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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Another Mac newby here...


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khintul

 
Member Since: Oct 07, 2008
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Hi all, and thanks for this forum - lots of good info to be found, and I've only just started finding my way around.

I'm a long time Windows user, know my way around it very well, but always was struck by the ferocity displayed by those who had Macs. I wanted to actually get my hands on one to see just what all the fuss was about, but the darn things were just too expensive to justify the cost to me. After all, I didn't need this, it would be more or less for entertainment value.

I'd periodically check prices to see if anything had come more in line with my comfort level, and finally last week I came across a refurb Mac mini in the Apple online store. It was still waaay pricey for me, considering all I was getting was the processing unit and I had to provide monitor, keyboard and mouse. Well, since I already had all those things I went ahead and pulled the trigger.

I've now had it for 5 days, have been exploring and finding my way around ever since. If I had to describe the difference between the Mac OS and Windows, to me it's kind of like the difference between American English and British. The language is basically the same, but some things go by different names, (an elevator is a lift in London). Also, the locations of things are differently placed. Instead of having desktop icons of shortcuts to programs, the icons are displayed along the bottom of the screen in the dock.

The first day I used the system I noticed just how many times I looked in the lower right corner to see what time it was - dang it, no clock! Then on day two I suddenly noticed up there in the UPPER right corner, TIME! The familiar red "X" in the upper right of a window to close is a little red ball in the upper left of the Mac - but that doesn't really close the program, you have to actually take the step of quitting the program to close it for good.

Today I downloaded a statement from my bank; typically the first thing I do after that is to rename the file because it's got some non-descriptive name from the bank - usually I right-click, choose rename and simply make the name something that means something to me. Another learning experience - when I right clicked, no rename option appeared, but there was something called "make alias" - so I clicked on that, and what do you know - that's how a file gets a new name. It does appear to me though, that rather than renaming the one file I now have two files - the original with the name that I wouldn't know what it was later, and a duplicate with the name I've given. That seems unnecessary to me, but there you are. Maybe my lesson from today is incomplete, and I'm sure I'll find out more about this as I go along. I'd welcome input from experienced users if I'm getting this wrong. I'd rather learn it right from the beginning than have to unlearn and relearn.

Some practices I had in my Windows world that I have really been appreciative of as I move into this new territory --- I have been using Firefox as my primary browser for about 3 years, and love it. The first thing I did with the new system was to download FF. The addition of the Mac makes 3 computers for me - a Dell desktop, a Dell laptop, and now the Mac. Because I had two computers anyway, using Firefox and the add-on called Foxmarks let me see the same bookmarks no matter which computer I was using. That's been a great help.

The other big thing is that for 2 or 3 years I have been using Gmail as my primary mail address, and so that also makes accessing my mail from whichever computer I'm using super simple. I also no longer have to worry about importing addresses, or keeping the files cleared out so my hard drive doesn't get overloaded with mail messages. I was a little hesitant to do this at first, but it's worked out beautifully and I have no regrets that there's no mail on my computer's hard drive. Of course, this needs to have a reliable broadband service to be feasible, but I have that.

To date the thing I've been most disappointed about is that the Overdrive audiobook service from my library just does not work with Mac. I use that a lot, and while I knew it didn't work with iPods, I thought there surely must be a way to download the books onto the Mac. Well, no.

If the Overdrive service is the only thing I come across that doesn't work, I'll just continue to use my Windows machine for downloading and transferring to my mp3 player. I may load Windows into Boot Camp at some point, but I'd really rather not if I can find other ways to work.

So far I'm pleased, and really impressed with the mini - I think it was the perfect choice for me, besides being the least expensive way to get into the world of Apple (since I already had the peripherals). My Windows keyboard and my Logitech cordless mouse work just great, and the HP flat panel monitor I had is also doing a great job.

Karon
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chscag

 
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Welcome to the forum and glad you're enjoying your new mini.

Many folks have one program or another that's not available for the Mac and therefore continue to use a PC they own or at sometime in the future install Windows via Boot Camp.

I have two PCs here at home that I continue to use in addition to my main computer which is my MacBook. Guess which machine gets the lion share of use?

Have fun and regards.
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shfle

 
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Make alias creates a shortcut. To rename click in the name twice (Not too quickly though) and change when the text is highlighted and cursor appears.
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adimrin

 
Member Since: Oct 07, 2008
Location: India
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Welcome to Mac's. I too am a recent switcher & am having loads of fun [& problems] with my MacBook

For the rename-select the file you want to rename & hit the enter key, now type the new name...Done!!
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khintul

 
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Ahh, thanks for the info on renaming files - that's something I do quite a bit of.

Karon
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walkerj

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khintul View Post
Ahh, thanks for the info on renaming files - that's something I do quite a bit of.

Karon
It's even easier than that (but then again, lots of things which might seem obvious aren't when coming from the Windows/Linux world to Mac OS X.)

Highlight the file in Finder with a single mouse click and press the return/enter key. Finder will put you in rename mode for that file with the part of the file name on the left of the extension will be ready for you to just immediately type the name you want it to be. Very handy when you need to rename a bunch of files as part of your workflow, and Leopard knows that you probably don't want to mess with the extension.
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