Are Macs easy to understand?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iNew2Macs, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. iNew2Macs macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2009
    In Windows when you view the things running in background, it just shows details. Does the mac actually tell you where its from and whats using it?

    What Im trying to say is, Does the mac help people new to computers? :)
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    It's easier to view those details on a Mac using the Activity Monitor.

    But, as far as, "Does the mac help people new to computers?" well everyone has an opinion, but anyone willing to learn can learn. Overall, both Mac and Windows are reasonably easy to learn. I don't believe either is easier for someone who has not used a computer. I would likely give whatever OS to that person that most of their friends or family has so they have a good support structure to learn what they need to about their computer.
  3. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2006
    Port Pirie, South Australia
    Do you mean like the Windows Task Manager? Showing running background processes?

    The Mac equivalent is Activity Monitor and it can show parent processes and if you know where to look, files currently in use by certain processes.
  4. McKnight macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2009
    Not really, if you're new to computers you shouldn't be looking under the hood at what's going on in the first place to be honest.

    Windows and OS X work on totally different engines anyway, OS X using a completely different concept to Windows under the hood.

    Either way, I don't quite get where this is going.. what do you need to know more information about exactly?
  5. iNew2Macs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2009
    Well, I dont really know how the whole "time machine/back up" really works yet. :p

    I know computer hardware though. Don't need help in that.

    But the stuff that mostly everyone knows like the whole back up thing.

    Another question I dont know is why is my hard drive storage draining everyday and its a lot. I dont even download anything. Cleaned everything too.
  6. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Download GrandPerspective. It visually shows your HD with larger areas indicating large files. If the space is being chewed up from single files this is an easy way to find them.
  7. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Is this on a Mac? Or a PC?

    And I agree with the previous poster, if you are new to computers, be it Mac or PC, you really shouldn't need to be poking about to see whats going on 'under the hood' as you are far more likely to cause a problem than fix one!

    I am also new to Mac (3 weeks in) after 20+ years of PC and haven't once felt the need to look at background processes - what is it that's driving you to ask this question?

    re Time Machine, what you need to know is, leave it alone, leave it running, once you start messing with it you are much more likely to break something than make soemthing better (unlike PC's IME)
    Again, why do you feel the need to know whats going on, all you need to know (unless this is just education for you for the heck of it) is that you set it up and use it and it just works!

    The point with Mac (well for me anyway) is not to spend ages fiddling with it to keep it running, I want it to get out of the way so I can just use it and get on with photos, web, email, spreadsheets, and not fixing stuff thats broken and having the computer itself be as much of a load to manage as the things I do with it.

    So, stop tinkering, the computer shouldn't be an end in itself (unless you are studying for the sake of it of course)
  8. iNew2Macs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2009
    Im talking about Windows

    Well I asked someone why my computer is slow, they told me to go in task manager and see whats using 100%CPU (Windows Media Player was causing it to freeze. So they said to disable it. I did it. Back to regular.)

    So now, every once in a while I check it to see if anything is hogging it. Thats why I asked about the background check for the Mac.

    My question about my Hard drive is for Windows.

    Thanks for the help.
  9. convert09 macrumors member


    Apr 13, 2009
    Chi-town area
    Not Intuitive

    If you have never used a Mac before then Mac is NOT intuitive as others may claim. I know this from personal experience when my dad decided to get his first computer. It was a Mac. All five of his kids grew up (figuratively) on PC's. Dad always called me for help and I could never figure out what I was doing because it wasn't intuitive. It just depends on what you are used to.

    That said, I'm new to Mac and I'm getting over the learning curve. I will not go back to a PC, either.
  10. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus


    Nov 28, 2001
    down in Fraggle Rock
    This is true for you because you spent a lifetime doing things the unintuitive way. The Mac was then unintuitive for you because you had been doing things differently for so long. This is also true of the OP, so your opinion might (in this case) be the most valid.

    But strictly speaking the Mac is more intuitive. Apple conducts extensive psychological and efficiency studies (most notably while developing Lisa and MacOS) to determine the way people interact with graphical user interfaces. Apple chooses interface elements and establishes its Human Interface Guidelines (a document detailing to software developers how to develop interfaces for their applications) based on these studies.

    Microsoft made many interface choices not based on science, but instead chose the opposite of Apple in order to be different enough not to face patent troubles. Menu bar on bottom instead of top, icons on left instead of right for example. The trouble is, by doing so they chose the least efficient and least intuitive way of ripping off Apple's GUI.

    A useful metaphor to consider is handedness. Most people in the population are right handed, and for the sake of this example lets assume everyone is right handed. Give people various tools they have never seen before, and the way the human brian works will mean most will use their right hand to manipulate the tool. Scientific studies could demonstrate this and companies could use this information to best serve this human preference.

    If, on the other hand ;), you are forced to use your left hand for 20 years and then all of a sudden asked to switch, you will find the change awkward and unintuitive. This is what changing from Windows to MacOS feels like. You need to unlearn bad habits, and this can be frustrating and painful. Most find that it is worth it after the fact, but it can be frustrating while you go through the transition.
  11. odej98 macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Amen to that one :) I have no interest in going back to pc ever again.
    As far as the learning curve, or how easy it is to learn, I was up and running and knew everything I needed to make my mac functional in a weekend. I learned more and was doing more in that weekend than I have for the 5 years as a windows user. It is easy to hit the ground running.
  12. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    You think Microsoft with all of that money doesn't hire the best interface designers out there? Yes they had patent issues to deal when they first moved to a GUI, but you sell them short. I think their biggest hurdle has been trying to change the interface while keeping everything the same. Apple moved from Classic to Mac OS X, and completely overhauled the interface in the process. Microsoft is getting there in Windows 7, but we'll see how that plays out. Longhorn was far more ambitious than Vista.

    Since you mention the default location of the icons: most Western scripts are written left to right, top to bottom. With a ton of icons on your desktop, your (my) instinct is to start at the left-hand side when skimming through looking for something. To me, Windows wins out in that case.

    Then again, I only have eight icons on my desktop right now, four of which are hard drives/partitions. In my case, it doesn't really matter which side my icons are on.
  13. Amigalander macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    Actually, I think the Amiga's Workbench was the most intuitive OS of the 3, but that's ancient history :(
    I used the Amiga from 1985 to 1999.
    I used Windows from 1999 to 2007.
    I used Mac from 2007 to present.

    The Mac is considered by most people to be easier and more intuitive. Personally, I find it leap years ahead of Windows in terms of "comfort" I feel with an OS, which I guess means it's intuitive. It makes me feel more "at ease" instead of feeling like I'm constantly in conflict with it (like Windows made me feel). Therefore I'm more productive in the Mac's OS, more creative, happier, and more respectful of it.

    However it's still a personal choice. I've met someone who said they felt the Mac was less intuitive than Windows. But I've met dozens who said they preferred the Mac OS X.

    Personally, I think anyone who likes computers and fairly devotes the same amount of time and attention to both OS's will come out preferring the Mac. But to know for yourself, you have to experience it for yourself. Nobody's opinion will be exactly the same as your own.

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