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Switching to Mac OS X

OS X is the brave new world Apple have been promising for nearly 10 years now. It all started when they bought Next computing, and began the long haul of integrating the Mac OS into essentially a traditional Unix based Operating system. This has many fundamental advantages, foremost amongst them being very much improved stability. Mac OS X crashes very rarely, if ever. In fact you should get a good old fashioned crash, known as a “kernel panic” once every few months, if that. You don’t have to worry about setting RAM
allocations for programs, or seeing “Not enough RAM to open this program.” It is also a proper multi-user environment, where administrators or parents can completely lock down what applications, documents and facilities a User can access.

Make the move to OS X

However Mac OS X is a completely new system for you to learn. In some respects it is easier for a Windows “switcher” to move to OS X than it is for a dyed-in-the-wool Mac stalwart. The user interface is a mix of Windows and Macintosh. In short it takes some getting used to. If you are going to move to OS X, you need tuition to find your way around, and installation advice to get the system usable for the way you work, all in the shortest time possible. You’ll also want to get your documents and applications moved across swiftly.

Why switch?

I’ve been using OS X for over 8 years and have been through the pros and cons that
exist for users. With the release of OS 10.2 Apple had finally produced a solid, dependable system that I felt comfortable recommending to customers, as it had for many people, greater advantages than disadvantages. With OS 10.3 Apple have further consolidated the advances they have made since OS X was released. OS 10.4 settled down quite a bit and for most users they will see little difference in it, as many of the improvements were aimed at developers to let them write cool new software. Since then Apple have added a lot of new features, many of which are pointless, but a few of which are strokes of total genius (TimeMachine springs to mind immediately).

Of course what you use your computer for should, and does, dictate whether you move to OS X now in or in the future. Sweet Apple provides in depth consultancy to advise you if the time has come to switch over.

  • First we make sure you have a backup of your current system configuration so you have a fallback position.
  • Then we look at your current hardware to see if it is capable of running OS X at acceptable speed.
  • We analyse the essential applications you must use, and diagnose which are able to run in Classic, which could be usefully updated to be able to run in OS X, and those which only work in OS X.
  • Then we look at your peripherals and whether they will work satisifacorily in OS X. We look at whether those peripherals can also work in Classic mode. For instance, does your scanner work using Photoshop 5.5 in OS X? How about your Postscript RIP? What about that Epson 1520 printer?
  • Lastly we identify facilities that OS X provides that you may need to make use of, and configure those services. For instance the Apache Web server, the built-in FTP server, the Firewall, the software router, Windows file-sharing, MYSQL and PHP are all useful function for web designers and people on small networks. Of course part of opening up these services also involves making sure that they re properly secured against attack or exploitation from the internet.

My final word is this. Don’t be afraid of OS X. Yes it is different. But it brings a hell of a lot to the party! I hope to help make your switch somewhat less painful some point in the near future!


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