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From the mind of Packard Sonic. Buckle up for this ride!

Packard’s Tips! You can’t do that with a Mac! Can you? Tips for switchers!

So you finally, decided that it’s time to go out and buy a new computer, but what to buy? The old argument of “I’ve had a PC running XP for so long and from what I’m told they don’t have anything available that I can do on it.” Well I’m here to tell you that many of the programs that you have on the PC can and are available on the Mac.

The argument “No writing programs”

This is a big misconception on the Mac. The Mac has built in a word processor called TextEdit, while this program is good for writing down notes, typical text files, and you can even use it for HTML editing (if your good at hands on HTML editing) .

The argument “When I send these files to some one they can’t read them!”
This is also not true. There are many ways with this FREE text editor that you can save your files so that your friends, relatives, and colleagues. The formats that this simple little FREE (Did I mention FREE?) word processor can save to:

Rich text format (RTF)
RTF with attachments (RTFD)
Web Archive
OpenDocument Text (odt)
Word 2007 format (docx)
Word 97 Format (doc)
Word 2003 XML Format

This includes tabs, text formatting and yes even your pictures in the documents!

If you are dead set on giving Micro$oft more of your hard earned cash, you can always get Microsoft Word for Mac.
It has most everything that the MS Word on the PC side that you can think of.  There are so many there I would be writing a book if I were to get them, all down here.

The argument “What about chatting? My friends are on XYZ! I want to talk to them!”

Yes Virginia, you can also talk to all your friends and even do it all from one Application!

On the Mac, another FREE (There’s that word again!) application, called Adium. You can find this at With this you can talk to your friends on several networks that are the more common and even some that are unusual!

This one program covers the following: AOL, Jabber, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Bonjour, Facebook, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, IRC (Interenet Relay Chat) Laconica, LiveJournal, Lotus Sametime, MobileMe, MySpaceIM, Novell GroupWise, QQ, SIP / SIMPLE, Twitter, Yahoo! Japan.
Now some of these you wont even have any idea what they are and some you will. This list is from the beta one that is out that only works under Mac OS 5.0 and higher., however the current version does handle about 99% of the ones listed above.

The argument “I don’t know what anti-virus programs to get for it!”

Well let me set your mind at ease here. Quite simply.. You don’t need any! However, if you really feel you want to get an anti-virus for your Mac, there are a few suggestions that I can make.

The following are free:

iAntivirus This works with Mac OS X 5.0 and up
ClamXav This works with older Macs http://
This one also finds most windows viruses so you don’t pass them on to your PC buddies!

The argument “There aren’t any programs for the Mac!”
If I were to name every site and every program that was available for the Mac, You would be reading this list like it was the book “War and Peace”.

A great place to get you started to finding free and other programs is the site

This is a great place for a new user to start browsing for applications. They cover PC stuff as well!

The argument “The Mac costs to much!”

This has been an argument since the days of Mac & Windows became rivals. There is an old saying and I don’t know anyone that won’t agree with this “You get what you pay for.”   PC makers are using cheaper and cheaper parts for their computers, we all know this but are afraid to really admit it. When the cost of parts goes down, the cost also goes down, but that means there is little or no customer support for that computer.  Many PC makers have gone this route, and if you don’t believe me, call your customer service department and just try to get someone that can really help you without pulling out your hair!  Also with the Mac there are a lot of programs that come already with the OS that are free (Free? AGAIN?) and not the demo stuff that works for a week or less then quits working, but full working versions of great software, making movies, basic photo editing and as I mentioned before the word processor. I have only touched on just a few of the applications that come with the OS. There are oh so many more!

Argument “I won’t know how to use a Mac! Aren’t they like all weird and stuff?”

Using a Mac is not any harder than using the Windows environment you’re already used to. There are a few little differences in the GUI (Graphical User Interface) but they are minor and if you know how to switch a computer on, you can handle using a Mac.

A few subtle differences are you will notice that instead of closing your windows on the right side, you close windows on the left side. Here you have a ”Dock” vs. a “Start bar”.  Also instead of clicking on your start bar your applications that you want to use many times can be put in the dock or removed easily by dragging them to it.  Go up to the top of the screen to control stuff vs. going to the bottom.

I could go on, but if you really want to get a feel for the differences between the PC you have now and a Mac you could have or are considering getting, you can visit your local Apple store or neighborhood Mac fan boy. I’m sure they will be glad to show you their Mac!


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