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James W. Johnson

Switching to a Mac

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Hey all,

I am getting ready to make the switch to Apple. What are some issues, workflow problems, etc, that I need to worry about. More specifically, can I still use a 4 button mouse, Right click, etc? I just want to make sure I am prepared for whatever learning curve is ahead of me.

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Yes, multi button controllers work well. You can probably just plug your current mouse and use it. Apple provides some basic mouse button customization, but you can also download the mac version of your mouse driver and make the buttons do what you like. There are also 3rd party input device software choices for Mac.

I hope others will comment about workflow changes.

Enjoy working with your Mac!

-B

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Stick to a 4 button mouse. Every PC mouse I've ever used has worked fine with my Macs.

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They work on both......one thing you'll have to get used to in the beginning is that every palette lies as a separate window on screen.....

We moved to Mac a year ago and be prepared for a lot less reboots :) I think that for our 3 (new) macs we've had less problems combined than for 1 of the former PCs (in this case 'high' performance HPs)

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one thing you'll have to get used to in the beginning is that every palette lies as a separate window on screen...

I've never used VW on a PC and I'm still not used to this. It's a horrible UI convention.

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Christiaan if you ever had to use Vw on a PC you would very quickly come to detest its palette docking. It is simply awful in use.

And as for the Windows OS colour scheme. Baby poo brown and bright blue can only ever have been selected by someone who is colour blind. No one with any design ability would have selected that colour combination in a million years.

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The irony of what you are saying Christian is that the PC version of VW is far more unified view like than the Mac version. The three years preceeding mid 2009 I was on PC's. As a die hard Mac power user, that took some swallowing. Coming back to the Mac was harder in many ways than it was to go to the PC. Maybe because as home I was using an old mac, and my Mac power user skills went out the window.

Getting into Cinema 4D at the moment, and I really appreciate its unified view. I think the learning curve is much simpler. Having looked at the link the you quoted and its reference to Logic Pro, I can completely agree with the comments. People speaking of their frustration of earlier versions, and the extremely steep learning curve (I speak as one who had a license of Logic and sold it due to the exact issue described - and life took me in another direction).

This brings up another point. In my current professional position it is my task of beginning to plan methods of training for 50 people in three offices around the globe. This is made much harder without the unified interface. Everyone has their own way of working (which is great for creative types) but with those that struggle the palettes can create an even greater struggle. I know the VW interface is very Mac (and very old school Photoshop) but I do think it is time for a change. Cinema 4D changed their interface in a recent version, and every review I read raves about it. Given they are in the same stable of Nemetschek, maybe we have this to expect down the road. Although given that the VW interface was only given a scrub up in version 2008, I wouldn't hold my breathe.

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All that said, I love VW.

Learning to drive it has been one of the best professional moves of my life.

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I actually preferred the unified window interface on the PCs, not because it is easier to use (once a workspace has been setup) but because it is disturbing to see parts of underlying programs and the desktop showing amongst the already jam-packed clutter of palettes.

.......one advantage of not having the unified window interface should be multiple screen options/capability which VW doesn't have.....should they opt for the unified window interface in the future, perhaps a multiscreen compatibility could be added instead........

Edited by Vincent C

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Christiaan if you ever had to use Vw on a PC you would very quickly come to detest its palette docking. It is simply awful in use.

not having a crack at you Mike

A guy working with me on my Windows desktop also had his Mac loaded with VW 2009 last year - his licence

I used VW on his Mac quickly a couple of times and could not believe the palettes did not dock

best I download a demo if there is one of Cinema 4D to try and understand what Diamond is saying

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Yes, I certainly agree on the multi screens part.

If you are having problems with clutter, it might be time to look at spaces, and get the stuff off your desktop and into a holding folder for filing or deletion. That said, I tend to be a bit of a neat freak! :)

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Yes there is a demo. Obviously this app is for rendering and animation not CAD, but the tools are still able to be customised.

It is funny what you say about palette docking. Coming from Mac, I hated it at first, but after a while on a PC it grew on me, now I am enjoying palettes again. But I was never one to move them around too much as many do (mostly Mac users in my experience).

Having a bias towards extremity I have my workspace set so that my even the length of mouse movement across the screen will be minimised, thus saving fractions of seconds. I know, I know...a tad, well....extreme!

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Those with an untidy mind will have floating palettes irrespective of whether they are on a Mac or a PC. Seeing users with palettes all over the place and constantly moving and/or closing and opening them in order to see what is underneath drives me bonkers.

I have to say I also hate setups where the drawing window is on one monitor and the palettes are on another. I find it way too slow.

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Seeing users with palettes all over the place and constantly moving and/or closing and opening them in order to see what is underneath drives me bonkers.

Indeed. I've given up trying to help these people. Nothing is going to save them but a unified window.

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Personally I wouldn't buy a Mac. It's overpriced and underpowered compared to PC's. For less money I can have a Beast of a PC machine with the latest hardware (eg. nVidia GTX480). Also, for me, the interface seems messy and un-economical and palettes that don't dock is just untidy (reminds me of MiniCAD 7 for PC).

Although I get vw crashes, I don't ever get PC crashes especially when using other software. I guess it boils down to the PC user and how they set up the computer.

My 2c. Cheers.

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I guess it boils down to the PC user and how they set up the computer.

Oh no don't give me that! I'm a very tidy, organized person especially when it comes to my computers, I've been buying new PCs every 3rd year for the last 10 yearts and specing them for latest cad/render apps every time so I know a little about what is available and what is needed, in 2006 I bought a budget Acer at home for 1100 bucks, for using VW, never had any major problems with that (except for the normal regular Windows crashes) at the same time my employer bought me a top of the line HP for 3300 bucks which gave me problems from day one. At a certain point we started counting the time Windows/PCs problems were costing us including all the set-up for apps/networks/drivers etc. , I think it cost the company (for 3 PCs) half an hour a day, thats 10 hours every month!!! Now we've had Macs for a year, except for the occasional lock up and the time/frustations of learning a new OS it must have cost us max 10 hours for the whole year! So overpriced? It's how you look at it.........don't get me wrong I've never been a Mac freak but machines should work the way they were meant to when designed.....from experience I find generally PC/Window machines don't especially the ones that cost most and Macs do.....

Edited by Vincent C

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I personally know of a company that have +/-100 employees-all on intel xeons/windows xp. No crashes.

I reiterate - Macs=overpriced+underpowered.

I'm not saying this to start a Mac vs PC war. It's just my personal opinion and personal experience. If you've had countless crashes on a PC, then go ahead and buy a Mac, it's your money.

Every person to their own, I'm just saying I'm very happy on a PC.

:)

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I personally know of a company that have +/-100 employees-all on intel xeons/windows xp. No crashes.

Don't believe it for a second....all computers crash or hang themselves!!

What do they work with, Word and Quad Core graphics cards?

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At my previous place of employment we had Quad core PC's but with skimping on cheaper video cards etc caused a heap of drama. For a while I had Windows 7 RC installed on my 24' iMac via Bootcamp and it was wonderful. Much better than my PC with Vista Ultimate and the later Service Packs ever was.

So Shaun, although I have never seen it happen, I can believe if a company has properly invested in good equipment then it can happen. As a general observation though, PC's require a small army of support staff. Our Sydney office of about 30 has IT issues in orders of magnitudes less than my last office of less than 10. This has been the case in every office I have worked at.

As I said, Windows 7 is a great upgrade on my Mac. Much better than XP or Vista. It is almost Mac OS X-like in that it mostly just works. If you have had an experience that good on PC's then that is great.

I had almost come to the conclusion that PC or Mac, good hardware = good user experience. But from what you are saying Vincent, and this is where my quandary begins, if you had a great PC, why was it such a bad experience, and me running a Windows 7 RC (beta) such a good one on my iMac?! I know respected tech commentator Walt Mosberg has said that the best Windows in a laptop is on a Macbook Pro. Is it purely that Microsoft has too many drivers to deal with, and that creates the cracks in the system.

Which then leads us straight back to the point of costs. If a PC costs less from the beginning, but requires much more time and money to keep it running, is it really cheaper? Most of us don't want to have to be geeks to make our computers work like clockwork.

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Well Troy, all my years with PC/Windows have forced me to learn how it all works and then how to fix it, but now with Mac I don't have to delve into this anymore, most things just work, downside is if something is wrong I can't fix it myself. What I'm trying to say is Apple shows us that it is not impossible to make fairly stable products, it is up to each individual person to decide where they want to put their money, initially for a stable product or in support over time.

It seems strange way to reason, to count on a competent IT support (of which there are far and few between, and who cost absurd amounts of money) for Windows products to function as intended......

Edited by Vincent C

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