I just switched from Windows to Mac. Now what? I was counting on no adjustment to a different computer. I didn’t know what I needed to know; I couldn’t even begin to ask the right questions. So here I am with my shiny new Mac. Now what?
When someone showed me the power button at the lower back of the computer that was at least a start; I know how to turn the computer on. I felt pretty encouraged when I saw the beautiful screen. Colors seem super vivid. Apple says the screen is backlit and has an enormous number of pixels. This means that I’m looking at a screen that’s even sharper than an HD TV.
Sure is pretty, but where are my documents? Well, I’m told that I can use the externals that I was already accustomed to using such as my USB flash drive. I can plug my flash drive, for example, into the USB port in the back. An icon will show on my Desktop and I can double-click to open any file. My external hard drive that I bought to back up files, to transport really large files and for extra storage will work well via the Firewire port located on the back. Files can be copied onto the Desktop simply by dragging them. I could drag them into folders that I create either on the Desktop or in the Document folder on the Desktop.
What about my files on the “H” drive (It’s the Home drive on a Mac.)? How do I access those using my new Mac? This task takes a few steps but only the first time. Here goes. Click on the Go menu. Select Connect to Server. Choose from the list or type the name of your server. For example, ITS staff would type “admin3.smith.edu.” Click OK. Now, log on with your username and password. Good. You’ll see that an icon has mounted on the Desktop. Double click and in the directory window you will be able to navigate to your “HOME” location on the server and then your personal folder that has your username on it. To avoid many steps each time that you want to reach your Home drive, drag your new Home drive icon to the Dock. When you want to access your files on your Home drive then click on the icon on your Dock. Log in.
The Dock is a fancy bar at the bottom of the screen that “docks” my most likely to be used applications (software). I can add more applications by dragging an icon onto the Dock and I can delete the ones displayed by dragging an icon off the Dock. That is, I can add or delete the icon for an application simply by dragging and dropping. The Dock has a second purpose of holding an icon for each of my open and minimized windows. These will always appear at the right end of the Dock. And, one more thing: I can click on the icon on the Dock for each of my open applications in order to switch from one to the other.
Of course, I discovered that there is no “My Computer” on a Mac, however; if I double click on my Macintosh HD icon in the upper right corner of the Desktop, I’ll see the Finder directory that reminds me very much of Windows Explorer (the Windows directory).
One of the first things that I noticed about my Desktop was that it had a folder called Documents. It’s just like old times with My Documents on my Windows-based computer.
Trash is still Trash. I can drag icons or files or folders to the Trash which sits on the right end of the Dock. Empty the Trash by clicking on the Trash icon or by going to the Apple menu and selecting “Empty Trash.”
I used to change time, display and other settings on my PC from my Control Panel. I can do the same by going to the Apple menu and choosing System Preferences.
There is so much more to tell, of course, but all the information about what’s alike and what’s different about a Mac compared to a Windows machine is extremely simple and easy to understand. I recommend viewing the brief video tutorials at apple.com:
Additional information can be found at:
Apple Mail FAQs and setup instructions can be found at: