Author Topic: Macintosh / Apple tips  (Read 9189 times)

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2012, 05:15:10 am »
I recently acquired a Mac, which I use alongside Windows and Linux boxes. I generally like it, but I'm not yet used to its file handling! Of the native apps, Pages is great. Simple to use and produces great results but, like Numbers, without the depth of Office. I don't do presentations, so I have no idea about the PowerPoint/Mac equivalent comparison. If you use spreadsheets a lot, it's worth noting that Excel 2011 for Mac is not as comprehensive as Excel 2010 for Windows; a number of VBA routines in 2010 will not run in 2011.

Yes to VLC! And yes to the built in firewall. There is a limited degree of malware protection in Lion, but if you get a lot of email it would be worth installing some anti-malware.

At the end of the day, it's a computer. It looks nice and works pretty well, but it's not immune to the problems that affect all computers.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2012, 09:55:11 am »
For office stuff I use MS Office as, like others have said, it just works with Windows based MS Office files (ISTR there are some things that are incompatible, like VBScript, if that matters to you). I just got my copy for about a tenner through the MS Home Use Program as work has volume licenses. If you have someone in the house in education, then you can get a pretty cheap fully legal copy from software4students. Whilst OpenOffice and LibreOffice are good enough to use stand alone, they are not quite ready to use as a drop-in replacement when you are doing interactive working between those and MS Office installations - you'll get driven batty by minor (and sometimes major) formatting issues.

I do have VMWare Fusion installed, I use it for some apps that there aren't Mac versions of (like Visio, or my accounting stuff, which can sit in it's own clean VM with no other software installed) and the Garmin utilities. I sometimes need Ubuntu on my Mac, so VMWare takes care of that too. If you have a Windows license that you can put onto it and a copy of MS Office for Windows then you can run that almost as well as a native Mac version - there is a mode where you don't see the Windows desktop, just the applications running like any other Mac app (except for some funnies in the filesystem, as they see the virtual Windows FS and you have to treat your Mac FS like a network drive). You can still do things like open a Word document from Finder and it will start up your Windows version of MS Word running under Fusion.

Other reasonably general tools I use a lot -
TotalFinder makes it easier to handle files and move them around (allowing things like double panes).
DevonThink Pro for information handling
Skrivener for writing
Postbox for email (Thunderbird based)
Pixelmator for manipulating pictures

As a new mac user it's worth keeping an eye out for "bundles" - every so often a set of useful software will be made available very cheaply - typically around $800 of software for $50. Obviously you'll get filler in these and stuff that is of no use, but occasionally there'll be enough useful software to make it worthwhile (Parallels is often bundled for less than the price of buying the program on its own, for example). A couple of places that keep track of what is on offer
Mac App Deals
MacHeist deals around the web

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2012, 09:56:46 am »
OnyX for automated maintenance.

Frere

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2012, 03:21:35 pm »
This is all excellent, thanks to all for the info.

I do have a proper copy of MS Office - so it sounds as if VMWare Fusion will allow me to use that?

Garmin: can I run Mapsource and connect to my GPS in a straightforward fashion, using VMWare Fusion? Are there not Mac versions available?

Browsers: I like Chrome, and I've never used Safari - any pros and cons?

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2012, 03:43:26 pm »
I do have a proper copy of MS Office - so it sounds as if VMWare Fusion will allow me to use that?

Yes, as long as you have a copy of Windows too. Fusion gives you a bare virtual machine, you install Windows onto it, then Office. It isn't as integrated as using the Mac version, but it works. You can download a trial version of Fusion to give it a go (but watch out for activations on Office - if you are trying out both Fusion and Parallels then you could run out of activations and have to wait a few months before trying again).

Quote
Garmin: can I run Mapsource and connect to my GPS in a straightforward fashion, using VMWare Fusion? Are there not Mac versions available?

That's exactly what I do. When you plug the GPS in with Fusion running you can select whether it connects to the Mac or the virtual PC (Fusion prompts you when you plug in a USB device, and you can select a default for the future if you prefer). Select the PC and it just works.
For Mac you can get Garmin Training Centre to download your rides and create courses etc., but there is no direct equivalent to Mapsource. You can, of course, use the various online tools to generate routes and avoid the need for emulation, but I prefer Mapsource.
I also use Windows/Fusion for updating maps on my Garmin car GPS, flashing new software into phones, running ham radio control software etc.

Quote
Browsers: I like Chrome, and I've never used Safari - any pros and cons?

Personal preference. I'm using Chrome at the moment, I've gone through phases of using Firefox and Safari. Safari tends to work more reliably with the Garmin Communicator plugin IME.

Maverick

  • One of the rural idle
    • Twoberries
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2012, 06:49:55 pm »


 there is no direct equivalent to Mapsource.

I beg to differ Matt - Garmin Basecamp works pretty much as a direct equivalent for me, free download if I remember correctly.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2012, 08:23:17 pm »
Hmm, interesting. It isn't quite the same, and doesn't seem to want to pick up maps from my 705, but worth a look - thanks.

Maverick

  • One of the rural idle
    • Twoberries
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2012, 08:29:14 pm »
Hmm, interesting. It isn't quite the same, and doesn't seem to want to pick up maps from my 705, but worth a look - thanks.

Yes, I recall having some bother getting it to recognise my City Navigator maps (think it took a support call to Garmin to fix) but once it had I've had no problem. The 3D view thing is a bit of a pain but all the functionality of Mapsource is there. Each route has to be created in a seperate 'folder' so the workflow is a bit different too.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2012, 08:35:05 pm »
As a very infrequent Mac user, my top tip would be to plug a proper mouse into it...
Noooo you've just bought a Mac! Learn to love the lovely swipey swooshy tactile touchpad.  It's the best part of the whole experience. 

My tips:
 - Spotlight is a great little app that allows you to launch programs and find files quickly.  Unlike its various windows equivalents it actually works.  Access it with cmd+space. 
 - You can quickly preview almost all files by selecting them in Finder and pressing space bar.  This means you don't have to load up a full editor each time, so for example there's no need to load up Word just to flick through a .doc.   
 - Applications don't usually close when you hit the quit button.  This seems weird to ex-Windows users.  They don't generally use up too many resources behind the scenes, but if you like a tidy taskbar then use cmd+q to quit them properly. 
 - iTunes is resource-hungry, constantly upgrading itself and annoyingly marketed, but despite all that it's good at what it does.  Dump your music files into your music directory, click import, and it will do the rest. 

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2012, 08:37:06 pm »
I do have a proper copy of MS Office - so it sounds as if VMWare Fusion will allow me to use that?

Yes, as long as you have a copy of Windows too. Fusion gives you a bare virtual machine, you install Windows onto it, then Office. It isn't as integrated as using the Mac version, but it works. You can download a trial version of Fusion to give it a go (but watch out for activations on Office - if you are trying out both Fusion and Parallels then you could run out of activations and have to wait a few months before trying again).


this is a pretty clunky way of doing it, I'd prefer using openoffice or, infinitely better but needs spending, getting a copy of office for mac.

I never got on with parallels.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2012, 08:47:08 pm »
I do have a proper copy of MS Office - so it sounds as if VMWare Fusion will allow me to use that?

Yes, as long as you have a copy of Windows too. Fusion gives you a bare virtual machine, you install Windows onto it, then Office. It isn't as integrated as using the Mac version, but it works. You can download a trial version of Fusion to give it a go (but watch out for activations on Office - if you are trying out both Fusion and Parallels then you could run out of activations and have to wait a few months before trying again).


this is a pretty clunky way of doing it, I'd prefer using openoffice or, infinitely better but needs spending, getting a copy of office for mac.

I never got on with parallels.

Depends whether you need the extra functionality of Office 2010 for Windows. Office for Mac is a pale shadow of the Windows version. There are workarounds for most things, of course, but for some there aren't. Parallels or VMFusion are pretty good solutions if you really have to use Office for Windows but need access to the OSX desktop and apps at the same time.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2012, 09:10:07 pm »
tips:
  • the delete key doesn't appear to do anything. cmd+backspace performs this action
  • the "#" key doesn't exist. Use alt+3 to get a hash symbol.
  • if you like the way a mouse works in Windows/Linux, use a normal mouse and install usboverdrive. It will enable you to adjust your mouse to work properly (i.e. being slow and jumpy). Many Mac users will not know what I'm talking about but it's incredibly frustrating and I'm not alone. That said, the trackpads seem to work normally.
  • You can remap the cmd/ctrl/alt keys if the standard position drives you mad. In system preferences.
  • Cmd+right arrow = Windows end key. Cmd+left arrow  = "home".
  • To select one word (ctrl+shift+arrow in Windows/Linux) it's alt+shift+arrow
  • You can't cut and paste stuff in Finder like you can in Windows explorer/ any linux file manager that I've used. Copy it then delete the original. Or drag it. I think that moves it, but it might just copy it (not got a Mac at home to test that on).
  • If you've deleted loads of files off e.g. a usb flash drive, but you there's virtually no free space, that's because OSX doesn't actually delete them. There's a hidden trash folder on each drive, which you have to empty separately. There's a menu item in Finder called something like "empty trash"
  • Also in Finder, pressing enter is like pressing F2 on Windows/Linux (i.e. renames the file). Cmd+o will open it for you
  • All the pdf readers available are inferior to Foxit Reader.
  • use TextWrangler for text editing
  • there is no useful window maximise button. Drag and resize (using only the bottom right corner of the window unless you're on 10.7). Then the green button should toggle between maximise and the previous size.
  • Macs can and do crash. Don't believe the hype
  • cmd+tab cycles through applications. cmd+` cycles through the windows of the current application. Programs are called applications
I might be a reluctant Mac user at work who has been driven to distraction by some of the above.

I have got a couple of ideas from the page you linked too that might ease the pain further, so thanks for that!

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2012, 10:45:43 pm »
CMD+W closes windows
CMD+Q closes applications
CMD+ + zooms in
CMD+ - zoom out

CMD + Click lets you (un)select multiple files individually
Shift + Click lets you (un)select multiple files
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

Support Equilibrium

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2012, 10:54:25 pm »
If you spend your Mac owning time trying to recreate Windows things it will never be happy time.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2012, 10:56:37 pm »
If you spend your Mac owning time trying to recreate Windows things it will never be happy time.

Be happy that you are in the sunlit green hills of OSX :)

Frere

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2012, 10:57:19 pm »
This is all excellent!

I'll be printing myself off a carefully selected list of shortcuts in due course, for one thing.

I suspect that I'll be starting a "Garmin and the Mac" thread at some stage in GPS, but I'll check for existing threads first.

Although I have ordered a mouse with my Macbook, I was in two minds about it as it seems that the combination of keyboard shortcuts and clever customisable trackpad should allow you to do everything quickly from the keyboard. 

I do have a proper copy of MS Office - so it sounds as if VMWare Fusion will allow me to use that?

Yes, as long as you have a copy of Windows too

Well, I don't, as my laptop didn't come with any CDs. Is there a way around that (I have the license label)?

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2012, 11:01:23 pm »
If you spend your Mac owning time trying to recreate Windows things it will never be happy time.

Noted. One of the reasons why I went for a Mac is that it fits with my current plan to have a little more separation between work and home. If I really have to do work stuff (as distinct from work-related study) at home, then I'll use my work laptop. So I don't really want to have Office on this at all really. But I do need to be able to read and edit Word documents properly.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2012, 11:03:21 pm »
I have a folder full of routes - some are MemoryMap, most are gpx files or Mapsource generated gdb. Am I going to be able to use them? In fact, will I be able to install my existing Garmin maps? They are getting on a bit I suppose. 

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2012, 11:17:34 pm »
You can install Garmin Maps on the Mac, and the Garmin, using the Garmin software. I can dig about to remind myself how I did it if you'd like.

As for logging/analysing gpx files on the Mac, have a look at Ascent. It isn't free, but it is very good.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2012, 07:23:36 am »
If you have the Windows label but no CD then you could just borrow an install disc off someone else and use your own code from the label.

But if you need to buy a copy of Windows, plus a copy of Fusion or Parallels, just to run office and potentially the Garmin stuff then I'd try without. The price of the emulation software alone will get you a copy of Mac Office if you have a student in the house.

The Basecamp software does seem to work (although differently to Mapsource) and imports gdb/gpx, but I need to play with it more because it was doing some seriously brain-dead routing in the five minutes I've spent on it (worryingly using imported gdb files).

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2012, 08:11:58 am »
Personally I prefer Basecamp to Mapsource as I found it easier to use.

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2012, 01:37:14 pm »
Slight thread hijack:
Anyone know of a Foxit equivalent for OSX? I want a free pdf editor (I want to add text to a pdf, rather than being limited to inserting comments). Free trial with watermark is no good.
Thanks

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2012, 06:34:54 pm »
Might be of use: 

Full list of shortcut keys

Steve
"No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the couch."

Valiant

  • aka Sam
    • Radiance Audio
Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2012, 10:26:04 pm »
It's worth noting that almost everything on Mac can export or print to PDF.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.

Support Equilibrium

Re: Macintosh / Apple tips
« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2012, 06:39:12 pm »
Finally, my MacBook is here.

I'm still undecided about the advice above to create a regular user account for myself in addition to the admin account.

Haven't switched it on yet  :)