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Info on PC to Mac Switching

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by nu2scene, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. nu2scene


    Sep 27, 2007
    Las Vegas
  2. Yep, Walt is looking ahead to the probable "halo effect" which will undoubtedly come into play after people who haven't had an Apple product before or who maybe have had an older iPod decide to buy the new 3G iPhone (coming to us on July 11th).....and who subsequently say, "WOW!! Apple products are NEAT! Let's take a look at the Mac....."

    For many people the path to Mac goodness has come through the iPod or more recently, the (original) iPhone. For others it has come after frustration with Windows. In my case it was the latter. I bought my first Mac (G5 iMac in late 2005) because I was having problems with my PC, having both hardware and software problems and said, "AAAAAAAAGH!!!" A friend had recently bought a Mac and her enthusiasm caught my attention so I decided to learn a little bit more about this strange new world she had entered..... I wavered for a while, then finally stuck my toe in, saying to myself that if I didn't like this new Mac thing I could return it and get a new Windows PC...... Well, long story short, I fell in love with the iMac, with the Mac platform (OS), with everything about it and that took care of any further experiences with Windows for me. Anyway, about a month or so after I bought the iMac one day I decided to explore what this whole iTunes thing was about. I'd seen people using iPods but didn't know much about them except that they had something to do with iTunes....

    Yeah. Figured it out, was hooked, and of course I just had to have an iPod then, to use with the wonderful new iTunes program I'd just discovered on my Mac! LOL!!! (Yes, I actually had iTunes on my Windows machine but had never tried to use it.) So the "halo effect" in reverse for me: Mac computer first, THEN iPod....

    Times changed (rapidly!) and we were suddenly in a whole new era -- INTEL processors! For many people, the Mac now has a whole new appeal because one can not only use OS X but also Windows as well on the same machine. Now THAT's pretty cool!

    It has been fascinating on MacRumors (the other site at which I hang out when I'm not here at the Cafe), seeing the ever-increasing influx of new members who are new to the Mac..... Apple is definitely on the rise and Walt (who often writes about the Mac or Apple technology) is right on with his timing as far as this article goes. Another columnist who also often writes about the Mac and Apple products is David Pogue.
  3. I don't know. I'm a software developer so probably not representative, but when people ask me to "show them the mac" I usually show them spotlight: something like find me a picture that has dog in the name, was taken a month ago, with 85 mm f1.4 lens at aperture f2.8. Or find a word document authored by me that has specific words in it and was created in June last year. Etc. These are all not very complex queries.

    Then I show them expose and spaces, and if they are more technical I show them the power of terminal, e.g. run the same query as above, but then execute a complex command on the results (for example back up what you find or email it).

    If they are not impressed by this point, mac is not for them :D 
  4. oddstray


    Jul 29, 2007
    San Diego
    I'm a recent PC-to-Apple switchee. Clearly you know how to use Spotlight much more effectively than I do, because I couldn't do those sorts of queries! I haven't yet decided whether the Apple documentation is lame or whether I simply haven't grasped their paradigm. So can I be lazy and ask for a "Spotlight queries" lesson?
  5. Don't know why, when for years I had no hesitation about digging around in the Windows Registry, but Terminal scares me.....
  6. I find it's always better to use Google to find any help. Apple help files are very very terse and not much useful is in them.

    Spotlight is really easy to use, at the very basic level you just type a string and you get a matches. However it is usually better to restrict you searches further. If for example you are looking for images there is no point in getting documents that match the string as well. Spotlight knows about well over 200 types of meta data (i.e. data that describes data) including things like



    So, for example if you want to restrict the search to only images, and you are looking for image named Ginger, you would type the following to the spotlight menu (command+space brings it up)

    kind:image Ginger

    this will give you list of all images that have Ginger in the name.

    What if you want all images of Ginger you took on New Year's Day 2008 and you used flash, you would type

    kind:image flash:1 created:1/1/2008 Ginger

    Or, if you want all images you ever took without flash

    kind:image flash:0

    Or what if you want all images you ever took at aperture 2.8:

    kind:image fstop:2.7-2.9

    Note the weird range expression fstop:2.7-2.8 i.e. all images that have fstop between 2.7 and 2.9. This is because my Nikon cameras record the fstop as something like 2.799999952316284 instead of 2.8, so the above includes them all.

    What if you want all Word documents that have been created yesterday:

    kind:document created:yesterday

    (this one is quite natural, and you can also use today, this week, this year)

    to use ranges of dates you would do something like

    kind:document created:1/1/2008-/2/2/2008

    to find all documents created between new year's and february 2 in 2008.

    Now, the really neat thing is that if you find you are using these searches a lot, you can actually save them.

    They are saved as a folder accessible from Finder. You just double click on the folder and in the background the spotlight populates on the fly what is in the folder (the results of the query).

    So, if you create a search that looks for all images you took with flash, and later on you upload more images and some of them are with flash, they will automatically show up in the search folder. Pretty neat.

    Now, all this is also available from the spotlight window (Option+Command+Space brings spotlight window). This allows you construct queries graphically and also save them.

    And most powerful of all is the terminal version of spotlight, where you can do even more sophisticated things. The two commands mdfind and mdls are extremely useful, but I won't go into that (probably too Geeky :D ).
  7. Well terminal is more powerful and that can be scary esp. since you can indeed do a lot of damage if you do not know what you are doing. You can do way more than what you can do from the GUI, and faster, but it does have a learning curve associated with it.

    But most people like it after they get the gist of it and get hooked on the power and speed.
  8. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  9. I was never actually arguing that everyone should be using the terminal, and even less to like it. My only point was that it is the most powerful interface and certainly the fastest (to do your work in). Some things simply can't be done from the GUI, and some don't translate well.

    Working on the terminal means interacting with a specific shell, and shells are full fledged programming languages. It also means touch typing is helpful. It also means knowing VI/VIM well to edit your command lines fast is extremely helpful. But once you get over that (it takes a year or two for programmers even), then you get hooked to it.

    I realize this is not for everyone, and certainly not the average user.

    But on the other hand, in Mac OS X, the spotlight brings the glimpse of the power of the command line. Just press command space and type a few letters of the application or document you want to open and it's there as a top hit. Way faster than taking your hands off the keyboard (presumably they were there to begin with :D ), grabbing the mouse, finding your mouse cursor, clicking on doc or even worse, finder, then applications then scrolling to find your app or document, then double clicking it.

    By the time average user does the above, I'll be editing the document already, and if the change is simple be done with it :D .
  10. I was in my local apple store the other day, playing with a new mac and Aperture.

    They're nice, visually. But, this is purely a personal thing, and I know you'd need to adjust to it, but I just couldn't get used to the feel of a mac, the single click mouse and Option key etc.

    My business is at a point now, where bookings are quite regular. And, I'm now reluctant to switch workflow away from ViewNX and CaptureNX2
  11. especially at the cost of a couple of new snob lenses
  12. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  13. Bingo! Cost has kept me away as well. Twice now, I have considered making the move to Mac. Twice now, the price has beaten me away.

    That's not even figuring in the cost of new software.

  14. I think both the perceptions that terminal is some scary place to delve into or that it some dangerous tool to be handled gingerly are wrong.

    The fact of computing life is that some things can only be done directly from the command line. This applies to all platforms. Can someone use them without needing to do this? Certainly.

    I use Terminal manily to administer my website as somethings are far more conveniently done this way. With a Mac, I can shell in as root in Terminal and go for it. An FTP client can be used but it is really clunky and has limited permissions anyway.

    I am not a power user by any means but have been able to learn what I need to do through the power of the web and can do them.
  15. Mac mouse is a 4 button mouse with scroll wheel. The default settings do not turn on the right click button, but you can change it in the preferences (I certainly do). Also, you can hook any other mouse if you want to (I used to use Microsoft mouse with my Mac for a while).
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