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My switch video coming soon...My Switch

October 10th, 2002
This is my review of switching to a Apple Computer from a PC.

Why listen to me? Well, I think I'm a great candidate to talk about switching due mostly to the fact that I love all computers. I don't dislike Apple Computer in anyway. I think a Apple Computer does just as good a job now as any PC. It just does it differently. I could use this same quotation about a PC.

My Power Mac G4I plan to really use my Mac just as I would a PC. I run a computer service and repair business, so my daily needs are accounting, email, website maintenance, tech research, games, listening to music, making music CDs, making utility CDs, and printing manuals.

Currently, I use a AMD Athlon 1800+ based PC. I switched (switching) to a Apple Power Mac G4 867 Dual CPU computer.

I think that these two systems are a good comparison because based on Apple's suggestions in all the marketing material, a Apple CPU run's twice that of a PC. So, my 867MHz Dual Apple should perform better or at least as good at a PC running at 1.6GHz right?

I purchased this puppy at MicroCenter in Santa Clara. Steve Miller the manager there (great guy) helped me with the sale. Actually, a lady (didn't get her name) helped me mostly from the Apple mini-store inside MicroCenter. She was very knowledgeable. We kicked around a few issues about the Apple/PC thing and we even got into a debate about the Apple adopting all mostly PC parts inside the G4. I said that Apple will completely adopt the PC platform, going head to head with Microsoft one day soon and she thinks I'm nuts. Well, let's see... My new Apple sports everything that a PC does hardware wise, with only one exception... the Motorola CPU. Yes, that's right kids. You're bright shinny new Apple G4 is 90% PC hardware... The PCI bus, the AGP graphics controller, the IDE hard drive interface and memory, all PC hardware. Apple even has a USB port for your keyboard and mouse. They offer these for convenience I'm told.

Here Goes!

My daily Switch diary 

Switch Summary:

I can get email, surf the net, download stuff, make cool Quicktime movies, listen to music, and copy music to my Mac.

Support from Symantec. MS Internet Explorer is somewhat slower to respond than the Windows version. No uninstall for software on OS X! No Defragment software.


04-16-03 ( towel toss )
I haven't updated this page in a while and I think it's time to drop the bomb. Frankly, my Apple G4 albeit the low end one was quite an expensive experiment. I spent just over $4,000 dollars on this unit and I am not so happy with it. Not only did I have to re-load my OSX again this month because it started locking up, I had to restore all my data from my server at my office because my second partition on the Mac wasn't accessible after I re-loaded the OS for the 5 and last time.

I decided to either sell my G4 or give it to my wife. I figure if I'm gonna post a negative review about something I better keep it around so I can experiment of it if need be. Between the tech support calls, the reloading of the OS multiple times and my data recovery which wasn't much because I did have it backed up, I will chalk this up to inexperience of the Mac. That being said, you would think that me being a computer tech I could keep this thing running. I no longer have the time nor the interest anymore to keep this expensive experiment running.

I'm sorry if this disappoints many of you, and I am sure I'm gonna get a lot of flame mail, but it is what it is.

Installed my Office X tonight. I think I like the mail program better in OS X better that entourage. Word and Excel are what you'd expect and the transparent effects you can do with graphs and such in Word or Excel are really cool. Can't do that on a PC yet.

While down at MicroCenter (where I bought my PowerMac) the Apple Expert told me of a upgrade program the Adobe has for people with PC versions of Adobe software. Apparently, if you own any version of a PC software title from Adobe, you can get the Mac version at the upgrade price for your Apple! I have not confirmed this but Ill post here when I do.

Since all I can do really until I get MS Office for the Mac is surf the net and experiment, I found myself in a quandary... I seemed to have messed up my installation after I downloaded and installed OpenOffice for OS X. Mind you it is a BETA release of software but it really hosed up my little Mac. I had to re-install the Mac OS X operating system... That was okay. Much the same as re-loading Windows XP. You restart your machine and before it starts to boot up you have to manage a way to open the CD-ROM door. On this Mac G4 I have, Apple made it a little difficult because they didn't put a button on the front of the CD-ROM (don't wanna mess with that mirrored door theme you know). Right on the Mac Restore CD it says to hold down the "C" key while the machine boots. This should pop open the CD-ROM drive door so you can boot up off the CD-ROM and reinstall the operating system. It worked.

When the the OS reloader screen came up, it ad a few options. 1) Reload and erase the whole puppy for a really really clean install 2) Reinstall the OS over your presetting setup, leaving all your files intact. I chose option 2.

After the OS was reloaded, I played around with a few shareware programs like Popup Zapper for Mac and

When I arrived home this evening, I noticed when I powered up the G4, the CDRW drive door popped open... Interesting... Also, the fan noise is starting to bug me. The G4 is sitting on my kitchen table and the internal (5 inch monster) fan is really getting loud. The only time I've heard this kind'a loudness was on a PC Server running 4 fans. I looked on the Discussions page for answers and it seems that this is a common problem with the new Mirrored Doors G4 like mine.

Posted some questions to the Apple populous on the discussions board asking how to do things that the PC can do. Here are some answers to some:
Q. How to send a page to someone via email while in MS Internet Explorer? On the PC, all you do is right-click and then Send To > Then pick Mail Recipient. It's pretty easy and a very cool feature in Windows.
A. There is no way to do this easily on the Mac. Here is a response to my post from some Mac Netizens;

#1 - [ I have no experience w/X so if this can't be done I apologize in advance.
Hyperlink the webpage URL into the body of your email program or drag the whole webpage onto your email program, or hold down your mouse until you get a contextual menu. Click on "save as". Save to desktop then drag to body of email program.

Baby Boomer ]

#2 - [ AH! Thanks for the help Baby Boomer. I tried it in OS 10.2.1 and it seems to work there as well. Just right click or control-click and select save as. Then both an html file (link) to the page AND a local folder of the page will get saved wherever you select. You can then drag the .html file into an e-mail and send it to the person there.
When I tried this and sent it to myself it actually sent the whole web-page in the e-mail NOT just the link.

So it IS possible, but not from within IE directly which causes an extra step or two as opposed to IE on a PC.

I should also add though that it might be different depending on which browser and e-mail client you use. It might not work in some. I used IE, Chimera and the built in Mail program in OS 10.2.1

Shane Scot ]

Got a response back from Symantec on the Norton System Works CD not booting and being able to scan and fix the Power Mac G4 (OS X 10.2.1). I had to call the paid support line (they didn't charge me after I explained my situation) and they explained what happened.
Well it seems that Apple has the new OS X locked up so tight, that they (Apple) won't even release the code for developers to polish off their products in a timely manner. Sound familiar? In this case it seems that Apple had some changes to the OS X right in the 11th hour and Symantec had already produced and shipped their NSW CDs to the stores. .

Called Adobe today to order Pagemill 3.0 for the Mac... Was flat out denied a copy. Said for me to buy GoLive. I already own GoLive for the PC. I bought it a while back after Adobe discontinued Pagemill to upgrade. I haven't had enough time or the energy to spent on it so I shelved it and continue to use Pagemill 3.0 for the PC. I like Pagemill. It suits my needs perfectly, for doing and my other websites. Well to make a long story short, the order taker told me that I couldn't have it. Now Adobe is going to make me find a copy on the net somewhere. They would rather loose a sale than to make a few dollars. Nice business plan there Adobe. You get submitted to my HUTBA section too!


Went down to a computer store in Palo Alto CA to get a copy of Symantec's Norton SystemWorks 2.0 for the G4. I thought I needed virus protection and it wouldn't hurt to have some utilities to run when/if I ever need them. I also picked up two magazines there too to subscribe to to keep myself informed as any Maccie would. I got MacWorld & MacAddict. These two mags had some util/shareware CDs with some cool goodies.

I loaded NSW 2.0 and thought I'd do a Disk Doctor check to see if my hard drive was running allright. Well, it found an error that it couldn't fix. Told me to boot from the NSW CD and run Disk Doctor from there... Well, the NSW 2.0 CD boots with Mac OS 9.2 and it can't see the Mac OS X (10.2.1) system disk! I attempted to call Symantec... no luck there. They want $30 just to say hello so I went to the Symantec website and found it... right there in their top 10 list in the Macintosh section. If you read this tech-bulletin from Symantec, you will see that they knowingly produced these CDs with this bug. Well in my opinion, it's not a bug, but a major oversight by Symantec. They produced a utility CD that can't repair a Mac OS X disk even though the Symantec box clearly says right on the front, "Built for Mac OS X"! This has made me so mad that I have decided to submit Symantec to my Head Up The Butt Awards section and report them to the California State Attorney Generals office and to any other State and Local agencies that I can find. Nice work Symantec bungholes!
Link - Hard drive does not appear when booting from a Symantec Macintosh product CD

Okay, after that I thought I would download a game for the Mac that I love playing on the PC called Unreal. I almost bought this in the store at the same time I bought the Symantec program but I hesitated and thought I would download the demo version first to see if it worked okay... I downloaded and installed. The game runs a little jerky and the sound events are off. When I jump or get shot at by another player, you hear the sound effect a moment or so after the event occurred. I remember this problem on the PC a long while back and it was fixed with a patch, but even after I loaded the patch, the problem is still there. I also want to note that the brightness levels of the game are way to dark even thought I set the game controls to the brightest levels. I'll work on this one...

Aside from all this, I did get to know iPhoto very well over the weekend and even produced a Quicktime slideshow. I emailed a copy to a friend (600k for 5 pics) with sound effects and fading. It was a very nice thing. Making slideshow presentations is a breeze on the Mac using iPhoto in this fashion.


I left the G4 at home today. The weekend is coming up and a few friends wanna come over see it.

While surfing with Microsoft Internet Explorer (v5.2), I can't help but be a bit annoyed at the delay at switch the screen is presented to me. When I pull up a website (any website) the graphics on that page, you know, the bullets and things that appear commonly on webpages seem to paint in somewhat slowly. In comparison, MS Internet Explorer on my PC is extremely fast. There's no delay at all.

Before I get bash-mail from you Maccie's out there, I would like to report that I run a DSL with a upload/download speed of 384/1600. I'm gonna load (yuk) Netscape and Opera to see if they offer any better performance.

Plug and what? Well, I'm a little peeved because I couldn't get the G4 to recognize my BusLink 30gb USB external drive. Yes, I looked up the driver on BusLink's website, but it seems that the driver only works with OS 9.x. I messed around with the driver, the Extensions Folder and researched the net for answers but I didn't get the unit and the G4 to like each other. On my PC, it will detect and start asking for files, but not on the Mac... Just to be fair. When I first purchased the BusLink drive (see my review), I didn't like it. The drivers that BusLink offered worked, but crashed most of the time when I tried to copy more than 300mb of files at a time. Months later, BusLink offered new drivers and now the drive is very dependable. So I can only surmise that BusLink hasn't got their act together on the Mac drivers... That should be a warning to you guys. BusLink seems to be a tad slow on the R&D for the drivers be it PC or Mac. Anyway, I still can use my BusLink drive on my Mac.

Yahoo Messenger & MS Messenger; while playing around I couldn't find out how to change the theme of the two messenger programs like you can in Windows.

For the last 2 nights, I've been dragging my G4 back and forth from my home to the computer store.

I opened a bottle of French wine we got in France a few months ago to enjoy my credit card limit popping Apple purchase. After a few sips, I thought I would rip (copy) about 50 or 60 CDs to the iTunes music program. That was very effortless I must say. I haven't made any CDs yet with iTunes, but I'm sure it's pretty easy. One of the things I wanted to do was share files/network with my wife's PC in the house. I have a Linksys BEFSR41 router so linking I thought would be a breeze but for the life of me, I couldn't get em looking at each other. Must have been the wine... keep in mine kids that I haven't looked at any Mac books or any help files on the G4 yet. I was trying to see if it was one of those easier-to-use things.

Couple of notations; the internal fan is kind'a loud. It's sitting on my kitchen table in our dining room (much to the dismay of my wife. She's a tad disturbed about this new addition to the family basically because I swore a long time ago that I would keep business and home life separate) right next to the monitor. I keep the keyboard in front of the monitor and the mouse is on the right.

I'm basically going to be playing around with it for the next week or so to see what I can discover without any outside help or intervention.

Purchased my new G4 for $1,839.17 bucks. It's a Dual CPU based 867MHz powerhouse with 256MB of DDR PC2100 memory, a AGP graphics video card (ATI I think), a 60GB EIDE hard drive, CDRW / DVD player Combo. I looks really really cool, in a silver gray tower case.

After unpacking everything, I don't even bother with the manual (like most of you) and I jump right in. I plug in the power, hookup the keyboard and mouse and flip the switch...

Okay, nice case! I really like those designers over there at the orchard. I must say it's the best looking technical thing I own.

The first thing I notice is the text on the screen is a little fuzzy. Not unreadable mind you, but just not quite as good as the image I get on my PC using this same monitor. Hmmm... I've got my G4 plugged in to my Samsung SyncMaster 750s monitor using the Apple DVI port. Apple provides a converter cable to facilitate hooking up to a SVGA monitor. I messed around with the display settings and that didn't help. Okay, ill put that on the to-do list...

I spent the evening setting up my email, and just simply playing around with the G4. I plugged in to my DSL/Linksys home network and I was surfing in a flash (answering a few questions in the networking settings) but that was painless.


Visit Apple's websiteLinks

Apple links

Top 10 Questions about switching

Why switch to a Mac?

Apple's guide to switching from a PC to a Mac

Other Links

Hilarious cartoons from


Happiness Meter

The meter goes up and down as I transition from the PC world to the Mac. Right now, as migrate, I am frustrated at the vendors including Apple due mainly to the arrogance, poor planning and ineptitude of all the vendors involved in my switch. Keep in mind, I am trying to be very fair and un-bias through this process.

This vs. That
Comparing the Apple to the PC

Loading the Operating System.

Making a Music CD.

Copying your music CDs to the computer.

Technical Support.

Upgrading Hardware; adding memory, a CD-ROM, etc.

Cost to convert to Mac

Power Mac G4  $1,839.17
MS Office $215.42
Adobe Web/Col. $1081.42
Adobe Elements






PageMill 3.0


Total  $4,054.49

My old PC System
AMD Athlon 1800+ / Windows XP Professional

System Configuration

AMD Athlon 1800+ (1.6GHz)

Asus A7V333
- 6 USB ports, 4 1.1, 2 2.0
- 266MHz System Bus
- 1394 FireWire

512MB DDR PC2700 CL2

ATI Radeon 7500

Master-80GB EIDE 7200rpm ATA100 Western Digital 8m cache

Slave-80GB EIDE 7200rpm ATA100 IBM 2m cache

Samsung 24x10x40 EIDE CDRW

1.44mb floppy drive

Iomega 250mb external Zip drive USB 1.1

CreativeLabs SoundBlaster Audigy


Common Problems
These are common questions & problems I've found on the discussion boards relating to Apple Computers and the OS X operating System.

Fan Noise
A lot of the Power Mac towers have very loud fans that seems to be really bugging users.

CD-ROM Opens
The Apple CDRW drive will pop out when your power-on your Mac as if you hit the eject button.

Can't See Memory
Some users are complaining about memory not being recognized when they install new or additional memory.

Parts Delay
Apparently, many users who do have serious problems are waiting up to 2 weeks for parts.

iPhoto Underpowered
The popular iPhoto program enabling users to catalog, print, email and produce videos of pictures from digicams and the like gets a tad slow to respond when loaded with 2000 or more pictures.

My Checklist of things I need to do with my mac and the solutions I found...

Microsoft Office



Buy some really good speakers for music

Backup device
I found a BusLink 60GB external Firewire hard drive for $239 at my favorite computer retail store MicroCenter. Steve Miller (Manager) helped me out, cool guy!

Trackball mouse


Popup stopper