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question for the Apple users


NickdeBug
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My new job entails frequent travel to far flung places (going to Norfolk tomorrow!).

 

Having originally been given a brick of a Dell laptop I had a bit of a moan as the battery was only 3 hours (not much use on flight to San Francisco every other month!), and the bloody thing weighs a tonne (not great with a glass back!).

 

"We will sort it" came the reply.

 

True to their word I have just taken delivery of a new laptop. Only thing is - it's a MacBook!!

 

Despite using an iPhone and iPad I have always been a PC/Windows user and have become familiar with the intrinsic foibles and shortcuts associated with this platform. The MacBook looks like a completely different box of frogs altogether.

 

Can anyone direct me to any useful guides/tips for new Mac users? Plenty of MacBook for Dummies options but it would be good to get a recommendation from someone who has made the same move to the Dark Side.

 

 

 

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I made the move to the dark side at home many years ago (like, 11!) and at work in the past 4 years. My best advice to you is just to get used to the OS. The concept is slightly different from Windows, and apple in a way locks you in more than MS. It is not much about "What do I want to do" but more about "What do they want me to do". Once you get the idea, than it's pretty sweat.

 

Get an OSX for dummies book, or even just google and follow a first-time tutorial.

 

Also, depends what you are using it for. I am a Software Engineer, so Apple does offer you a lot out of the box. Now, if you just want Home Office type of apps, then it is slightly different, and you may need to get used to the Apple suite of tools or just install the slightly different MS Office. I'm happy to help, just fire off any questions (Here or PM, whichever you feel more comfortable with).

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Google is always your apple friend. You will find everything you need if you ask it!

In a race between a donkey and a horse, to see who could reach the bottom first..........one side has a commanding lead

 

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Having relatively recently changed to Macbook and coming late to computers I have found the change fairly easy. My Wife has also changed to both an ipad and imac after 20+years of using windows and is of the same opinion. Just remember that whatever you could do on windows you can do on the mac its just a matter of learning (and remembering) the new instructions for getting what you want. You can have as many "windows" open as you want. When in doubt "google" it as Mac have a very, very helpful site which has, so far, solved all the changeover problems. The other major help facility is the "Teach Yourself visually MacBook" by Guy Hart-Davis. This will guide you through any problems and is always there for reference but you will very quickly adapt to the changeover and wonder what all the difficulties were about. Just note that the @ sign is at the other end of the keyboard.

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I find for most "stuff" it's no problem at all.....

Typing is typing....

Surfing is surfing.....

 

For most basic keyboard shortcuts - just replace "cmd" with "ctrl"...

 

If however (like me) you use a lot of Excel you will probably end up either:

a) Killing somebody by ripping them limb from limb in frustration

b) Getting a Windows box to do that sort of stuff......

 

I use my Mac for everything "social" but I really cannot get my head round using excel "in anger"....

Fortunately if I need to do that it'll be for work - so I bought a little Windows laptop to do that.....

 

For example: There is no "end" key, no "home" key so ctrl-shift-end, ctrl-shift-home are no-go......

There are ways of doing this in Apple... cmd-alt-fn-up-left-back or something...

But I've used Windows keyboard-shortcuts for 20+ years and I don't "think" when using them......

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I find for most "stuff" it's no problem at all.....

Typing is typing....

Surfing is surfing.....

 

For most basic keyboard shortcuts - just replace "cmd" with "ctrl"...

 

If however (like me) you use a lot of Excel you will probably end up either:

a) Killing somebody by ripping them limb from limb in frustration

b) Getting a Windows box to do that sort of stuff......

 

I use my Mac for everything "social" but I really cannot get my head round using excel "in anger"....

Fortunately if I need to do that it'll be for work - so I bought a little Windows laptop to do that.....

 

For example: There is no "end" key, no "home" key so ctrl-shift-end, ctrl-shift-home are no-go......

There are ways of doing this in Apple... cmd-alt-fn-up-left-back or something...

But I've used Windows keyboard-shortcuts for 20+ years and I don't "think" when using them......

 

This my worry! I do lots of data handling and statistical analysis work in Excel and R. Big data frames etc.

 

Very used to Excel and how to shortcut - like Drewster I probably do this as easily as typing.

 

Don't really want to end up with one laptop for travel and one for doing more desk based work. I can use an iPad for travelling if it comes to it.

 

Oh well, I will give it a go and see what it's like.

 

Thanks for the help all

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This is probably not the easiest solution, but in case you're "stuck" with the MacBook (I wish!) - you could run Windows on it. You can 'Bootcamp' Windows and choose to start the machine as a windows laptop, or use virtualisation software such as Virtualbox, Parallels or VMWare Fusion, then you can use your usual version of Excel and any stats programmes you need.

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This is probably not the easiest solution, but in case you're "stuck" with the MacBook (I wish!) - you could run Windows on it. You can 'Bootcamp' Windows and choose to start the machine as a windows laptop, or use virtualisation software such as Virtualbox, Parallels or VMWare Fusion, then you can use your usual version of Excel and any stats programmes you need.

 

The "problems" with Excel are that Macs don't have the right keys on the keyboard.... so running Windows won't help :-(

 

Functionally the Mac does everything (in Excel) that you can do in Windows/with a "proper" keyboard... but the issue is "knowing" how to do it...

 

As a very trivial example (assuming you can touch-type to an extent)

The @ symbol is above the 2 on the top left of the keyboard (accessed via Shift-2) but on a real keyboard it is down on the bottom right hand side....

 

This is a ball ache when typing quickly... as you automatically type the " rather than the @....

 

If I am using Excel I can "instantly" jump to the end of a column, or a Row or the spreadsheet just by pressing 2/3 keys.... (I don't think about it - I just do it)

The Mac keyboard is actually missing certain keys (Home and End are a couple) so I can't "just" press the keys to do stuff.. so even worse than having them in the wrong place - they just don't exist.... They still won't exist if running Windows :-(

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You can always install Windoze into a Mac since they are intel based now, and dual boot it.. (You can't install OSX onto a PC though.. unless you crack/break it.)

 

I've got an old Vista Sony Vaio, and a Power Mac and prefer the Mac, but use the Sony as it's a laptop. Macs are very friendly, and easy to use. You soon get the feel of them and wonder how you coped with a PC,

 

You can get MS office on Mac, although I have it on mine, I also have Pages which I prefer. Again, it's just getting used to it.

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The "problems" with Excel are that Macs don't have the right keys on the keyboard.... so running Windows won't help :-(

 

Functionally the Mac does everything (in Excel) that you can do in Windows/with a "proper" keyboard... but the issue is "knowing" how to do it...

 

As a very trivial example (assuming you can touch-type to an extent)

The @ symbol is above the 2 on the top left of the keyboard (accessed via Shift-2) but on a real keyboard it is down on the bottom right hand side....

 

This is a ball ache when typing quickly... as you automatically type the " rather than the @....

 

If I am using Excel I can "instantly" jump to the end of a column, or a Row or the spreadsheet just by pressing 2/3 keys.... (I don't think about it - I just do it)

The Mac keyboard is actually missing certain keys (Home and End are a couple) so I can't "just" press the keys to do stuff.. so even worse than having them in the wrong place - they just don't exist.... They still won't exist if running Windows :-(

 

If you do CMD and then either left arrow (Home) or right arrow (end). It will have the same effect I think when in a cell or if you’ve just selected it.

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Really? can you really not have English keyboard layout on a Mac?

 

Oh my

 

You can, and it is slightly different from the PC layout (Just google it). The British apple keyboard layout is also different from the US layout.

 

The laptops have a smaller version of a keyboard and don't have the home/end, insert/delete, pg up/pg down.

 

But you can do Fn+left/right/up/down to overcome some of that.

 

However, if you have a full size Apple Keyboard, then you will have those keys. The only keys that a full size Apple Keyboard does not have are sys/req and print screen.

 

Anyway, It's Apple. They have to be different one way or the other, but it is just a matter of getting used to a different setup.

 

Oh, and on the newer apple laptops, USB-C and USB-C only.

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I went from Lenovo laptop to MacbookPro 15" in 2015 and it was well worth it, my aim was to have a good machine mainly for image processing, it has a wonderful display with 99% of RGB colour space and after calibration it's really great. It was cheaper at that time than Windows based laptops with comparable specs.

The software I use is mostly the same as in Windows, it is light and thin with great battery life. As mentioned you can emulate windows on it (some friends have to do this as they use the GIS software). I bought Word and Excel for Mac for occasional jobs on some nature protection documents and it is good enough for me.

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A guy I work for is head of software development for a Swiss company. He only works on Macs but all the software he develops is PC. His Macbook Pro doesn't even have Mac OS installed, just Windows... So, if you cannot get on with Excel in Mac form the solution is out there. The keyboard differences are a pain but otherwise, it's a PC in all but name if you do this.

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I went through the same a few years ago, I began with a dual-boot option to use Windows but after ~6wks I realised that I no longer needed it.

Any specific issues like Home & End, just google them. MS Office for mac is a hell of a lot better than it was a few years ago.

I now struggle on a PC and wouldn't go back voluntarily.

 

Oh and Apple do have this guide to get you started: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204216 with links to more complex guides.

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