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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?" :)

Why is OSX so confusing to use??


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Blaine
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Hello everyone, i just recently coerced my mother into buying a new macbook pro after growing very tired of cleaning spyware, viruses, and other random crap off of her windows laptop for years now. Unfortunately she has had the computer for at least 2 months now and complains daily about how difficult it is to do anything on it, and being that she is far from a computer expert i can see why she is having trouble. Simple things like installing a program are very troubling and i am ending up having to do even more for her now with OSX than i did with windows. When she try's to install an application it has to mount it first as an image which appears on the desktop which she definitely doesn’t understand, and sometimes after the program is installed it doesn’t show up in the launch bar at the bottom so i end up having to dig through the hard drive to find the .exe and manually add it to the launcher...how is this supposed to be easier than everything showing up in Start > Programs?? Don’t get me wrong i like OSX and how it operates myself as a fairly proficient computer user who has run linux for years etc, but for someone who isn’t very knowledgeable OSX seems to make the simplest things very complicated. I realize this has turned into a rant and i'll probably get flamed but the main reason for posting this was to ask if anyone knows of any websites/literature out there that will quickly and easily explain to a new user how to perform the most basic of tasks under OSX, because at this rate she is almost to the point of having me put windows XP on it and removing OSX completely because she needs the computer for work and cant function properly not knowing how to use it.
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Mace

 
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As far as the program mounting itself. Click the disk image, then a box with the icon should appear, drag that icon to the apps folder and then you can eject the disk image. Now to find the app just open the app folder, scroll through and find the application you want to open.

If you want to set that application to open at login or to keep it in the dock, "hard click" on the icon in the dock and those options should appear.
Personally I find dealing with apps on OS X light years ahead of what I had to do in XP. No wizards to deal with, no next button to click, simple.

Hope that helps :bone:
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surfwax95

 
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My brain just exploded.

I try to Command+Shift+/ when I can.
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deus_ex_machina

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine
Hello everyone, i just recently coerced my mother into buying a new macbook pro after growing very tired of cleaning spyware, viruses, and other random crap off of her windows laptop for years now. Unfortunately she has had the computer for at least 2 months now and complains daily about how difficult it is to do anything on it, and being that she is far from a computer expert i can see why she is having trouble. Simple things like installing a program are very troubling and i am ending up having to do even more for her now with OSX than i did with windows. When she try's to install an application it has to mount it first as an image which appears on the desktop which she definitely doesn’t understand, and sometimes after the program is installed it doesn’t show up in the launch bar at the bottom so i end up having to dig through the hard drive to find the .exe and manually add it to the launcher...how is this supposed to be easier than everything showing up in Start > Programs?? Don’t get me wrong i like OSX and how it operates myself as a fairly proficient computer user who has run linux for years etc, but for someone who isn’t very knowledgeable OSX seems to make the simplest things very complicated. I realize this has turned into a rant and i'll probably get flamed but the main reason for posting this was to ask if anyone knows of any websites/literature out there that will quickly and easily explain to a new user how to perform the most basic of tasks under OSX, because at this rate she is almost to the point of having me put windows XP on it and removing OSX completely because she needs the computer for work and cant function properly not knowing how to use it.
OSX is just different - Windows would seem odd and confusing for someone who's used Mac OS solely. They'd ask, "Why do you use a wizard to install everything? To erase a program, why can't I just throw it away?" Often it's hard to change and let go of how Windows does things because this a different creature altogether. These forums are a good place to start with questions - that search button up top is valuable. I still stand by "OSX - The Missing Manual" for a nice comprehensive of OSX's workings without alot of jargon.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfwax95
My brain just exploded.
Sorry, so did mine. OSX has to be the easiest to use OS in recent time I have ever used and I have used them all. Sure if you come from another OS there are a few things that you have to learn, but they are so easy, I was comfortable in just one day of use with OSX.

MACE had some good suggestions. What else is she having problems learning?
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deus_ex_machina

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfwax95
My brain just exploded.
Without missing a beat, Deus mops up surfwax's brains.
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Think of the program mounting as unzipping a file which i know you had to do with windows. once you have it mounted double click it. When it open drag that to your applications folder (or create a folder of your own and put it there). You have to manually drag it to the dock if you want quik access to it. I've been a PC guy for many years and one of the problems i had with OSX was how easy it was to install and uninstall. all you do is move the folder (or file) to your Macintosh HD or to the trash. Lets see windows do that.

Your mom is probably used to windows so much that she doesnt want to learn the new interface. It does take time to learn OSX. I have been at it a month and i learn new stuff all the time. And the worst thing you can do is compare the two OS's. If you got your Mac at an Apple store or if you have one near by, spend the extra $100 bucks and get a pro care account. You can only learn so much from people typing and telling you. sometimes you need someone to help you and watch what you are doing. I know $100 is a lot but its a good investment. I got one and learned a TON of stuff. I am going back later for an iMovie and iDVD session.

OSX really is an awesome interface and easy to learn. Take what you (and your mom) know about Windows and toss is out the, well, window.
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaine
Hello everyone, i just recently coerced my mother into buying a new macbook pro .........When she try's to install an application it has to mount it first as an image which appears on the desktop which she definitely doesn’t understand...how is this supposed to be easier than everything showing up in Start > Programs?? .......Don’t get me wrong i like OSX and how it operates myself ......... at this rate she is almost to the point of having me put windows XP on it and removing OSX completely .
Okay, I edited your post down to some key points. I don't mean to be harsh about this, but the obvious truth may be painful.

First off, you 'coerced' her into a new OS. Things were probably working fine for her and she was in no need of learning a new OS. Just because Mac might be good for you, doesn't mean it is good for her.

Secondly, it sounds like she is falling prey to the big thing that most new Mac users do... she is thinking "Windows", but using a Mac. Some things are simply done in a completely different manner. She will have to get used to this. For example, your reference to installing things. Yes, she has to mount a disk image and drag the app to her Applications folder. Simple as that. No, it won't show up in a Start menu because there isn't one. Trying to even begin to compare it like is futile.

Thirdly, it doesn't sound like she even wants to learn a new way on how to do things. She seems like she was very comfortable with Windows and would have been happy staying with it. Just because we as Mac users may prefer Mac, doesn't mean that everyone we know will like it or that they should use it.

Now, since she already has the Mac, she might as well at least try to get used to it. A very good book that has been mentioned several times on this forum and others is David Pougue's "OS X: The Missing Manual". I suggest getter her a copy of that. Online resources are abundant as well. This very forum is a good place to search for answers for new Mac users.

Again, I apologize if my post seems somewhat crass, but the fact remains that some people are just more productive and happier with Windows. There is no great need or burning quest to "convert the masses" to Macintosh.

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Or just give her a start menu. Drag the applications folder to the dock.. give her a two button mouse.. and tell her to right click on that application folder to view all her applications. When she's installing an application.. open up the image, drag the program to that applications folder on her dock and it'll be in there ready for her to use.

There are definitely things to help her along if she's used to Windows.. make it more windows like.. it's quite customizeable.
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An operating system gives a user the power to use computer hardware to his/her productive benefit.
In order to make this OS understandable, programmers have to develop concepts for the user to understand.

One such conept is the start button. Microsoft thought it was a good idea to put all action and interaction with programs inside a menu like that. It was great at it's time, because you could keep laods of apps and the desktop stayed clean, as opposed to Windows 3.1 .

Another concept in Windows Vista would be the sidebar, that gives us tons of info all the time. Apparently.
Concept No. 3: Install Wizards. Microsoft thinks that if the computer talks to yo with text boxes, that's a good way to guide you through the process of accomplishing things, troubleshooting wizards, ms office wizards, uninstallShields.

That's just what MS programmers thought out. And they had valid reasons.

Now Mac Programmers jsut had other ideas. They thought Apps should be Packages of stuff that are basically closed to the user and which the user can move around as he likes.

If you install an app, think of DMGs like a suitcase you just recived. In order to see what's inside, you need to mount it on the desktop (literally put it on the table) and see what's inside. Then drag out what you need and throw the suitcase away.

The app will be jsut that one file (for you to see) but it's actually a bundle. Microsoft handles it like a folder with 1000 subfolders and one main exe file. Not there on a mac.

These concepts all have valid reasons for existing, and it's up to you and mama to grasp them and adapt. It took me a while to accept that I can't maximize windows. Now I find it totally obstructive to maximize anything.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlyn
make it more windows like.. it's quite customizeable.
I will respectfully disagree with that suggestion. I stand by the idea of forgetting everything and anything you know about Windows...[Yoda]you must unlearn what you have learned[/Yoda].
:black:

Comparing it to Windows and making it more "Windows-like" (or any other OS) only serves to make the learning experience that much more difficult, in my opinion.

Leave your Windows knowledge behind, start all over and dive right into learning Mac OS X from the ground up.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlyn
Or just give her a start menu. Drag the applications folder to the dock.. give her a two button mouse.. and tell her to right click on that application folder to view all her applications. When she's installing an application.. open up the image, drag the program to that applications folder on her dock and it'll be in there ready for her to use.

There are definitely things to help her along if she's used to Windows.. make it more windows like.. it's quite customizeable.
Nice! I hadn't thought about doing something to make the transition easier like that.
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surfwax95

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y
I will respectfully disagree with that suggestion. I stand by the idea of forgetting everything and anything you know about Windows...[Yoda]you must unlearn what you have learned[/Yoda].
:black:

Comparing it to Windows and making it more "Windows-like" (or any other OS) only serves to make the learning experience that much more difficult, in my opinion.

Leave your Windows knowledge behind, start all over and dive right into learning Mac OS X from the ground up.
I'll agree with this advice. *For me*, Windows had a terrible way of doing everything and OS X had a great way of doing everything. So, making OS X like Windows would....well, you get the idea...

Oh, and OS X doesn't use .EXEs, that's another Windows Only thing.

I try to Command+Shift+/ when I can.
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I find parts of the original post wonderfully ironic.

First, the poster notes that his mother's PC was infested with spyware and other nasties. Then he notes that software installation on the Mac requires more work than it does under Windows.

These are two sides of the same coin. If it's trivial to install software, then spyware will also be trivial to install. His mom's PC didn't get that spyware by itself...his mom installed it (deliberately or otherwise.)
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Yep each person is going to differ.. his Mom is having problems doing the transition.. it's easy to ease them into it because OS X is so customizeable.. just because you don't think it should be easy for switchers to transition.. the thread creator, due to all the questions, certainly does think it should be easier to transition.. once mama gets used to this new way.. hopefully she'll start feeling more comfortable with OS X and start experimenting and do it whatever way she wants.

Why limit them to ONE way? It's pretty rediculous in my opinion.. which is again just my opinion and as a web developer for 10 years.. I think my clients agree with me that it's much easier for them if they can do things multiple ways and whatever way that is easier for them to understand and manage
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