The many ages of a switcher…

Tell me you problems

When I’m bored (I mean really bored), I spend a few 1/4 hours surfing the Apple discussion boards, and nestled in amongst the questions, bugs, answers and advice I come across postings from recent switchers to the fairer platform.

What’s odd is that these postings have very similar topics and all seem to be categorised around repeating experiences.

1) The brand sparkling new switcher. This person has really only just got their Mac that weekend and they’re still breathless from the experience. They love it (of course), but want to know the following:

a) what applications there are to function the same as Wordperfect and Paint,

b) why the menubar is always at the top and why can’t it be moved,

c) how to turn off mouse-acceleration,

d) where can they get Anti-virus/malware programs.

2) The settling down switcher. This person has had their Mac for a few weeks and has learned to live the Mac-way, rather than trying to customize their Mac into a Windoze clone. The questions however continue.

a) Why can’t they change the size of the fonts in the menus,

b) Can .exe files run on a Mac,

c) Can they delete the Apple applications they don’t want,

d) They really need an Anti-virus/malware program, where can they get it from.

3) The Mac-tinkerer. This person has grown comfortable with their Mac and has successfully transfered all their pirated music/pron photos etc over. Now down to business:

a) I want to be able to delete anything on my Mac, how do I become an Administrator so I can do this?

b) I want to edit my swap file but I don’t see any way to do this, how?

c) I want to edit the registry, where is it located?

d) Are you really sure I don’t need anti-virus/malware?

e) I’ve been using my Mac for a few weeks now and need to defragment my drive, what programs are available?

4) My Mac has slowed down I must have a virus, yes a virus PLEASE HELP! Because every problem they have ever had with Windows was down to a virus/malware/spyware/keystroke logger, they are convinced that as soon as the beachball occurs, they must have a virus. Helpful Mac-users point out:

a) You don’t have a virus

b) Really no you don’t

c) Post exactly what your symptoms are and we can find out what the slowdown is caused by

d) No, really you don’t have a virus

e) Ah, the reason why your computer has slowed down is because you’ve put 180gb of pirated movies/music on your Mac and there’s only 1gb of space left.


5) OMG! My Mac’s not working PLEASE HELP! This person has decided that even though they are happy with their Mac, they want to make it better, and has accidentally deleted:

1) The Finder

2) The Terminal

3) The Library folder

4) All of the above

and of course they don’t have a back-up. They curse the day they ever bought a Mac and complain profusely that this never happened on Windows.

I know that’s there’s a bit of exaggeration here (only a bit mind), but every one of the above true observations, is centered around this concept:

To a Windows user, the fun in using a computer comes from keeping it running, installing and updating Antivirus, editing key files to squeeze out 1.7% extra speed, configuring arcane files, messing around under the hood.

Not actually using the computer to learn or create something. Sure they probably do some of that along the way, but first and foremost a computer needs careful nurturing before you can do any of that silly creative nonsense.

If you could define a Mac, it would be that it arrives, out-of-the-box, ready for you to use, ready to have some fun.

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