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The turn of the Mac ...

It's been a bit of a traumatic week as my faithful old Sony laptop (aka Caravaggio) died on Wednesday. He'd been having problems for a number of weeks so his death wasn't entirely unexpected, but it was still very inconvenient.

Having been a PC user since the word go, I decided to take the advice of mR this time around (what with his specialist knowledge and all) and went with a MacBook Pro. Have to say that the guys at the Apple store were very helpful and answered all my (really stupid) questions and it's interesting to be in a store where the assistant isn't trying to get me to buy the most expensive thing available. I'm not a total Mac convert (not least because I'm using a Word package with it) but I like the fact that it's fast and I'm slowly getting to grips with small things (like learning how to password protect it, setting internet preferences, working with a keyboard that misses the # sign).

Major irritants so far have been:

- Word for Mac doesn't have the same toolbar layout as Word for Windows, so it's a pain to relearn and add on all my favourite little functions;

- The position of the @ key and the fact that you have to hit alt-3 to get a #, which makes the whole internet, email and Twitter more complicated than it needs to be;

- Memory sticks - I keep getting messages telling me I'm not ejecting them properly but I can't seem to eject them. Am still trying to figure out a solution; and

- there's no 'del' button so I need to fn-backspace to delete forwards, which keeps confusing me.

But on the positive side:

- I love the power lead and the way it's magnetic and lights up orange and green when charging;

- the keyboard itself feels lovely to use - they keys are pretty responsive and the size of the keyboard is comfortable to use;

- the battery life of 7 hours is as good as I have on my netbook;

- the whole feel of it is just sleek and smooth and shiny (and I know that makes me shallow but I don't care).

I'll probably keep doing little updates over the next few months, so I'm giving you fair warning so that PC fans can look away.

On the writing front, I finished another chapter of KYBS a couple of weeks ago and feedback from betas has been positive. Am still having issues with the next chapter, so am moving around to work on the last scene so I can keep momentum going.

Am gearing up for the SCBWI retreat in a couple of weeks, which sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun and has seminars by the multi-award nominated Candy Gourlay (and if you haven't read TALL STORY yet, then what are you waiting for?)

Watched EUROVISION last night and was v. disappointed that Moldova didn't win. It ticked all the right boxes - catchy tune, psychadelic gnome costumers and a unicyclist. Can't believe that Europe didn't go for it (and if you haven't seen it, check it out here).

Right, back to writing.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 15th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
I bought a MacBook Pro last month to replace my four year old MacBook (which replaced my original iBook...yeah, I'm one of THOSE Mac people) and I love it, esp the backlit keyboard.

Do you know about managing your windows with the function keys? Fn + F11 makes all the windows go off to the sides so you can see the desktop, Fn + F10 shows you all your windows at once, etc. I loved this feature on the MacBook and was sad because I thought they'd taken it away (it was the primary function on the old keys) so I was over the moon when I figured out I could still get it by pressing Fn first. It's the little things in life.
May. 17th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC)
One thing I will say for Macs - plenty of people out there give you little tips for getting more out of them.

Thank you!
May. 15th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
Oh yes. Welcome to the Mac side :P

Used to be you ejected stuff by dragging it to the trash (which makes no sense really and rightly may give one the heebiejeebies that one is actually wiping it.)

I think nowadays if you start to drag a volume on the desktop, the trash in the dock changes to an eject icon.

Otherwise, CMD-E (probably in the File menu) does it too.

It's a little-known fact that obscure techy emacs key shortcuts work throughout OS X. Practical upshot: CTRL-D forward-deletes.

The @ key you get used to, but agreed, the hash sign is a PITA :/

And yes, Moldova were fab!!!
May. 17th, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
Nope - CMDE-E got me the same message. T'is a mystery ...
May. 16th, 2011 09:17 am (UTC)
Can also eject via opening a finder window and using the eject symbol. I can only assume your keyboard is different to the one they sell to us Australians, because mine is totally intuitive. Also, Shift 3 to get a # Option 3 is the £ and thanks, I never knew I could do that. Also, Option 2 is the ™ and I am unreasonably excited about this.

Blame Microsoft for the layout of Office for Mac. I think they do it on purpose. Just like how mac people had to struggle along with the pain that was Office 2008 whilst regular Office kept being updated until (what are they up to?) Office for Mac 2011 came out last year.

I love the trackpad. Once you get into flicking forward and backward on the internet and zooming etc, regular mice and laptops will annoy the heck out of you.

If you go on the apple website for your country and type something like switch to mac in the search bar, it should take you to a what's it called on my mac, getting used to mac kind of page. I mean heck, I just typed microsoft in search on the au apple website and it came up with the swich 101 mac 101 links.
May. 17th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
I will try Finder and Eject tonight. Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
May. 17th, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
I couldn't believe it - I mean, what more did they have to do? If you can't win with a unicyclist then there's no justice.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline Hooton

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