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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Moving to Mac, how easy is it? Really?
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06/25/2009 11:49:11 AM · #1
I considering moving over to Mac in the future, but Im doubtful that its as easy as Appple make out on their website. Does anyone have any experience moving over to Mac?

Specifically, file compatibility. I have a LaCie external hard-drive that I can transfer all my files on to, but remember reading that the Mac will only be able to read those files (as the drive is Windows formatted), not write to that drive?

So to keep all my stuff, would I have to transfer the all of the drive contents to the Mac, and then re-format the external hard drive? What if the Mac's internal drive isnt large enough? This is where any of your experiences will be priceless!

Thanks!
06/25/2009 11:54:31 AM · #2
If the drive is formatted with the legacy FAT32 file system, the Mac will be able to read it. If it is formatted NTFS, that is a windows only file system. A quick web search confirms that OSX can read NTFS but not write to it.

Fat32 is not as efficient and has a limit on the partition size of 32 Gigabytes, but it is the common denominator that all modern operating systems are capable of handling.

Message edited by author 2009-06-25 12:00:06.
06/25/2009 12:03:06 PM · #3
Originally posted by Anders:

What if the Mac's internal drive isnt large enough?

Um, well... then the files won't all fit.

Message edited by author 2009-06-25 12:03:25.
06/25/2009 12:07:38 PM · #4
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by Anders:

What if the Mac's internal drive isnt large enough?

Um, well... then the files won't all fit.


Yup, I was hoping there might be a way around that (i.e. not having to re-format the drive at all). How do I check what the external drive is formatted to? (I'm really not great at the tech side of this)

If it is FAT32, will the Mac be able to write to it, or will I have to re-format regardless?

Cheers!
06/25/2009 12:20:17 PM · #5
If it is Fat32 (Which in unlikely if it is a recently purchased drive) the Mac should be able to write to it just fine.

To find out the file system, right click on the drive and select "properties".
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/80000-84999/83313/120/802001.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/80000-84999/83313/120/802001.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Another option is when you get the Mac, set up a network connection and share the external drive from the PC on to the network. Then just copy everything over the network connection. The only computer that cares how the drive is formatted is the one it is physically connected to.

06/25/2009 12:22:58 PM · #6
External drives are pretty cheap these days.

I moved from PC to Mac a year ago. I love it. Issues I've had are;

- CTRL-V and CTRL-C becoming cmd-V and cmd-C in OSX (I never realised how much I used these key combinations for copy/paste)

- The @ sign moved from above the right shift key to above the number '2' Something you realise when you have to fill in your email address and are always typing " instead of @

- Having to find replacement software for my existing WinXP stuff. e.g. I went through a month of finding a good replacement for MS Office (including trial versions of iWork and Neo Office / Open Office) - In the end I went with MS Office for Mac

- Purchasing LR and Photoshop licences for the Mac

- Sharing a photo library between two users (iPhoto) - This is tricky, and doesn't really work properly

- No .NET dev equivalents on the Mac (e.g. Visual Web developer, SQL Server, MS Access) - Running XP on virtualbox works, but then what's the point in running OSX? - In the end I kept my XP Thinkpad on the desk next to my Mac. Thinkpad is for dev and database stuff, Mac is for media, internet and everything else

That's it. Otherwise, it's never crashed, hardly ever needs rebooting/updates, is fast and stable, and I've never been stuck trying to find drivers for devices I plug into it. It all works.
06/25/2009 12:47:06 PM · #7
Thanks so much guys, its really great to hear some real life experiences and advice.

I probably wont bother adding any additional users, so hopefully I can avoid problems like that.

Will I be able to transfer Office documents before MS Office is installed on the Mac, or is it best to wait until I can afford Office before transferring those particular files? Do I need Office at all, or will the bundled Apple program be able to work with Word files? (Excel and Access are not important, I just need Word doc functionality)

Thanks again!

Anders
06/25/2009 12:51:54 PM · #8
Give the free OpenOffice or NeoOffice a try before investing in MS Office. You might find they do all you need, and they do read and write DOC files.
06/25/2009 12:55:27 PM · #9
Cheers! Thats all I would need really, as I tend not to use the other Office applications that much.

Thanks for the links, I'll definitely give those a try before investing in Office!
06/25/2009 01:33:22 PM · #10
Neo or Open Office are basically the same thing, just check to see which one is the most up to date and better supported of the two. If you're doing mainly Word docs, then either of these work very well.

It was my requirement for an Excel clone that forced me to purchase MS Office. I was impressed with iWork, very user friendly, but it didn't have the same functionality as I'm used to in Excel.
06/25/2009 01:44:28 PM · #11
get this sweet machine, definitely rock your photography soul
//www.amazon.com/Apple-Mac-Pro-MB535LL-Desktop/dp/B000W0AAK8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=pc&qid=1245951755&sr=1-2
06/25/2009 01:48:29 PM · #12
Originally posted by JH:

Neo or Open Office are basically the same thing,

Pretty much, yes, if you are buying a new Mac. Before OpenOffice had a native OSX version, Neo was the choice. There was previoulsy an OO version, but it ran under the X-windows system (Sort of the Unix side of OSX). If someone does not have an Intel Mac, Neo is still what they need. I've run it on a G3 Imac and it was slow, but it worked. Runs acceptably on a 400Mhz G4.
06/25/2009 01:54:43 PM · #13
i'm not an expert at all but i did manage to switch to mac a few weeks ago. i kept my windows pc and put it in another room. i have a wireless router so i connected the pc to it (usb) and the wireless mac connected to it. i have a wireless printer so i networked everything together through the router. now i can print wirelessly from both the mac and pc, i have an external hd connected to the pc and through the network i can access the pc and the external hd from my mac through a brouser window. just drag and drop files from one computer to another or to/from the external hd. the only problem i have now is that i can't seem to access the files on the mac from the pc. i'm sure there's some box somewhere on the mac i need to check to allow sharing i just have to find it.
06/25/2009 02:08:16 PM · #14
I always wanted to do that, as all Microsoft trying to do is to make Windows looks like Mac, without the stability for sure. But I am dead concerned with compatability, specially with VPN, Databases.
I wont accept having two machines .. if it is a perfect operating system, it should be able to do all for me. If not .. I am sticking with windows.
06/25/2009 02:08:22 PM · #15
Originally posted by briantammy:

the only problem i have now is that i can't seem to access the files on the mac from the pc.

It easier to access a PC from a Mac. Even when providing proper account credentials, I have difficulty getting the PC to get into the Mac.
06/25/2009 02:13:20 PM · #16
I read on the Apple support section that you can connect the PC to Mac using an ethernet cable to transfer files, sounds easy- but I bet it isn't. How easy will that be vs. transferring via external HD?
06/25/2009 02:18:45 PM · #17
Originally posted by Anders:

I read on the Apple support section that you can connect the PC to Mac using an ethernet cable to transfer files, sounds easy- but I bet it isn't. How easy will that be vs. transferring via external HD?


it's probably not that hard. it should save time. one transfer instead of two.
06/25/2009 02:23:58 PM · #18
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by briantammy:

the only problem i have now is that i can't seem to access the files on the mac from the pc.

It easier to access a PC from a Mac. Even when providing proper account credentials, I have difficulty getting the PC to get into the Mac.

AFAIK you can only see a Mac from a PC if the Mac is running the Server version of the Mac OS, not the regular one.

My personal favorite workaround is Timbuktu -- you can control, copy to and from, and do practically anything else across platforms (and over the internet if you know the local computer's IP address). It's a little pricey, but it works great, and is easier than ordinary file-sharing. Plus, the evaluation demo has, in the past anyway, been full-featured but time-limited, so you should be able to copy your files during the free period ... I've controlled three different Macs and a PC at work simultaneously from my home PC.
06/25/2009 02:26:46 PM · #19
This place is great, thanks again everyone for educating me! Now all I have to do is save up for the damn thing ;)
06/25/2009 02:30:39 PM · #20
Originally posted by Anders:

This place is great, thanks again everyone for educating me! Now all I have to do is save up for the damn thing ;)


i don't know what you need but i bought the mac mini for $599. i think it's great. Does everything i need and fits nicely in a little spot on my desk.
also i'm able to use the same monitor, keyboard and mouse that i was using for my pc.

Message edited by author 2009-06-25 14:31:59.
06/25/2009 02:36:42 PM · #21
Try this;
Mobile Me, Apple
It connects everything, and publishing a gallery is just a "choose what you want and click" action.
It's a few $ a year, but with the .Me updates ect, it is money well spent.
06/25/2009 03:13:19 PM · #22
You will NEVER look back. It is so intuitive.
06/25/2009 03:25:23 PM · #23
Originally posted by briantammy:

Originally posted by Anders:

This place is great, thanks again everyone for educating me! Now all I have to do is save up for the damn thing ;)


i don't know what you need but i bought the mac mini for $599. i think it's great. Does everything i need and fits nicely in a little spot on my desk.
also i'm able to use the same monitor, keyboard and mouse that i was using for my pc.


I had looked at the mini, and great as it looks- Im thinking of the standard MacBook. I would be switching from a Dell laptop so I don't have the monitor/keyboard etc that I'd need for the mini, and I like the option of travelling with it. Though for the price, the mini does look brilliant.
06/25/2009 03:45:53 PM · #24
Originally posted by benjikan:

You will NEVER look back. It is so intuitive.

Ok, time to beat down the Mac a little. When I started learning how to use a Mac, I asked my Apple fanboy of a wife how to do something I could not figure out. Her response was "It works the way you think it should". I told her that I was thinking at it really hard and it still was not working the way I thought it should.

Ok back to the regular scheduled Apple commercial.

You'll love the Mac. Windows sucks. And blows. At the same time. There. Now both Mac and Windoze users are mad at me. How did I manage that?
06/25/2009 03:58:54 PM · #25
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

There. Now both Mac and Windoze users are mad at me. How did I manage that?

Because you spoke the truth -- the only time to care what kind of computer you're using is when it's not working as it should, and that this can happen to both types, although seemingly more often to those running Windows.

I've used both since Windows 3.11 and Mac OS 6.x, and it's pretty much been that way the whole time.
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