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Switching from the PC to a Mac: The Gotchas, Part 3

While the switch can be worthwhile you should be aware of the Gotchas By Robert Jensen

Our 7th Gotcha! - software

Once you've successfully transferred  all your emails, contacts, documents, and media files on to your Mac you can turn to your software - and our next Gotcha! There are the obvious problems, such as your favorite PC program or utility not being available in a Mac version but with a bit of searching on sites like www.MacUpdate.com I'm sure you'll find something that does a similar job.

Sometimes, as with Adobe's Lightroom, the program comes with versions for both PC and Mac so just load your Lightroom disc in the Mac's slot drive and install the appropriate version.  Note: Adobe only allows two installations and if you go over that limit you'll neet to contact them for a new license number.

However, things get a little trickier with Adobe's Photoshop as they sell PC and Mac versions separately. I'd heard a rumor it was possible that Adobe would exchange one version for the other so I contacted Adobe and received the following response:

Adobe will allow you to perform a cross-grade, or cross-platform upgrade, of your Adobe product, assuming it meets the upgrade qualifications and provided you send them a signed Letter of Software Destruction. The Letter of Destruction states that you agree to delete all copies of the product you are exchanging and also that you will not "sell, transfer, give away, donate, or otherwise distribute the exchanged Adobe product or copies to anyone else."
You will still need to pay the upgrade cost, and you will need to conduct the purchase via telephone by calling Adobe Sales at 1-800-833-6687. The Letter of Software Destruction may be faxed, e-mailed, or snail-mailed to Adobe.
Please note that there is no dual platform licensing for Adobe Creative Suite products. If you wish to use your Adobe product on both platforms, a second full license is required. Adobe's EULA allows installation of the products on up to two computers, but they must be the same platform.

As for other software titles, you'll have to check with the vendor to see if they have a Mac version and some sort of similar system to exchange program for their products. Just be aware there may be a fee to do so.

Suppose you have a piece of software and there is no Mac version? What if you will still need Windows in order to run software required by your work or school?

One of the many things I like about the Mac is that you can have your cake and eat it too. You can run Windows just fine on your Mac. In fact you can choose among several ways to load Windows onto your Mac. All new Apple computers come with OS-X Leopard installed which includes the free utility, Boot Camp.  With Boot Camp you can repartition your hard drive to hold both an OS-X and a Windows partition. When you start up your computer you just choose between the two. However, that is an 'either/or' type of solution. You can have Windows OR OS-X but not the two at the same time.

The solution for that Gotcha is to use something like VMWare Fusion or Parallels Desktop, or other similar applications. Any of those packages lets you create a virtual computer, in this case a Windows machine, inside the Mac operating system. What I found great about this solution is that it lets me jump back and forth between Leopard's environment and all my old Windows programs, like Adobe Photoshop.

Boot Camp Gotcha's:
If you install Windows using Boot Camp we run into another 'Gotcha'. You must use a full install disc of Windows XP or Vista. You cannot use the less expensive upgrade disc (which is the only thing I owned of course). There's another 'Gotcha' too, when using Boot Camp, the version of XP must include Service Pack 2 (SP2) or newer and you must be using OS-X 10.5 (Leopard) or newer. 

Things might be different if Apple had chosen to provide a manual/mechanical means of ejecting the CD on the new iMac during Boot Camp installation (so that you can go through the Windows verification), but they don't, which means you might as well go out and buy yourself a new copy of XP (you can still find them) or Vista. I have read of some people's success in using an external DVD/CD drive with an eject button but no concrete proof that it works.

Instead of buying an external DVD drive here's a little trick that can save you money and is the way I ended up installing Vista Home Premium on my iMac. You can get yourself an OEM version of XP or Vista for about half the price of the retail version. The drawback is Microsoft will not provide you with any phone, email or other support. You are on your own. This isn't a big drawback if you are fairly computer savvy but if you aren't then spend the money and buy the full retail version.

After going with the OEM version myself I will give you another good tip, go buy the regular, full retail, version of Windows.  The reason is that if you own a desktop and laptop you can install the full version of Windows (in my case Vista) on both machines. With the OEM version you can only install on the one machine, period. 

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Related Keywords:Mac OSX, Apple macintosh, parallels, mac computing

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