All About Apple -
Confessions of a Convert
Apple is a new world. It can do things that I could only dream about with my Windows computer. As I use it day by day, I'm amazed at the simplicity of its procedures. If there were 'Computer Olympics' - the Apple OS would sweep the golds. There is however a caveat. If you're an indoctrinated Windows user it won't be easy to undo years of experience. So this is all about switching. It presents an account of the adventures & mis-adventures of an Apple convert, in the hope that it will give encouragement to others like me.
This site is permanently under construction and will be updated from time to time with new suggestions, observations & pointers.
It contains links to my artwork, my tips on digital photography & other stuff...
Note: FYI - If your Mac works the same as
mine - you can't edit your Google Pages using the Apple browser,
Safari. I use the FireFox browser when I want to edit this page.
"Switching to the Mac; Tiger Edition - The Missing Manual" by David Pogue & Adam Goldstein. This book is invaluable! Here's a link to Pogue's website: Pogue's Pages
Apple's Own Site: for people like us - it's called Switch 101. I haven't had a chance to really check it out intensively - but it should have a lot of answers...
Technofile is a site maintained by Al Fasoldt - Central NY's media computer guy - you can search his various articles here.
Ben McGann is webmaster for the "Syracuse Mac Users Group" web site - aka "SMUG". (You gotta love that acronym). This is a link to his website.
Love Solitaire & Freecell? Are they your security blankets? Fret not. You can find excellent free versions here at Version Tracker. (This tip thanks to the book mentioned above). You'll find other links to free downloads by googling "free Apple games".
Many of you are familiar with the Microsoft 'Communities - another word for forums. I belong to one called Mac Community Feedback - where you can go to ask question & receive a reliable courteous answer.
To expell a disk that wants to take up permanent residence in your disk slot - turn off the computer. Press & hold F12 - then restart the computer while holding the key down.
Perhaps like me, you have had several years experience with Windows. Your friends consider you a source of information - an expert of sorts. Then you make The Decision:
I made the decision & made a pilgrimage to the Apple Store, where I fell in love with and bought the new iMac (with Intel). Talk about glamour! These babies are the 'runway models' of the computer world. They swagger!
Once home, came the 'moment of truth'. I proceeded with my usual 'bull in a china shop' method of learning. I waded in. (Hey - I know about computers, right?)You may even have read and heard how 'easy' Macs are - just 'plug in' and you're off and running! Well... that's applesauce. (Another nice thing about Apple - it raises endless opportunities for puns).
I'm sure that if you learn on a Mac, you would find it easy - but when you're making the transition from nine years experience with Windows - you will try to make your Mac act like Windows - and you will flounder - so don't get discouraged. Hang in there - and hopefully, you will profit from some of the tips on this site. One important suggestion I would make is to keep your Windows machine if you can. Mine lives in the spare bedroom closet on an inexpensive little desk that just fits the space. It is not online! Move those files you want to utilize on your new machine via CDs (if you can keep it next to the new Apple - so much the better - you can connect them and move files that way).
Just remember that we must be big boys and girls and not depend on that old machine. We're learning here - and it's fun and a challenge. I've already found programs for Apple that will replace my favorite Windows software - more on that later.
When I got my first PC, I stated that it's one thing to feel inferior to a person - but it's quite another to feel inferior to a machine. I spent considerable time in a state of panic. Omigod - I broke the damn thing! Well, people - I'm back there - except for this:
Three months of free telephone support comes with each machine - and trust me - these people are good! The telephone wait is never long - often almost instantaneous - and they are superbly trained. I'm beginning to realize the potential of this powerful machine of mine and after a 3 month 'shakedown cruise', I doubt I'll need the support security blanket. Now - as a seasoned veteran of 3 weeks - I'm going to make some initial recommendations to anyone making the transition.
My 1st tip: The iMac User's Guide? Pretty close to worthless. Mainly useful as a place to jot notes about your system. It more or less tells you what to do - but not how to do it. (Have you noticed that nothing these days comes with a workable manual)? I checked out reviews and selected this guide: "Switching to the Mac; Tiger Edition - The Missing Manual" by David Pogue & Adam Goldstein. (You can buy it much cheaper online from Amazon than in the store). This book has been an invaluable source of reference and instruction. Without it... well I don't even want to think about that. I've put a link to Pogue's website on the left.
Leapin' lizards! Well - not exactly. More like 'leapin' icons'. If one of your programs wants your immediate attention - it's icon at the bottom of the page will leap madly up and down - like a child asking for attention. F'rinstance - today I set up a printing job from iPhoto. Easy. But then I noticed the printer icon on the bottom of the page jumping frantically. Oh. Oops. I forgot to turn the printer on. I did and told it to continue the job. It did - and the icon resumed its dignified former appearance.
One of the first things you'll find on your iMac is that wee icon at the bottom of your screen labeled "Photo Booth". Give it a whirl - you don't have to be a rocket scientist to use it. That little square 'thingy' at the top of your monitor? It's a camera - aimed squarely at you. Don't panic - you have to activate it - and no one can view the pictures unless you let them. What fun - here I am, sitting at my computer yesterday and trying to look both dignified & pleasant - neither of which is easy for me... LOL! iPhoto is way cool and the results are just blurry enough to minimize the wrinkles & gray hair! (Well - I didn't expect a Leica).
AHA! I've found something to kvetch about (and - yes - I will be frank when I do find things that bother me). It's a little 'club' we Apple users are all invited to join. It's called ".Mac" - and membership costs only $100 a year! It includes special e-mail & some other bells & whistles that seem of minimal importance to me. Well excuse me. Didn't I just pay a premium price for this 'glamourpuss' - to say nothing of a bunch of Mac software - little things like iWork - and others. In my opinion, this is not at all a nice thing to do. It's another instance that illustrates a point I often make - business does not consider us as 'consumers' anymore - but rather - as a 'cash crop'. Shame!