Is there a Absolute Beginner guide to OS X?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Mr Skills, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #1
    Does anyone know of a site or book which gives an absolute beginner guide to OSX?

    My parents have difficulty with the most basic of things - like moving and resizing windows (which they call "the little screens"), and I have found nothing mac oriented, certainly on the web, which caters to their level (the beginner guides on apple.com and in the Guides section here, are too complex). There are plenty of good sites that are Windows oriented, but that is not much use in this context.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? If there were something on the web, that would be easiest.

    Thanks! :)

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  2. OwlsAndApples macrumors 6502a

    OwlsAndApples

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    #2
  3. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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  4. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

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    Nov 21, 2005
    #4

    Thanks.... but i originally wrote:

    The very first instruction in the 101 guides:
    "To see all the goodies on your Mac, double-click the hard disk icon. Note: An icon is a small graphical representation of an item such as a file, folder, application, CD, or drive. This opens a Finder window, which allows you to visually see the hierarchy of your computer's contents."

    My parents would already be completely confused by this stage!

    They can click the "firefox" button and manage very basic web surfing as long as it is in one window which stays "maximised", but overlapping, resizable windows and the like just do not compute in their brains.
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  5. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

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    Jan 5, 2005
    #5
    If your parents have Applecare have them call phone support. They love simple questions and my mother loves that they are always happy to walk her through any problem she has.
     
  6. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #6
    The guide, the one you're looking for. It's called OS X... I don't see how it's nt possible for them... But at most book stores you can find books about OS X and it's secrets. Or why not train them yourself?
     
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    Have you checked the Dummies book series for a book on Mac OS X?

    I believe that O'Reilly has a Missing Manual series book available but I'm not sure about the level.
     
  8. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #8
    Why don't you just sit with them and explain things to them. Remind them that it is a machine (an extremely complex one), not a mysterious magical box, and it can only do what they tell it to do. I think that is the number one thing older people are afraid of.

    Old people are not going to want to go through training manuals and stuff.
     
  9. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #9
    Ha ha, I am the AppleCare :D ... sadly their computer is my old one, so no AppleCare. It's an interesting point for if they get a new Mac in the future, though... can they really phone as often as they like, and ask silly questions without getting charged any extra?

    My parents have had a DVD player for the last year. They finally tried to watch a DVD last month. They got half way through when my dad accidentally pressed stop instead of pause. They took the DVD back to the shop because it "kept playing from the beginning".

    Yes, OSX is elegant and simple. But the very concepts of a computer have a certain level of complexity that some of us take for granted. I do try and train them regularly, and I am very proud of the fact that they can look things up in google and access their webmail. But concepts such as resizing//moving windows and file hierarchies are actually quite abstract to people who are not used to computers. Plus their natural fear of technology makes them more reluctant to learn. I'm just looking for a little help! :)

    I'll check them out. I'm always a little sceptical about the Dummies/Idiots books. A few years ago (when they were still on Windows, and even more green than they are now) I wanted to buy them one of those books. Almost every book started off with "we're going to make this so easy and fun... first, just click on this icon..."

    People are often so comfortable in their own knowledge that they cannot even conceive that words like "click" are difficult for other people (although, luckily, my parents are passed that stage now.)
     
  10. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #10
    Sadly I don't live with them (well, not 'sadly', I am 28!) so my opportunities to sit and train them are limited, but I do it when I can.

    In fact, I get the best results when I ephasise how *dumb* the machine is, rather than how clever. One of my mum's classic mistakes is always starting to type without looking for the cursor. She just assumes the machine knows which box the text is meant to go in!
     
  11. giba macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    #11
    I experienced the same problem when I first got my Mom to switch onto the Mac. It's very easy to intimidate them with the language that we use, words like click, double-click and drag doesn't come natural to them. Also, I often make the mistake of trying to teach them too much at once, which makes them feel overwhelmed.

    Back then I had the idea of creating a Flash-based tutorial, targeted at people who doesn't even know what a mouse is. I find many beginner computer books lacking in that regard. Also, to them, learning about computer is a chore, not a joy like for many of us geeks. So getting them to sit down and read a book about it is like putting them through school. On the other hand, they just want to learn the absolute basic they need to get going. I mean, if all they want is the ability to check email and browse web sites, why bother than about stuff like Finders a Spotlight?

    If you're interested maybe we can get our heads together and create something like it.
     
  12. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #12
    I know how it can be. My parents are in the 70s now. I had given them an 8-bit computer way back when and they didn't use it much. When I got a new Mac, I gave them the old one and they struggled with it but the internet was largely undiscovered and they didn't want to go online. In 2000, when they got an iMac, my mum asked about it and we sat down and went through the steps.

    Last year, the iMac broke and they couldn't find anyone to repair it. Mum bought a machine running WinXP but couldn't figure out how to go online or much of anything else and her brothers and sisters weren't much help. When I arrived, I set things up so that they were familiar and walked her through the process and now, she's comfortable again. She still hates "that !@#$ computer."
     
  13. NeoMac macrumors regular

    NeoMac

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    #13
    I was new to Mac and OSX and I purchased this great book called The Rough Guide to Macs and OSX it was about 10 bucks, it was an easy read and it has come in handy several times. You can probably pick it up on Amazon.
     

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