At first, Apple’s Mac OS X can mystify those accustomed to jumping through Microsoft Windows’ hoops

“If there’s a brand new iMac waiting for someone under the Christmas tree, it might be a good idea to give a guidebook for using it. Despite Apple Computer’s reputation for ease-of-use, it’s not always apparent how things work. Especially for switchers,” Leander Kahney writes for Wired News.

“Advanced computing concepts like dragging and dropping are sometimes alien to those accustomed to Windows. Oftentimes, the simplicity of the Apple experience is mystifying to those accustomed to jumping through Microsoft’s hoops,” Kahney writes.

“There are plenty of very good guides to choose from. O’Reilly Media’s Missing Manuals series is perhaps the most popular, and Peachpit Press’ Visual QuickStart guides are highly regarded,” Kahney writes. “But I like Jim Heid’s Macintosh iLife ’04, a 300-page guide to Apple’s iLife software suite.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All well and good for iLife ’04. For Mac OS X, you might want to inclue a copy of “Mac OS X for Dummies” by Bob LeVitus, “Mac OS X: The Missing Manual” by David Pogue, using “Help” from the Mac OS X Finder, Apple’s online tutorial: Mac OS X Basics, or something else along those lines. Please suggest one, if you know of a good beginner Mac OS X book below.


  1. “Advanced Concepts” like dragging and dropping!? Are they kidding? I know that the most confusing aspect of switching from Windows to Mac is the fact that there are less steps to do mundane things and of course, things just seem to work. But the most difficult thing about switching is getting used to the lack of Blue Screens of Death. Someone mentioned on another article comment thread here that after he suggested to a new Mac user to refer to the help menu, she started to pick up things all on her own. Books are good, but *doing* is better.

  2. I can admit to some culture shock myself when I switched. But after the initial shock, I was hooked ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  3. i think for most, the most difficult steps in switching will be the “command” or “Apple” key and the lack of a right mouse button. But once that is mastered it should be plain sailing

  4. When I convert someone to OS X, first thing I do is create a Limited account for them, so they can’t accidentally delete things that are important. Then I put all their cool apps in the Dock, and let them use their new Mac, they can’t break anything so they can make mistakes, call me and get an answer. It’s usually something so easy they realise that OS X gets things done with fewer clicks and start to figure it out how to do things by themselves.

    Apple should work on the startup account, putting iLife apps in the Dock etc. and making the Switch as easy as possible.

    My $0.02

  5. Then there are those who will never accept the differences. I gave my dad a Mac (he’s a PC user), and OS X is actually too simple for him to understand. He can’t navigate in OS X. He needs the Explorer (column view isn’t close enough for him). He’s had the Mac for 3 years now, and still doesn’t understand it. I also had a friend who switched and would get mad when he would call me and ask how to do something in OS X. He got mad because it was “too simple” and he wasn’t used to it. Funny problem indeed. It is amazing how you get used to having Windows in your face, and when it’s gone, you could feel apprehensive and alone (a little stockholm syndrome-ish?). It usually doesn’t take too long to forget about the joys of using Windows though.

  6. Drag & Drop is absolutely foreign to Windoze users. It always amazes me when friends complain that there is no right mouse button with which to copy and paste from one Word doc to another. It takes them a while to understand Dragging and Dropping something from one document to another. Hmm, no right mouse button.

  7. people aren’t used to change…even my wife, who’s been forced to convert since we started to date has trouble with some of the basic commands in Mac. She’s more comfortable with IE than Safari, even “printing’ feels different. I’ve mentioned many times, it’s the same as Windows (her office)….go to <FILE> and “print” command is there.

    different is different and some people don’t like change… for computers, most people still see it as a tool and nothing more in their lives..For most avid computer users Mac/Window, they see it as an opportunity to explore personal growth or as an object that enriches their lives.

  8. While Drag n Drop is, indeed, foreign to most WinDoze users….
    I find the most negative reaction I get from switchers… is when I explain to them that the “Control” key acts like that 2nd mouse button they never use much anyhoo !!

  9. I remember reading about a book that was published specifically for switchers. On one side of the page they had directions for how you would do something on a PC and on the other side, the same thing on a Mac. It sounded like a great idea but I can’t remember what it was called.

  10. Maybe, just maybe�when a person buys a Mac and declares to be a “switcher”, Apple could through in an inexpensive 2-button mouse as a switcher bonus. It would ease the transition some and maybe ease some of the apprehension.

  11. Drag ‘n’ Drop is a very wonderful thing.

    I wonder what a whole OS built around drag ‘n’ drop would be like. And having two mice (one for each hand).

    Drag ‘n’ drop isn’t as easy as it should be (and once was) with Apple’s new mouse though.

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