The Move to Mac [California CPA]
(California CPA Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) ACPA's Firsthand Experience Switching Operating Systems
i found it necessary last year to purchase new computers. I've been a fan of laptops over desktops and had already moved from Toshiba to Dell. With each new Dell, however, I became less happy with them when it came to quality and support. When I looked for an alternative for my most recent purchase, I pursued HP. My research told me HP laptops were the best value on the market.
However, around that time, HP announced it was getting out of the PC business. I did not want to purchase a laptop with unknown future support issues.
So, I turned to another alternative: Apple. I have been using an iPhone and when I visited an Apple store, I was immediately impressed. With the sharp image and the allinclusive machine, I became a Mac convert. Especially after some research that indicated Windows runs exceptionally well - maybe even better - with a Mac than a PC.
I purchased two MacBook Pro laptops: One with a 1 3-inch screen and one with a 15-inch screen. With the 15-inch screen, I was able to upgrade to 8 gigs of memory and a 750 gig hard drive. These were designed to be used as the primary computers for my business and eliminate all desktops.
The Mac includes a software program called Bootcamp, which allows the computer to be booted to either the Mac or Windows operating systems. You can't run the machine under both at the same time. Many Mac users who run Windows indicated that, if you use Bootcamp, you will tend to only use Windows and not utilize the Mac for the original intent. I decided that I would not use the Apple OS, as I would rely on Windows programs that I am comfortable with and would waste the investment on the Mac.
I wanted to be able to run a Mac program side by side with a Windows program. This required me to run Windows software in a virtual environment. There are a number of virtual software options, and I narrowed it down to two: VMware and Parallels.
I chose Parallels as it is best supported by Apple.
I needed to configure Parallels to efficiently handle simultaneous operations of both Mac and Windows programs. It takes a little time to effectively manage the dual operating systems, and even through 24-hour a day tech support is via email only, the response is fast, helpful and accurate. Once configured properly, it becomes second nature. I am now able to access both Mac and Windows resources.
The Mac comes with a full-sized keyboard, which I did not experience with my previous Windows-based laptops. There are a number of things to note with a Mac keyboard, though. There are no "Home" or "End" keys. The delete key also functions as the backspace key. And when using Windows, some commands differ: Mac programs rely on the "Command" key where Windows relies on the "Ctrl" key. These different keys and functions are confusing at first, but become more natural after using the machine and programs.
I loaded the normal programs for a CPA firm: Office 2007, Lacerte, QuickBooks, Quicken, Adobe Acrobat, Sage Act Contact Management software, Tax Tools and other various programs. They loaded with ease and run smooth and effectively.
On the Mac side, the computer comes with various Apple programs such as iMail, iPhoto, iTunes, iCal and Address book. These programs seamlessly work with my iPhone. I then loaded Mac versions of QuickBooks 2012, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Creative Suite. I'm just beginning to use these programs, but already prefer them.
I purchased programs such as Numbers, Pages and Keynote, which are the Mac equivalent of Excel, Word and PowerPoint, but they are weaker compared to Windows versions. I soon plan on purchasing Microsoft Office for the Mac.
And along with Windows running more smoothly than ever before, I have not had a "blue screen of death" since I began using my MacBook.
I wanted to be able to run a Mac program side by side with a Windows program.
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Patrick D. Rogan, CPA is owner of Patrick D Rogan, CPA in Elk Grove. You can reach him at email@example.com.
(c) 2012 California Society of Certified Public Accountants
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