Sunday, June 26, 2005

How to Switch to a Mac - Part 7 - It's Easy

Welcome to Part 7 in my series of posts titled "How to Switch to a Mac"

It's a known fact that Microsoft and it's Windows operating system are behind the technology and security curve. Microsoft has been selling XP for four years and the next release of Windows, Longhorn, is at least 18 months away. Microsoft has released countless security patches and two Service Packs to close holes, address vulnerabilities, and to introduce new or enhanced features. Microsoft's lack of progress and innovation with the Windows operating system has allowed Apple and OS X to jump ahead of the pack. Apple's recent Intel switch announcement is a clear indication that Apple is ready to take advantage of the numerous deficencies and problems plaguing the Window's platform. In fact, by the time Longhorn is released, Apple will have released the fifth iteration of OS X - Leopard.

For those of you who are interested in switching, OS X is a simple and intuitive operating system. It's easy to use and it's impressive. When I started to use my Mac in September 2004, I was up and running in a matter of minutes. I've even helped friends set up thier new Powerbooks on their existing wireless networks with no problems at all, the network was easily detected. I was able to connect their systems to their ISP's and they were surfing the Internet is short order. Web enabling a Mac running OS X is easier than performing the same task on a Windows network.

Moving files over to a Mac is easy and straight forward. Choose a transfer method (network, CD's, USB drives, etc ...) and you'll be able to see your files in no time. OS X has a built-in PDF viewer for your PDF files, photos will open and edit with iPhoto, HTML files will be accessible with Safari, and you'll be able to view your Word documents. OS X comes with an e-mail client called Mail. All you need to do is configure your Mail's settings and you'll be off and away sending and receiving emails. You can instant message with iChat and browse the web with Safari. New Macs arrive on your doorstep with iLife installed, it's a suite of applications that will make the Switch To A Mac a smooth experience. iLife provides all the necessary applications to enable your digital lifestyle. It includes the popular iTunes software for purchasing and managing your digital music, iPhoto for your digital photos (the beauty about iPhoto is that it doesn't require you to install drivers on your system. It comes with support for alomst all digital cameras in the marketplace), iMovie for video editing, iDVD to create your own custom DVDs, and GarageBand for music creation and editing.

Office for Mac is for you PC users who can't live without Microsoft Office. It's the Mac equivalent of Office for Windows but many people say that it's better on a Mac. Several vendors offer Mac versions of their software. For example, Adobe offers it's key applications on OS X such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Acrobat, etc ... Users who rely on these applications on the Windows platform will find the switch smooth becuase these programs are available on a Mac.

The Internet is a dangerous and malicious environment for non OS X and Safari surfers. Mac switchers will find that their online experience is easy and more enjoyable on OS X. I say that because to date there are no known malware and spyware that are able to compromise a Mac. Tiger is the safest and most secure release of OS X to date. New viruses, spyware, and malware infect Windows systems on a daily basis. Windows based systems require daily software updates and frequent installation of Windows security patches to close vulnerabilities, an inherit problem with Windows. OS X comes shipped with an industrial UNIX firewall that outperforms it's Windows counterpart. The Windows firewall is weak and ineffective. OS X allows you to enable firewall logging to keep a track of blocked traffic and failed break in attempts. With Tiger, you can enable "Stealth Mode" which hides your Mac's existence on the Intenet. For parents who want a safer online experience for their children, Tiger comes with "Parental Controls" that limit what can be done on a Mac. In order to get these secure features on Windows, you'll have to purchase costly third-party software.

Searching for files on a OS X Tiger is easier than searching on Windows. Tiger comes with Spotlight, the amazing search tool that it built into the core of the operating system. Unlike Google Desktop Search, Spotlight takes searching to a new level. You can access Spotlight from almost anywhere. Spotlight can be customized to fit your needs, Windows doesn't allow customization of it's Search utility. I recently met an author who switched to Mac after using Spotlight at the Apple store. He needed a tool to allow him to search his entire hard drive for documents, articles, research papers, and prior work. He didn't have the time to search his Windows system for the facts he needed for the new book he was writing. After he purchased his Powerbook, he stated that he moved all his files over to his Mac and then used Spotlight to locate the information he needed in a fraction of the time Windows XP required.

The Switch To A Mac can be a smooth process with the help of a sofware package called Move2Mac.

Apple also has a document that shows how to use an iPod to transfer your files from a Windows based system to OS X. All you do is use the hard drive on the iPod as a temporary storage device:

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At 5:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that you are doing a great job with this Blog. Thanks for your contributions to the Mac community. I will show this blog to as many of my friends as possible.

At 12:11 AM, Blogger scarl said...

I agree... this is a truly a wonderful blog. I switched recently myself, and am quite proud to say so.

At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Dean said...

Anxiously awaiting Parts 8, 9 and 10. I'm buying MacWorld magazine, read the Hot News on Apple's site and have bought a OS Tiger book to read up on things. I'm almost WANTING my Dell laptop to die so I can SWITCH that much sooner.


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