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Moving from Windows to Mac OS. Tips and advice appreciated.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Thessalonica, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Thessalonica
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    Thessalonica Adoptable/Breedable Shop Owner in PI VPL Member

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    Hi there. I've been using Windows since Windows ME (although I never really used Vista, jumped from XP to 7) so I am new to Mac OS. A relative from the US visited us last October as well as early this year and gave us an old black Macbook. Mom got a HP laptop from them back in October last year which I've been using since my desktop burned, so all my files are now in my Mom's laptop. Now that there's a Macbook, I need to move my stuff there so Mom and my siblings can use her laptop freely. I've been putting off moving my files because I'm not used to Mac OS. T_T

    Now when I received the Macbook, it was still running in Tiger. After some research, I've found out that it's a 2007 one.I've since upgraded it to Snow Leopard. I can't upgrade it to Lion because I'd need to get more RAM and HD first, as well as a new battery and charger since the old ones aren't holding its charges well. Now that I have a clean install, there aren't any software in there yet apart from whatever came with the clean install on Snow Leopard. >.< I probably need programs that I use frequently in Windows like MS Office (word, excel, ppt), Photoshop, FTP program and Skype among other programs. Since these stuff will probably cost me funds I do not have at the moment, do you guys know of any free alternatives that you can recommend that works on Mac?

    The interface as well as the inner workings of Mac OS still confuse me, so if you have any good tips/tricks/advice to a person new to Mac, I'm all ears.
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  2. Earth
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    Earth Approved Artist Junior Programmer Approved Artist Pet Game Owner VPL Supporter VPL Member

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    I moved from windows to mac and it took quite a while to sort myself out. I rammed everything on a USB stick and dragged it over onto my mac. File zillor (I believe that's it's name) works as a FTP for mac. If you have the discs for your windows programs you can use them with a program called cross over. It allows you to use windows programs and has a 30 day free trial. Good luck x
  3. Thessalonica
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    Thessalonica Adoptable/Breedable Shop Owner in PI VPL Member

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    Oh, that sounds like a good program. Looked around their site and from what I understand, I can run most Windows programs with it? If that's the case, I might need to do another reinstall of SnowLeopard since I left some space for a possible install of Windows for bootcamp. >.<
  4. Calypso_Rayne
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    Calypso_Rayne New Member VPL Member

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    Actually Mac has a version of MS Office. The sad part is that you can't open a Windows MS Office paper in the Mac MS Office. You don't need any program to move your pc files onto your mac, it will be there. The MS Office is the only thing that is weird through compatibility. If you were to use a mouse you have to set it up to have the right click, since most default to control click as the right click. If you are used to using shortcuts such as Control+Alt+Del it works the same, but you are going to use the Command or Apple button as the control button. If you need any more help, let m know, I use both Mac and PC almost daily.
  5. Earth
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    Earth Approved Artist Junior Programmer Approved Artist Pet Game Owner VPL Supporter VPL Member

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    Yep. I believe it is any program. I'm running paint shop pro 7 and 8 at the mo :)
  6. Calypso_Rayne
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    Calypso_Rayne New Member VPL Member

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    All adobe programs work on Mac, and Firefox and Chrome work on Mac too.
  7. vplspride
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    vplspride Member VPL Member

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  8. Corleone
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  9. Thessalonica
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    Thessalonica Adoptable/Breedable Shop Owner in PI VPL Member

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    You mean existing word documents, excel sheets and ppt files made with Windows MS Office won't open even if I get the Mac MS Office? That's sad to hear. I have a bit of spreadsheets that I need to import so that would be quite a hassle to redo. :( I've also installed Chrome and I managed to get a copy of CS6 beta for Mac so I'll have Photoshop for a while. Once the extended trial ends, I'll hopefully be able to get a student copy of CS5 on one of the shops here. :) I was worried about losing Notepad++ as my text editor but I saw from one tutorial a possible alternative that I'm trying right now which is Sublime Text.

    Thanks for the offer to help. I'll definitely send you a pm in case I hit any snags. ^^ Btw, do you use any calibration software for your mac? Since my macbook has an lcd screen, it's color is more yellowish than the HP laptop's monitor which is glass. The HP screen is actually bright white which I've gotten used to. So I'm not sure if pets I color still kinda look the same for other people's screens. >.<

    That's good to hear. Hopefully it runs other programs I'm used to with Windows. :)

    That's a wonderful advice! It slipped my mind since it's been ages since I downloaded stuff from cnet. ^^ Thanks!
  10. Calypso_Rayne
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    Calypso_Rayne New Member VPL Member

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    @Thessalonica When in Photoshop, use LAB colors, that way they will look like what you color no matter what. I learned that in class. There should be a setting somewhere to change the color tint of the screen. When I get to class Tuesday I will look around, since that is where the Mac I use is at. I was thinking about partitioning my laptop so I can have half of it as a Mac. Or just fully configuring it to be a mac.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  11. electric_blue_kirby
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    electric_blue_kirby Co-Owner Administrator

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    Voice 1:

    That doesn't sound right. I frequently use Word documents I've created in both versions interchangeably between the two without a problem. I've also had success with PowerPoint, but I've seen some professors run into problems with that. I don't use PowerPoint much, however, so I'm not sure why that is.

    I'd more readily suggest LibreOffice.


    That out of the way, some basic suggestions:

    For a general image viewer, don't use Preview. Use Xee instead.

    For unarchiving, get The Unarchiver.

    For media, don't use QuickTime or VLC (VLC is terrible on any platform). Get MPlayerX instead (or build mplayer2 yourself if you feel comfortable doing that).

    For torrenting, get Transmission.

    Cmd+Space will bring up Spotlight. This will let you quickly find a file on your Mac if you know the filename. It can also search for text in documents, as well as doing some basic calculations.

    Cmd+delete will send a file to the Trash, Cmd+shift+delete will empty the Trash. "Secure empty trash" will write over what you delete with zeroes, and will take longer.

    Clicking the X will probably not close the program, but only the window. (Sometimes it does actually close the program because that's how it works on Windows. It's an annoying inconsistency.)

    Most installs are as simple as dragging a file out of a .dmg and into whatever folder you want it in. A .pkg will function more like a typical Windows installer.

    If you type something into the "Help" area of a program's menu, hovering over what you wanted to find will highlight exactly where it is in the menu (with a big blue floating arrow, too).

    Don't forget to change your dock to your preference. You can change where it's located, set it to autohide, and so on. I have mine set to its smallest size with magnification disabled and autohide on, and moved to the left, for example.


    Well, those are just some basic things. I've only been using a Mac for just shy of three years so I won't feign any sort of expertise or veteran status, but I'll try to answer any questions you have if you want.

    EDIT:

    The programs I recommended are all free, by the way. You can also get Growl for notices if you want, although you'd have to pay $2 unless you're fine with sticking with an older version forever (which has given me no issues so far).
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  12. Thessalonica
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    Thessalonica Adoptable/Breedable Shop Owner in PI VPL Member

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    @Etnik
    Thanks for reminding me about it. Unfortunately, I tried it because my Dad uses it and a lot of the formatting gets lost when using MS Word and OpenOffice. :(

    @Calypso_Rayne
    Thanks, that will be helpful. I don't know where to find the LAB settings in Photoshop. ^^;

    @electric_blue_kirby
    Thank you so much for the programs you recommended! I've downloaded them all just now. The MPlayerX is really nice. It played an old copy of 3 Idiots that I have without a hitch unlike when I played it with VLC on Windows. >.<

    Would you happen to know how to set Xee as the default preview program? I tried to open it's preferences but everything there is greyed out. :(
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  13. electric_blue_kirby
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    electric_blue_kirby Co-Owner Administrator

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    Select an image file in Finder, press cmd+I, go to the "Open with" section, select Xee and click "change all."

    But you should be able to set that up from Xee's preferences. When you say "greyed out," do you mean you can't select anything in the preferences dialog, or that the option to open the preferences dialog is greyed out?
  14. Calypso_Rayne
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    Calypso_Rayne New Member VPL Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  15. Thessalonica
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    Thessalonica Adoptable/Breedable Shop Owner in PI VPL Member

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    @Calypso_Rayne
    Thanks for that! I was looking at the profiles area and I was only seeing Adobe RGB 1198, sRGB, etc and not the LAB. Good thing you posted a screenshot since I was looking at the wrong places earlier. xD

    @electric_blue_kirby
    The option to open the preferences dialog is greyed out. Actually everything is greyed out, not just the preferences for Xee. I even tried re-installing it to the application folder. :(

    My battery wasn't really charging since I posted this thread, so I kept thinking it might be my battery since it's already old. Watched some vids in youtube after searching for info related to macbook batteries not charging and saw that most of the time it's the magsafe. I tried doing the resets but nothing really happened until I poked the magsafe over and over again on the port. Then the orange light showed up, earlier I was only getting a very very faint greenish light, so when the bright orange showed up, I got excited. :) It's charging now and I run the battery health app, I found out that the battery is 5.4 years old and has gone through 1059 cycles. And from the original max charge of 5020 mAh, it can only charge now to 4801 mAh.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  16. Calypso_Rayne
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    Calypso_Rayne New Member VPL Member

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    @Thessalonica You are welcome, I was thinking of just saying where to look, but I know for me I have to see in order to learn, so I decided to get some screenshots. Also, if you work with fonts and different graphics, ufonts.com has an amazing amount of fonts for free.
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  17. electric_blue_kirby
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    electric_blue_kirby Co-Owner Administrator

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    Is this while the "open file" dialog is open? If so, just cancel that and you should be able to access the preferences.
  18. Organic
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    Openoffice is basically just like microsoft office. There is an ftp client called cyberduck i think. Something duck. Skype is free.

    Thepiratebay.org might be useful to you. I suggest transmission for torrents.

    As far as getting used to mac os make sure to enable all your touch and swipe features and also make sure to turn on your right click. Besides that just take some time to get used to it you will love it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  19. cpvr
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    cpvr Owner and Founder Administrator

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    I actually wonder how many users here have actually switched from a windows computer to a MAC. If you have, do you prefer the mac over the windows? Or a windows computer over a MAC?
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