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Pure MAC Newbie

by christy / May 15, 2010 8:01 PM PDT

I am changing employment to where the office environment is Apple. With some ten years surrounded by PCs, what can I expect ? What are the differences in working with a MAC compared with a PC [hands on] ? I would be grateful for responses from people with experience on migrating from the Windows system to the Apple system. Thanks.


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Main requirements,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 15, 2010 10:49 PM PDT
In reply to: Pure MAC Newbie

be able to use a mouse.

Other than that, it would be difficult to even attempt to discuss the differences that you will encounter.

It is possible that the Office uses MS Office which means that once it is launched, you will be able to move around inside it quite easily. (assuming you are familiar with Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

Major difference is the Red button at the top left of the open window. In Windows, the X at the top left will close the window and the program.
In OS X, the Red button appear to have the same function but, while it closes the window, it does not quit the program.

Hard Drives, Floppy Disks(remember those) and CD/DVD's mount on the desktop and are visible all the time. No need for a My Computer button to find the "C" drive.
Also, the drives are not lettered like in Windows. No "C" drive, no "D" drive. They just have names. Whatever name you want to give them.

Relax, you will not have a problem and anyone there will be happy to help you over the transition.

One word of caution. Do not expect the Mac to behave like a Windows machine. You can do everything on a Mac, and more, that you can do on a Windows machine.
Lastly, do not say, out loud, "it's not like this on a PC". They know it's not, that's why they have Mac's

Good luck.

Let us know how you get on


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a few differences
by Mr. Gregg / May 16, 2010 7:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Pure MAC Newbie

You cannot cut and paste files in the Finder as you can in Explorer. To move or copy a file from one place to another, the Mac way is to open both the Target and Source folders, then drag and drop the file or folder.

The green button at the top does not expand the window to fill your screen. Very few windows need the full screen, so what that does is expand the window so it's large enough to handle the content. This will almost always leave some background visible.

You cannot see the size of a file or folder by holding your mouse over it. You must highlight the item and use Get Info. There are at least four ways to use Get Info, three of them involving the mouse.

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another one...
by Mr. Gregg / May 16, 2010 11:27 PM PDT
In reply to: a few differences

If you have two folders with the same name, but have a few differences between the contents of same, don't move one to the enclosing folder of the other. OSX will not automatically merge the contents of the two folders. Instead, it will overwrite the target folder with the one you're moving. The differences in the target folder will be lost forever.

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one more:
by Mr. Gregg / July 11, 2010 9:35 AM PDT
In reply to: another one...

You cannot selectively delete items that you have "stored" in the Trash. Sorry.

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by brlarson / May 20, 2010 9:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Pure MAC Newbie

I switched in February and wondered why I did not do it sooner. after 10 min you will be up and running with out issue. Feel free to ask questions as most Mac users will be glad to help.

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"Switching to the Mac" book
by Nancy holloway / July 3, 2010 8:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Pure MAC Newbie

Get hold of a terrific book by David Pogue called "Switching to the Mac: Leopard Edition" (assuming the office is using Leopard. If not, just get the version that applies to the Mac operating system it is using.) This book's cover calls it "The Missing Manual" and "The book that should have been in the box". Boy, are they right. I looove my Mac but its Help feature sucks.

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by cheetosloth / August 8, 2010 3:10 AM PDT

I Have had a mac ibook G4 given to me and i know nothing about mac i think it has tiger on it found out that it is older but other then that i know nothing someone help this is not anything like ive ever used before

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What do you need help with?
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 8, 2010 7:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Help

I gather you can turn it on and can see the desktop and the dock. The bar with all the icons in it.

Do you have the password for the machine?


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by cheetosloth / August 8, 2010 2:24 PM PDT

sorta yes i have pass word for it i do kow how to use some of the things on it but dont know if i can up date it and do i need a virus program and how come when i download something it wont load lol i feel stupid ive ever had a problem with a computer like this i ca always fix it myself but never had a mac

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 8, 2010 10:57 PM PDT
In reply to: ....

Files that you download will go to wherever your web browsers preferences are set to.
By default, this is the Download folder but you can change that by going to your browsers preferences.

Files that you download for your Mac will normally end in .zip or .dmg
If the file ends in .exe then it is not for your Mac.
If you double click a .dmg file (these are disk images) an icon that looks like a hard drive will appear on your desktop.
Double click that and you will find either an installer or the program itself. If an installer, double click it, if it's the actual program, drag it to your applications folder. Once it has copied there, double click it and it will run.

On the update subject. Go to the Apple menu, top left of screen, and choose About this Mac. That will tell you what operating system the machine is running.
Let us know what that is and we can talk updates, or not.

Anti-Virus. You don't need it

What Web Browser do you use?

The change from Windows to Mac is not that difficult, if you can do it with Windows, you can do it with a Mac. Just takes a little learning.
Post the answer to the above question and any other questions you may have.


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by cheetosloth / August 11, 2010 5:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Downloads

Ive been using firefox because its what i've always used. the computer says 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 1GB DDR SDRAM is that what you needed to know? it has been getting easier the more i play around with it but would like to know if i can get rid of some of the stuff that downloaded when tiger was put on i dot use most of it maybe it could free up some space cause i know that i am running low

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Do not throw anything away
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 11, 2010 10:06 PM PDT
In reply to: firefox

unless you know what it is.

How do you know that you are running low on hard drive space?

How much is free.

What is it that you want to throw away?


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so slow
by cheetosloth / August 12, 2010 4:38 AM PDT

everything runs slow and when i go to shut down for the day i haft to make everything that was opened shut down first. is this what you need and also how come i dont need a virus program
Machine Name: iBook G4
Machine Model: PowerBook6,7
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.5)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.42 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 142 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.9.3f0

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Slow down
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 12, 2010 8:08 AM PDT
In reply to: so slow

is probably due to you having a bunch of programs open at the same time and only having 1GB of memory (RAM)
Many Windows users make the mistake of using the Red button on an open window to close an applications. This does not work on a Mac. All it does is close the window, the program continues to run and eat memory.

If you choose Apple\Shutdown and confirm the choice, the OS will shut down everything that is open, by itself. and then proceed to shut down the Mac.

The information you gave is good, but it does not address the Hard drive size and the amount of free space available on it.
Right click (Control + Click) the HD icon at the top right of the screen, and choose Get Info. There you will see the size of the HD and the space available. Space available is also shown at the bottom of every open Finder window.

The reason you do not need AV software yet is because there are no virus's out there that work on a Mac. That's not to say that there won't ever be any, just none now and for the last 11 years.


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by cheetosloth / August 12, 2010 9:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Slow down

It says i Have 44.22 gb of ram free

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That's not what it says,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 12, 2010 10:10 PM PDT
In reply to: Ram

it says that you have 44.22GB of Hard Drive space free.

More that enough and is almost certainly not the cause of your slowdown.

RAM is memory, HD is storage.

The more RAM you have, the more programs you can have open at any one time and the machine will run better as it does not have to keep swapping data between the hard drive and the RAM.
With low amounts of RAM, the system uses the hard drive as a temporary storage area for things it wants to keep in memory and as it is slower to move data from RAM to HD, the system slows down.


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so not alot
by cheetosloth / August 13, 2010 5:39 AM PDT

so there is enuff to do whatever thats good and ive bee useing firefox because the one that come with it safrai doesnt let me view pages fully but is there a better browser out there that will let me access more sites cause firefox is not supported by all eather

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What sites are not supported by Safari or Firefox
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 13, 2010 9:20 AM PDT
In reply to: ....

a few url's might help here.

Chrome and Camino are just two other browsers that work on a Mac.

Firefox is pretty much cross platform, so URL's please and we'll see what we can do.

What version of Safari and Firefox are you using. Menu Safari\About Safari and ditto for Firefox


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Games Sites
by cheetosloth / August 13, 2010 9:46 AM PDT

Game sites my husband wants to play them RPG games not shure all that hes been to the fire fox is 3.6.8 and safari is 3.0.4 but he likes to play games and most of the sites dont support them and the ones that do wont run on here any way there isent very many out there dont haft to be downloaded

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Safari 4.1
by Kevin M. Dean / August 13, 2010 3:05 PM PDT
In reply to: Games Sites
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ok thats diffrent
by cheetosloth / August 13, 2010 4:12 PM PDT
In reply to: Safari 4.1

ive got it all updated i think i have o idea what safari i had on there before but this one is not even close to being the same thank you for all your help. my husband wanted me to ask if you knew of any free RPG games online that he can play on here

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pc to mac
by trishool999 / August 21, 2010 12:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Pure MAC Newbie

I think it will take you about a week to get used to things on a mac. It is much more user friendly. If you are a power user on the pc, then you might have to relearn some keyboard shortcuts but you can expect a much more stable system.

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getting there
by cheetosloth / August 21, 2010 5:31 PM PDT
In reply to: pc to mac

iam getting there still not shur about somethings like where some files are located and somethings that pc have that a mac just doest or if it does havent found it yet i just keep playing around finding something new all the time

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Give a few examples of the things
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 22, 2010 5:27 AM PDT
In reply to: getting there

that a PC has that a Mac doesn't seem to have and we'll see if we can find them for you.

Playing around is a really good way to find out things.


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just to play on,
by macnerd10 / August 23, 2010 5:21 AM PDT

What Windows have and Mac does not is the ability to rename a file or get a new folder when in the "save" or "save as" dialog box. This is very handy, although the simplicity of Mac hierarchy allows you to do it very fast from the Finder view. This is already an advantage of Mac OS.

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You might want to recheck that.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 24, 2010 3:10 AM PDT
In reply to: just to play on,

Save As has always allowed you to change the name of a file.

The Save As dialog box also has a New Folder option.


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sorry, I was not exact
by macnerd10 / August 24, 2010 7:40 AM PDT

I was talking about being able to rename the file that had already been saved in the "save as" dialog box (e.g., to avoid duplicates with the file being saved for the first time). Windows shows the folder and all files can be renamed, not the one you are saving. At least, MS Office apps do not have a new folder option on "save as" but Acrobat does. I conclude that this option is program-specific but not enabled through OS, whereas in Windows, this goes with any program; I would think it is built-in.
Maybe you know the trick to activate at least new folder option in any Mac program?

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Agreed on the renaming of existing files in a Save As
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 24, 2010 8:59 AM PDT
In reply to: sorry, I was not exact

dialog box but disagree with the MS Office apps not having a New Folder option.

It could be that you are not seeing the full Save As dialog box. At the top of the Save As window, where it says "Save As:", at the right of the filename field there is a dropdown arrow.
When the arrow is in the Down position, you only see a reduced window. Moving the arrow to the Up position, by clicking on it, reveals a whole bunch of other options, including New Folder.

I have not found an application, so far this evening, that does not have the New Folder option


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you are right!
by macnerd10 / August 24, 2010 2:36 PM PDT

I stand corrected about new folder. Completely forgot about the arrow.

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mac and pc
by cheetosloth / August 23, 2010 1:59 PM PDT

well where is it that i can find all programs that have been downloaded cause some things have gotten put on here that i dont want but i just delete off desk top it doesnt take the program off does it? um i dont know if there is a clean up type thing on here like there would be for pc like the disk clean up just things like that i guess i find something new everyday and yet when i find the answer to that i seem to always find a new question oh and does anyone know how to put keys back on laptops its on here but i cant get it to click in properly

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