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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Oct 08, 2010
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    What are the best ways to learn Mac/OSX?
    Hey, I just bought my first Mac! I'm super stoked. I've only had it one day and I already love it. Any suggestions about the best sites/literature on how to navigate my way around/change settings? Specifically, I can't get images to display on the entire monitor. I've got this beautiful 21.5" LCD screen but mostly the images I'm seeing are the same size as if I were looking at my 15" laptop screen, only with a lot of empty space on either side of the image.

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Experience has been my teacher...learn as you go.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    G'day and welcome to the forums.

    Helps if you provide operating system, however any of David Pogue's books are first class. Even see second hand copies in good condition available in Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mac-OS-Snow-Le.../dp/0596153287

  4. #4

    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Just use the OS. Eventually, you figure everything out.

  5. #5

    Fodge's Avatar
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    The Missing Manual is the best OSX resource I've seen. Full of great tips and tricks and very accessibly written.
    Computers don't make mistakes, they do what they do on purpose
    ~ Dale Gribble

  6. #6

    IWT's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree anything by David Pogue is worthwhile. I also like Missing Manual as above; but my favourite is: "Mac OS X Snow Leopard in Depth" by Paul McFedries, published by QUE.

    Good luck anyway.

    Ian

  7. #7

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Experience has been my teacher...learn as you go.

    - Nick
    Wise words Nick ...... Has been my biggest teacher over the last 18 months ....
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
    Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
    MoTM ☆☆☆

  8. #8

    Doug b's Avatar
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    I'm with Nick too, but I guess it depends on what your habits are like. I actually bought OSX The Missing Manual or whatever... but swear that I don't think I read one page of it. I got help from THIS forum, did some Google searching here and there and learned what I needed/wanted to know on my own. Believe me, if there's a specific question that you need answered, it's available on the net.

    But if you're one of those people who does better with a book, then that's your call.

    doug

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    I think most of the day to day things with OS X are fairly straight forward (that's part of why using a Mac for most folks is so easy). Sometimes part of the "fun" is finding out (6-12 months after you get your 1st Mac) about the 1, 2 & 3 key combinations for things you didn't know existed. Such as:

    - like the other day when someone couldn't empty their trash due to locked items (hold down the "option" key to force empty the trash)
    - option + shift + 8 for the degree symbol (C, F)...for when someone posts a thread about temperature problems

    ...of course there's a "zillion" of these, and it's really not something you learn from a book (too many of them). Maybe you "see" these in a book or webpage as part of a long list of shortcuts...but who's going to remember them all. You basically remember the ones that you use frequently.

    Another thing...it also depends how you define learning "Mac OS X". Personally I don't consider all of the accessory programs that come with a Mac OS X install..."Mac OS X". Such as:

    - Safari
    - Time Machine
    - iTunes
    - Mail
    - Photo Booth
    - Chess
    - etc.

    ...I certainly wouldn't expect someone to say..."I want to learn Mac OS X...can someone explain to me how to play/use Chess?"

    I mostly think of "Mac OS X" as purely the interface we use to get things done within the computing environment:

    - mousing around
    - opening & closing programs & windows
    - the "Dock"
    - preferences
    - accounts
    - where are things located
    - etc.

    Sure if someone is new to a Mac they will want & need to learn how to use the other "Apple" programs as well...as part of the experience. I sort of think of a Mac OS X install as...

    Mac OS X + accessory Apple programs...so it's sort of a two-fold learning process.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post

    ...of course there's a "zillion" of these,

    And my favourite of those zillions i found the other day and now use all the time is to hover the cursor over a word and then press ctrl~cmd~d and it brings up a mini dictionary .... AWESOME
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
    Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
    MoTM ☆☆☆

  11. #11

    vansmith's Avatar
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    I agree that learning through experience is the best way to learn how to use a computer (I had a Kant quote in my sig recently that testified to this - "It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience"). That said, there are certain things you don't want to learn through experience such as certain CLI commands. Therefore, I suggest that you experiment within reason. If there isn't a clear explanation as to what someone suggests or you don't think it looks right, don't do it. Better yet, you could get clarification from us.
    Important Links: Community Guidelines : Use the reputation system if you've been helped.
    M-F Blog :: Write for the blog
    Writing a Quality Post

  12. #12

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    That said, there are certain things you don't want to learn through experience such as...
    This wisdom would extend well beyond learning Mac OS X (or anything computer related)!

    Just think of the list of things we could come up with...!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Aug 23, 2008
    Posts
    38
    I have the kindle version of the snow leopard missing manual on my new MacBook pro: it's nice to have the book on the Mac so that I can try the keyboard shortcuts and tips as I read without having a paper book to jump back and forth to. This really helps me practice and learn what i've read.

  14. #14


    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by monsieurextrem View Post
    Any suggestions about the best sites/literature on how to navigate my way around/change settings?
    I don't know about the best but there are a lot of informative websites if you do a Google search. Like some of the others I did learn a lot on my own but I understand that not everyone wants to learn that way. Because of this I can't really give you any specific sites because I don't really know any but Apple does have video tutorials for the very beginners: Apple - Find Out How - Mac Basics. The Missing Manual which has been mentioned is also another good source.

    I think what hasn't been mentioned is that learning through books or other tutorials allows a person to gain a lot of knowledge in a very short amount of time. I think a lot of us more experienced users forget how overwhelming it can be to learn a new OS for switchers. Even though a lot of Mac OS is pretty similar to Windows there are differences and not everyone wants to learn all the wrong ways before they can figure out the right ways to do things. This is especially important for people who don't have a lot of time like a business that wants to become productive sooner rather than later and not spend time making a bunch of mistake before they can effectively use the Mac OS.

    Quote Originally Posted by monsieurextrem View Post
    Specifically, I can't get images to display on the entire monitor. I've got this beautiful 21.5" LCD screen but mostly the images I'm seeing are the same size as if I were looking at my 15" laptop screen, only with a lot of empty space on either side of the image.
    The problem depends on how you are displaying the images. Are you talking about why your wallpaper isn't displaying on the entire monitor? If you are then it's most likely because the resolution on your iMac is greater than your laptop or your laptop stretched the images to fit. You can do the same thing by right clicking your desktop background and choose "change desktop background". In the drop down menu choose either "fill screen" or "stretch to fill screen".

    In other words your problem is that the actual size of your images are smaller than the resolution of your 12.5 iMac. You have to either stretch the images which reduces the sharpness of the images or find new images that has the same resolution as your iMac which is 1920 x 1080 pixels in order to fill the screen.

    If you have any further questions then feel free to ask. Someone on the forums should know the answer. Welcome to the forums.

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