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Les Kern
Nov 23, 2004, 11:49 PM
I am in the process of making a help page for my district HERE (http://help.mchs.net) (it's early!) and I want to include some Mac-specific info like "why we use Macs", etc. I'd like to add a pop-up link called "Ten coolest things you can do with your Mac". I was wondering if anyone would like to list their favorites. (Mine, for instance, is adding a ".zip" to the end of a file or folder to compress, discarding the original, or using "make archive" from the file menu) So what's your favorite Mac feature that's COOL? It really should be something Windows doesn't do or does way wrong) When it's up in a few weeks I'll come back and announce the "grand opening".
Thanks in advance folks.

PlaceofDis
Nov 24, 2004, 12:15 AM
expose is a great one...
burning from the finder...
the zip file one is great...
the eject button on the keyboard...
one button mouse...

thats all i can think of right now

cb911
Nov 24, 2004, 12:55 AM
working with the Terminal in such a nice desktop environment? you get the best of both worlds! :D

earthtoandy
Nov 24, 2004, 01:02 AM
expose is the biggest wow factor. i show that to very PC users and they just do a double take and go "wow"

deleting programs by dragging the icon to the trash! what an idea! haha
the drag and drop properties of the dock

savar
Nov 24, 2004, 02:42 AM
expose is the biggest wow factor. i show that to very PC users and they just do a double take and go "wow"

deleting programs by dragging the icon to the trash! what an idea! haha
the drag and drop properties of the dock

if you hold shift or some such while pressing any of the expose key combos, you can see it in slow motion...i think the same goes for the dock animations...you might want to add that as an item

aussie_geek
Nov 24, 2004, 02:53 AM
One great thing about the Macintosh is connectivity. You can just plug things into them (printers, cameras and scanners etc) and it just WORKS!! Worrying about drivers for your hardware is a thing of the past. Just plug and play dude. :D

aussie_geek

Diatribe
Nov 24, 2004, 03:40 AM
There are lots. Exposé is one. Not having a menu bar for each application window is another. iLife is one huge reason also but the features that will rule my world soon will be:

(in order of relevance)
- Spotlight
- Automator
- Dashboard

I think the three will revolutionize the way I use my mac.

munkle
Nov 24, 2004, 04:43 AM
I'd mention how Microsoft Office works better on Macs and maybe even mention VPC7. Love it or hate it, the thought of Office being available makes the idea of 'switching' a lot more palatable to a lot of Mac ignorant people.

And perhaps the biggest of them all, no spyware, viruses, trojans to worry about. This has got to be the biggest pet peeve in the PC world.

Then talk about iLife, and show all the cool things you can do with the iApps and how they all work seamlessly together. Not quite a top ten list but you get the idea! :p

decksnap
Nov 24, 2004, 07:38 AM
I think the flexibility of the finder is pretty cool- dragging and dropping folders into the side bar, or option dragging apps into the top bar, column view, etc.

I also think the way OS X deal with memory mangement is nice.

Les Kern
Nov 24, 2004, 08:10 AM
How about the Safari print button? Type "javascript:window.print()" in the URL box, drag it to the menu bar, rename it PRINT. (Also works on web pages you design!) I ususally use Apple-P, but on my TiBook the Apple key is missing from where my hand is trained to get it!

Mitthrawnuruodo
Nov 24, 2004, 08:24 AM
Mine, for instance, is adding a ".zip" to the end of a file or folder to compress, discarding the original, ...

How does this actually compress the file?

It just changes the icon to the zip-icon (on some standard file types, on others it doesn't even do that), but stays the same size on my machine...

And if I try to unzip a file, that I "zipped" by just adding .zip to the name, by double-clicking it, I get an error message saying "unable to unarchive..."

Is there some setting I havn't changed...?

wrldwzrd89
Nov 24, 2004, 08:31 AM
How does this actually compress the file?

It just changes the icon to the zip-icon (on some standard file types, on others it doesn't even do that), but stays the same size on my machine...

And if I try to unzip a file, that I "zipped" by just adding .zip to the name, by double-clicking it, I get an error message saying "unable to unarchive..."

Is there some setting I havn't changed...?
It's not your fault, Mitthrawnuruodo. You're not doing anything wrong. The reason it works for Les Kern, and not for you (or for me) is that Les Kern has StuffIt Deluxe and we don't.

Les Kern
Nov 24, 2004, 08:45 AM
It's not your fault, Mitthrawnuruodo. You're not doing anything wrong. The reason it works for Les Kern, and not for you (or for me) is that Les Kern has StuffIt Deluxe and we don't.

Hmmm.... my users all have it. Sorry.

stepbasin
Nov 24, 2004, 09:16 AM
I love how there are so few files (that are visable). When you open an application you are really clicking on a special folder that has all of its support files hiding within it. Its just something that is nice because it keeps clutter down and prevents idiots from deleting core files by "accident". Anyway, its just something you take for granted but is still very useful.

wrldwzrd89
Nov 24, 2004, 09:22 AM
I love how there are so few files (that are visable). When you open an application you are really clicking on a special folder that has all of its support files hiding within it. Its just something that is nice because it keeps clutter down and prevents idiots from deleting core files by "accident". Anyway, its just something you take for granted but is still very useful.
You're referring to Application (.app) Packages, aren't you? Those are nice - I too find them a useful concept. However, here's something you probably didn't know: the application package idea can also be used on Windows (or any other platform). You can even combine multiple platforms into one application package - all that is needed is an additional folder for each platform inside of the package. If you look inside of a package, you'll see a folder called Contents, and inside that is a folder called MacOS - in there is the actual executable. To add a Windows executable to this package, just add a folder called Windows inside the Contents folder, and dump the .exe in there. Of course, Windows doesn't give packages special treatment like Mac OS X does, but it's still possible to use the concept on other platforms.

kiwi-in-uk
Nov 24, 2004, 10:10 AM
What about iLife?

And REAL dragging/dropping between applications: grabbing an object and running it across windows and the dock until you find another app that will accept it - this is what I like most about my Mac compared with Windows; OS-X actually does what you think it should do, and if it doesn't there is usually a pretty logical reason.

kiwi-in-uk
Nov 24, 2004, 10:22 AM
How about the Safari print button? Type "javascript:window.print()" in the URL box, drag it to the menu bar, rename it PRINT. (Also works on web pages you design!) I ususally use Apple-P, but on my TiBook the Apple key is missing from where my hand is trained to get it!

Did you mean the Bookmarks bar?
Works for me there (very nice) but not the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Frank (Atlanta)
Nov 24, 2004, 01:14 PM
From a macro perspective, the best thing about Macs/Apple is the "intuitiveness" of the whole package. Things just work - the machine, OS & apps make sense and it's easy to get started as well as learn new tasks. The computer doesn't "get in the way" - it lets one do what one needs to do, whether it's writing a paper, creating a business presentation, or handling one's home videos & music! One can focus on the task - not the computer. And this statement's coming from a 1+ month switcher who's been using PCs for 20+ years.

From a micro perspective, the coolest feature is the "fast user switching". Not only can I allow different folks to use my machine while managing their rights, but the graphical representation of the switching is really cool!

Pure elegance!

Thx,
Frank

quackattack
Nov 24, 2004, 02:24 PM
this was mentioned earlier.... but NO VIRUSES. That alone make the difference for me. same with spyware. Computing just seems so much safer on a mac.

rueyeet
Nov 24, 2004, 03:21 PM
Ten coolest things you can do with your Mac (in no particular order):

1. Never, ever, hit the print button (or save, or close) in the toolbar in the wrong program again.

2. See exactly what's running at any given time simply by recognizing its icon, instead of trying to read tiny little boxes with truncated text.

3. Plug in a CD burner so ancient it's got its own power brick and have iTunes recognize it instantly, and use it properly (did this one this week! I sooo expected to have to search for the driver on the internet!)

4. Take your Mac out of the box and hook it to the Internet without having to first install firewall, anti-virus, spyware blocker, adware blocker, and pop-up blocker programs.

5. Use and understand your system settings without a single Wizard.

6. Achieve your daily tasks without feeling like your computer is the enemy, or is making you feel like an idiot; so that you actually look forward to using your computer.

7. Close the lid of your PowerBook or iBook knowing that it'll be ready to go in mere seconds after you open it again.

8. Learn Unix and put it on your resume (still haven't gotten to this one, sadly, though it's one of the reasons I bought my Mac!)

9. Play with Expose.

10. Talk about it with cool people like the MacRumors forum members. :D

Windowlicker
Nov 24, 2004, 03:53 PM
- Exposé
- Print to PDF from any application
- Ability to install apps by drag & drop (not too common in win world)
- Software Update made easy (not having to use the web page windows update does)
- I don't have to restart on every little update. I also can install multiple restart-needing updates simultaneously so that I restart only once.

There's probably tons of these nice little things, and then added to those comes the reliability (I've had my computer running for almost 10 days now and I've done graphics, video, web, watched movies etc. etc.) and such things. Oh and I have to mention the look of macs and OSX appeals to me.

Littleodie914
Nov 24, 2004, 05:04 PM
The Cliché...

Virus-free
Easy to use
Non-Intrusive
Supersweet-Looking


The Not-So-Cliché

Fast-User Switching works amazingly well.
iLife apps are so simple and fun to use
Macs always have the newest hardware (concerning FW, USB2.0, BT, Etc.)
Unix geekiness only if wanted
Driver-Free
Makes ur PC look like sux0rs :cool:

Mechcozmo
Nov 24, 2004, 06:01 PM
They work! :eek: What a concept!

No viruses
Looks cool
Can be learned in a few seconds
Few crashes
USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 standard on everything!
Safari is so much better than IE for a built in browser
Macs are customizable
Thousands of free (or dirt cheap) Mac apps that allow you to do so much great stuff. Look at the threads we have here on the "essential" free apps and such. On a Windows computer there are 10 times that many apps but they all suck, have viruses, or don't do the thing they promised.

wdlove
Nov 24, 2004, 06:05 PM
iTunes make working on a Mac so pleasant to the ear. Quicktime makes it so pleasant to the eye.

kiwi-in-uk
Nov 24, 2004, 07:52 PM
And this statement's coming from a 1+ month switcher who's been using PCs for 20+ years.

Similar history - I first started using a mac (after I bought it) in March, after 20 odd (!) years using PC/MS DOS and MS Windows.

I agree with previous posts, especially, with "ruyeet" - plug and play; just use it; no worries.

Les Kern
Nov 24, 2004, 10:03 PM
So far (I'll make it "top 20" and add some school-specific stuff):

There are a lot of documented and undocumented tricks and tips for Macs, and here are some favorites. (Not all can be done by students because of the security settings)

1. Take a document or put some documents in a folder. With Stuffit Deluxe installed: On the end of the file or folder name add ".zip" and it will automatically compress the file. It discards the original. Without Stuffit Deluxe: go to FILE menu and select "Make archive of...".
2. Lots of windows open? press OPTION-COMMAND-W to close them all (or Command-W for the front window) You can also press F9 to tile all windows, and F11 to move them so you can see your desktop.
3. Have a lot of applications open? Press and hold the APPLE key, now tap the TAB key to choose an app to come to the front.
4. Want a PRINT button in Safari? In the URL type "javascript:window.print()" (without the parenthesis) and drag it to the bookmarks bar. Rename it "PRINT".
5. To select an area of your screen as a picture, press APPE+SHIFT+4. A cross will appear. Click where you want to start and drag to the other corner. It makes a PDF on the desktop.
6. Want to make a PDF of ANY document? (Well, not an iMovie!) Macs have it built in to the operating system! Just choose "print", then select "SAVE AS PDF...". Name it, and it will save to the desktop.
7. Have some interesting text you want to share? Highlight it, then drag it to the desktop. It makes a clipping file that can't be edited. I use it to capture all my passwords for websites and such (I mean, how annoying is Yahoo requiring you to verify your password all the time? I keep the file safe in my .Mac account)
8. Have a LLLOOONNNGGG web site address you want share with others? Go to the site, and drag the URL to the desktop. It will make a "webloc" file suitable for e-mailing.
9. Have a folder you access a lot in your Documets folder? Find the folder, then drag and drop to the bar on the left of the open windw. (Where your "Home", Applications" etc. are) You can also re-arrange the folders there by gragging them to a new location. Oh, and don't forget you can add folders to the dock for quick access.

Mechcozmo
Nov 25, 2004, 03:15 PM
4. Want a PRINT button in Safari? In the URL type "javascript:window.print()" (without the parenthesis) and drag it to the bookmarks bar. Rename it "PRINT".


You mean, without the quotes, right?

And select a file, press Return to rename it. Quite handy.

And I am surprised that I didn't see it mentioned here:
APPLESCRIPT!
You can learn a programming language for free, and use it to do just about anything on your Mac!!!

mcs37
Nov 26, 2004, 04:06 PM
I'm a switcher who still uses Linux and Windows regularly, but I found that one of the greatest features of my PowerBook (other than it being beautiful) was that I could plug my LCD directly into the DVI->VGA converter that came with my unit and BOOM I have a second screen. I go to configure it and I can change its color settings, resolution, and relation to my main screen. It didn't require any drivers or special software installation: I just plugged it in!

It's also cute to see it "breathing" when you close it.

One problem with the 12" PB: the keyboard layout seems to get impressed on the screen. Don't know why but it is probably dust. :)

Will Curran
Nov 26, 2004, 07:36 PM
One problem with the 12" PB: the keyboard layout seems to get impressed on the screen. Don't know why but it is probably dust. :)
http://www.radtech.us/Products/NotebookScreensavrz.aspx =)

Well for me It'd have to be:
Expose
Aqua Skin
Virus Free
Looks good period.

davey-nb
Nov 26, 2004, 08:53 PM
And select a file, press Return to rename it. Quite handy. !

I did not know this!
Everytime I go to rename a file I either open it or get mad at having to wait 3 seconds between the 2 clicks to highlight it.

Thank you, thank you, thanks a lot!!!

phreakout13
Nov 27, 2004, 01:10 AM
Ooh! What about when you press control-option-command-8 all at the same time and the screen turns all black and white and inverted. It's awesome!

mcarnes
Nov 27, 2004, 04:06 AM
Ooh! What about when you press control-option-command-8 all at the same time and the screen turns all black and white and inverted. It's awesome!

Cool!

wrldwzrd89
Nov 27, 2004, 04:41 AM
Ooh! What about when you press control-option-command-8 all at the same time and the screen turns all black and white and inverted. It's awesome!
That's a Universal Access feature designed to make the screen easier to read for those people that have trouble reading the default color settings. In case you somehow found this mode and don't know how to make it normal again, just press control+option+command+8 again.

Windowlicker
Nov 27, 2004, 04:47 AM
Ooh! What about when you press control-option-command-8 all at the same time and the screen turns all black and white and inverted. It's awesome!

haha! this is actually pretty cool if you wake up in the night and go play with your computer. the display hurts like **** even if it's on the dimmest possible setting (I have a 17" Apple SD LCD). Still don't think I'm gonna use it too much.

Pixeled_Apple
Nov 27, 2004, 04:50 AM
Well... I have also complied a list that describing all the mac pointers. (coz I needed it to convince my 'rents)

(my list)(Thanks toPalad1)


1.) Can Mac Run, Visual Basic, Liberty Basic, JAVA, C,C++ ????


Software Project Manager, here's what my Mac runs:
Java SDK 1.4.2
Eclipse (Java IDE, free version of IBM's industry standard WSAD, which even in its free version, kicks major ass especially when it comes to refactoring)
Mono : .net CLR, for all your C# needs
MySQL : SQL Relational Database
Apache: Industry-wide standard HTTP server
PHP: Web application authoring language, easy
GCC : GNU free compiler which groks (amongst other things:
C
C++
Liberty Basic
Pascal
Objective-C
You name it
Xcode: Apple's free objective-C / C / C++ / Java IDE. Most software vendors use this tool in the Mac world.
Quote:

2.) If I run tons of apps, will it in the same performance? ( like running 5-20 apps )



Do remember that Powerbooks are high-end machines, so if they buy a 900$ DELL laptop, chances are your powerbook will just beat it by a mile of it performance-wise.

On the other hand, I made some tests between my 1.5PB and a VAIO (P4), on some points the VAIO won : games, raw speed, but the PB clearly won over th VAIO under high load. Seems like OSX fares much better than XP when the system load is >100%

(coding/surfing/light photoshop and of course the Fabulous 4: Word/Excel/Powerpoint/Outlook), 1 gig of RAM bought me peace of mind. The Kernel is really good at managing lots of applications at the same time, I can't complain (see hrere for a much more detailled discussion about RAM: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=92669 )
Quote:

3.) Is a mac easy 2 switch? is it easy to handle? what learning curve is there?


I made the switch 5 months ago, I'm a programmer, used PCs since I was 12, the first week as an ex power-user was a bit frustrating, but once you get used to the fact that the Mac way to do a thing is always the most evident/straightforward one, it just keeps on getting better and better!
Quote:

4.) Will mac support the printer model : HP PSC 1210 ; and will it support the Modem : DSL-302G running OptusNet?



Apple support for non PCMCIA peripherals is really impressive. Just plug in any camera on a Mac and you'll understand (as opposed to plugging it in an XP box for the first time. oh gawd)
Quote:
Compatible operating systems Microsoft® Windows® 98, 98 SE, 2000, Me, XP; Macintosh OS 9.0 and above, OS X v 10.1 and above; (Just to let that peps usin' optusnet DSL, it is compatible with Mac , you needa configure it yaself, w/o tech support

Quote:

[B]5.) Many people say MAC is bad, why? A mac has none of the Software work on Mac? Are they a solution to it?

I use Virtual PC for 2 things:
PSN8.5 (Microsoft Project clone)
Visual Studio.Net when I'm not at the office

The thing is, if you have a PC desktop near you, you are better off using Remote Desktop Connection in order to run windows applications. On the other hand, I don't need VS.Net everyday thanks to Mono (http://www.go-mono.net)

As for the comments made by persons who hate the Mac, I can relate.

The thing is, I used to be the most offensive Mac basher ever. My first computer was an Apple][/e and I never forgave Apple for ditching the CLI in favor of its stupid Macintosh interface. Let's say I was not a fan of OS7-8-9 either, so many things were hidden from the power user it was just freaking me out.

Then came Steve with NeXT and OSX with it UNIX goodies. I gave it a try 3 years ago, and was quite impressed with the whole thing, it did not relate to any previous Mac experience I had (this must have pissed several OS789 users by the way ).

What I wanted to say (instead of telling my life ) was that these people are as misinformed as I used to be and still have preconceptions dating back to classic OS789 days.

Most Windows apps now are either
Cross platform (MS Office, Java)
Cloned by open source projects (Eclipse, Mono,Firefox)
Utterly ridiculous when compared with their Apple equivalent (Logic,Motion...)

This machine will be excellent for Computer Science college, right

If you get a PC, you will spend your time playing videogames, whereas on a Mac, everybody knows there are no games, thus it's all productivity!!!
----------

Macintosh only has 1% of viruses, spyware and other security risks. So you can your computer out of harm’s way.

And they is something else "unique" (- i dunno..) about Apple Macintosh. It’s called Memory protection. Just say you are running 20 applications simultaneously, and 1 freezes and crashes, not to worry, unlike windows, when one application fails, it takes the system down with it. Not with Macintosh, it is completely the opposite. If an application fails, it’ll leave the system at its normal state, and won’t interrupt any other process. So don’t worry about saving your documents every 5 minutes, in case of a system failure.

Because it’s built on UNIX standards, Mac OS X provides you with time-tested security and reliability not available on other systems. And Panther gives you even more control to safeguard your data. File Vault automatically encrypts and decrypts the contents of your home directory on the fly with powerful AES-128 encryption. Which will take 120 trillion years, with T, years to crack!

Mac OS X is the only high volume operating system that provides world-class developer tools to everyone. Xcode is the fastest way to create Mac OS X/ Windows applications, using your choice of Objective C, C++, C, AppleScript or Java. Combining a groundbreaking user interface with an all-new, high-performance toolkit that includes gcc 3.3, (which can compile Liberty B.A.S.I.C, Fortran, C, C++ , C# ,) Xcode makes it easy to take advantage of the latest technologies from Apple without costing a cent. In fact, developers have already released over 10,000 titles for Mac OS X.

They are lots of Apple technologies {features } (150+), I’ll name you the main Apple Technologies:
Xcode (Software Developing tool)
Adobe Photoshop (Graphics Developing Tool)
Macromedia (Web Developing)
UNIX ( Strong as a Rock OS)
Quartz (The Graphics secret behind Mac OS X)
Video Compression (H.264) Use your webcam to talk to your friends, to matter where they are, in superior quality and minimal lag
Exposé (Find the Window you need. Fast.)
Mail (Sort by thread, Throw the Spam)
Preview ( Tear through PDFs (Adobe Acrobat Reader) in no Time.)
Font Book (Get the style of writing you need. Free.)
Windows ( Every thing you need to create a windows centric world)


What’ll happen if encounter any difficulties?
This is a every good part of Apple, because if you have problems with Windows, people blame each other, not with Ma they’re trained professionals at Apple, so if anything ever goes wrong, there they to help you.

Now, no-one can argue with this. Apple (Macintosh) Hardware is just inspritially Beautiful No its or buts.

Apple will Define the Next Digital Wave.

Pixeled_Apple

Santaduck
Nov 27, 2004, 04:56 AM
Easy OS X Customization: (http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2003/05/30/macosxhints.html)
Apple-H to hide your application, but wished the dock icon for that app becomes transparent? You can make it so!

Want a message in your login screen? Easy.

Robert Griffiths of macosxhints writes a cool article for OReilly macdevcenter. Click on the link for a tutorial.

ASCII STAR WARS: Open Terminal and type this:
telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

(that's all....)

To save all this wonderful yumminess, I think this will work:

curl -f "telnet://towel.blinkenlights.nl" -o "starwars.vt100"


There's also the Dock's "Blue Ball", but I haven't checked to see if Panther still supports it.

Speaking of the Dock, you can kill it and use another launcher instead, I'm sure there are plenty of links in these forums.

5300cs
Nov 27, 2004, 09:52 AM
FOREIGN LANGUAGE SUPPORT

That one is the killer for me. I can switch between German, English & Japanese with ease. Windows cannot even come close to that. It really blows me away how Apple managed that :)

Also the wallpaper flipper/changer thing. I setup a folder with pictures from Guam, and OS X changes them gradually every 1 minute. Terrific!

wrldwzrd89
Nov 27, 2004, 10:37 AM
FOREIGN LANGUAGE SUPPORT

That one is the killer for me. I can switch between German, English & Japanese with ease. Windows cannot even come close to that. It really blows me away how Apple managed that :)

Also the wallpaper flipper/changer thing. I setup a folder with pictures from Guam, and OS X changes them gradually every 1 minute. Terrific!
It gets even better though - the language system is Unicode-based AND extensible, so other languages can be added later. How's that for a Windows-beating foreign language implementation?

puckhead193
Nov 27, 2004, 01:30 PM
One great thing about the Macintosh is connectivity. You can just plug things into them (printers, cameras and scanners etc) and it just WORKS!! Worrying about drivers for your hardware is a thing of the past. Just plug and play dude. :D

aussie_geek

"its plug and play, not plug and get mad" :p

crazzyeddie
Nov 27, 2004, 04:19 PM
How about the fact that you can drag text/images from one place into a text box/application directly. I find that much more helpful than dragging stuff to the desktop.