Any advice for a PC person not used to MAC????

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by SasyBabe, Apr 3, 2003.

  1. SasyBabe macrumors member


    Apr 1, 2003
    New Jersey
    I ordered the new 17" PB and i havent own an apple computer since my apple IIe. I have only have PCs... soooo i was wondering what do i need to know when i get my PB? I know the MAC osX is different than windows.... but i need someone to explain to me different things i need to know.... like updates? what is this about not shutting off your computer?? What is the terminal? What do I have to know about file converting? Any tips or advice anyone can give me will help! Thanks!! I cant wait to get my PB!!! I'll probably be a MAC girl now instead of PC! :)
  2. macphoria macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2002
    There is nothing you need to know in order to use Mac OS. Just play around with it, click it here and there. Mac OS very intuitive and allows user to get used to it quickly.

    1) like updates?
    Software update is automatic when you are connected to internet. It will tell you what needs to be updated, you answer yes or no.

    2) what is this about not shutting off your computer??
    Mac can be put to sleep, meaning computer "hibernates" (display off, hard drive stops working/spinning, etc) with minimum power. It does this when you leave the computer on and do nothing or you deliberately make it sleep. It wakes up when you press the keyboard, faster than starting the computer when it is completely off.

    3) What is the terminal?
    Unless you know programming language, no need to worry about this. Kind of like DOS window in Windows where you can type in instructions.

    4) What do I have to know about file converting?
    If you have same Mac softwares as in PC, no need to worry. If you have MS Word file from PC, for example, it will open in Mac version of Word.
  3. evoluzione macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    well, the way i look at macs v pcs, macs make life easier for ya, pcs don't. they're more logical for a start, so, if you're wondering how to do something....think how you'd do it, not how your pc would have made you do it. chances are you'll do whatever you set out to do, there's usually 3 ways of doing everything on a mac.

  4. Steradian macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2002
    San Jose
    Well, what was the last Windoze OS you used?
    Sometimes it helps to have something to compare to. Updates in OS X are quite easy, in your preferences pane, go to Software update their you can tell it to look for updates every day, week, month etc. very handy. Although OS X is very stable I wouldn't recomend leaving your PowerBook on for to long as it be "bad" for it. I have found the terminal very helpful for 3rd party apps and such, but you are unfamilar to OS X or Unix I wouldn't recomend getting your feet wet just yet. Here are some good shortcut's to help your transition. I was unsure what you meant by file translation but I think that you meant something like this If you have any extra time I would highly recomend This Book for you and anyone else who wants to learn how to control OS X well Heh, welcome I hope that you will find these boards helpful :)
  5. SasyBabe thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 1, 2003
    New Jersey
    Thanks for all your help so far.... :D

    I would like to learn Unix... my major for college is computer science. Sooo any sites with Unix code or tips on using it?? :confused:

    I have MS word on my PC computer and my PB is gonna have apple works or whatever it comes with.... so does that convert documents between the two??

    The last OS i used was Windows XP, Windows 98...i've used windows 95 too. If that helps..

    :p I cant wait until my PB comes now! Is it still taking a month to ship????
  6. Noiseboy macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2002
    Lurking nearby.
    Although OS X is very stable I wouldn't recomend leaving your PowerBook on for to long as it be "bad" for it.

    Actually, this isn't true, many people never shut down their computers. On a Powerbook putting the display to sleep is fine. There is a reason for leaving OS X running and that is that it performs self maintenance between 3:00 and 6:00 am and can't do this if it's sleeping or shut down. However, this can be circumvented by downloading Mac Janitor, a freeware that you can ask to do daily, weekly or monthly maintenace. You can find it by going to Google and typing macjanitor.
    I have never been too happy with leaving my Powerbook on all night though I rarely shut it down, so macjanitor is really usefull.

    There are a million things to find out about OS X but fortunately it is a joy to work with and is very intuitive so you will be able to get productive straight away and learn it's nuances as you go.

    Your first download should probably be Apple's Safari web browser available from and from there on it's a big welcome to the wonderfull world of Macs.
  7. beatle888 macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002
    Re: Any advice for a PC person not used to MAC????

    thank god, another girl on the boards. for seeing whats out there for the mac. this is also where
    you can find macjanitor to run MacOSX
    maintanence routines. but if you leave the
    computer on all the time it will do this
    this is apples download page for popular
    software. check out the categories section to
    the right.

    if you want a fast browser try apples safari beta
    its fast but is still in beta mode. use internet
    explorer for a slower web experience but better
    compatibility with more websites.

    leave all your applications in the main
    applications folder for now. just until you
    become familiar with the pitfalls of moving
    them around. it really isnt a problem but the
    software updater expects the apple applications
    to be there. if your use to organizing your
    applications according to tasks, make a folder
    and name it something like Application Aliases
    and within that folder make additional folders
    for example, graphics, communications, audio,
    utilities, and make aliases (shortcuts) for each
    app that you want to include. take this
    Applications Alias folder and drag it to the dock,

    hmm, its pretty easy (the mac). it you survived
    windows you should find your way around the
    mac pretty easily. my friends brother just
    switched to mac. his biggest problem was
    playing media files on the web. Windows Media
    Player, Real Player and QuickTime will help
    with these files but Windows Media Player has
    difficulties playing INSIDE a browser window.
    i usually have to copy the link and past it in
    Windows Media Player.

    im not sure how well apple works converts
    word docs but im sure it can to some extent.
    i think it would depend on the complexity
    of the word doc.
    i think you can get Microsoft Office for $200
    when you buy your apple might
    not be too late to add this to your order. also
    apple ram is a rip off. go to
    for good deals on good ram.

    people say dont turn off your computer cause
    apple runs maintenance while your computer
    is asleep (but im confused about this cause
    how can the OS run maintenance routines if
    the computer is sleeping). thats the only
    reason though.

    dont worry about leaving your laptop on like
    that one poster said. thats BS. ive had mine on
    almost constantly for like two years.

    there are two folders that you should get to
    know, your main applications folder and your
    user (home) folder, thats it.

    oh and before you go ripping all your cd's to
    mp3's, set your itunes preferences. you can
    find the itunes preferences within the itunes
    application under the itunes menu at the top
    of the screen.
  8. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    Re: Re: Any advice for a PC person not used to MAC????

    Yes, all what, eight of us?
  9. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Some basic unix to get you started (things in <> are things you should replace. Don't put the <>'s in. Directories are the same as folders):

    cd <name of directory> = change to that directory

    ls = list contents of directory (like dir in DOS)

    man <name of command> = view manual page for that command

    top = list everything running on the computer, with various statistics

    sudo <command> = run the command as the system administrator (or, as it's called in unix, the root user)

    mv <file> <destination> = move the file to the destination

    Some good places to get info are: (go to the open forum, then the macintoshian achai, it's a great forum) (obviously, ;)) (cool mac games and utilities, plus some forums)

    Since you're majoring in CS (I'm planning to also), some of the other arstechnica forums could be useful too.

    Some more assorted tips:

    Mac is not an acronym (in other words, it's not MAC, it's Mac, or mac. I don't care much, but it really bugs some people)

    You really don't need to shut down your computer much. Sleep uses about 10% of normal power (and probably less on laptops), and the system is stable enough that it doesn't need to be rebooted often (usually, anyway. My machine's kinda screwy).

    If you look around, there's tons of free utilities that will make your life a ton easier.

    Appleworks (afaik) has fairly limited compatibility with Word (Microsoft's gone to a great deal of trouble to make word documents incompatible with other programs). I think it works, but I don't know how well (I use Word X myself).

    Internet Explorer for the Mac is really horrible. Get Camino (, or Safari ( Omniweb ( is also good, but the current version is rather slow and doesn't work on some pages. Version 5 should fix that.
  10. mrjamin macrumors 65816


    Feb 6, 2003
    Unix is not a programming language - it's an operating system that the majority of hardcore programmers work on (with Perl for example). From what i understand (someone please correct me if i'm wrong - i probably am!), Unix is a command line OS like DOS or the terminal you get under OS X, there are GUI (graphical user interfaces) like the numerous distributions of Linux and in a round-a-bout way OS X.

    Unix has many advantages over windows and the like in that it's more versatile, stable and secure.

    I've probably got a few 1+1=3's in there, so someone please intervene before i completely screw up someone's thinking!
  11. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    that's actually a very good description of unix in a nutshell :)

    as for the previous posts, the maintenance utilities definitely do not run unless your computer is ON and AWAKE between the specified times. The real reason for putting a Mac to sleep is that it's a hell of a lot more convenient than shutting down-- with older OS's like OS 9, it was good to shut down, because the OS needed to be rebooted every so often. OS X, on the other hand, can run for - well, indefinitely i suppose... it seriously hardly ever crashes and since memory is protected, it can't corrupt other memory anymore.

    it's kind of a pet peave of mine that people shut down instead of sleeping-- realistically, you're probably using more electricity during the boot process than it uses to keep the mac asleep for a long time. OS X's sleep function is Energy Star approved...

    Apple is traditionally pragmatic in their approach to an OS, so i really don't think you'll have a hard time adjusting-- it's not revered for being intuitive for nothing :) hope you have a great time getting to know this wonderful computer :)

  12. mrjamin macrumors 65816


    Feb 6, 2003
    Yeah i know, i was just testing the rest of the community (ahem). Seriously though, thanks for assuring me!
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Excellent summary, mrjamin, except that 1+1 might not be 3. I'll check later if you want. Right now I'm late for dinner.
  14. RBMaraman macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2002
    Prospect, KY
    Actually, your 17" PB doesn't come with AppleWorks. It does come with a test drive version of Microsoft Office V.x (which expires in 30 days). I recommend that you purchase Microsoft Office V.x (It's much better than Office for Windows according to Microsoft). AppleWorks is OK, but if you do a ton of word processing you'd better stick with Microsoft Office.
  15. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    The "dock" is like the windows task-bar (on the bottom of the screen), the icons there are shortcuts to programs located in the "applications" folder on your hd.

    To add programs to the dock, just drag the icon of an application to it. On the right side of the dock is the trash can, and to the left of it, you can drag shortcuts of file and folders to this location also. I recommend you put the applications folder in the dock so that you can just right-click the icon and a list of the contents (applications) will pop up similar to the start menu. If you minimize windows, they minimize on the right side of the dock also. On the very left side of the dock is the icon for the finder (like windows explorer), if you click it, a new finder window will open. If you click an application that is open, you can right-click the icon, and get a pop-up list of the windows in that app.

    Minimize, close, and maximize buttons are on the left side of windows instead of the right side like Red is close, yellow is minimize, and green is maximize.

    The apple menu is on the top left of the screen, here you can access "system preferences" log-out, shutdown etc.

    *note: When you maximize windows, sometimes it wont go "full-screen" like on windows, it will just resize the window to "fit" the contents in it, if you want to go full screen with window, just stretch it manually, and from then on, it will maximize to that custom size if you click "green".
    Check: for more info, especially the PDF (near right bottom) about windows compatibility.
  16. sprocklingcat macrumors member

    May 4, 2002
    depending on where you're going to college

    SasyBabe you may have an Apple Campus Rep at your school. They are a great bunch and always more than willing to help a newbie learn the ropes.
  17. sparks9 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2003
  18. Acke macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2002
    Welcome to the macworld!

    One advise to you. Do not use MAC when you are talking about a Macintosh. Use Mac instead, MAC is something completely different. It has to do with your network-card address.

    And its Mac OS X not MAC osX. Its not that important but there are always people like me thats going to point that out for you. :p
  19. blogo macrumors 6502

    Apr 1, 2002
    Also, "Mac OS X" is pronounced "Mac OS ten", not "Mac OS ex" :rolleyes:
  20. maradong macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2003
  21. SasyBabe thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 1, 2003
    New Jersey
    Well... i read over everything... and thank u for ALL of the advice.

    I know Unix is not a programming language... I understand the commands you gave me, so i'll try them out! :D

    Thanks for all the of great web sites and ideas for utilities... i have alot of things to look over now! That will keep me busy while my PB still isnt here...

    Thanks for all of the little tips i'll need to know... i have a better understanding of how this computer works now! :p

    I'm sorry i offended some people with the way i wrote Mac and OS X... i really wasnt paying attention to the way i wrote it...I wrote Mac with all caps to show emphasis on it... not that it stands for something. I will be more careful :)

    Thanks again for all of the help... I REALLY needed it! Windows is a lot different...and many many more problems with it to worry about.... So i feel pretty confedent about using a Mac!
  22. Steradian macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2002
    San Jose
    Great, Welcome to MacRumors, I am sure that you will be forgiven ;) for your 'mistakes', hope you found everything on this site helpful. O and never forget about the seach function in tht Disscussion fourms section, thier is a wealth of information there. :) O and if you would Please join our folding team :D we are team 3446, just look at rower's sig he has a bunch of links on info etc :) You do know that you must stay here on these boards 24/7 now that you have joined our community :)
  23. SasyBabe thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 1, 2003
    New Jersey
    Hey there... i tried to see where i'm supposed to join the folding team... but i dont know where to go... I click on the link to join in Rower's sig.... but i dont see a place to join... where do i go?? And what exactly is this folding team? What is the program supposed to when you DL it? If you could explain alittle more...thanks! :)
  24. Gus macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    Or better yet, if you have a good internet connection (read: broadband) download OpenOfficeX. It looks, feels, and translates like MS Office apps, and it is free.


    P.S. He's right about AppleWorks not comiong with the PB. For some odd reason, Apple doesn't include a word processor with the pro line machines.
  25. beatle888 macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002
    this will get you started with folding. there is a whole section dedicated to it under Discussion Forums, the link at the top of macrumors website. after you click Discussion Forums go down towards the bottom of the page and you'll see a link called Distributed Computing. that should keep you busy until someone comes along that knows more about it. and just so you know, some people around here like to make themselves feel better by pointing out others mistakes in a BIG way. if they are overly rude to you just ignore them and click on the "report this post to the moderator" link at the bottom right of EVERY post. i hope you like it here, its worth any snobbishness you might encounter.

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