You needn’t worry, however. Apple has listened to its customers and addressed their concerns. Switching from a PC to a Mac is not a leap in the dark; it’s a smooth transition to a responsive and powerful computer.
A Mac is simple to use because Apple has designed its applications to work in a similar way. Once you become familiar with the Mac OS X operating system, everything falls into place.
Moving your files
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of changing to any new computer is the migration of your files from one to the other. These files might include documents, music, and photos, but it doesn’t really matter what they are: your Mac will automatically recognize almost all of them.
You have a number of ways to transfer your files. You can
copy everything on your PC to a USB or FireWire hard drive, connect the hard drive to the Mac, and download
use your local network to transfer the files
burn the files to a CD or DVD on the PC, place this in your Mac and download
send the files to your Mac via your email account
When you’ve organized everything on Mac’s hard drive, you can install Windows (see below) and use your files as you would on your PC. If you don’t want to load Windows, you’ll need Mac versions of the appropriate software such as Microsoft Office (see below).
Having decided to make the move from PC to Mac, you may feel more comfortable if you still have Windows to hand. Fortunately, you’re able to load Windows XP Home Edition or Professional (with at least Service Pack 2), or any version of Windows Vista, using Boot Camp. This is a piece of software that comes as standard with every new Mac. (Please note that you cannot load any Windows software other than those given here.)
Once Windows is on your Mac, use it as though you’re operating a PC. If you want the flexibility of having Windows and Mac OS X available at the same time without restarting the computer, install either Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion.
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If you’re part of a Windows network in an office or at home and everyone else is using a PC, you can still switch to a Mac without upsetting anything. With a Mac, there’s nothing to prevent you sharing files across the network, surfing the Internet, or sending and receiving email.
If you want to continue using Microsoft Office 2008, simply install the Mac version. It has all the features of the Windows equivalent including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You can also work on Office documents that originated on a PC, and transfer your Mac-created Office work to a PC.
You don’t have to buy new peripherals when you change from a PC to a Mac. Your Mac has pre-loaded drivers for hundreds of devices, which means that it recognizes the vast majority of peripherals such as printers, hard drives, joysticks, and cameras. Just install your device using the USB, FireWire, Bluetooth or audio connections and you’re up and running. If you’d rather, you can also continue to use your PC keyboard and mouse with your Mac.
You can use your existing email service and email address on your Mac without any problem at all. Put your email account details into Mac’s Mail application and that’s it: you’ve successfully switched over. You can also access any web-based email with your Mac’s Safari web browser.
You may, of course, have a stock of email folders that go back for some time. Switching from a PC to a Mac is a good opportunity to do some email housekeeping, but this doesn’t mean you have to lose any of your archived messages. Instead, if you have a fairly small amount of email, you can forward it to your Mac. If you have a larger quantity of mail on your PC and have a number of accounts, you can transfer everything by using your ISP (Internet service provider) and IMAP (Internet message access protocol).
If you’re used to instant messaging on your PC, you’ll be delighted with your Mac. It has a built-in feature called iChat for text messaging and video calls.
Macs are wireless and compatible with most routers. The available wireless networks in your area automatically register on your screen. You needn’t lose any of the wireless features of your PC, and by choosing a Mac you may, in fact, discover you’ve upgraded your Wi-Fi capability.
Your Mac has the fastest web browser around: Safari. If you prefer, you can use Mac versions of other browsers, but the speed and easy-to-use features of Safari will soon have you hooked.
Software and games
You won’t lose out on a choice of software and games when you switch to a Mac. Virtually everything has a Mac version, plus you’ll benefit from specific Mac items such as iWorks.
When you switch to a Mac, you’ll want to know your data is secure. The good news is that Macs have built-in security with regular free updates. Apple also constructs each Mac with its own hardware and software. The result is a computer that resists viruses and spyware far better than the average PC.
Macs are consistently reliable. They run extremely well and don’t suffer from the problems so often associated with PCs – frozen screens and system crashes. As a result, you’ll have fewer problems caused by delays and lost data.
Mac Mini User Guide
Your box contains
a Mac mini
a power adaptor
a power cord
an Apple Remote
a DVI to VGA adaptor
On the front of your Mac mini is a slot-loading optical drive. The built-in infrared (IR) receiver lies to the right of the slot, and the power indicator light is at the bottom right-hand corner.
At the back of the Mac mini, you have two rows of features. Along the top row, from left to right, are
the power button
a security slot for a cable and lock
an audio in/optical digital audio in port
a headphone out/optical digital audio out port
Along the bottom row, from left to right, are
a power port
an Ethernet port (10/100/1000Base-T)
a FireWire 400 port
a DVI video out port
four USB 2.0 ports
AirPort Extreme wireless technology and Bluetooth® wireless technology are inside your Mac mini.
Strip away the plastic film from your Mac mini and the power adaptor. Place the Mac mini on a firm surface right side up or on its side, and close to an electric socket. Your monitor, keyboard, and mouse should also be near at hand.
Connect the power cord to the power adaptor
Put the plug on the end of the power adaptor’s lead into the Mac mini’s power port
Plug the power cord into the electric socket
Please note: never place anything on your Mac mini. Objects on your Mac mini may disrupt the optical drive, the AirPort Extreme wireless signal, and the Bluetooth® wireless signal.
Your Mac mini is BYODKM – bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse. Use the ones you already have (almost any are suitable).
Keyboard and mouse
Connect your keyboard to a USB port on the back of the Mac mini. Connect your mouse to a USB port on the keyboard or on the Mac mini.
Windows-based keyboards may not have specific Mac OS X Command and Option keys. The Windows logo key, however, is equivalent to the Mac OS X Command key, and the Alt key is equivalent to the Mac OS X Option key.
To modify the keyboard
click Apple>System Preferences
click Keyboard & Mouse
choose Modifier keys
follow the screen instructions
Please note: when you use a USB keyboard and mouse made by a company other than Apple, you may need software drivers. If you don’t already have these, visit the manufacturer’s website and download them.
Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mighty Mouse
If you have an Apple Wireless Keyboard and wireless Mighty Mouse, follow the set-up procedures contained in the appropriate manuals.
Use your Mac mini’s DVI video out port to connect a monitor. If you have a VGA monitor, connect it to the Mac mini with the supplied DVI to VGA adaptor.
Please note; your Mac mini supports digital resolutions up to 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. This means you can attach a 20 inch Apple Cinema Display or a 23 inch Apple Cinema HD Display.
Internet or network
Connect your Mac mini to the Internet or a network wirelessly or by using a cable.
Wireless. Your Mac mini has built-in AirPort Extreme wireless technology. For more details, go to Menu Bar; select Help>Mac Help, and click Library>AirPort Help.
Cable. Simply plug one end of an Ethernet cable into your Mac mini, and the other into a cable modem, DSL modem, or network.
To start your Mac mini, press the power button located on the back.
When you first use your Mac mini, Setup Assistant appears. This enables you to establish your
If you already own a Mac, you can use Setup Assistant to transfer software and files to your Mac mini. If you prefer to wait before you transfer information, use Migration Assistant at a later date.
Select the Applications folder
Double-click Migration Assistant
To change the layout of Desktop – the first screen that appears when you’ve finished with Setup Assistant – go to the Menu Bar and select Apple>System Preferences. For more details on what you can do to customize your Mac mini, select Mac Help and search for “System preferences”.
Sleep mode and shutting down
If you intend to be away from your Mac mini for just a short while, you can put it in sleep mode rather than shut it down. Simply choose one of the following actions:
press and hold your Apple Remote’s Play/Pause button for three seconds
select Apple>System Preferences; choose Energy Saver; set the timer
press the power button
select Apple>Sleep on the Menu Bar
When you’re ready to wake your Mac mini, press any of your Apple Remote’s buttons or any key on your keyboard.
Shut down your Mac mini by selecting Apple>Shut Down. To turn it on once more, press the power button.
Please note: do not move your Mac mini before you’ve shut it down. You can damage the hard disc if you move the computer while the disc is spinning.
Basic OS X guide
Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard is your Mac mini’s operating system. It runs your files, software, and peripheral devices, and is similar in principle to Windows.
Your controls are your mouse, keyboard, and Apple Remote. If you’re more used to Windows, you’ll soon discover that Mac OS X is easier to navigate and faster.
Navigating your Mac mini’s screens is easy. There are self-explanatory windows, menus, and shortcuts, plus the following main features:
A desktop is a screen where you normally start each time you switch on your Mac mini. The screen displays your HD (hard drive) icons. Select an HD icon to view the files and applications it contains. When you plug a peripheral device into your Mac mini, the appropriate icon appears on Desktop.
Points to note:
Use Desktop to store your folders, images, files and other documents
Mac OS X gives each user of your Mac mini a separate Desktop
Desktop lies behind any of the applications you run
The icons at the bottom of the screen are the Dock. Use the icons to access your most frequently used applications, folders, files, and windows.
When a window appears, note that it has three colored buttons in the upper left-hand corner.
Red closes the window
Yellow minimizes the window to the Dock
Green maximizes and minimizes the window’s size
The Dock icon on the far left is the Finder. You can use Finder to manage your folders, drives, and applications.
Mac OS X has just one Menu Bar. It appears on your screen as a line at the top.
Use the Menu Bar to
work with a program
view and change settings and software
check your recent work
put your Mac mini into sleep mode
restart your Mac mini
The Menu Bar changes to give you the most suitable options for the software you’re running.
For a list of connection ports, see First steps – Basic features.
The FireWire 400 port is ideal for connecting high-speed devices. These include digital video cameras and hard drives. The four USB 2.0 ports are for devices such as your keyboard, mouse, iPod, printer, camera, and games controller. Your Mac mini will recognize many of these without the need to run software because Apple pre-installs hundreds of peripheral drivers at its factory to make connections as quick and easy as possible.
Use your audio in/optical digital audio in port for a microphone. Use the headphone out/optical digital audio out port for a pair of headphones or speakers. You can also use either port for your digital audio equipment as appropriate.