Mac OS-X for Windows users

August 10, 2010

mac

As a part of my site restoration, this page was salvaged and may not be up to date I just got my Macbook a few days ago but I've been a Linux user for 9 years and a Windows user for too long to remember so this was kinda of a shock for me. The purpose of this article is to document what I found strange or hard to find and solutions to what I'd think are common problems for first-time Mac users.

Installing new programs

To install new programs you download the programs in so-called .dmg files but they contain the program. When you double click the file the computer will create a virtual drive on your desktop (simular to if you inserted a cd rom) but if you double-click the drive you'll see the contents. To install the program onto your computer, drag the program from the drive to your Applications folder (hit SHIFT+MAC+A to make it popup).

Right clicking

I got terrified when I saw that the touchpad on the Macbook only had ONE button. But to right click you simply hold the CTRL button while pressing it for the secondary action. You can also just plug an external USB mouse instead, much easier.

Where are all my windows?

Alt+Tab shows some of the windows currently open but I find it unpleasant that some of the windows are hidden somewhere behind others and its hard to find them back. To solve that problem you can use F9, F10 and F11 on your keyboard but with those buttons you can rearrange windows or move them back.

MSN Messenger

For those who use MSN as a chat program it's essential to have a good client on Mac as well. AdiumX is a chat program but it supports MSN, Jabber (Gtalk), AIM, Yahoo, ICQ and many other protocols so it's pretty nice to have only one program even if your friends are using different networks.

VNC Viewer

Not too different from Remote Desktop, VNC is mostly used to connect into other machines and there are daemons and clients available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. The program that you'd use on Mac to connect to other computers is called Chicken of the VNC.

Browser, the Firefox

Safari isn't all bad but I find that Firefox is much better because I can run it on all my machines (win, linux, mac) with the same extensions and it's exactly the same everywhere. I recommend that you download Firefox

WMV and Xvid on MacOS-X Intel

I want to start with recommending VLC for all general viewing purposes. However if you like Frontrow (media center thingy) you'll also need this. To be able to play WMV files through Quicktime you'll need Flip4Mac from Microsoft. For Xvid and DivX you can get Perian instead if being stuck with the very commercial Divx package.

Connecting to Windows network shares

I was unable to browse for my Linux fileserver so I thought I'd mention how to connect directly to a fileserver if you know its name or IP address. Click the desktop, then your menu changes and in the top left corner it should say Finder. Now click "Go > Connect to Server" if you know the name or IP address type it in like this: "smb://nameoripaddress". Then either click 'Connect' or the plus sign to add it to bookmarks. If you don't know the name or IP you can try your luck with the 'Browse' button.

Firefox keeps poluting my desktop

If for some reason Firefox keeps filling up your desktop with every file you decide to open on the Internet you need to open up 'Safari' (yeah, you heard me) and go into 'Preferences' and then change the default download location to something else. Personally I want those files in /tmp (old Linux habbit)