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Ah, what an experience. I remember when I first switched over to a Mac. Actually, I remember when I was first exposed to a Mac. My mate, who had a PowerBook at that time, demonstrated how ExposÃ© and Fast User Switching worked in Panther. To be brutally honest, I didn’t find it that fascinating. It just looked cool and what’s wrong with using the taskbar, I thought.
I hesitated for a bit but Apple’s move to shift over to Intel processors was the final nudge I needed. Soon after that, I jumped ship and bought a Mac Mini. Weirdly, the first thing I did on my brand new Mac was load Boot Camp and install Windows. Typical hypowindowsemia syndrome. Nothing to worry about. Over time, it dissipated and 4 years has past since I last used a Windows machine. I don’t miss a day of it.
There are some things that a potential Switcher should know about the Macs and the operating system. This article should bust some myths and hopefully shed some light on a rather perplexing and mysterious matter.
Myth #1. Macs are incompatible with everything
Quite the contrary, actually. Mac OS X provides better built-in support for all kinds of hardware i.e. printers, scanners, digital cameras, video cameras, mobile phones and other devices. Unlike Windows, drivers for most of the current digital devices are incorporated into the operating system. This circumvents the need to re-install drivers after an upgrade.
The thing to remember while purchasing new peripherals is to keep an eye out for the “Mac compatible” logo.
Myth #2. There are no software for Mac
One of the few assumptions about Mac is the lack of applications. In reality, there are software available for Mac that do just about everything. Most major developers will write Mac and Linux versions of their applications. Popular browsers, instant messengers, productivity suites and image editors will have an accompanying Mac version.
There are some Windows applications that do not have a Mac counterpart. For those, there’s always Boot Camp.
Myth #3. You can’t play games on a Mac
Logically, one wouldn’t expect a $500 Dell laptop with an Intel graphics card to provide supreme gaming experience. Likewise, don’t expect great gaming experience from a Mac with an integrated graphics card. Hardcore games should go for a Mac or MacBook Pro with a dedicated graphics card. They may be more expensive compared to a Mac Mini or MacBook but if it’s smooth graphics you’re after, you should be willing to part with a bit of cash to get it.
Major game developers have slowly bridged the gap between Windows and Macs. Electronic Arts and id Software has vowed to launch games for Windows and Macs on the same day. They also said that they have programmers working on Mac versions of older games. So, pretty soon the playing field will even out. It’s only a matter of time.
For the rest of us, there are these simple and fun free games.
Myth #4. Macs and Windows won’t work together
“I have several Windows computers at home. If I buy a Mac, I won’t be able to network with them.”
Two words: urban legend. Using Bonjour technology, browsing through shared Windows computers is a breeze — they automatically appear in your Finder sidebar.
Sharing files on your Mac with Windows users is simple too. Enable File Sharing from System Preferences –> Sharing, select the folders you wish to share, click on Options, then check the box next to “Share files and folders using SMB (Windows)”. For more information about how to set up file sharing, check out this post: How To Easily Share Files Between Mac & Windows Computers
Since we’re on this topic, why don’t I illustrate what else a Mac can share:
Myth #5. Macs are difficult to use
Every operating system is different and there is always a learning curve when adopting a new OS. If you ask me, I’ll tell you that Macs are easy to use. A Windows user might beg to differ. The issue is very subjective.
However, let me present you with a scenario: give someone with a fresh Windows PC. Before they can use it, they would probably have to download a new browser, install an anti-virus/spyware program and drivers before plugging in their peripherals. Now take away the Windows PC and give them a Mac — in contrast, they can start using it straight away. How’s that for ease of use?
Myth #6. Macs are expensive
Many comparisons have been calculated in the past. Heck, Microsoft even launched an based on this myth. The simple truth is, admittedly, the Mac’s starting price is quite a bit more than a regular PC laptop but you do get more value for your money.
Macs are also known to last until eternity. In the long run, you’ll find yourself less likely to upgrade to a new machine. Moreover, Apple’s team of software engineers are great at what they do. Newer operating systems somehow provide older Macs with a performance boost. Windows, on the other hand, requires a PC with higher requirements to run the latest operating system. That’s a fact.
These are just the myths that I could think of. I’m sure that there are plenty more unanswered and unbusted myths out there. If you can think of others, please share them in the comments, I’ll try my best to answer them.
I hope that this article has helped you to understand Macs a little better and perhaps provided you with a more information to make an educated decision if you intend to make the switch. If have switched to a Mac after reading this, call me and we’ll have a celebratory party.