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Apr 3

My PowerBook Saga from a Windows User Perspective, pt. 2

Posted on Friday, April 3, 2009 in Uncategorized

Mac Mysteries

Needing to learn how to use the PowerBook included reading a couple of books. I didn’t have to, it’s not that hard, but I wanted to immerse myself in the new world of Leopard.

If I was going to use the PowerBook I needed software. While Leopard comes with quite a nice collection of software, I knew what I liked and how I wanted my computer to serve me.

It took a while to adjust to a few things:
– Keyboard shortcuts are even more necessary to learn than in Windows but I’ve learned to like them.
– I endlessly have to correct myself when switching between OSX and Windows shortcuts, they are different…and messing up is exasperating!
– Programs didn’t open to a full screen; they only opened far enough to display what was necessary. Sufficient, but not my preference.
– There is no keyboard shortcut [that I know of] to expand a program to cover the full screen.

Installing the Basics

Not wanting to pay a king’s ransom for Microsoft Office I promptly downloaded the free NeoOffice. Like it’s older cousin Open Office it does a very good job for most, if not all office tasks. NeoOffice is a strong and capable program, but I still like Powerpoint better.

FYI, this blog has all been typed in NeoOffice.

By the way, sometimes I like editing documents when I do not have my computer with me and I use Thinkfree online office software which worked effectively on the MacBook too.

Safari is a decent web browser, but I love the add-ons I use with the Firefox web browser. I couldn’t do without several of them! For instance, I would hate to surf the recesses of the web without McAfee SiteAdvisor warning me about bad web sites.

I like webmail and no longer use Outlook Express, Outlook or Thunderbird.

On the other hand, I love Palm Desktop and installed that to keep my Palm-based Sony Clie’ PDA humming. While it looks different than the Windows version (and that took some getting used to) it works effectively. Effectively syncing my PDA is critical to making the Mac transition.

On my PCs I use several media players, sometimes for variety, other times because one MP performs a task better than another.

Entering the Mac world I was worried that Leopard would not have media players to play the many multimedia formats that my music is saved in. Further complicating matters is that I don’t have an Ipod and having used Itunes before I found it slowed my computers considerably. Fortunately, VLC plays most media files, Flip4Mac allows my Mac to play Windows’ WMA and WMV files and Switch allowed me to convert media files to different formats when I chose to do so.

All the software I installed was free, legal and available online.

Specialized Software

While most people will be happy with the Ilife software provided with Leopard, NeoOffice, Firefox and VLC, I had some other specific needs to address.

In XP I love using RoboForm to save my web site login passwords, but 1Password does a great job on my Mac.

I read digital comic books, FFView and Jomic takes care of those needs.

FFView and Jomic are free, 1Password is not.

Thanks for reading, next time: Hits, Misses and Unresolved Issues

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