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 Macs for Windows users.

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PostSubject: Macs for Windows users.   Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:37 pm

IF you’ re a Windows user, don’ t move the page.
This isn’ t going to be one of those annoying “ Gee, isn’ t the Mac great? ” or “ Why I chose the Mac over Windows” articles that Apple lovers have inflicted on the rest of the world for years. I’ ve had my fill of those – and they don’ t get any better, even though I’ m a Mac user at this moment.
I’ m writing this column for the likes of my colleagues Rome, a long-time Windows user exactly who recently bought an iBook, or Connie, who dreams of getting one free from the pup editor.
Windows users are different from novices. Shaped by way of years of experience, they approach a computer expecting to do things within a certain way. Dissonance sets in when they find that the common tasks they familiar with perform on Windows are don't available – or, as more likely the case, accessible through a different set of commands. Here then, is quite a few practical advice from a person who’ s been while in the trenches.
Delete. The “ delete” key on a Mac doesn’ t deliver the results like its Windows equal. Instead of deleting the smoothness to the right of your cursor and closing up the space, the Mac delete works like the backspace key. To get Windows-style delete, hold all the way down the “ fn” key before hitting the rub out key.
Of Mice and Macs. Apple only recently discovered the advantage of a right mouse switch. Don’ t fret. Any old USB optical mouse will work. I personally prefer an effective wheel to the modest button on Apple’ s Mighty Mouse. Just just as Windows, you can right-click upon an icon to activate your context-sensitive menu. On a notebook touch pad, hold down the “ ctrl” key and click on an icon to get the same effect.
Windows Media channels Player. Forget Windows Media Player for the Mac. The reviews have been rather bad. In fact, forget QuickTime, which won’ t play AVI or WMV records, and won’ t go full screen unless you upgrade to a compensated version. Download VLC Media channels Player (http: //www. videolan. org/), a free multi-platform program that will do all of the above and play Dvds, MP3 and MP4 files to boot. For some reason, VCD playback is choppy, so for that you can use MPlayer (also free) or maybe QuickTime.
iTunes, ShmyTunes. Many people swear by iTunes, but if you don’ t have a iPod, you’ re in all probability better off using VLC Advertising Player to play your own music. It’ s a reduced amount of intrusive – it won’ t offer to scan your hard disk for songs, try to sell you music, give you unnecessary more knowledge about licensing or eat upward more disk space by duplicating your songs in its very own directory. It will simply just play your sweet melodies. On an iBook, VLC will also play music louder.
File associations. So how will you tell a Mac in order to always use VLC so that you can play your AVI and / or MP3 files? Easy. Right click on any MP3 file along with choose “ Get Info” from the context menu. In the “ Open with” section, choose VLC player. Then click the Change All button in order to apply the same file bureau everywhere else.
Finding information. Finding files on the Mac can be a challenge if you’ re used to Windows Explorer. Macs currently have Finder, which has simple differences. The sidebar for Finder isn’ t the same as the folders view on Explorer, which gives you a hierarchical view of your current directory. The top one half of Finder shows you precisely what drives – including those on a network – that you can access. The bottom one half of the sidebar contains cutting corners to folders and files you use often. While you’ re still familiarizing yourself having Finder, try using Highlight, a powerful search utility that can help you find what you may need quickly. Just click on that blue and white icon with top right portion of this screen and type. Spotlight will quickly guess what you want.
Ways to skin your Mac. With the doable exception of games, most Windows xp applications have Mac counterparts. For example, there’ s no Mac version of my favorite BitTorrent client, uTorrent, but a program called Transmission does precisely the same job very well. There are versions of MS Office for any Mac, of course, but there’ s also a freeware equivalent called NeoOffice. The FTP program I use on XP, WS FTP, isn’ t available to the Mac, but I’ ve got Cyberduck working just very good. Instant messaging? Forget Yahoo or MSN Messenger and get Adium.
Just about the only thing I still can’ t get on the Mac these days is a free version of Freecell that’ s as slick as the one that comes with XP. So who says everything is better on a Mac?
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