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Making the move from PC to Apple Mac

Author: Julian Prokaza
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 2009 10:00:00 GMT

Apple computers are becoming more popular ­ but is it simple to make the switch from Windows?

The question of whether Apple Mac computers are better than Windows computers, or vice versa, is one of the most hotly debated issues in computing, and one with no clear answer.

Inside, Mac and Windows computers are almost identical. The only difference is in the operating system they use: instead of Windows, Macs run an operating system called OSX.

It is this that supposedly makes Macs easier to use than Windows PCs. But is switching from one to the other as easy as Mac fans claim? In this article we will explain how it works and what Windows users might find tricky.

Navigation An operating system allows you to interact with the files, folders and programs on a computer’s hard disk. Windows and Mac OSX have much in common in this regard: both have a Desktop with icons that represent files, folders and programs and windows that appear when you start a program or open a folder and menu bars for various options.

There are, however, a few things that Mac OSX does differently, and these can be baffling to people who are used to the way Windows works.

Mac OSX often refers to something called ‘Finder’. Finder is a bit like Windows Explorer in Windows, as it allows you to browse through files and folders, but it also does more. Just about every way you interact with Mac OS is performed using this program.

The Dock Another key difference for Windows users is that Mac OSX has no Taskbar. In Windows, the Taskbar serves three purposes. It contains the Start menu for launching programs, ‘buttons’ for all running programs and a Notification Area that shows the status of certain Windows programs.

The equivalent on a Mac is the Dock, a line of icons normally found at the bottom of the screen. The Dock doesn’t have a Start menu. Instead, programs are shown as icons.

Click one and the application will start, and a glowing dot will appear under its icon to indicate that it’s now running. If you launch an application that isn’t on the Dock (more about that later), its icon will also appear, but will vanish as soon as you close the application.

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