Thursday, November 11, 2010

My New Baby Makes Me Cry

So, I have come to realize that getting your first Mac is a lot like having your first kid*. You have this awesome thing that you have been excited about for so long, and now it's right here! Right in front of you!

And you have no idea what to do with it.

And instead of enjoying this thing that you've been wanting and waiting for, you just sit in the corner and cry because it is such a freaking mystery to you.

This is how I'm feeling about my Mac right now. It's super cool, and I'm way stoked on it, but I have no clue how to work it. I keep trying to do things and end up accidentally erasing what I've written. I hear about how people do things with their Macs, but I have no idea how to even get there. I just check my e-mail and then stare at it, hoping it will open its mouth and tell me all of its secrets.

It took me two entire days to realize I never got any kind of Word-type program on it**. Ooops. So much for using it to write, huh***? So I need to do that, I guess. Along with lord knows what else I need to do to figure out this mystery.

Do you guys have any website suggestions for new Mac users? I'm trying to feel like a cool Mac owner, but I'm such a poser right now****.

* Not that I would know anything about having a kid. This is all speculation here. 

** I'm totally planning on getting Scrivener, too, so no need to suggest it. 

*** Right now I'm at Panera trying to write and I'm on my Dell, which is trying to slowly drive me insane. 

**** This entire post also can be applied to my new HTC Evo, which is equally as mysterious as the Mac, if not more. I literally have no idea how to use that thing. So I am also taking suggestions for websites that can help me there, too. It makes noise and I just *stare* at it. 


  1. Hmm does Open Office work on the Mac? I use that to write, because it is very similar to it is free!

  2. The great thing about a Mac (and an HTC!) is like a kid, after a while you adapt and figure out what all the weird little noises mean.

    It takes a while, but you'll get there!


  3. LIZ! I didn't even think about Open Office! I'll have to try that when I get home.

  4. MacBook=baby. So true.

    I can't help you with the free classes. I bought my Mac at the Apple store and signed up for their One to One classes, which also included a data transfer and a years' worth of classes. I do think that if you have a project you're working on, you can go in and work on it and if you have a question, they have to help you. Just for being a Mac owner. I know my local Apple store usually has group workshops, which I think are free, so maybe call and get some info if you have a store near you?

    Even with Scrivener, eventually you'll need to move it over from Scrivener to a regular program for submissions, etc. Just get iWork. It's cheaper than Office for Mac, and has all the Office-like programs, and in Pages (Mac's version of Word), you can save docs as a pages document, a .doc, or a .pdf, all right in the menu. And it's easy to use.

  5. I've had a make for about 4 years now and all I've used it for was to take notes in class, play dvds to keep other peoples' kids quiet, itunes and internet. I hear it is great once you get the hang of the command functions. Don't give up like I did! Now I have a mac collecting dust. Lucky I didn't pay that much for it.

  6. Anna - so true about the noises. My phone beeps and I'm like, what does that mean? Do you have an e-mail? A text? Just tell me what you're doing!

    I keep getting gchats on my phone but I have NO IDEA WHERE THEY GO.

    But I still love it.

  7. I am lucky enough to have a Mac-obsessed uncle who was able to teach me how to use my MacBook. He also told me that I should also be able to go into an Apple store and ask for help with any technical questions at the "Genius Bar."

    Maybe try looking for books at your local library too. There is probably a Mac for Dummies or some kind of how-to book for new Mac owners. Good luck!

  8. Warning: This is kinda over the place. Feel free to tweet me for more if you want. A lot of what you know on a PC will transfer over as far as shortcuts. Just use the Open-Apple key instead. Open Apple-A is usually select all, Open Apple S is generally save, etc. You can also learn some by going to the Apple Menu: System Preferences: Keyboard, then up top Keyboard shortcuts. If you're not using a mouse ctrl-click will act like a right-click. If you're in finder Open Apple-N will open a new Finder window. You can drag things to the left column that you want to get to quickly. (For example I added my Writing folder to mine.

    You should have TextEdit on there. You can save as (or open) .txt, .rtf, or .doc among other things. There's also GoogleDocs - though I'd recommend reading their terms/privacy before using it for your writing.

    You can open your applications menu and drag the the ones you'll use a lot to your doc to get to them quickly. You can drag your doc to the side if you wish or set it to always appear or only show up when you scroll over - Go to the Apple Menu and look at Dock. The little white lines (probably before a blue folder) will

    I really like using Spaces. I set up 6 spaces and Space 1 is my internet general stuff, Space 2 is my writing area (I do have at least Text Edit and Finder on all the spaces), Space 3 is for multimedia (iTunes), Space 4 is for image editing (look at gIMP - it's free), Space 5 is games and Space 6 I have free (Finder). The writing Space eliminates distractions and since I use a larger resolution I like having the whole screen for image editing. You can set it up so ctrl and the number will take you right to that Space (i.e. Ctrl-6 gets me to Space 6.)

    I use Apple's Mail and got this so if I have unread mail it shows me unread messages in the top menu bar: (If you have rules set to auto filter your mail you may want it to only alert you to new mail in your inbox.

    At a NaNo Write-in I was just introduced to this timer Widget (for Dashboard):

    For Twitter I like Tweetie: I got the free one. I think Twitter disallowed ads so I don't see them now.

    Go through your System Preferences and look around. There's a lot you can customize to make it comfortable. Even if you don't want to change it yet you might want to later and then you'll know it's something you can change.

    Hope that helps some. Like above: if you have more specific questions or whatever get me on Twitter!

  9. Oh... for what it's worth - I use Google for my mail and calendar but then use Apple's Mail and iCal. I can get to it online on another device if needed but I like it being on my laptop for the most part.

  10. If you go to the apple website, they have some tutorials online. If you end up buying iWork, each program has its own little tutorial video that plays the first time you start it up.

    When I first got my mac, I inserted a disc and didn't know how to get it out, so I just left it in there for several days. Finally my H told me all you have to do is drag the disc icon to the trash can and it ejects. I felt like such an idiot. So don't worry - you're not alone!

  11. You might get a discount on Office for the Mac...I believe I did b/c I was in school. I wonder if they have a teacher discount too, maybe.

    And as a parent and Mac owner you are totally right Baby=Mac! At least the Mac doesn't spit up on you or demand to be fed at 3am! :)

  12. I have nothing to add to this post other than it has completely amused me.

    And despite your woes, I still want a Mac.

  13. Looks like you got a lot of great responses here.. I just wanted to tell you that this post made me crack up and I love it so.

  14. I was in your boat, and I even told you on twitter about my issues. I loved my Mac Book Pro, it was super cool, but at the end of the day I couldn't use my many programs that I depend on and I was facing buying some of them new just so I could use them on the Mac. I loved it, I truly did, but I ended up taking it back and getting a Sony VAIO, which I love. I was heartbroken that I couldn't join the Mac fan club, but really, I just needed a PC that I could use Word to write, and be able to get online, Photoshop for graphics, and I was not willing to give up my AOL mail. I downloaded the Mac version of AOL and that was the deciding factor, it just wasn't the same. One day I may get one just to have for fun, or even the ipad, which looks cool, but right now I'm too busy to invest the time. Best of luck to you, the only advice I can offer is to check out YouTube. When in doubt I can always find how to guides there that help. Keep us posted on how it's going!

  15. Too afraid of MAC...