Day After the iSwitch

Comments 17 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Being a Windows user since I was 10 and only having brief run-ins with Apple II GS’s and Macintosh when I was in school some things are completely foreign to me. Here are a couple things I’ve figured out (I suppose this is my non-video, non-witty attempt at the “I’m a Mac” and “I’m a PC” commercials).

  • The CTRL key doesn’t perform the functions you know and love.
    Copy/Paste/Undo/Redo shortcuts are no longer with CTRL, you have to use the little Apple key along with the appropriate letter e.g. Apple (oops sorry, it’s called “command”) + V is paste.
    This also applies for browsing in Firefox, it’s no longer CTRL + T to open a new tab, once again, use the Apple key.
  • There is no Backspace AND Delete Key. I am used to using the Delete key on a PC because it erases things in front of your cursor. I personally prefer this instead of always getting ahead of what you want to remove then ‘back’ spacing. On a Mac, the Delete key only back spaces.
  • If you want to install a dashboard widget, just point and click. When it’s installed and say, you want to uninstall, just remove it from the dashboard. There are not going to be 100 other files spread around the computer all related to it, and there is no “remove programs” option in “control panel”. The computer just does what it’s supposed to.
  • When you want to install a printer, you don’t have to install a printer. You just plug it in.
  • screencapture.jpg
    Wallpaper image used is property of Sokazo on Flickr

    I’m getting getting used to the look and feel of the Macbook and the operating system. I will need to get Office since all my files and archives are in Word (.doc) or Excel (.xls) and this reminds me, some of these filename extensions are completely new to me.

    I even wanted to take a screen shot right now but I had no idea where the “print screen” button was. So I just Googled the “screen capture” keystroke combinations. This is where John comes in handy. But so far, on the bright side, all the pretty bells and whistles have left me feeling pretty warm n fuzzy and I’m not regretting my iDecision.

    To do list:

    – Get waterproof, inconspicuous laptop bag.

    – Get Office for Mac

    – Get cool stickers to “bling” out my Macbook. John got a lot of flack at Northern Voice for having a pristine system. I’m all about the stickers. Send me stickers.

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    17 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. BradleyThursday, March 8th, 2007 — 8:11pm PST

      thanks for the info

      that will come in really handy never

    2. Rev. Don DeeleyThursday, March 8th, 2007 — 9:17pm PST

      I was always told to call it “Open Apple” instead of Command.
      But forget Office for Mac-get OpenOffice. It’s free! Plus it’ll handle more files than Office itself would. Details here:
      It’s not as single-click simple as it could be, but what’s the price difference from Windows?
      One of my friends just bought a new laptop with Vista and he put OpenOffice on it. He loves it, though he hates Vista. I might be able to push him over the edge to Ubuntu. Thats what I’m using and it’s so simple. It only took me six hours to install the music player of my choice. I’m not even kidding. Craziness. Well, back to reformatting my dad’s PC.

    3. BuzzThursday, March 8th, 2007 — 9:57pm PST

      check out my macblog, site listed above.

      i got open office for my mac – it works with all the ms office docs and at free, is a much better price than $400 for ms office for apple. – try it out before you grab msoffice

      you can ctl-del to get the backspace function, and by ctl, i mean ctl, not cmd. 😉

    4. Buzz BishopThursday, March 8th, 2007 — 9:57pm PST

      oh, btw – if any of y’all are excited about Miss 604’s MacBook adventures .. head over to – I’m giving away 5 MacBooks on Z95-3 starting on Monday.


    5. GusThursday, March 8th, 2007 — 10:21pm PST

      Here a Mac, there a Mac, everywhere a Mac, Mac….

      Boy you have learned more about your Mac than I have in my first 7 months of owning one! 🙂

      I’m gonna need some lessons.

    6. Miss604Thursday, March 8th, 2007 — 10:23pm PST

      Open Office it is – thanks guys!

      And Buzz – DUDE – you could have told me about this contest *before* my purchase yesterday 😛

      More info about making the switch courtesy of John’s “for:Miss604” links.

      “Are Macs just for hipster designers? Not at all! Maybe you’ve wanted to switch to a Mac, but you were afraid it wouldn’t work with your Office files. Maybe you can’t convince your parents they won’t lose their vacation photos. Maybe your boss thinks Macs are toys not meant for serious adults. For all those cases, here are 42 reasons that normal people can switch to Macs.” []

    7. DavidThursday, March 8th, 2007 — 11:06pm PST

      Here’s something neat: If you get really frustrated with the whole delete/command key thing, there is some shareware that will get you that behavior: Keyboard Maestro, which is a shareware app: for $20 (try if for free)

      That brings up Versiontracker. The most awesome Mac shareware site. Has all of the updates of everything. Best way to find out about free software (and most of the free stuff for the Mac is great!).

      Have fun!

    8. Tyler IngramFriday, March 9th, 2007 — 6:11am PST

      Oh hey cool it’s Buzz Bishop!

      Anyway as for the Command + V on an apple, I still call it Apple+V or Apple+C. Though I’d do the same on a window machine: Control-C or Control-V etc

      One thing I’ve _ALWAYS_ liked abou the MacOS is the way their filesystem works. Like you’ve found, you can delete things without having to worry about .DLLs like in Windows. Programs don’t share 100+ files with each other so deleting them won’t screw up other programs.

      Did I mention how Macs have like 98% less viruses and spyware etc compaired to a windows machine? Gota love tht too huh?

      As for hardware on the MacBooks, PowerBooks I love their power adapter! It doesn’t plug in but is connected via magnitism! You can trip over the cord and you’re machine won’t goto the floor.

      I know it’s nothing new but I also always liked how you can drag a CD/DVD rom into the trash and it ejects it 😉

    9. MattFriday, March 9th, 2007 — 7:12am PST

      fn+delete gets you the foward-delete you’re looking for (at least on my machine).

      However, I wouldn’t doubt that it might be ctrl+delete in some apps — that’s really one of the few downsides, is that some of the “nearly standard” key combinations on the PC are not quite as universal on the Mac (my favourite example is the ctrl+leftarrow ctrl+rightarrow combinations for moving a word ahead or back — on the Mac sometimes it’s ctrl, sometimes alt, sometimes command, and sometimes you’re out of luck).

      Otherwise, enjoy your new toy! (Oh, and I second someone’s OpenOffice recommendation).

    10. GusFriday, March 9th, 2007 — 7:34am PST

      Oh and to “right click” on an item, you will have to hold the ctrl key and then click. It can be annoying, but it works and I rarely use this option.

    11. ViewershipFriday, March 9th, 2007 — 7:41pm PST

      Yay Mac Girl! Macs are fun and pretty and shiny. Plus you get to be a mac snob when you use one. I still don’t know a lot about them though. Like the delete thing! It was frustrating me. I’m glad someone mentioned how to do it.

    12. Matt SimpsonSaturday, March 10th, 2007 — 2:40am PST

      A useful site for tips and tricks, both beginner and advanced:

      Also, single most handy feature? In cocoa apps (ie: not Firefox, which is programmed in XUL) if you mouse over a work and hit “command + control +d” you get the dictionary entry for that word.

    13. gusgreeperSaturday, March 10th, 2007 — 9:44am PST

      you can totally have the stickers left over that didn’t make our guitar for guitar hero and it wasn’t cause they weren’t cool there just wasn’t enough room for them all. 😉

    14. Miss604Saturday, March 10th, 2007 — 7:16pm PST

      I downloaded goodies from but apparently I need to install X11 before running it.

      I think I’m getting the hang of things. I’ve made a couple blog posts, and performed some basic functions – the keyboard shortcuts are really coming in handy – thanks to all those who’ve commented 😀

    15. Derek K. MillerThursday, March 15th, 2007 — 8:44pm PDT

      Try scrolling with two fingers on your trackpad. That gets really addictive, and I can’t stand using laptops (including older Macs) without it now.

      “Open Apple” is a legacy from the Apple II days, when there was an “open apple” key on the left and a “closed apple” key on the right. Macophiles call it the “command” key, which is the name for that squiggly symbol. However, it seems to have been based on a Swedish campground symbol denoting a point of interest. No really.

      But stickers are for my guitar case. My black MacBook is almost a year old and is still pristine. Except for the fingerprint smudges, which it shows like crazy.

    16. Miss604Thursday, March 15th, 2007 — 8:49pm PDT

      The two-fingered scroll is faaantastic, I was hooked right away.

    17. Miss604’s Vancouver Blog » Blog Archive » Tuesday Morning Link Fest now in Sticker FormTuesday, January 15th, 2008 — 3:11am PST

      […] year when I got my Macbook I was unsure about ever covering it with stickers. It was right after Northern Voice and I noticed almost everyone there had their laptops covered in […]

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