Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Grandfather bought MacBook, needs 'tutoring'...

countryside

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2016
402
367
Hi,

My grandfather bought a MacBook a month ago and still has not gotten used to it. He often uses his old Windows computer when in a "rush." Ideally, I would have him sign up for a class/seminar at Apple... these are still canceled due to COVID-19.

He has an iPhone and is proficient with it... but still, he cannot figure out the gestures or really anything. Maybe the new macOS graphics that make iOS and macOS more consistent will help him.

Any ideas on what to do? Online video series on youtube, 3rd-party 'tutoring' service that won't take advantage of him, etc?

TIA.
 
Last edited:

countryside

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2016
402
367
For the new switcher go with a book Mac OS - Catalina Missing Manual because it has searchable on any Mac question he has on his Mac and will teach you some new Mac tricks[/url]!

Also print out the Apple support document Mac Keyboard Shortcuts for him!
Thank you, I will be getting that book. However, quick question, should I wait until the Missing Manuel comes out for Big Sur? Not sure if it will become obsolete in a few weeks due to major changes (if any major changes exist)...
 

brianmowrey

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2020
153
42
It will simply be difficult for him to become more proficient on Mac OS if he is only engaging in intensive tasks sporadically, rather than day after day. That said: Hot Corners are more intuitive than Gestures, though my mother hates when I set up one for desktop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: countryside

countryside

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2016
402
367
It will simply be difficult for him to become more proficient on Mac OS if he is only engaging in intensive tasks sporadically, rather than day after day. That said: Hot Corners are more intuitive than Gestures, though my mother hates when I set up one for desktop.
Agreed. I told him I am going to take his old computer from him if he doesn’t promise to not use it for 30 days straight.

I will have to look into hot corners, that may be the solution. Gestures just seem to be too much.

It’s also hard to explain difference between a tap, click, and force touch click.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,206
7,128
OP wrote:
"but still, he cannot figure out the gestures or really anything.
Any ideas on what to do?"


Yup. I know exactly one of the first things you should do.
TURN OFF ALL the "gesturing" crap in the trackpad preference pane.
Uncheck EVERYTHING there.
The ONLY things you want active:
- Left click -- as normal
- Right click -- make this lower right hand corner.

Do this, and I'll bet he does much better with his pointer control.

It's not about "what works for you".
It IS about "what works for him".
 

countryside

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2016
402
367
Thank you, sent this to him last night. It was very helpful.

OP wrote:
"but still, he cannot figure out the gestures or really anything.
Any ideas on what to do?"


Yup. I know exactly one of the first things you should do.
TURN OFF ALL the "gesturing" crap in the trackpad preference pane.
Uncheck EVERYTHING there.
The ONLY things you want active:
- Left click -- as normal
- Right click -- make this lower right hand corner.

Do this, and I'll bet he does much better with his pointer control.

It's not about "what works for you".
It IS about "what works for him".
Thank you, I honestly had not thought to turn them off. You are right, just because I use it well does not mean it will work for him. I think this should help his pointer control.

Thank you all again for the ideas! I appreciate it. I can tell "trimming down" some settings, sending videos, etc is already helping him.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BasicGreatGuy

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,807
2,367
Between the coasts
OP wrote:
"but still, he cannot figure out the gestures or really anything.
Any ideas on what to do?"


Yup. I know exactly one of the first things you should do.
TURN OFF ALL the "gesturing" crap in the trackpad preference pane.
Uncheck EVERYTHING there.
The ONLY things you want active:
- Left click -- as normal
- Right click -- make this lower right hand corner.

Do this, and I'll bet he does much better with his pointer control.

It's not about "what works for you".
It IS about "what works for him".
All this, plus... No Hot Corners, no shortcuts (for now). Those are for people who have mastered the fundamentals. Gradually add new tips and tricks once the fundamentals have been mastered.

Old habits die hard, and the more new stuff you pile on, the more tempting it is to go back to the old and familiar.

You didn't learn everything you know about Mac (or iOS, or whatever) in a day, or even a month, and the older a person is, the more challenging it is to take on a new, steep learning curve - the accumulated experiences/training of a lifetime tend to battle with new information.
 

PatrickCocoa

macrumors 6502a
Dec 2, 2008
723
31
Yup. I know exactly one of the first things you should do.
TURN OFF ALL the "gesturing" crap in the trackpad preference pane.
Uncheck EVERYTHING there.
The ONLY things you want active:
- Left click -- as normal
- Right click -- make this lower right hand corner.

EXACTLY. I love gestures and moved to trackpad only many many years ago. I gave an old MacBook to someone, then spent about a month answering the same questions every day "Safari disappeared", "All of the open apps disappeared", "It randomly moves all of the apps and dims the screen". Finally I got smart and turned off ALL of the gestures. Everyone is happy now.

The concept of gestures is something that is not in the "how-I-interact-with-computers" vocabulary of many people. Most people have been trained for decades (decades I say) to look for something to click on with the mouse when they want to do something.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hobowankenobi

hobowankenobi

macrumors 65816
Aug 27, 2015
1,487
487
on the land line mr. smith.
OP wrote:
"but still, he cannot figure out the gestures or really anything.
Any ideas on what to do?"


Yup. I know exactly one of the first things you should do.
TURN OFF ALL the "gesturing" crap in the trackpad preference pane.
Uncheck EVERYTHING there.
The ONLY things you want active:
- Left click -- as normal
- Right click -- make this lower right hand corner.

Do this, and I'll bet he does much better with his pointer control.

It's not about "what works for you".
It IS about "what works for him".


I agree, and would go even further. Some folks (usually older) seem to struggle with gestures, touch, multi-touch.

With a family member that is 82: everything is off, and as simple as possible. He uses a two button mouse...gotta be real buttons. I have his browser and Mail open automatically, and I make sure all important site he needs to use are clealy bookmarked in the browser. Every app he needs is in the Dock...he could not even find Applications or System Preferences if he needed to. Browser downloads go to a folder on the desktop. Everything he needs to use is on the desktop.

That is about 80% of the fiight. The rest is occasional stuff, like printing.
 

tonyr6

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2011
1,421
464
Brooklyn NY
I never used MacOS in my life. I was always a Windows user since Windows 95. Since getting my Macbook pro the other day I have been getting use to using MacOS. I already learned a lot. If I get stuck I google the problem for a quick solution. I guess the most difficult thing was how to install programs which is weird on MacOS you have to drag the icon to the folder instead with Windows where you follow an simple wizard.
 
  • Like
Reactions: countryside

countryside

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2016
402
367
I never used MacOS in my life. I was always a Windows user since Windows 95. Since getting my Macbook pro the other day I have been getting use to using MacOS. I already learned a lot. If I get stuck I google the problem for a quick solution. I guess the most difficult thing was how to install programs which is weird on MacOS you have to drag the icon to the folder instead with Windows where you follow an simple wizard.
Yes, installing Applciations on macOS is a little odd... And lots of steps if you have certain privacy features. But, its all for the security and safety of your device!

Google is your friend. A wealth of knowledge is on MacRumors, Google, and Apple.com.... For my grandfather, his first reaction is not to Google. He did not spend most of us life with search engines, so it is not his natural response to difficulty.
 

countryside

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 9, 2016
402
367
It is also hard to explain that the 'Photos' app only has Photos that you would have on your phone's Photo app... not the pictures on your computer. Same goes for the 'Music' and 'Books' app... Different than the music, books, and movies you have that you did not buy through Apple!
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,807
2,367
Between the coasts
It is also hard to explain that the 'Photos' app only has Photos that you would have on your phone's Photo app... not the pictures on your computer. Same goes for the 'Music' and 'Books' app... Different than the music, books, and movies you have that you did not buy through Apple!
Not necessarily. All those apps allow you to Import so that all that non-Apple content is available and organized/searchable in those apps.

The way I see it, people can try to maintain old, Windows-based habits (accumulating stuff in folders and opening those individual files from a folder when you want to view), or embrace those media-centric apps (databases, actually) as a centralized way to access all media of that type.
 

brianmowrey

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2020
153
42
or embrace those media-centric apps (databases, actually) as a centralized way to access all media of that type.
Now we're straying into the weeds, but 12 years after leaving Windows I still prefer my files to be files, and nothing in the Mac OS ecosystem is as empowering and robust for image file organization as Windows File Explorer + IrfanView!
 
  • Like
Reactions: monokakata

tonyr6

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2011
1,421
464
Brooklyn NY
Now we're straying into the weeds, but 12 years after leaving Windows I still prefer my files to be files, and nothing in the Mac OS ecosystem is as empowering and robust for image file organization as Windows File Explorer + IrfanView!
I kind of agree however the way macos does it there is less chance of corruption.
 

jparker402

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2016
336
29
Bellevue, NE
Since going to a MacBook I have found YouTube very helpful, particularly TechTalkAmerica and MacMost. Also this forum! And the phone support from Apple having purchased Apple Care. Apple Support is good, too, though I typically forget about it until someone here is kind enough to send me a link when I have a problem. I did get the Missing Manual some four or five years ago and although new operating systems have superseded its currency, there are still general things that continue to be applicable, even after four or five OS updates (think I started with El Capitan).

Edit: When I first got my MacBook I was able to go to the Apple store for two seminars, but my wife was in a nursing home and the store was almost an hour away. Discovered our local schools used Macs, so got a teacher to help me. Now in an assisted living home and one of the staff is a Mac user who helps with my questions. Have him as around to whoever he may be able to get into safe contact with.
 

Clix Pix

macrumors demi-goddess
Some people are more geared towards using a mouse than they are a trackpad. I'm one of them. I use a mouse with my MBP and MacBook all the time and rarely touch the trackpad. Buy your grandpa a nice Apple Magic Mouse 2 and he'll be much happier than he has been with the trackpad. With a mouse, one has much more precise control, for one thing, over where the cursor is going.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonyr6

satcomer

macrumors 604
Feb 19, 2008
7,029
1,198
The Finger Lakes Region
Yes, installing Applciations on macOS is a little odd... And lots of steps if you have certain privacy features. But, its all for the security and safety of your device!

Google is your friend. A wealth of knowledge is on MacRumors, Google, and Apple.com.... For my grandfather, his first reaction is not to Google. He did not spend most of us life with search engines, so it is not his natural response to difficulty.

There is simple Free app called App Cleaner that removes all the other bits left behind and is easy enough to understand!
 

AppleSmack

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2010
208
63
Some people are more geared towards using a mouse than they are a trackpad. I'm one of them. I use a mouse with my MBP and MacBook all the time and rarely touch the trackpad. Buy your grandpa a nice Apple Magic Mouse 2 and he'll be much happier than he has been with the trackpad. With a mouse, one has much more precise control, for one thing, over where the cursor is going.....
Or buy him a large wired mouse like an old-school Logitech or Microsoft mouse with clicky switches.

A Magic Mouse is likely too flat for comfort, needs recharging, has the complication of gestures.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,206
7,128
Re the mouse:
Get him a Logitech mouse, preferably one of the larger ones.
He doesn't need to have all the buttons operable.
But he'll like the hefty size and the way it fits his hands.
The Logitech mice use a "unifying receiver" with its own radio band, but I think they all are USBa (no USBc). You might have to buy a small "adapter/dongle" for the receiver.
Or... the new performance mouse (Logitech) I have has the option of connecting a USB cable. Get the proper cable for it.

I haven't used an Apple mouse or keyboard since the "ADB" days (I'll bet some reading this post have no idea what that was...!)
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.