Newbie: Becoming a Mac power user?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by wiseguy27, May 9, 2005.

  1. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    I'm a Windows power user who's moving to the Mac for personal use. I'd like to know what resources are available to help me become a Mac power user.

    The resources could be online, books or anything else. I can think of two kinds of resources:
    1. Beginner's guide to getting started with using a Mac (probably with comparisons or contrasts with Windows) :)
    2. Intermediate users' fast track to become a power user :)

    I do realize that doing a search on the net would give me a lot of pointers, but I'm also looking for books and other types of resources (does the OS X manual help? :p).

    A couple of sites I've been familiar with for more than a year are http://www.macoshints.com and http://www.xpvsx.com .

    Could the collective pool of knowledge amongst the members be put here as a sticky?

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #2
    Probably should go into Mac Basics rather than the OS X forum which is becoming so stickied that the first new thread will probably end up on page 2 shortly!

    Here's a useful link to a thread that covers the apparently new 'Mac 101' section at apple

    Mac basics 101
     
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Portland, OR
    #3
  4. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #4
    Look into a book called "Mac OS X - The Missing Manual"
    Read it cover to cover and you'll be getting there - it has some advanced stuff in it.
    It also has a lot of windows vs mac stuff in it too for all the switchers out there.
     
  5. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    USA
    #5
    I agree - I wasn't sure which forum (of these two) to post this in and didn't want to double post. I'll post it there right away.

    Thanks. Those links from Apple do look promising, for a start! :)
     
  6. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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  7. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    #7
    Thanks! I have read a little bit about the "Missing manual" series of books. I'll check that out too.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    I just hang around here all the time. ;) Not only have I become a Macxpert™, but I also know more now about Keira Knightly than I ever needed to. :D
     
  9. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #9
    ditto, reading these forums has helped more than anything, they are a great resource, just dont end up like this guy
     
  10. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    Oxford/London
    #10
    please do read the aforementioned book though.
    95% of the problems people post on here are covered in that book - especially the new users - it goes though repairing permissions, and all the ins and outs of the OSX universe. There's a lot of stuff in it, including how to get started with the terminal, i imagine the 10.4 edition will have automator guides and a lot of stuff like that - i own 10.2 & 10.3 editions and may still get the 10.4 to be up-to-date when I get in a tight spot.
    These books ARE really good - don't be daunted by the size, they are really well indexed (to use as a reference text), and a lot of stuff at the start is very basic (like file structure and other things that anyone who's used a computer will be familiar with).
     
  11. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #11
    I agree with James Philip about the books. They're incredibly useful to beginners. I've found Mac OS X's built-in Help feature to be of at least some help. If it doesn't have an answer for me, it'll point me in the right direction at least (such as doing a search on the Apple Support Knowledge Base or knowing what to post in a new thread I start here).
     
  12. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #12
    I also highly recommend the Missing Manual series of books. I bought the one about Panther soon after I switched, and it was VERY helpful, and well written too. It has very basic stuff, as well as stuff that even a lot of longtime Mac users don't know. It's well organized, with a good index. Be sure to check them out.
     
  13. hodgjy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    #13
    I've learned the most about OS X by reading forums like this. I've checked some books out of the library, but honestly, I've learned a lot more by reading forums. Books are good, but they only present one side of the story-the author's. On forums, you hear multiple opinions and examples. Makes for good learning.
     
  14. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #14
    This can also be very confusing, and someone who is trying to "help" may not realize your level or proficiency. You also often get conflicting arguments with people stating their "preference". In general, the books are written in a way that their advice is VERY close to that given if you phone apple.
    Seriously, they go into a huge amount of detail, are are much easier and clearer to read than a forum thread.
    hodgjy, have you ever read these books? they go from how to create a file to how to write applescript and resolving kernel panics. They're a really good starting point. There's also a whole "Where'd It Go" section for Windows/OS 9 switchers.
    Personally, I want the forums for poeple who have real problems, not just the trivial ones.
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #15
    This is a fair point. I was semi-facetious with what I said earlier. I learned a lot about what was going on here, in terms of the product lineup and strengths/weaknesses, but I actually went through a switchers' guide and the XvsXP website when I first switched. But I think if you're really at least a moderate "power" user (that is, you're totally comfortable with install/uninstall/maintenance issues on any platform, and at least fairly comfortable with at least one command line variant), it really isn't that hard to pick up, and you will at most end up skimming the switcher guides, because they will not tell you much that isn't intuitively obvious (which on a Mac, is the larger category).

    Actually, this is the one gripe I also have with Mac online Help -- that it, like the switcher guides, is really not that advanced or detailed. I find that MS help is not terribly good when you're wandering around without a clue. But as a power user, I still find the online help in MS products to be very detailed and helpful. XCode is great, but I find that the help pages for Mail, the iApps, etc, are very poor in detail. In 99% of the cases, if a power user can't figure something out, these won't help any -- they lack the level of detail given in Unix or Windows style help. That isn't the case, with, say, Excel's help.

    Not that I'm not a happy Mac user. ;) Including the online help for Excel/Mac 2004. :D
     
  16. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    Oxford/London
    #16
    And also remember a simple google search (or versiontracker) can turn up something that will fix a problem - no need to even touch the forum!
    I have solved so many threads by doing a couple of google searches it isn't really funny!
     
  17. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    Apr 30, 2005
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    USA
    #17
    off topic...or is it?

    Can one ever know enough about her? ;) I'm sure many people visit this forum just to see if edesignuk changes his avatar to a different gorgeous picture of her. :p That face IS mesmerizing! :)

    On a related note, it also seems like there are more guys from UK who have gorgeous women as their avatars... :rolleyes:
     
  18. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #18
    Learn keyboard shortcuts.
    Play with it and Google for stuff you don't know.
     
  19. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

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    Apr 30, 2005
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    USA
    #19
    Good start!

    Thanks for all your responses. I do have "The missing manual" for Panther in my local library and will definitely check it out. :)

    I'm hoping I can learn fast since I'm a Unix power user too (although Free BSD would be a different kind of beast when it comes to administration). But in this context I would be focusing more on the GUI aspect and learning how to apply the "common intuitive interface definition" (for lack of a better description) across my usage of the Mac! Another thing I would be focusing on is keyboard shortcuts - that'd make things much faster (and I like faster!). :)
     

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