Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tech Note: Lost My Mac Cherry Today

Before today, my experience of Macintosh computers was limited to playing games with my friend Tor on a monochrome Plus model in the late 80s. I've been using PCs from the original IBM machine onward. Not religiously, just for practical reasons. And so, this morning when I arrived at my academy office, I found waiting for me two large cardboard boxes. And and an Out Of Box experience of a brand spanking new Macintosh.

It turned out to be a friendly machine. The only thing I didn't manage to do with it was install my standard web links page as desktop wallpaper. (Dear Reader, do please tell me how!) So I got some work done.

But of course there were irritating details. There seems to be no "end" key that sends the cursor to the end of the current line of text. There is a fourth type of shift key that you need to use a lot, as if Windows programs would make heavy use of the flag key in addition to Shift, Ctrl and Alt. The watch is top right instead of bottom right. The CD and DVD drive bays appear boarded up. Most programs defaulted to a really tiny font. But Firefox installed without a hitch, the Airport wireless router was plug and play, and I found Adium to be a decent instant messaging program.

My keyboard moves are getting all muddled. I've been running Open Office for a while on the laptop and my research machine, so I was getting the italics and boldface keys wrong even before I ended up with a Macintosh as well. But it seems my gut feeling about Macintosh vs. Windows was correct: the differences are really negligible for everyday users like myself, nothing to get all fundamentalist about.

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Anonymous Henrik said...

Welcome aboard!
A piece of advice from another convert: I never learned to live with the silly one-button thingy. Keep your old Windoze mouse.

10 October, 2006 21:00  
Blogger Martin said...

Aha, I can simply plug a two-button USB mouse into the Mac and the right-hand button will work like it does in Windows?

10 October, 2006 21:04  
Anonymous Thomaz said...

Welcome to the simple side of computer usage ;)

To go to the end of a line, simply press ⌘→ ... and there is no need to use a PC-mouse, use a Mighty Mouse!

10 October, 2006 22:11  
Blogger Martin said...

OK, I'll give it a try.

10 October, 2006 22:57  
Blogger mugabe said...

Coolers. I got myself a MacBook three weeks ago, after close to a 10-year Mac hiatus.

11 October, 2006 00:06  
Anonymous Henrik said...

Yes, Martin, your two-button mouse will probably work.

Most Windows keyboard shortcuts have their equivalent on a mac, just substitute windows 'ctrl' key with mac 'apple' key. For example:
Copy: 'apple' + c
Paste: 'apple' + p
Open: 'apple' + o
-and so on...

One of the nicer combinations is get info ('apple'+i) which can be used when a file or program is selected and which works very much like the windows
right-click -> 'Properties...'

The equvalent of Windoze right-click, by the way, is the 'control click': press and hold down the control key and then click the mouse.

Part two - how to hack the Pentagon and burn 700 porn dvds (simultaneously!) in just 5 minutes with your new mac :-D

11 October, 2006 17:48  
Blogger Martin said...

Many thanks, dude!

12 October, 2006 10:22  

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