Leaving The Dark Side – From PC to Mac

by Jennifer on May 6, 2008


Viruses, blue screen of death and day after day of little quirks are finally behind me. In recent months, a friend of mine, Jeff Turner, President of Real Estate Shows, had encouraged me to “leave the dark side” and make the switch from my PC to a Mac.

I had been considering this switch for a while and had some concerns in doing so. First of all I am a creature of habit and a change this big was a little unsettling to me. I had always been a PC user and had never even tried a Mac before.

After numerous emails back and forth with Jeff, combined with my own extensive research, I came to the realization that making the move to a Mac could only enhance the way I work on the computer as the Mac had so much to offer. I knew however, that this would take a lot of commitment on my part to familiarize myself with all the new processes, but I was up for the challenge and extremely excited about it.

A second concern arose for me as I became aware that as a Real Estate Virtual Assistant I work with a number of programs that are not Mac compatible. This was ultimately going to be the deciding factor for me and whether or not to make the switch. I was pleased to find out that there was an easy way to overcome this obstacle. I was introduced to a program called Parallels Desktop 3.0 that allows you to run Windows (Linux and more) side-by-side on the Mac. This was the answer I was looking for. I could now run all the non Mac compatible real estate programs simultaneously via Parallels Desktop 3.0.

I should also mention that the new Mac OS X Leopard comes with a program called Bootcamp that will allow you to do the same thing, however it is not without its limitations (for me). With the Bootcamp program you are forced to shut down the Mac system and reboot in Windows in order to use the Windows system. They can not be run side-by-side through Bootcamp. Although this would be a viable option for some people, I decided that spending the $89 CDN for Parallels Desktop 3.0 to run Mac and Windows simultaneously was well worth the investment to maintain a steady, uninterrupted flow of work.

So if you are a Realtor and have considered switching to a Mac, and have had the same concerns about running your real estate programs; know that there is a way.

I am happy to say that after months of research and sitting on the fence, I have officially left the dark side. I am now a “beginner” Mac user and the proud owner of a fabulous new iMac desktop system (Mac OS X Leopard).

In the coming weeks I am going to chronicle my experiences with my new Mac through tips, tricks and tutorials about the things I have learned (and am still learning) and how to make a seamless switch from a PC to a Mac.

If you are a new Mac user or are considering making the switch and have any specific tutorial suggestions, please let me know and I would be happy to try and work them in.

Stay tuned!

  • http://www.CreativeAgentSolutions.com Laura Monroe

    Hi Jen! I will be anxiously awaiting the Mac Chronicles to see how things work out. If anyone can do it, you can:)

  • http://www.agentsolutions.ca Jennifer Wilson

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Laura.

    I realized as I was trying to familiarize myself with my new Mac that other new Mac users may benefit from a few basic tutorials identifying the differences between a Mac and a PC and how to get set up with little effort.

    I am learning new things about the Mac everyday and I am more convinced than ever that I made the right choice.

  • Sue Clamp

    I’ve also recently got myself a Mac and I’m loving it! Parallels is very handy to have! As I was completely new to Macs I bought myself “Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual”, which has proved extremely useful to dip into when I want to know how to do something that I was used to doing on Windows. Good luck :-)

  • http://www.sfres.com Brad Coy

    I must say your story echo’s my own in many ways including influence by the Ubiquitous Jeff Turner (bless his soul)

    I picked up a MacBook Pro the other day and have been VERY pleased thus far. The learning curve has not been difficult at all and the Apple folks in the store and online have been very helpful. As a matter of fact, I’m almost reluctant to say that I purchased the $99 one2one training they had from my local store because I though it was a GREAT value to have a specialist on call to walk me through some of the cool apps on Mac OS X Leopard. Still not too committed to running Windows on my machine until I figure running the local MLS on Safari, or not. ;)

  • http://blog.badmotorfinger.com Charles Schiele

    Hey – welcome to the light. I too am a 15-year PC-user-cum-mac-enthusiast. I got my Macbook Pro a few months ago, and haven’t looked back. It’s a sublime operating system. Though I prefer VMWare Fusion to Parallels for my PC/Virtualization needs.

    One bit I found frustrating in the transition was the ctrl-cmd-alt-option key layout differences. That has taken some getting used to, especially when it comes to keying around in word processors and such. More detail on this if you are interested on my blog: http://blog.badmotorfinger.com/category/mac-stuff/

    Also, get to know “Spaces” and “Expose” (F8 and F9) and those little nuggets alone blow away PC and Linux, imho.

  • http://www.agentsolutions.ca Jennifer Wilson


    That’s great! I have asked myself numerous times since I got my Mac why I didn’t make the switch sooner, it must be that “creature of habit” thing. ;-) I am so glad I decided to step out of my comfort zone.

    There’s no turning back now and I couldn’t be happier about it.

  • http://www.agentsolutions.ca Jennifer Wilson

    Hey Brad,

    Congratulations on the MacBook Pro. It sure is a lot fun isn’t it? I think I would have also purchased the one2one training if it had been available to me, but unfortunately we don’t have an Apple store here (I think one might be opening up here in the fall). It’s nice to know there are quite a few of us Mac newbies out there right now. ;-)

    However, while I was doing my Mac research I came across a number of great resources for beginner Mac users and I plan to share these fabulous resources in future posts.

    Yeah, our local MLS is only compatible with IE :-(

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Christopher Palmer

    I switched about 17 months ago. I have since learned that the Windows PC was more of a waste of time than anything. I have grown to love my MAC and would be lost without it as a trusty companion. You will celebrate in the near future when you realize how little work a mac truly is.

  • http://www.agentsolutions.ca Jennifer Wilson

    Hey Charles,

    Thanks for the great tips. What is it that you like about VMWare Fusion that Parallels doesn’t have?

    Yeah that command button threw me for a loop at the beginning. ;-)

  • http://www.agentsolutions.ca Jennifer Wilson

    Hi Christopher,

    I totally agree and I am already celebrating. I know that there is so much more to learn and I am really enjoying the learning process with this new Mac.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://www.industry-report.com Ricardo Bueno

    So I see Jeff tricked you, I mean, helped you in deciding to get a mac huh? Well don’t worry, you’ll certainly be pleased with it’s functionality. I was concerned too when I made the move to a mac. Primarily because I run my LOS software on it and I really need it to originate loans. But like you mentioned, parallels has allowed me to overcome that obstacle.

    If you need tutorials on how to navigate through the mac you know who to contact; none other than Jeff Turner himself! :D

    Good luck with the new mac…oh and by the way, thanks for connecting on twitter.

  • http://www.agentsolutions.ca Jennifer Wilson

    Hey Ricardo,

    Thanks for stopping by. So far so good. I am extremely pleased with my Mac and yes Parallels was a perfect choice to be able to run my Real Estate programs.

    When did you switch to Mac?

    Hope you’ll pop back in and give me some feedback on the tutorials I put together.

    See you on Twitter. ;-)


  • http://www.industry-report.com Ricardo Bueno

    I started switched to mac full-time about 1.2 years ago now and I’ll tell ya, it’s easier to navigate through everything. It’s speed and functionality is amazing. With a PC I’m afraid I’d just waste too much time (they’re slow).

    I’ll look out for your tutorials.

  • http://wallysjokemail.com wally

    I went with a MacBook and would suggest you buy the Apple Care plan right away.

    You will need it, as my hard drive crashed @ 6 months and my screen went out. Apple care is quick, I will give them that. I am not the only one, just google it and see the mounds of issues folks have.

    I am sold on the operating system, but not on the hardware.
    I am undecided as to go all Mac as I still have 3 PC’s.

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