I Made The Switch From Windows to Mac, Part 1 The Conversion Process

Well, I did it.  As promised in an earlier post (10/04/07, My Next Laptop Will Be An Apple, And Here’s Why) I turned in my windows laptop for a Mac Book Pro.

It’s not my intent to sway anyone from one platform to the other.  But I thought it might be interesting to describe some details about my experiences.  I’ll break this post into three parts:

  • Part 1:  the conversion process,
  • Part 2:  the things I like about the Mac, and
  • Part 3:  the things I dislike about the Mac and or the things I miss in Windows.

First a disclaimer.  I live in a Windows world.  I must be 100% compatible.  I cannot ask or expect the 95% of the Windows powered people I work with to take unusual steps to accommodate my Mac. This requirement influenced how I moved to the Mac, mostly in terms of the applications I chose to use, the most prominent example being Microsoft Office for the Mac.  It just wouldn’t work for me to use Apple’s equivalent products.

The Conversion from Windows to Mac:

  • Email, Contacts, Tasks – painful.  I’ve decided to use Entourage, the Mac equivalent of Outlook.  I probably could have used Mac contacts, mail, and calendaring, but concluded that I’d be more Microsoft compatible if I stuck with the Office product suite.  Unfortunately, there appears to be no good way, defined as free, easy, and seamless, to convert Outlook data to Entourage data (go figure).  So I purchased a $10 utility called LittleMachine to do the conversion.  It worked, eventually, after a few trial and error conversion attempts.  The biggest draw back was that it did not preserve the file structure of my email directories.  Not a big deal, but not optimal.  Contacts and notes were converted no problem.
  • Treo 650 Smart-phone Synching:  The Mac was much better about finding it’s way to my phone via Bluetooth when compared to my attempts to do the same thing with a Windows machine.  Nevertheless, I had to fuss around a bit to get the Treo and Mac synching, but who doesn’t have to fuss around a bit to get a Treo synching with anything, Mac, Windows, or otherwise?
  • Moving documents and files – easy, plugged in external drive and copied.  No problem.

So far, so good.  Now I become a Mac user.  The next posts will cover the pros and cons.

I welcome your comments.

Mike Brannan