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Old 06-13-2003, 08:23 AM   #1
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Someone help me learn how to use MACs

Ok, this might sound stupid but I have trouble using MACs. I have no problems whatsoever using, configuring, optomising, installing, etc a Windows based computer. But when it comes to a Mac, I'm doomed...

Here's why:


Mostly its the interface. I just can't get used to it for some reason. This applies to Mac O9, as I haven't used OS X yet (but I haven't heard rave reviews about it from the people I know who have used it).

My first problem is switching between programs. I do a lot of multimedia design work so I like to have a dosen programs open at once for convenience. With Windows I have no problems switching between programs whatsoever. I just click on the button in the TaskBar (I do turn off the "grouping" feature) and it takes me off to the desired program without much fuss.

But when I'm using a Mac its a different story. There is no TaskBar, so what are my options? ALT+TAB? Gee, that's a bit tedious when 12 programs are open.
What about that menu up the top right of the screen with a list of all my programs I've got open? Its notgood! I have 3 Internet Explorer Windows open, but when I select it from this menu, it takes me back to the last one I was using. But I want to get back to the first one I was using. EEEEEK!!!
Ok lets minimise each program. Oh wait, I can only minimise them down to their Title Bars, and not a nice Icon (ie. Windows 3.1 style). Now I've got a sea of Title Bars plaguing my screen and I have to carefully sift through each one to get to the program I want to use.

There has to be an easier way to sawp between programs than that. But its just not obvious to me.

Next annoyance...

Mac programs don't see to have an individual background like about 90% of Window programs do. So I can see the desktop beneath the program I'm using. If I have 2 or 3 similiar programs (ie Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Freehand) open this can get confusing. Say if I was using Dreamweaver, I can see the toolbars for Fireworks and Freehand underneath. However its all to easy to accidentally to click on one of the toolbars of the programs beneath (since they are very similiar). Of course what happens is it brings that program to the front, which is not what I wanted. So then I have to sawp back (fortunately ALT TAB suffices in this scenario). This gets very frustrating after the dosenth time. With Windows each program (unless its a development package or skinned) has a solid background so you can't mistake the contents of the other programs open with the one you're using.

Another one...

Closing down the programs. I have to drag them into the Trash Can to close them down properly? Ummm why? Can't I just go to Exit (or whatever shortcut) like I do in Windows and the program goes. This is like an added hassle to slow me down.

Which leads too...

All the programs sharing the same pull down menu bar at the top of the screen. I found myself unable to shut down the computer because the "Special" menu with the "Turn Off/Shut Down" option wasn't there. Eventually it came to me the reason was because I was still in another program that I hadn't closed because I forgot to drag it into the Trash Can.

In Windows each window has its own set of Pull-Down Menus. Which seems more logical to me, however I can see how it might confuse some people. But the Windows Start Menu and its "Turn Off Computer" option is easily distinguished between the Pull-Down Menus of the other programs.

And finally (I could keep going but I'll cease before this thread becomes a novel)

The Keyboard and Mouse that came with the G4's I was using. How cramped and awkward were they! A round mouse? With one button? Despite the fact the Mac OS does have Context Menus, but I need to press CTRL before I click if I want to access those. And that hideous cramped keyboard where half the buttons didn't work properly. Like the Enter on the Numpad, I pressed that and instead of going down to the next line out came []. Not to mention the short cut keys and special keys (like the End button) for navigating around text were either not as useful like in Windows or not there.

Ok that'll do... For now...

Here I'm mostly referring to my experience with Macs I was using to do a Multimedia course. The computers were G4's (not sure of the exact specifications) but they ran as fast and just as stable as a Pentium II 350 with 128MB RAM running Windows 98 SE.

Come on! The Mac OS is suppose to be easier to use and learn than Windows. Why am I struggling so much?


Any tips?
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:24 AM   #2
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one button mouse


that is all I have to say





























f'ing macs.

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Old 06-13-2003, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: Someone help me learn how to use MACs

Quote:
Originally posted by JimmyChicken

Closing down the programs. I have to drag them into the Trash Can to close them down properly? Ummm why? Can't I just go to Exit (or whatever shortcut) like I do in Windows and the program goes. This is like an added hassle to slow me down.

Any tips?
The rest of that shit is Greek, but I can help you here. Don't drag them to the trash. Go up to File in the top left corner, click and then click "Quit." That closes the program.
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Old 06-13-2003, 12:21 PM   #4
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To switch between the windows you have open in IE, click on IE and then go to the Windows tab and all the windows you have open will be listed there.

Dragging to the trash to close a program? I've never done that. You simply quit it - apple key + Q . Or pull down the File menu and release on Quit.

I'm not going to address all the rest..... all I can say is you've been using Windoze for too long that you are in a mind set and can't even *fathom* how easy it is to use a Mac!
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Old 06-13-2003, 12:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Lynne
I'm not going to address all the rest..... all I can say is you've been using Windoze for too long that you are in a mind set and can't even *fathom* how easy it is to use a Mac!
lol, indeed! iirc, aren't macs supposed to be more user-friendly than personal computers? i just remember how they used to be when they made apples. they were user-friendly then too, but we didn't have things like a mouse, start menu, and it took an hour to load up one badly compressed jpeg!

all that makes me sound a lot older than i am. i could probably answer all the questions about navigating between programs and windows within a program, but since i'm on my pc right now and not my husband's mac, i don't really remember. for me, it's just something i know how to do, but it's like tying your shoe. you do it long enough, and you just know how to do it, but couldn't begin to describe how.

Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy
one button mouse

that is all I have to say
there are regular two button mice available for a mac. why apple themselves only makes the one button mouse available i don't know. i will admit it seems unfair for such a cool company to not give you a choice like that.
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Old 06-13-2003, 01:35 PM   #6
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Macs are easy. You are making it more difficult on yourself than necessary. You can easily switch between programs. Just go to your icon at the top right and click the mouse. Just pull down to the application you want. You can also keep minimize the window of other open items by just clicking the box in the upper right corner. Then you won't see it underneath. If you want to view it just click it again and it will open.

Since I almost always use Macs, I get confused with a 2 button mouse. I guess it's just what you're used to.
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Old 06-13-2003, 04:31 PM   #7
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I can't stand one button mice, but I love Macs. Which is why I bought a Microsoft intellimouse explorer for my iMac. 2 buttons and a scroll wheel is all I need.

As far as switching programs, Lemon Meringue showed you the best way. Just click on the icon in the upper right corner, and that will show you all your running programs.

To close a program hit command-Q. Don't drag the program to the trash.

As far as the same background and menus, it's for the sake of consistency. You don't have to deal with a totally different menu layout in each program, so (theoretically) it's easier to get around.

From the sound of it you must've been using an older G4. The newer ones come with larger mouses (still one button, but not round), and full size keyboards.

OS X actually addresses many of these problems you're dealing with. If you can check it out I would. It's quite nice, and incredibly stable.
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Old 06-13-2003, 10:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimmyChicken
A round mouse? With one button?
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Old 06-15-2003, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Meringue
You can easily switch between programs. Just go to your icon at the top right and click the mouse. Just pull down to the application you want. You can also keep minimize the window of other open items by just clicking the box in the upper right corner. Then you won't see it underneath. If you want to view it just click it again and it will open.


This is where my problems lie. That menu only lists ONE instance of each program running. If there are mutliple instances on the same program running then this menu isn't very efficient as it only takes me back to the last instance of that program I was using.

Say I've got 3 instances of Word running and I want to get back to the 1st. I go to that menu, select Word, and it takes me back to the last instance I was using. This doesn't really help get me to where I want to go.

Do we know what an instance of a program is? Or is that terminology a bit complicated?
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Old 06-15-2003, 09:46 PM   #10
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I guess the closest Mac corresepondent to the "instance" is "window." Whereas in Windows you can have multiple instances of the same program open, on a Mac it keeps them all under the same "instance" in the application switcher, and then you change between windows/instances once you're within the program itself. Within the program there should be a menu (I haven't used OS 9 in a while), usually designated Window, that lets you switch between windows in the same program.

For example, in IE I can have 5 different windows/instances open, and if I'd like to switch to a specific one, I go to the Window menu on the top bar, and just click on the desired window/instance. This is pretty uniform throughout most major Mac applications.
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Old 06-15-2003, 09:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimmyChicken
Do we know what an instance of a program is? Or is that terminology a bit complicated?
you start a thread, asking us for help, and then get snippy? you may find people are more willing to help if you can at least be slightly nice about it, instead of assuming no one knows what you're talking about.

besides, how is anyone supposed to understand exactly what you're referring to since i don't even see a specification of what version of mac you're referring to?
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