Okay, flame suit on!!! here comes a noob...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by paul84043, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. paul84043 macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2004
    Lehi, Utah
    Hi everyone, this will be my second post in this forum, and my first in regards to Apple.....

    A little background, I have been in IT and industrial equpment automation for 15 years, I am an avid fan of anything that I can connect to a computer, I am into digital photography, music, telescopes, guitars, and guns.
    I have 5 kids with one due any day now. My oldest is 20, the newest was an oops....but we'll love her just as much as the others! :)

    I got a wild hair this year and decided to jump head first into the world of Apple. I try to remain objective and avoid the whole MAC/Windows war, I don't buy into it, I think that anything that has been around this long has got to have something going for it. I want to understand....

    So....I bit the bullet, Hard. I picked up a G4 powerbook (15.2") and was so impressed with the quality, fit, an finish, that before my copy of office 2004 pro had even arrived, I bought a dual 1.8 G5 Powermac.
    Did I fail to mention that I am a tad bit impulsive? Oh, yeah, I also ot a U2 special edition Ipod, I don't even really like U2, but the Ipod is awesome.

    So, here I sit. 20 years in computers... windows, hardware, and automation systems god, and I feel like a total moron.

    Okay, not a total moron, I CAN figure things our given enough time, but I am used to making my computer do things that push it to it's limit, thus the stack of them that I run 24/7, but the most demanding thing my G5 has done yet is play its awesome screensaver and a little music!

    I looked for a tutorial that would walk me around OS 10.3, kind of show me the ropes, basic navigation, things like that, but I couldn't find anything.
    It took me one full day to figure out how to eject the damn dvd drive!

    When I was in 7th grade I figured out the Rubiks Cube in three weeks....I know I can do THIS.

    I have to admit that I am absolutely stunned by Apple quality. Both the powerbook, and the powermac are works of art by themselves. There are so many little features that I love, I cannot begin to count them. I have only turned on my windows system a few times in the past week out of necessity, I am bound and determined to get used to this computer.

    I do tons of digital photography, DVD authoring, video creation, plus I am in the second year of a bachelors program, and I need to come up to speed as quickly as possible!!!
    My copy of Adobe CS is on order for the MAC, how much of my other software will run on a mac?
    There are so many questions, I don't even know what to ask yet.

    How did others come up the curve? Are there any resources that they found particularly helpful? How the hell do I eject the DVD drive without opening Itunes first?

    Are there any good system utilities to keep a mac clean, do you even need to keep a mac clean?
    How does mac work? Does it use a registry? Should I try to paper train it, or simply rub its nose in it when it makes a mess?

    Will Unreal Tournament 2004 run on a mac? What about alternative fire mode??

    Well...That ought to be enough to classify me as an idiot for quite a while to come!!!


  2. Hoef macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2004
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    Sorry to focus on one part of your post. Yes, UT2004 for mac is awesome. Need a two button mouse for alt fire. I am using an old usb mouse from my windows computer to play Unreal.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Hi, one thing I found helpful was:


    The site is going down, but for now you can download a PDF copy of the whole thing. It's a feature-by-feature how-to comparison of OS X and XP features.

    There are things you need to do for maintenance, or at least *ought* to do. I switched from a pretty high level of Windows familiarity just about one year ago, and to be honest, I'm still struggling with the maintenance part. Here are some major categories I know of -- you can search these forums for threads about any of them:

    There are a set of daily, weekly and monthly tasks that are run using cron. You can also manually run them. They do minor maintenance activities like swapping out and cleaning up log files. They are automatic, unless your computer is on at erratic times of day (which your PB probably will be). Then there are a variety of workarounds to do them when you want to.

    Repairing permissions involves making sure that system files have the right permission sets, because sometimes they accidentally get mis-set. There is a utility called Disk Utility in your Utilities folder that does this. It improves safety somewhat if you do this before and after letting software update do its biz.

    Updating pre-bindings involves associations between libraries and apps, I believe. You can do this from the command line. It is also done automatically whenever software update installs anything, I believe (it says something like optimiziing performance during this phase).

    There is also a utility called fcsk that is run from single user mode. This is one step further than I have personally gotten, so I don't completely understand what it does or how often / when it is necessary to do it, apart from the fact that it can help if the system fails to boot.

    Enjoy your macs and welcome!
  4. paul84043 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2004
    Lehi, Utah
    Ah!! Excellent! These are exactly the kinds of things I was hoping for!
    I am familiar with cron jobs, I'll give them a look, and you are right, my pc's are on at really odd times...

    I'm glad to hear that a standard mouse will work with my mac, I hadn't tried that yet, I really think that the arcylic mouse is cool looking...my other pc's are linked on a 4 port KVM switch that doesn't support USB, so I had just run the stock mouse to the box and lefft it at that.

    Thanks for the site links, I'll try to get through them before the site is gone!

    I appreciate the tips!

    Happy holidays to all....

  5. spinner macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2002
    South Dakota

    Congratulations on your purchase and welcome to our community! I would highly recommend Mac OS X: The Missing Manual by David Pogue it has a lot of good first timer stuff in it. There are also other "Missing Manuals" you can check out. Hope this helps!
  6. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    David Pogue's book is the best...

    I've been using Macs for years and I had to pull it out for some color cync information this morning...definitely get that book of no other.
  7. dsharits macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2004
    The People's Republic of America
    In case you haven't found out yet, F12 will eject the DVD.

  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Actually, on both your PowerBook and G5 keyboard, there is an eject button in the top right corner. Push that button and the drive tray opens on the G5, or, if there's a disc in the drive and it's not busy doing anything, it should eject.

    The more standard way to eject a CD/DVD (or any other removeable media, for that matter) in the MacOS is to eject it from the Finder; if you find the disc icon on the desktop or in the "XXXX's Computer" window, you can drag it to the trash icon; the trash icon will turn into an eject icon to show you what's going on, and the disk will eject. (Unless a program is actively doing something with it, in which case you'll get an error message stating so.)

    Alternately, if you're using the "metal" view in the Finder, the left sidebar will show all disks in the upper part; any removeable disks will have a small eject icon to the right of their name, and a click on that will eject them.

    If you didn't already know this, you might find it interesting to note that Macs have worked this way since the very early years (Mac floppy drives even had a motor instead of the manual eject button, and the eject button on CD drives ususally does nothing if there's a disk in the drive), and it's a much smarter design decision; since ejecting is handled in software, it's impossible to eject the disk in the middle of an operation as you can in Windows.

    Good luck getting adjusted to your new "skin", and hopefully you'll be able to get any questions answered here. Welcome to the club, too.
  9. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    I've basically learned OS X on my own and by reading various forums. You've come to the right place! :)

    As for fsck, don't worry about it; it's useful for non-journaled filesystems, but assuming you're using Panther, your filesystem is most likely journaled, so fsck might actually do more damage than good in your case.

    But one thing you'd probably want to know: if you insert the OS X installation CD/DVD, and run disk utility in there, you'll see a option to "Repair Disk". It's a good thing to keep in mind if you run into trouble.

    You say you're into digital photography, video and audio? Photoshop CS is a given, and also check out Apple's software offerings - Motion, Final Cut Pro/Express, Logic, etc. Agruably best in the biz.

    And as for keyboards and mice, you can use pretty much any USB mouse or keyboard from the PC world - Apple use mostly standard components in their computers. That they're in some kind of weird world of their own with propietry components is a myth that was carried over from the old days (think back in the early-middle 1990's).
  10. paul84043 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2004
    Lehi, Utah
    Hey lookee there.....whoodathunk, an eject key right on the keyboard....boy do I feel stupid now.
    The help system leaves much to be desired, I tried every combination of "eject Cd, Eject DVD" I could think of, but nothing that assumed I was THAT dumb popped up.

    Thank you for the pointers towarrds the "hidden" manual links.....you'd kind of figure that if there were things like that floating around, you (as a company) should really improve the help system, or create some tutorials!!

    I am running 10.3 panther, journaled. But it's good to know some of the classic tool as well.

    I have used Adobe CS extnesively in windows, and have heard that it has many optimizations for the mac OS, especially the 64 bit system.
    I have not looked too deeply into the mac editing software, but I do know that the A/V industry thrives on Mac's, so they have got to be good.

    Does anyone know if there is any relationship between mac OS and OS/2?
    We have an OS2 machine at work, along with three Mac systems, and we had to rebuild the OS2 system once, it was a real pain seeing as how I had never set finger on an OS anything before in my life...
    Just curious.

    Thank you for all the extremely helpful hints, I probably learned more today than I would have in a month on my own.

  11. Blurb macrumors member

    May 7, 2004
    As you see, you can safely take your flame suit off. This forum is a great place to browse, learn and question. I switched to Macs 8/2002, and have never had a reason to go back.

    David Pogue's book, mentioned above, is indeed the best of the bunch, as you can look up a specific answer or just read bits at a time. I mostly felt clumsy at first, getting used to my mac's OS. I felt like the right and left sides of my brain were conflicting over figuring things out. Mostly, I found I was still thinking in MS/Windows terms, and making things way too complicated than they needed to be on the mac.

    Yes, the eject key for your CD/DVD drive is the top right key on your keyboard. Most of your settings/preferences are all found in System Preferences. Start-up items are added/removed in sys prefs, under "Accounts". You do NOT quit an application by clicking on the red button in the app's upper left window (that just closes the window, but leaves the app still running), but by using the apple button and Q (or the same "quit" command in the mouse menu under "File" in each application). And most importantly, drag and drop works the way its s'posed to, and is used pretty much everywhere: to delete a file, drag it to the trash can and drop it; then empty the trash when needed; to move a file, drag it to the place you want it to be and drop it there; even the dock: you don't want an icon in there, drag it out of the dock and poof! its gone, or drag an app's icon to the dock that you use all the time. And the most important maintenance you need to do, is turning off/on (or restarting) your computer every now and then, and the repair permissions mentioned above in the utilities>disk utility folder.

    Do expect a bit of a learning curve, but remember to have fun while on that curve. I find I spend much less for computer peripherals and software, and never think about getting a newer faster computer anymore, cause I love the one(s) I've got. I'm much more productive, and never get stressed because my computer won't do what it's s'posed to do. Rather I find myself going to my computer to relief stress, for an enjoyable experience.
  12. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    You can also eject and de-mount any disc or HD by dragging it's icon from the desktop amd dropping it in the Trash.... Yes I know that feels really wierd for a PC user, but it works.

    If you try to keep your questions specific and maybe 2 or 3 at a time rather than a whole ruck at once, you'll get a better response in the forums.

    Most of the main packages will run on a Mac, but you already have some pretty good image/video manipulation software onboard, check out GraphicConverter and iMovie, plus iDVD is a pretty nifty DVD authoring package. You'll probably want something more powerful, so look at Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro, both from Apple.

    Welcome to MacRumors.
  13. jestershinra macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2004
    A second for David Pogue's book. It's an invaluable resource. I know Apple Technicians who reference it. I've read it cover to cover at least twice, and still pick it up all the time. It's great.
  14. dvdh macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2004
    Also valuable . . .

    www.Macupdate.com and http://versiontracker.com

    Both of these provide a good database of very useful freeware and shareware apps to do pretty much anything with your mac. (I'm guess you are probably already aware of versiontracker through its PC side, but thought I might mention it anyways.)

    Also in regards to Apples Pro Apps. I used to be Premier/AfterEffects user, but was rapidly drawn to Final Cut. I'm sure you'll find the same if you are looking to do some video work.
  15. 4409723 Suspended


    Jun 22, 2001
    Thankfully no. For most, smaller-scale applications, installing is simply dragging to the Applications folder. For larger ones such as Photoshop, or Office, installers are used. You can *usually* install on one mac and just copy the installed folder directly onto another without needing to run the installer. I say usually because sometimes programs install and reference files not within their main folder.

    Basically, no registry.

    Deleting a program is basically just dragging it to the trash. That may leave behind a few preference files, but nothing I'd lose sleep over.
  16. the future macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2002
    You can also eject and de-mount any disc or HD by selecting it in the finder and use the combination of the apple + e ("eject") keys.

    One of the greatest things about 10.3, in case you didn't find out already, is Exposé, check out it's functions in System Preferences, it's really cool. Once you get a multi-button mouse and assign the Exposé functions to various buttons, you won't be able to imagine how you could ever live/work without it!

    P.S. Congrats on your gear, you sure dived headlong into this (hopefully exciting) Mac experience!
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Oh, one more thing which may seem overly obvious but which got me the first couple times I used OS X...OS X actually has almost as many contextual menus as Windows does. How to get at them with only one mouse button is the tricky part. If you plug in a USB mouse with more than one button, you can use the right button like you would on a PC. But also you can get to them by pressing ctrl and clicking the left mouse button. In most apps you will see a little context menu icon next to your mouse pointer when you hold down CTRL.

    Anyway, probably already realized it. But it does have all the same stuff you'd expect in a context menu, like, teehee, ejecting a volume you click on from the desktop. ;)
  18. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    "Welcome to the light side of computing."

    The most critical thing to do is repair permissions. Nothing else matters as much as that. There are some Macs out there with uptimes of over 40 days. Repairing permissions though is the best thing to keep on getting a Happy Mac. (Which disappeared in 10.2... :mad: )

    Another cool thing: under the Edit menu, turn on Check Spelling As You Type. It is a system-wide spell check for things like Safari, TextEdit, etc. You might need to turn it on in different applications, but you get the idea.

    And OS X loves RAM... Apple RAM is expensive, but if you can get 768MB of RAM into your computers they will fly.
  19. paul84043 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2004
    Lehi, Utah
    Wow, my list is growing at a geometric rate!!!

    The tip on the systemwide spell checker is awesome, Thanks!

    It's funny, my 9 year old knows more about my apple than I do because they use them at school!!

    I had no idea what she meant when she kept saying "Apple Q"....silly me!

    I really like using the Apples, I don't know what it is, but there's something about them that just makes me not want to fire up the PC's unless I absolutely have to.
    Thanks for all the awesome tips and welcomes, this really seems like a great forum. I look forward to browsing through all the little nooks and crannies looking for tips and info.
    I have a hard time deciding if I like the G5 better, or the G4 powerbook. They both really have their strong points.
    I can't wait until I get to crunch through my first DVD on the Powermac...I'll bet it will absolutely dust my PC's.

    I just need to find a good way to justify my 4K investment to my wife, who didn't really appreciate the room full of computers as it was.....let alone with two more...

    Thanks again for the help, I'm writing these things down as fast as they come in!!


    BTW, I managed to install a second 250 gig SATA hard drive in my G5, and get it partitioned with the disk utility all by myself.
    How many drives can you mount in the G5? It only appears to have one expansion slot.

    I also have every intention of adding as much RAM as I can sneak by the guardian of the checkbook....
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This feeling faded a little over time for me, but I so know what you mean...I went Mac because I hadn't had *fun* using my PC that much in a long time. But after I got my iBook, booting windows was even more and more of a chore....But things like Firefox make it a little lighter one. ;)
  21. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    The thin booklet that comes with every Mac should give you the basics like the eject button, sleep, iLife intros. Next, check out Mac OS X unleashed. Also http://www.oreilly.com/ has some good information both online and paperback. When I got my first Mac, I explored the System Preferences and tried out every program from the Applications folder. For example, play a game of Chess using only your voice. There is a lot under the terminal prompt also.

    Also look out for the new keynote video from MacWorld next month. It's educational and fun at the same time. You will learn a lot and get a sample of the culture.
  22. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    I don't think there is any direct relationship at all. Maybe some ideas that are in all UNIX systems that are in OS/2 would be the only links. Other than that, OS X is built from the FreeBSD tree. 4.9 tree I believe.
  23. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    Some utilities that you might find useful

    As others have mentioned, the Mac is Unix based and doesn't use a registry like Windows. Not that the registry is a bad thing, just that MS didn't do it right, so when programs are deleted many useless and corrupted registry keys remain. These need to be cleaned out manually, but this doesn't apply to Macs. They did indeed get it right. Not perfect, but a whole lot better and more logical to use than Windows.

    Here are utilities to keep your Mac in shape. Some are free and the others are reasonably priced.

    http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/ DiskWarrior

    http://www.macosxcocktail.com/ Cocktail

    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/20070 Onyx

    http://www.atomicbird.com/ Macaroni

    http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill/macjanitor.html Mac Janitor

    Enjoy your new toys :)

    Edited to add info on books. I like both of these books....


  24. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    I second the recommendation for more RAM. The G5 will need PC3200 RAM in pairs. Also for a mouse with a scroll wheel. A MS Intellimouse Optical has worked well on my Macs for years. I'm using a USB KVM switch to use both a PC and Mac on one good quality LCD, keyboard and mouse.

    Two SATA drives is the full load in the G5 - limited by both from space and lack of further SATA motherboard connectors.

    But Firewire works. A good big Firewire drive can work as a backup drive for both your G5 and your Powerbook.

    OS in the two examples just stands for "Operating System", no other relationship.

    www.macintouch.com is a good news site with discussion threads on specific Mac problems and their solutions. I never allow Apple Software Update to auto-install an OS update until it's been given the all clear by the posters on Macintouch.

  25. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    You're correct; there are only two 3.5" HD bays in the G5. If you really want more internal drives, there are several 3rd party add-ons that let you mount two or three drives in the lower bay in front of the processor fans. Combine those with a SATA (or PATA, I suppose) card, and you've got up to 5 internal drives.

    Personally, I instead opted for FirmTek's 2-external-port SATA card and removeable-tray enclosure. It's hot-swappable and doesn't require messing around inside your G5 at all, and other than the external case fan being a bit loud, works great.

    Though repairing permissions is definitely the first thing to try if you're actually having trouble, it's not nearly as important under 10.3 as under 10.2 and earlier; in months, I've only seen a handful of 3rd party installers that messed up any permissions, and almost never anything "randomly" go funny since 10.2. I've also run a 10.3 machine at work for 6 months straight of daily use without any sort of special manual maintenance, so it's really not that big a deal--frankly, unless you're working your new Macs very hard or actually having problems, you just don't have to think too hard to keep them running well.

    Oh, and by the way, although the MacOS help system isn't spectacular, I'm surprised the OS help failed you--when I do a search for "Eject CD", the first result is "Ejecting a disk, server volume, CD or DVD disc, or other devices"; that gives you a list of the following methods:

    -Choose File > Eject.
    -Select the item in the Finder and click the Eject button next to its name.
    -Press the Media Eject key (if your keyboard has one).
    -Press the F12 key.
    -Drag the item to the Trash icon in the Dock (it changes to the Eject icon).

    Enjoy the exploration!

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