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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?" :)

A couple of questions (Newbie)


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gemigene

 
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Hi,

I bought a 17" iMac last week and after a few days, I find this to be a little jewel. I've been a Microsoft user since MS-Dos with the old A:> prompt (no hard disks at the time, only 5 1/4" single-sided floppies) and have been curious about Macs for years but never got around to trying one out. After so many frustrations with WinXP (viruses, adware, hackers, registry problems, bad DLL's, bad or conflicting drivers and codecs, problems with firewalls, antiviruses, adware removers, reloading XP several times, etc.) got me angry and paranoid enough to make the switch. Mind you, the first couple of days were a bit frustrating finding my way around the new interface (plus the lack of right-click for sub-menus on most applications) but I'm now enjoying this little gem and it's stable operating system.

OK, enough blah...

Questions:

I'm used to the old ascii codes (ALT 130, etc) for inputting accented characters in e-mails, documents, etc. (I sometimes need to write in French or Spanish), is this possible on a Mac?

Is there some kind of built-in automatic "luminance" detector in the iMac? Sometimes the brightness level on my screen changes several times in rapid succession then settles. Could it be a refresh rate adjustment? Also, the is a slider for brightness only in the "displays preferences" box, isn't there one for contrast or do you have to use the keyboard shotcuts (CTRL-Option-Apple-> or <) all the time?

Out of curiousity, why are the application's file sizes much bigger for OS10 vs. Windows or Linux (ie. Firefox 1.5; 16 Mb for Mac and 5 Mb for the Windows installer?

Also, how long is the flat screen usually good for (MTBF)? Where's the best place to buy quality RAM for this baby? I'd like to upgrade it to the max.

Last question (for now, LOL), do you people think I made a wise choice? It was time for me to get anothe PC (my old one blew) and I was also looking at a Gateway wih a dual core processor, 1 Gb RAM, 250 Gb HD, nVidea graphics, etc., L.G. 20" flat screen monitor, WinXP with Media Center for a couple of hundreds less than the iMac? I made a deal with the store that I could try the Mac for 2 weeks and if it didn't work out for me, I have the option to return it and get the Gateway.

Thanks,
Gene

ps. has anyone tried loading OS-10 on a Pentium based PC box?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemigene
(plus the lack of right-click for sub-menus on most applications)


ps. has anyone tried loading OS-10 on a Pentium based PC box?
There are contextual menus, just use a two-button mouse or Ctrl+click.

...and to answer your question...no, that is not possible

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I use french a lot so I had the same problem with characters, but if you click on the little american flag in the bar on your upper right side, then click "keyboard viewer," you'll get a little keyboard thingy. press "option" to see the options!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemigene
I'm used to the old ascii codes (ALT 130, etc) for inputting accented characters in e-mails, documents, etc. (I sometimes need to write in French or Spanish), is this possible on a Mac?
There are a couple of ways, a character palette, or directly with the keyboard and using the alt key (apple also call it the option key) and/or shift key, you can bring up a keyboard viewer to see what the modifiers do to all the keys on the keyboard, see a blog entry here which explains how to enable it.


Quote:
Is there some kind of built-in automatic "luminance" detector in the iMac? Sometimes the brightness level on my screen changes several times in rapid succession then settles. Could it be a refresh rate adjustment? Also, the is a slider for brightness only in the "displays preferences" box, isn't there one for contrast or do you have to use the keyboard shotcuts (CTRL-Option-Apple-> or <) all the time?
I don't have an iMac so I'm not sure, I think you just have to use the keyboard. Not sure about the first question.

Quote:
Out of curiousity, why are the application's file sizes much bigger for OS10 vs. Windows or Linux (ie. Firefox 1.5; 16 Mb for Mac and 5 Mb for the Windows installer?
This *might* be because the firefox for OSX is a universal binary and so it has the binaries (A.K.A executables) for both the older PowerPC (PPC) Macs and the new Intel Macs.

Quote:
Also, how long is the flat screen usually good for (MTBF)? Where's the best place to buy quality RAM for this baby? I'd like to upgrade it to the max.
You mean will the screen burn out? It's a good quality display, same as any TFT, I think they last for years and years providing you have a screensaver or dont run it 24/7 without letting the screen power off or something. This also excludes defects. RAM will depend where you live, I'm from the UK and I'm guessing you are from US. A lot of people find out the right RAM to use from say Crucial's RAM selector and then they find the best deal on a fairly good brand of RAM (I'd avoid unbranded and such like).

Quote:
Last question (for now, LOL), do you people think I made a wise choice? It was time for me to get anothe PC (my old one blew) and I was also looking at a Gateway wih a dual core processor, 1 Gb RAM, 250 Gb HD, nVidea graphics, etc., L.G. 20" flat screen monitor, WinXP with Media Center for a couple of hundreds less than the iMac? I made a deal with the store that I could try the Mac for 2 weeks and if it didn't work out for me, I have the option to return it and get the Gateway.

Thanks,
Gene
I won't tell you Macs are great and they always beat PCs. It really does depend what you do on the computer. BUT, what you must remember is that a lot of the old arguments about owning a Mac don't apply now because you can (if you want) guy a copy of Windows XP and install it *along side* your OSX via Boot Camp. You will be able to select at boot up which OS you want to use. This will let you do things like play the latest games (for now anyway) on windows at full speed. The iMac will hold its value better compared to the Gateway (If it's the same as in the UK, then Gateway is a pretty crummy brand in my opinion). Also, I don't think many peopel would deny that the iMac is a better engineered product. Finally, part of what makes Macs great (in my opinion) is OSX. You can't run OSX on normal intel PCs legally. Although it has been done it detracts from the idea of Macs (they are stable because apple have tight control of the hardware and software) and you will have trouble keeping OSX updated. That answers your last question too (also, asking about how to go about putting OSX on a generic PC is not allowed in this forum as per the forum rules).

My advice is to try the iMac for your 2 weeks and then ask if OSX and the overall quality of the iMac is worth it or not.


oh and PS, like devilboy said, you can hold down ctrl and click to get the effect of a right mouse button, BUT, I think all iMacs come with the mighty mouse as standard right? well that mouse really has two buttons you might have to enable the second mouse button the the preferences though! Also note that OSX works will pretty much all USB mice if you want your own two button mouse.
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ShillAT I use french a lot so I had the same problem with characters, but if you click on the little american flag in the bar on your upper right side, then click "keyboard viewer," you'll get a little keyboard thingy. press "option" to see the options!

Merci mon ami,
Gene
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gemigene

 
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Thank you all for answering.

Gemigene
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