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20 November 2009

Top 7 PC-to-Mac Switching Problems from Mac|Life

I recently switched full-time over to a Mac from using PCs as my main computer at home. Of course as a media creator, I remember the only tools available to do my job as a video, audio, and print editor were on Macs to begin with. But even in the workplace, things changed; when I worked at Comcast, we switched our Avid systems from Mac G4s over to Windows XP systems. I had to beg for a Mac system in my new edit bay because I wanted to use Final Cut HD and not Avid Adreneline. The Avid Media Cutter system I had already was craptacular. It was out of commission so much once, I remember editing 4 client's commercials on my personal HP laptop with Adobe Premiere CS3--and my workflow was actually quicker!

Using my new MacBook Pro is a joy, but Snow Leopard is a different animal than the Tiger system I was using 3 years ago (pun oh-so intended!) So I find sites like www.maclife.com, www.macbreak.com, and www.tuaw.com to be life-savers. And if you thought us Mac folks didn't have any apps like windows users-- check out www.versiontracker.com and www.macupdate.com and you'll think different (yep, I meant to do that one too!)

courtesy Mac|Life

There are a few things that come up regularly for people who’ve recently switched from a PC to a Mac. We boil down the most common hurdles So you can clear them with ease.

1. My brand-new Mac came without a right-click mouse, so now I have to buy an external two-button mouse.

Every Mac comes out of the box with the ability to right-click, but Apple made it especially confusing for switchers because right-clicking is always turned off by default. You have to make a trip to the Keyboard & Mouse System Preference to turn it on. If your Mac came with an Apple-branded mouse, you might not realize that you have right-clicking ability because the right-click button is not a visible button separate from the left-click button--it’s touch-sensitive. Plus, all Mac laptops have touch-sensitive right-clicking on their track pads as well.

2. Every time I launch Skype or Firefox, a white disk icon appears on my Desktop and disappears after a restart.

You actually never installed those apps properly. To install many Mac applications, simply drag the application’s icon (located on that temporary white disk image, which has the file extension .DMG) to your Applications folder. Then you can eject the white disk image by dragging it to the trash, and it won’t come back again.

3. All my keyboard shortcuts are different on the Mac! And these Function keys at the top don’t work! And I miss the “Print Screen” button on my PC’s keyboard. How can I remember this confusing Shift-Command-4 keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot?

Most keyboard shortcuts are the same on PC and Mac, but on the Mac you use the Command key instead of the Control key. So, if you used Control-P to print on the PC, you would now use command-P to print on the Mac. Even better, you can customize almost every keyboard shortcut on your entire Mac to whatever is easiest for you to remember. Just go into your Keyboard & Mouse System Preference and choose Keyboard Shortcuts. For even more keyboard control over your entire Mac experience, install a keyboard shortcut program like Keyboard Maestro ($36, www.keyboardmaestro.com), QuickSilver (free, www.blacktree.com), or TextExpander ($30, www.smileonmymac.com). As for the function keys at the top of your keyboard, they all serve double-duty. Click on them normally and they control the hardware functions of your Mac, but hold down the “fn” key on your keyboard and they act like normal function keys. You can reverse this behavior in your Keyboard & Mouse System Preference.

4. I keep clicking on the green Maximize button, but the window still doesn’t fill my screen.

We’re Mac experts, and we have no idea what that green button is supposed to do. Try installing Right Zoom (free, www.blazingtools.com/downloads.html).

5. I love my Blackberry, but it won’t sync to my Mac. Don’t tell me to get an iPhone!

Try the Missing Sync for Blackberry ($40, www.markspace.com). UPDATED: Whoops, Blackberry has released the OS X Blackberry Desktop sfotware. You can get it here

6. There’s not a lot of Mac software for what I want to do.

There‘s outstanding Mac software available in every category that you could possibly imagine. Some websites like versiontracker.com and macupdate.com are even dedicated to tracking all the Mac software that you can get for your Mac. And, if you really want to use an app that’s PC-only, you can always run Windows on your Mac at full speed using Boot Camp (free, built into Mac OS X Leopard) or VMWare Fusion ($80, www.vmware.com).

7. I just bought a MacBook Pro. Are you seriously telling me that there’s no forward-delete key on this keyboard?

Hold down the “fn” key while pressing the delete key and it becomes a forward delete. * I personally use 'right arrow & delete'.

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