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Mac OS X Guide for Windows Users

It's hard to move from a comfortable operating system to a fresh and new operating system that you've never touched before. This document shows you software applications that are equivalent from one operating system to another.

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Software Included in Microsoft Windows

This section helps you find Mac OS X software to replace your Microsoft Windows software.

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Command Prompt

Were you a DOS guru before you started using Windows? If so, you probably couldn't have lived without the Windows Command Prompt.

Mac OS X is based on an UNIX operating system called Darwin. Although it hides the command-line interface from you pretty well, you can get to its shell through the Terminal program. The Terminal program is in the Utilities folder, which is in the Application folder.

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Internet Explorer

The whole Windows interface is based off the Internet Explorer web browser now. So you have, no doubt, lots of experience with it. But once you are on Mac OS X, it's a whole different story. The built-in web browser is the Safari browser, which you can run from the Dock.

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Notepad

Notepad is a very basic text editor. Mac OS X comes bundled with a very basic text editor as well. It's called TextEdit.

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Remote Desktop Connection

Do you use your Windows computer remotely a lot? You are likely using Remote Desktop Connection on Windows. Good news for you is that Microsoft also has the Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac OS X. You can download a copy of it here: Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2

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Sound Recorder

Sound Recorder is a very basic audio recording software that came bundled with Windows. It's a very helpful software for testing out your microphone and speakers. It has the ability to record to WAV files.

Unfortunately, Mac OS X doesn't come with an equivalent sound recording software. But a freeware Sound Recorder is available for Mac OS X, which produces QuickTime MOV files.

To get more control with your audio recording and more cross-platform compatibility, download the free Open Source Audacity. This full-fledge sound manipulation software is available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. It could produce a number of different file formats.

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Third Party Software

This section helps you find Mac OS X software to replace your third-party Microsoft Windows software.

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cwRsync

cwRsync is probably the best free rsync port for Windows. Because Apple's Darwin operating system is based on UNIX, rsync is already bundled as part of Darwin. You an simply execute rsync in Mac OS X's Terminal program (see "Command Prompt" section above).

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DriveImage XML

We are evaluating both SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner right now. Hopefully one of these software will be good enough to serve as replacement for the excellent DriveImage XML software. We'll update this section when we figure that out.

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Gimp

Need a poor man's photo editing tool? Gimp is the name. This free, but powerful, photo editing tool runs on virtually all operating systems. So it's perfect for your Mac OS X installation.

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Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office suite has pretty much became the bread and butter in this new information technology world. But luckily for us, the OpenOffice suite is free alternative for all to use. Even better is that OpenOffice runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. So it's the perfect suite to run on your mac.

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PuTTY

PuTTY is an excellent communication software for Windows. It has the ability to perform scp, ssh, and telnet operations. Because Apple's Darwin operating system is based on UNIX, these tools are bundled as part of Darwin. You an simply execute scp, ssh, and telnet in Mac OS X's Terminal program (see "Command Prompt" section above).

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WinSCP

WinSCP's excellent Norton and Explorer-like interface makes transfers between Windows and UNIX easy. Since Apple's Darwin operating system is based on UNIX, a command-line interface version os scp bundled as part of Darwin. You an simply execute scp in Mac OS X's Terminal program (see "Command Prompt" section above).

If you'd like a GUI version, you can try Cyberduck. It resembles the Finder a lot, therefore, it is similar to Windows Explorer. However, if you like WinSCP's Norton Commander interface better, then you'll want to try Fugu for Mac OS X.

Neither of the two above work with TextEdit. If you must edit files on the remote server as if the file is on your local computer, You'll want to try Macfusion. It mounts remote directories as if it's a local drive.

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