Mac OS X for Windows Users: A Switchers’ Guide
by David Coursey

Peachpit Press
277 pages, black and white
ISBN 0-321-16889-5
$19.99 (USA) , $31.99 (Canada) £14.99 (UK)

The Switchers’ Guide is an unabashed endorsement of Mac over PC — and rightly so, in my opinion. If you work in creative applications on a PC (as I do, I’m ashamed to say) you will feel woefully inadequate and be convinced that life has passed you by. Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration. However, David Coursey presents many compelling reasons for making the switch in this well written and entertaining book targeted to disgruntled Microsoft captives.

Interspersed throughout the book are interviews with individuals, many of whom were in the recent Mac switcher ads, who describe their various reasons for migrating to Macs (including some PC horror stories). The testimonials are quite convincing and, I believe a clever way for Mr. Coursey to shield himself from the heat which Microsoft would surely direct his way otherwise. They are real world experiences and probably completely biased, but present all the good reasons to make the switch.

Early chapters describe why people switch and how relatively easy it is to do. There is a brief description of the Mac GUI and corresponding hardware components such as USB and FireWire ports, modems, memory and the like. The author describes how to move files from one OS to the other and includes a rebate for Move2Mac, a program that does all the hard work. The chapter on the Mac desktop and its comparison with the Windows equivalent is particularly good. The Internet and email on the Mac are also covered extensively.

Later chapters deal primarily with software applications: iApps that come with the machine and other Windows-type programs that have Mac equivalents. There’s even a description on how to run Windows and/or MS Office on a Mac, although why anyone would want to is beyond me. If there’s a weakness in the book, it’s here.

While we can run spreadsheet and word processing on the Mac, that’s no real reason to switch. I’m led to believe it’s with the creative applications that the Mac really shines, and there’s little in Mac OS X for Windows Users: A Switchers’ Guide that addresses how or why these programs work better on the Mac.

In my case, I got entrenched in the PC world of DOS with AutoCAD and, later, 3D Studio, for which there was no acceptable Mac alternative at the time. These can be highly creative programs that are still the software of choice for the architects that I know. In order to be on that wagon, I had to have a PC and went through all the machinations (no pun intended) from one version to the next of both software and operating system.

Along the way I added Photoshop, Illustrator, PageMaker, AfterEffects, Painter, Dreamweaver and other PC programs. Now, in order to switch, I have to buy all these programs over again in Mac mode. Nowhere in the book is there an answer or discussion on this dilemma.

Nevertheless, for the price, this is a great book for those with only recent PC history or limited Adobe PC applications to evaluate what is really an easy choice. It sure convinced me and I may just spring for the Mac Photoshop software anyway.

MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5


Wynne Stevens

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