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  1. #1
    Switching to OS X Help...

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    Switching to OS X Help...
    hey all,

    I am not sure of the topic of this post as yet, there may be a few random questions but please bare with me! I would love to be more comfortable using OS X over windows. I also try to use linux (ubuntu) over windows on my desktop. But I still find it hard to completely switch over to either OS.

    Firstly, I bought a macbook pro, and a wireless keyboard and mouse, so no complaints about the smallish keyboard and useless trackpad. First problem, is there a shortcut key to hold to scroll down pages with your non-mighty wireless mouse?

    With OS X, I still find it a little sluggish and non responsive. This is one of my main problems. I have the same problem with Ubuntu but I don't think I should be asking for advice for that here. Just the general browsing of folders and clicking through files is noticeably slower than XP. Are there any little hacks or performance upgrades I should be looking at? I have 1GB RAM which I think should be plenty for general OS usage.

    With the window positioning. Is there any way to save where you last had it? I find myself opening a lot of PDF's, and the preview application, always goes back to the same, non-maximized (XP term I know...) form, on the same zoom. Should I install adobe reader or something instead?

    My shortcut to firefox in the dock, opens another little window where I have to double click that to actually open firefox. Have I not set the shortcut up correctly? I think it is mounting each time I want to run it, and perhaps not installed?

    I know I am still adjusting to OS X, so this is far from a hate thread, because there are so many things I love about it. And please excuse my dumb questions. Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    Switching to OS X Help...

    Member Since
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    With FireFox, check that you have FireFox.app in:

    Macintosh HD -> Applications

    Remove the shortcut from your dock by just grabbing it with your mouse's cursor and moving it off the Dock and letting go.

    Launch FF from your Apps folder and when it's open, go to the Dock and Ctrl/Right-click it's icon and select:

    Keep in Dock.

    When you download an app it usually comes as a .dmg which is nothing more than a container. When this container is sitting on your Desktop and you double-click it - it should mount a volume on your Desktop. This Volume contains the app and when you double-click on this Volume, a window opens and usually you need to drag the app to you Applications folder for it to be properly installed.

    Preview.app does have that default window size each time you launch it but other apps may remember your last window size setting.

  3. #3
    Switching to OS X Help...
    andrebnu's Avatar
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    MacBook Pro 2,33GHz C2D 2GB RAM 256MB video + LCD Samsung 20" 206BW + Maxtor OneTouch III 500GB
    With the window positioning. Is there any way to save where you last had it? I find myself opening a lot of PDF's, and the preview application, always goes back to the same, non-maximized (XP term I know...) form, on the same zoom. Should I install adobe reader or something instead?
    OSX app windows have positioning memory indeed. I believe, as a recent switcher too, that's the concept of "maximize" here.

    While in Windows, when you click the maximize icon upper right of the window, it fills the entire screen, the same does not happens in OSX.

    It has a much "smarter" maximization, as it enlarges the windows as much as needed to suit you document/web page. You will get used to the PDF reader that comes with the OSX, as it's much better than adobe reader IMHO.

    My shortcut to firefox in the dock, opens another little window where I have to double click that to actually open firefox. Have I not set the shortcut up correctly? I think it is mounting each time I want to run it, and perhaps not installed?
    It seems to me that you dragged your firefox image to the dock.

    You should download your firefox image (.dmg) to you desktop(anywhere, actually), double-click it, to mount the imagem file. (it should be right down you Macintosh HD icon. Then, double-click it to open the image. THERE is the firefox app. Open a new finder window, and drag the firefox icon (not the mounted image) to your application folder. Then, if you want, you can drag from your application folder to the Dock. What's left on your desktop, you can drag to the trash.

    Having a MBP myself, I don't see how could you find it non-responsive at all. Windows launches applications faster than OSX, it's true, and I would like to know why, too. But from that on, it's all good.

    Try downloading Onyx.

    It's a great tool, that runs lots of maintenance and cleaning scripts on you system.

  4. #4
    Switching to OS X Help...

    Member Since
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    Ok I fixed the firefox problem easy enough...

    Thanks for your replies guys. I am installing OnyX now to see if that will speed up my computer at all.

    Does any one know how I can scroll easily with a wireless non-mighty mouse?

  5. #5
    Switching to OS X Help...

    Member Since
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    i have installed parallels and XP, and that is running great. I did not know that I could turn my boot disk partition into a virtual hard drive for parallels, but never mind that.

    My question is, how do I make like a backup image of the virtual partition? Do I just navigate to where the xp parallels partition is stored, and copy that to an external drive or something? Is it just that one file that I need to backup and restore a whole XP image?

    Also, how do I make a backup (image) of my OS X partition? So that I could store it another external hard drive, then reload it if I needed to.

  6. #6
    Switching to OS X Help...
    andrebnu's Avatar
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    I don't know how to scroll pages without the click-wheel buttons. Now I have a mighty mouse, and before that, I just used my "useless trackpad", like you said.

    Did you know that, placing two fingers in the track pad will let you scroll pages on a 360o way, instead of just moving your pointer?

    how do I make a backup (image) of my OS X partition? So that I could store it another external hard drive, then reload it if I needed to.
    Having a external drive, I rely on 3rd part applications to easily backup my system. I'm using SuperDuper!.

    It's a great application. Free for it's basic feature, that's making a full backup of your disk, making the backup a bootable disk. You can buy the software for US$27, and then you will have it's full features, like incremental backup, disk sync, etc.

    You can select from wich disk your machine will boot from the system preferences menu. Just be aware that your backup disk will only be bootable through firewire connection.

    how do I make like a backup image of the virtual partition? Do I just navigate to where the xp parallels partition is stored, and copy that to an external drive or something? Is it just that one file that I need to backup and restore a whole XP image?
    That's a good question. I've tried looking for it on parallel's support page, but the search function was not working.

    You could look for your your winxp virtual imagem (winxp.hdd, located in your ~documents/parallels folder.

    I believe that just copying that image should work.

    Anyway, if you do a full system backup, it will be working too.

  7. #7
    Switching to OS X Help...

    Member Since
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    Specs:
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    Ref the sluggishness - I have said it before, but Apple don't put enough RAM in the machines they ship. Sometimes to the point of making them unusable.

    My first Mac was a G3, which came with OSX and 128mb of RAM. It was almost my last Mac too, it was terrible. I only bought it so I could have an Ipod, as there were no Windows versions back then

    I'd recommend that if you're just running with the out of the box hardware config, you get more RAM. At least double what it came with. It doesn't have to be original (expensive) Mac stuff, there are a few companies out there that make good RAM - I have had good experience with Crucial, but I'm sure if you do a search you'll find a few others. The more the better.

    So far I have found the 'speed' of the Mac pro's hard to really pin down. It's not just a case of everything being a lot faster than what you've used before, they work differently. Some things are no faster or maybe slower than any other machine I have ever used, and others just fly. They don't seem particularly impressive with hard disk intensive apps, but stuff like video rendering is awesome.

    I like the flexibility of these machines. I have OSX, Parallels and bootcamp on a dual monitor setup - there's really no combination of stuff I can't run.

    Course, what we really need now is a program that lets you run OSX inside Windows, so I can boot camp to XP, and have OSX in a Window

    No pleasing some people . . .

  8. #8
    Switching to OS X Help...

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrebnu
    Did you know that, placing two fingers in the track pad will let you scroll pages on a 360o way, instead of just moving your pointer?
    Yep, but it kind of defeats the purpose having to reach for the trackpad when I have the wireless mouse!


    Quote Originally Posted by andrebnu
    Having a external drive, I rely on 3rd part applications to easily backup my system. I'm using SuperDuper!.
    Sounds good, I'll give that a shot! In regards to the firewire part. My external hdd is only USB 2.0 and eSATA. So if I stored the image on the hdd, there will be no way to boot from it to install or something?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyd
    Ref the sluggishness - I have said it before, but Apple don't put enough RAM in the machines they ship. Sometimes to the point of making them unusable.
    Hmm.. I would have thought 1GB would be enough for general OS usage still. I have read a few other threads on some good cheap RAM, so I will give that a shot. Also about the speed. I found when you are copying large files off other media or around the hard drive, the MBP FLIES! I haven't had a chance to do any video editing as yet, but I would imagine it could handle that pretty well. I would really like to speed up the 'finder' side of things, and just navigating through files. I have my settings turned down when the laptop is not plugged in, that might have a little bit to do with it.

  9. #9
    Switching to OS X Help...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyd View Post
    I like the flexibility of these machines. I have OSX, Parallels and bootcamp on a dual monitor setup - there's really no combination of stuff I can't run.
    How do you run dual monitors? MBP or desktop? The other thing I wanted to ask is why you run both parallels and bootcamp? I used bootcamp until I found out that parallels existed, now I see no reason to switch back?

  10. #10
    Switching to OS X Help...

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    Quote Originally Posted by zurron View Post
    How do you run dual monitors? MBP or desktop? The other thing I wanted to ask is why you run both parallels and bootcamp? I used bootcamp until I found out that parallels existed, now I see no reason to switch back?
    Dual monitors - I use both the ports on the video card, and just set it to work through system prefs. It's pretty easy. The only problem you might have is that you'll need the right adapters if you use VGA screens like me.

    If i recal, you get an ADC adapter with the machine, the other one is some other format, can't remember. On my first Mac I actually made an extra adapter myself, after a lot of googling. On this one I used the one from the old Mac, and the new one, as I don't have a screen on the old one.

    Why parallels and Bootcamp? I found parallels is fiddly and annoying to set up. My joystick won't work thru USB no matter what I try, so I have bootcamp for my Windows gaming. Normally I'll boot to OSX and use Parallels for Windows stuff, but bootcamp is the emergency fall back if something isn't working.

  11. #11
    Switching to OS X Help...

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    Quote Originally Posted by zurron View Post
    Hmm.. I would have thought 1GB would be enough for general OS usage still. I have read a few other threads on some good cheap RAM, so I will give that a shot. Also about the speed. I found when you are copying large files off other media or around the hard drive, the MBP FLIES! I haven't had a chance to do any video editing as yet, but I would imagine it could handle that pretty well. I would really like to speed up the 'finder' side of things, and just navigating through files. I have my settings turned down when the laptop is not plugged in, that might have a little bit to do with it.
    Well, I'm not so sure. Maybe now it's better, but my previous two Macs were a G3 that had 128mb standard, and a G5 that came with 512. Both were prone to locking up and general slugishness, both improved immensely when I put more RAM in them.

    In truth my quad 2.66 seems fine on the standard 1gb, but when I get the chance I'll get another 3gb for this, and I suspect it'll perk up considerably. Where I live 3gb of RAM for this will cost me about $800, so I'll wait till I travel

  12. #12
    Switching to OS X Help...
    chrisiw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulse-8 View Post
    With FireFox, check that you have FireFox.app in:

    Macintosh HD -> Applications

    Remove the shortcut from your dock by just grabbing it with your mouse's cursor and moving it off the Dock and letting go.

    Launch FF from your Apps folder and when it's open, go to the Dock and Ctrl/Right-click it's icon and select:

    Keep in Dock.

    When you download an app it usually comes as a .dmg which is nothing more than a container. When this container is sitting on your Desktop and you double-click it - it should mount a volume on your Desktop. This Volume contains the app and when you double-click on this Volume, a window opens and usually you need to drag the app to you Applications folder for it to be properly installed.

    Preview.app does have that default window size each time you launch it but other apps may remember your last window size setting.
    Just one point with this: I have got Firefox and yes it does stay on the Dock but I still have the icon on the decktop and cant move it because it sais its in use even when im using safari, its just a small point but I do like to keep the desktop fairly clear

  13. #13
    Switching to OS X Help...
    andrebnu's Avatar
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    ust one point with this: I have got Firefox and yes it does stay on the Dock but I still have the icon on the decktop and cant move it because it sais its in use even when im using safari, its just a small point but I do like to keep the desktop fairly clear
    Before trashing the image (.dmg) file that's in your desktop, you have to unmount your mounted image (when you click a dmg file, it puts a white disk drive under your Macintosh HD icon, being the mounted image. You have to drag it to trash after installing your app).

    Maybe that's you case...

  14. #14
    Switching to OS X Help...
    chrisiw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrebnu View Post
    Before trashing the image (.dmg) file that's in your desktop, you have to unmount your mounted image (when you click a dmg file, it puts a white disk drive under your Macintosh HD icon, being the mounted image. You have to drag it to trash after installing your app).

    Maybe that's you case...
    Thanks for the help, I will it give a try

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