PC users are switching to Mac at incredible rates, lured by the promise of no viruses or spyware and the magical ability to do amazing things on a computer with no training or experience while using free software. What their Mac-infatuated friends fail to tell them, however, is that all the stuff they learned over the years about operating a PC will not only be useless on a Mac, it may become a handicap. OK, not all the stuff they have learned, but a considerable and frustrating amount. Mac users have a responsibility to inform their PC converts about this problem and help them work through it. The first and biggest difference is not the interface but the naming of the parts of the interface. Take the Finder, for example. If you tell a Mac-newbie that the Finder functions the same as Windows Explorer, they will have an 'ah-ha!' moment that constitutes a giant first step. Once they understand the Mac OS has a menu bar at the top of the screen that changes depending on the application they are running, they will have another leap in understanding. They also need to know that Apple's Trash is the same as the Windows Recycle Bin and if you select a file and hold down the Command key-? (the Control key on a PC) while pressing the Delete key, the file will be delivered to the Trash. Sometimes you have to go to the Finder menu and empty the trash to dispose of its contents forever. The University of Queensland in Australia has posted a one-page transition site that explains most of the differences with exceptional clarity. It can be found at askit.uq.edu.au/itanswers/mac. Terminology isn't the only difference Mac switchers must deal with. Some things are just done differently. Take screen captures. On a Mac, this is accomplished by using the Grab utility: 1. Open Grab (in /Applications/Utilities). 2. Choose Capture Selection. 3. Move the pointer to a corner of the area you want to capture. 4. Drag the pointer across the area and release the mouse button. Grab is versatile and lets you save selected portions of your screen in different formats. Even familiar application suites such as Microsoft Office are different on a Mac. Office 2004 is a newer suite than the latest PC version, Office 2003. Consequently, Office 2004 has features that 2003 doesn't offer, but because it has a simplified interface, those features are often hard to find. Something as simple as Quick Print in Word - which bypasses the print dialogue box and sends your document directly to a printer - is disguised as a printer icon in the application toolbar. New Mac users can use a multi-button mouse if they want to. Should they need to use a website that utilises Web 2.0 features, they should use the free Camino browser ( www.caminobrowser.org ) instead of Safari. These tips will resolve most of their initial change-over frustrations. Hopefully, with a little kind attention to their needs, your Mac-switcher friends will persevere and go on to experience all the joys of Macdom that lured them over in the first place.