Switching, cold turkey style (almost)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rogersmj, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #1
    I've posted a few comments here and there but I thought I'd officially introduce myself and ask a few questions of my own.

    "Hi, I'm Matt and I'm a PC user."

    All: "Hi, Matt." /AA style

    I have been a PC user since before Windows 3.1, so I know the ins and outs and can fix any Windows problem with my eyes closed, from 95 to Vista. However, I'm tired of fixing Windows problems, and while Linux was fun for a little while I got tired of tinkering with it all the time just to get anything to work.

    So two nights ago, I scooted back from my desk, took stock of all my equipment (a Athlon64 3000 gaming machine, a Dell P4 2.0 GHz, and a Gateway Pentium III 933, along with three LCDs -- two 19" and an old 20"), and put it all up for sale. Every last thing. The only "PCs" I'm keeping are my laptop (a Dell 700m, waiting for a Merom MacBook) and my trusty Linux fileserver. I decided that if I'm going to switch, I need to immerse myself in it and not give myself the opportunity to use Windows while I'm at my desk, because then I'm afraid I won't necessarily be forced to learn everything about OSX. I do know I like it, because I've played a lot with a Mac we have at work (an older Mini), I just don't know the ins and outs yet.

    Two of my PCs and one monitor have sold already. So as soon as the third PC sells, I'm off to buy my Mac -- I plan to get a 20" iMac Core 2 Duo, stock configuration, and then buy 2x1GB sticks of RAM to put in it. I will also buy a Dell 2007WFP (I can't work without dual monitors). I'm a student so I can get the edu discount on the iMac at $1399.

    So I have a few questions for all you experienced Mac people. First, what do you think of my plan? Good to jump in with both feet?

    Second, I'm going to need to elevate the 2007WFP slightly to match the height of the iMac's screen (if I don't, it will drive me nuts -- I'm mildly OC). I'm looking for a clean-looking, low-height monitor riser/shelf thing. All I've found so far are a couple crappy-looking ones at Staples. Any recommendations?

    Third, and what I'm most concerned about, the keyboard and mouse. I'm very sensitive to the quality of my input devices. I currently use a Logitech MX5000 set and like the typing quality, but I'm selling it with my PC because the LCD on it is useless if you don't use Windows (and it doesn't match a Mac at all). I also prefer my devices to be wireless. However, a scroll wheel with no "notches" on it somehow disturbs me when I use it, so I think the bluetooth Mighty Mouse is out. I'm also not sure how I feel about Apple keyboards, so I'll have to use the one that comes with my iMac for a bit before I decide I suppose. I've read some reviews on the Logitech S530 for Mac set but they're very mixed. Some people say it's great, other say it's mediocre at best. So I guess I'm looking for opinions and recommendations.

    OK so that was a little longer than I intended, but there it is. I appreciate any advice anyone can offer a newbie like me. Thanks!
     
  2. danielbriggs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    Hi!


    On the Mouse/ Keyboard side:

    You might want to try the Microsoft Desktop 4000 elite, as that is REALLY nice.
    Wireless mouse and keyboard, works with mac and windows. There is a leather wrist rest on the keyoard and lots of extra programmable buttons and a zoom slider on the left.

    The mouse is nice, has a "notched" scroll wheel, but by god it is so smooth at scrolling! and there is a nice kind of friction and resistance to it. but not too much.


    About the monitors, could you get a high end Mac Mini and stick 2 identical monitors on it? Then they will match???


    Dan :)
     
  3. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    around/about
    #3
    First off, good luck with your new system. It may take you a little while to acclimate, but I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it. If not, you can always revert to Windows via dual boot.

    Second, I'm not sure I have anything helpful concerning a riser for the monitor. Are you sure the WFP doesn't reach high enough to be flush with the iMac? I have one running on my PC at home but haven't bothered comparing it to our iMac yet.

    Third, I hear that the new Logitech MX Revolution is a fantastic mouse and works fine with Mac OS. Keyboard-wise you can use any good PC device - if I had a choice I would go with my Auravision Thinline (lappy-style) keyboard, because I like the action. Your ctrl-windows-alt keys would have different functions when in Mac OS, but otherwise it should work nicely.
     
  4. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #4
    Thanks, I'll check that set out.

    You can't do two monitors on a Mini or else I would have considered it! (and no, I'm not buying that piece of junk VGA splitter thing from Matrox -- I need DVI).

    @gloss: Yeah, I'm sure. The 2007WFP doesn't rise up as high as the 2005 did, it's about 1" to 1.5" short of the iMac's screen. Check out this guy's setup. I asked him about it and he said that was as high as it would go.
     
  5. tomacintosh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    #5
    I went straight from PC to Mac without even using OSX once. I was watching an Apple Keynote speech and saw the new iMac G5 when it was first released, I fell in love with it :)

    So I sold my PC, and ordered a 20" iMac, straight in at the deepend :p Granted I had a few mates on MSN that were Mac users to help me out with stuff, but for the first week or so I wondered if I'd made the right decision. Now, I can't go back, simple as that :eek:
     
  6. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    around/about
    #6
    Ahh, so it is.

    Have you considered a copy of Atlus Shrugged?
     
  7. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #7
    What about some acrylic or metal or wood stand from a high-end home/furniture store? (One of those things they might set underneath a vase for decoration.)

    Re jumping in - I wouldn't have the guts myself, but it sounds like a good plan :) You will love troubleshooting a Mac (if you ever even have to) because there only are about 5 things to try and they're generally simple and effective :)

    If you want I'll share my list of tips for new Mac users. I've compiled it over time.

    For the mouse, just try a bunch at a store and see what feel you like. Any USB mouse will work on Mac, and needs no drivers: you can assign Exposé and Dashboard functions to extra buttons, and scrolling/right-click always works too. If you want more functions than that, make sure the box says Mac on it (so you know the "extra goodies" driver works on Mac), but otherwise, USB is all you need.
     
  8. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #8
    I would be interested in some beginner's tips. I've found a few articles around the web about switching but they're usually dumb. One thing I'm interested in is the process of installing software. I hear it's mostly a drag and drop affair. What if, for example, Apple releases an update for the buggy, buggy iTunes 7? Do I just drag that into my Apps folder on top of the other iTunes, and that "upgrades" it? Keep in mind I still think in Windows.
     
  9. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #9
    Apple's own software and OS can be updated automatically (under your control: see System Preferences). But if you have to install an app OR an app upgrade manually, it will tell you to use one of two methods.

    1. Drag and drop, as you say.

    2. Double-click an installer.


    Here are my tips for switchers, for what they're worth:


    * Exposé - Show All Windows is your best friend. It's often quicker than Command (cloverleaf)-Tab (same as Windows Alt-Tab) and always quicker than dragging or minimizing windows to see behind them. Get in the habit of hitting F9, or better yet, assign a mouse button or hot corner (I use bottom-left) in System Preferences.

    * And you can do this in the MIDDLE of dragging something: drag from one window, go into Exposé, hover over the destination until it blinks (or hit Space) and then when it zooms to full size, drop where you wish. So you can drag from a visible window to a buried window in one motion. (Or to your desktop: F11.)

    * Don't quit an app if you'll use it again soon. Leaving an app running in X doesn't use up many system resources at all. Just Hide it: Command-H instead of Q. When you want the app back, there it is with no loading delay.

    * Try holding Option (Alt) when switching from one app to another. It auto-hides the previous app with no need to choose Hide. This works whether you switch apps by clicking in the Dock, OR by clicking on a window of the other app. You can even hide the current app just by Option-clicking on exposed desktop, since the desktop is a "window" of the Finder. (And to switch to any app and auto-hide ALL other apps, Command-Option click its Dock icon.)

    * Move your Dock to the left to get it out of the way of scrollbars (just my preference). Don't use Dock Magnification AND Dock Hiding at once: they are both nice, but the combination makes it harder to click an app. I like my Dock visible: at a glance I can see what's running, and all my minimized windows.

    * Turn off hard disk icons on the desktop, in Finder Preferences. Your screen will be nice and empty, and besides, your "Home" directory (the one with your name) is where everything goes anyway--the rest of the HD won't concern you except when installing software (put apps somwhere in "Applications," for best results.)

    * Customize! Here's where to look: 1) The overall System Preferences in the Apple menu. 2) Each app's own Preferences (including Finder)--just switch to that app and look in the app's named menu (the first one after the apple). 3) Most apps have some kind of View Options in the View menu. 4) To customize most app's toolbars, Right-click the toolbar. Add the Path menu to your Finder Toolbars for instance--very handy. OR, try command-clicking the title of a Finder window to see the path. (Works in the Safari browser too.)

    * If an app has no windows open, it can STILL be running. Look at the name up by the apple to know what app you are in. And if you want a new window in any app that has none, just click the app's icon in the Dock. That's how you get a Finder window for instance.

    * When you click one of an app's windows, it comes forward alone, leaving all other windows behind. Makes it easy to use several apps at once. But if you want ALL the app's windows, just click the app in the Dock.

    * For a quick list of all windows in an app, right-click its Dock icon (also allows you to Quit or Hide without even switching to the app first). You can also use the Window menu to find any or all windows in the current app.

    * If you put a folder (or hard disk) in the Dock, right-click to get to everything inside without ever opening a window. You can make folders full of shortcuts (called aliases on Mac) and not have to clutter your Dock with apps you don't use often. This makes "subcategories" for your Dock. I put my "subcategories" into the Users/Shared folder so that ALL user accounts can access them.

    * Add the Applications folder to your Dock and you can navigate it to any app (much like the Start Menu in Windows). Add any other often-used files folders to the Dock--OR to the Finder sidebar, which can be collapsed to show just the icon instead of wasting space with names: just double-click the vertical divider. The Finder sidebar is a good place to put a destination of something you want to move: drag the folder to the sidebar, and when you're done, drag it back out (anywhere). Dragging something out of the Dock or Finder sidebar doesn't delete it, it just removes that shortcut.

    * When you're dragging something and want to cancel the drag, just drop it in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

    * To move text from one app to another, highlight it, then click the highlight and hold for a moment. Now you can drag that text to any other app (just like Copy and Paste). You can also drag the text to the Desktop or any Finder window. It will make a text clipping, which you can drag into any document at any time--like storing multiple Copy clipboards with snippets of text to re-use. This is also the quickest way to store a tidbit of info from an email or Web page: select the text and drag it to the Desktop.

    * Nearly every window has a "proxy" icon next the the window title. Click and hold on that for just a moment and you can drag it. It represents the file, so you can move the file from place to place, open it in another app by dragging it to the Dock, etc. (Also, a window with a dot in the red Close button means the document has not been saved.)

    * Try holding Option (alt) or Command while dragging and clicking things--those are common advanced shortcuts. For instance, when dragging a file, Option forces it to Copy, Command forces it to move (without leaving a copy behind) and Command-Option makes an alias (shortcut). You can also reposition items in an app's toolbar by Command-dragging them. The same goes for icons in the main menu bar at the top-right. More examples: Option-click the triangle for a folder in List view, and it will open that folder AND all subfolders within it. Option-click a window's Close button to close ALL the windows of that particular app. Or option-click the Minimize button (yellow) to minimize all.

    * In Safari, enable tabbed browsing and then Command-clicking a link will open it in a new Tab: Command-click a bunch of links and they will all open neatly in one window. Option-click any link to download the file it points to. Or to download just one file from a Web page, look at the Activity Viewer (Window menu) and Option-double-click the file you want to download.

    * Command-click an icon in the Dock to see where the file is really located. The same thing works with Spotlight results: even right in the drop-down meny you can Command-click any item and the enclosing folder will open. And to trace a shortcut/alias back to its source, choose Show Original (Command-R).

    * To make a .zip of any file(s) just choose Create Archive.

    * CDs that you burn on Mac will work on Windows machines too.

    * For sharpest text display, make sure System Preferences > Appearance has font moothing set to "best for LCD."

    * You can make your Mac auto-lock the screen if you walk away long enough to trigger the screen saver. Then anyone who walks up needs a password to access the machine. Just go to System Preferences and choose "Require password...."

    * Macs sleep and wake reliably: you don't have to power them all the way down.

    * Download software from http://versiontracker.com , http://macupdate.com , and http://macgamefiles.com .

    * In every 24-hour period you are using only a fraction of your Mac's power. Put the rest to good use, help Stanford U. save lives, and get some cool stats on your Mac in the process :) Fold! http://teammacosx.com/NQS (Native Intel Folding@Home software is coming any day now.) Don't forget, if you want to do the team-stats thing, that Team MacOS X is not the only Mac team--MacRumors has a team too!


    Enjoy your new machine :)
     
  10. gloss macrumors 601

    gloss

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Location:
    around/about
    #10
    Generally. I think iTunes has an installer, but that's not the norm. Programs that make system modifications will include installers, while everything else is drag and drop. If a company is nice (say, Skype) they'll include an alias of your Applications folder WITHIN the disc image, so you just drag the program icon over an inch or two and you're done.

    You can also use Software Update under the Apple Menu for standard Apple software like iLife, Quicktime, Front Row.

    edit: Geez, beaten by a monster post.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #11
    We have our own beginner's guide: http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Beginner's_Guide

    Updates to all Apple software are handled through Software Update, and don't use the drag & drop methods. Certain other software use an installer e.g. MS Office. However most third party apps are self contained and drag & drop based...

    B
     
  12. Xenesis macrumors regular

    Xenesis

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    You know, since I started using 10.3, and as much as I love exposé, I never knew that.

    I thank you for enlightening me. It never occured to me to do it while dragging files! :confused:
     
  13. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #13
    For raising the monitor up you could always try to find some coasters that would match or at least come close.

    Maybe somehting like this or this.

    Hope that helps.
     
  14. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #14
    Thanks for the help and suggestions, everyone. The coasters aren't a bad idea. I like the silver ones but $20 is a lot for four coasters!

    I like this thing, it's pretty slick looking, and I would get some utility out of the space underneath the monitor, but $56 is pushing it. Obviously that is higher than 1", but the Dell can be lowered quite a bit on it's stand.

    EDIT: Here we go, this one I think is better (more reasonable). It's also not two feet wide like the one on Amazon-- that's just too big.
     
  15. prostuff1 macrumors 65816

    prostuff1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    #15
    I like that stand also, just make sure all the monitor feet will fit on the stand.

    Looks like a good choice...you just have to decide if it is worth the money.
     
  16. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #16
    I measured my friend's monitor, the Dell stand is 13.1" wide at it's widest point. The monitor stand at Target is 15" wide, and only $20. I think that's a good deal -- considering that's the same price as the coasters, and anything cheaper than that is going to be plastic (don't want that).
     
  17. MacProGuy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    #17
    As a 15 year windows user... I'll tell you the biggest thing is to not let your trained *WAY* of doing things in Windows XP get you down.

    Things can sometimes work VERY differently in OS X... and sometimes that can get frustrating...

    Until you just sit back, look at it ... and think... ok... logically, how SHOULD this work...

    And odds are, if you do that, you'll be fine... (you'll find that the Mac typically works the way you might expect if you HAD no previous expectations...)...

    So thats my best advice... just understand you've been trained for years on how NOT to do things... and that can sometimes make you think that you THINK you know how it should work... but hang in there... it's soooo much easier and logical over here :)

    P.S., no need to completely leave windows... one of the main reasons I switched is to have the ABILITY to run both if I so needed / wanted ;) No shame in that!
     
  18. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #18
  19. rogersmj thread starter macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #19
    MacProGuy, that's very good advice, thank you! And yeah, I will have a 50GB or so Windows partition to use with Bootcamp and maybe Parallels going if I need access to something within OSX. When the Intel Macs came out in January is when I seriously started wanting to switch, because A) the new Macs were so fast and B) I could run all three OSes if I wanted to.
     

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