Suggestions, Questions for Switchers, and Newbies

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Scepticalscribe, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #1
    Just to introduce myself briefly to the forum. I've surfed this forum for some months and found it interesting and informative (and welcoming), while contemplating switching. This April, I switched, and treated myself to a MBP - a long planned slightly belated birthday present - and I must say that I absolutely love the machine. Physically, it is beautiful, aesthetically gorgeous and it works like a treat; powerful, elegant, fast, and with a lovely screen. Apple had earlier impressed me with the quality of their service when an iPod bought two years earlier had died within warranty and was immediately replaced without fuss. Additionally, the reputation Apple machines have for security, dealing with spam and viruses was an additional reason for switching; I had become inundated on a daily basis and I found anti-spam packages to have been insufficiently robust.

    Apart from introducing myself to the community, I have also started this thread as I have noticed that quite a few of the newer members are also switchers, and that there are a few issues, questions and topics which it might be useful to address and discuss in such a thread as there are differences - not huge, but yet which still have an impact - between the worlds of Mac and the Windows behemoth and in how they actually work.

    Some of it is simple, (as hindsight and solutions are often simple) and the forums are full of helpful sources of information. For myself, it took ages to find out an equivalent for the right click function on the Windows style keyboard; (two solutions apparently - one of which is to hold the trackpad and control keys down simultaneously; the other is to use two fingers on the pad itself). Likewise, I experienced a fair bit of bother with Office updates on my MBP until this week; I had assumed one clicked the red exit button when told to "quit" a programme while an update was in progress. In fact, one needs to actually click on "quit programme" on the menu in order to do so successfully. I'll sign off, cheers and good luck to you all.

    :apple: MBP 15.4", 2.4. Ghz, 2 GB RAM, 160HDD
    :apple: iPod Classic, black, 30 GB
     
  2. wadejc85 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #2
    Let me wish you a belated congrats on your MBP purchase! :) I'll be making my first Apple notebook purchase when the new ones come out!

    When I first switched to Apple, I didn't realize that I had to go to "Quit [Program]" to exit either. I was used to just "X-ing out" in Windows, and at first, I was frustrated and annoyed. But then I remembered all of the times I was working in a program that didn't auto-save in Windows. Oh, all of the lost work!

    Anyways, I'll stop blabbing. Welcome to the forum! :)
     
  3. Galley macrumors 65816

    Galley

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #3
    If an app does not support more than one instance of it running, then clicking the red button will quit the app.
     
  4. amac4me macrumors 65816

    amac4me

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    #4
    Put another way ... as a general rule, document-centric applications (such as Text Edit) or applications that can have more than one window open at a time (such as Safari) will stay active when the red close button is clicked. Single window applications (such as Calculator and System Preferences) on the other hand will quit when the red close button is clicked.
     
  5. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #5
    Thanks for the advice; I had cancelled a few updates as it took me quite a while to work out that I needed to actually "quit" the application, rather than simply click on the red button, before the updates would take effect. (In the world of the Darkside, one just closed the relevant window).

    There is something else which I'd like to raise. Firstly, that spinning rainbow-coloured pie-chart icon which I see occasionally, especially when a freeze occurs. Am I reading it correctly when I think it is Apple's equivalent of the little hour glass icon one used to see on Windows and that one should wait it out?

    More to the point, the freezing occured when I was ripping some rather old and much used CDs to iTunes, and I had to use "Force Quit" to stop the whole process. To what extent is this supposed to happen, if at all? The Apple store people informed me that this was merely my beautiful new MBP protecting itself from potentially nasty smudgy infections - whereas I readily admit that newish CDs rip effortlessly.

    Since then, I have stopped sampling tracks before ripping them; now I rip, and then send to trash any I don't much care. Suggestions and advice would be very welcome because it has happened a few times, and I expected flawless performance on this from Apple, given the power of the MBP, and the fact that iPod and MBP run the same systems. Music matters. There are a number of features on the MBP that at present I don't have much use for, but music really matters. Cheers and thanks.
     
  6. ohforfckssake! macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    Hi, I'm a switcher too (MBP arriving soon; using someone else's old iBook G4 to familiarize myself with OS X in the interim). The spinning beach ball of death happens to me too and what I usually do is force quit the application. Often waiting it out does not help because it takes bloody ages to stop spinning (unlike in Windoze, which lets you get on with the other stuff while one window loads).

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone tried using an old copy of Microsoft Office/Word for Windows on OS X using Crossover? I understand that you sacrifice some performance when you run stuff non-natively, but how bad is it? I'd prefer not to get a new license for MS Office for Mac if I can help it. Opinions?
     
  7. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #7
    Thanks for that; the spinning beach ball of death is a good name for it. For some reason, it always makes me rather uneasy to see it - I assume it's not good news - in a way that the old hour glass on Windoze never did. And, yes, you're right; it does take ages to stop spinning. Any further comments on the spinning beach ball of death, and freezing issues would be very welcome.

    Re Office, I decided to go the whole way and acquired a licensed Office for Mac edition when I treated myself to the MBP; I really need Word for work - everyone else in my work world uses it and it is vital; your point re non-native software is well-taken. So, I have to say that it is possibly not quite as fast as the Office on my old Toshiba (and this is a much later edition of Office, the current one, has better specs, but is admittedly, in its non-native environment, a little slower to load). The Apple people swore by iWork, and strongly recommended it to me when I purchased the MBP; I don't doubt that it is possibly much better. However, I actually really need Word and thought it sort of redundant to have two such systems on the MBP.
    Cheers and thanks.
     
  8. ohforfckssake! macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Singapore
    #8
    Yikes, sorry if I wasn't clear before. By running stuff non-natively I meant running a program meant for Windows (that is, the Windoze -- as opposed to OS X - version of MS Word) on a Mac through an emulator like Crossover. These emulators allow you to run all sorts of Windows programs 'non-natively' on your Mac, as if they were really Mac programs/Mac versions of Windows programs.

    So your Mac version of MS Word would be considered 'native' under this rubric. (But nonetheless slower!) I agree that Word is a real necessity -- it's the de facto standard around here too and people want their .docs without weird formatting errors. And besides, I'm used to it. ;-)
     
  9. wadejc85 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    PA
    #9
    To both of your points on non-native programs, I will never run a non-native program. I've heard too many horror stories (i.e. long loading times, programs not running, etc etc) about running Windows simulation. One friend of mine bought one specifically to use freeware programs from the US EPA, and, long story short, the programs flat out did not work.

    It may be a more expensive option, but purchase Windows XP and install natively through Boot Camp. It'll save time and frustration.

    Regarding MS Office, as much as I would love to only use iWork, too many people use MS Office. It's an unfortunate requirement for those of us in the academia/working realm.
     
  10. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #10
    Thanks for all of your comments, they are informative and helpful, and thanks for drawing my attention to the distinction between "native" and "non-native" software ; my mistake and it's good to know the jargon and language of this world as I'm new to the forum and busy mastering the vocabulary.

    One of the reasons I had held off getting a Mac for years was the fact that their software was so esoterically self-contained (yes, I know very well that everyone who used it swore by it) and, unless one was pretty competent/expert in computer technical stuff (which many are not, that's why forums such as this are so beneficial) one couldn't easily link with what the rest of the world used. Namely Word and its fellows. Especially in the worlds academia, teaching, writing, publishing.

    Any further thoughts or comments on freezing issues and the ominous spinning beach ball of death? Thanks and cheers.

    :apple: MBP 15.4', 2.4ghz, 2 GB RAM, 160 HDD
    :apple: iPod classic, black, 30 GB
     
  11. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #11

    Yep two thoughts one for compatibility with windows word look into NeoOffice and two if you keep seeing the beach ball try upping your RAM to 4GB's
     
  12. signatus macrumors member

    signatus

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Location:
    Andalucía, Spain
    #12
    I also prefer iWork to other word-editing software (i.e. Word), but I also find it difficult to share files with my colleagues since most people use Word.
    Have you tried OpenOffice. It's free and multiplatform, so it runs natively (almost) on Windows, Linux and Mac computers. Up to now, it is the only way I can use the same files at work (Windows or Linux) and at home (Mac).
     
  13. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #13
    Thanks for all of that advice and suggestions guys; much appreciated, and will certainly look into it over the next few days. Notwithstanding the minor gripes concerning the spinning beach ball from psychedelic hell, (which has only ever happened when trying to rip certain CDs in iTunes, but it happened a few times), I love my MBP, a beautiful and spectacular machine. Again, thanks for taking the time and trouble to post. Cheers.
     

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