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Old March 16th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #1
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Considering moving to a MAC

I want to try and remove the flamefest that typically arises when asking a question like this.

I've recently begun looking at making a switch to using a MAC and the associated software for Video/Audio/Web design.

I've been impressed with the speed at which the OS actually runs and have grasped a basic understanding of how things work in OS X, but the real concern I have is that I have been a Windows user since version 3.11 for workgroups. The reason I'm considering the switch is I've hit my limit with having to maintain my Windows computers all the time from Virus', Malware, general sluggish performance, etc. Recently, I downloaded a simple newsgroup reader for Windows - easy right? I decided to uninstall it - well it proceeded to begin deleting my backup files on my backup drive and I had to do a hard shutdown of my computer to keep it from wiping the whole drive. That was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. But having been a Windows user for so long, I have some trepidation about jumping into unknown territory by moving to a whole new OS and its associated apps. It means giving up all that I have learned about the day in and day out apps I work with (SONY's production apps, GoLive, and even though photoshop is available - I can't afford a new license at this time).

I shoot with a couple of SONY HC7's

Here's the list of replacement apps I've come up with to transition over:
Web Design - Rapidweaver
Image editing - Pixelmator
Video - FCE 4.0
Audio Editing - Audacity
Music - Logic Express/Garageband
ftp - Cyberduck
Css editing - CSSEdit
Financial - MYOB Firstedge
Productivity - iWork/iLife
Communications - Skype
Web video Publishing - Brightcove Publishpod

For those specifically who made the switch - what hurdles did you encounter initially? Do you regret having made the switch? Any words of wisdom regarding making the switch?

I'm focusing my work specifically as a Solo Video Journalist delivering news/short documentary content to the Internet hence one of the reasons I elected FCE instead of FCS (The other being sheer cost).

I just can't take anymore of the Windows experience, but I'm wondering if I'm opening a whole new can of worms by considering the move to the MAC platform - especially since the majority of computers viewing my video's are Windows based.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #2
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i have just purchased a mac. i also got tired of windows and with the new vista , that was the straw that broke the camels back for me. so good so far. it is different my advise would be if you live close to an apple store to sign up for the one to one for 100 bucks a year you can get 1 hour a week of training on any program mac has. i have also ordered some instructional videos for fce but have not received them yet.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #3
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Eddie - What apps were you working with on Windows? Have you found working with FCE an easy thing to accomplish quickly? I don't have a need for all the advanced features of FCS, but I'm having difficulty justifying the amount it costs just to get an overpriced prebuilt computer since I have built all my desktop machines. The laptop is another matter as well...
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Old March 16th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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"even though photoshop is available - I can't afford a new license at this time)."


When I switched from PC to Mac Adobe offered me a free cross grade of Photoshop. I just had to mail them my Windows version of the program and they replaced it with the Mac version for free. You should check into this.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #5
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I'm still using Photoshop 7 though
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Old March 16th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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Ok then you may want to check out Gimp. http://www.gimp.org/macintosh/
It's free, and there are hacks available to make the menu structure more Photoshop-like.
You will need to install X-11 in order for it to run.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 04:07 PM   #7
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The new Mac version of Photoshop Elements is due to ship at the end of the month for less than $100. You might want to check it out as the earlier versions had quite a large subset of the full program's features:

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelmac/
http://www.macworld.com/article/1315...ts6.html?t=233

In fact, I have been using it exclusively for the past several versions and only recently upgraded the the full Photoshop CS3. I was pleasantly surprised that most of the things I did in Photoshop Elements can be done with the exact same menu commands in CS3 (although obviously CS3 has many other features).
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Old March 16th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #8
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I primarily use Photoshop for web page comps, web graphics, etc, so I'm not pushing at all the capabilities of Photoshop since I don't shoot stills any longer.

I have considered Adobe Fireworks since in does handle web graphics better than Photoshop and does come in at a lower price than Photoshop

I may give PsEl a look see - Pixelmator was something I came across and liked what I saw...
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Old March 16th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Etzel View Post
Eddie - What apps were you working with on Windows? Have you found working with FCE an easy thing to accomplish quickly? I don't have a need for all the advanced features of FCS, but I'm having difficulty justifying the amount it costs just to get an overpriced prebuilt computer since I have built all my desktop machines. The laptop is another matter as well...
pretty easy so far but there does not seem to be a good search in the program most of my questions have been answered here. lots of shortcuts in mac and fce

i used
liquid by avid
i also use myob but have not tried the mac version yet i still have a pc as soon as i can learn a little more im sure i will be useing all mac programs
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Old March 17th, 2008, 01:35 AM   #10
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the problem with photoshop elements is that it doesn't support channels - no channels tab. lacking that, it makes doing any alpha channel work impossible. so I would not consider it a replacement for a full version of PS.
maybe you want to look at adobe's web bundle which will get you PS, IL, ID, Flash, dreamweaver ( BLECK !) and flash video encoder. basically if you are going to buy 2 adobe apps, its about the same price as a suite.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:11 AM   #11
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You can actually run Windows on a Mac, so you have a safety net of going back to the Win programs if you get frustrated.

Mac can run Windows either using boot camp, where you shut down and reboot in Windows, or with Parallels, which lets you run Windows (in its own program window) WHILE the Mac OS is still up, though with limited resources.

Don't know if this matters or helps you.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #12
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There is a way to have an alpha channel in your Photoshop Elements file, I've done it. It won't run on my intel Mac, so I can't try now, but IIRC what you do is create a new layer and put your artwork on it. Now make the background layer invisible and instead of white you will see a checkerboard pattern around your image. Save that file as .psd and it will have an alpha channel.

I used this a lot to create cut-out artwork to import into several 3d software packages and it worked perfectly. But, obviously, a $80 program isn't going to have all the advanced features of a $600 program from the same company :-)

I am running Windows XP on my MacBook Pro 15" 2.4ghz/4GB. Have been running it under parallels with hardly any problems and it's really cool to be able to switch instantly between the two operating systems.

If you plan to install windows on your mac, think about exactly what you want to do first. I installed it using BootCamp so I can also boot directly into Windows XP without MacOSX. This will require you to partition your disk as separate Mac and Windows volumes. You can then install Parallels with the BootCamp option and have the best of both worlds.

If you just do the standard Parallels installation of Windows then you won't be able to boot exclusively into it. And your entire Windows disk will be stored in a single file on the Mac. This may make more efficient use of disk space since you don't need to decide on a fixed partition size. But if you're using Time Machine to create backups on your Mac, every time anything changes in this virtual PC disk, the whole thing will get backed up. This can create a lot of big files on your backup drive.

One other caveat - if you use the BootCamp option (as I have) in Parallels, Windows XP will view this as two separate machines. So the first time you run Windows under Parallels it will ask you to activate XP again since it won't recognize the original BootCamp installation as the same machine.

This is a bit annoying, but all I had to do was use the phone activation option for XP. You will get an automated system at Microsoft which guides you through the process. When it says another installation with the same number was detected, you just need to tell it you are re-installing on the same computer and you'll get a valid installation code.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:31 PM   #13
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I recently moved to the Mac and FCS. I love it. It takes a while to get used to doing things the non Windows way, and often frustrating things that you can't do are solved simply because OS X does the same thing in a different way. So you will need an open mind.

Regarding apps, I plunged for PS CS3. I didn't want to give Adobe any money, but had no choice. I looked at Pixelmator and all the other equivalents, but they just didn't have the usability of PS.

For web design I use Coda. I also have Transmit for ftp, and Unison for newsgroup reading.

Quote:
For those specifically who made the switch - what hurdles did you encounter initially? Do you regret having made the switch? Any words of wisdom regarding making the switch?
The only issues I have had are having to build up my software collection again. I couldn't go back to Windows full time. But I have XP on Bootcamp as well as in Parallels. It is way cool to be able to have OS X on one screen, and XP on another and to be able to seamlessly go between them.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #14
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You might be interested in this blog.

http://www.davidalison.com/2008/02/h...es-to-mac.html

It's a pretty exhaustive blog about his experiences as a longtime professional windows web developer who added a modern Mac to his computer lineup and his experiences with precisely that kinds of issues you're asking about.

I didn't read the whole thing (many blog entries over time) but it seems that he successfully he found quite a few solutions to to porting his PC workflow to the Mac - and some areas where he had problems.

You might find his thoughs interesting.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #15
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FWIW, you might want to consider making a switch from ftp to sftp, which is a secure protocol. I disabled ftp on our main server at work because we have had lots of hack attempts and I wanted to lock things down as much as possible. No more anonymous ftp here...

From a user standpoint you don't really need to know the difference. I use Fugu on the Mac, which is free and very easy to understand - see http://rsug.itd.umich.edu/software/fugu/

Quote:
Fugu is a graphical frontend to the commandline Secure File Transfer application (SFTP). SFTP is similar to FTP, but unlike FTP, the entire session is encrypted, meaning no passwords are sent in cleartext form, and is thus much less vulnerable to third-party interception.

Fugu allows you to take advantage of SFTP's security without having to sacrifice the ease of use found in a GUI.
Heh, if you're an oldtime unix user like me then you don't need anything for this on the Mac since ftp and sftp both work fine from the command line in a terminal window :-)
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