program will receive Tiger Server as part of their service agreement. More information on Tiger Server can be found at http://www.apple.com/server

    Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.

    Press Contacts:
    Anuj Nayar
    Apple
    (408) 974-8388
    anuj@apple.com


    Cameron Craig
    Apple
    (408) 974-6281
    cam@apple.com
     
  9. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

  10. VenomXt

    VenomXt Blame me for the RAZR's Folding Team

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  11. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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  12. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    Hehehe, I don't play games.

    Mac Users: 1
    Mac Gamers: 0

    :p
     
  13. Sazar

    Sazar F@H - Is it in you? Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    at the uni next door I do have a decent time on the dual g5 setup over there...

    its quite pleasant and I like lots of aspects of it :)

    also dislike certain elements of mac OSX but am sure I can work around them...
     
  14. SPeedY_B

    SPeedY_B I may actually be insane.

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    The gaming thing only used to be true, and I believe the Red V's Blue guys mocked it better :p
     
  15. Petros

    Petros Thief IV

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    I downloaded Tiger for a friend of mine, and it has a whole bunch of new features. Defnitely a great OS. One thing I'd like to see on PC: Task Queueing, or whatever they call it on a Mac. You can set up a bunch of tasks, like "burn this cd", then "copy this very large folder", followed by "encode this cd to MP3". And walk away...so when your computer is doing stuff, you don't have to be around to tell it to do the next major task.

    As far as gaming goes, Mac gets most major releases, but more minor games, and even some major ones, like Max Payne 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and most MMORPGs, get either scrapped or not put out until a year or more after the PC release. Small game developers can't afford to devote the time and resources to porting to a system with a much smaller user base.
     
  16. funky dredd

    funky dredd Moderator

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    Great write up! If only I had the money! :(
     
  17. Scooter

    Scooter Random Apple Dude

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    *coughs* I'm a Mac user and a Mac gamer ;-)

    But nice write up, interesting read and well presented with good use of full stops.

    [​IMG]

    :p ;) :D
     
  18. muzikool

    muzikool Act your wage. Political User

    :p @ Scooter. I had some pictures in My PCStats, but it seems to have disappeared!

    Mac Users: 1
    Mac Gamers: 1
    :D
     
  19. Scooter

    Scooter Random Apple Dude

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    How convienient ... ;)
     
  20. desie

    desie OSNN Senior Addict

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    Mac's are so cool, I haven't used them until I went to college to study media. They are great for video editing, however a bit to much eye candy for me (minamizing the windows etc) though I suppose it could be turned down. Ya they are really cool though I only used a G4, still good, I think the sound studio or somthing has a G5 now, it looks badass.