MacDirectory Magazine

Spring-Summer 2008 (#37)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 162 of 178

162 MacDirectory FIRST PERSON I have been a dyed-in-the-wool PC user for years. Got my first computer from Radio Shack and then moved up to CPM format on a desktop. After that came my first PC with DOS, then Windows 3.5 and as each new program was introduced, I upgraded. When I bought new desktop machines or a laptop, it had to be a PC. Nothing else would do it for me. Over the years, I read the advertisements concerning Apple Mac machines. There were pros and cons, and the image was one of a machine designed for the elitist graphics user but not the everyday computer user. I had the Microsoft Office package with Word, Outlook, Publisher and more and I was one happy camper. So the machine would crash every so often -- no big deal. Even when it crashed right in the middle of an article I was writing, and had not saved, no big deal – right? When I began writing for MacDirectory magazine, I was using a laptop PC. I was writing about Mac users and using a PC but that didn't seem out of line to me. The situation began to change as I did more research on Apple software and the new Leopard OS. About that time, my newest laptop PC kept crashing. The lovely "blue screen of death" kept coming up while I tried to work. Each time it crashed, I would take another look at the Apple Store site and drool over Mac machines. I needed a new laptop and I swore that it would be a MacBook and not another PC. Finally, I had a little extra money in the bank and it was time to buy. I did not have an Apple store within an hour or more driving time so I went online to make my purchase from the Apple store. I ordered the machine I wanted along with a three-year extended warranty and overnight shipping. I just couldn't wait to get it fast enough. Plugging the machine in and turning it on, I installed the new Leopard software that came with it. Quick and simple. No hassles. All ready to go -- right? Wrong. It was time for a speedy education if I wanted to be able to enjoy my purchase. There is no right motion delete key. Pressing Ctl - Alt - Delete just removes one word from a line of text. The function keys operate differently. If you want to change text size on the screen you have to use a Zoom feature, which can be a pain. Actual size is not actual size. Certain files downloaded from a Windows user won't open on Mac. Files sent from Pages, the word processor with Mac, won't open on a Windows machine without exporting them. I had lots to learn if I was to use my new Mac with any speed and pleasure. An annoyance with some applications is that upon installation they are set up to automatically run when you boot the computer. Msconfig would solve that problem in Windows but with OS X you have to run Apple > System > Preferences >Accounts > Login Items. From there you can add, remove and hide items that launch when you log in. In MS Word, if you want a word count on the document you are working on, you click on the menu bar and hit Word Count and you have it. With Pages on the Mac, you go to Show Inspector > Documents > Info, which will give you the number of words, pages, lines, paragraphs and more. Every necessary piece of information on your document is available in the Inspector. Just remember to export the document to Word if you are sending it to a PC user. I was slowly getting a feel for the Mac and it had only been a few hours. Not too bad for a confirmed PC addict. I quickly learned that if I wanted to load one of my existing pieces of software from the PC, I was going to have problems. Many of my applications were not designed to run on both the PC and Mac. That's when I discovered Boot Camp. That is a great feature of the Leopard OS. It allows the Mac user to create a virtual hard drive to load Windows. It is quick and easy to use. I heartily recommend that the user print out the complete instructions on installing Boot Camp and setting it up for Windows. I loaded XP Pro after reading the instructions and discovering that my existing disks would not work. You have to have Service Pack 2 and XP Pro (or Home) and the same disk. Read all the directions first. Still learning, I discovered the System Profiler. By going to Apple > About This Mac > More Info, you can find out anything you want to know about your Mac. With Windows, I used the Device Manager. To save time and increase production, keyboard shortcuts are the way to go. I found a list of shortcuts on the Internet and printed them out for use while I was learning which ones did what. While browsing around the menus of your favorite application, take a glance at the right side of the menu to find any new shortcuts. If you are a user of function keys, you may want to do some modifying of the default setup. On the MacBook, the first five function keys default to brightness or volume and not too many of the functions most Windows users are familiar with. F12 pops up the Dashboard, which is really helpful. Windows users are very familiar with the Defrag option in XP. The PC has a bad habit of slowing down when the hard drive begins to load up with files that are stored in many areas. Many PC users will Defrag at least once a week. This is not the case with Mac. It's done for you automatically. Whenever your Mac A DEDICATED PC USER SWITCHES TO APPLE ONCE YOU GO MAC... WORDS BY E. LEE GRIGGS

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