first weekend with my new mac

I got my first Mac in 12 years a few days ago.  On Friday, I was able to surf the net.  Now I’ve advanced to doing almost everything I need except for development tools.

What I liked a lot:

  1. It still feels like home
  2. The trackpad lets you scroll so easily.
  3. iChat – thanks Scott! – only important setup was to check the box to automatically save transcripts on the messages part of preferences.
  4. My laser printer worked out of the box. I didn’t need to configure anything!
  5. Ejecting a CD/DVD is a lot more intuitive now than ejecting a disk was on the old Macs. Hmm, is dragging the disk to the trash can going to eject it or wipe it clean. The current icon to eject matches DVD players and is something most people are used to. There’s even a physical button on the keyboard. I also notice that dragging a disk to trash is still an option. This is actually nice in that it doesn’t change the behavior users who have been around a long time are used to. I was upset at how Windows moved everything in Office 2007 as I now waste time finding features. Apple moved things, but not in a way that makes them hard to find.
  6. Having a real UNIX command line and real UNIX system under the hood.

What I found unintuitive: (none of this is terrible, but it takes a little getting used to)

  1. When I wasn’t in stretch resolution, the browser didn’t extend to use the full screen real estate. I get that this is a “feature”, but if all I am using is the browser, I want to use the whole screen!
  2. To look at the site stats for this blog, one needs Flash. The first time I went to that page in Safari it said “missing plugin.” Fair enough. I click on it and get a message that the type is unspecified. This is probably WordPress’s fault and not Apple’s, but still unintuitive.
  3. I keep forgetting that there isn’t isn’t a pop-up when a download has started and then I start it twice. I have to remember to check the downloads list to see it is in progress. Some visual feedback on .dmg files would be nice. (It looks like if I already have the download window open, it does come to the front.)
  4. I understand why secondary clicking is off by default on the trackpad – whether you want bottom right or two finger touch is a personal preference. The default of neither is a surprise though. “right clicking” to choose a command is pretty common.
  5. How to find Mac Help – go to finder and choose help/mac help
  6. I blame Google or Adobe for this since other sites work just fine, but I have the problem where the cursor disappears in plain text mode when using the arrow keys.  The solution will be to get used to using rich text mode.  This was reported over a year ago and I can’t believe nobody fixed.
  7. How to run something as root/admin: “sudo command”.  This *should* be non-intuitive so people don’t do it by accident!
  8. Closing an app via the red x doesn’t release resources. This is actually easier to remember now as it shows up in the Doc. You actually need to quit the app.  This I did remember from last time, but it isn’t obvious.

Interesting configuration:

  1. I understand why secondary clicking is off by default on the trackpad – whether you want bottom right or two finger touch is a personal preference.  The default of neither is a surprise though.  “right clicking” to choose a command is pretty common.
  2. Need to enter your admin password when installing Flash but not Chrome.
  3. Turn on status bar in Safari so can see URLs before click on them.

Some maintenance tasks:

  1. Let battery run down to zero
  2. Checked all hardware works
  3. Print Safari keyboard shortcuts and Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts to start learning them.
  4. Buy a Mac wired keyboard.  I wanted the number pad and navigation options.  I also prefer not to have to replace batteries in as many things.
  5. Buy external hard drive.  Time machine is very easy to use.  Plug it in and go.
  6. Copied files in My Documents folder to Mac via a flash drive.

Installed after first day:

  1. Flash
  2. ClamXAV – Consensus says you don’t need anti-virus. I feel better having it though and know at least one person who does on a Mac. I think it’s cool they include in the feature list that you can use regular expressions!  Not that I’ll need to, but it’s nice someone thinks it is important.
  3. Open Office – The editing I do on my home computer is pretty light.  Except for the time I was preparing for The Server Side Java Symposium and needed PowerPoint.  I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
  4. Skype
  5. Dropbox
  6. Postgres and pgadmin – I got a message “Your system seems to be set up with less than 32MB shared memory”.  The postgres readme clearly explained what to do about it.
  7. Tomcat – this was the first thing I downloaded that assumes you know Mac is a UNIX system.  Granted postgres required that knowledge to install, but not to download.  Not a bad assumption since it is a developer tool of course.  I didn’t untar it/install since I’m not up to testing an application locally yet.
  8. Assorted Safari plugins.  (this seems like a good blog post in itself).  I will say at this time that I like how fast the plugins install.  The first two I tried didn’t work until I restarted Safari.  Would have been nice to a prompt to this effect.
  9. Regular readers of this blog may note that Eclipse is not on the list.  Since Indigo comes out in about a week, I’m going to wait for that to install Eclipse.  I can do any development on my old machine until then.

4 thoughts on “first weekend with my new mac

  1. Pingback: my first mac in 12 years | Down Home Country Coding With Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky

  2. I can’t never get used to this mac “feathre”:
    delete a file in Finder and instead of the next file is selected, you’re bumpted all the way back to the top. This forced me to find an alternative to Finder…

  3. Pingback: installing postgres and tomcat on the mac | Down Home Country Coding With Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky

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