First Impressions from a Windows User and Lots of Questions!

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Zaeyde, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Zaeyde macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2008
    So I'm a long-time Windows user who has always drooled a bit over Macs.
    I've always wanted one, but it was never the right time to buy one.

    Well, I go through about a laptop a year. I use them a LOT and the last two have crapped out on me. The first one exploded on my lap, the second has about a 4 inch wobble on the screen and is missing three keys now.

    So I decided it was time for a Mac.
    I ordered it. 2.4 Ghz, 4GB RAM, 250GB HDD. White.
    I was excited.
    The day I heard it came in the mail, I couldn't wait to get home from work to play with it.

    I grinned when I had it in the car seat next to me on the way home. I kept my hand on the box the whole time.

    When I opened it up, my first reaction was, "Oooh, even the packing styrofoam is pretty!," followed immediately by, "Oooh, SHINY!"

    I opened it up, booted it up, and was immediately transported back to elementary school by the simple little startup sound. Elementary school was the last time I used a Mac, and that was to play Oregon Trail and whatever that God-awful paint program was.

    My first impression of the OS was... Emptiness.
    It had a dead feeling to it.
    It was like a blonde: Very pretty, but generally not at all smart.
    I don't know why that was my first impression; maybe because I was unfamiliar with the system. In fact, that's almost definately the case.
    The dead feeling has since faded, but I still almost feel like I'm using a demo version. A sterilized version.
    But that's probably because I'm used to seeing the guts of Windows, you know?

    I was incredibly impressed with the speed and how quickly after startup the computer was ready to use. With Windows, after it boots, you have to wait a bit for everything to load. Not the case here.
    Thumbs up!

    As I started to install some programs, Bittorrent and Firefox, namely, I got a bit confused. Installation was prettier, but more confusing.
    I still don't understand why things show up on my desktop. And dragging to trash. I don't understand this at all.

    Some things about the design of the computer:
    I was actually disappointed with the keyboard. The keys feel like they're farther apart, and they're a lot... 'clickier' than I had thought they would be. I was expecting a much softer and quieter touch. And the mouse button looks kind of strange to me. Like it's not set in right. But I guess I'll get used to it.

    I love the fact that when I close the lid, it goes to sleep, and when I open the lid, it's instantly ready again. Amazing!

    As I mentioned in another post, things went terribly, terribly wrong.
    One of the main reasons I went through with getting a Mac is because of Boot Camp. So I decided to get that out of the way before anything else.
    Loaded Boot Camp. Partitioned the drive. Put in the Windows CD and...
    Everything went wrong. The install failed, I couldn't boot out of the install disc, ejected the disc, boot up with a black screen and a cursor, couldn't boot into leopard... I started to panic.
    Tried to boot from the Leopard disc.
    It asked me where I would like to install Leopard.
    There was nothing to select.
    In two hours... I had terribly maimed my computer.
    Called Apple Care.
    I explained what happened. I was sniffling a little.
    He told me that it was dead.
    I started crying.
    I begged him, pleaded with him, asking if there was anything I could troubleshoot. Anything I could try.
    He told me there was nothing I could do.
    And even though I was crying, he seemed to show no sympathy.
    It was not a pleasant first experience with Apple Care. He didn't even ask any questions.

    So I drove 45 minutes to my nearest Apple Store, still snuffling. They gave me an appointment.
    Didn't even look at it.
    Told me that they'd replace the hard drive.
    But they didn't have it in stock.
    Said I could send it in and they'd replace it.
    They used the term "DOA" and "Dead" a lot.
    I didn't want to send it in and wait for a new one! I wanted one now!
    But I knew I had no options, so I agreed to send it in.

    Got home, miserable.
    Decided that I had nothing to lose by going online to see if anyone else had this problem.
    Found a post here about the same situation I had, and something about Disk Utility.
    So I futzed around with it for a while, and long story short, managed to reinstall Leopard and have a fully functioning computer again that I have affectionately named, "Zombie."
    (By the way, is there any way to change the name of the computer from -My name-'s Computer?)

    So now I have a working macbook again and I'm ecstatic. I'm a but traumatized, though. I'm getting a fresh copy of Windows XP (I'm pretty sure that the problem was a faulty disc) and plan to try Boot Camp again, although I'm terrified to do so.

    Some other impressions: Everything seems a lot more... Sealed? Is sealed the right word? With Windows, I feel like I can see through the cracks into the innards of its programming. With this, I feel like everything's been coated in a nice layer of shellac.
    However, things like downloading and installing are confusing to me. I feel like my mom when I tell her to do something on the computer.

    I got an InCase hardshell to protect the computer, but the charger doesn't fit in quite right and I'm a little irritated about that.
    That's ok, I'll take a file to the case later.

    I can barely tell the difference between Firefox and Safari.
    TextEdit strikes me as a less than stellar program for word processing. It looks too simple.
    Would you recommend getting iWork since I'm going away to college for my Bachelors?

    There is an obsession with keeping this computer clean that I have never had with any other computer.
    Do you think the reason they last longer is because there's some magical ingredient that seeps through your skin and compels you to complete it?
    Is this the same magic ingredient that has turned me to defending even the tech that didn't try to fix the computer even though it could have saved me a lot of time and grief if he had?
    The same ingredient that makes me a "fangirl?"

    What's that little black dot next to the white light on the front side of the case?

    Have you ever had a macbook overheat and cut out? How often does this happen?

    One of the first things I also noticed was the location of the vents. I like where they are. I can put the computer on my lap without worrying about it overhearing because the fan can't ventilate.

    Oh, and one more question.
    What do I use for "unzipping" compressed files? Like .zip or .rar?

    Oh. And using the trackpad for clicking and dragging: I find it very annoying that when I drag something and go to drop it, I have to wait a second before the item is released. Is there any way to make the release instantaneous?
  2. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Longest first post ever?

    That aside: Remember that OS X is NOT Windows. The reason you're confused about installing applications is because Microsoft has made it so convoluted in the Windows world. In OS X you just drag the icon to the app folder. That's it. There is no installing files in 50 different places. Everything the app needs (with the exception of the preference file) is in the app itself. Smart huh. You want to "uninstall" something, just drag the app to the trash. Done. No registry to clog up, no DLL Hell, etc.

    As for uncompressing .zip, that's built into OS X. Just double click on a zip and it will uncompress into a folder of the same name. As for .rar you can use UnrarX. To Zip something up just right click on a file, folder(s) or group of selected files and select Compress "filename".

    Something else to note would be that most OS X apps adhere to the document philosophy, that is to say, most apps in OS X stay open even when there are no windows for that app open. For instance, you can close the iTunes window but the app will still play music until you actually quit the app. It's like every app in OS X (sans a few) is built to run in the Windows systray.

    A few keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys):

    ⌘==Command or Apple button
    ⌥ = Option
    Up Arrow = Shift (sorry, couldn't find the font for it)

    ⌘+Q = Quit application
    ⌘+W = Close focused window
    ⌘+Tab = Switch apps (same as Windows' Alt+Tab)
    F8 = Spaces (if enabled)
    F9 = Expose, Show all windows
    F10 = Expose, show focused app windows only
    F11 = Show desktop (10x more useful than Windows' Win+D)
    F12 = Dashboard

    Finder shortcuts (Finder has focus)
    ⌘+Delete = Send file to Trash (Delete)
    ⌘+Shift+Delete = Empty Trash

    In short: if you can't figure something out (like where a preference is) you are overcomplicated it. Apple has gone to great lengths to make things as stupid easy as you could imagine. A lot of things are done by drag and drop and NOT by a menu selection (importing a music file in Garageband for instance).
  3. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    To unzip folders, download and install Stuffit Expander 12. Best free app ever.
  4. Zaeyde thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2008
    And it works for .zip and .rar?

    EDIT: It's not free... It wants me to do one of those stupid offers.
  5. Zaeyde thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2008
  6. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Archiver will unzip most generic zip formats and comes with the Mac.

    RarX is free for rar files.
  7. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    Good post. Kind of a fun read despite your issues. :)

    You might want to step back for a bit and forget Windows. Purchase a book like "OSX for Dummies" or something like that. Follow the book chapter by chapter with your Macbook in hand and learn everything you can.

    While OSX isn't hard, sometimes it helps to go back to school. Maybe attend a few seminars at the Apple store. After you are done, you will be amazed at what you can do with your new shiny Macbook. :)
  8. Zaeyde thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Quarter: Ooh, thanks for the update to your post! There's a lot of useful information in there!
    I like the :apple:+Tab.

    Yea... I plan to do a lot more on OS X, but there's a few programs that only run on windows... And just in case, yanno?

    I'd go to a seminar, but the nearest store is 45 minutes away.

    Glad it was an entertaining read!
  9. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    There's a wide range of video's you can watch and subscribe to in iTunes.
  10. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    Oh yeah. Forgot about those. Also lots of stuff on YouTube.
  11. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    Speaking of that you might want to consider using Parallels or VMWare Fusion. Makes it easier to transfer files between operating systems.
  12. ki2594 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Carmel, IN.
    no, f9 etc. etc. isn't expose and stuff
    On the macbook's or i think every current mac this is the Function keys:
    f1-lower brightness
    f2-higher brightness
    f11-lower volume
    f12-higher volume
  13. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Black Dot is IR sensor. There is an optional remote.
    Does not overheat that it shuts down.
    ZIP files: double click to expand.
    RAR files: search on or
    - UnRarX
    - The Unarchiver
    - RAR Expander
    Don't do stuffit.

    Drag and drop: there is NO delay if you do it correctly.
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Best quote ever!
    They can't let emotions get in the way or proper judgement eh? However if they refuse to replace your computer you demand to see a manager and ask for a replacement; be nice of course; if they still refuse, write a email to sjobs[at] and Mr. Jobs will take care of you; remember be professional and nice--and trust me the manager will call you!

    System Preferences-->Sharing

    Well OS X is based on Unix where everything is protected and orderly against changes from one another.

    Safari is nice, but I'm used to Firefox. TextEdit is like Notepad in Windows; you can't use it for much; as for iWork, I prefer Office 2008, but of course that cost a bit; just use your student discount.

    Already? :p

    IR receiver for the Apple Remote.

    You use it on a bed while editing videos and watching movies it might over heat and shut down; however I have never seen it shut down from that.

    Careful to not to burn your thighs; it hurts.

    The Unarchiver.

    Not that I know of; you might need to use the button for that. Maybe try tapping the touchpad again after you drag it to drop it?
  15. Zaeyde thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Psst: Her.
    I'm a girl. xD

    Thanks for the tips! And thanks for confirming that I'm not the only one that thought that guy was rude. Everyone's been so nice- until him.

    As for the drag and tap: I guess it's a "feature."
    I'll get used to it. xD
  16. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    I'm going to be in the same situation as you in a few weeks, well hopefully not the problem part of your situation!

    I'm a longtime Windows kid who is close to making the big switch. It's cool to see your happy with your purchase! :)
  17. viperguy macrumors 6502


    Nov 3, 2005
    Nice thread.
    I'm also looking to buy a mac... since 2 years ago :rolleyes:
    Someday I'll do the same and just buy one :p
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I honestly use gestures and multitouch and double taps and corner taps and slides and all kinds of other things on my trackpad, but I've never been able to find trackpad click dragging even remotely natural. :eek: I honestly just use the trackpad button while I drag with my finger.

    On the other hand, there is a springload delay -- that defines how long it takes for something to pop open when you drag something over it and hover. Like, if you drag a file to the hard disk icon on the desktop, for a moment, it will just do nothing, and if you drop it, it goes into the root of the drive. But if you continue to hover over it, the folder opens up, and so you can drag and hover and thereby navigate to drop the file anywhere you want. The function is loosely analogous to how the taskbar icons for apps in Windows behave. I don't have Leopard, but in Tiger, you make Finder active, go to the Finder menu -> Preferences and then there's an option in the first tab to control this delay.

    P.S. Welcome to Macrumors. :)

    P.P.S. There is a button like this [​IMG] next to each post; please use it to report insulting or off topic posts rather than retaliating or trying to get into an argument with the person. It saves us time. :)
  19. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Provided you don't change the keyboard preferences, then f9 does become expose.

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