Too big of a switch!

danielqho

Registered
My aunt just bought me a iBook with OS X for my middle school graduation and uploaded pretty much all the programs i will ever need or really want such as:

ichat
dvd player
adobe photoshop elements 3
image capture
itunes
all the microsoft word stuff
quicktime
safari
mozilla
adobe bridge
adobe creative suite 2
adobe golive cs2
adobe illustrator cs2
adobe indesign cs2
adobe photoshop cs2
adobe version cue cs2
garageband
imovie hd
iphoto
adobe stock photos

the only thing is that i really dont know what anything does and i dont know the commands. I also tried downloading software such as aol instant messenger and aim triton but all the software downloads are saved to the desktop into mac binary form and when i try to open them, they open in excel and i dont know how to install it. I also dont know how to work the programs like garage band and imovie hd and connecting ichat to my ichat camera. I'm also really new with all the adobe applications i have. The only thing i really know how to use properly is iTunes which i now have 3,057 songs on, 29 videos, all my photos, and a bunch of podcasts.

I am very comfortable with Windows XP and have been using it up until now. I know how to make spreadsheets and excel and powerpoint have pretty much beenknown to me since i was in 1st grade. I also use outlook extensively and can see that Entourage is the equivalent of that. All the mac programs however are so much different.

Is there any site or place that I can go to help me out?
ANY HELP IS VALUED!
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Navigation through the Finder (that's the name of the desktop and file manager for Mac OS X) is not that hard. Remember that lots of the desktop navigation stuff is pretty much the same since both environments use windows, menus, and icons. It's just a matter of orienting yourself to things like storage devices.

On Windows, everything is in My Computer. On Mac OS X, most of it you'll find on the desktop. When you insert a CD/DVD or USB flash drive, or any other external storage device, it automatically shows up on the desktop. To eject it, you just drag the storage device to the Trash and it ejects or you can Control-click the device (meaning hold down Control and then click on an item with the mouse button) and a menu will popup similar to the one you get when you right-click in Windows. As for the drag-to-Trash option, this is confusing to people that are new to Macs and computers in general. It's something that Apple should have changed, in my opinion, since people then think that it will erase the drive. Thankfully, the Trash icon changes to an Eject icon when you drag a storage device to it, so that helps (in Mac OS 9 and below, this wasn't the case).

There is no Program Menu like in Windows, but if you open up a Finder window you'll notice shortcuts on the left side of the window (the window should have a brushed metal look....if not, then click on the lozenge at the top right of that window and it will change modes). You'll notice a spot for Applications. Click there, and you'll see all the applications that are currently on your Mac.

As for installs, there are two major ways of installing:
1. Drag an application icon from the disk image to the Applications folder.
2. Run the installer

This really depends on how the software designer wants the application installed. Normally, Mac applications are just dragged from their disc or disk image to the applications folder (sometimes they give you instructions on the disc or disk image on what to do). This is one of the areas where Macintosh truly shines is in application installation and uninstallation. If the app was installed by simply drag-and-dropping into the Applications folder, it can be removed by just dragging the unwanted application from the Applications folder to the Trash and emptying it.

Some software titles come with an installer. This should be familiar to Windows users. For uninstallation, usually there's an uninstaller that comes with the installer, or the installer app has the option to remove the application as well from a drop down list. This was the case when Classic applications (those made for Mac OS 9 and below) used and installer to install an application.

Another thing you have to get used to is what's called the Universal Menu (which is the menu bar that is at the top of the screen). Depending on what application is active, this menu will change and the name of the active application will display at the top left next to the blue Apple icon. The reason for the Universal Menu as opposed to a menu within each application is that the Universal Menu allows you to multitask easily between applications. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it it's not that bad. The nice thing about it also is that it makes certain items in the menus consistent, so if it's one place on one application, it's usually in the same in another (the mark of a well designed Mac application) Trust me....after some time, it will make sense. I personally had a hard time having to deal with menus on each application window when first using Windows 95. I had been using Macs for some time and the Windows menu method was just too cluttered for me. I finally got used to that as well. :)

Also, remember that you need to go to <Application-Name>-->Quit if you truly want to quit out of the program. Usually, closing the window with the red window button only closes the window but leaves the application running. However, Mac OS X manages idle-running apps elegantly by freeing up any memory they were using when actually active, so you can leave applications running without any open windows (until you need to open one) and not worry about memory being wasted. Windows has a tendency to "leak" memory, which means that it doesn't free it up when running idly (especially since the window HAS to remain open for the application to run, hence the menu in the window instead of at the top universally).

I hope all of this has made some sense to you. Hope we can continue to help you out on the forum! :)
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
the Heirarchy

another thing which stumps people is the heirarchy of a mac file system. [for this, i'll assume that your name is fred, and that your hard disk is still named the default, Macintosh HD]

In Windows, a typical path could be, say

Desktop/My Computer/C:/Documents and Settings/Fred/My Photos

The mac would be:

fred/Macintosh HD/Users/Fred/Photos

the desktop is not the highest place any more. the 'root' is the highest place, usually, the name of the computer, usually the name of the person who owns it. to find the desktop in a finder window, you'll find it under

fred/Macintosh HD/Users/Fred/Desktop.

the above mentioned shortcuts in the left hand side-bar of a finder window include a 'fred' shortcut, as well as a documents one.

Keystrokes

some typical windows keystrokes would be, say Alt+F4, or Alt+Tab. others are things like ctrl+c, or ctrl+v. most of the ctrl+[ ] commands are the same, with ctrl replaced by command (because you're making a key command, i guess. the alt ones also usually use command as well.

command generally starts a key stroke. here's some examples:

command+c - copy
command+v - paste
command+s - save
command+tab - much like alt+tab in windows
command+q - quit the current application
command+w - close the current window, not the whole app
command+p - print.

so command is a basic keystroke, a command. alt, or option, is more true to it's name on the mac. for example, option+command+w closes all the open windows in the current app, but keeps it running.

alt also works to modify the things around you in your desktop environment. try right (or ctrl+)clicking a file, the context menu appears much like windows. now play with the alt key. notice how things change to a similar but alternative stance? this also works in itunes, play with alt and watch the 'add playlist' button become an 'Add smart playlist' button. alt really is the option button.

ctrl is used mainly for the ctrl click, the context menu, but can be bound as an extra modifier.
 

jpb5151

Registered
Is there any site or place that I can go to help me out?
ANY HELP IS VALUED!
After reading your post, I've got the answer. It'll fix everything.

Send your new Mac to me! :D

OK, I'm not a Mac expert but once when I was thrown into looking after a Mac lab I got familiar with things just by jumping in.

Just keep clicking, learning and reading (above-listed help sites and in-post tips). It's not going to be overnight; you're probably looking at at least a solid month to decontamin^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hget used to using Mac OS instead of ms windows. Please be patient, though. It _will_ pay off and you'll be surprised at how clean, logical and easy things are.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Lt. ... "In Windows, a typical path could be, say Desktop/My Computer/C:/Documents and Settings/Fred/My Photos - The mac would be: fred/Macintosh HD/Users/Fred/Photos
the desktop is not the highest place any more. the 'root' is the highest place, usually, the name of the computer, usually the name of the person who owns it. to find the desktop in a finder window, you'll find it under fred/Macintosh HD/Users/Fred/Desktop."

That's just sooooooooo wrong! Do you mean "fred" as the machine's name or the username? Either way, the machine name is not really part of the path on a UNIX system. So the Desktop would be at /Users/fred/Desktop ("fred" being the short username). But for Windows, it's also different. It'd be \\C:\Documents and Settings\fred\Desktop ... But I don't think that that's much of a problem. People figure these things out some way or another.

I generally agree that a good book can help, but I'd really just try and keep trying. Specific questions will get specific answers here. :)
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
i had a feeling it was wrong. but, although the windows one is also technically wrong (and i knew it), that's how it appears to work, in laymens terms...

apologies for confusion. if someone could clarify that would be great.
 

RacerX

Old Rhapsody User
My aunt just bought me a iBook with OS X for my middle school graduation and uploaded pretty much all the programs i will ever need or really want such as:
I'd be happy to attempt to help with questions on any pre-installed apps that came bundled with an iBook and anything you actually own (as in was purchased)... but I'll leave questions on the uploaded stuff to those who find that sort of thing less objectionable.
 

powermac

iMac Dual 2.0 17'
I also tried downloading software such as aol instant messenger and aim triton but all the software downloads are saved to the desktop into mac binary form and when i try to open them, they open in excel and i dont know how to install it.

AOL makes a Macintosh version of Messenger, Triton is the windows version and will not work on your Mac. Any file with the .exe extension is not going to work under OSX.

You will probably find that AOL instant messenger is not widely used on the Mac. You could use iChat program built-in to OSX, or a program called Adium, that supports AOL, Yahoo, and several others. Of course, that is your preference as to which program you want to use.

When you download a program for the Mac, it will, by default, show up on your desktop. If it is a .dmg file, just click it, and it will open, and you can from there install the program, usually by dragging the file to the application folder, as in AOL instant messenger. Another format is .sit, which requires the file to be expanded, sort-of like Winzip, although on the Mac the program is called 'Stuffit'.

One other thing to know is you will not see the file extension of programs under OSX, as in windows. For example, a Microsoft Word file will not show up, by default as "Myfile.doc", but as "Myfile".
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
One other thing to remember:

STAY AWAY FROM NORTON PRODUCTS FROM SYMANTEC!!!

They haven't supported Mac OS X in years and when they have it's done more harm than good. Use either TechTool Pro or DiskWarrior if you have to. For system maintenance, I recommend OnyX.
 

macremorse

Registered
As I post this, your post is over two years old. So you've gotten through it-- or not. Others thinking about the switch may read your questions and my answer. I must say to them: don't do it. Even though it's still quite early in my struggle I've seen enough to know it ain't worth it. The best you can hope for after a nasty relearning curve is to be as competent with Mac as you were with Windows. But the Mac still won't be as easy to use. The Mac "equivalents" I've learned so far take more keystrokes than Windows. The biggest reason I tried to switch was the expectation of things being more straight-forward. Just the opposite is true. Take Window's 1-key "print screen" maneuver compared to Mac's Shift+Command+3+click to capture the screen. I barely have enough fingers. The iPhone I bought at about the same time I got my iMac has no copy and paste at all!!! This post will be described by Mac lovers as whiney. I'm just telling the truth. There's a damned good reason Mac is very small.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
As I post this, your post is over two years old. So you've gotten through it-- or not. Others thinking about the switch may read your questions and my answer. I must say to them: don't do it. Even though it's still quite early in my struggle I've seen enough to know it ain't worth it. The best you can hope for after a nasty relearning curve is to be as competent with Mac as you were with Windows. But the Mac still won't be as easy to use. The Mac "equivalents" I've learned so far take more keystrokes than Windows. The biggest reason I tried to switch was the expectation of things being more straight-forward. Just the opposite is true. Take Window's 1-key "print screen" maneuver compared to Mac's Shift+Command+3+click to capture the screen. I barely have enough fingers. The iPhone I bought at about the same time I got my iMac has no copy and paste at all!!! This post will be described by Mac lovers as whiney. I'm just telling the truth. There's a damned good reason Mac is very small.

This reeks of trollness, but I'll take a little nibble for the sake of other potential switchers lurking through these threads.

Considering that the Apple Store has seminars on the basics of using a Mac, this whole point is moot. Most everything that needed to be explained here has been explained to the utmost degree to help in the transition. My neighbor who had always used a PC got herself a MacBook because she thought it "looked cute". I spoke with her and explained the differences between the Finder and Windows Explorer, and that really most of the basic concepts are practically the same (windows, icons, menu, pointer). After a short adjustment period, she got used to how things worked on the Mac and fell in love with it. So really, most of what you're saying is moot. It just sounds like someone who is impatient in learning something that's a little different. Heck, if this is the case then don't dare move to anything beyond XP or you'll be in for quite the shock. Shame that Microsoft also wants everyone to move on from that aging OS. :rolleyes:

Adjustments take time. Don't try and make it work like Windows because it's not Windows. It's OS X. Bring up valid points as to the negatives of OS X, but don't just say don't do it because you don't get it. There are many switchers that do get it and have in fact left Windows for good. This site is most definitely proof of that if anything.

I'll be honest, after years of being a Mac user, I still prefer the way the Finder does certain things over Windows. And there are some things I wish the Finder could do that other desktop environments do as well.
 

macremorse

Registered
This reeks of trollness, but I'll take a little nibble for the sake of other potential switchers lurking through these threads.

I've never really known exactly what a troll is but I every time I express my views someone calls me that. A new user can learn Mac just as easy as he can learn Windows. He'll be at a disadvantage in the work place because most corporations use Windows. But he'll have no trouble learning Mac. Switching to Mac after years of Windows has no advantage that I know of. It's like changing from right handed writing to left handed writing just to prove you can do it. If that's trolling, I'm trolling.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
I've never really known exactly what a troll is but I every time I express my views someone calls me that. A new user can learn Mac just as easy as he can learn Windows. He'll be at a disadvantage in the work place because most corporations use Windows. But he'll have no trouble learning Mac. Switching to Mac after years of Windows has no advantage that I know of. It's like changing from right handed writing to left handed writing just to prove you can do it. If that's trolling, I'm trolling.

Usually when people find out that something is not for them, they go back to what they're used to and move on. You telling everyone not to switch because of your experience (or lack thereof) really helps no one because you have not given any valid reasons to do so. It doesn't bother me as much that you chose to go back to Windows....everyone is allowed their preference and that's the wonderful thing about choice. But to come to a Mac forum and tell others here not to switch with the same baseless information I've seen from Windows fanboys won't get you any sympathy, especially since you didn't feel like taking the time to be open to learning it (not that you really need much time since the basic concepts I already mentioned are the same on both). So yes, the troll tag does have merit, especially if you say that you've done this before in other forums (which I assume were also probably Mac-centric).

You like Windows? Great! Stick with it if the Mac (or any other OS for that matter) is not for you. Just know that sometimes if you don't have anything nice (or in this matter, constructive) to say, just don't say anything at all.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Ironically, I found this thread where you first posted talking about how you did not like the mouse. Many people here on the forum (including I) provided you with as much information as possible on the subject so that you could make your transition a smoother one. However, you never posted back with any results on the issue so you kind of made the decision to go it alone. Had you asked any other questions about anything else, you would have gotten the same thorough help you got in that thread to help you along until you were ready to go solo. So really, you have to admit that the Mac community (at least here) is willing to go that extra step to get you through your transition from Windows to Macintosh. So understand that it's kind of a slap in the face to post and tell everyone not to switch because of the decisions you made to really go it alone when you received a lot of help that I've not seen in many Windows forums when I've gone searching for answers for that platform. It does nothing to help anyone at all.
 

Satcomer

In Geostationary Orbit
I've never really known exactly what a troll is but I every time I express my views someone calls me that. A new user can learn Mac just as easy as he can learn Windows. He'll be at a disadvantage in the work place because most corporations use Windows. But he'll have no trouble learning Mac. Switching to Mac after years of Windows has no advantage that I know of. It's like changing from right handed writing to left handed writing just to prove you can do it. If that's trolling, I'm trolling.

With a screen name such as yours and you wonder why people suspect you are trolling?
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
I've never really known exactly what a troll is but I every time I express my views someone calls me that. A new user can learn Mac just as easy as he can learn Windows. He'll be at a disadvantage in the work place because most corporations use Windows. But he'll have no trouble learning Mac. Switching to Mac after years of Windows has no advantage that I know of. It's like changing from right handed writing to left handed writing just to prove you can do it. If that's trolling, I'm trolling.

My first experience with computers was with an IBM PC (the original IBM PC). The second experience I ever had was with a Mac (the original Mac). I learned DOS and Windows growing up, all the while using Macintosh computers as well.

If you can learn to use Windows so proficiently, then what's wrong with learning to use the Mac as proficiently as well? Do you simply learn one operating system and then quit? I am proficient in both operating systems (as well as others), and do not have the trouble you speak of, even though I've "swtiched" several times in my life.

If Mac OS X operated exactly the same as Windows, and used all the same keyboard shortcuts, and had everything in the same place, then wouldn't it just be Windows?

My point is that choice of operating system doesn't have to be like choice in politics, or choice when you come to a fork in the road: you don't have to choose Republican or Democrat; you don't have to choose left or right. You can choose both. If you're so well-revered in the workplace for knowing Windows inside and out, then think of how much more valuable you'd be for knowing even more computer operating systems.

If you learned Windows, then you can learn Mac, but going into that transition expecting Mac OS X to operate exactly like Windows is asinine and downright stupid. It's a different operating system, and it operates in different ways, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. If the screenshot keystroke is so difficult for you, then I suggest getting some mental and cognitive testing done to make sure your head's in order. Seriously -- just because it's different doesn't mean it's hard.

Thousands of people have successfully learned to use the Mac operating system after a lifelong romance with Windows, and the vast majority of them were able to do it without problem... so what's your excuse? Laziness? Stupidity? Mental deficiencies? Some physical problem that we don't know about? Stubbornness?

We'd be a lot more apt to accept your problems with the Mac operating system if you had said something like, "I have tried and tried (because I'm not lazy and/or stubborn) to get used to things on the Mac, but I am just too used to using Windows and I'm having the following problems..." but instead you choose to come in and nit-pick about stupid, little problems like keystroke combos and the lack of copy and paste on the iPhone (which, by the way, if Macs suck so much, why did you go out and buy an iPhone, too?! Or are you just throwing out perceived "problems" with the iPhone to try and solidify your "Macs suck" argument)?

And yes, coming into a discussion and switching from Windows to Mac and voicing an opinion like "Don't switch! You'll regret it! I did, and now I think that Macs are stupid!" is the very definition of trolling. If all you have is an opinion and cannot muster up enough brain cells to make a constructive comment or criticism, then keep your opinions to yourself. If you cannot voice your opinions in a fashion that is constructive and forward-moving with respect to the discussion at hand, then you are, by definition, "trolling." You're simply trying to stir people's emotions up to try and elicit some reaction from them; you're not trying to be helpful and/or seek help with problems, which is what this place is all about.
 
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