Old 17th May 2010, 05:13   #1
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Forced to learn how to Mac.

Well they done did it. Work bought us all Mac Books with Snow Leopard, iLife, and a bunch of other Mac stuff. The staff all got theirs this past Wednesday, and the students grades 5-12 (ages 10-18) will all be given one at the beginning of next year.

I'm pretty handy with the PC world of software and hardware, but I haven't learned much about Macs since the days of Apple ][ e's.

I know to ask as much as I can from Professor Google, and to just fuck with it until I get used to it, but really, what web sites do you Mac people recommend for PC people that are required to learn Mac?

BTW, I still have a very nice HP EliteBook Windows laptop at work, docking station, and monitor that I'll still use (it was bought for me when I was new to the job back in August, before the decision was made to move toward the Mac world). I just want to make sure I'm able to help the kids in every way necessary on their new Macs when they get them.

Pics to follow, please let me know how I find the specs of it.

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Old 17th May 2010, 10:55   #2
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^ Funny you mention that. I'm taking a Mac class(It's free at all Apple stores) on the 21st. I want to know very little in two systems.
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Old 17th May 2010, 13:46   #3
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Shouldn't be too different from a PC. Close button is far left. And I heared the allple office thingie is shit compared to microsoft office for mac.
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Old 17th May 2010, 18:17   #4
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Bootcamp

Just saying.

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Old 17th May 2010, 19:33   #5
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I..I...I don't wanna' go to bootcamp!
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Old 17th May 2010, 19:54   #6
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Funny, my school district went mostly PC (except for art/photo classes,) a year or two after the iMac hit mainstream.

The main reason was because at the time Macs did very poorly in a large network enviroment.

There were many unhappy teachers when they did the switch.

And I don't foresee them going back to Macs any time soon, heck they are currently investigating switching their aging Novell servers(LTS support is ending soon) to MS Servers
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Old 17th May 2010, 21:38   #7
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Do they serve kool-aid at the classes, Widdy?

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Old 17th May 2010, 23:35   #8
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Old 18th May 2010, 02:22   #9
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They come with iWork and iLife, both of which are insanely dumbed-down office and media software; either that or I just haven't had enough time to see what it's all capable of.

I did at least learn how to make it distinguish left and right clicks, and I put firefox on it. Startup times from off to working desktop is very fast compared to high-end windows computers.

Bootcamp would be most excellent, but I won't be able to convince the powers that be to get it for me, and placing pirated software on a work computer is asking for trouble. On the picture, I included the birdshit for a color reference.


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Old 18th May 2010, 02:42   #10
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Ahh, found more information.

They decided against the macbook pro, since most teachers can't come close to needing even what's needed here:

Model Name: MacBook
Model Identifier: MacBook6,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.26 GHz
Number of processors: 1
Total number of cores: 2
L2 Cache: 3MB
Memory: 2GB (2x1GB 1067 MHz DDR3)
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boost ROM Version: MB61.00C8.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.51f53
Serial Number: intentionally not typed here
Hardware UUID: probably shouldn't type that either
Sudden Motion Sensor: (this field was blank)
State: Enabled

NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
VRAM: 256MB
Resolution: 1280x800
(other random shit was here)

Anyone know where I can learn to use the stuff on this?

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Old 18th May 2010, 02:55   #11
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apple's website has tutorials for just about everything.

you could also ask. I've been using macs since OS 6; yes OS 6.

iWork really does blow. See if you can convince the school to buy the educational version of office. Should get a fairly good discount on it too.

iLife is not bad, for what it is --- free software bundled with a computer. iPhoto is great, Aperture is better; iMovie is great, Final Cut Pro is better; Garage Band is kick ass, Ableton and/or Logic Studio really whips the llamas ass.

Get the point? Just like Windows, if you want good software you need to pay for it.

When you get sick of running iTunes for music, give Vox a look; its free and great.

edit:

________

You also don't need bootcamp. Running a mac as a native PC is not without issue. Plus, you need to reboot to switch between the two. VMWare fusion is a much better option if you must use Windows. Darwine is also fairly advanced in what it can do.
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Old 18th May 2010, 04:19   #12
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Bootcamp

Just saying.
^ This x1000. Install Windows, then delete the OSX partition and everything will be OK.

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Old 18th May 2010, 10:00   #13
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I know I could Google it, but what the hell is bootcamp? Every time I think I'm learning sumpin" , one of you shows up with a new term. And you know who you are....
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Old 18th May 2010, 12:29   #14
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Bootcamp is a utility made by apple that allows one to take apple hardware and natively boot windows on it. This utility essentially attempts to make the unique mac things work in windows ... things such as the touch mouse they have, bluetooth (not the bluetooth is unique, but the apple drivers for the devices are), etc. Problem is, bootcamp is not without fault and these apple devices don't work that well in a fully native windows world

VMWare, on the otherhand, has most of this worked out via additional compatability drivers that run in the mas OS and translate everything for the virtual windows environment (for lack of a better description). Plus, with VMWare you don't have to reboot your mac if you decide you want to run a windows program ... VMWare is essentially software that allows Windows to run as a virtual workstation as opposed to a physical native workstation.
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Old 18th May 2010, 13:38   #15
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Old 18th May 2010, 15:07   #16
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They come with iWork and iLife, both of which are insanely dumbed-down office and media software; either that or I just haven't had enough time to see what it's all capable of.

From what I heared iWork sucks ass compared to MS office for mac.
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Old 18th May 2010, 20:37   #17
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Isn't there an OpenOffice for mac?

edit: yes there is

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Old 19th May 2010, 11:47   #18
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Macs are evil.
We have them at uni, needless to say photoshop thought 'hey lets crash while we're saving a file' corrupt, lost 5/6 hours of work. Watch out for that. Saving as .psd seems to mess with photoshop.

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Old 19th May 2010, 14:00   #19
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Check the drive that photoshop is using as the temp/scratch. You might be suprised.

I don't know how fully recoverable those photoshop temp files are anymore though. Some say they work, other's don't ... looks like a mixed bag perhaps.
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Old 19th May 2010, 22:08   #20
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Whoa!!! is it a good practice to dual bot my pc? MaC and Window7?
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Old 20th May 2010, 00:15   #21
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I don't have PS on the macbook yet but on my home computer, PS uses excess RAM for scratch/RAMdisc which, while greatly speeding things up, leaves nothing behind when you close.

I'm thinking I should request open office to be added to the whole district's worth of macs. It could make things a lot better in a lot of different ways.

I regret to say that I haven't had a lot of time to play around with it yet, but it looks like iMovie might turn out to be a really good program. I hope it can handle .avi's with bad header information when trying to make DVDs.

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Old 23rd May 2010, 06:39   #22
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I don't have PS on the macbook yet but on my home computer, PS uses excess RAM for scratch/RAMdisc which, while greatly speeding things up, leaves nothing behind when you close.
Can you tell it to use a drive? And if so, would it leave temp files? Because you could probably set up a virtual drive in ram and have the best of both.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 09:09   #23
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Whoa!!! is it a good practice to dual bot my pc? MaC and Window7?
No, you can't install a mac OS on a PC.
If you want to experiment with dualbooting, try windows7 and Linux. Ubuntu is an easy version to start with.

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Old 23rd May 2010, 15:31   #24
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It is indeed a RAMdisc when it's set up for that, but I don't see anything left over on it when I close photoshop. It dumps everything when the computer is powered down anyway.

http://ramdisk.tk/

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Old 25th May 2010, 00:11   #25
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macs actually dump these to file as long as the computer is not rebooted, as the directory they get shoved in gets wiped at reboot/shutdown.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=478795

However, actually recovering anything from these files seems hit or miss.
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:23   #26
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No, you can't install a mac OS on a PC.
Yes you can. It's a real pain, but it's possible. I've done it before.

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Old 26th May 2010, 01:47   #27
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A real pain is an understatment. It massively blows ass to get it up and running. You are better off buying a mini if you want the mac OS that bad.
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Old 26th May 2010, 04:13   #28
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I don't like using OS X on a Mac let alone a PC.

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Old 26th May 2010, 09:39   #29
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Hi,

That was a nice read.


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Old 29th May 2010, 05:07   #30
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Thanks for banning the spam.

I just finished my two day training (about 20 hours if you include the lunches) on Snow Leopard/iLife/iWork, and there are a few things that I really liked:

Podcasts with music or text reading can be made in Garage Band, using images made in iPhoto or any other program that makes PDFs. This podcast can be placed into a Keynote slideshow or Pages document by simply dragging, or could be dropped into iMovie to make a video with other media. This kind of integration of programs is very seamless. The problem with this is that in many cases, only proprietary formats can be used in this way, killing a lot of the more creative ideas I was considering (I'll have to sit down and figure out how to do some conversions to make things less proprietary). It can all be done in Windows programs, better even, but will be harder and will take more time. It's fast, simple, and easy on these machines with this software.

Some limitations: The Macbook I was issued has a built-in mic but no microphone inputs (nor line-in), which limits what one can do with sound work. That took me by surprise, considering my Pentium 1 (MMX) laptop has line-in and mic inputs and was made back in the mid '90s. The Macbook has a proprietary video out plug that requires that I lug around a dongle for conversion to projectors and monitors. It has no firewire, eSATA, or card reader. iWork loses loads of features/formatting when exporting to or importing from MS office or open office formats, even if the non-iWork programs have the same features. Opening the case voids the warranty, so if you want to do a hardware upgrade, you must drive to an Apple store, which for us is over 3 or 3.5 hours away (depending on which one we go to). Our closest Apple stores will not do things over mail/shipping, nor will they finish the work on an "outpatient" basis, meaning you must leave it overnight for a simple RAM or hard drive replacement (they won't let you do it yourself). That means either two round trips (12 hours driving), or one round trip (6 hours driving) plus a hotel stay ($80 for a cheap room). We were told that if they find that you shipped it to someone to bring to them without using their packaging, they will void the warranty.

In some ways, a Macbook can be a perfect solution to a lot of small home or low-level school needs, if you have no intention of working with other computers. Even going Mac to Mac can be problematic if you're using newer software and going to older Mac computers, as true with PCs. These Macs will have some other limitations on a large-network environment such as in our school that we didn't have with the PCs. Without going into detail, Macs are still very new and limited in terms of networking in terms of levels of permissions, sharing settings, server issues, accounts, etc.

Garage Band is excellent entry-level looping software, obviously nothing as good as AcidPro or the like, but is already on the computer rather than a large separate price to pay. In a few cases you can get away from proprietary formats and go for mp3, and that helps, but you can't always do it. iMovie/iDVD are also pretty strong programs for entry level media work, and they're fast/easy to learn. They only accept certain file types, so be ready to convert somewhere else first in many cases. They all work very well together, even with many other programs that I didn't mention that are included with iLife/iWork. iPhoto isn't all that impressive at all. Very bare bones, and many actions for some reason reduce resolution or compress/reduce quality without asking permission or warning you, despite other programs' ability to do the same without said reduction.

The multi-touch touchpad is probably the most impressive feature, something I hope PCs get very soon. You can now right click! Finally! It's about damn time. Because of multi-touch, you can replace a lot of things that you used to set up with hotkeys with multi-finger actions, similar to the iPhone.

My overall impression of this thing is that it is a basic pile of hardware with better graphical user interfaces, better integration, and more user-friendly software, while being overall less detailed, less advanced/capable, and more proprietary in terms of ins/outs, hardware, and file formats than the PCs I have encountered. I realize that in terms of media editing, Macs can really sing with available advanced software, but in office applications, they are painfully inadequate even for high-school level work. MS Publisher and Outlook, programs we depend on daily, are in a league far above iWork programs. Word, Power Point, and Excel are also much more fully featured for high school level (or college/professional level) work. Macs have loads, loads, and more loads of wow factor, but mostly in ways that we'll likely not use, while having less in terms of what we actually do use with the older computers that we'll be selling away in the high school. With these macs that we'll be using, you have a lot less choice and customization with the hardware and software, but at least at the middle school level, they'll be very good, if not a better choice than PCs. I almost wish we could keep these for middle school only and then have good PCs for our high school students, with some MacBook Pro computers for our art department's high school kids. Macs seem simple, and sometimes simple is good; sometimes bad, especially when you miss something from the PC world. I'm sure Mac people say the same about learning PCs.

Keep in mind this is my review based only on two days of training. I may turn out to change my opinions on some of this stuff as time goes by.

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Old 29th May 2010, 17:55   #31
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According to the tech specs, the headphone jack is actually a combined headphone/line-in/digital out jack.

Jeez, it's bad enough that PC makers started combining the mic/line-in jacks, now Apple takes it one step further.

Oh well, you can get USB sound cards, or even USB mixers.
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Old 29th May 2010, 20:22   #32
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Well that sucks, now you can't have in and out going at the same time, like if you want to do dj work (line-in from mixer or mic while line out goes to amp/speakers), or while gaming, or telephoning - mic and headphone style headset, etc. That's a really stupid design if you ask me. The external stuff is just a pain if you ask me, especially if the feature is common on other laptops.

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Old 29th May 2010, 23:50   #33
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Interesting, after doing some digging, apparently the jack on the newer MacBooks works with iPhone-compatible headsets. That does make it a little better, at least for gaming and teleconferencing. Otherwise, a bluetooth headset could also work.
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Old 30th May 2010, 06:59   #34
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That further makes me hate Mac's yearning for proprietary shit. Look at the iPad for example. Despite costing over a half grand, no USB, just the stupid doc connection.

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Old 30th May 2010, 14:07   #35
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That does make it a little better, at least for gaming and teleconferencing.
Now if you tell me what gaming headset is compatible with the iPhone...

But it doesn't really matter, you can't play games on a Mac anyways.
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Old 30th May 2010, 14:44   #36
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Apple keeps things proprietary so they can keep their shit working, which I believe you commented on how much you liked the seamless integration of software.

You also are not going to DJ from the macs stock sound card; it's simply not good enough. You either purchase a usb sound card of some flavor or you buy mixers and decks with it already built in.
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Old 30th May 2010, 18:34   #37
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I still don't understand why they couldn't integrate with simple .avi or .mp3 etc. I really think they could increase their usability and presence in the market share if they would be more compatible.

Many of Garage Band's features pretty much need both an external mic or source of line-in while still having a separate port for amp/speakers. It just seems to be too much of a corner cut to give just one plug.

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Old 30th May 2010, 18:37   #38
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Now if you tell me what gaming headset is compatible with the iPhone...
Actually, what I had originally thought was that the jack could only do one or the other as far as headphones and mic is concerned, but the fact that you can plug in an iPhone headset means you can get a iPhone to PC headset adaptor. I still think it is stupid that you have to use an adapter.
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But it doesn't really matter, you can't play games on a Mac anyways.
Actually, Valve recently released Steam for Macs and is currently porting their Source games to Macs.
http://store.steampowered.com/news/3569/

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You also are not going to DJ from the macs stock sound card; it's simply not good enough. You either purchase a usb sound card of some flavor or you buy mixers and decks with it already built in.
True, USB mixers are pretty common nowadays, you can get 4 channel USB mixers for around 100$ easy. Just plug in the USB mixer to the USB port and it will show up as an audio device.
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Old 30th May 2010, 18:43   #39
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Apple are evil.

OS X is basically a shiny version of freeBSD.

Macs are just hardware restricted PCs. (Which could explain there push into mobile/portable devices, if you can't make a decent dent in market make your own -which also in turn would boost their mac sales since they hope people will switch.)

I've avoided this thread since it's inception and ugh basically ugh Apple. (Of course Microsoft are evil too, don't forget that or that most gnu/linux distros are cobbled together.)

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Old 30th May 2010, 18:43   #40
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Forced to learn Mac, have you hmm?

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