Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Mac myths

Some folks are Mac loyalists (I refer to them as “iPeople”). And some folks only use Windows. For a very long while, in the “early days” particularly, you pretty much had to choose sides — you ran one OR the other. And once you chose, and bought your machine, (and learned how to use it) you stayed with it.. probably right up to today.

Up until fairly recently (Historically speaking), Apple went to some effort to remain apart (aloof?)– they chose to use hardware standards, software formats, and such, so that you had to purchase “Mac” hardware, software, and peripherals, and floppies. You could not take your files from an Apple computer and work on them on a Windows computer.

All that has changed. (But the loyalties remain!) Macs no longer run unique CPU’s (nor use SCSI), and the software is not written to exclude certain formats. A while back, they switched from “AppleTalk” to TCP/IP as their networking protocol. Yes, Apple is still “different” than Windows, but it is far friendlier than it used to be.

It is partly because of these changes that quite a few people have (shudder) switched allegiances from Windows, and purchased a Mac. (If you are a Windows user, and are considering a Mac as your next computer, you may want to read this article of mine.)
Many people are taking advantage of either Parallels or Boot Camp and running both OSes on their Apple machines, essentially allowing them to enjoy the advantages of both camps.

Tip of the day: Forget those old ideas you may have had about Mac vs. PC’s, as they’re largely myths. Such as:

* Macs can’t share files with Windows. Not true. As I mentioned (above), Macs (as of OS X 10.2) use TCP/IP for networking and support Windows’ SMB. Adding a Mac to your Windows network (and visa versa) is basically as easy as plugging it in. You can exchange files over your network (in either direction) just as you do between your Windows machines.
And, you can access (use) networked printers, too– whether they’re attached to a Mac or a Windows machine.

Specially formatted floppies are gone too. Thumb drives, USB hard-drives, CD’s and DVD’s are the modern tools, and they are “universal”… you don’t buy a “Mac thumb drive”, you buy a thumb drive, period.

* You can’t right-click on Macs. While it is true that standard Mac mouses have only one button (and you hold down the Ctrl key while clicking to open Context menus), you are not limited to using Mac hardware and/or peripherals any longer– simply plug any USB mouse you prefer into your Mac machine.
As a “Windows guy”, the biggest mental adjustment I have to make when sitting at a Mac is my compulsive need to right-click, and so I plug in a Kensington PocketMouse that I carry in my toolkit and, shazaam! I have the three-button capability I’m so used to.

Yes, it is true that some programs will only run on Windows, and some will only run on Macs. So far, the “workaround” for this is either virtualization (such as Parallels) or dual-booting. That is because Mac is founded on OpenBSD and Windows on MS-DOS. That said, “making the switch” from Windows to Mac has never been easier and, you don’t have to completely switch loyalties– you can run both; even on the same machine!

Today’s free link: For those of you who like to download Flash games, or YouTube videos, Orbit (a download manager) will simplify your tasks. From site: “It is a free all-in-one downloader which can download streaming media, social music or video from anywhere include youtube, myspace, imeem, pandora, etc. It is famous for its super light, great speed and rapidshare supported.” Today’s link also includes reviews on C/Net.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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April 16, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, PC, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment