Learning curve

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
When I get Leopard, it will be the third iteration of OS X for my Mac. I still use Panther as I skipped Tiger.

I bought manuals for the first two and feel that I'm semi-literate as far as OS X is concerned. I'm curious as to how you guys learned OS X. Did you buy manuals or just roll up your sleeves and dive in?



I find 'Help' extremely unhelpful. If you don't know the precise questions to ask it, 'Help' gives you everything but what you need. I feel that if I knew the exact question, I wouldn't need 'Help'. In fact, if you do ask the right questions, 'Help' still gives you everything except what you need.



Most of the problems I had (after my warranty ran out) were solved by AppleInsiders.

Again, I'm curious about your learning experiences. Secondly, I'd like to know if you plan to buy Leopard manuals. I found that Robin Williams' manuals are very good. Do you know any that are better?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    When I get Leopard, it will be the third iteration of OS X for my Mac. I still use Panther as I skipped Tiger.

    I bought manuals for the first two and feel that I'm semi-literate as far as OS X is concerned. I'm curious as to how you guys learned OS X. Did you buy manuals or just roll up your sleeves and dive in?



    I find 'Help' extremely unhelpful. If you don't know the precise questions to ask it, 'Help' gives you everything but what you need. I feel that if I knew the exact question, I wouldn't need 'Help'. In fact, if you do ask the right questions, 'Help' still gives you everything except what you need.



    Most of the problems I had (after my warranty ran out) were solved by AppleInsiders.

    Again, I'm curious about your learning experiences. Secondly, I'd like to know if you plan to buy Leopard manuals. I found that Robin Williams' manuals are very good. Do you know any that are better?



    I don't think I use a third of the features in Tiger, but they are there, and over time I've run into them. Macs don't have much learning curve unless you are deadset to learn all the features for the mere sake of being feature-complete. If I were you, I'd just go on doing what you're doing now unless you think you have a need to use the new features. If that's the case, then look into books, etc.



    I don't use Expose: rather, I use the Hide commands and the dock. I just started using Dashboard recently, almost entirely for the stickes and for the colourmod widget. I used automator once to spam a friend during a party, who was bragging that he just got a blueberry or whatnot. I could see myself using automator again, but haven't gotten around to it. In some respects it beats using shell scripts. I don't think I've ever even opened Sherlock.
  • Reply 2 of 17
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    I've learned OS X through a gradual process of osmosis. I've been a Mac User since 1993 and System 7, and some of the Classic stuff did carry over to OS X, which I dabbled with since Developer Preview 3, and used as my main OS since 10.1.



    I visit MacOSXhints every day, and also found This Unix FAQ a long time ago which I've kept bookmarked, it's useful as I hadn't really dealt with a command-line or Unix before OS X. Visiting AI and various other places regularly means I pick up bits and pieces here and there.
  • Reply 3 of 17
    mrpiddlymrpiddly Posts: 406member
    I just dove in. It took me like no time at all to learn the basics. From there, i discovered more complex features. I basically just played around with it and used it daily. Eventaully you learn to do almost everything although i still discover some features i didnt know existed.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    Interesting!! So far, replies have been in favor of just diving in. Although I bought manuals for two iterations of OS X, I couldn't understand what I was reading until I played around with my Mac. After getting into a problem or something I couldn't figure out, I would then read the manual at which time I understood what I was reading. Actually, that's what happened every time I used a new application or applet. I had to fumble around first and then I could understand the instructions.



    I thought I was marching to a different drumbeat, but it would seem that others do the same. I will probably buy a Leopard manual, too, but use it as a reference book (as I did before) and not a primer.



    Splinemodel said he doesn't think he uses a third of the OS X features. I read somewhere that 90% of users use about 10% of an application; however, that could be a different 10% for each user.



    Thanks for the heads-up on other sites to check for hints. BTW, an non-AppleInsider sent me to this site:



    About.com: Focus on Macs Apple New User Guides - Fast Start Series

    http://macs.about.com/od/manuals/a/m...wuser.htm?nl=1



    I haven't tried it yet,
  • Reply 5 of 17
    mydomydo Posts: 1,888member
    Mac user since 8.6 (not including the early days).





    I have to ask "What's to learn?" The only real glitch I had was getting the WEP password into Network Config'. That took some google searching.



    I guess I don't do that much with the OS
  • Reply 6 of 17
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mydo View Post


    Mac user since 8.6 (not including the early days).





    I have to ask "What's to learn?" The only real glitch I had was getting the WEP password into Network Config'. That took some google searching.



    I guess I don't do that much with the OS



    I had been using a PC with Windows for about 20 years before I bought a Mac. Switching from Windows took a while. I'm not familiar with the features in Tiger; I will not be familiar with the features in Leopard. And I do try to learn OS's as well as applications.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    I have owned Macs since 1987 (MacPlus) and have never bought and read a manual, but have, over time, come to be able to use them quite easily. Actually, when I did try reading a manual it only resulted in my becoming very confused; my solution was to use the manual as kinling for my fireplace and go back to just playing around until it works.



    Apple now also has learning videos online.



    Dive in and enjoy.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    mydomydo Posts: 1,888member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    I had been using a PC with Windows for about 20 years before I bought a Mac. Switching from Windows took a while. I'm not familiar with the features in Tiger; I will not be familiar with the features in Leopard. And I do try to learn OS's as well as applications.



    But the new features are not that important. Coverflow for Finder? Time Machine? I guess I don't find those too important or challenging to figure out.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mydo View Post


    But the new features are not that important. Coverflow for Finder? Time Machine? I guess I don't find those too important or challenging to figure out.



    Why buy a new OS if you're not interested in the new features? I realize that there will be improvements under the hood, but, hell, if I didn't WANT the new features, Panther does everything I NEED.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    Why buy a new OS if you're not interested in the new features? I realize that there will be improvements under the hood, but, hell, if I didn't WANT the new features, Panther does everything I NEED.



    In the case of Mac OS:



    - Tighter coded OS

    - updated kernel

    - new apps. Everyone uses mail



    Often you'll also find one or two new features that you like, but wouldn't know so much if you hadn't tried them out for a while.



    In the case of MS, well, stick with XP. The above three points don't work out so great.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    In the case of Mac OS:



    - Tighter coded OS

    - updated kernel

    - new apps. Everyone uses mail



    Often you'll also find one or two new features that you like, but wouldn't know so much if you hadn't tried them out for a while.



    In the case of MS, well, stick with XP. The above three points don't work out so great.



    Yeah, I've heard tales of woe about Vista. An IT friend who has to use it said to forget Vista. I haven't used my two PC's at home for several years, but I have to use Dells at work. I dislike using Windows. I doubt that I'l use Bootcamp, Parallels, or Fusion unless they act like the Mac. Possibly Crossover. I'm like a smoker who has quit. I proselytize the Mac.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    100mph100mph Posts: 256member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    ... I'm curious as to how you guys learned OS X. Did you buy manuals or just roll up your sleeves and dive in? ...



    No, just pushed the power button.



    P.S. Florida? Please don't vote in next elections.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 100mph View Post


    P.S. Florida? Please don't vote in next elections.



    Save that bullshit for PO. Besides, South Florida votes mostly democrat anyway (transplanted new yorkers), which is what I assume you're concerned about.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    Save that bullshit for PO. Besides, South Florida votes mostly democrat anyway (transplanted new yorkers), which is what I assume you're concerned about.



    The Democrats campaigned on a ticket which was supposed to make great changes. However, we got more of the same s__t. I probably WON'T vote in the next election if the candidate is one of the ones now running. Even voting for the 'lesser of two evils' doesn't seem to work anymore. We need a national primary.



    I'm an Independent, but voting for an Independent only spoils it for one of the runners. Where ARE our heroes?

    Lou Dobbs is one, but he's not running. He is the only person who makes sense to me. He used to be a Republican but is now an Independent. He calls himself a populist and is for the middle class. His book "War on the Middle Class" is worth reading. In case you haven't heard of him, he's on CNN at 6:00 PM (Eastern Daylight time). Yes, I watch Fox News, too, but Dobbs is better. Damn, did you have to get me started? Enough of politics.



    I wasn't asking about OS X learning curve, so I could learn it. I'm doing quite well, thanks in part to AppleInsiders. I was just curious as to how other people went about it. If you have been an Apple user for a long time, the segue into OS X wasn't that difficult for you. For switchers, it's a different story. They have to translate from Windows to OS X just like you would in learning a foreign language. Eventually, however at some point, you stop translating and think in that language.



    I do appreciate your replies. I know so few people locally who use Macs that I feel fortunate in finding AI. Whenever I try to talk (proselytize) Apple to my PC friends, I get head shakes and eye rolls.



    I thought Apple users were one big happy family. Although some of you are nasty, I guess that happens in every "family". I'd like to always speak my mind, but, unfortunately, some of you guys are waiting to pounce on some misspoken word. In spite of that, I think I've found a great niche.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    100mph100mph Posts: 256member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    Save that bullshit for PO. Besides, South Florida votes mostly democrat anyway (transplanted new yorkers), which is what I assume you're concerned about.



    I thought it's funny ... \
  • Reply 16 of 17
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    I just came across this on digg. Looks like Leopard will have an improved help system. Instead of opening a help application it will instead direct you to the menu option you are looking for. The System Preferences in Tiger already have a similar feature which I do find useful.



  • Reply 17 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sequitur View Post


    I wasn't asking about OS X learning curve, so I could learn it. I'm doing quite well, thanks in part to AppleInsiders. I was just curious as to how other people went about it. If you have been an Apple user for a long time, the segue into OS X wasn't that difficult for you. For switchers, it's a different story. They have to translate from Windows to OS X just like you would in learning a foreign language. Eventually, however at some point, you stop translating and think in that language.



    I do appreciate your replies. I know so few people locally who use Macs that I feel fortunate in finding AI. Whenever I try to talk (proselytize) Apple to my PC friends, I get head shakes and eye rolls.



    I thought Apple users were one big happy family. Although some of you are nasty, I guess that happens in every "family". I'd like to always speak my mind, but, unfortunately, some of you guys are waiting to pounce on some misspoken word. In spite of that, I think I've found a great niche.



    I made the switch 2,5 years ago from PC, I had used different Operating Systems before, starting from Dos, through all windows versions and BeOS to Linux. I had grown to hate Windows, but also found that learning curve for Linux was bit to steep. I do like playing around with software, but with Linux I felt that I had to resort to Internet for most simplest tasks. Kind of hard when it is your network card that gives you problems.

    From the first second I started my own Mac it just worked, and most of the time just how I expected it to work. Naturally I came across few things, that were different to other operating systems, but most of them were easy to solve. Whats even more remarkable is that most of the ways OSX solved things were self explanatory, and after doing them the first time, made me wonder why on earth don't thing work this way with other systems as well. I.e drag and drop program "install" and removal. I already preferred the Unix way of mounting different medias, but Apple had simplified it brain dead simple. I haven't found too many things that needed manuals to get solved. I have used the help only few times, but then I have always found what I was looking for. I guess that it is just more natural for me to open safari and Google the solution, than it is to resort to build in help.

    Hardest thing for me probably was to stop working in Windows ways.
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