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Windows users who are contemplating a change to the Mac might have a number of questions. What exactly will be gained and lost in the transition? What is involved in the actual transfer of an entire digital life? How can familiar workflows be recreated in the new environment? Instructor David Rivers answers all these questions, and many more, in Switching from Windows to the Mac. Unlike other basic Mac instruction, this course focuses on the similarities and differences between the two operating systems. David takes care to highlight the terminology and interface differences that can initially be mystifying for Windows users. He explores not only the software--Mac OS X Leopard and its bundled applications--but also important hardware subjects, like keyboard and mouse differences, and how to work with cameras and other peripherals. David also discusses how to run Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp or virtualization. Example files accompany the course.
In this lesson I want to talk to you about what you get and what you lose by switching from Windows to Mac OS X. Originally, I was going to call this lesson, you win some, you lose some, but in reality you win a whole lot more than you lose. So let's start right now with what you get with Mac OS X. At the very top of the list, I'm putting security. The operating system behind Mac OS X was written with security in mind, and it's maybe the most attractive reason to switch.
Mac OS X has a built-in firewall that's virtually hacker proof, and absolutely nothing gets installed without your permission. So for this reason to date, there has never been one single widespread Mac OS X virus; even Word macro viruses won't run in Mac OS X. There is no record of adware, nor spyware, for OS X. Even Mac OS X's email application, Mail, deals with spam or junk mail extremely well. Next comes Stability.
That operating system behind Mac OS X I was talking about is UNIX, that's at the foundation. UNIX is strong, its rock solid, it's been around for decades, and its getting stronger and better with age. Mac OS X is Niggle Free. What does that mean? Well, you won't be nagged. This means Mac OS X leaves you alone. You install it and you go, no questions asked. Imagine, no prompting for serial numbers, activations, registrations, and so on. By the way, it's not copy protected, so you can install it on both of your desktop and your laptop machines, no questions asked.
You get top notch softwares switching to Mac OS X. You get dozens of useful applications, like Mail and iTunes, and iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, and so on. Even iChat gives you instant messaging that even offers video conferencing. Check out the chapter at the end of this title where I introduce my top ten fun free apps that come with Mac OS X. Next is Simplification. Mac OS X apps appear as a single icon, so you don't get bogged down or confused by all the support programs, they are all hidden from you, it's just simpler.
For example, to remove an application, you just drag the icon to the Trash and you are done. There is no Add Remove Program function to locate and execute, like you do in Windows. You get Desktop organization as well. Ever littered your Windows Desktop with icons and shortcuts to everything under the sun? Well, Windows doesn't like when you do that, and it will even clean it up for you by placing unused icons in a folder called the Unused Folder. Well, there is no such thing in Mac OS X, but there are lots of Desktop features to help you stay organized.
You have got Spring Loaded Folders that let you drag an icon to a folder, that's in a folder, that's in another folder, with one single step; you just click and drag. You can hide all open windows on your Desktop with one single keystroke. There is something called Expos? that we will talk about later on, that helps you to avoid overlapping windows too. I mentioned Spotlight earlier in this title for searching. Spotlight doesn't just find names of files and folders, but looks inside your files for what you are searching for.
So this can include documents and emails, address books, and even your calender. Then there is the Dashboard that you can load up with mini applications. Remember Widgets, I talked about them earlier. Well, they give you quick and easy access to the info that you need. Windows Vista liked the Dashboard here in Mac OS X so much that it created its own version called the Sidebar; and you can download from thousands of widgets available online. Next comes Networking. Nothing is easier for hooking up your computer to others using Mac OS X. Now, Mac OS X automatically sees other computers on the network, including Windows PCs.
Mac OS X offers advanced features too, like multihoming. Imagine unhooking your laptop from its cable modem to take it on the road, and it automatically knows to switch from those modem settings to the wireless settings or dial up modem setting that you are going to be using when it needs to, it's too easy. Next is Total Voice and Keyboard Control. Do you yourself like to be super efficient? Well, you can do almost everything in any application through your keyboard or even voice commands here in Mac OS X. Your Mac can even read your emails, documents, and so on out loud.
If it's text in any program, the Mac can read it for you. There is a secret door by the way to UNIX that not everybody knows about and not everybody needs. Mac OS X is shiny and beautiful; beautiful user interface, very easy to use. All traces of the UNIX operating system I talked about earlier are hidden away from you; that is, unless you really, really need to get in there. The one way for programmers and technical gurus to get behind the scenes to an all text command line interface, is through a utility called Terminal; its found in the Utilities Folder under Applications.
Now, we don't get very technical in this title, but I thought I would let you know that it's actually there. Alright, so let's talk now about what Mac OS X takes away from you when you are switching from a Windows PC to the Mac. Well, some programs. Yes, it's true, there are programs out there written for a Windows environment. Some have Mac equivalence, but you might have to pay for those. Others are customized and irreplaceable, like Accounting or HR applications, or even some games.
Now, for those, you can actually keep a Windows PC around or run Windows right on your Mac, alongside OS X to keep the best of both worlds. The other thing that you might lose are some peripherals. Most devices these days, you add on to your computer, after the fact will run on both a Mac or a PC computer; think of Digital Cameras and Printers, Scanners. You have got those combo devices where you have got printing, scanning, and faxing altogether. Most work on both, however, some obscure devices may not; especially if they are older devices, but that's it.
The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, in my humble opinion, but you will need to decide for yourself. Hopefully you are feeling a little more informed now. Next, we examine changes you might need to know with regard to the Mac keyboard, when moving to a new Mac from a Windows PC.
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