Are You Scared to Make the Mac Move?

Geek!This is Ollie Mallard’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

1. Does it crash?

Many people ask me this question, especially when they see our Mac lab at school. They always take one look at them and want one. The answer to this question is: YES. Unfortunately, they do crash, but no way as regularly as a Windows machine might. I mean this in the way that OS X is a lot more stable these days, and works well with supported hardware. When it does crash, you will either get the endlessly Spinning Beachball Of Death, or it’ll will sort itself out in a few seconds. Or, you might (on very rare occasions) get a “kernel panic” with a message in the center of the screen suggesting you need to restart. Kernel panic = equivalent of a BSOD on Windows.

2. I can’t do my work as well on it!

This is a large concern because people have been sucked into Microsoft Office. The truth is a Mac OS X is just as good, if not better, at “office” tasks as Windows is. This is, again, primarily due to the stability and user friendliness of a Mac. Not to mention, you can actually get Microsoft Office for Mac or use Apple’s own iWork (and we all know that iWork is Chris Pirillo’s choice, if he doesn’t recommend Google Docs or OpenOffice.org). iWork is a suite of utilities that includes a word processor, a presentation tool, and a spreadsheet application. All of these iWork applications work well and are largely Microsoft Office document-compatible.

3. OS X is not as powerful as Windows.

Windows a few years ago, may have been more customizable than OS X, but things have changed, tables have turned. OS X features many power user-friendly features including Quartz 2D Extreme, a powerful 2D rendering tool. And if you’re a tweaker, you’ll love to have Secrets installed. Chris did a video on Secrets one time – it lets you fine tune your Mac down to every last detail. He’s talked about tweaking OS X at length.

4. Are programs difficult to install on OS X?

Apps are far, far easier to install and uninstall than programs are on Windows. You merely drag and drop. It is as easy as that, believe it or not, in Mac OS X. Typically, there are no complicated installers to mess with. Uninstalling is just as easy. Drag the App you do not want into the trash. True.

5. Is it hard to find things?

Good heavens, no! If you can find stuff easily in Windows, then you can definitely find something in OS X. In your Dock at the far left, there is a happy little icon called Finder. He is happy to help you find anything. Whether it is an app or a document, he is willing to help. Just click the Finder icon, and up will pop a window with all the places down the left hand side. There are places like: your hard drives and USB drives. These are generally at the top under the Devices section. Underneath them is your network devices and below that, you will see folder shortcuts for Documents. Applications, Videos, etc. Another easy way to find things is Spotlight. In the Menu Bar at the top right of your Mac desktop is a little magnifying glass icon. Click it, and you will see a search field. Spotlight will find apps, documents and e-mails – just about anything on your hard drive(s). So, if someone asks you if it is hard to find things on a Mac, you can say it’s far easier to do than it is on Windows.

I hope this guide has nudged you a little bit more, pushing you toward getting your first Mac. Good luck to all who has entered the HP Magic competition, and if you haven’t: DO! I enjoyed writing this very much, and it did not take that long – so why not submit your own article to Chris, too? Thanks again for reading.