I'm getting a little panicky...

in General Discussion edited January 2014
The time is quickly approaching when I should decide which laptop that I will be buying for college. For the last year now, I have been 99% sure that I was going to be getting a Mac for college.

However, I do not know how to operate a Mac like I do windows. I consider myself an XP poweruser, but I will be a complete noob with Mac. I feel like I am moving houses -- I am having some serious doubt.

Someone please help me out. I really want to switch


  • Reply 1 of 8
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,171moderator
    Making assumptions that it will be vastly different from using Windows is generally the biggest stumbling block. A lot of the interface is intuitive to what you'd expect to happen. There are a number of differences of course but they directly correlate to Windows counterparts.

    The Apple menu is like the Start menu.

    The trash is in the dock.

    The dock is like the taskbar but you can drag applications to it for quick launching.

    The activity monitor is like the process viewer.

    The terminal is like the DOS shell.

    The applications folder is like the Program Files folder.

    External devices don't have drive letters, they appear in the sidebar and desktop with the names of the drives.

    The properties panels are the same as get info panels.

    The apple-key or command key is not like the Windows key but like the control key. So where you hit ctrl-s to save in Windows, it's command-s.

    The maximize, minimize, close buttons are on the left of the Window - maximize doesn't work the same as it does in Windows. This is partly because it's not needed in some cases as application menus are in the bar at the top instead of inside each application's window.

    Disk Utility is Apple's drive formatting tool - you do not need to use a defrag tool.

    There is no registry in OS X. Applications have preference files.

    You'll pick things up as you go.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    You can also run Windows on a Mac.

    My wife was a long time Windows user at her work. She bought a Mac and only a couple of days later had the hang of it and now tries hard to avoid even going near Windows.

    One great thing that helped her was the interconnectivity and similarity of the apps from Apple if you can use one, learning the next is a breeze as they share many of the same functions (photo editing, for example, uses almost exactly the same window in Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie and iPhoto).
  • Reply 3 of 8
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    get the macbook white it has firewire so you can produce a clone of your hard drive which is bootable (superduper,)

    it has just been slightly upgraded but i prefer firewire for connection to video and harddrives

    but stay on these forums their is a genius section that has many "how to's"

    get some good manuals

    find a close apple store

    talk with your friends, many will have macs

    macs have simplified network stuff

    only a few steps to

    connect a network printer

    connect network hard drive

    i did both with a OLD imac g3

    now without no additional cost i have both of the above and with only 3-4 steps each, my "old" imac g3 is still going strong

    i use it as a network hub
  • Reply 4 of 8
    wplj42wplj42 Posts: 439member
    Go Mac and you'll never want to go back. I was very lost back in the OS 9 days and returned to Windows. With OS X, you can right click and place programs and folders in the dock. There is help for you all over the Internet, including how to videos at Apple support. If you are really worried, get Apple Care. Unless there is an upgrade in the OS or something, the phone wait times are not bad. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer and never really understood OS 9. That was almost 10 years ago. Mac OS X will come to you in time. I've been doing this for about 18 months. I am no expert, but feel very comfortable with my iMac. My only decision next time will be which Mac to get. Unless you're a power user, your Mac could out last your car.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    Thanks for your reassurance everyone. I think what I am just going to have to do is dive into it without looking back - like entering a cold pool right away - I'll adjust to it.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    Enjoy your new Mac!

    If you need ideas on applications just ask. There are a couple of old threads you could look through:



    A few of the apps mentioned have changed over time, but you should get a few starting places.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    I myself was a windows super user (microsoft certified professional), and was a little rough on using macs, but now I only use windows in the workplace. I probably won't be buying window's pc's anymore....
  • Reply 8 of 8
    lorrelorre Posts: 396member
    This should answer most of your beginner questions:


    As to becoming a true Mac power user... I dunno what that term exactly means to you. OSX is very powerful if you dive into AppleScript and the terminal, however, I don't know if that's useful for you.
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