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First Week, First Mac! (1 Viewer)

Daryl L

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Well, I've been using my first ever mac (blackbook) for a week now. First off, I do love the fast bootup and shutdown times. The three plus months of researching, reading and viewing demo/tutorial clips definitely helped with preparing me for my switch from WinPC's to a Mac w/OS X. I haven't had too much trouble getting around the OS. After my first startup I turned on sticky keys, mouse keys and turned my firewall on and set it to stealth mode (even though I'm behind a router firewall) and did a software update.

Next I created another user account (w/admin rights) for my default login account. I did that so if I start having problems and determine it's just within that account and repairing permissions won't help I can just backup my files, delete that account, create a new account and start fresh. Even though I'm using Mouse Keys to work the pointer I plugged in my 3 button mouse to have right click ability and middle click to open browser links. But constantly having to enable/disable mouse keys to switch between pointer and typing letters is annoying so I ordered a Logitec Marble Mouse Trackball. Then I won't need to use mouse keys.

I really enjoy the change to OS X's gui after years of Windows gui. I like using Finder compared to Windows explorer (which I rarely used). I prefer column mode in finder. It makes it simpler and smoother than list or icon mode when moving through folders. After years of hitting the enter key to open files, folders and apps on Windows, It took a couple days to train myself to open files, folders and apps using Cmd+O. I still slip and hit the return key occasionally to open something. I thought only the enter key next to the Apple/Cmd key was used for renaming. Didn't realize the return/enter key was used for renaming also. I don't mind having the toolbar separate from the apps windows (I kinda like it) but I do really miss something like Alt+F to open the applications File menu. I drug my application folder to the right of the dock separator to have right click access to apps and utilities.

I installed Opera (default browser), Firefox, Thunderbird and keepassX and was able to move my needed files for these apps from my Dell to the Mac with ease allowing me to continue were I left off with my browsing and e-mailing (and all my FF extensions). I also installed Onyx, Quicksilver, vlc, iStat Pro widget and xCut widget. I haven't explored quicksilver's usage beyond opening apps and utilities yet but I will, slowly but surely. Getting familar with the differing from Windows keyboard shortuts has been my highest priority task and I'm getting familiar with them pretty easily.

The past 3 days I've been playing with OS X's built-in speech recognition. It's actually pretty cool. It already has commands included but you can add/make your own. If you want to use it to open a file, folder or app you just hilite it and say "Make item speakable" and it adds an alias to ~library/speech/speakable items folder. If you want to control items in apps, as long as there's a keyboard shortcut for it you can make a speakable command for it by having the app open and active then say "define a keyboard command", press the shortcut keys in the popup window, name it and hit save and it's saved in ~library/speech/speakable/ folder. Depending on the rooms ambient noises recognition works pretty good. I've made commands to open hilited links in current tab, a new tab, open and close tabs, open my bookmarks managers and a few other tricks like get mail. I even found a command I used to make an apple script run only app named "Shutdown" allowing me to shutdown the mac by saying "Computer, Shutdown", Computer being my listening word for all my commands. Neat huh? :D

Will I say I'm glad I switched to a Mac? I can honestly say yes, I am very glad. I can not say Mac is better than PC, YET! I've used PC's since 1989, I've only used a Mac 1 week. I still have a lot to learn and I haven't even completely skimmed it's surface yet. For me personally thats not anywhere near enough time to give a fair honest comparison. But even quiting Windows cold turkey (no bootcamp, no parallels) I have no regrets so far moving to Macland. Well, I just wanted to give a rundown of my first weeks experience on my first ever mac. I'm happy and having fun learning OS X. And wanted to also say thank you to all for helping me with any/all questions I had prior to getting my Mac and to any answered in the future. :)
 

DaveF

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Daryl, congratulations! How fun :emoji_thumbsup:

Your experience is similar to mine, except I didn't do any how-to research before hand and had a heck of time retraining this old-dog brain :)

you mention Ctrl-F for Apps menu in Windows...in WinXP Ctrl-F gives me the find command. What functionality do you want? I suspect there might be something already there. Or QuickSilver or MenuMaster could give it to you.

And I found iStatPro as well; that's a cool little gadget. I also suggest the WeatherChannel widget, for the radar map.

Also, get DiskInventoryX -- you'll want it in a month to figure out where all your hard drive space went...

I look forward to hearing more about your switch -- and more of the great utilities you find and recommend! I've made Witch part of my regular usage now.
 

Daryl L

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I'm sorry DaveF. When I said Ctrl+F I ment Alt+F, I corrected in above post. I found DejaMenu today that is great for me as a substitute for Alt+F (File menu), Alt+V (View menu) etc... keyboard shortcuts I'm use to on Windows. Now I don't have to bother enabling mousekeys everytime I need to access a toolbar menu that has no shortcute assigned to in. And adding shortcuts in OS X's shortcuts preference pane doesn't work with Firefox, Opera or Thunderbird. See, I'm already forgetting my Win shortcuts. :)
 

DaveF

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I see. I never used Alt-F, but I do struggle with the loss of all my MS Office keyboard navigation. I tried DejaMenu and while it looks handy, it's not the same. I miss full-menu navigation, e.g Alt-i-n-c to (Insert Menu->Reference->Caption) to add a caption. I used these at work, so it's jarring to come to the mac and find I can't access menus from the keyboard.

And at work, I'm now trying to Hide and Quit my applications :)

You might try MenuMaster to add keyboard commands to Firefox and such, that aren't served by the System Preferences.
 

Daryl L

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Thx for the tips. I tried MenuMaster and it's very impressing how it allows shortcut assignment but it wouldn't do what I was looking to do. For example I liked using a shortcut (Alt+ the underlined letter) to open the Bookmarks dropdown toolbar menu in Opera and Firefox, then use the arrow keys to maneuver through the booksmarks. Same with the other toolbar menus on applications. Can't do that in OS X toolbar even with MenuMaster. With DejaMenu I can do something very similar. I assigned Cmd+Ctrl+M as the DejaMenu hotkey. The in any app I hit that hotkey and a context type menu opens but it includes the active apps toolbar menu's. Then I can use the arrow keys to manuever through the bookmarks or any of the menu. Actually I don't even type the hotkey. Using OS X's speech I just defined a keyboard command set for "all applicatios". I just say "Computer: Toolbar" and the menu opens and I start arrowing through them. ;)
 

Ronald Epstein

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Daryl,

Great read!

Give it another week and I bet you'll finally come to the
conclusion that the Mac outdoes PC in every respect.

Congrats!
 

DaveF

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Daryl,
Gotcha. You've got a good solution, but here's an alternate.

Cmd-B in Firefox shows the bookmarks in a side panel, with cursor in Search.

Tab and you're in the bookmarks listings.

Use arrow keys to navigate and enter to load the link highlighted.
 

Daryl L

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Thx Ronald. :)

Thats exactly what I was doing until I found Dejamenu yesterday so I could manuever through all the toolbar menu's with arrow keys. :)

Also loving Witch, much more convienent than OS X's Opt+Tab. As for Onyx, I think I may prefer MainMenu over Onyx.
 

DaveF

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I've got Onyx, but I don't use it. I don't really use system-maintenance, clean-up utilities. OS X seems to take care of itself well enough for my needs. Perhaps in a year I'll go some Spring cleaning and spruce things up, and then go back to normal. If, like Windows, everything goes to pot after a while, I'll do a full reinstall :)

I need to install and figure out QuickSilver. It suspect I'll like it once I get going.

Witch is cool. I use it to complement Alt-Tab & Expose, depending on what I want. To wholly switch apps, cmd-tab or Expose are faster for me. But to toggle windows in an app, or find a hidden or miniaturized app, then Witch is the only way!
 

Daryl L

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DaveF, check out these tutorial clips on quicksilver. Lotta good info in them.

As for my adventure with accessing my toolbar menu's, I discovered and enabled an option in Speech Recognitions preference pane's Commands tab called Main Bar. It allows me to open any applications toolbar menu (file, edit, view ect...) just by saying it [example: Computer, File Menu]. It can even open my browsers bookmarks menu, any of it's sub folders and even go to a webpage by saying the bookmarks name. Hehe, I'm having a ball on this mac. Loving it more each day. :)
 

jss8422

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Congrats, I got a Macbook Ultimate (white) a few weeks ago and am in love. Also my first mac. I learn something new everyday.
 

Daryl L

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I'm still appreciating my choice to move to macland more each day. Got my Logitec Marble Mouse Trackball Monday and love it. Makes controlling the pointer so much nicer and faster compared to using mouse keys. And definately less of a strain on my neck. Wish I had used one with my Dell instead of it's trackstick.

I started using Thunderbird on the macbook since I used it on my Dell. Last week I gave Eudora Mailbox Cleaner a test run at importing my e-mail from TB to Mail and it worked perfectly but I deleted the imported mail folders and disabled the accounts in Mail.app and continued using TB. Then after the Mozilla announcement to focus more on FF by branching TB off leaving uncertainty to TB's future development I decided to start getting familiar Mail.app. I imported my mail to Mail.app again sucessfully and enabled the accounts and sent/received a few test e-mails sucessfully. Mail.app is pretty nice (pretty similar to TB) so for awhile I'll download all my mail into both TB and Mail.app until I'm certain I want to full out switch to Mail.app.

Loving the Mac guys, thx for encouraging my to switch. Thinking about Windows just seems soooooooo, I don't know, aged? ;)
 

Daryl L

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Back on my Dell WinXP laptop (ugh). My macbook screen went black on me Monday (6st). During bootup even when using the OS install disk to use Disk Utility the screen is visible but flickers terribly but when booting up, once that loading progress bar at startup finishes the screen goes black. Everything tech support had me do did not correct it (even an Archive Install). They concluded it's a hardware problem. They shipped me a box to pack it in to ship for repairs. Box arrived today, DHL pickup scheduled for tomorrow. Waiting game on. :frowning:
 

DaveF

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Bummer! Sounds like a fluke hardware failure, not a software problem. Hope you're back in Mac soon.
 

Daryl L

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Got my blackbook back today. Haven't hooked it up yet to try it but the Service Details paper says the 630-8919 PCB ASSY MLB M42B (a circiut board I guess) was replaced. I also told the tech support guy last week that my Delete key kept popping off, he said they'd fix that so the paper say they replaced 605-1288 SVC TOP CASE W/KEYBOARD BLK-US also. I guess they replaced the whole keyboard and top case instead of just the Delete key and white scissor mechanism. That top case and keyboad alone costs ~$150 at powerbookmedic dot com. Fortunately repairs and overnight shipping both ways were covered by Apple. :)
 

Carlo Medina

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Just as an FYI - MLB is your main logic board. So if they replaced it it's like you got a whole new computer (since I believe the CPU and graphics card are soldered into the MLB).
 

Daryl L

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Thx Ronald and Carlo. :) I knew PCB ment Printed Circuit Board but was sure what MLB was. A wiki search confirmed your post. It's the motherboard (aka logic board on Macs). So I basicly got a new macbook w/old HDD, Superdrive, bottom case and screen.
 

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