I've gone over to the Dark Side...

Hell has frozen over. I’ve finally gone over to Dark Side - I bought a Mac! :open_mouth:

After using PCs for 30 years and with six in-house (one laptop, three workstations, and two servers), yesterday I moseyed out to the local Apple store and bought a MacBook Pro Retina 13". The Mac Mini looked enticing for the price, but it was not portable. The MacBook Pro Retina 15" was awesome, but expensive. So I bought the “middle-sized bear”.

All joking aside, the MBPr 13 is small and light, and the battery life is great. It is very responsive - apps open quickly and the track pad is amazing (WAY better than any PC track pad I’ve used). And what was very surprising was how quickly I got used to the UI. I was fumbling of course, but much of UI seemed very easy to use.

This is a huge leap for me. After it’s delivered, the first software purchase will be Scrivener for Mac. So I’ll have lots of questions about Scrivener and the Mac.

I hope you folks will have patience with my neophyte questions. The first of which is… Besides the tutorials here on the L& L site and two books (“Scrivener For Writers” and “Scrivener Absolute Beginner’s Guide”), do you have any suggestions for learning Scrivener for Mac?



Your enthusiasm is humorous, infectious and and refreshingly honest. Welcome aboard Scrivener, Dan… you may well live to regret it… but, TOUGH TITTY! as posh people say.

Yeah… just start using it, play about with it, experiment, I’m sure there are more cliches, hackneyeds and other quick fix answers, but, just remember: youtube.com/watch?v=46rHsD0onsU
Have a Happy Apple/Scrivener Adventure. :wink:

You needn’t worry about the Mac users deriding your questions; we’re as likely to be converts as life-long Mac-heads these days.

Yep, a convert 11 and a bit years ago (although still need to use Windows at one of my offices). Wouldn’t, couldn’t, go back.

Ask your questions and we’ll answer as best we can. If you’re a power user, you’ll work most of it out yourself in short order. As a starting point though, you might want to check out MacWorld’s article on switching from Windows to Mac. It’s dated, but the advice generally stands. Alternatively, if you’re prepared to spend $5, there’s the MacWorld Switch to Mac SuperGuide. Looks liked the most recent edition was published recently, so more likely to have Mavericks specific information.

Gentlemen (Ladies?),

Thanks for the comments and feedback. This should be an interesting experience. My wife asked me of I was sure about this decision. I said, "Heck no! But sometimes, if it feels right, ya gotta go for it. So I’m goin’ for it.

I bought the Switch to Mac SuperGuide. Good content. Thanks for the suggestion.

Best regards,


I’m considering switching myself though since I don’t need portability I’m weighing the Mini and the iMac.

the mini is my favorite for “desktop” only because it provides more display options (upgrade later).

the iMac is really good for space constrained environments.

capability wise they are very much comparable.

Agreed. My desktop setup is a Mini and a (shudders) Dell monitor, which is holding the place of the retina Apple monitor they haven’t even announced yet. Best thing about the Mini is the ease of upgrading, if you’re so inclined. Memory upgrades are trivial, and hard drive upgrades are almost as easy (but require a few tools).

We have an iMac in the house, and it’s perfectly lovely, but the Mini is much more future proof (and more computer for the money).

Buying advice: either get the SSD option on the mini (or get a third party drive and do it yourself).

Hello sir. How are you these days?

The last time I checked, Dell and Apple were using the same supplier for LCD (non-retina). It has been a while since I checked. This is moot though as you are likely to be Dell-less in the future.

Hi Jaysen! I’m well, thanks.

Actually, while in concept I don’t like the Dell in my house, the monitor itself is actually fine. Big and sharp and great for movies and it lets me keep Scrivener huge and fully open (while accommodating my 250% old man type magnification.)

You are to Dell as I am to Microsoft

Works for me.

Thanks guys - that’s pretty much what I was thinking too. I see the allure of the iMac for the all-in-one-ness, but then that’s also a potential single point of failure. Something goes wrong and the whole thing’s gone. At least with the mini and the separate display there’s options.

I think my current monitor still has a bit of life in it, though at only 22" I’m already itching to upgrade and that Apple Thunderbolt display looks nice - though I don’t care for the price tag on it. I was thinking I can always get the mini and then upgrade the monitor the next year.

Mind you… the wife has pretty much already given permission for the iMac - I think she wants this monitor as a 2nd one for her computer. :laughing:

About the storage - I was leaning towards the Fusion just because the SSD is only 256 GB. What’s a typical OS X install size? My goal would be to dual boot with Win 7 (and maybe Linux) plus a bunch of applications in each OS of course. Most of my data I already store on externals so that’s not an issue.

Side question: does OS X deal well with NTFS? Or would I have to reformat my externals to FAT32 or something? Just googled that - exFAT looks promising.

Oh one more thing - how’s the sound quality on the mini? I’m a transcriptionist so clear sound is important. Do you think the onboard sound will be good enough, or should I start looking into external sound cards?

You might consider a Fusion Drive for the mini. That has a 128gb SSD merged with a 1TB hard drive. The two operate as one. All of OS-X plus whatever you’re currently using most often loads into the SSD automagically in the background.

I don’t own one, but it’s on my list for the Mac Mini I expect to buy next tax year, to replace my aging Macbook Pro.

Yeah, I was looking at that (and just edited that part in above). From what I’ve read the fusion sounds promising.

These numbers represent a long-established Mac OS X installation. I’ve ported most of the large files (music, photos, other documents) from mac to mac since about 2003, but those all reside in my /Users/rguthrie/ folder. Everything else is the system + applications I’ve installed in the appropriately named folder. I’ve eliminated any root folders on the drive that come in under a megabyte.

8.4G /Applications/
4.1G /Library/
7.9G /System/
382M /usr/
122G /Users/rguthrie/

So the system itself, even with several applications installed, comes to about 20G. I’ll let you be the judge of what your requirements are, but I’ll tell you, the more you keep on the SSD, the snappier the response will be when loading those programs/files.

the thing is dynamic caching (what fusion is) is that you don’t control what lands where. The drive does. the more you use something the more likely it will be on the SSD.

So you don’t get to decide…

I should have read more when I submitted my info and saw there were other posts; my info was in response to the quandry about choosing an all-SSD drive of 250G and how much of that is taken by the OS. If one goes with internal SSD & External drives, then my response actually makes a little more sense.

But I’m glad I made that mistake anyway; I didn’t understand why one want a drive that seamlessly transitions from SSD to spinning patters; now I do! :slight_smile:

I’ve been reading up elsewhere and I’m now pretty much set on the Mini with the SSD rather than the Fusion:

Potential Audio Problems with new iMacs
Audio problems with new iMac Fusion Drive

Sounds like there’s a couple of different issues at play there but seemingly only with iMacs and mostly with the Fusion - no idea whether it would affect me or not, but no point taking the chance.

So lets talk “the real world”

The fusion drive concept has been in place for … 7 or 8 years … in large scale SAN technology. It is what makes sites like L&L able to function under load without needing massive power/cooling resources (there’s lots of debate, but using spin down tech SAN power/cool reqs are on a unit equivalency). The problem with some small scale use is reduce buffer and low spin down thresholds. This causes blah blah blah…

If you are a typical user you should see ssd performance for 99% of the time. The problem will be the cache flagging for huge files like … audio, video, etc. Which means that home users might want to wait a bit before adopting.

Or put your itunes library on an external drive. Problem solved. Mostly.

Hi. A quick update…

My MacBook Pro should be here tomorrow. I’m returning it to get the same model with 16GB memory vs the 8GB in the current one. While I can always copy files off of the current 256GB drive to make more room, I can’t add more memory in the future if 8GB memory is too small. It’s better to get the right one now.