In my last post I gave you some background on my decision to move to Mac after 20 years using PCs. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, with three major areas of concern that I needed to address before I could feel comfortable considering the switch: support, software and usability.
I’m a naturally inquisitive person; this is especially true when it comes to computers and technology. Over the course of my PC lifetime, I’ve been fine-tuning my knowledge, learning how to take advantage of everything that a PC can offer. While I thought it likely that some of this knowledge would be transferable to Mac it was a concern of mine that, as a new Mac user, I would be starting over from scratch. I’ve always been the support person; rarely have I needed one.
I wanted to make sure that I had a support system in case I needed it. Fortunately, my new employer has a team consisting almost entirely of Mac users, so I knew those folks were only a Skype call away. As I’ve started working more with other independent folks, the number of my colleagues who use Mac has also increased. With Twitter, Google and other resources also available, I felt confident that I could find answers to my questions.
I started out by making a list of all the programs that I most rely on and made sure that there were either Mac versions available or suitable replacements. The fact that a lot of my work is done in my browser means that the software issue was much less of a barrier than it might have been in the past.
The software choices are overwhelming. Even in instances where there are cross-platform versions available, often times there are also Mac-specific options that I’ve never been able to evaluate. Finding the right software is going to be an ongoing process, but I needed to be sure that I had an viable option in each category from day one.
To persuade me that this could be resolved, I took advantage of the personal shopping experience that Apple offers and made an appointment to meet with an Apple Expert who could answer all my questions and address my concerns. I had a very specific list of topics I needed to address. I didn’t want a canned demo of how cool iPhoto is — I wanted to know how the touchpad works, how the menus work, and the differences between Ctrl and Cmd. I wanted to make sure that I could replicate all the processes that I was used to on the PC. Magali from my local Orland Square store did a wonderful job of answering all of my questions and demonstrating what I needed to see. She was also able to show me some of the benefits that the Mac platform could bring me when I described my workflow.
I’m still early in my transition, but following a clear and logical process of defining my requirements made me feel confident that I would have the support I need, access to all of the right tool, and the ability retrain myself to make the necessary adjustments. When it was time to really pull the trigger, I found that the Mac wasn’t nearly as scary a choice as it had been in the past.
What made it possible for you to switch? What is holding you back?