Category Archives: Apple

On Apple Macs

Apple Command Key by Fi20100, on Flickr

Apple Command Key by Fi20100, on Flickr

In late 2009, I finally purchased my first Mac. My five-year-old self-built PC was on its last legs, and I had coveted a Mac Pro for some time. Alas, this was somewhat out of my budget and I settled for a Mac Mini (since passed on to my parents when I purchased a MacBook Pro the following summer).

I had intended at the time to document the transition from Windows to Mac but never got round to it, so this will be a series of occasional retrospective posts on the practicalities of that transition.

Moving from a PC to a Mac did take some getting used to. As a power user, I found that re-learning keyboard shortcuts was most challenging – I continued to use a PC at work, and still do, which probably didn’t help. Most common shortcuts were pretty much the same, substituting  (Command) for Ctrl in shortcuts such as Ctrl + C (copy), Ctrl + P (print) and so on.

More challenging to commit to muscle memory were those that were more significantly different. The trickiest was getting used to ⌘ + O for open, rather than Enter/Return, closely followed by ⌘ + Tab to change between applications being distinct from ⌘ + ` to change between windows within an application. This is quite unlike Microsoft Windows, which makes no such distinction with Alt + Tab to cycle between all open windows, regardless of application. Other things such as the inability to cut files (only to copy/paste them) also initially threw me.

After a few months, this ceased to be an real problem – I guess my muscle-memory just adapted to using both systems on a daily basis. There are still moments when I curse that MacOS X doesn’t have something Windows has, or that Windows does something illogical when the equivalent is very straightforward on MacOS X. But generally I am well settled into the Mac world, which I generally prefer to battling with Windows, and when the time comes I suspect that this MacBook Pro will be replaced by a MacBook Air…