Take Control of Switching to the Mac
TidBITS Electronic Publishing
I converted one of my PC-using friends to the Mac the other day. It didn’t take long.
Actually, I didn’t do the converting. Scott Knaster’s ebook Take Control of Switching to the Mac largely convinced my friend to buy a Mac. My Aluminum PowerBook 15″ did the rest. In truth, I just watched, and answered a few easy questions by saying, “watch this.”
Most of my coworkers are PC users, but my PowerBook always gets plenty of attention. After seeing the ‘Book wake instantly from sleep, or simultaneously run five or six applications without breaking a sweat, I begin to get the usual questions.
“I hear you don’t get email viruses.”
“I heard there’s not much software for the Mac besides graphics programs.”
Can I get into the corporate web site with the Macintosh web browser?
Once those questions are answered, I just hand over the PowerBook, and mention a few basics about navigating the Mac OS, and wait.
The main problem with this approach is that I’m not much of a Windows expert. I can get around well enough to avoid embarrassing myself, but I’m no XP wizard.
This is where Take Control of Switching to the Mac (TCOS for short) saves the day. After my friend finished playing with Safari, Entourage 2004, BBEdit, and iChat, he had many “how does this work compared to Windows” questions than I couldn’t easily answer, since I didn’t know the Windows details. He took 30 minutes to page through TCOS, and came away very confident that he could easily transition to the Macintosh world. Knaster had answered all his questions, except how to come up with the bucks for a new PowerBook!
For readers who truly don’t know what kind of a Mac to buy, TCOS gets down to business with a short review of Apple’s desktop and laptop lines. This section is short, as the reader is referred to TidBITS’ Take Control of Buying a Mac for the nitty-gritty.
The bulk of TCOS is devoted to a thorough, logical comparison of Mac OS and Windows XP. The discussion begins with how to set up your Mac, and provides constant “this is the Mac way, this is what you did on Windows.”
While it might seem trivial, there are striking differences in menus and menu bars between Mac OS X and Windows XP. If you don’t get the differences, you’ll never be comfortable in the Mac world. Knaster carefully covers this crucial topic. Window management is equally important, and gets plenty of attention.
TCOS moves on to compare and contrast the Mac Finder and the Windows XP desktop experience. This section is one of the best in the ebook, and I found that I learned some new tricks.
TCOS includes a section titled “Live As A Mac User In A Windows World.” While the ex-Windows user may have been an expert with his old computer, he may have no idea how to play nice as a Macintosh user in a Windows world. This short section covers document and file sharing, Virtual PC and Remote Desktop Connection. It’s the only chapter that falls a bit short, as more information would be worthwhile. Of course, this could be the subject for a complete Take Control of Being A Mac User in a Windows World edition.
If you’re a Windows user contemplating switching, and want to know what’s involved, Take Control of Switching to the Mac will provide you the knowledge to convert your Windows expertise to Mac expertise.