Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 6, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

MY DAY....Blogging was light today for two reasons, one obvious and one not. The obvious one, of course, was today's 7-hour Wimbledon marathon. As you all know, I'm totally in the tank for Roger Federer, so I was sad to see him lose his chance to be the first player to win six in a row in the modern era. Still, if he was going to lose, this was the way to do it. Tennis doesn't get much better than this.

The nonobvious reason is that I decided, almost on a whim, to buy a MacBook today. Call it a semi-whim, anyway. My requirement for PC functionality has declined over the years, and I finally got curious enough about how well Macs really work these days to fork over a thousand bucks to Micro Center and get one. It's mainly going to be my travel machine, so its requirements are minimal anyway. So far, its battery has been charged, it's made a tentative connection with my wireless network (the tentativeness is the network's fault, not the Mac's), Firefox is installed and my bookmarks have been successfully transferred, and I'm transferring all my music over as I type. Not sure what I'll do next. I suppose I ought to install some kind of Office package in case I have a pressing need to use a spreadsheet on the road, but which one? OpenOffice? Something else?

Anyway, no real complaints so far except for the obvious one: we Windows users really miss Windows mouse functionality when we use a Mac. Steve Jobs' obsession with UI purity can really be a pain in the ass sometimes.

So that's been my day. How was yours?

Kevin Drum 11:36 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (64)

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Comments

Spent with my Mac and these folks. They are now headed south.

Give NeoOffice a run & welcome to the clan. You can buy other mice (Kensington for instance) that will cater to your MSWindows fixation.

"First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win." - Gandhi

Posted by: daCascadian on July 6, 2008 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding mouse functionality, you'll find that in the Trackpad settings (Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Keyboard and Mouse), there's an option to "Tap trackpad using two fingers for secondary click". I'm not sure if it's enabled by default, but it works nicely.

Short of an external two-button mouse, the official way to bring up a contextual menu is of course to hold down the control key as you click. Same result as the two-fingered click.

Be sure to max out the RAM. 4GB from sources like NewEgg or Zipzoomfly can be had for about $60. You'll only really need more than 2GB if you're using Parallels or VMware for Windows virtualization, but it's nice to have, and it'll extend the lifespan of the machine.

Posted by: Nat on July 6, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Get a Mac.

Oh...damn.

Posted by: JB on July 6, 2008 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

If it's USB, take your beloved PC mouse and plug it right in. OS X will let you use the scroll wheel and the right button (settings in System Prefs at least for the OS versions I have). If you want more functionality, get a program called USB Overdrive (or something like it), and you can assign all kinds of stuff for each application if you want. If you go the Kensington or Logitech route, they usually come with Mac software or you can download it. I have an old iBook and can't stand trackpads so I'm using a cheapo PC mouse and it works fine.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on July 6, 2008 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Learn to use two fingers on your trackpad. Two fingers on the pad when you click is a right-click. Moving two fingers on the pad will scroll the active window in that direction.

They may not be enabled by default, so you can get to them by going to System Preferences->Keyboard & Mouse->Trackpad. The options to check are: "Use two fingers to scroll", "Allow horizontal...", and "For secondary clicks..." The "Ignore accidental trackpad input" option is useful and you should try the "Zoom while holding Command" option. I use it with "Only when the pointer reaches an edge" and the "Smooth image" box checked. It enables you to easily make small movies like on YouTube fill the screen (not all have a full screen button).

Two finger right-click is brilliant. Also note that you only need two fingers down when you click. After that, you can hold the mouse button down and use one finger if you need to move while holding down a right-click.

Posted by: Nathan on July 7, 2008 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

You're still using MacOS?

Get Ubuntu!

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on July 7, 2008 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

I just use MS Office, although people have had good things to say about iWork (you should have a trial version in your Applications folder).

ctrl-click is your right mouse button. In Safari (and also Firefox), option-click opens a link in a new tab, and option-click downloads. I really haven't missed a multi-button mouse with any of my Apple laptops. And you'll find that the trackpad quality is well above what you're accustomed to with most commodity PC laptops.

Posted by: Don on July 7, 2008 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

If you don't want to spend money on Mac Office, I would also recommend NeoOffice. It is essentially OpenOffice, but with a Mac front end. Sun and company are working on a native version of OpenOffice for the Mac, but its not there yet.
both the word processor and the spreadsheet work quite well.

Posted by: Steve on July 7, 2008 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

All good advice about the mouse. I prefer to use PC mice on my mac.
Aside from getting a mac version of MS Office I'd go with Neooffice You can 't beat the price.

I like iWork but the spreadsheet is the weakest link and least likely to appeal to an Excel user. Pages is good and Keynote beats PP hands down.

Posted by: gray on July 7, 2008 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Open Office? Shit, no. I don’t want Google sniffing around over online documents of mine, then doing further tweaking of its search engine to advertise to me.

Remember, to flummox the Google Big Brother ad targeting, search for “gay Albanian porn,” or “Betty Crocker” + “John F. Kennedy” + “secret relationship,” or something similar, once a day.

I actually got five hits on “gay Albanian porn,” and now my blog is on there, too.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 7, 2008 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

daCascadian, you forgot Gandhi's famous fifth line:

"Then you get your ass shot by a fanat... OOHHHFFFF."

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 7, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

I never got used to the one-button mouse, and I find that trackpads are even more likely to trigger my carpal tunnel-precursor pain than a real mouse. Which means the two-finger tap would be out immediately.

My biggest complaint about the Mac, especially in contrast with Windows, is the mouse acceleration. I've had a Mac on my work desktop for several years and I've never gotten used to it. On most OSs, when you move the mouse fast, the ratio between screen movement and physical movement increases. On the Mac, when you move it slowly, the ratio decreases, meaning you need to move the mouse even further.

It makes sense as an assistive technology, but I don't get why it's the default for everyone.

Posted by: jon on July 7, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Quaker in a Basement:

I had Ubuntu once; I needed three shots of penicillin to get rid of it.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 7, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Try Safari — faster than Firefox on a Mac.

Posted by: Patrick on July 7, 2008 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

"On most OSs, when you move the mouse fast, the ratio between screen movement and physical movement increases. On the Mac, when you move it slowly, the ratio decreases, meaning you need to move the mouse even further."

I've noticed that on a PC the mouse behaves differently than I'm used to with a Mac (never used anything but a Mac for my primary machine). I guess the Mac has its cursor functionality because It's useful for graphics and the like. I don't know why either would be the default. I agree; it would be nice to able to modify that.

Posted by: MattD on July 7, 2008 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

Welcome to MacWorld! :) You have friends here.

The one thing I could not give up after making the switch was the two-button mouse, but pretty much any USB mouse is Mac-friendly, so that was not a tough one to fix.

Mac Mail is meh, IMO. Thunderbird should be satisfactory though. If you decide to drop the $$$ for MS Office, Entourage 2008 is pretty nifty and a huge improvement on previous versions.

Any other questions, feel free to ask.

Posted by: lux on July 7, 2008 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, both ctrl-click and two-finger-on-trackpad-click are like a right click. And two fingers moved up/down or left/right scrolls. (And on the MacBook Pros nowadays, you have various other gestures.) Learn these.

Posted by: dj moonbat on July 7, 2008 at 1:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Mac Mail is meh,"

I like Mail.app because of the way it looks--it works well enough, and it looks Macish.

Have you found that Safari is faster than Firefox 3?

Gadfly: I just searched for "Betty Crocker."

Posted by: MattD on July 7, 2008 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

SocraticGadfly, I think you're mixing up OpenOffice and Google Docs. OO doesn't have anything to do w/Google, and the work takes place entirely offline. It's an open-source substitute for MS office. It has its good points and its bad points relative to the M$ product, but is free.

(Using Ubuntu here, btw...)

Posted by: ResumeMan on July 7, 2008 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

BTW Kevin, when you say:

"My requirement for PC functionality has declined over the years..."

what on earth are you talking about?

I'm no Mac fanboy by any stretch (do not now, and never have, owned a Mac), but there is is absolutely no question that the Macs have functionality that is right there with a high-end Windows-running PC. It's not like you went out and bought a Commodore 64...

Granted, the new OS will take some getting used to, and you may need to switch apps for a lot of things (e.g. the OpenOffice discussion above) but you'll have all the power you would with a Windows-based machine.

So what are you referring to??

Posted by: ResumeMan on July 7, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

I have found iWorks, Notes specifically, to be perfectly adequate and lightweight for my word processing needs. I use it as a student and find it much easier and intuitive to use. It has all the core functionality without the cruft. It does have the capability to convert to Word docs but sometimes there are minor formatting issues. I keep a copy of Word on my machine for when I have to submit documents online to teachers and need to make sure the formatting is correct. Also, Numbers is a darn fine spreadsheet app.

Posted by: yar on July 7, 2008 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Dear lord... Kevin Drum finally got a Mac?? Did the heavens stop spinning today or something?

Next thing you know, he's even going to get one for his mother so she doesn't have to surf on a PC infected with spyware.

Posted by: Oregonian on July 7, 2008 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

I just got an Eee PC, "Rock Solid, Heart Touching," only $299.

It's so cute and small and light, it attracts women who want to know if it's a real computer.

Posted by: Luther on July 7, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

The tennis was amazing, and Federer was doing a modern version of Perils of Pauline. I was also rooting for the six-in-a-row, but if you are going to lose, I guess this is the way to do it.

I just plug a Logitech two button plus scroll wheel into the usb port and it works fine. Yes, you can play around with assigning functions to right click etc if you want.

Where the Mac shines is in its ability to integrate graphics, video, music etc. You can install the Adobe Creative Suite, import graphics into Final Cut Express, and export a movie file. What I find different about the Mac and Windows systems is that the Mac seems more devoted to true drag-and-drop. For example, sending a file folder to my key drive in XP involves telling Windows to send the folder to the drive. Then we see the little envelopes flying across the window as the files are transferred. In the Mac system, you just drag and drop, and a Mac-style window pops up, telling you how the transfer is going. The windows system is a little more accurate in depicting what the computer is actually doing, whereas the Mac system is a little more user friendly for those who are used to drag and drop. In a sense, Apple has made drag and drop into something akin to a higher level computer language, while Windows still treats file transfer as if we were writing in Assembly.

You can also see the difference in the way Windows allows you to get to application programs using the Start box -- this then presents the branching tree structure that we used to know as the directories and paths. Mac doesn't bother to present things in this way, but just gives you direct access to volumes and folders. It's a little bit of a learning experience going back and forth from one to the other. I would say that the biggest difference is that you can stop worrying about malware every minute of your life on the Mac.

Posted by: Bob G on July 7, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin's talking about that one thing that he needs to do on his computer but can't on a Mac (run Visual Studio, hack Civ IV, whatever).

Spreadsheets are a good example since Mac has never had as good a spreadsheet as Excel on Windows, but oh well.

Adium is a nice IM client.

VLC Media player works nicely on Mac.

Maybe somebody knows a good MySQL client, cause I don't.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on July 7, 2008 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Wimbledon was fantastic this year, and the men's final was the best I can remember. After years of Federer triumphing almost effortlessly, often in straight sets, it was great to see him play so well and yet meet his match. Even at 7-7 in the 5th I still thought he'd probably win, but Raffa showed the qualities of a true champion, held his nerve and became the first guy in the modern era to win the French, Queens & Wimbledon in the same year. With his legendary mastery of clay, blistering excellence on hard courts & now grass, Nadal could actually become the first modern player to win the Grand Slam. Federer, for all his genuine greatness, simply never had the consistency on clay to be in the serious running for that. As Nadal said in his speech, it's been his great misfortune to come of age during the reign of arguably the greatest player of all time. In any other era Nadal would have been #1 & won many other slams by now, but Roger's domination of the men's game has been so absolute for years that Raffa's genuine brilliance has often been eclipsed. It was great to see him win.

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on July 7, 2008 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

There's a spreadsheet that you might not be able to afford, but is leaps and bounds ahead of Excel and its ilk. It's called Quantrix (http://quantrix.com/), and it's a lot like Improv, a spreadsheet originally written for the NeXT. It gives you an amazing amount of flexibility in rearranging your data and looking at it from all sorts of different angles. Have a look at the tour on its web page. Unfortunately, it's very pricy -- but after you use that kind of spreadsheet, you won't want to go back to the "traditional" kind.

Posted by: Lloyd G. on July 7, 2008 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Check out this blog,
http://www.davidalison.com/

He's a developer who's a recent switcher.
It's a nice blog.

Also,a good post on the differences mac/windows 4 switchers ( by that evil guy Walt Mossberg).
http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20080702/some-general-tips-for-switch-to-mac-from-windows/

Posted by: Stiv Bator on July 7, 2008 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Maybe somebody knows a good MySQL client, cause I don't."
xampp has a beta out for mac os, and Mamp is great for mac,with a freeware and a pro version.

Posted by: Stiv Bator on July 7, 2008 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

ResumeMan, yes, you're right... bizzy day doing some freelance writing earlier.

Even if Safari is faster that FF2 (and I doubt it's faster than FF3), it's not as good.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 7, 2008 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

There are many options for using the built-in trackpad that allow you to simulate Windows mouse functionality.

For example, stroking the pad with two fingers is similar using using a mouse wheel and tapping the pad with two fingers is the same as using the right click on a two-button mouse.

Your Macbook may also have some additional functionality where pinching two fingers together can zoom in and out in some applications.

You can set this up in the System Preferences (under the Apple menu) for Keyboard & Mouse.

As for Office software, the free stuff is great if you're used to it, but don't rule out Apple's iWork package which includes Numbers, a spreadsheet for graphic designers that's my current favorite. If you give presentations, it's Keynote package blows Powerpoint away.

Posted by: Dennis Whiteman on July 7, 2008 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

You act like they're unrelated. I'm guessing you disrupted the global karma field and doomed Federer to his fate.

When you want to phone it in: command-C, command-V, not control-C, Control-V. I find this pretty annoying when I'm doing close to 50:50 mac and PC work, but maybe I just don't relegate enough brain power to my copying.

If you are at your desk, go ahead and get a three button mouse. Trackpads are for traveling.

Posted by: B on July 7, 2008 at 5:24 AM | PERMALINK

If you feel like everything is too easy and you have the hard drive space, you can think about installing XP. Now or never. Partitioning the hard drive a lot later is probably not a good option.

Posted by: B on July 7, 2008 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

DanJoaquin:

Federer never had the consistency on clay to be in the serious running for a grand slam?! He's been one of the best clay court players in the world for the past three or four years (check out his recent results in the French Open). If Nadal hadn't emerged, Federer would probably have a couple of French Open titles already, and perhaps a Grand Slam.

Federer, for all his genuine greatness, simply never had the consistency on clay to be in the serious running for that [Grand Slam].
Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on July 7, 2008 at 2:13 AM |

Posted by: keith on July 7, 2008 at 6:17 AM | PERMALINK

Also, specifically, Apple's 'Mighty Mouse', which is the current hardware, is just bad news. It's unreliable and it requires learning new mousing habits if you're coming to a Mac from Windows.

The good news is that any old USB mouse works just fine on a Mac.

Posted by: MattF on July 7, 2008 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Cheezes Cripes, it's about goddam time!

Read the above good advice, and you'll love that MacBook. Best laptop on the market apart from perhaps a MacBook Pro.

As for Office type suites, I like iWork specifically BECAUSE I hate Excel. Numbers (the Apple rethinking of spreadsheets) is AMAZING, but it will flummox people who actually like/learned Excel.

Keynote and Pages are just plain incredible next to PP and Word, and I have yet to meet anyone who saw them and then disagreed.

However, if you're well-versed on MS Office's ways, you can actually find honest-to-gosh Microsoft Office for Mac Home Edition (about $99) and by golly it ain't half bad. I don't like giving money to MS, but their Mac products are the best thing they do bar none.

Posted by: Charles Martin on July 7, 2008 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

Install NeoOffice as your suite.

Posted by: tony on July 7, 2008 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

Here's your Wimbleton finals recap:

"uhhhhh" thwack

"uhhhhh" thwack

"uhhhhh" thwack

"uhhhhh" thwack

"uhhhhh" thwack

"uhhhhh" thwack

That grunting is disgusting. Can't they transmit the final without grunting?

Posted by: POed Lib on July 7, 2008 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Last week I, too, finally got curious enough about Macs (and frustrated enough with Windows) to go out and get one. But, being cheaper than you, I bought myself a used eMac running Tiger for $184 on eBay. Anyhow, it worked perfectly for a week, long enough for me to see some what I was missing (and not missing). Then the hard drive died and I now have a doorstop. No lesson here (except maybe that you get what you pay for!). Ah, well, I still have a perfectly good Mac keyboard and mouse...

Posted by: bcamarda on July 7, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, Turn on expose in system preferences, then mouse over one of the corners to see what happens. Many of my recent switcher friends LOVE expose.

Posted by: Rob on July 7, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Another satisfied iWorks customer here. "Works" great. Pages will open and save to MS Word format, BTW.

Posted by: Greg Abbott on July 7, 2008 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Will you be taking your MacBook into libraries or doing research? If so look into the various bibliography applications available Endnote is available for both Windows and Mac, though it is expensive and is not integrated into the newest Word. I love iWork, even Numbers, but Mac, true to form, does not share code, so third party programs cannot get full integration. By integrate I mean you can log onto a library database, download the citations, and format notes and bibliography in less than a dozen clicks and no typing. Pages and Word 2008 have their own proprietary bibliography system which do not play well with others. I would recommend Bookends, a cheap and downloadable bib software package that is integrated to Word 2008 through scripts and imports from other databases like Refoworks and Endnotes. But you can also pair Bookends with Mellel, a Mac specific word processor designed for humanities and social science writing for less than $100 and they work hand in glove. Mellel is a great, cheap word processor without this feature.

You might also want to take a program called Papers for a spin. For science or social science research it is sweet and cheap and an elegant program on Mac only.

Bookends: http://www.sonnysoftware.com/
Mellel: http://www.redlers.com/
Papers: http://mekentosj.com/

I have no idea how bibliography or research software works with NeoOffice or OpenOffice. I have a few colleagues who use them (historians) but they work with their citations and bibliographies manually. Luddites!

Posted by: Adolphus on July 7, 2008 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

My PC user friends agree that a "Mac just works". All of the tips here are good. I've got nothing more.

WRT Federer, he'll be back next year.

Posted by: dan robinson on July 7, 2008 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

I've got iWork and it does everything I need (including very complex spreadsheets and serviceable graphing for Cognitive Daily). But if your other computer is a PC and you'll be working on files from your PC, you will probably be happier with MS Office for the Mac.

If you want your Mac to be a Microsoft-free zone a nice compromise is to get BOTH the (free but clunky) openoffice for compatibility and the (cheap but friendly) iWork for delicious Apple eye candy.

Posted by: Dave Munger on July 7, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Good lord Kevin, you have now become a special needs child. Please keep Inkblot away from your new computer, he doesn't need to be reprogrammed.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 7, 2008 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a big user of expose and spotlight. Great for the making the disorganized "genius" more efficient.

I guess Vista has something similar?? but I haven't seen this operating system yet on a computer I have access to.

Posted by: B on July 7, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

WRT to applications, neither NeoOffice nor iWork Pages will handle all of the formatting quirks of MS Word. My son's teacher sends out a newsletter as a .doc file and none of the free or low cost word processing programs will render it correctly. If she were using a Mac, she could save as a PDF file and then I could use a free reader to read it.

But I live in Kirkland, which is cheek and jowl with Redmond. This is MS country up here.

Feh.

Posted by: dan robinson on July 7, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK


Maybe somebody knows a good MySQL client, cause I don't.

Take a look at CocoaMySQL. I like it a lot.

Posted by: karog on July 7, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

A couple people mentioned that Mac is much better fro avoiding malware. Why is that?

Posted by: The Fool on July 7, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

The Men's Final was absolutely the best tennis match I've ever watched. Two Titans and one has to come in second. They call it runner up, not loser. I know, I know, it's a euphemism, but needed in this case, regardless of who was runner up.

McEnroe was genuine in his comments in post match interviews.

I know didily squat about Macs, but I'm learning to hate Vista.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

Posted by: Leanderthal,Lighthouse Keeper on July 7, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Here is my advice:

(1) Get Office. Why suffer with learning something new that doesn't have all the functionality?

(2) Make an appointment at the nearest Apple Store genius bar to have a genius show you all the features of your Mac. Expose, mentioned above, is a nifty little feature that a person would never find on their own. Time Machine is another.

(3) plug in your PC mouse if it makes you happy. I can't stand more than one button myself, but I have gathered I am in the minority. :-)

Posted by: on July 7, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

My day was alright. I got food poisoning on the 4th and yesterday I was finally starting to feel like eating again. I was pretty lazy all day, so it was a good day for a 7 hour slam final.

Re Wimbeldon: I think we’re watching two of the best players ever here. Federer has had a streak of dominance that has been unparalleled (over 5 years at #1?!) and, in that time, Nadal has been the only one to consistently challenge him. At the same time, Federer has been the only one to seriously challenge Nadal on clay – don’t forget that is was Federer who ended Nadal’s win streak on clay – though sadly for Federer, not at the French.

It’ll be interesting to see how the next few years go. Tennis is a young man’s (or woman’s) game and Federer is hitting that age where most players, especially in today’s ultra-quick game, seriously start to decline – if they haven’t already. Players like Sampras and Agassi (especially Agassi) were freakish in their longevity. I remember watching Patrick Rafter play Sampras - about even - and thinking, “wow, this guy’s going to take the reins.” Two years later, he was retired. I’ve seen the same thing from other players. There was a really brief period where Marat Safin was unbelievable before he started getting injured a lot. Same thing for Lleyton Hewit (sp?). Although both players still show up for majors, I don’t think anyone considers them seriously to win.

Federer’s game seems so fluid and easy that I could see him going for a few more years and contending in and winning grand slams, though not at the level he has for the last few. Nadal, I’m not as sure about. He’s already spent some time injured and his game seems a lot more high-impact than Federer’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s done being a serious factor in slams (maybe like an Andy Roddick) by the time he’s 25 – so another 3 years. Though, actually, he could being doing damage in the French for years to come.

Either way, barring serious injuries to either player, should be a great rivalry for a couple more years. Good stuff.

Posted by: Scott Herbst on July 7, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

For a free office suite, go with NeoOffice.. No need to run X windows. I haven't tried Open Office on Mac for about a year, but back then, at least, it was pretty sluggish.

Posted by: Kevin M on July 7, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Re: Wimbeldon.

Didn't see any of it was on the road, looks like I missed a classic. In younger days followed tennis a lot, but only catch some of the majors these days.

My two cents on Nadal. The first time I saw him I thought: Steroid freak, tennis players aren't cut like that. I live in STL and lived through the McGwire/Sosa steroid show, followed by the Barry Bonds steroid show. The lesson I learned was that if they look like they are on steroids, they are.

Name another top tennis player cut like Nadal, or even Federer? Laver, Newcombe, Ashe, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Wilander, Agassi, Courier, Sampras, Rafter, Roddick, have I left anyone out from the open era? They all, especially the superstars, excelled in fitness, but none of them were cut; Connors/McEnroe were known for their anemic upper bodies. Becker was a big guy, huge legs and chest, but not cut. I always thought it was a peculiarity of tennis that the top players did not display the muscular physique of other sports. I attributed it to tennis being more dependent on endurance; kind of like comparing distance runners to sprinters. Not anymore.

Performance enhancing drugs are just part of sports today. No reason to think tennis should be any different. They almost always get caught, look for Nadal to get complacent, and sloppy, once he completely dominates the sport, then we will be reading about him on the front page.

Posted by: TT on July 7, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20080702/some-general-tips-for-switch-to-mac-from-windows

A lot of tips for newbies.

Posted by: Go Red Ox on July 7, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Nadal on steroids? Come on. The guy's been playing tennis and soccer since he was 5, plus he works out every day of the week. If it's true, his entire family has to be in on it, and I just don't see that being the case.

Posted by: thisiscmt on July 7, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, welcome to the Mac, Kevin! I didn't think you'd ever be interested.

I agree with the others who have recommended enabling the two-fingers-on-trackpad-and-click for duplicating a PC's right-click functionality. I actually prefer that to PC laptops now.

Posted by: DanM on July 7, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, welcome to the Mac, Kevin! I didn't think you'd ever be interested.

I agree with the others who have recommended enabling the two-fingers-on-trackpad-and-click for duplicating a PC's right-click functionality. I actually prefer that to PC laptops now.

Posted by: DanM on July 7, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

@POed Lib

You forgot - ‘scratch/grab/pull out wedgie’, ‘bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce ,bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce’ , then ‘huh---AHH!’

Posted by: Capn Morgan on July 7, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

NeoOffice. Pretty much replicates MS Office. Works fine. Is free (altho I gave them some cash).

Posted by: Tom D on July 7, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Another vote for NeoOffice; OpenOffice requires you to work with X11 which can be a pain. Despite some advice given above, 2 GBs of RAM (1 GB per slot) is the limit for standard MacBooks (unless the newer models have expanded capacity.) Buy your memory here: http://www.crucial.com/index.aspx. Firefox 3 is just as fast as Safari but Safari renders pages close to Acid3 standards and Firefox still does not. If you want to download a Firefox 3 build optimized for Intel Macs you can get one here: http://www.beatnikpad.com/

Posted by: fyreflye on July 7, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

welcome to the Mac, Kevin! A timely article on "secrets of the Mac trackpad" in this morning's email: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9105438&source=NLT_AM&nlid=1

Posted by: genome on July 8, 2008 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Welcome Kevin!

Here is a great app no one has mentioned yet - Delicious Library. It has a beautiful look and feel (you will appreciate such things as you become a Mac addict) andlets you easily enter all of your books, CDs,and other media, and it goes out to Amazon and fills in the data. You can organize shelves by nearly any criteria and in general play with your books instead of reading them.

Regarding the two button mouse - just learn to do without it. Really, there are easier ways to do all of the 2nd button stuff. The forums on the support page of the Apple web site are a good source of information for that and anything else.

Posted by: Dawn on July 8, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Welcome Kevin!

Here is a great app no one has mentioned yet - Delicious Library. It has a beautiful look and feel (you will appreciate such things as you become a Mac addict) andlets you easily enter all of your books, CDs,and other media, and it goes out to Amazon and fills in the data. You can organize shelves by nearly any criteria and in general play with your books instead of reading them.

Regarding the two button mouse - just learn to do without it. Really, there are easier ways to do all of the 2nd button stuff. The forums on the support page of the Apple web site are a good source of information for that and anything else.

Posted by: Dawn on July 8, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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