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Thu, Sep. 1st, 2005, 10:58 am

Sorry about the silence. I've been a tad busy moving, and just now adjusting to classes. Speaking of which, we're using Macs in our pixel painting lab, so here's what I had to say about it while I was in class:
Day 1: Mac OS X has some interesting differences from the Window-IBM operating systems that I'm more accustomed to. I'm having problems 'locating' programs to launch them. The dock menu is a useful tool, and not as obnoxious as a particular video editor described it. I also notice that the OS isn't in-your-face: the program bar (console) changes with each program -- an important difference from Windows, yes!

The machine itself is somewhat perplexing in its efficiency. I had difficulty finding the switch to turn it on, much to my technophileembarrassment. The entire machine is consolidated down to one big slab,with the LCD monitor embedded in the front. The design sense is veryminimalist, but aesthetic: smooth curves, lots of transparent surfaces, and a saturation of perfectly placed Macintosh logos. I've only seen evidence of one drive: a vertical slot on the right side of the monitor, about ten centimeters long. As Lee once humorously illustrated, the drivesare operating solely by the OS software. Uh-oh! I'm foreseeing that I'm going to have difficulty adjusting to that. The mouse, yes, has only one seamless button -- an absolutely symmetrical plastic mound. The keyboard is more compact than the IBM-types I usually work with. Not many differences in content, though. The File keys go all the way out to "F16". Well! A "print screen" button would be nice, but none is seen. I'll bet it is possible to copy a screenshot to the clipboard, or do something like it. Wait, Mac OS X has a clipboard, right?

Many of those old handy Window tricks work here, too. Alt-Tab has turned into Apple-Tab, but it feels like the same. Oh, hell, it is. Now I just have to figure out what the Alt/Option button is for, and how to use it. The "control" button is more important in OS X. Important update: Alt works like control does on -- Aoki-sensei just indirectly gave me the STFU, so going to stop typing now. :x

Thu, Sep. 1st, 2005 08:32 pm (UTC)

Just keep pressing the Alt/Option key at random times, and you'll probably learn what it does soon enough!

Thu, Sep. 1st, 2005 11:44 pm (UTC)

I found out that if hold down the Alt key while pushing the left or right arrow keys, it lets you skip one word at a time (much as ctrl does on IBM machines). Doing the same with Control on a Mac lets you skip to the front or end of an entire line of text. How handy!

Sat, Sep. 3rd, 2005 12:55 pm (UTC)

...skip to the front or end of an entire line of text.

Just like the Home and End keys? *grin*

Sat, Sep. 3rd, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)

No! Just the line, instead of the entire block of text. It gives you another option in text navigation, although one I'm not likely to use that much.

Sat, Sep. 3rd, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)

Um, in the Windows-based text editors I use, Home and End take you to the beginning and end of a line of text, too. Maybe you're thinking of Ctrl-Home and Ctrl-End? Those take you to the beginning and end of document...Ctrl-Up Arrow and Ctrl-Down Arrow do the same for paragraphs.

Thu, Sep. 1st, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC)

Just dropping by, via Friends of Friends. ^_^ There's a ridiculously complete list of shortcuts here, but for taking a screenshot, you want either cmd-shift-3 (whole screen) or cmd-shift-4 (use Space to toggle between any selected area, and a particular window). The result'll appear on the desktop as something like "Picture 1.png", which you can then drop into an email or IM chat.

Don't forget Exposé.. f9 arranges all the open windows so they're all visible simultaneously, f10 does that for only the windows of the current application, but the most fun is f11, shuffling everything offscreen to expose the desktop fully. (Shift+f11 etc does the same, but in slow motion :)

If you'd prefer different key combinations, just go to the Keyboard & Mouse section in System Preferences, over to the "Keyboard Shortcuts" tab.

Don't forget you can add your frequently-used applications to the Dock - just drop the icon onto it. Or, you could even use Spotlight - cmd-Space, start typing the app's name, and pick it from the list it pops up.

(And, while I'm at it, I'll put in a good word for OmniWeb, which I still feel knocks the socks off any other browser for sheer elegance, even if it does lack Firefox's quite wonderful extensibility)

Thu, Sep. 1st, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)

Ahh, thanks! I suppose I should figure out how the drive and file structure of OS X works before I try to do any fancy interfacing, but damn it, I like doing things in style.

Fri, Sep. 2nd, 2005 03:10 am (UTC)

I'm fond of macs, though I've never owned one. From what I've read, it does some pretty clever things. And OSX is made of Unix, so yay.