I'm a PC, continued -- now, I'm a Mac too!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jader201, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. jader201 macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    Thanks to the help on this thread, I'm now the proud owner of an iMac 24" (2.93 GHz). I wanted to post my first impressions of the transition, and solicit your feedback on a few items. Please bear with me, as this is long, but there are a lot of thoughts going from 25 years of PC use to a first experience with Mac (I've literally sat in front of a mac less than 5 minutes over the past 15 years).

    The Good

    1) Wow, super sexy! Of course, I knew this going in, but I don’t think I realized the extent of its beauty. In general, everything is sleek. XP looks so boring now (of course, Vista, visually, is better than XP, so I’m already behind anyway).

    2) Very pleased w/ the monitor. Wasn’t sure about glare vs. non-glare, but so far, I like the sleekness it adds. I’m sure sometimes it will be annoying in certain lighting, but I don’t think its position is subject to this much.

    3) Setup was super easy, and intuitive. Made a good first impression of my Mac experience.

    4) The apps are awesome. I loved how it had intro videos for some of the apps, that definitely helps. Haven’t gotten deep into any of the apps yet, but so far, they seem very well done.

    5) Very responsive, though I’m not doing a whole lot of demanding tasks yet. I did have some tasks taking a while (copying/importing), and while that was going on, none of the other apps were phased. It’s funny how I’m used to PCs dragging and apps causing problems with other apps due to high CPU. I’m sure this is relative though, and has more to do w/ me going from a 5-year-old computer to a brand new computer vs. going from PC to Mac.

    6) Little details that are appreciated. Many things are very intuitive (though some not as much, as in below), and I’m sure as the more I use it and get used to it, the more I will appreciate.

    The Mixed

    7) The keyboard is nice – super slim, sturdy build, and great feel. But it’s going to take some getting used to. Particularly going from ergonomic to flat style, and going from PC keys to Mac keys. But holy crap, it’s hard using a computer without home/end keys and numpad. I will have to get a full size keyboard.

    8) The mouse is also nice. I love the ball and the feel of it. However, the “uni-button” seems to sometimes detect left click instead of right click. I figured out I had to first map my right button to secondary command (by default, right=left). But then I tested it in an app that had context-sensitive popup menus, and it seems about half the time, it would use the left button (primary command). I guess Macs were designed originally as only needing one command button (hence the default left=right button). Maybe I should get used to not ever using right-click?

    9) Things on my to-purchase list: mini DP-to-DVI adapter, full-size keyboard. There goes another $80. :( I did save $200 over Apple store, getting it from Amazon, but had to get the standard configuration in return.

    10) I was told it was supposed to come with a remote, but mine didn’t?

    Needing Adjustments (or a better understanding)

    11) In general, there are some common tasks that I’m having a hard time adjusting to, mostly just things I’m used to doing differently in Windows (like moving/deleting files, etc.). It’s just going to take me a while to get to where I’m as productive on a Mac as I currently am on PC. Are there videos like the ones for apps that are for PC users to make the move to Mac, introducing them to changes in common tasks?

    12) In general, common PC keyboard shortcuts that help me do several tasks (like opening “Explorer”, cut/copy/paste, delete, select all, etc.) aren’t apparent on Mac. Mostly things I will get used to eventually, but coming from Windows as a power user that is used to taking advantage of every possible Windows shortcut, then to a Mac which changes most of these common (or sometimes, not so common) shortcuts… it’s taking some getting used to. Any good source for listing these “conversions”?

    13) I notice that right-click isn’t integrated in most places I expect, like in the Mac “Explorer”. I find myself trying to right-click to open a context-sensitive popup menu, and it seems I’m left with going to the top menu to accomplish common tasks. So I’m left to constantly go to the top menu to perform tasks. Kind of a pain, considering the travel distance needed in high resolution. I’m hoping I’m missing something, and that I’m just making things harder than they should be.

    14) Speaking of top menu, it took me forever to realize the top menu is, in itself, context sensitive – I kept wondering why all the programs had no menu bar in the window :).

    15) I’m really having a hard time understanding it’s file/folder structure. Seems like there isn’t a root HD with just folders and files. Seems like there are all these special “pointer” folders that may be redundant versions of physical folders. I dunno. For example, I think I copied my “My Pictures” stuff twice (over from my PC), because it didn’t put them where I thought I did. Part of this experience, and my embedded PC experience, leaves me wanting to just see my files as they are on disk.

    16) Some apps, it seems, can’t have multiple instances open. Specifically the “Explorer” (what is this called, anyway?). I want to be able to see two different sets of folders, and move stuff between them. But when I clicked the “whatever it’s called” again, it just took me back to the original window. Again, I may be doing something wrong, and if not, there may be easier ways to accomplish what I’m trying to do.

    17) iPhoto and iTunes seem to suck in regards to reverse-synching. I have all kinds of MP3s and pics (non-iPhone pics) on my iPhone that I want to pull back into my Mac, but these two apps seem to dismiss the fact that I have these files on my iPhone and want to pull them in. If nothing else, just let me copy them as files on my iPhone to files on my Mac, and then I can import them from there – but I can’t even figure out how to do this. I searched a little bit last night, and it seems to be a common issue that many complain about, so there may be no easy solution for this. But I didn’t research a whole lot, so maybe there is a way.

    That's it for now, after limited use. Of course, I learn many things on my own, and plan on doing much googling over some of this stuff. But I wanted to post this out here, as some may find it interesting, and/or want to offer feedback.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. breadiu macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2003
    Some answers

    Yes, I agree. I find the flat Apple full-size keyboard to be pretty usable.

    The home and end keys may not work as you expect, though.

    A short cut (that you can even do on your micro-keyboard) is use Apple Key + Left/Right in place of home and end.

    You may want to try KeyFixer to simulate Windows home/end functionality once you get your full-size keyboard.

    No, no, no! Definitely plan on using right-click. The Mighty Mouse's trackball is wonderful, but it's left/right click differentation stinks. You really have to press on the far right side of the mouse in order for it to register a right-click. I ended up buying a Microsoft mouse for this very reason, but I do miss the trackball a lot.

    It should have. Look in the Styrofoam that was sitting on the top of the iMac. It's white and about the size of a stick of gum -- easy to miss. Verify that it did come with one by looking at the product description on the side of the box.

    Find Out How (Be sure to check out the categories at the top (e.g. Mac Basics, Photos, etc.))

    Business Theatre (some more advanced and OS X Server stuff)

    Hmm.. I don't know of any offhand. There are tons of keyboard shortcuts on the Mac, though. Check out the System Preferences -> Keyboard Preference Pane to see some of the global shortcuts, and be sure to check out the toolbar menus to see the shortcuts for app-specific tasks.

    I'd definitely get Quicksilver if I were you. You won't understand it at first, but make sure you assign it a good keyboard shortcut (in its preferences), and use it often. Soon enough, you'll find it to be indespensible.

    I usually re-assign the Spotlight (global search) keyboard shortcut from Apple + Spacebar to Control + Spacebar and then assign Quicksilver to Apple + Spacebar.

    The Mac "Explorer" (called the Finder) is right-click-enabled. This may be an issue with the Mighty Mouse again.

    Try holding the Control when left-clicking to see if something is truly right-click enabled.

    Yup, this is deffininitely different. Another subtle difference is that you can close all of an application's windows, but the app will continue to run until you choose Quit from that application's menu (or hit Apple + Q). Be sure to see what's running by looking at the Dock (the thing at the bottom of the screen).

    Your home folder is located in /Users/ (UNIX paths, get used to them!). This means the Users folder in the root of your Macintosh HD.

    In your Users folder, you'll see home folders for all of the users of the machine.

    Yours (when you're logged in) will look like a house.

    Inside, you'll find folders for all of your user-specific data (Documents, Music, Library (for preferences, etc.), etc.).

    You'll also see one named Desktop. If you open it up, you'll see that it contains all of the items on your desktop (except for global items, like the hard drive, or a mounted CD).

    Keep all of your data in the folders in your home folder. It's a convention that's used by all applications, and makes organization and migration a breeze. You won't want to store anything at the root of your hard drive, unless you have a good reason to do so.

    One addendum: Smart Folders.

    In the Finder, you can create what are known as Smart Folders. Smart Folders are basically saved searches that look like folders.

    If you've searched for anything (using the blue magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner), then you've seen what these folders will look like.

    The Finder (I believe) defines a couple for you, but you can create as many custom Smart Folders as you'd like. These folders are the only ones that would be virtual.

    When in the Finder, choose New Finder Window from the file menu (or just hit Apple + N) to open a new (second) window.

    You may also hold option when double-clicking a folder to open it in a new window, while leaving the original window untouched.

    Yeah, this does sort of stink, but they don't want you to use the iPhone as a way to distribute music.

    The easiest thing to do, since you have all of the original files, is to import them into iTunes and iPhoto and then blow away your iPhone, re-syncing with the newly-updated iTunes and iPhoto libraries.

    You can find apps that will copy music from your iPhone to your Mac with a little Googling, if you prefer.

    Welcome to the cult. Your Steve Jobs idol is in the mail.
  3. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Quick tip: Command (aka the Apple key) should be used in place of control for all your shortcuts from windows to work.
    A few useful commands that don't exist on Windows:
    Command + Delete - Move a file to the trash in Finder (and most all applications that delete)
    Command + H - Hide an application
    Command + M - Minimize an application
    Command + Option + Escape - Bring up the list of active programs and force quit any rogue programs (Mac equivalent of Control + Alt + Delete)
    Command + (arrow key) - Same effect as home/end keys in Windows, but in all four directions.
    Control + (mouse scroll) - Zoom in and out on the mouse.
    Holding shift while clicking on a minimized window in the dock creates a cool effect :D

    You can't reverse-sync the iPhone. There may be such hacks on windows that can get data off it, but not on Mac.

    On the mighty mouse, make sure that you click the right click to the right of the mouse because it easily confuses the two clicks.
  4. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    I thought 09 iMacs did not come with Remotes.

    Try this shortcut:

    (to revere do same keys)

    Control-scrolling with mouse "tit" ball will Zoom in and out on screen.
    Shift-Cmd-4 to copy/snapshot a certain area of the screen (will bring up cross hairs)
    Shift-Cmd-4-SpaceBar takes copy/snapshot of whichever window you want.
  5. TRAG macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA
    Just to add to a good set of shortcuts you already posted:

    Command + A - select all
    Command + X - cut
    Command + V - paste
    Command + C - copy
    Command + Q - quit application
    Command + W - close window (DOES NOT quit [all] applications)
    Command + S - save
    Command + D - bookmark (while in Safari or any other browser)
    Command + Z - undo
    Command + shirt + Z - redo
    Command + F - find or search
    Command + G - (find next)
    Command + shift + G - find last
    Command + option + F - search Finder window (or Google search while in Safari)
    Command + control + D + mouse over word - gives a definition of a word without opening dictionary
    Command + I - info on a file
    Command + -, +, or 0 - zoom out, in, and regular font size while in Safari
    Command + O - open file
    Command + U - open URL while in Quicktime
    Command + option + eject - sleep
    Command + control - restart
    Command + control + option - shut down
    Command + shift + [ or ] - left or right tab while in safari
    Command + R - refresh while in Safari
    Command + L - address bar
    Command + option + escape - force quit
    Command + escape - Frontrow
    Command + shift + Y - create a sticky note for highlighted text

    There are many, many more but unfortunately I'm not on my Mac at the moment to figure them out. Hope this saves anyone new to Macs reading this some time.
  6. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    Completely lift your pointer finger off the mouse.
  7. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    That's correct...the remote is optional with new iMacs
  8. breadiu macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2003
    No remote

    Wow, that really stinks.
  9. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    Thanks, I never knew the Tab/Safari switch. I tried looking, albeit not very hard. this will come in handy!
  10. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    Welcome to the right side!

    I went through alot of the differences you mention.

    I personally couldnt' stand the Apple Keyboard and the Mighty Mouse. I like full size keyboards, and the mouse was too small for my liking. I did like the track ball though, but missed having more buttons and real right mouse button.

    I ended up purchasing a... :eek: Wireless Microsoft + Mouse :eek: kit and became much happier with the setup. Got the wife one too, she didn't like the apple keyboard or mouse either.

    Like to thank others for a couple of the short cuts. Couple I wasn't aware of, like the Home and End. Can't wait to get home to use it.
  11. RDM3 macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Concordville PA
    If you want a Mac Keyboard but like the old style and not the flat one try the one below, I have one and I use it with my MacBook that is hooked up to a monitor, I love my keyboard, it is a Mac plus it is not the flat style.


    I also did not like the right clicking of of the might mouse so I got a Microsoft Blue Tooth mouse, it is pretty nice!
  12. TRAG macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA
    Glad to help. I've only been using Mac less than a year and it's always cool to find new shortcuts. :D

    The mother ship!

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