About a year ago, I prepared a short memo to a family member who has always used Windows computers and was moving to a Mac [she inherited Ryan's MacBookPro]. Some of the points are standard suggestions from me and I thought worthy of a blog post:
- At Apple.com/Support there are loads of materials, written and video, to help ‘switchers’ or Windows users trying Mac for the first time, get comfortable. There is a bit of a difference, but I’m not certain it’s all that important.
- I suggest that the first thing you do before you try anything at all is go to the Apple Menu [upper L corner] and drop down to System Preferences. Go thru them one by one and set them to your liking or at least get some familiarity.
- Word Processing: there are two [or maybe 3?] excellent FREE WP programs that convert and work with Word docs on the Mac - NeoOffice and OpenOffice. You can find them online. Might as well get them and use them.
- I always suggest some regular cleanup and maintenance. Two excellent resources for this topic, among others, are: the Missing Manual series [http://oreilly.com/] and the Take Control series [www.takecontrolbooks.com]
- I always suggest backing up. Get an external hard drive that is about 1.5 x the internal startup drive so you have plenty of room. Then set up TimeMachine [it's part of the OS X operating system and operates automatically in the background] to back it up. There are other free or shareware backup programs as well. The topic of Backing Up is amply covered in the resources in ¶ 4, above. Just remember - it is not IF you will experience a disaster, it is WHEN - always have a backup and, if possible, an off-site/cloud copy of the most important items. Think Katrina.