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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?" :)

Hi, help for a frrustrated new mac user


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buckerama

 
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Hi, just joined the forum.
Sorry to make my first post a bit of a rant, but I am really frustrated with the mac. I've had it for 3 months and find doing anything other than surfing to be clunky and difficult to learn. Here's a list of my current issues, which it would be great to get some support with:

1. I can't write to and therefore manage the external drive that had all my old PC stuff on it. Turns out it has to be mac formatted. My HD has got over 300GB and may MBP HD is 256 so I've nowhere to put all of it so I can format the drive. This is the main stumbling block to getting going.
I'm loathe to spend another 100 on another hard drive just to help me format the mac one.

2. Finder. Opens tiny windows that you can't maximise to see everything that's in there. It opens a new window every time you you go into a sub folder and it doesn't look like I can change this setting. It takes ages to shut every window down as I like to use lots of sub folders to organise my stuff. Can I make it work more like Explorer, or can someone point out benefits of Finder that I might be overlooking?

3. Main reason I bought the mac was for HD video editing which apple fans and the store people said it was built for. iMovie is so hard to use. I don't understand why content has to be organised as events. It also won't drag and drop events into the space to start a project. So I have to import files, which takes 1 hour per video (clips are c.30 mins long, they are biking videos). This reformatting amazes me as they are MOV files - the OS's own system - and yet it has to re-process them and make duplicate copies of everything when it works with them. I have the original source, the copy in events, then the project file copy - it seems daft and hugely wasteful of disk space.

After working on a movie, it then takes 1 hour to process a video, then another hour to export it so I can share it. Once exported and opened up, it's lost all its quality, down to below VHS standard. This makes a mockery of the retina screen i paid megabucks for and the HD camera I bought.

4. No delete key. Can one be assigned to another key? I find it frustrating having to remember all the combos of Fn, CTRL, alt, CMD - its like a playstation game. Is there a logical taxonomy somewhere which makes it intuitive what alt does as opposed to cmd?

In short, pretty much everything I have attempted to do other than surf the web has been unsuccessful. I feel really cheated by the apple hype that this is an easy machine to use. My iphone and ipad undoubtedly are; the Mac is planet zog.

5. I think it might be best to just reset the mac to its factory settings and start again. How do I do that?

6. Anyone want to buy my MBP retina 15 inch 256GB for 1500? I'd happily take the 300 hit.
Sorry, rant over.
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bobtomay

 
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1. You're going to need 3rd party software for OS X to write to a Windows formatted NTFS drive and you'll need 3rd party software for Windows to write to a OS X HFS+ formatted drive.

To write to a NTFS formatted drive I suggest Paragons' NTFS for Mac - $20 - and the most hassle free experience.

2. Open Finder - Click on Finder on the menu bar at the top - select Preferences - on the General tab - uncheck 'Always open folders in a new window'.

The same as in Windows, when you wish to change the way one of your apps perform, the first place to check is in Preferences.

3. I don't create videos.

4. It shouldn't take you all that long to get use to the way the delete key works. However, you can hold down the function key (fn) while using the delete key and it will erase in the other direction.

You don't have to use keyboard shortcuts - I don't, not really - don't think I could tell you more than half a dozen. But, it's there for those that want to - link.

5. Why? You have not listed anything that would make me inclined to suggest you restore the system

6. If you really can't spend a little time asking questions, looking in the System Preferences - checking out the Preferences of all your apps, and just generally learning your way around a new operating system, you probably should go back to Windows.

None of us instinctively knew how to do anything when we got our first Windows computer back years ago and spent a lot of time learning how to accomplish the tasks we wanted in that OS. Not everyone has the time nor desire to change the way they've always done it in Windows. Totally understandable. OS X is not for everyone.

However, using google, spending some time reading forums and asking questions can alleviate a lot of the pain in changing to a new OS whether it's OS X or some version of Linux.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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buckerama

 
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Thanks for your help.

1. Thanks
2. Weird, it is unchecked and yet it opens a new window every time I click.
3. OK, let's see if anyone else does
4. Thanks, guess I prefer a single key for such a common function, its surely more useful than a or !!!
5. Well I've downloaded MS Office, which is a really poor version (MS office fault, not Mac). And I have the full CS6 suite which I am unlikely to use / need. System just feels gunked up with my attempts to learn it over last 3 months so I felt it would be better to start again from scratch. PCs leave remnants of files all over the system and I presume Macs do something similar e.g. some kind of registry, drive starts to need fragmenting - no?
6. This is the crux of it. I wanted to make life easier and was sold the Mac experience from my phone and pad usage. I assumed the desktop UX would be equally easy to get my head around. It certainly isn't, whether it be just installing things, learning programs (that really do work differently, I hadn't expected it to be so alien), commands and language, managing files and content. lt's made life harder unless I put significant time in. I have bought the 121 voucher but access to the store and booking slots is not easy, plus I doubt from my purchasing experience that store staff know how to use garageband or imovie beyond basic starter tasks. I knew more about what mac to buy and why than the store staff.
I guess my protest is that the benefits don't seem to equal rewards, given my limited time to learn and technical expertise. IMHO, macs/OSX is not for ordinary joes,windows is simpler and easier to use for basic computing tasks.
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2. While in Finder, choose Show Toolbar from the View menu. That should make the preference setting stick.

4. Can't speak to the MBP keyboard, but I have a delete key on my Matias keyboard. Apparently it was necessary to save space somehow. I wonder if the MBP keyboard has a key or two that a Dell laptop does not have. And, are you used to a laptop keyboard when you use windows, or a stand alone keyboard? A stand alone board is bigger and has more keys, doesn't it?

5. No. Macs clean up after themselves. Defrag is not necessary, although I still do it once in awhile.

6. This is a common complaint. The cause is a lack of patience. It IS different. Do you remember learning Windows? At first, you didn't know 1/10th as much about it as you do now. You should be ahead of that learning curve with a Mac just by virtue of your exposure to computers.
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bobtomay

 
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2. Try putting a check in that box closing preferences - then go back in and unchecking it.

4. Took me awhile - but now I find I'm using primarily the backspace key instead of the forward delete when I'm in windows - which is around 8 hrs a day.

5. There is no registry in OS X. So, there is no place in the System folders that applications put stuff that loads everytime you start up like that other OS. There is not really any slow down related to how many apps you've installed/deleted. The only remnant of deleted apps is typically a preference file - of such a small size that they are inconsequential related to the amount of space on today's drives and should be of no concern to most users.

There also is no need for the vast majority of OS X users to ever need to defrag their computer. OS X auto defrags all your files. Those that use over 50% of the space on their drive can typically see some percentage of increased boot times and app load times with a defrag - but not worth the effort to many. My wife's now 6 yr old Mac has never been defragged - 30% space used, while I do defrags on mine as I move a lot of large files on and off of my machine.

There is virtually no maintenance required with OS X aside from downloading Onyx - free - and running it perhaps once every 3-6 months or when you notice the system begin to slow down.

6. Just depends - I found it to be pretty easy - Some things are still easier in Windows and some things are easier in OS X. And, not everyone's brain is wired the same nor are our individual preferences.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Oneironaut

 
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It sounds like you're overcomplicating things by expecting OSX to work like Windows, while overlooking the ways it does work like Windows. There's no registry to bog things down, but the Finder is not too different from Windows Explorer. You can view things as a list, as icons or as a tree just as in Windows. But you can also preview any file, even movies, without opening any program just by pressing the space bar and you can email or message a file directly from the Finder using the Share button.

Three months isn't nearly enough to drop old habits and learn new ways of learning things, even if you were switching from OSX to Windows. My parents and my aunt had never used a computer before, and now a year later, they're quite proficient. But if you're more comfortable with Windows and don't feel like learning a new OS, you should definitely think about switching back.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckerama View Post
Hi, just joined the forum.
Sorry to make my first post a bit of a rant, but I am really frustrated with the mac. I've had it for 3 months and find doing anything other than surfing to be clunky and difficult to learn.
This is why it's always a great idea to get familiar with the Mac OS BEFORE purchasing a Macintosh computer (we always recommend this to folks thinking of making the switch)! There's nothing difficult about the Mac OS...it's just different from Windows in some ways.

One very bad assumption some folks make (who are making the switch)...is that folks want the Mac OS to be just like Windows. When making the switch...folks need to be more open-minded...and realize everything is not the same.

But we will get things straightened out for you. Just ask those questions in a friendly positive manner (ranting not necessary)...and everything will be good)!

- Nick

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buckerama

 
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Cool, thanks for the help folks.

Got Finder to behave as you suggested.

Anyone got a fix for iMovie and the problem with low quality export? I also don't understand events and what the software is trying to organise, having read the Support help several times.

Does drag and drop just work like it does in windows? I pick up a file from finder, drop it into imovie and nothing happens.
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Oneironaut

 
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I never really use iMovie, but you'll find some short, helpful video tutorials on it and many other aspects of OS X here:

Apple - Find Out How - Mac Basics

Events are just your media organized by the date they were created. So if you have videos from 2 days of vacation, you'll have two events - one for each day.

I'm pretty sure you can drag and drop files into iMovie, but I know that it might not play well with certain formats. But maybe someone else can elaborate. You might still be within the 90 day period where you can get free phone support. It's worth a shot at calling Apple Care.
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Don't use iMovie much, but you can drag and drop (if I remember correctly) but it matters where you drop the file. Maybe easier just to use import.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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codda

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckerama View Post

3. Main reason I bought the mac was for HD video editing which apple fans and the store people said it was built for. iMovie is so hard to use. I don't understand why content has to be organised as events. It also won't drag and drop events into the space to start a project. So I have to import files, which takes 1 hour per video (clips are c.30 mins long, they are biking videos). This reformatting amazes me as they are MOV files - the OS's own system - and yet it has to re-process them and make duplicate copies of everything when it works with them. I have the original source, the copy in events, then the project file copy - it seems daft and hugely wasteful of disk space.

After working on a movie, it then takes 1 hour to process a video, then another hour to export it so I can share it. Once exported and opened up, it's lost all its quality, down to below VHS standard. This makes a mockery of the retina screen i paid megabucks for and the HD camera I bought.
It's no different than any other editor out there. You have to import your clips..therefore, they have to go somewhere. ( Events ). Just label the event and import the clips your working with. Then you need to create the video. ( Project ). Simply name the project and drag the desired clip ( or part thereof ) to the timeline. As far as the .MOV files...they are not an editable file natively...they have to be optimized
( AIC ) for the program to utilize them...no fault of Apple.

Lastly, your using huge file sizes...30min. clips!...in HD...it's gonna take awhile. If your adding effects and transitions...it's gonna take awhile...to render. With regard to your quality...don't know your export settings or source clips...iMovie is capable of HD quality renders no problem...assuming the proper setup and render settings have been applied. You mentioned process and then export....not sure what you mean. Once you finish a movie, just export it...you don't need to finalize...just export...I just saved you an hour...
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To the OP: We have a nice forum just for people who make movies and edit video. http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/movies-video/ Try creating a thread there, explaining what is happening and what you want to accomplish. Keep it positive and you will no doubt find plenty of expert help.

I won't pile on to what everyone else has explained about switching to a new OS, but I will say ask away here or use Google when you come across something on your Mac that has you perplexed. We are a friendly bunch willing to help and we've all been switchers at some point. Hang in there and I hope you enjoy your MBPr.

16GB iPhone 5, 64GB Wi-Fi only iPad 1st Gen.

Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.
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buckerama

 
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Thanks for the help everyone, what a friendly bunch of folks you are. I'll keep persisting, as there are lots of things I like about my MBP - screen is incredible, fit and finish of the hardware, I get the finger gestures / very intuitive and a major improvement on a laptop experience, start up time etc.

I'll look up the imovie forum this week, hopefully I'll get some quality time to get my head around it. Thanks again
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rednib43

 
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I found changing from Windows to mac is just like changing from one language to another. If you try to think in the old Language and then translate in your mind what you want to say in the other language is totally hopeless useless and frustrating.You must think in the new language to speak it. You neither translate the new language into the old one to understand what was said! So think apple when you are on an apple and do not think windows nor should you try to find out why it is not done as in the other "language" Ask anyone whose mother tongue is not english for example they never translate into the old language they think the new language....hope this helps
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buckerama

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rednib43 View Post
I found changing from Windows to mac is just like changing from one language to another. If you try to think in the old Language and then translate in your mind what you want to say in the other language is totally hopeless useless and frustrating.You must think in the new language to speak it. You neither translate the new language into the old one to understand what was said! So think apple when you are on an apple and do not think windows nor should you try to find out why it is not done as in the other "language" Ask anyone whose mother tongue is not english for example they never translate into the old language they think the new language....hope this helps
Very helpful, thanks. Almost a Yoda quote about learning / unlearning! I'll definitely keep with it for at least 12m, and given me a proper chance to learn the new language and culture. The barrier is that I will always be using a Windows machine more often because of work, which will slow me down a bit. I imagine a lot of people switch and end up finding Windows frustrating
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