MAKING THE SWITCH FROM PC TO MAC: IS IT WORTH IT?

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LaptopWorking in a digital marketing agency, I am surrounded by Mac users—to say that the number of Macs outweighs the number of PCs in the office is an understatement. Since starting at Launch over 2 years ago, I’ve felt a “little” pressure to make the switch to a Mac. It’s not that I didn’t want to switch. I was just quite comfortable with my PC, and I had myself convinced that the learning curve was going to be a pretty high mountain to climb. I was always “too busy” and had too many projects on my plate… there wasn’t time to learn an entirely new computer AND get my work done!

However, when my old PC really started slowing down and developed a rather annoying green vertical line down the center of the screen, I decided it was time to take the plunge. Asking for a new MacBook was a humbling experience, and the Mac devotees I work with just smiled when they heard those words coming from a PC fan.

THE GOOD NEWS

The very first thing I noticed (and still appreciate) is that starting up a Mac is a breeze. With my PC, I’d have to turn it on about 5-10 minutes before I wanted to start working. I knew it would have to go through the whole boot-up process and would take its sweet time doing it. Not anymore! My speedy little MacBook is ready to roll before I’ve even grabbed my first cup of coffee.

I also quickly learned that my fears of an enormous learning curve were unfounded. The Mac has some great tutorials for people just like me—those making the switch from a PC. After watching a few tutorials and hitting up some co-workers for tips and tricks, I was easily on my way within a couple of days.

I really thought I’d miss the standard Windows programs, but I have to say that the applications on my new Mac are so user-friendly and intuitive that I haven’t really missed anything I had on my PC. And with thousands of applications available for Mac, anything I may need in the future can simply be downloaded from the Mac App Store.

Speaking of downloading… that is a piece of cake! No more downloading a file, saving it, finding where I saved it, double-clicking, and so on. One click and an app is downloaded AND installed. It really doesn’t get any easier than that!

That brings me to one of my favorite things about the Mac: Spotlight Search. Wow. Need to find a file or folder on your machine? This feature searches your entire computer for a query or filename at lightning speed, and then shows you the results neatly broken down by the type (folder, document, image, etc.). On my PC, I used to DREAD having to search for something because I knew it would take hours (okay… minutes that seemed like hours), and it would mean not being able to use the computer while it was searching. Needless to say, Spotlight Search is just one more reason to love the Mac.

THE STRUGGLES

This doesn’t mean the PC-to-Mac transition was flawless though. The biggest struggle for me in moving from my PC to a Mac was, without a doubt, adjusting to the new shortcut keys. After 20+ years of using the Control key for my shortcuts, I now had to re-train myself to use the CMD key (which is right next to the spacebar). My memory struggled with this a bit, but we got there. I actually still prefer the location of the Control key as far as ease of use, but that’s only a minor win for the PC.

My other struggle was (and still is) the trackpad. Most of the Mac trackpad’s gestures are quite foreign to me, given the fact that I simply scrolled and clicked on my PC. The Mac trackpad has so many options that I can’t remember them all. It’s frustrating at times… so I keep my external mouse handy. Maybe too handy. Being fairly attached to the external mouse is not helping me learn the Mac’s extra trackpad functions that quickly, but watching my co-workers work their magic on their Macs gives me hope that the trackpad will be intuitive enough for me to learn it all eventually!

To my surprise, my learning curve hasn’t been anywhere near what I thought it would be. Just like with technology in general, I’m still learning something new every day on the Mac. But, I must admit: now that I’ve switched, I don’t think I could ever go back.