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Have you recently switched from PC to Mac?
Old 06-20-2015, 11:08 AM   #1
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Have you recently switched from PC to Mac?

This is really only part of an immense topic, "I Need a New Desktop Computer and Don't Know What to Buy." I decided to narrow it down to the title, because these days, I could throw my $$$ at random computers and get a decent product.

Background: I am getting ready to retire my 2008 Emachines running Vista and want to bring all my files to the new machine. I know Apple has utilities for converting Windows files, but how good are they really? I can't seem to get a good answer from Internet articles.
But file transfer between PCs should be pretty simple.
Is there anything else I should be aware of, or beware of, when it comes to switching from Windows to Apple OS?

OK, I can't resist: As for "which computer," I don't game, which allows me to look at lower-cost computers. I could probably get away with spending a bit more than $1K for a desktop PC. I watch videos sometimes, and would love to run streaming audio (my current machine is not powerful enough). But yeah, mostly I just use a computer to surf, write (lots), compute (a bit).
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:24 AM   #2
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You could double check with Apple but I think their stores will migrate your PC files for you.

For a desktop Mac, you could either get a Mac mini and connect USB mouse and keyboard and any monitor, or an iMac.

Not sure if they still sell a 21 inch iMac, which would be around $1000.

The 27 inch model, which has a nice screen, starts at $1499 I think.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:01 PM   #3
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I edit windows based word and excel files on my iMac using Office for Mac. Also, Apple Pages and Numbers applications can open word and excel files. Like explanade posted, I believe the Apple store will migrate your files for you. You should be able to find apps that can use your files, but some specialty windows apps are not available for macs.

I switched to Mac about 10 years ago, and I'm on my 3rd iMac. i bought the 27" iMac a couple of years ago and sold my old 21" to my niece. I believe they still make the 21" iMac - iMac - New iMac - Apple Store (U.S.)

Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:20 PM   #4
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I'd also go with a mac mini for this case. I like having the monitor separate, in case one or the other dies you are not out the whole cost.

Although I use a laptop as a desktop, which violates that advice. But I like the flexibility to re-purpose the laptop when I upgrade. Use it for a music player, and/or move it around as a second computer without needing to hassle with a bunch of cords. Plus the built in UPS/battery.

The cut-over depends on what kind of files you have. Most typical files, pdfs, office files, etc should be almost zero problem (macros on excel spreadsheets probably won't convert).

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Old 06-20-2015, 12:38 PM   #5
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Although I use a laptop as a desktop, which violates that advice. But I like the flexibility to re-purpose the laptop when I upgrade. Use it for a music player, and/or move it around as a second computer without needing to hassle with a bunch of cords. Plus the built in UPS/battery.
-ERD50
+1
I doubt I would ever go back to a desktop, a laptop offers so much more flexibility, can use anywhere in the house and take it with you when traveling. If you like the idea using a full size monitor and keyboard just get a USB docking station for about $100 and plug your laptop into it and use your external monitor and keyboard when needed.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:07 PM   #6
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Last year switched the last/only desktop to a tricked out mac mini (one generation before the current mac mini). This lowered cost by keeping the monitor/keyboard/mouse from the PC. Got some help at the Apple Store on transferring files (which they required me to have on an external hard disk anyway).

I was getting too rusty when it came to supporting a PC platform.

Recommend the Apple Care warranty AND getting the $99 membership that entitles you to a year of one-to-one training. Group training and open training topics are also available. Seems you can only buy this training thing when buying a computer.

Kindest regards.
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Old 06-20-2015, 01:31 PM   #7
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If you haven't already, check out this link:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT4796

It's pretty specific about what things are transferred from windows.
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:38 PM   #8
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....want to bring all my files to the new machine. I know Apple has utilities for converting Windows files, but how good are they really? I can't seem to get a good answer from Internet articles.
But file transfer between PCs should be pretty simple.
Is there anything else I should be aware of, or beware of, when it comes to switching from Windows to Apple OS?
After 30+ years of maintaining, coddling and cursing PCs, I changed to a simple MacBook 5.5 years ago. That Macbook is the same computer I use today and it's just as fast (after one RAM upgrade) and trouble free as the day I bought it. That includes updating the operating system a couple times and not using any special malware or virus scanners on it...ever. I am definitely a convert.

I simply copied all the Microsoft Office Word and Excel files I had to the new computer. I downloaded free "Open Office". This allows me to use them in their original format or to make new files. A small learning curve but no significant issues.

The only headache I ran into was in my financial software. I used to use Microsoft version of Quicken on my PC's. A good program. There was/is not an equivalently good Apple version of Quicken. I ended up using the limited Apple version for several years but eventually changed to Moneydance. My Quicken files converted easily to Moneydance and I'm quite happy with it. Overall, very happy with the PC to Mac conversion and I am one of those folks that will never go back to using a PC.
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:25 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Whisper66;1606337]
I simply copied all the Microsoft Office Word and Excel files I had to the new computer. I downloaded free "Open Office". This allows me to use them in their original format or to make new files. A small learning curve but no significant issues.

QUOTE]

Will this work on workbooks with over 300 worksheets from MS Office 2007 and 2010?
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:30 PM   #10
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Define 'my files'. Be precise.

Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:37 PM   #11
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I retired this year and had the great pleasure of ditching the corporate PC world to my own Mac. I do use Microsoft Office since I'm an Excel heavy user. Absolutely no difference on a Mac. The only software that isn't the same is Quicken - Mac Quicken 2015 is okay, but the PC version is better.

Transferring files was done with just a couple of 4Meg zip drives. All the stuff like pictures and office files transfer with zero problem.

Now I turn on my 13" Macbook Pro and I start working in 11 seconds. My work PC's would take from 3 to 10 minutes from a cold start. In two months, I've had one freeze that required a restart.

Even with many years the corporate world, I'm still amazed that companies have chosen in mass the pc solution and live with the endless productivity and frustration for a smaller up front cost.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:40 PM   #12
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I switched to Ubuntu (it's Linux) 2-3 years ago from Vista.
Ubuntu comes standard with Office type s/w and its all free.
I just copied over all my files, the Word/excel files open a work fine in Libre Office or Open Office.
I didn't bring over my old emails, started new with those.

Have dual 23" monitors with 6 core 1TB hd and 12 Gig Ram for about $500 back then.

Only issue I have is down-loadable tax software is only made for PC and some mac's.
So I keep a $200 laptop in Windows version for traveling and tax time.
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:10 PM   #13
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I do use Microsoft Office since I'm an Excel heavy user. Absolutely no difference on a Mac.
Are you sure about that? It's been a few years since I worked in a place that had a mix of Macs and PCs, but we were constantly hassling with missing features in the Mac version of Office, especially in Excel 2011.

I recall that pivot tables were pretty crippled on the Mac, especially with sorting and filtering options; lots of VBA macros wouldn't work at all; and some of the more advanced summary and stats functions just weren't there. I suppose by now there may be a Mac version of Office 2015 that has parity with the Windows version, but in the past, they definitely were not the same.
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Have you recently switched from PC to Mac?
Old 06-20-2015, 09:09 PM   #14
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Have you recently switched from PC to Mac?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinger1457 View Post
+1
I doubt I would ever go back to a desktop, a laptop offers so much more flexibility, can use anywhere in the house and take it with you when traveling. If you like the idea using a full size monitor and keyboard just get a USB docking station for about $100 and plug your laptop into it and use your external monitor and keyboard when needed.

I have had many of both since my first home PC in 1985. While a laptop is great for portability if you travel or telecommute, for strictly working at home the desktop is more robust , it's screen size and resolution are far superior, and it generally will last longer. It's also more upgradable, and has better sound.


I switched to an iMac in 2008 and also had thoughts of using my windows based software using "Bootcamp", but quickly realized this was a waste of time and hard drive space. My advice is to use a new complement of apple based software and get the apple based versions of Microsoft Office, which run directly within the Mac OSX.

MS Word and Excel for the MAC are nearly identical to a PC. I use A Dell PC at work all day and can send home Word or Excel file via email to my MAC and use them with no noticeable difference at all. This is in part due to a lawsuit settlement that Microsoft agreed to with the government to make it so just a few years ago.

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Old 06-20-2015, 09:30 PM   #15
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The short answer is "no". I've stuck with PC desktops and laptops for the last few computer purchases in the past few years.

The rationale is pretty simple - firepower per buck.

For laptops, I don't need mega performance, so the $200-300 machines have served us well so far. I even do basic photoshop on the current machine. If it breaks and I can't fix it for a reasonable price, I'm not out more than a few hundred bucks.

For desktops, I want more power for photo, video and gaming. Graphic cards have advanced to the point where low power consumption but high* performance cards are cheap and able to work with stock off the shelf computer cases and power supplies. So you can buy a cheap computer from Dell, HP, or whoever then spend $100 on a massive graphics upgrade and have a gaming/video/photo computer for $400-500 that supports 2+ monitors.

Mac doesn't have a similar offering in that price range, so I'm sticking with what works to get me the horsepower I need at a good price.

* Well, mid range performance if you're talking to serious graphics/gaming peeps
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:18 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=Tadpole;1606362]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whisper66 View Post
I simply copied all the Microsoft Office Word and Excel files I had to the new computer. I downloaded free "Open Office". This allows me to use them in their original format or to make new files. A small learning curve but no significant issues.

QUOTE]

Will this work on workbooks with over 300 worksheets from MS Office 2007 and 2010?
Good question. Don't know the answer. Never had a reason to have a workbook with over 300 worksheets in my 33 yr engineering career nor in my personal life. My files are typical files for a strong computer user but one that is not particularly interested in making complex files. So I used mainly Word documents and Excel spreadsheets of small to moderate size and limited complexity. For example, a complex spreadsheet for me would be one of mine that may have 10-15 tabs with lots of financial calculations in them but that use no special programing language used beyond excel equations and functions.

Since Open Office is free to download, can always download a version and see what it does with your more complicated workbooks. 300 worksheets sounds quite complex to me so wouldn't be surprised if you did see some issues there. If it doesn't work, you may have better luck at testing if the Mac version of Office would manage your files.

Good luck.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:26 PM   #17
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I'd also go with a mac mini for this case. I like having the monitor separate, in case one or the other dies you are not out the whole cost.

Although I use a laptop as a desktop, which violates that advice. But I like the flexibility to re-purpose the laptop when I upgrade. Use it for a music player, and/or move it around as a second computer without needing to hassle with a bunch of cords. Plus the built in UPS/battery.

The cut-over depends on what kind of files you have. Most typical files, pdfs, office files, etc should be almost zero problem (macros on excel spreadsheets probably won't convert).

-ERD50

I like the Mac mini also - I like having the monitor separate - very happy with it.


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Old 06-20-2015, 11:45 PM   #18
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...........I know Apple has utilities for converting Windows files, but how good are they really? I can't seem to get a good answer from Internet articles. But file transfer between PCs should be pretty simple. Is there anything else I should be aware of, or beware of, when it comes to switching from Windows to Apple OS?

OK, I can't resist: As for "which computer," I don't game, which allows me to look at lower-cost computers. I could probably get away with spending a bit more than $1K for a desktop PC. I watch videos sometimes, and would love to run streaming audio (my current machine is not powerful enough). But yeah, mostly I just use a computer to surf, write (lots), compute (a bit).
There is really no single right answer but here's some generalities that you often see in these discussions:

If cost control is of high importance, go with a PC. "Firepower per buck" (good description by Fuego) is indeed significantly lower for a PC. I ran PCs for many years for mainly that reason.

If gaming is important, go with a PC. Macs aren't really targeted for gamers nor are game manufacturers targeting Mac users.

If avoiding the hassles of changing files into new programs and learning new systems / way of doings things on the computer is important, stick with your current type of system. It's not a big deal to change to Mac for most of the common things we do but it does require some learning.

If things like having to maintain the computer with malware checks, virus checks, being all too familiar with the "blue screen of death", cleaning registries of unwanted files, wondering why your programs interfere with each other, slow bootup times, etc... has gotten on your nerves enough to seriously want a change, try a Mac. You definitely pay more. And Macs aren't perfect either but in general they they just seem to work and work and work. It actually feels like you have a tool to use anytime you want without having to think about it. To me a PC was something I had to know a lot about it's inner workings and often perform maintenance / repairs to keep it useable. I think that's one main reason you hear of many people moving from PC's to Macs but only a very few going the other way.

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:53 PM   #19
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If things like having to maintain the computer with malware checks, virus checks, being all too familiar with the "blue screen of death", cleaning registries of unwanted files, wondering why your programs interfere with each other, slow bootup times, etc... has gotten on your nerves enough to seriously want a change, try a Mac. You definitely pay more. And Macs aren't perfect either but in general they they just seem to work and work and work. It actually feels like you have a tool to use anytime you want without having to think about it. To me a PC was something I had to know a lot about it's inner workings and often perform maintenance / repairs to keep it useable. I think that's one main reason you hear of many people moving from PC's to Macs but only a very few going the other way.
I think a lot of these issues have disappeared or shrunk in relevance with Windows 7/8 and will probably get even better with Win 10. Maybe my 7/8 machines just aren't old enough to be bogged down and virus ridden, but they are still punchy in spite of some of them having very basic components not designed for speed.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:28 AM   #20
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Is there anything else I should be aware of, or beware of, when it comes to switching from Windows to Apple OS?
One thing I would highly recommend is to ditch your PC peripherals (i.e. mouse) and get mac versions, either a magic mouse or magic trackpad, which are multi-touch capable version.

Both of these support gestures which I find to be a huge time saver in working. If you go to the system preferences for the device it will show you what's available (do this in the apple store as I believe the device needs to be connected to see the gestures supported). If you are used to PC laptop trackpads, the magic pad is a *LIGHTYEARS* ahead in usability (way better tracking of your fingers, multitouch, larger, etc).

The mouse (and trackpad) also support 360 degree scrolling. Very useful if you do any editing of photos.

Most mac users get SuperDuper or CCC and make a bootable clone of their hard disk. (Time machine backups are not bootable).

I prefer safari over chrome (Safari is more power efficient) but I use both. Probably won't matter unless you are on a laptop.
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