3 Resources for Switchers

Of course, for web workers “switcher” generally means one thing: people who used to use Windows PCs who are beginning to use a Mac instead. We’ve certainly seen our share of switchers here at WWD: a number of our staffers have made the transition to the Mac life, and we hear from readers who have started down the same road – or who want to – fairly frequently. Market share numbers bear this out; though it’s still a fraction of Windows use, Apple use has been steadily growing.

But despite this trend, switching is not as easy as the hardcore Mac fanboys would have you believe. Despite propaganda to the contrary, OS X is not completely intuitive (no operating system ever is). If you’re in the early stages of switching, you can learn how to use your new Mac the hard way, by pounding your head against things, pressing random keys, and doing lots of Google searches. Or you can look for shortcuts. Here are three resources that you might find useful.

1. Switch 101 – This is Apple’s own mini-site for switchers. Its content tends to be pretty basic, but when you’re just getting started, that’s what you need. It will hold you hand as you move from figuring out the difference between the menu bar and the dock to migrating files and troubleshooting common issues.

2. Mac Keyboard Shortcuts – This helpful list comes from Dan Rodney. If you’re the type of user who prefers the keyboard to the mouse, the tables of information on this page will get you up and running quickly. Finder in particular has a lot of functionality that can hide from you when you’re getting started.

3. A Mac Eye for the Windows Guy – This 160-page ebook by Phillip Zannini will cost you $17.95, but if your goal is to find the Mac applications to replace what you used to use in Windows it will save you that much in evaluation time. It does cover other topics (including moving data and the basics of using the Mac), but the meat here is in a series of chapters that review software options for email, instant messaging, word processors, spreadsheets, and so on. If you’re a professional web developer you’ll find it a bit light – developer’s editors and high-end graphics applications are not covered – but for the average home or business user the pointers here are plenty useful.

Switchers, do you have your own resources that helped you out as you made the transition? Let us know in the comments.

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