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To Mac or not to Mac

Move to a Mac?

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My Dell computer has been on the way out for a while now. I’m toying with the idea of moving to a Mac. I doubt it'll be the easiest move since I've never used a Mac before but I reckon if I force myself to make the move I’ll learn as I go.

Does anyone have experience of using a Windows laptop and a Mac? Any positive or negative feedback?

Replies (34)

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By Mr_awol
26th Mar 2018 17:18

depends why you want one.

It will take some getting used to but that is the same with many things and normally you look to the benefits to justify the cost/hassle or learning something new.

Personally I don't see any benefit to them, although the drawbacks are minimal these days as well, so on the whole it becomes a compatability issue. We run Windows in the office and on the unit we use for presentations etc so for us it's not worth one 'individual' going Mac.

I've had them but don't now. I hardly ever use a laptop so it suits me much better to have a decent windows pc with appropriate monitor(s) and buy a cheap portable that will last a couple of years before I sling it and buy another.

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By zarar
26th Mar 2018 17:27

I would also check if the software you use is compatible with a Mac.

I personally prefer using a PC, working on a Surface Pro with external monitors, etc.

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By lja20
26th Mar 2018 17:46

I think MACs are a bit marmite. I am MAC but all our products are apple, so everything links through, I love mine and struggle on the Dell (don't get me started on Windows 10).
As an accountant, most of my software is in the cloud (I primarily use QBO and tax filer) with the exception of Moneysoft and VT accounts where I have to use a Dell desktop. So I can't ditch Microsoft completely, not yet anyway.... MACs are pricey but they run really well (although inbuilt obsolescence is definitely there), have very few issues with my Mac but desktop does crash now and again.

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Replying to lja20:
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By Peter M.
31st Mar 2018 11:14

I've been using VT and Moneysoft on my Mac for 3 years now. You have to load Parallels software which partitions the Mac hard drive (the Apple guys did it for me). The start up is seamless now with no issues at all.

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Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
26th Mar 2018 18:57

My conversion followed an embarrassing meeting with a client and a few of the staff, all of who had their MacBooks /Airs up and running in seconds with the documents and spreadsheets I'd emailed them open, whilst I waited for my Dell to wake up and run through updates.

So I said the battery had gone and shared the director's Mac with him and was so impressed with the speed and simplicity and also the lack of eye strain.

My macbook air is now 7 years old and my mac mini desktop 6 years old and they still fire up in seconds every day and the only grief I've ever had was with the bl**dy Office for Mac updates. I've since moved to Google docs.

I thought that, after 7 years, my experience might have been a bit out of date but a couple of months ago I decided to buy a windows 7 laptop just to run an old program I'd taken off my hosted desktop and it takes 3-4 minutes to start up and, just like the old days, is plagued with Windows updates of one kind or another.

It took me and other people I've known only a couple of hours to get used to the slight differences in keys and file handling and Apple have helpful pages for it eg:
https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204216

As my client said to me seven years ago when I asked her why shed converted "because they just work".

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Replying to Paul Scholes:
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By chatman
29th Mar 2018 11:10

I assume your PC was one of the old ones, booting from a HDD Paul. New PCs these days will boot from an SSD, so that doesn't happen any more. So you can now go back to PCs and save hundreds of pounds.

Anyone using an old PC with a HDD can just replace it with, or add, an SDD to get instant boot.

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By Samantha20
26th Mar 2018 19:12

My Asus laptop only takes a few seconds to boot up and close down. It is light years ahead of my old Dell and Sony laptop.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Mar 2018 19:45

Boot up speed is largely about your hard drive.

If you have an old style one that goes round = ages

If its a solid state drive as most now are, no problem, its a a few seconds.

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By petit_dav
26th Mar 2018 20:49

I use macbook pro for ages and have additional 2 screens connected to it and it works fine. Nothing with Windows is as fast as mac. Most accounting softwares are available on cloud.
I also have a PC which I use only for BTC as this one is not available on Mac. I have installed SSD drive on my PC and is quite fast despite all other components are veeeery old. SSD speeds it up however. So if you want to move to Mac I would definitely recommend but take into account that some software might not be available. On the other hand everything will be on cloud soon... I am happy with my mac and using old PC from time to time.

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By clark.hall
26th Mar 2018 21:03

I’ve not tried Mac. Every time being put off by compatiblity.
I wondered why my laptops werent getting fast despite upgrades to processors. Learning that the hard drive is the weak link in any laptop has been a revelation. I spent more than usual on full SSD and I’ve never looked back. Click and it happens. Start up in seconds.

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By Samantha20
26th Mar 2018 21:12

Yes, I should have said that my new Asus laptop only has a SSD.

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By SkyBlue22
27th Mar 2018 08:48

My personal computer is a macbook air with an ssd and I much prefer it over any laptop I have ever had the misfortune of using. Programs uninstall properly, I don't get random weird errors for no reason and, as Paul said, it just works. That said, I've never tried to run accounts software on it so have no idea about compatability.

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By johndon68
27th Mar 2018 09:12

Even though I'm a Windows Software Developer, I use two Macs, an iMac and a MacBook Pro - I run Windows as a virtual machine using VirtualBox and I have no problems running Windows applications like Visual Studio and all versions of Sage.

The virtual machine runs 'seamlessly' so windows application just appear as if they are part of the Mac desktop.

John

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By Glenn Martin
27th Mar 2018 10:42

I have had a bad history with laptops and they never seem to last that long with me before they blue screen or battery packs up.
My wife bought me a MacBook 2 and half years ago and its been great. It still boots up super quick and battery gives more than 10 hours life.
The only thing that is a bit cumbersome is the Office 365 cloud on it as its not as slick as on windows.

My main Pc's crashed at Xmas and I was thinking of going all in Mac but the cost put me off so got 2 SSD PC's
for about £600 each and they are spot on.

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By NH
27th Mar 2018 11:02

Mac for me, having had both. moved to a mac when most of what we do went cloud and have nothing but good things to say

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counting
By Counting numbers
27th Mar 2018 12:52

Wow! Thank you for all the feedback and comments. I’m trying to home school myself in Photoshop for leaflets etc. which is why I'm considering a Mac. It would also come in handy when I finally get around to editing some rather unflattering family photos. Maybe I can make myself look ten years younger. From a business perspective, I like the fact that it is quite compact so it's easy to transport to a client's office (I use public transport quite a bit). I’ll use it with a big screen and plug in keyboard in the office.

I'll definitely buy Windows for Mac which should make the transition to Mac a little easier. As zarar rightly points out it's unlikely all of my software systems are Mac compatible so having Window for Mac should help sort that issue out.

Thanks, Paul. I do most things in the Cloud these days and I'm loving Google Docs for saving data. And as far as I can see Google Drive is GDPR ready which is a relief.

I think I've decided to embrace a Mac but I'll keep my Windows PC running alongside it until it dies which should make the transition a little less painful.

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By chatman
29th Mar 2018 11:13

Why would you want to spend hundreds of pounds more just to get a Mac with no discernable advantage over a PC and will cause you compatibility problems? If you want to spend that amount of money, you could get an absolutely top of the range PC which would outdo anything.

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By graeme kempson
29th Mar 2018 11:16

My first MacBook Pro is coming up to its 5th anniversary, and still nowhere near its 'capacity'. Still runs like PS's comment. So value wise, compared with previously, a new PC laptop every 18 months, fantastic!
I added VMware Fusion to run Moneysoft, VT and Absolute under Windows 7. Dont know how or why, but it just works and without the 5 minute reboots.

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Replying to graeme kempson:
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By chatman
29th Mar 2018 11:28

Why would anyone replace a PC every 18 months? We've still got one going after nine years with very heavy use and about 50 browser tabs constantly open. It just works, has no need for virtualisation software, has no compatibility problems and boots up in seconds.

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By Ray051
29th Mar 2018 11:35

We only use SSDs in our office Windows PCs. They boot up in seconds. Getting frequent updates is obviously a good thing and you can schedule when they happen. My son who runs an audio and games Company from our office uses only Apple devices. Its all about compatibility - horses for courses. Why would you use an Apple for accountancy work?

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Replying to Ray051:
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
29th Mar 2018 13:14

Hi Ray, why would you not use a Mac for accountancy work it's got a mouse and keypad and is a computer?

Yes, in the 80s/90s we number crunchers might imagine only arty/crafty types used Macs, but that hasn't been the case for years.

More than half my clients now use Macs for their books and business in general and, as pointed out in other comments, if you're stuck with windows software, you can run it on Macs.

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Replying to Paul Scholes:
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By chatman
29th Mar 2018 13:47

Paul Scholes wrote:

More than half my clients now use Macs for their books and business in general

I wish I had clients who could afford Macs.

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Replying to chatman:
Teignmouth
By Paul Scholes
29th Mar 2018 16:05

Some probably can, it's just you probably tell them they can't :)

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Replying to Paul Scholes:
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By chatman
29th Mar 2018 16:33

Maybe they could afford them if they had a better accountant. Catch 22.

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Replying to Paul Scholes:
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By chatman
29th Mar 2018 13:47

Paul Scholes wrote:

More than half my clients now use Macs for their books and business in general

I wish I had clients who could afford Macs.

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Replying to chatman:
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By graeme kempson
29th Mar 2018 14:08

I try to buy the right tool for the job? Might not and never will drive a Rolls Royce, but some cars are better than others and get you from A to B in a much more relaxed, safer and competent way than others that cost less. I am always willing to spend a bit more on any tool when I can perceive a benefit and advantage?

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By awdeek123
29th Mar 2018 12:26

I'm now retired but used PCs since getting my first XT in 1986. I now have two high spec PCs and a laptop for relatively light home use. Over the years I've had several fraught times with computer crashes and software corruptions, which caused a lot of stress and a few all nighters!
I updated my current computers to Windows 10 and was initially happy with stability until both the laptop and one of the PCs bricked after updates. It took days of researching on the internet to get them operational again and the laptop is now on Windows 7 again. Microsoft has been going backwards for years and Windows seems to get more and more complex and incomprehensible. Microsoft seems to love pointless complexity more than Gordon Brown did. Things regularly don't work as expected and trying to fix them always seems to entail randomly adjusting unintuitive settings without any real understanding of what I'm changing. Libraries are a disaster IMO. As for the Troubleshooter wizard!!!!! I've NEVER seen it fix a single problem ..... it offers some hope of a quick fix before cruelly snatching it away! A bit off topic but one of my main gripes with Microsoft was how they screwed up the Windows phone OS - W7 had the potential to be an efficient, fluid and user-friendly system but with W8 and W10 it became increasingly baffling.
If I were still running a business I would be concerned about Apple compatibility with existing software and historic Office files but I reckon I might go down the Apple route when the current PCs expire.

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By KH
29th Mar 2018 13:34

Started off on Atari 520 many lightyears ago, upgraded to Atari 1040, tried Windows machines, hated them, went back to Ataris and then, when I had mortgaged house wife children pets et al I bought a Mac ... never looked back, tried Windows on and off and still hate it (it's personal, I just don't like it, even though nowadays it is very much like MacOS) ... so I use a 27inch iMac, it's now 6 years old, have no intention of replacing it for many years, and it's wonderful ... wonderful to use, wonderful to work with, wonderful to be happy to be around. Yep ... die-hard Mac fan. Most of my clients now also use Macs, and not due to me, but due to their friends who just happened to own Macs.

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By max.lee
29th Mar 2018 15:53

Don't forget security...

It would interesting to see how many people with a Windows laptop have encrypted their hard drive (not usually built-in and not straightforward to implement) against those with a Mac (built-in and a couple of clicks away). The rule in our office is that if you want a home laptop to connect to the company's exchange sever then you must have a Mac with encryption enabled because we haven't got time to set up their windows laptop with encryption. With portables, including phones, security overrides ease of use in my book.

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counting
By Counting numbers
16th Apr 2018 10:56

I took the plunge and I'm now happily typing away on my new Macbook Pro. There are a few minor bits and pieces to get used to so I've kept my old laptop on standby just in case but so far so good.
I'm still very keen to do photoshop lessons but I'll give myself a few more weeks of getting used to the Mac before looking into that. Thanks again for all the suggestions.

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Replying to Counting numbers:
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By lja20
16th Apr 2018 11:04

Enjoy! Have you boot camped it/parallel software to run any PC based software? Or are you able to run with MAC only software? I am likely to upgrade my Mac book in next 12 months and am thinking about doing this (I use VT and Moneysoft so am tied to keeping the desktop PC at the moment, this is ok when working from the office but can be a pain when out at clients and unable to access the PC).

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Replying to lja20:
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By graeme kempson
16th Apr 2018 11:32

See my early post. I get Windows functionality on the Mac using VM Ware Fusion, which allows you to switch between iOs and Windows by flicking the mouse sideways (as you do for any app running in iOs)

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Replying to lja20:
counting
By Counting numbers
16th Apr 2018 11:35

Oh, I haven’t been quite that adventurous yet. So far I've just using it for emails and a few other bits and pieces. I’m using it with Windows so it's the best of both worlds for me. Eventually, the plan is it take it with me when I out and about meeting clients. It’s very light so easy to transport.

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By Alex_T
16th Apr 2018 11:03

I bought my daughter a MacBook Pro for Christmas and she loves it but more to the point so do I. I used a Mac many moons ago in my first job but struggled to get my head around a Windows when I moved to another practice. I'll probably stick to Windows in the office but I may treat myself to a MacBook Pro for when I'm out and about.

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