{SWITCHER} looking for "Top 10 Tips"

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MightyB, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. MightyB macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    #1
    Hi all..

    I have been a lurker on these boards for a long time. As of tomorrow, I will own my first Apple, the 12" PowerBook. I have been reading these boards, pondering if a mac and OS X are right for me....With the wealth of knowledge from the boards, I figured it was time! (also thanks to an "education discount" I just couldn't refuse. )

    I would say that I am close to an "expert" user of a windows pc. As for Apples, I've spent about 2 hours total in my life using them...

    So this is where you guys come in...My biggest fear is losing my security blanket, the windows machine...I know that thing inside out...all the do's and dont's, shortcuts, tips, tricks, etc....

    I was wondering if you could post a "TOP 10 Tips and Tricks" for OS X newbies like myself. I'm sure everyone will have their own opinions and what not, but that is what will make it very informative!

    Thanks for your help, both now AND in my lurking...I look forward to everyone's responses!

    Brian
     
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #2
    the greatest tip i can give you is to learn the basics of the file structure. Like how / has System and Library but /Users/yourname/ has a Library folder, but it's different (the / one is system wide, other one is user-specific)... learn that stuff and you'll get along fine-- the GUI is very intuitive.

    also, poke around at apple.com/macos to see the different features and technologies built in-- you will eventually learn all of the ins and outs of X, but in the beginning it's set up for an average user.

    just have fun!

    :)
    pnw
     
  3. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030

    Catfish_Man

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2001
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    This is just off the top of my head, but here goes:

    Do:
    Look into getting Safari (www.apple.com/safari) or Chimera (soon to be renamed. www.mozilla.org/projects/chimera , get the latest nightly build)

    Experiment. It's pretty difficult to completely screw up your system, and the very worst that can happen is that you have to reinstall (I'm not sure what you could do that would require that, but I'm sure it can be done)

    Look on versiontracker.com and unsanity.com for utilities, some of them are quite useful (tinkertool, for example)

    Ask questions

    Learn the keyboard shortcuts (and maybe get a 2 button mouse)

    Do not:
    Use Internet Explorer (IE5/Mac *sucks*)
    Use Acrobat Reader if you don't have to (Preview is much better, although Acrobat Reader 6 may change that)

    Tips:
    There's no "uninstaller" you just throw the app in the trash
    To put stuff on/move stuff around on/take stuff off of the dock just drag it


    To be added to if I think of stuff.
     
  4. alset macrumors 65816

    alset

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    #4
    1. There will be an icon of the file/folder you are viewing in the title bar of the window in question. You can drag that icon as if you were dragging the file. You will have to click and hold for about one second to select it, instead of moving the window itself.

    2. Select text in a window, such as a text editor or browser. Now click and hold for one second before dragging it to a new location. It moves within the window, or copies to a new window.

    3. If you hold down the command key (Apple key) when you click on a window in the background, you will not bring it forward. This is useful when moving a window in the background without bringing it to the front of the window hierarchy.

    4. If you hold down the Option key (Alt on Windows) you can switch applications while hiding the current app. An example would be: you are viewing a web page and opt-click the desktop - the web browser (Chimera is great, as mentioned above) will hide itself when switching to the Finder. It hasn't quit, it's just out of the way.

    5. Command-Tab will cycle through your open applications. Shift-Command-Tab will cycle backward. Tapping Cmnd-Tab only once will switch to the last used app.

    6. Customizing your GUI is fun! Go to http://www.xicons.com or http://www.resexcellence.com/ to get icons that make your Mac feel like YOUR Mac. Use Cmnd-I (Get Info, if you went under the FILE menu) to load the info window. If you select the icon of the folder/file in question, you can copy it (Cmnd-C) and paste the icon in a Get Info window for any other item.

    7. http://www.macosxhints.com

    8. Control-click is like right-click. In a text editor, it will show your spelling errors.

    9. Dragging a folder into the dock will allow you to access all of it's contents by cntrl-clicking the docked folder. This will give you a hierarchal view of, say, your Applications folder.

    10. Pick up a copy of Unix for Mac OS X, published by O'Riely. It's short and a quick read. You've never felt like such a geek as when you go under the hood. The book is around $13.

    I'll add more as I think of them. I have a friend who just bought his first Mac, so anything I share with him will be posted here, as well.

    BTW - One more for good measure:

    11. Drag and drop works almost everywhere! Experiment!

    Congrats on your new Mac!

    Dan
     
  5. Datazoid macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    #5
    First, make sure NOT to mess around with file permissions until you FULLY grasp them, and even then, only when necessary. Change the permissions on the wrong file and you could end up with a seriously messed up system (as I did). Otherwise, my best advice would be to be VERY patient. Regardless of what you may hear, OS X isn't perfect, and there were several times in the beginning when I became quite frustrated by some of its quirks (especially considering that I switched back in the 10.0.4 days, OS X was much less stable and had far fewer features, as well as really bad performance, but there are still quirks today). It is worth it, though, but remember that nothing is perfect.

    For good tips and tricks on OS X, www.macosxhints.com is a good site to check out. Also, it would be in your best interest to learn a little UNIX, as the ability to use the Terminal can be a great help (it's not necessary, but it helps; there are still things it does better). Make sure you get a program called MacJanitor to perform maintenance tasks, or Cronnix (these are both available at versiontracker.com) to automate it (by default, these are done between 2-4am, so if you plan to leave your computer on at these hours, then don't worry about it). Also, never ever EVER install anything with the NORTON label on it.

    If you want to do faxing from your computer, I would strongly recommend using a program called Cocoa eFax (shareware, visit www.versiontracker.com for a trial version). While FaxSTF "looks" better, I have never seen or heard of it functioning well.

    You may also want to install the Developers Tools (provided on Restore Disks) and BSD Subsystem (on the Mac OS X cd), as these have some helpful utilities/functions as well. Also, if you haven't already, load your computer up with RAM; OS X really only shines when it has >512MB at its disposal. Be careful with "haxies" provided at unsanity.com (provided by an earlier poster). Some love 'em, some hate 'em. Your mileage may vary.

    And always, always, always pay homage to Steve Jobs with a goat sacrifice at least once daily if you want to keep your computer in tip top shape.
     
  6. mnkeybsness macrumors 68030

    mnkeybsness

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, Minnesota
    #6
    welcome newb

    one of my friends told me who uses windows xp pro exclusively told me he wanted to know more about os x. the key to learning as much as you can is to just take you time...screw around with things. after all, that's how most people learn windows so well. something you may want to think about trying is to not install lots and lots of stuff on your computer that you need. and just play around with everything while logged in to root user. that way you will see how things can change, and not lose anything that's important to you. another thing to be familiar with is restarting or powering on and holding down command+S. this will bring you into a black screen with white text, reminiscent of DOS. this will allow you to type in fsck -y , also know as a "file system check"...oh yah...and booting from the os x install cd and using disk utility. in fact i had to do that today cause i just reinstalled os x and messed up on my primary drive's permissions...(i run some sharing and don't want my friends messing with the os)...blah blah blah....

    another good site to check out is www.ambitiouslemon.com under the "hints" section

    and if you have questions, dont' be afraid to post on the forums
     
  7. timbloom macrumors 6502a

    timbloom

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    #7
    Things to do when you first get your Mac:

    1. Get a real mouse Logitech and Kensington make some good ones. I prefer my Logitech MX700 wireless/optical/rechargeable mouse. OS X is really meant to be used with a multibutton mouse.

    2. Get Safari. It's a great browser, fast, but still beta.

    3. Fill your dock with the stuff you will use the most. Safari, iApps, TextEdit, and when you become accustomed to the OS, drag the terminal down there.

    4. Go to your System Preferences and set your EnergySaver preferences to your liking. Then continue on and explore everything there in detail.

    5. Open a folder, then go to the View menu and select "Show view options". Select "all windows" and customize. If you are using icon view, choose 11pt text there, It will let you fit a whole other row of icons on the default sized os x window, without much of a change at all.

    6. Buy a second drive, this is not really nesicarry, but I prefer keeping all my useless files and backups on one drive, and my apps and documents on the other.

    7. Don't think of it as a different face on your PC, It isn't. When you can't find something, look in the most logical place for it. Let yourself follow the rules of the OS for a few weeks before you start adding UI goodies to it. They are tempting, but you will progress faster without them, and there will be plenty of time later.

    8. Start playing with every little gadget and gizmo on the computer. But don't save your settings unless you understand what that option does.

    9. Don't be afraid to read a "for dummies" book if you feel like you are missing something.

    10. Chain the computer to a pole cemented deep into the ground when you are out, they seem to often have rabid outbursts and chase mailmen.

    11. Read the help forums here, even if they don't apply to you, someday they might.
     
  8. Chimaera macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2002
    #8
    Things I found useful when I started using OSX (I come from a windows background too, although I'm more of a fence sitter than a switcher - I like to use both).

    - When all windows for a program have closed it doesn't mean the program is shut down - that one still gets me from time to time :)

    - Might be worth getting a good book on the subjest - OSX: The Missing Manual by David Pogue is a good one for a computer-literate user.

    - As was suggested above, the default web browser in OSX is just plain nasty - IE 5.1 sucks every bit as much as the Netscape series do on Windows. Three browsers worth checking out are Safari, Chimera and OmniWeb

    - There are lots of very good websites for information out there, some have been mentioned above, another one to check out is www.versiontracker.com - a great souce of free and shareware apps.

    - Don't be afraid to play around - its a lot harder to break OSX than Windows, but it s possible - so don't play with the superuser account until you're ready (if you have some linux experience you'll know the risks).

    - Get a two-button mouse (preferably with a wheel) - both the right button and the wheel are supported.

    - Be patient - it will feel like an alien system for a while, but once you get used to it you'll really get to like it - I certainly did :)
     
  9. backspinner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Location:
    Eindhoven
    #9
    - get a wheel mouse
    - put the dock at the right side
    - do not install "haxies" as long as possible
    - create a folder ~/Downloads and point the browser settings to this one
    - command-~ or command-` does switch between application windows
    - use screenshots! they work great for storing information and communicating by email about a problem or something nice
    - use mail.app for email
    - use cocoa efax for faxing

    about screenshots: they get saved as .pdf files on the desktop or to the clipboard as .tiff stuff
    shift-command-3: fullscreen pdf on desktop
    shift-control-command-3: fullscreen to clipboard
    shift-command-4: part of screen to desktop
    shift-control-command-4: part of screen to clipboard
    when taken part-of-screen screenshot, press space bar to toggle between rectangle or window mode
     
  10. backspinner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Location:
    Eindhoven
    #10
    One another important tip: some preference panes do not show up in system preferences as the relevant hardware is not detected! This has left me wondering about things like bluetooth, tablets, ink etc... As soon as you plug in new hardware the pre installed prefpanes show up and you can use them, unplug and these panes disappear again.

    Confusing: yes
     
  11. pivo6 macrumors 68000

    pivo6

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #11
    As a recent switcher,

    -- i would first recommend the book Mac OSX The Missing Manual (second edition) by David Pogue. I still refer back to him when I have some questions.

    -- Ask questions. I've found the Mac community to be very helpful. On this site and in the others mentioned before.

    --Ditch IE for another browser. Either Safari or Chimera

    --Play around with it and have fun

    Glenn
     
  12. coolbreeze macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    UT
    #12
    I am a recent switcher too, and the biggest thing that amazed me about Mac OS is this. When you install a program (office, safari, IE, i apps, etc) the entire program is bundled in a single icon (or folder). In other words, in your applications folder, you will have many icons. To uninstall a program, simply drag the icon the the trash and the ENTIRE program is gone (98% of the time). No more poking around in the registry, deleting keys and other misc. folders all over your hard drive.

    It is a beautiful thing. So when you see an icon for IE and you no longer want IE, just drag it to the trash and it's totally gone. No control panel, add/remove programs, etc, etc, etc.

    I love OS X and hate using my Windows machine at work! Welcome!
     
  13. MightyB thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    #13
    Thanks guys!!! Keep them coming....

    I really appreciate everyone's input!

    Bri
     
  14. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #14
    WinXP - OSX equivalents

    Not really tips, but comparisons..

    XP
    C:\Program Files\
    OSX
    Macintosh HD/Applications

    XP
    Control Panel
    OSX
    System Preferences (in Apple menu or Dock)

    XP
    Taskbar
    OSX
    Dock

    XP
    Task Manager
    OSX
    Process Viewer (in /Applications/Utilities)

    XP
    Properties
    OSX
    Get Info (in contextual menu, or Command-I)

    XP
    Shortcuts
    OSX
    Aliases

    XP
    App preferences in .ini files (in Windows\Sys32 folder?)
    OSX
    in your home dir in /Library/Preferences? (not on my OSX machine at the moment!)

    XP
    Right mouse button
    OSX
    Command-click (or buy a mouse! almost any USB mouse should work with a Mac, even if it's marked as PC-only. OSX should automatically pick up the two mouse buttons and the scroll wheel)

    I'm sure there are plenty more..

    Mike.
     
  15. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #15
    I switched a few months ago, and at first had some difficulty because I kept looking for "windoze" stuff. (i.e. where's the "start" button?) Anyway, most of those types of stupid things you will encounter, but quickly resolve on your own.

    The one thing I got that I really like is a certain Konfabulator widget. First, I downloaded Konfabulator and then found a little tiny widget that looks like a tiny desktop. It floats above everything. I put it up in the top left corner just below where the close, minimize, maximize buttons would normally be. Anyway, whenever I have a bunch of windows closed, and I need to get to the desktop, I just click that, and everything hides. This can be useful when you need to access a desktop item.

    The other thing that I did that has helped me is to create a new "download" folder and then direct downloads to be saved there instead of my desktop. I kept having all sorts of weird things showing up on my desktop all the time that I would then have to relocate.

    Ditch IE as quickly as you can. It's not intuitive at all and it's slow.

    Don't get too frustrated when broadband internet people give you a hard time when you ask them how to hook your mac up and get it working. They're just trained monkeys who only know how to answer windoze questions.

    Learn some of the strange lingo people love to use on these boards. Windoze, PCheeze, M$, w00t, etc... Why? Because this is a fantastic resource when you get into trouble.
     
  16. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #16
    Re: WinXP - OSX equivalents

    XP
    Ctrl - Alt - Delete to restart (three fingered salute to M$)
    OSX
    No equivelant needed

    XP
    Ctrl - Alt - Delete to close a frozen program(three fingered salute to M$)
    OSX
    Force Quit - found under the little apple in the top left of the screen. You can also get there by hitting the command, shift and q keys (I think).
     
  17. FredAkbar macrumors 6502a

    FredAkbar

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    #17
    Re: Re: WinXP - OSX equivalents

    Actually, command-shift-Q brings up a dialog box asking you if you want to log out of your user account. The keyboard shortcut to force quit a program is Command-Option-Escape. The force quit box looks almost exactly like the Control-Alt-Delete box in Windows.

    Welcome to Mac!

    --Fred
     
  18. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #18
    Re: Re: WinXP - OSX equivalents

    "But just in case", I don't think there is now any three fingered equivalent; if the machine does freeze/hang your only option is to hold the power button (for about 5 seconds) on Macs that don't have a reset button. Otherwise, you'd have to physically pull the plug!

    I hadn't heard of Cmd-Shift-Q, but I think Cmd-Opt-Esc also does it. NOTE: if an app is badly frozen, then simply selecting Force Quit from the menu sometimes isn't enough; you need to switch to the Finder or another app, THEN force quit the offending app.

    Hope these help,
    Mike.
     
  19. bombensington macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    #19
    a lot of people are suggesting to ditch IE completely - i disagree. you may want to leave it on your computer, as there are a couple of places safari just isn't compatible with yet (i.e. a major online banking site).

    as for tips and tricks, check out www.atomiclearning.com - they have some great little quicktime movies of tips and tricks for you. the 10.2 section is free, but the rest of the site isn't.

    if you don't want to go the 2-button mouse route (which i highly suggest you just go ahead and get one), if you click and hold on an item in the dock, you can get the same menu you'd get if you'd right click.
     
  20. iWantAMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    AUS
  21. alset macrumors 65816

    alset

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    #21
    Continuing my former tips:

    12. If it works in one app, it's likely that it works in many or all apps.

    13. If you are converting MP3s in iTunes, check the Preferences menu (under the iTunes menu, if iTunes is the front app) and set the convert bit-rate up to 192kbs. I don't know why this is not the default setting.

    14. The Finder (Mac equivalent to Windows) is set, by default, to open new windows within the current window space. I prefer opening multiple windows. If you are like-minded, you can change this under the Preferences menu from the Finder menu when the Finder is the front app.

    15. Command-E will eject the selected drive (CD-ROM, for example).

    16. Check all the key equivalents of menu selections. No better way to save time than by avoiding your mouse.

    17. In the System Preferences window, items can be dragged to the top bar and removed just as you would in the Dock. You will see what that means when you try it.

    18. http://www.apple.com/macosx/ is your friend. Great place to find info regarding your Mac and OS X.

    More tips as I think of them.

    BTW - Do you have your PB, yet? Today was the day, right?

    Dan
     
  22. MightyB thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ
    #22
    Hey all....I got the PB yesterday...things have been GREAT!
    I did upgrade to 10.2.4, (as this came with 10.2.3)....after I did that though, I was getting some weird errors....safari would crash when I tried to use the menu bar, ie wouldn't open, missing icons in my dock, etc....

    I called applecare this morning, was on hold 10 minutes...the nice lady had me recreate my preference folder (since I had only been using it for a day) and then log out, log in....everything was fine...
    so I was happy with that experience...

    My think now is to learn as my keyboard shortcuts as possible...

    but everything else has been going very well....i LOVE this machine so far!!!

    thanks for all your help....and keep it coming!!!

    Brian
     
  23. alset macrumors 65816

    alset

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    #23
    So glad to hear that your Mac experience is going well! Welcome to the family.

    Dan
     
  24. Flickta macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    Location:
    Born in USSR
    #24
    Re: Re: WinXP - OSX equivalents

    I guess, it is all because Flicktas are not very nice, but I just have to tell you this:


    You may need this equivalent. It happened to me twice, when I got tired of staring at the "beachball" for twenty minutes (After "instant wake-up". Hm.)

    In these cases, you can press ctrl-cmd-power. Then hold cmd-s during startup and then check your disk... Have fun.

    About IE. It works. Safari sometimes won't. Keep them for a while.

    You surely know how the spring-loaded folders work? You take something and just drag it to the icon of, say, some folder, and it will soon open automatically, and you can go this way where you want and release the file... Nice thing. And if uncheck the option "open folders in new window", then by holding option you will achieve the same result.
     
  25. steeleclipse macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    Canada
    #25
    Number one tip: FORGET APPLECARE PHONE SUPPORT... Ask macRumors... we can ACTUALLY help you :D

    I don't what I would have done without the macRumors crew... Come here guys... lets hug :D
     

Share This Page