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First Day with my Mac


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 Carl Miller

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Posted April 29 2007 - 05:55 AM

I do plan on writing a full review in a few weeks but I just have to say that I think there's a very happy relationship brewing between me and my Mac.

Setting it up couldn't have been easier. It paired with my wireless mouse and keyboard flawlessly. No Windows setup routine which I recall took a really long time to sit thru last time I bought a PC. Just plugged it in, turned it on and off I went...no found new hardware dialogs, pop ups or annoyances. The printer, the external drive. They just worked.

Most amazing to me is how the Mac recognized my internet connection. All I had to do was select the type of connection that it was, unlike when I had to setup the connection on my PC which required input of dhcp client ID and some other stuff I don't remember. Amazing.

So far, I'm finding the transition to the Mac very easy. OSX is quite intuitive. I had a brief moment of confusion installing my first program (firefox) but quickly figured out what I did wrong and I didn't at first realize that closing a program window wasn't the same as quitting the program, but now I'm control+clicking my way thru open programs.

Maybe I'm just behind the times and this can be done with any old mouse, but I've never had a mouse that scrolls horizontally. Might only be new to me, but it's very cool.

Haven't installed or used any big programs yet but that's coming soon....just getting familiar with the Mac and liking it a lot so far.
Carl

#2 of 14 Steve Tannehill

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Posted April 29 2007 - 06:00 AM

Congrats! Welcome to the club! We should come up with a secret handshake. Posted Image

- Steve

#3 of 14 JohnRice

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Posted April 29 2007 - 07:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Tannehill
Congrats! Welcome to the club! We should come up with a secret handshake. Posted Image

- Steve
Nobody has taught it to you? Hmmm.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#4 of 14 Steve Tannehill

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Posted April 29 2007 - 08:00 AM

No, but I still have a Macintosh t-shirt that an Apple rep gave me in 1984. Posted Image

- Steve

#5 of 14 Oren

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Posted April 29 2007 - 11:09 AM

Nice to hear you're off to a good start. If you need any help migrating your Outlook stuff to the Mac, let me know.

Yes, one of the things that's different is the closing all the windows doesn't exit the program, and for good reason. It's likely that you want to use the same application to open another file, so this avoids having to restart it. And the Mac wouldn't dare to presume to know better than you.

One of the other nice aspects is the unified launch bar/button bar. Under Windows you have separate buttons to launch applications and to switch to open applications. I never understood that. On the Mac, the idea is that you, the user, and the master, shouldn't have to worry about whether the application is running or not. You just want to use it! Let the Mac figure out whether it's running, in which case just switch to it, or not, in which case launch it.

In my experience with other switchers, 9 times out of 10 they can't figure out how to do something because they are over-thinking it, expecting it to be hard. It isn't. The Mac works just as one would naturally expect it to, easily and in tune with how people operate.

I can't wait until you discover Exposé.

(Whoa! I didn't know how to do the accent mark over the "e" so I just hit option-e, and an accent appeared, and then I hit "e". Macs are so wonderful, and that's a perfect example of how they just work the way you expect them to.)

#6 of 14 Carl Miller

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Posted April 29 2007 - 02:20 PM

Thanks guys.

Oren, exposé is great...useful and cool all at the same time. It does make you wonder why Microsoft didn't think of that because it's so much better than cascading open windows.

I think you're right about over thinking some things. I've been doing that a little bit but I'm quickly seeing that things are more sensible with OSX.

Now, about that handshake...Posted Image
Carl

#7 of 14 Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 30 2007 - 12:39 AM

Carl,

The first thing I was confused by was .dmg files.

It's almost like Windows .EXE files except that basically
you click on the .dmg file to install and drag the program icon
to the APPLICATIONS folder (unless it installs itself).

To uninstall a program, you just drag it to the trash can and
it's all done. No registry to deal with.

As Oren so well pointed out, just because you close a Window,
the application is still running. One thing you will get used to is
the taskbar along the top pane of your computer screen. When
you wish to quit an application you need to go to the application's
name (listed right next to the APPLE icon on the far left) and select
QUIT from the drop-down pane.

I think the main thing that will impress you about OSX is the
fact that it's so simple to use. It has none of the bloated graphics
that Windows has -- it rarely crashes -- and you don't have to mess
with all sorts of error messages (which I have yet to see).

Please, any questions you have, post them here. These guys
have been so helpful to me, and I would like to return the favor
and help someone else.

I can't wait till the day you post how much you love your Mac
and wish you had made this change sooner. I will NEVER go back
to using a Windows based PC.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#8 of 14 Steve Tannehill

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Posted April 30 2007 - 12:50 AM

Hey Ron, a couple of things...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
To uninstall a program, you just drag it to the trash can and
it's all done. No registry to deal with.

For those packages that you click to install, there is a registry of sorts which tracks package info--but it is no comparison to that beast of a registry under Windows.

Quote:
One thing you will get used to is
the taskbar along the top pane of your computer screen. When
you wish to quit an application you need to go to the application's
name (listed right next to the APPLE icon on the far left) and select
QUIT from the drop-down pane.

The other thing you will quickly get used to are keyboard shortcuts... Posted Image In this case, Command-Q (a.k.a. Apple-Q--the key with the funky 4-leaf-clover icon on it) will quit most every application.

Quote:
I think the main thing that will impress you about OSX is the
fact that it's so simple to use.


Amen, bro!

Quote:
It has none of the bloated graphics
that Windows has -- it rarely crashes -- and you don't have to mess
with all sorts of error messages (which I have yet to see).

Please, any questions you have, post them here. These guys
have been so helpful to me, and I would like to return the favor
and help someone else.

After my last few days, let's start a discussion on backup solutions!

Quote:
I can't wait till the day you post how much you love your Mac
and wish you had made this change sooner. I will NEVER go back
to using a Windows based PC.

If only I could make that declaration--here recently at work I have been administrating, hardening, installing, and wracking my brains on Windows 2003 Server. Aarrgghh. At least I can come home to Mac.

- Steve

#9 of 14 Oren

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Posted April 30 2007 - 03:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Tannehill

For those packages that you click to install, there is a registry of sorts which tracks package info--but it is no comparison to that beast of a registry under Windows.


Well, as far as I know there's no centralized database, that's impossible to understand, easy to corrupt, and completely vulnerable to attack by all sorts of nasty viruses, etc. Some installers do install bits of themselves in folders other than in the Applications folder, which is a real shame. Microsoft products in particular do this. They just can't resist, can they? Typically, such installers install stuff in a Library folder. It's small stuff, doesn't take up much room, and is really harmless. By the way, everyone should know that .plist files are preferences. From time to time such files do get corrupt (more of a problem before OS X), but you can just delete them. One typical symptom of this is an application that constantly crashes immediately upon launch. Appropriate for us here, VLC in particular seems to suffer from this. I guess the folder of .plist files is more or less comparable to the registry, but the approach is much more robust.

Also, DMG files are disk image files, like, say ISO files. .SIT files are stuffit files, the common compressed file/folder (like ZIP and RAR).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Tannehill

After my last few days, let's start a discussion on backup solutions!


I used to use SuperDuper, but now my solution is to use the Backup software that came with .Mac to backup to an external hard drive (bus powered firewire 400) weekly, and critical files and settings get backed up daily to my .Mac account. Time Machine (http://www.apple.com...memachine.html), of course, will improve upon this when Leopard is released. I started backing up religiously after a near death experience.

I also have encryption turned on for my home directory, just in case my laptop should relocate without my permission. By the way, Apple's approach to encryption is much better than Microsoft's. Vista has the option to encrypt the WHOLE drive, but that's a waste. You don't need to encrypt applications. Apple's way is to encrypt your home directory, which includes your documents (including your desktop), settings, etc.

#10 of 14 Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 30 2007 - 04:06 AM

My only concern about Time Machine is that it will
require a crapload more hard disc storage space. Not quite
the perfect solution, unless it enables you to backup to an
external.

Speaking of which....

I love SuperDuper, but the problem I find is that it
does not compress the backups.

I have a 500GB hard drive on my Mac Pro. I only have a 350GB
external drive. When I used Windows there was a program called
Acronis True Image that took an image of the hard
drive, but also, I believe (and I hope I am not wrong) it compressed
the information. If something went wrong with the computer I
simply did a fresh install of the OS, put in a fresh copy of Acronis
and then loaded everything up from the image.

Perhaps there is a good reason why SuperDuper doesn't
compress the image -- even to put it on a DVD or two -- but I sure
hate having to be faced with buying a 500GB+ drive to handle my
Mac Pro.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#11 of 14 Steve Tannehill

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Posted April 30 2007 - 04:18 AM

But 500 gig SATA drives are around $100--enclosures range from $30-$50...

Yes, it is an expense, but after the hassles I had this past week, well worth it.

- Steve

#12 of 14 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted April 30 2007 - 04:22 AM

Quote:
One thing you will get used to is
the taskbar along the top pane of your computer screen. When
you wish to quit an application you need to go to the application's
name (listed right next to the APPLE icon on the far left) and select
QUIT from the drop-down pane.

As Steve mentioned, you can avoid this by typing COMMAND+Q. You can also right click--or click and hold for a second or two for single button mouse users-- on the application's Dock icon and you'll get a contextual menu that pops up that allows you to quit (it's also a quick way to add the application to your apps that launch at startup..."Open at Login") Also, if you need to force quit an application and you don't want to type COMMAND+OPTION+ESC or select Force Quit from the Apple menu, you can hold down the OPTION key while right clicking on the Dock icon. Now the contextual menu will give you to option to force quit instead.

Quote:
After my last few days, let's start a discussion on backup solutions!

I'm also a big fan of SuperDuper. If you don't have a need for constant incremental backups, then SuperDuper is great. It allows scheduling and the Smart Backup feature is awesome...it runs a quick comparison of the disks' data and then will only copy or delete the files that have been added/changed or deleted. This means if an initial backup takes an hour, the following ones may only take minutes under Smart Backup. Plus the developer is ultra-responsive when it comes to help in troubleshooting a problem. Posted Image

Quote:
Some installers do install bits of themselves in folders other than in the Applications folder, which is a real shame.

Reason #1 why I have not installed Google Desktop. It installs files in /System, which is a big no no for third party software.

Quote:
I also have encryption turned on for my home directory

FileVault is a promising technology. The problem is that home directories that are encrypted under FileVault are unfortunately very prone to data corruption. Just last week I had to recreate a home directory for someone at work after whole directories became corrupted or wiped out entirely. Thankfully we do incremental backups and I was able to recover most of his data.

#13 of 14 Oren

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Posted April 30 2007 - 04:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein

My only concern about Time Machine is that it will
require a crapload more hard disc storage space. Not quite
the perfect solution, unless it enables you to backup to an
external.



It enables you to backup to an external drive. Indeed, pickup their new 802.11n wireless router (Airport Extreme), plug an external drive into it (why, oh, why didn't they use firewire? Posted Image ), throw it in a closet, and everyone on the network can backup to it.

It will take the same amount of space as regular incremental backups, so, yes, over time it will build up. But the API enables application developers to be more efficient. For example, to go back in time through your Address Book, the Mac didn't have to backup copies of your address book over and over. Instead, the API to Time Machine makes it so just the new or changed entries get backed up incrementally, not the whole address book file. Pretty clever.

#14 of 14 Steve Tannehill

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Posted May 01 2007 - 01:59 PM

Thumbs up for Backup (from .Mac).

I have yet to attempt a restore, but it should work fine. It took many hours to initially back up my hard drive with its ~240 gigs of data, but the incremental that followed took moments.

If you subscribe to .Mac, Backup is a keeper.

- Steve


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