Louish Switch Windows XP to MAC OS X

June 25, 2006 Mac OS X

Some may say the day would never come where I'd buy a MAC, but it has arrived. Here are some of my experiences and tips for Switchers like me from Windows XP to Mac OS X   
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Team Louish

WIN XP switch to MAC OS X 6/15/2006

For those of you who don't know me, you might need to know that I am a dedicated PC user. I used to bash MAC's and all those who use them. That was until the iPods started becoming popular. I got my first iPod a few years ago and fell in love with it. Then when the Mac Mini came out, I started thinking, maybe I should get one just for testing purposes (Testing web sites I built on all browsers, etc).

I never ended up getting the mac mini and the idea of ever getting a mac was still never a top priority. As soon as I heard that Mac's were being made now on the Intel chip, and that it was possible to dual boot and use Windows XP directly on the Mac, this is when actually getting a Mac became more of a realistic thought. It so happens, that at the same time I found out about the Intel chipset, I was also capturing all my old home movies from VHS to the computer. I've always been into video editing, a faithful user of Adobe Premier. Getting a Mac at this point would help me dramatically in the editing process of my home movies. So... purchasing the Mac Mini was now on my to-do list.

(Update, 02/19/2007: I bought a Mac Book Pro, then sold it, now I have a Mac Pro, with 3GB ram, 2 TB HD, but I still use Windows as my primary OS, using Bootcamp. I installed Windows Vista Ultimate on Bootcamp, I reboot into OS X whenever I need to do testing or if I am editing raw HD video captured from my HD 1080i camera. For editing old home movies captured from VHS, I still use Windows. I have found the OS X is just a slower OS, I am on the computer ALL day working, so every faster response time is needed. I always enjoy when I reboot into OS X, it feels nice, clean, etc... but for my daily work doing programming and web graphics, I'm still a Windows user. I might end up getting another PC, using Vista on that, then using OS X on my Mac Pro and using Synergy to control the mouse/keyboard between the 2 OS's. Currently, I'm running Windows (and when I reboot, OS X), I running two 30" Dell LCD monitors along with two 20" Dell LCD's, a total of 4 monitors).

02/19/2007: As of 2011, I don't use a Mac on a regular basis. I do own a Macbook Air right now, and a few iPads, but as for the Mac Operating system, I think I'll pass. I'm a Windows User.

These are some of the things I instantly found, and was looking for when I first installed OS X.

  • MY FAVORITE OS X FEATURE; Exposť 6/25/2006

    When I am working, I usually have, on average, between 13 - 25 windows open. And I'm using them all. On PC, to switch between the windows, I use ALT+Tab, with the Powertoys ALT-TAB replacement. OS X also has ALT TAB (Command TAB), but they have something much much cooler. Exposť. When you hit F9 on your keyboard, all the overlapping windows zoom out so you can see every window without any overlaps. Then you just click the window you want to switch to. On my laptop though, the F9 key is a hardware function, so I had to press FN + F9 to use the effect, very annoying. To change this, in System Preferences / Keyboard & Mouse / Keyboard, check the checkbox that says "Use the F10F12 keys to control software features". Another thing I did was assign the FN key on my keyboard to also control Exposť, so its a little easier for me to use since I use it frequently.

    MAC OS X Regular view, when working with multiple windows.

    MAC OS X Exposť view, after pressing F9.


    Don't forget, I have the Intel based Mac. Ok, most of you have heard of Bootcamp. It's very cool, yes. Very easy to install, and Bootcamp provides a CDROM you can burn that contains ALL the drivers. It really quite amazing. Actually probably one of the easiest XP installations I've ever done since I didn't have to go hunting for all the drivers. The only disadvantage is, realistically, you have to reboot your machine to go into either Mac or Windows. I never found my self doing that, so I never even used it. That was until I found out about a program from Parallels. I installed Parallels Desktop for Mac. Now, if you want to talk about cool, this is the new definition. This program allows you to install Windows XP and run it within OS X. There were software before that allowed this in prior version of OS X, but until the Intel based Mac, the software had to emulate the PC's, causing it to be exteremly slow. Since emulation is no longer neccessary, running Windows XP while running OS X is very fast, and doesn't take up a lot of memory (I have 2 gigs of memory on the laptop, so I don't really notice any memory problems, I don't know what it would be like for someone with less memory.)

    That's not all. If you are running 2 monitors on your Mac, you can make the Windows XP screen fullscreen. Now, here is the cool part, using Expose (F9), it will fade out the Windows desktop and show you any windows behind it, letting you click the desired screen bringing it to the front.


    To share your main user folder is pretty easy, in the System Preferences / Sharing, just turn on Personal File Sharing and Windows Sharing. If you want to share an external hard drive, Mac doesn't support this (please email me if I'm wrong). You need to download free software called SharePoints in order to share an external device. Also, the MAC forces the workgroup name to "WORKGROUP", so on your PC, if you have changed your workgroup name to something other than Workgroup, you will need SharePoints in order to change it.

    There is a useful help file that shows what the symbols are for each keys. As I found myself in the help docs trying to figure stuff out, it kept referring to the key symbols. If you do a help search for Symbols for Special Keys you will find this following image:


    On the MAC Laptops, there is a Delete key, which is the same function as the Backspace key on the PC (deletes characters to the left of the cursor). But there is no Delete Key on the MAC (deletes characters to the right of the cursor). Hold down SHIFT while hitting the Delete Key on the mac, and it will function as the delete key does on the PC.

  • SCREEN CAPTURE 6/18/2006

    I just googled on how to do it and found it within the 2nd link, but here is how:

    • To take a picture of the whole screen, press Command-Shift-3.
    • To take a picture of part of the screen, press Command-Shift-4 then drag to select the area you want in the picture.

    • To take a picture of a window, menu bar, the Dock, or other area, press Command-Shift-4 then press the Space bar. Move the pointer over the area you want so that it's highlighted, then click
    • The picture is saved as a Preview PDF file on the Desktop (saved as pict file on hard drive in OS 9). If you want the picture saved on the Clipboard, hold down the Control (ctrl) key with the keys shown above.
    • You can also take pictures of the screen using the Grab application (in the Utilities folder - OS X only).

More photos from this shoot

Photo Spotlight - Mac vs PC 43/365

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Tags: Apple, Max, OSX

Louish Switch - Windows XP to MAC OS X Some may say the day would never come where I'd buy a MAC, but it has arrived. Here are some of my experiences and tips for Switchers like me from Windows XP to Mac OS X  


2 April 2007 - 18:59:42 - Bryan

Buddy, you know I'm loving the monitors...I know where you live.

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