Help: Just bought first-ever Mac and I'm terrified!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lovelaptops, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. lovelaptops macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2010
    First, I apologize for the long post. I am really reaching out to anyone who might be willing to "take my hand" just a bit because I am really trying to become a "Mac Switcher" but am finding it harder than I expected.

    I'm prepared to get flamed like crazy for this post, but after talking to my best Mac-buddies I am still left with an uncomfortable feeling.

    First, my background: have been using computers since before there were PCs of any kind. My first "microcomputer" was an Apple II, in 1980! Switched to DOS then Windows and have been living on "that side of the fence" ever since - 28 years!!!

    Have always admired Mac hdwe and the sh-t eating grins (not to mention look of superiority ;) on Mac users. Still, whenever I used Macs occasionally over the past 20 years, I found it less than intuitive to get around - except of course on programs that run the same on both.

    For the last year, I have been chomping at the bit to get a Mac, and the release of the new MBA finally did it because one of my real passions is awesome industrial design along with my latent desire to own a Mac. I got the MBA 13 Ultimate. I love the hardware beyond anything I have ever used - not just computers!! - and I can't get over the instant-on. I am purposely not installing Windows on this, at least not for now, so I can really learn OSX without the easy fall back to the familiar. But all is not smiles...

    I have read the many tutorials found in Mac Rumors and elsewhere and have learned some things fairly well. But to my disappointment, after a week of ownership, I am struggling with:

    1) a slow learning curve
    2) an experience that OSX, while amazing, is just not as intuitive as I had hoped; that it does just about everything different than Windows surely does not help
    3) I am only 56, and I spend my life using and tinkering with computers, but I feel for the first time that my brain may not be malleable enought to learn all over again

    All I'm looking for is:

    1) Words of wisdom from Mac veterans and former Switchers as to how long it takes and the best way to get there reasonably quickly
    2) Some encouragement that the effort will be worth it. Frankly, the ability to make the MBA my main, er, second computer is a good bit of motivation, as there is nothing like it on the Windows side. I just love this machine, but it makes no sense to own it to use as a Windows machine, as many of the benefits (espec. use of the magical touch pad and battery life) don't exist when using Windows. I can get an ultra-powerful Windows machine - eg, 3lb SONY VPC-Z for about the same price as the MBA 13 Ultimate, and it will run much faster (Core i7 cpu) have a better display (13" 1600X900) and just run circles around this ancient cpu - if that was what I wanted to do, but it isn't!!

    I am not an idiot (my own assessment :rolleyes:) but I feel like one trying to get things done on this wonderful piece of equipment. I almost feel like I just bought a Porsche but I can't get the knack of a stick shift :eek:.

    Finally, can you tell me where, if anywhere, on Mac Rumors can I post a simple how-to question that, while it is likely covered somewhere on the many tutorials listed, I can't readily find, and I just want to know - NOW!

    (For example, I like to fine tune the audio and video for each app, particularly when playing vids. On a windows machine with a decent video card and sound card, you can find an equalizer for sound adjustment and, at a minimum, and video controls for brightness, contrast, hue, color saturation, white balance. On System preferences, I find no audio adjustments at all and under Display, I only find choices of different display programs, none of which are to my liking and, again, none of which allow me to fine tune the color display properties. I would really like to know how to do these things - like, NOW - but this also serves as a great example of how frustrated (and dumb :eek:) I feel like trying to do simple things on my new Mac.)

    Any and all suggestions would be gratefully received. Again, my apologies for such a long post.
  2. Knoodles macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2003
    Gone to the Beach
    Welcome to the forums.
    I will try to answer your questions about audio and video adjustments. While watching a movie with DVD player or Quicktime, if you go to the menu bar at the top of the screen under the Window Menu you will find A/V controls. Listening to music in iTunes the Window Menu again will let you access the built in EQ.

    The best place to post a question is here. Make it short and to the point. Many knowledgeable folks here.

    The best way I found to learn about Macs is to use them (20+ years). Click around. See what all the menu tabs contain. They are pretty much uniform between apps. Check out the Preferences for each app. They are in the menu bar under File.

    Have fun with your new Mac. No reason to be terrified.
    Think Easy. That's what I tell my new Mac friends. If you are trying to hard to do something, you are probably doing it wrong.
  3. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    I bolded the above phrases for emphasis. One of Apple's software design mantras is simplicity.

    That said, some of the most common keyboard shortcuts you knew in Windows have easy-to-remember equivalents in OS X. Usually, they're a simple Command key-for-Control key substitution. In Windows, the Cut, Copy and Paste commands are commonly Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. In OS X, they're Command-X, Command-C and Command-V.

    Command-Q is Quit in just about any OS X application. This is a lot more intuitive than Alt-F4, one must admit.

    (There are a couple of differences you will have to get used to, though. For example: When you close a window in Windows using the X button, that also tends to close the Windows application. Doing so in OS X only closes that document or view; the application will remain running.)
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Apple store offers free workshops for folks like you.

    go to:
    and find store near you to see workshop hours
  5. Cap41 macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2008
  6. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2010
    My personal experience when I switched, which was officially less than a year ago...was that it took about a week or two to really get it down and be completely used to it. I just let my curiousity take hold. Like the others said, click around, see what does what.

    That was about 10 months ago for me. About a month ago a friend had me fix their Windows laptop, and it felt SO unnatural, and I realized that I couldn't go back to a Windows laptop if I had to.
  7. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    There is a great book for people switching from Windows to Mac, "Switching to Mac" its written not from the perspective of not a newbie to computers, but an experienced PC person, so the chapters are along the lines of "you wanted to do X on PC, here's how to do X on Mac. Its by David Pogue.
  8. lovelaptops thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2010
    Thank You One And All!

    I'm truly overwhelmed by the number of responses I've received in such a short time! I'm definitely going to follow the advice to just click around and get familiar. I also appreciate the suggestion of a book from the prospective of an experienced Computer user lacking only Mac experience. I really want to get comfortable with this for the sole reason of the immense appeal of the MBA. I know all the Macs are great computers, but as with Cars, Mercedes makes some great ones; I just happen to be a BMW guy;):D But the new MBA is to me pretty much the state of the art and well worth the learning curve. Thinks again.
  9. riscy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    What people have already said - play around and explore. If you face a problem, just post here and you will get a reply, and hopefully some good advice very fast. This is the best forum (not just for Macs) that I have come across on the web and there are some fantastic people too. Also there is an IRC channel with some amazing people where you can usually get realtime help if you are really stuck.

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