My pretty Apple iMac

About 3 days ago I bought an iMac. Since then I have heard numerous wisecracks about how I work for Microsoft and that this is blasphemy for me to be using an Apple. In response I say that Microsoft makes the most-sold software for the Mac… Microsoft Office (of which the 2008 version is just a few days away!). At least I think it’s still the top selling software package for Apple computers.

Anyway, it has been interesting trying to learn how to navigate the Mac. Let me state immediately that all the talk about Macs being more user-friendly and intuitive is a bunch of nonsense. I don’t think it’s because I am trying to switch over from a PC and need to change my thinking. One example… when using tabs in Safari, one has to use a 3 key combination using two hands to change between tabs while in Internet Explorer (for PC) you can do a 2 key combination that only involves one hand.

Also – the idea that Macs “just work” and have no issues does not seem true. I’ve had 1 total system hang and 3 crashes of applications (admittedly 1 crash was using the beta remote desktop software).

But I don’t really want to talk about the bizarre usability choices that were made in some of these software applications. I want to talk about how much I enjoy using this iMac. The intangible appeal of it… it really does connect on some emotional level. Maybe it’s something as simple as the big bright screen, but there is something appealing about sitting in front of the Mac and typing happily away on the keyboard. I even find myself using the dumbed down “basic” mode for Outlook Web Access instead of using the full-featured desktop client Outlook that I have running on my PC.

I’m using ecto to write this blog entry; I was looking for something that would compare to Windows Live Writer, and I guess this is supposed to be the closest thing.

If anyone can tell me the keyboard shortcuts to restore / maximize a window after it has been minimized to the Dock, I would be very appreciative.

Leopard is not a keyboard shortcut friendly operating system.

Anyway, back to staring at the pretty screen!


10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by R. Boylin on January 7, 2008 at 3:08 am

    Here is just one website with all the official keyboard shortcuts. I don’t know why it’s so difficult to find them on Apple’s website. You should get a good book on Leopard which will reveal much more power under OS X’s hood.


  2. Posted by Louis Wheeler on January 7, 2008 at 4:33 am

    Give the Mac a chance. You are unaware of it, but you have been taught a counter-productive way of getting things on a computer. This was because the Mac was first and patented the best GUI interface. Microsoft Windows had to find another of working and it doesn’t follow the best human interface protocols. It will take likely you several months to unlearn Windows methods.

    Most people have the experience of it just clicking with them. One day, they wake up and what was hard becomes easy. Then, when they try a PC, that PC becomes painful to use. The only people, who never get it, are those who never give the Mac enough time to work its magic. So, don’t judge too soon.

    The Mac is intuitive for those who aren’t taught backward methods.


  3. Sounds like you are a very keyboard-centric person. Mac OS X *can* be used that way, but is really designed to be used together with the mouse in a more, um, zen-like fashion. :)

    I know, you’re rolling your eyes.

    Trust me, in a month or two you’ll feel even more pleased with your purchase than you do now. And the Mac is the ONLY computer anyone has EVER said THAT about. :)


  4. Posted by Ron B on January 7, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Hey, I was just like you when I bought my iMac G5 a few years back. It did take time to unlearn some of the past 20 years of Windows, but I would never go back. One thing that helped me a lot – I purchased David Pogue’s — Mac OS X The Missing Manual. This book was excellent and provided all the ins and outs I could ever have asked for in more quickly learning OS X. It is my understanding he now has released the Leopard Missing Manual. You might want to break down and buy this book — it is well worth it. Good luck, enjoy and don’t get impatient – just enjoy the experience and in time you will look back and say, “why didn’t I do this years ago.”


  5. Posted by Thomcarl on January 7, 2008 at 5:56 am

    This guy works for Microsoft, conflict of interest here? I think that question answers its self. I wouldn’t expect him to write anything good about an Apple product, if he did I’m sure he would be looking for a job. Learn OS X in 3 days? Yeah right, not even if he were Bill Gates, not a really great attempt at writing.


  6. If you like keyboard shortcuts you should try LaunchBar:


  7. Posted by swissfondue on January 7, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Have you tried Marsedit blogging software? Find it here:


  8. Posted by BillG on January 9, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Fanboys. You’re all homos.


  9. Posted by LeeA on January 10, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Geez, Microsoft’s man through and through…Tell me again how user friendly and what a great upgrade Windows Vista is


  10. Posted by talk19 on January 10, 2008 at 8:26 am

    R. Boylin – thanks for the site with the keyboard shortcuts.

    Charles – I like the term “Zen-like.” I’m definitely getting more used to using the mouse in conjunction with the keyboard now – perhaps it feels like I’m conducting my own orchestra on the computer. Hah. I certainly hope that I will become even more pleased than I already am with the Mac! I think as I get more software for it (mainly Office 2008 is what I’m looking forward to, cause then I figure I can use it for more purposes) I’ll definitely enjoy it even more.

    Ron – I’ll check out the Leopard Missing Manual. Thanks for the suggestion. I’m sure I’m missing out on at least 70% of what Leopard can offer (so far I’ve been using Mail, iTunes, Safari… well, basically all the default applications and haven’t “tuned” the computer much using system preferences)

    Arthur – I’ll check out LaunchBar. I tend to try not to install add-on type of things like Live Toolbar, Google Toolbar, Yahoo toolbar, or anything with “Bar” in the name cause I am skeptical of what they’re doing to my system. But if it can give me more keyboard shortcut functionalitiy… perhaps worth it! Though then I feel like I’m changing the “Apple interface experience”.

    Swissfondue – I read about Marsedit, haven’t tried it yet. I was looking for a freeware tool and Ecto & Marsedit cost money (admittedly a minimal amount).

    LeeA & Thomcarl – There is the amazing possibility that I might be enjoying both Vista and Mac.


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