Switching!!! Praise for the Macrumors community and now for the Q's...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by aceguitarslingr, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. aceguitarslingr macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2006
    Hello all,

    Thnx in advance for reading and any advice you give, a word about these fora first, please scroll down to my three questions if you can't be bothered to read all the preramble...:

    WTF???? You guys are so nice! How refreshing to find oneself in the murky depths of the internet amongst such pleasant posters.

    Let me give you an example: My work (Middle East 'complimentary' diplomacy) requires me to visit political blogs where the 'misguidedness', vitriol, polemic and pure hatred are enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand... but ok, that's politics, and the volume has been raised as of late... let's not get into it.

    But then, Civil Aviation, I love it. But the posts in the forums? Nitpicking flamers with too much time on their hands. I know my stuff, so I don't actually post, but I just don't get it - these guys are having like an online masturbation contest about who can trump whom regarding knowledge of such pathetic, lifeless facts as the total length of wiring in an Dassault Falcon (a business jet...).

    So, I reach Macrumors. And following the discussions, am taken aback as to how you guys talk to one another. Respect. Let me illustrate again. One of the members here became somewhat obnoxious in the discussion thread on the 'Macbook released'. Thinking 'there's always one...' I read the argument he got into with amusement. Then someone comes along and posts a barrage of accusations against Mr obnoxious. What does Mr obnoxious do? Throws his hands up and apologises!!! Where in the world??? Nice.

    So I thought it must be to do with the kind of people who are attracted to Apple to the extent that they would post in an Apple related forum. Not true.
    On the Apple site, they are vicious. And here I have often read references to 'becoming like AppleInsider', so I guess they're not that nice either. Keep up the niceness!!!

    Now for some silly questions:

    Please forgive, I am a novice. Blah blah blah first Mac blah blah blah switcher...

    Yes it's true. After my friends in record / film industry have been bugging me for ages about 'going Mac' - 'it works perfectly in your office', I finally realised
    that I was doing all this multitasking, 16 windows open at a time kind of stuff and not only was my operating system getting in the way rather than helping, its latest version looks like a copy of OS X (at least to the novice) I can't believe it, obviously Vista is going to be rubbish if it only catches up with what OS X is now... if they ever release it...

    So here are my questions, I hope I don't get in trouble for writing such a long preamble...:

    I have ordered a 15" MBP with Core Duo 2.16, 7200 rpm drive, 2 gig RAM - I will as always be lucky and receive one that does not whine, cry, moo or bark (...he apprehensively says). I also got office, mighty mouse and a wireless keyboard. Here are my Q's:


    Having moved 'My Documents' as well as the iTunes packages and My Pictures onto a Fat32 formatted external drive, I wonder what will happen to my photos. Currently they are not well organised, but they are in 'sub-folders'. Do I need to take them out and have one folder with all the pictures in it in order to import them into iPhoto? Or will iPhoto import these folders and keep the photos organised this way?


    Majorly important: Having baaaad RSI from playing up to 12 hours of guitar daily in the past, I have gotten very comfortable with the Microsoft Desktop Pro, which has a 'Natural' multimedia keyboard. Now I know there are lots of Mac users who (secretly) use Microsoft hardware, but what are the disadvantages? I understand the drivers (IntelliType) are already universal, so if I install them, will I be able to make the multimedia keys do what I want? I am particularly concerned about the delete / home / end layout, which appears to be different on the Apple keyboard. Also, tell me about using a 'windows' mouse, and importantly, will the 'forward' and 'back' buttons on the mouse work in Firefox on the Mac?


    I use a second monitor (silver Sony one - can't remember model, but its one of the ones that rests on its frame, but not glossy). Best buy for productivity / internet experience ever!! Does it matter, when using it as a second monitor for MBP that it is square rather than widescreen. And could you perhaps post very brief instructions as to how to set it up, or is it Apple obvious?


    Is a Tuscon (??) slipcase a good buy? Do I really need to cover the keyboard when I close the MBP?

    Ey guys, my sincere apologies for asking such basic questions. Now can somebody explain the offside rule please?

    I promise further posts will be short and sharp, in fact, I shall never bore you like this again. All replies greatly appreciated!!

    Edit: Shock, horror... I just worked out that Firefox is a windows thing and is apparently, according to some other forums on here, not great on the Mac... So here's two more questions I would appreciate your educated input on:

    Which browser (I take it Safari is fine...oh, I only just started going out with Firefox...and I think I was falling for her)

    What programme for RSS? (Used Wizz in Firefox - limited yet perfectly formed)

  2. aceguitarslingr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2006

    After all this praise not a single reply!!! Am very sad, but clearly I was too wordy. Would one of you geniuses at least take pity and answer the three basic questions??? I know you're reading it...

  3. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    Hi Ace. The real geniuses are on in the evening. ;)

    As far as your questions, I believe iPhoto will detect all photos in the nestled folders, but I am not positive. I know that iTunes does with music.

    Your keyboard should work fine, but I don't have much first-hand experience so I'm afraid I can't tell you what, if any, oddities you might encounter.

    The resolution and aspect ratio of your external monitor won't matter. 4:3 should work just as well as widescreen.

    And I can't really help you with the bag question! I'm sure someone else will be glad to chime in.
  4. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Well, I guess this genius missed this one.

    iPhoto will import and organize all photos when you ask it to. It will make copies and not touch the originals, but will copy to the iPhoto library.

    My wife uses a Microsoft multimedia keyboard with her MacBook, but with no extra drivers installed. The layout is fine - the home/end/delete keys work the same as on the Mac keyboards, ie. home and end don't go to the place a Windows user expects, but you'll get used to that. The main difference is the Ctrl-Windows-Alt keys. The Windows key acts as the Apple key, and Alt acts as the Option key, but they are in different positions compared to the Mac, so if you use the laptop keyboard and the MS keyboard, you're going to be hitting the wrong keys.

    External monitors work flawlessly. The Mac should detect the type and resolution of the external monitor and display accordingly, no matter that it's 4:3 rather than 16:10 - we're using a 17" Dell 4:3 monitor with my wife's MacBook.
  5. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    All that praise has scared them off...

    OK, big breath in and here we go.

    1. You can keep the photos in their subfolders if you wish, by dragging each folder onto the iPhoto icon in the dock, iPhoto will import the photos and put them into the iPhoto Library folder in a subfolder under the year the photos were produced. If the folder is named when you drag the scroll bar in iPhoto you will get a translucent window with the name of the folder as you move through the photos.

    Now remember, iPhoto and iTunes exist to remove you from the underlying file structure. You can do everything you want with music and photos through these programs. Let them do all the organising under the surface - don't worry about the filestructure.

    2. Most keyboards and stuff should work fine, MS provides drivers and the like for Mac so that's not a problem. I don't know about the home/end stuff but Home = Top of the page, End = Bottom of the page.

    Disadvantages with the keyboard are more along the lines of that you won't have a dedicated "eject" key for the SuperDrive so to eject the disc you'll either have to drag the disc icon to the trash or press the eject key on the MBPs keyboard - no big deal really.

    3. Just plug it in, it should work fine with no configuration. If you feel like making it your primary screen, just open the "Displays" pane in the System Preferences, there will be a tab called "arrangement" which will show the MBPs widescreen and the Sony screen. You can then tell the computer where the Sony screen is in relation to the MBPs screen by dragging it around and you can also drag the bar at the top of the representation of the MBP screen to the Sony screen to make it your primary display. When you unplug the Sony screen it will revert to default settings, unlike Windows I find where I can unplug the extra monitor and it still thinks it's there.

    4. I'm not aware of the Tucson stuff so I can't comment however it's probably not such a bad idea to cover the keyboard with something thin but soft, the MBP still has the old Powerbook design so it could be possible for grease from the keys to transfer onto the screen, I'm not sure if the MBPs mild redesign over the Powerbook changed this or not, it was a very minor problem more associated with the early titanium Powerbooks.

    Hope that helped, I surprised nobody has commented yet, you get your first proper reply from an Aussie at stupid-o'clock in the morning... well, it's not that early but it's still morning.

    EDIT: Damn, took too long replying.... beaten to the punch.
  6. aceguitarslingr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2006

    Ok thanks, feels better already. Keep 'em coming...

    Just to clarify, the keyboard / mouse are wireless and come with one of those weird Microsoft USB receivers... makes no difference, correct?

    And plinden, or anyone, what do you (and excuse me if this is unbelievably basic) mean by the 'home' and 'end' keys take getting used to for windows users? How do they behave on the Mac?

    Why does it take so long to ship??? Now there's a question!

    Edit: Thanks again, was too slow. Ok, so what would be the keys (are there any?) that do what 'home' and 'end' do on a PC (I need those keys...)

    And though I am grateful to chundles, I didn't really understand his iPhoto stuff. That may just be me, but does it make sense to get rid of the subfolders and let iPhoto organise the pictures?

    Also, I remembered another important thing. I'll probably work this out no problem, but as pretentious as it sounds, once I have loaded my documents on there, it must have a password before I leave the house. I expect most of you would be able to get around it, but hopefully the imaginary robber in the street wouldn't... is it obvious how this is done?
  7. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    On Windows, if I'm e.g. writing this reply (actually writing this in Linux), Home takes me to the start of the line and End to the end of the line. The Mac goes to the top with Home and to the bottom with End. You have to use <mumble>right arrow and <mumble>left arrow to go to the start and end of the line on the Mac - I've forgotten what <mumble> is ... my Mac's at home and my fingers aren't working automatically at the moment.

    What's annoying is some apps do it the Windows way - like Entourage - so I have to think about what I'm app using.
  8. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    So long as the keyboard/mouse are for both PC and Mac (it'll say it on the box) they will be fine.

    I think in Windows when you press the Home key it takes you to the start of a line, in Mac it takes you to the top of the page. Vice versa for the End key.

    It's taking a while to ship because instead of sending you a stock one from some warehouse nearby they've had to take a machine off the production line and add all the goodies there, in China where it's made.

    EDIT: to do the "start of line, end of line" you use the apple key and the right or left arrow.

    About iPhoto, I would keep the photos in their folders. By importing a folder that is named something to do with photos it contains, when scrolling through your iPhoto library you will get a translucent window showing the name of that folder so you know where you are just by glancing. Once all your folders are imported you can do the same thing by naming the film roll when you plug your camera into the Mac and import directly into iPhoto.
  9. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    You will LOVE your new MBP!

    You've got the same configuration as my MBP....and no cries, whines, barks, moos or other strange noises on my end! I think Apple has resolved the issues that were causing those problems with the first batch of MBPs and MBs....

    OK, rather than transferring all of your photos into iPhoto, you might want to look at Finder and then set up a separate "Pictures" folder(if there isn't already one established there) and put them all in there first....and THEN transfer whatever individual photos or folders you want into iPhoto. Why? There may be times when you prefer your own organization to the way iPhoto does it. This is what I've done. I have one "Pictures" folder in Finder, then anything that I want to import into iPhoto or Aperture I do separately so that I'm covered, regardless of how I want to eventually work with the images.

    Can't really help a whole lot on your other questions. On my PC I did/do use the wireless MS keyboard, which I really like, but when I brought home my iMac and set it up with the Apple (wired) keyboard I found that I liked that very much, too, as well as the Mighty Mouse, so never bothered switching keyboards. I didn't use the multimedia functions all that much on the MS keyboard, though, and actually do still need to keep it on the PC until I get around to cleaning that machine out....

    As far as I know, there shouldn't be any problem in using a second non-Apple monitor.... I think a lot of people do use their previous monitors as second monitors with their Macs, no hassle. Right now I still need to keep the 19" monitor I've got on that old PC still plugged into it, but eventually I may use that as an additional monitor on one of my Macs. [Warning: Macs are addictive. I made the switch back in October 2005, buying an iMac. Next thing you know I'm buying a PB at the end of November....and only a month or so ago I succumbed to the urge to add to the family by getting a MBP! Love 'em all....]

    The nice thing about your MBP with all the bells and whistles is that if you so choose, you can hook it up to Apple's wonderful 30" Apple Cinema Display for a fantastic experience.....can't be beat for photo editing in Aperture!

    Laptop sleeves/cases: I have a couple different ones that I use under different circumstances. Sleeve sometimes, full-blown carrying case at other times. I really like my Oakley carrying case for traveling. And, yes, I'm paranoid after a bad experience with an old Windows laptop so I do put a protective covering between my keyboard and the LCD before closing the lid on the PB and the MBP.... probably it's not necessary but the cloth also is great for cleaning off the screen and the machines, too. I'm out on the deck right now with the PB, too lazy to run in the house to check to see the name of the keyboard protectors I use....something like Radtech.... ? In case you're wondering why I'm using the PB at the moment instead of the MBP, it's because the latter machine is currently hooked up to my brand-new 30" ACD and since I've still got the PB, which I'd intended to offer for sale, I'm enjoying using it out here and leaving the MBP all hooked up. The MBP is definitely a lot faster than the PB but for what I am doing right now it isn't a critical issue.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Apple and Macs!
  10. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    I gotta admit, I was not much of a fan of iPhoto at first. I only started using it to create slideshows to use in iMovie, but I started enjoying it more and more.

    I don't mind iTunes organize the music into its default folder system, as it uses a very intuitive system, Name-of-artist/Name-of-Album/song1.m41 etc. However, iPhoto is different. If you ever want to get away from iPhoto, you'd need a lot of time to make heads and tails out of iPhoto folder structures. Thus, I prefer keeping my photos in my own folder structure according to years, months and locations.

    First time I started iPhoto, I went into Preferences and checked off the box that says "copy pictures into iPhoto Library when importing". That way I can drag and drop a folder full of pictures into an album, keep using my own folder system and no duplicates are made.

    I have not tried to drag and drop a folder with other subfolders in it, but I am pretty sure it would import the pics in the subfolders as well. If you have a lot of pics, you may not want to import all of your pictures at once anyways. I don't think iPhoto is stable enough to import several hundred or a few thousand pictures at once. I would not want to sort through a pile of couple thousand pictures trying to figure out where and when I had those taken. I am slowly migrating to iPhoto.
  11. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    iPhoto's pretty stable, I've imported photos in batches of 700+ before and not had a problem. MacWorld labs imported a quarter of a million photos into iPhoto to test its new performance claims. It took 4 days to import but went fine.
  12. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    There are a few preferences that let you set it up so that you are forced to enter your password to login and when your Mac wakes up.

    When I switched, this book helped me out a lot:

    Mac OS X : The Missing Manual
  13. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Well, I had iPhoto crash on me a few times already, probably not during importing. Still I try not to push it too much.
  14. aceguitarslingr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2006
    Go on!!

    Ok guys, thanks for the advice. And though the post below (Crucial RAM) got about 7000 views and 120 replies, I reckon this is not bad for such a wordy debut...

    But please, would someone throw in their opinion re my edited additional Q's?

    Which browser / RSS do you guys like?

  15. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Firefox is not just a Windows thing. There's a version for Linux too as well as Mac OS X. And it is quite a decent and capable browser on the Mac. Many here swear by it. This coming from a Safari user.
  16. Tymmz macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2005
    I loved Firefox on my Windows-machine, but moved to Safari as soon as I switched. It's such a nice browser, which does everything for me.

    Try it, get used to it, love it.

    EDIT: In general, try to get used to shortcuts, they make the "Mac-feeling" even better. For example Safari (on the left side of the page you can choose a specific application).

    HEHE, just realized, it's a german page. But there must be an english version on the net. Just google.
  17. aceguitarslingr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2006

    Really? I gathered that the consensus on a browser thread on here was that Firefox is 'clunky' on the Mac?

    What about RSS readers?
  18. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    I quite like Firefox on the Mac, although I'm using Opera 9 at the moment. Not a big fan of Safari.
  19. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    RSS: I just use the built-in Safari RSS. Simple, works just fine, reasonably pretty interface. There are a number of other readers available if you want more features--try a search on VersionTracker and just test what comes up to see what's best for you.

    Browser: Firefox works just fine, and a lot of people like it. Me, and others who DON'T use it prefer others browsers because Firefox isn't as "pretty" as Mac apps generally are. Its main advantage are all the modifications you can do to it, and since I don't use any of those, I have no need for it.

    Safari is fine, and I use it periodically, but if you want the exact same engine as Firefox (called Gecko) with a prettier Mac interface and simplified operation, get Camino. I've used it for years, and it's a nice, stable, fast, Mac-like browser with few drawbacks (biggest one being that, unlike Safari, it doesn't do spellchecking in forms like this one).

    There's also Opera, which has its own strengths, as well as a couple of other browsers based on either Gecko or Safari's Webkit: Omniweb (all manner of features), Shiira, and I'm pretty sure there are others.

    They're all free except Omniweb (and it has a free trial), so why not just download all of them and see which one works the best for you?

    I keep several installed and switch back and forth when I feel like it.
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It seems like lots of answers have already appeared for your questions, so I just wanted to say, welcome to the family. :D

    EDIT: I am of the opinion a little that Firefox is clunky on OS X (but I still use it sometimes as my second to Safari)... but I wanted to mention that this theme, GrApple, Goes a LONG way towards making FF feel at home. :)
  21. gloss macrumors 601


    May 9, 2006
    Oop. I use GrApple...I'd forgotten how ugly it is by default.

    Yes, if you use Firefox, be sure to theme it.

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