BIG Switch, Need Tips/Suggestions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by justwatchthesky, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. justwatchthesky macrumors newbie


    Jan 10, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    Ok, so here's the deal; after 13 years of faithfulness to microsoft and PCs in general, I've finally made the switch to a Mac for the sexy MBP. Anyway - as a veteran windows user, and one who knows a lot about PCs and fine tuning, I'm in need of some help.

    My primary use for the laptop will be playing music, doing schoolwork, instant messaging, internet browsing, photo organizing, and bragging to everyone I know about why my Mac is better than their clunky laptops - among other things.

    I just want to know what programs and settings y'all (yes I'm southern) suggest for some of these things. I'll be using iTunes, possibly Microsoft office, but what choices do I have besides iChat - I want to keep my AIM buddy list. And how can I get the most out of my MBP. Features most new users don't know how to take full advantage of, and general tips for making this transition I have been happily awaiting for some time now!:D

    Thanks much,
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Instead of AIM or iChat, you can use Fire, Adium, or Proteus, though you don't get video or audio at this time.

    NeoOffice is a good substitute for MS Office but TextEdit, which is already in your Applications folder, can open some MS Word documents. If you're creating new stuff the iWork suite is incomplete but does first rate presentations and documents with emphasis on page layout.

    You've probably already got OmniOutliner in your Applications folder, which should help you with your outlines and brainstorming.

    I use Firefox 2 for web browsing but Safari and Opera are also available and all three work well.
  3. piltupso macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2006
    One thing I stumbled across after I switched was expose, the f9 key on a mbp. hit that and all your open pages are shown hit the one you want and its back on top. Works great with my mighty mouse just give it a squeeze and I can quickly switch to the next window I need without fumbling around minimizing . Also the f11 key will clear all open windows off your desktop so you can get to that shortcut you need under all those multiple things you might be working on. I know these sound really simple but I find myself using them everyday.
  4. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    I'm with bousozoku...a chat client like Adium is the best, because it let's you merge your MSN, Yahoo and AIM/.Mac chat lists and use them all in one app.

    Also, for beginners...most think that the red button in the top corner closes a doesn't, it just closes the close a program you need to select Quit from the File menu of that program (well, that's one of three or four ways to do it, but it's the most straightforward for now).

    Also, make friends with the sidebar in your finder windows and the dock...your can put files or folders you access most in either of them.

    Good luck and enjoy!
  5. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    Well, you'll definitely own their arses in this regard, since your mac can run both the Mac OS AND WindowsXP too :)

    So if there are any apps that you know for sure you cant find a Mac version of (not many), no worry, just boot your old favorite and run it there !

    That plus the overall betterness of the MBP will keep your braggin rights alive for a long time :D

    As for apps, go to & for listings of freeware/shareware/commercial updates of most any Mac app written in recent years. That plus hanging out here for more opinions, tips, tricks, etc etc will get you TONS of info.......
  6. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    People who are very technically knowledgeable about Windows often feel frustrated on a Mac because everything they know is no longer true (Microsoft did this on purpose). I suggest that you read David Pogue's Switching to the Mac. You will learn things many long time users don't know. Combined with exploring, and what you can learn here, you will be a veteran again soon. Best wishes.
  7. wisredz macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2006
    I was a Win user myself and apart from the driver problems, unexplainable crashes there was this whole feeling of clumsiness over the system. I was unable to navigate easily over multiple IE pages, I was constantly trying to find which page I was reading after looking at something else. These may seem to be small problems and in fact they are. I'm not mentioning the higher risk of being target to viruses and all, it has been talked over for long time.

    I switched. And the whole computer experience has a different meaning now. Windows is like being a heavy smoker who hates smoking. Computers and especially internet is an everyday must for me. While using Win, I had to get online to do some stuff, but hating every second XP asked me to send stupid reports that do nothing to improve my computer experience. Hating IEs unexplainable behaviour. Being on the tenderhooks if I should open that page, was there a virus or something like that risk. Hating each time it showed stupid signs that it had found new hardware, right before it tells me that it cannot get it to work properly.

    I find Mac OS X to be very user friendly, and very stable. I use Microsoft's laser mouse ehich has 5 buttons. Each have a specialized job. One opens exposé, the other show me the desktop etc. I have a finger on CMD for quick management of my windows, CMD+W, or CMD+Q or CMD+Shift+A. I tend to open a zillion pages when I do a research, and my working place on the computer used to be cluttered with IE pages, now I browse in tabs in Safari. CMD click a link and it opens in a new tab. Option click a link and it downloads it. I want that photo I saw in a website while searching. Just drag it to your desktop. No right clicking and save as. I want to use that photo in a document just drag it again.

    I still use Win for some minor tasks and when I open that system, my hands find Alt+F4 awkward. These are important for me, they make my time with the computer more enjoyable. And it also helps that Macs NEVER look like boxes, they look sexy, stunningly beautiful. Another plus for me, I give a great deal of importance to looks. They motivate me to use the computer(as if I need motivation :p).

    I use Adium for my messaging needs, and MS Office for some of my sister's and father's job(he's planning to switch over after using my computer for 15 minutes or so, after a lifetime of PCs). Photoshop CS for my photo editing and everything else is iLife.

    Actually iLife is another strength of Macs. Those are really useful programs. At least for me. They are not pro (hence photoshop CS) but they will be more than enough for a home user. If you have some special interests there will be plenty(I mean that) of apps that will do it for you. iTunes 7 is great so far for my needs. I overheard someone in a mall complaining that iTunes was clumsy, not the case with me at all! everytime I put in a CD it gets the track names, and asks me if it should import the CD. Small but important. If I want to install a small program(say Azureus) I don't fiddle with where to installing, no stupid "wizards" that do nothing to make it easier come up. I just drag it to where I want it to be from the DMG image file.

    Apple Remote is nice for navigating while watching(but I believe it has a lot of room for improvement). No need to fiddle with the mouse to make volume adjustments. Do it from your keyboard. You want to listen to that song again, do it from the remote. No fiddling with windows to click << button.

    As I said, these are all small but very important things. They make you enjoy your time on computer, do not drive you nuts in a matter of seconds and concentrate on what you rather than how you do it. Win users will tell you these are of no importance. I don't give a damn who uses which OS, it's just that Win drives me mad, while I feel bliss when I'm using my Mac. If Win works for some person, good for him/her. But we all read on the net people complaining about Win's abysmal errors. When I want to play a game with my friends over Internet their computers come up with stupid probelms not mine. Last night my friend and I wanted to play pool at Yahoo! Pool. He unblocked all pop-ups but and still his Win couldn't open he window...

    And I'm afraid to say that MS didn't get it right this time again. They tried to imitate expose and came up with a stupid but good-looking way that doesn't let you see what you have on a specific window. It just lets you see them in folder-like view. I cannot know until I have used it but Vista seems to be as resource hungry every bit as XP, perhaps even more.

    I hope you can find some useful stuff in my post to brag about, or to help you make your Mac experience somewhat better. Enjoy your Mac and never, I say NEVER, look back...
  8. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    and ever since, i keep hitting the f9 key whenever i am on windows machines.. and it doesn't work!!!

    even the click of the mouse to bring up dashboard does my head in at work :mad:

    i want my mac at work dammit!!! :D
  9. DarkNetworks macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2005
  10. Sam0r macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2005
    Birmingham, UK
  11. coday182 macrumors regular


    Jul 26, 2006
    Jamestown, IN
    Use em with hot corners and they're even better :D
  12. justwatchthesky thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 10, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    Thank y'all so much, my MBP is currently en route from Anchorage, AK and I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival!

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