Finally to learn?

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by Mac|Photo, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. Mac|Photo macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2004
    Alright, I am going to give it a little time to see if there are any holiday promos (either price reductions and/or iPod deals, cause I want one of those too!) but my major problem is that I have only played around on a Mac system before and I am not all that efficient at the OS.
    Are there any recommendations for online places to read and learn or publications I should pick up that will help progress my proficience with OS X?

    Thanks in advance, as always, :D
  2. mslifkin macrumors regular


    May 14, 2004
    New Jersey
    As far as a great resource for Mac OS X (Panther) you should check out David Pogue's "Mac OS X The Missing Manual (Panther Edition)". It will tell you eveything you'd ever want to know about Mac OS X, and then some. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a DL Expo show in NY. I'm sure his book will be a great help to you. Good luck, and welcome to the Mac world!

  3. toezter macrumors regular


    Jul 12, 2004
    Madison, WI
    i think the "switch", tho i don't like to call it that, is really easy.

    most of the stuff thats on PC that use ctrl is open apple on mac. omg, i was using osX so fast after a few days. has some tips and tricks also.
  4. munkle macrumors 68030


    Aug 7, 2004
    On a jet plane
    You'll be surprised at how quickly and how much you can pick up just by playing round. Obviously books are good for exploring the more difficult/hidden aspects of the OS but it really is fairly easy to pick up. There are a few different things to get used to, like an app doesn't quit when you close it, but on the whole it makes a lot of sense...and remember keyboard shortcuts are your friends!
  5. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    I think the easiest way is to get someone who can show you how to use it. If you know anyone who has Mac, especially if they have used Windows to sit with you for an hour and they can talk you though some of the key differences. I have persuaded a number of people at work to switch and this is what I have done, they have all found the switch process very easy.

    Apples .Mac service, if you sign up to has some useful on-line tutorials on using Panther and the iLife Applications. (I should say that not everyone thinks that .Mac is worthwhile, but I think it is).

    I basically taught myself as I switched some 2 years ago (this website was a great help in the early days), it is not difficult.
  6. kiwi-in-uk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2004
    Totally agree with previous posts - I switched in March with no problems.

    MacRumors archive is good value, as is macosxhints and Macmentor.

    Also, after you become more confident, check out this thread ...

    Good luck - you will enjoy your Mac.
  7. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    I agree, this book has gotten me out of hot water a time or two. I learn better by doing though, so when I switched a few years ago I just played around until I picked it up.

    The best part about OSX is that it is so intuitive and very easy to learn. :)
  8. OldManJimbo macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2004
    California Coast
    "MIssing Manual" is valuable -

    This site was a huge help to me in the beginning (and still is) -

    But I think the number one best advice is just get in there and play around - don't be afraid to experiment with things. Click this and that and the other thing. If you bought AppleCare (which I have found helpful as a first time Mac user, but might not purchase on my next machine), you can call them about even the dumbest thing and they seem happy to help out.

    Good luck and welcome - you're going to love it.
  9. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    all good advice depending on how you learn best. I learn best by doing so I just play around with it, change settings to see what they do, etc. There is little that you could actually mess up and I don't know of anything you could mess up beyond repair. Just don't mess around with some of the utilities like Terminal, etc unless you know what you are doing.

    The Mac Help in the menu is a great place to get some basics on switching from windows. It has a special section just for this.
    I would also go to

    Here is a frequently asked questions page for switchers:
  10. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    it really isn't that hard, i haven't used mac since my LC and i found it pretty staight foward.
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    If you need help, there is a Help menu in nearly all OS X applications and all Apple ones. Best way if you need help in a pinch.

    It is a big difference from Windoze... a help system that actually works! :eek:
  12. freiheit macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2004
    There definitely are some different ideaologies about program design in switching from Windows to Mac (or vise versa) but general concepts are pretty much identical. If you're like me and started out on DOS (and still comfortable using the keyboard to do almost everything) you'll find it difficult to get around in MacOSX because menus simply do not activate when you hit the Alt (or Cmd) key. But of course most people started with graphical OSes and use the mouse more than I do, so it's an easy switch for them.

    Just a few things I would suggest to keep in mind:
    1) Mac's do support multi-button mice, they just don't ship with them. In my experience it's helpful to get one, otherwise you have to become proficient using a combination of the mouse and the keyboard to show context menus on desktop icons.

    2) The PC's ALT key is the Mac's CMD ("open apple") key for the most part.

    3) Most MacOS X programs do not fully exit when you close them, which allows them to "re-open" much faster. MacOS X, being a powerful UNIX system at its core, has GREAT memory management so it's okay to leave these active-but-not-visible programs running all day if you like.

    4) If an app does lock up (it happened to me a few times in OSX 10.2 and only once or twice in 10.3) you can still click off that program window and then click onto the Apple menu at upper-left and select "Force Quit". This is very similar to Windows' Task Manager and allows you to kill a stuck program.

    5) Check out sites such as and for lots of MacOS X freeware and shareware programs.

    6) And yes, if you do have a friend or colleage who runs Mac and also has Windows experience, ask them to if they'd be willing to answer the questions you'll have. I cannot tell you how valuable that was for me in the first few weeks with my Macintosh.

    Oh and 7) Keep in mind that this is not an either/or situation. You CAN have both a PC and a Macintosh. I run mind through a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch so that I can run both side by side on my desktop with only one monitor, keyboard and mouse.
  13. stevietheb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2004
    Missing manual and sites such as this...

    Feel free to ask all the questions you want. I do!
  14. mj_1903 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Click, and click everywhere! If it appears it can be clicked, click it. If it appears it can't, click anyway.

    I learnt Mac OS X back in 2001 by myself just by experimenting and exploring. There is very little in Mac OS X that you can damage irreparably simply by fiddling unless you are a Unix freak. and friends were my best bet for hard to work out problems and never be afraid to ask a Mac user a question, they are generally quite friendly and willing to help you out.
  15. Pixeled_Apple macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2004
    MeLbourne, Vic Aussiee!
    OS X should be very easy to learn... as Palad1 says...

    I am also switchin' at xmas... my veery first PB {hopefully.. but my english grades in the last test were dropping.. bad; so I'm loosin' hope.. but in Maths im strong as UNIX :p )
  16. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    the old argument where pc users say that it's stupid for the application to stay open is weird.

    I find on a PC when there are half a dozen IE windows open (no tabs) you close windows with the X or ctrl - w, the app stays open until the last window, so straight away there is inconsistency. You have to keep track of how many or at least leave one open if you don't want to quit. (perhaps a poor example if you think how embedded ie is. eek)

    If you want to quit, you have to choose quit or close all windows. Why not just use quit for quit and close window for closing app windows.

    So I think the switch is not learning, so much as unlearning. :)

    more info on mac interface inconsistency - (Daring Fireball) - Brushed Metal and the HIG and The Problem with Click-Through
  17. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    As a fairly proficient Windows user, I had a little difficulty switching - 24 hours, to be exact. The problem was, I was trying to use my Mac like a Windoze machine. It's not.

    All became clear when I told myself to treat the Mac as if I knew nothing about computers. If that was true, how would I accomplish this task?

    99 percent of the time, that works.

    The rest of the time, I find the answers here.
  18. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    Haha, this is good advice! I had to spend some time de-windowizing myself! :D

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