Switching from Windows to Mac OS X costs less than you think

“If you’re considering switching to a Mac, you’re probably wondering if you’ll need to buy a lot of new software,” Al Fasoldt writes for The Syracuse Post-Standard. “Maybe not. Apple’s OS X (pronounced “oh ess ten”) computers might not need extra software to do the tasks you want.”

“You don’t need any extra software if all you want to do is open Word documents. All OS X computers come with a competent word processor called Text Edit, and it knows how to deal with Microsoft Word documents. It will open them so you can read them, and it will save documents in Microsoft Word format, too,” Fasoldt writes. “What about e-mail? Apple’s OS X comes with a program called, appropriately, Mail. It’s excellent. It has a built-in spam filter and a built-in spelling checker. Apple’s Mail software can even group your mail by message topics, or threads. It lets you find replies you wrote to any message with a single click.”

Full article with more examples here.

More information about smoothly adding a Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal here.


  1. I’m with Seahawk, I can’t imagine anything simpler or easier than dragging files onto the icon of the cd and then dragging it to the burn icon on the dock. For a music CD, you just select “burn playlist to disc” in iTunes, and similarly with DVDs of movies, etc. If Dragonburn is any easier to use than that, it must have some sophisticated AI and robotics that predicts what you want to do, orders the cd’s, loads them in the tray, and organizes them on your shelves while you read McSweeney’s.

  2. Seahawk…

    the difficulty in OSX CD burning is that it is all done via the Finder Interface (excluding cases where you are burning through an application like iTunes or iDVD). You insert a CD, tell it to show up on the desktop and then drag folders over. This is not the situation that many people like to burn in. I for one like the Toast interface and the options it has like reducing write speed.

  3. The author did not say anything about cross-platform upgrade. I doubt MS will cross-platform upgrade Office, but I think company like Adobe will let the owners of Windows version of their application to upgrade to Mac version (at least they did for Mac to Windows). So, if anyone is considering upgrading their software, may be they should ask the vendor if they can upgrade to a Mac version.

  4. eh ? There’s no ‘difficulty’ in using the Finder. Toast may be your preference, but for most people it would be a waste of time to launch it just to burn a few files to a CD.

    I’d only use Toast if I was burning something a VCD or something like that.

    More worrying is that this claims that TextEdit will open and write Word docs. While that’s true to a certain extent, the sort of docs it’s going to cope with are only the simplest. It won’t cope with the kind of documents I use for work on a daily basis. The claim is misleading. If you told this to someone and suddenly they had to shell out another �350 for Office, they’d be pretty annoyed with you. Best to be truthful. There are enough positive things about switching such that this kind of misinformation is simply not necessary.

  5. MacOS X sux … I tried to run all my favorite viruses – SomeFool, Bagle, Nimda/CodeRed, Dumaru, LovGate, and hundreds more, and _none_ of them worked. I asked the salesman, and he said those viruses just weren’t available for MacOS. He said that none of my spyware would run either. This blows – there are thousands of different viruses available for Windows, and you can download them all for free in minutes, just by hooking your PC up to a DSL modem. I’m staying with Windows, since it’s clear that software writers aren’t supporting the Mac any more.

  6. I, too, fail to see the difficulty in burning disks. My Finder preferences are set to display CDs & DVDs on the desktop. Mac treats them like any other folder; drag and drop. To burn, again it’s drag and drop (onto the burn icon in the Dock).

    I have never heard of anyone needing to set the speed of the burn rate, Mac does an excellent job of detecting the fastest and safest speed for burning based upon the drive and disk specs. You never see any articles about burn problems on Macs. I think the need for a burn application is a bad habit (or myth) that ex-PC users think is necessary on all computers.

    Perhaps, the ex-PC users are unaware that the Mac changes the Trash icon to a Burn icon. But, even so, selecting the Disk icon and then selecting “Burn” from the Finder menu is faster than loading any application.

    I cannot imagine how loading/running a separate application and tinkering with its settings can be any faster than dragging the disk icon to the Dock.

    Perhaps I am missing something here. Can someone, please, tell me why I would want such aps like Dragon Burn?

  7. Re: Aryugaetu.

    I run design dept and we only use dragon burn because you can create cross platform or single platform cds.

    In our working environment this is essential – e.g. hfs/joilet format cd.

    Otherwise we just use the finder to burn.

    Dragonburn is an excellent and far superior bit of software compared to toast (which is going to be discontinued anyway!).

    You can copy dvds/cds, create multi-file format cds and has a very striking and easy to use interface (all icons!) – and at $15 it’s a steal!

  8. Generally I just use one finder window. Navigate to the stuff I’d like to copy and drag it over to the disc, which is shown in the left column of the finder window. Once I’ve copied the stuff over to it, just click its burn icon.

    That’s not so different from using Toast is it ?

    I bought a new copy of Toast because it’s not expensive and can be useful, but I don’t really need it.

    As for cross platform, If I use Finder to burn, the stuff shows up on my PC at work with no problems at all.

  9. BTW, I don’t mean to say Toast or Dragonburn are pointless, just that burning regular data CDs that you can use on your mac or a PC is perfectly simple task using the Finder.

  10. Re: Windows_r00lz

    Remember that if you use viruses as often as I do, you can always use Virtual PC on OSX — that’s how I ensure that I still am able to easily upload and download daily viruses for Windows. I also get to keep track of and organize all the weekly security patches, which has become something of a hobby for me. VPC doesn’t run on the G5 yet, but that’s fine with me because I have a G4 — I found the G5 just ran too fast for my needs.

  11. Windows_r00lz & Romeodawg:

    I, too, was upset that malware and patches for patches that patch patches are nowhere to be found on the Mac platform. And what’s with the chess program being the only game that comes with OS X? How am I supposed to be ‘productive’ at work without Pinball, Freecell and Solitaire?

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