Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2013 7:38 AM by foxgl0ve
liffy99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I've had my IMac for nearly 2 years now but have struggled all the way to migrate from a Windows environment. There seem to be so many hurdles to overcome, not least due to the horribly closed Mac universe which has made accessing things like music files, and sharing documents, incredibly difficult.

 

I've tried the One to One service, and asked questions at the Genius bar and via the Helpline, but rarely get a useful answer. Nice people sure, but I feel I'm dealing with staff that have been weaned on Apple (through Ipods etc) - they know a fair bit about Macs, but seemingly very little about Windows and therefore of limited help in getting from one to another. Try asking someone about FLAC audio files for example . . .

 

Some of the sort of issues I'm struggling to sort out include;

 

1) In Windows I can use the F4 key to 'repeat last action'. An incredibly useful feature when formatting a number of separate cells in a spreadsheet for example. Yet I can find no equivalent in the Mac world - I can't even see how I might configure my keyboard accordingly.

 

2) Having more than one application open on the desktop at a time. For example I open Word (MS Office for Mac), I then open Excel so I can cut and paste a few bits and pieces. As soon as I open Excel, Word minimises and zooms down to the Dock.

 

3) Screen sizes. Why oh why does my Mac insist on opening applications in a window it determines the size of ? For instance I open Numbers - on my 27" IMac it opens a window at best about 6" square, complete with tiny, almost unreadable fonts. Is there no way to get applications to open full screen, and in a set font size, by default ?

 

4) Screen resizing - I guess this is a feature of the OS (Snow Leopard 10.6) - only available in the bottom right ahnd corner. Just means more shuffling of windows about to use it effectively. Why can't screen resizing be done from any side as in Windows ?

 

And don't get me started on hardware - why does a 27" IMac get shipped with a tiny wireless keyboard ? Wireless is good for sure, but surely a desktop computer isn't trying to save space to the extent that ones loses the numeric keypad, and worst of all, the DELETE key (aaagagahgha). I've had to buy a wired version to get the functionality I need (along with some accesible USB sockets). And then there is the card reader that can only cope with SD, the USB sockets helpfully out of easy reach round the back (makes using a datastick a real pain) . . . .

 

Perhaps I shouldn't have gone down the Mac route (but now I've got an IPad too so heaven help me) . . . .

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (26,515 points)

    There appear to be so many things you don't like - for instance, why would you buy a machine if you don't like anything about it? Why get something that is wireless if you don't like wireless? Or, if you don't like the keyboard, why wouldn't you just buy one you like? FWIW, my tiny keyboard has a delete key. Since you don't seem to want to adapt, but rather suffer for two years now, I'd suggest selling the Mac and going back to your preferred and familiar interface, keyboards, wired peripherals, desktops you are familiar with, etc.

  • liffy99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    See last but one para - wireless is good. But my Apple aluminium wireless keyboard that came with the IMac has a Backspace key, NOT a Delete key (which deletes characters to the right, not the left).

     

    I have read a few books and own a big fat guide to Snow Leopard, but I've yet to find some of the answers I'd like - eg is there a way of replicating the Windows F4 key (repeat last command), why do Apple applications like Numbers insist on opening in a tiny window with tinier fonts - can't they be told to open full screen by default ?

     

    Don't get me wrong, I want to like Apple, and I'm a sucker for well engineered bits of kit, but if I'd realised a) what a closed universe it is and b) that their hardware was a bit behind the times (no multi-card reader on an £1800 PC - c'mon) I'd probably not have jumped ship.

     

    So now I'm considering reformatting 600GB of music from FLAC to Apple Lossless format, trying to figure out a way of getting remote access to photos (not straightforward without an apple device as a client so I can't simply put them on a server) and reading a few more books

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (26,515 points)

    Well, frankly, since I do not do Windows, I can't relate to your complaints.

     

    My Delete key says Delete on it and it deletes what I've typed (that is what delete is for - by definition - you can't delete something you haven't entered). Why would I want full screen by default? Not only do I usually have more than one window open at the same time (and that is precisely why full screen is not the default), but why would I want to have to move my head/neck continuously to read across a 27" screen risking repetitive strain injury? Full screen is now available, so use it if you want it. As for the card reader - just buy a USB multi-card reader and plug it in. It works.

     

    I'll repeat my earlier recommendation:

     

    Instead of trying to emulate Windows behavior, either run Windows on the Mac, sell the Mac and buy another Windows Machine, or learn to use what you now have. I have a Mac because it like it including the OS. I do not want it to be like Windows - if I wanted Windows, I'd buy it.

  • liffy99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I understand your points of view, but;

     

    Perhaps we have different keyboards - my wireless aluminium one has no Delete key. And such a key is very useful when the cursor is positioned at the start of a piece of text and you want to delete characters to the right of it (e.g when you are in the middle of a text string). It's also helpful to do things like simply hit Delete when running through a list of cell entries or files you want trashed.

     

    Full screen ? OK maybe not, but at least get the application to open a window big enough to accommodate the content - for example I've a number of spreadsheets all of which would comfortably fit in far less than half a 27" screen. But Numbers insists on just opening a small window forcing me to either scroll up / down / left / right or enlarge the window. T'would be a lot easier to open a window that fits the content automatically.

     

    My pop about the hardware is just at Apple - of course I can go and buy periphals to do all sorts of things, card readers, USB hubs etc, but on an £1800 PC i would have expected a bit more. Have you tried using a data stick with a wall-mounted IMac when all the USB slots are hidden round the back ? I'm sure it wouldn't have been that much trouble to include just one on the side (like a laptop) for occasional use.

     

    But loving the IPad - a much more clearly through device (even though it too doesn't sport a USB slot or print function to any wireless printer

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (26,515 points)

    Here is my keyboard (standard wireless aluminum that came with the iMac) - notice the delete key:

     

    Screen Shot 2011-11-07 at 5.09.58 PM.png

     

    One of my Numbers spreadsheets takes up about 80% of the width of my 27" screen. I resized that once long ago - that is how it opens up. I do have to scroll down/up because it is too large, but I do not scroll sideways. While checking I noticed that Numbers now supports full screen - available in View options. Also available in Preferences - might want to experiment with a 150% zoom? Or, just resize the window.

     

    Screen Shot 2011-11-07 at 5.12.15 PM.png

     

    The default behavior for Mac OS is generally that any window should open in the location and the size you had when you quit the application and/or shut down the Mac. It will remember that. Do you quit applications or just close windows? Might have something to do with it.

     

    but on an £1800 PC i would have expected a bit more.

     

    Well, if you do your research before spending money, then you would know exactly what to expect and what you are getting. If you don't, you have no one to blame but yourself. Blaming Apple for that is foolish at best. I knew before I purchased my last one that I would no longer have a FW 400 port, so I researched and made the decision that I could make do without it. Purchased a FW 400 > FW 800 cable along with the new Mac and was ready as soon as it came out of the box to transfer my files from my external hard drive backup.

  • liffy99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks

     

    Well, the wirleless keyboard that came with my late 2009 IMac (a small one without a numeric keyboard) has a Backspace key where yours says Delete. Are you sure yours deletes (i.e. erases characters to the right of the cursor) or is it just a curiously named backspace key ? Do Apple make a full size wireless keyboard like the wired one I'm now using (that also has the benefit of a couple of USB ports) ?

     

    Now finding out some stuff about window sizing and it seems that you could be right about it remembering what happened before. However there is still a similar problem with some drop down menus just not being wide enough to show all the content (eg the Help drop down).

     

    And sure, I should have checked everything before buying the Mac. But as it was a present I couldn't explore too much. That said I would probably have assumed that the 'Card Reader' read more than just SD cards and that there was an easily accesible USB port ! If I were to start over sure, I wouldn't go Apple, but I do like the look and feel of the things - it just takes an awfully long time to find ones way around. Macs might be easy to use once you know, but they are certainly not intuitive.

     

    I'm sure there must be an Apple 'tariner' somewhere that can provide detailed guidance on migration from Windows. The books mentioned above aren't really about migration at all, mostly just providing instructions as to how to use Mac functions. There's precious little I've ever found that can answer simple questions like "where is the Apple equivalent of the Windows F4 function - repeat last command) ?

     

    Cheers

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (26,515 points)
    Are you sure yours deletes (i.e. erases characters to the right of the cursor)

     

    I didn't say it deletes to the right - mine deletes to the LEFT of the cursor - why would I expect to delete something I haven't typed yet? As I am typing right now, the cursor is at the end of what I've typed, so the meaning of the word "delete" is to eliminate something that is already there > which would be to the left of the cursor. If you want to delete a previous sentence, just highlight that entire sentence and hit delete.  I believe that is the end of that discussion.

     

    Do Apple make a full size wireless keyboard like the wired one I'm now using (that also has the benefit of a couple of USB ports) ?

     

    Check the Apple Store (see the store in the upper menu bar?)

     

    That said I would probably have assumed that the 'Card Reader' read more than just SD cards

     

     

    The specs very clearly state "SD" cards.

     

    But as it was a present I couldn't explore too much.

     

     

     

    So you got a Mac for free. Nice. I wish I'd get one for free. I certainly wouldn't complain - either dive into it or sell it and buy something I want. I learned how to use it - by myself - in less than a year. You're still expecting it to be a Windows machine after 2 years. As I said previously, learn how to deal with it or buy a Windows machine.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    liffy99 wrote:

    . . .

    1) In Windows I can use the F4 key to 'repeat last action'. An incredibly useful feature when formatting a number of separate cells in a spreadsheet for example.

    There's no direct equivalent that I know of, but (depending a bit on the app), you can usually Cmd-C to copy, then Cmd-V to Paste.  If you're copying othe same item to two places, Cmd-C, Cmd-V, Cmd-V will do it.

     

    2) Having more than one application open on the desktop at a time. For example I open Word (MS Office for Mac), I then open Excel so I can cut and paste a few bits and pieces. As soon as I open Excel, Word minimises and zooms down to the Dock.

    That's odd.  I don't use either of those apps (and don't do Windoze anyway), but that doesn't happen on any Mac apps that I know of, and none of the 3rd-party apps I use, either.   Does this happen with all apps, or just those?

     

    I have a 24" screen, and often have 2 windows, side-by-side.  There are usually 3 or 4 others mostly hidden, but with a part visible so I can just click it to bring it forward.

     

     

    3) Screen sizes. Why oh why does my Mac insist on opening applications in a window it determines the size of ? For instance I open Numbers - on my 27" IMac it opens a window at best about 6" square, complete with tiny, almost unreadable fonts. Is there no way to get applications to open full screen, and in a set font size, by default ?

    That, too, varies by app.  Some Mac apps open new windows in the same location and with the same size as the last one;  others always open in a fixed place and size.  

     

    For me, Numbers does open in the same place and size as the previous one, but does default to a very small typesize.  I see two ways to deal with that: either change the actual typesize (you can do a whole column at once); or, upon opening, select 125% or 150% in the size box at the bottom.

     

    4) Screen resizing - I guess this is a feature of the OS (Snow Leopard 10.6) - only available in the bottom right ahnd corner. Just means more shuffling of windows about to use it effectively. Why can't screen resizing be done from any side as in Windows ?

    It can.  In Lion. 

     

    But Barbara's point is correct;  folks who go from Macs to Windows have similar complaints.  They're designed by folks with different aproaches to things;  in most cases, there's really no right or wrong, they're just different.  For many of us, what's "right" is just what we're used to.  

     

    While Apple has adopted some things from Windows, and vice-versa, they're never going to be the same.   If you really can't adjust, maybe you should go back.

  • ToBeHuman Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I have an old iMac G5 and it had a bigger keyboard with the delete key and 10 key pad. You can hook up a PC USB keyboard and it'll work or buy the full size keyboard from Apple. Please see the link below for the full size keyboard at the Apple store.

     

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB110LL/B?fnode=MTY1NDA1Mg

  • Lenny Pillay Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey Liffy!

    I am sure someone would readily buy that Mac off you in UK?

     

    Dont sweat it if you are having so many probs!

     

    MAcs are not made for everyone....maybe not you?

     

    Win 7 may not be so bad after all!!

     

    Cheers

  • Joseph B. Gurman1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    A couple of answers:

     

    1. Microsoft Mac Office apps use command-Y for repeat last action, but that appeard to be missing from Apple's own apps, so it might be a Microsoft-specific thing.

     

    2. The "open Excel and Word minimizes" issue is one I have not seen in something like 14 years of using them on Mac OSes on a few dozen Macs. Sorry. I honestly don't know how to do that, but it's worth asking Microsoft Support about it.

     

    3. Traditionally, Mac apps open windows in the sizes you left them in; that is, the size at which you last saved the document. I can't think of a better convention. The exception is the new full-screen view added in OS X 10.7 (Lion); you appear to have to enable that each time you use the doc. Consider this dueling conventions: For years, I hates using Windows machines precisely because it insisted on obscuring all the other open windows with the current document, which I found terribly unhelpful, in my case based on experience from older windowing environments.

     

    4. Lion changes resizing as well: you can now resize from any boundary of a window. Don't know, considering your antipathy to the Mac experience, if it's worth spending whatever Apple charges for Lion in your country for these last two features alone.

     

        If my memory serves, Apple's original wireless keyboard was a full one (home &c. keys, numeric keypad), and the delete with a right arrow key was near th ehome key, as on the wired keyboard. I'm guessing Apple's marketing and focus groups found most people who wanted wireless keyboard didn't care about the extra keys, ("I want to be able to stick this in my backpack") and vice versa for the size of the wired ones, but that is, again, just a guess. There are lots of third-0party Bluetooth wireless keybaord that work with the Mac --- and probably cheaper than Apple's (in every sense of the word "cheaper").

     

        You don't say which card formats other than SD you want to use, but the last micro-SD card I bought came with an SD-sized adapter, for what it's worth.

     

        I have to agree with the inconvenience of using USB (and FireWire, and now Thunderbolt) ports on the back of the iMac, but (a) Jonny Ives like "clean" design (sorry, bad attempt at blaming the issue on a Brit), and (b) brlieve it or not, you get used to roatating the iMac 90 degrees, craning your neck around, and inserting your bit of kit. And if you have an Apple wired keyboard, you can stick USB thumb drives into the ports at either end.

     

        I think most people who've used both Macs and Windows machines for a while agree that the first reaction to the "other" platform is irritation: "Why does this thing not do things the way I'm used to?" Just as I learned not to expect Windows to do things in a Mac OS-like way, I don't expect Macs to do things in a Windows-like manner. Not a great answer, but it's the way it is.

     

        Can't imagine this helped at all, but hope it at least cleared a few things up.

  • liffy99 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all the helpful answers and suggestions. And of course you are all right - just a bit of a change of mindset to switch from years of Windows to Mac. But it woukld be nice if Apple actually listened to what people wanted (I've even written with questions and suggestions and received nothing more than a useless and anodyne response).

    I've sorted the problem of keeping several applications open - one of the guys in the Birmingham Apple store found a script via the web that sorted it. Apparently it is an option (preference ?) buried in the OS somewhere but I've never been able to find it (and now I don't have a note of that script - doh !).

    I do have the full size keyboard - had to buy it to get accessible USB ports and the all important Delete key - but even then you can only fit very thin USB sticks ! As my IMac is wall-mounted I don't have the option of turning it around or looking behind it without major hassle.

    And yes, things like 'f4-repeat last command' was such a useful feature in Windows I'm amazed Apple can't include it in the OS.

    And finally - for Babowa - the Delete key is a different beast to a Backspace key. Try and think of its use in a spreadsheet. Highlight a cell - to empty it's contents with a Backspace key you would need to position the cursor at the right hand end of the text and then hold it down until all the characters were erased. With a Delete key you just select the cell and press Delete - hey presto ! This is really useful when you want to delete cell contents that are not in a continuous line or block, but scatered throughout a worksheet.

    Ah well, I'll be reading the Snow Leopard OS guide tonight . . .

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    liffy99 wrote:

    . . .

    I've sorted the problem of keeping several applications open - one of the guys in the Birmingham Apple store found a script via the web that sorted it. Apparently it is an option (preference ?) buried in the OS somewhere but I've never been able to find it (and now I don't have a note of that script - doh !).

    Aha!  I'd never heard of it, but it's "Single Application Mode."  The free TinkerTool app will let you set or clear it, via the Dock icon in it's toolbar.  No telling how it got set on your Mac.

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