Legal consultant can’t figure out how to use an Apple Mac

“Last month, in Law Technology News’ Tech Counsel column, California attorney Ed Siebel sang the praises of running his law office with Apple Inc. computers and peripherals. Today, I’m singing a different tune. In fact, right now, I’m completing an online ad to sell my Power Mac G5 Dual 2.7GHz computer,” Larry Bodine writes for Law Technology News.

MacDailyNews Note: Please see “Attorney gets the job done with Apple Macs since 1988” – September 22, 2006

“I was suckered in by the hype about freedom from viruses, simplicity of computing and versatility. Instead, I bought a boat anchor that can’t view Web sites properly, is not compatible with Microsoft Word and can run only dumbed-down versions of regular software,” Bodine writes. “This time, I’m buying from Hewlett-Packard Co. or Dell Inc. — anything that runs on Windows. (I’ll assume the risk of flaming batteries.) Goodbye Steve Jobs, hello Bill Gates. I’ll be lucky to get half of the $4,552.71 I paid for the Mac on May 21, 2006.”

“I realized it was time to unload the silvery box of frustration when I had to buy a ‘Dummies’ book on how to operate it. I’m smart; I shouldn’t need this. Aren’t Macs supposed to be intuitive and easy to learn? My mistake,” Bodine writes.

“The signs of doom were there on day one, but I ignored them. I pretended that I liked the one button mouse. I quickly started using click + command keys (and other keyboard shortcuts). I really missed the little scrolling wheel in the center of the mouse,” Bodine writes. “I noticed it was slow; I saw that stupid spinning colored wheel a lot. The Mac would hang up; the TV ads said Macs didn’t do that. The widgets were cool and snappy, but after a while I stopped using them. They were fun — for five minutes. I did like the Finder because it was quick in locating files, but it would turn up a lot of false hits. It was comparable to the Google Desktop searcher on my PC.”

“What drove me nuts was that I would open Word for Mac and couldn’t delete files while I was in Word. There is no File | Delete option. So the documents took up space on my hard drive, until someone told me I had to find the document in Finder and then move it into the trash from there. This seemed stupid to me; I just wanted to highlight a file and tap ‘delete,'” Bodine writes. “Word files transferred from the Mac were missing pictures. PowerPoint files transferred from the Mac would lose their formatting. PCs and Macs are not compatible, regardless of what they say.”

Bodine writes, “The multiple clicking to accomplish simple tasks was a constant annoyance. Things I could do with a PC in two keystrokes took four or five clicks with the Mac. To do a “fast print” required clicking File, Print, find Copies & Pages, click Paper Type/Quality, click Normal and finally clicking Fast Draft. And there was no way to leave the setting as the default. I had to do it manually every time.”

Bodine writes, “Doing a simple screen capture was an immense chore. On a PC you just press Alt and tap PrtScr. With the Mac I had to download and launch special programs to accomplish this simple task.”

“I didn’t even bother with the Mac’s iCal or Mail, which required me to buy an address. Instead, I went straight to Outlook for Mac. A lot of the software for Mac — such as AOL for Mac OS X — was dumbed down and missing may features of the current PC versions,” Bodine writes. “For me the killer was the Web browser. Safari simply cannot read Flash. It is, quite simply, a second-rate browser. I even called Apple headquarters and asked when a better version would be available and was told that Apple is in no hurry to improve it. On the suggestions of friends, I downloaded Netscape and Firefox, which were no better.”

“I run several Web sites, all optimized for IE 5.5 or higher. I couldn’t operate my own Web sites with the Mac. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Then the hard drive croaked on me after only three months of owning the machine. I couldn’t tell what was going wrong and had to hire someone for $125 an hour to come over and tell me what the heck was happening. Apple replaced it for free, but I became leery of what other hardware would fail unexpectedly,” Bodine writes. “I let the repaired shiny Mac sit on the floor for weeks, and instead used my reliable IBM ThinkPad, and rediscovered how much I enjoy it. Wish me luck on selling the Mac.”

Full article here.
Rather than rip the poor guy, as he obviously has been ruined by years of being shackled to Microsoft’s upside-down and backwards Windows OS and their Office software, let’s just make some points and realize that Apple has a lot of work to do in helping personal computer users to unlearn bad Windows habits and learn how to properly use Macs:

• Mr. Bodine bought a Power Mac G5 at pretty much exactly the wrong time. That’s unfortunate. If he had not purchased a PowerPC Mac (and why did he get a Mac tower, when he was replacing an IBM laptop?) and instead purchased an Intel-based iMac, Mac mini, MacBook or MacBook Pro (all of which were available on May 21, 2006), he would be able to run Windows for applications he can’t figure out how to use on Mac or that don’t meet his requirements.
• Whoever sold him that Power Mac G5 did him more than a bit of a disservice by not anticipating his needs or informing him about the Intel transition. If he bought it himself without asking a Mac savvy person for advice, he made a mistake.
• He certainly bought way too much Mac and the wrong Mac model for his needs. He spent far too much; an inexpensive Intel-powered Mac mini would have sufficed.
• So, to make it absolutely clear: all Macs purchased today run Windows. Buying an HP, Dell or other OS-limited PC now makes no sense whatsoever.
• Mr. Bodine may indeed be “smart,” but he ignorantly seemed to expect a Mac to work like Windows. It doesn’t. He should have actually read his “Dummies” book, it would have helped immensely.
• Macs, including the Mac he bought, all ship with a multi-button, scroll ball Apple Mighty Mouse. If his didn’t for some reason, he could have easily and inexpensively purchased one or any multi-button USB scroll wheel mouse and it would work just fine with Mac OS X.
• That a Mac such as his was “slow” and “hanging up” is a warning sign that something was wrong. That Mac should have been blazingly fast for the basic tasks he describes. That he used so much Microsoft software is also a warning sign and could be a contributor to those issues.
• When he talks about “Finder” he is really talking about Spotlight. It sounds like he didn’t take 5 minutes to learn how to use it properly.
• Microsoft makes Word for Mac, not Apple. If you don’t like something about it, that’s a Microsoft complaint, not an Apple Mac complaint.
• To delete a file or files on a Mac, select the file(s) in the Finder and hit Command-Delete to move them quickly into the Trash for quick deleting.
• Microsoft makes PowerPoint for Mac, not Apple. If you don’t like something about it, that’s a Microsoft complaint, not an Apple Mac complaint.
• Apple’s Keynote presentation program makes better presentations than PowerPoint, by the way.
• You can do things as quickly or more quickly with a Mac than with a PC, but the Mac won’t magically remove your bad Windows habits and explain the proper way to do things. He should have used his Mac’s built-in help system, read his “Dummies” book, and asked a Mac user for some help.
• To make a new print setting with a Mac, save a preset in the Print dialog box with your desired settings. Choose that preset to quickly print however you’d like.
• Mac’s screenshot ability is unmatched by Windows:
   – ⌘-Shift-3 (Command-Shift-3): Take a picture of the entire screen and save as a file

   – ⌘-Control-Shift-3 (Command-Control-Shift-3): Take a picture of the entire screen and copy to the clipboard

   – ⌘-Shift-4 (Command-Shift-4): Take a picture of the dragged area and save as a file

   – ⌘-Control-Shift-4 (Command-Control-Shift-4): Capture dragged area and copy to the clipboard

   – ⌘-Shift-4 then Space bar (Command-Shift-4 then Space bar): Capture a window, menu, desktop icon, or the menu bar and save as a file

   – ⌘-Control-Shift-4 then Space bar (Command-Control-Shift-4 then Space bar): Capture a window, menu, desktop icon, or the menu bar and copy to the clipboard

   – You can also take pictures of the screen using the Grab application (in the Utilities folder).
• iCal or Mail do not require a .Mac account. It’s too bad he didn’t try the applications.
• Third-party software complaints are for the companies making the software, not Apple. Oftentimes, the features Windows users want within Mac versions of software are there, they just can’t seem to shed their Windows ideas of how to accomplish them and/or explore the Mac program’s features.
• If you short-sightedly limit your Web sites by developing only for Microsoft IE, it is not Apple’s or any other browser’s fault that you “can’t operate your own Web sites with the Mac.” There are Web standards for a reason. Follow them and any browser will work correctly. Mr. Bodine has no right to complain about this issue.
• Hard drives fail. Even in Macs. Backup regularly. Apple did replace it for free.
• Mr. Bodine should not be recommending people don’t buy Macs. He knows very little about how to use a Mac. However, articles of this stripe are informative and should give Apple and the Mac community the impetus to figure out ways to better help such users.
• Some Windows users have a huge mountain overcome when it comes to shedding bad habits and learning how to use a Mac properly. Hopefully Apple and all of us who are so inclined can help new Mac users to acclimate better.
• Mr. Bodine should sell that Power Mac and get himself a MacBook or MacBook Pro. He should install Windows for applications he needs and take the time to learn about the Mac while still accomplishing his work. Over time, he would realize that the Mac is a far superior personal computer.


  1. He’s a Dell plant. No one and I mean no one can be as stupid as this guy sounds. I am a blue collar trades person and I picked up the Mac with no problems. I just used logic. What the hell is this guys problem. Smart by a half.

  2. <i>I run several Web sites, all optimized for IE 5.5 or higher. I couldn’t operate my own Web sites with the Mac. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back</i.>

    That’s what happens when you glue yourself to Microsoft’s proprietary technology!

  3. Well, very nice of MDN for not flaming him. I really suspect, though that he is an imaginary person concocted by the other side. FUD. Have to buy a .mac address to use mail? What the f___. Did he even BROWSE the dummies book? No two button mouse? Did he even look into that? I love my mighty 4 button scroll wheel mouse.

    This is a classic example of fear based advertising. Don’t jump! You’ll regret it! Redmond is scared. expect mor eof this smear campaign in coming months- especially leading into Xmas.

  4. I understand how he feels. The same thing happened to me when I traded in my Ford Escort for a new BMW 5 Series. All the buttons and switches were in different places… it was so quiet that I couldn’t tell if the engine was misfiring… so many discouraging things. I unloaded that piece of junk and bought me a Ford Pinto.

  5. Is it really that smart to spend $4000+ on a computer you’ve never used? He could have at least learned something about the OS first. People tend to test-drive cars for example, they do research. They read related literature before, not after the purchase. We visit potential new homes, make inquiries, find strengths and weaknesses. Few hand over their life savings sight unseen. Those people end up on Dateline or 20/20 as examples of what not to do.

    So, this guy is a Dateline expose of NOT being smart. Could he find no answers about keyboard short cuts, for instance, on the internet? Aside from this article feeling as if it was written over a year ago and released as some sort of odd October-surprise, his objections and complaints suggest this guy can’t find his way out of a paper bag. He belongs to the Dell-borg.

    Smart. Yeah, whatever.

  6. I have a law firm as a client, and believe me this man is quite typical of the breed. Lawyers spend all of their time concentrating on the case they’re working on. If something doesn’t work the way they expect it, it’s the fault of everyone other than themselves.

    The helpdesk guys who support computers at any law firm deserve medals for the crap they put up with. Bodine unfortunately here didn’t have IT staff to sack, and because he’s a lawyer and therefore always right, it had to have been Apple’s fault.

    Really, that’s how they think.

  7. Well, now …let’s see. Children in America have no problems learning to use a Mac. And here comes this dolt, and he can’t figure out how to use a Mac? It’s like saying arithmetic is a waste of time and we should not use it because he can’t figure out 1+1=2.

  8. Well, if he was really that unhappy, he could install Windows XP on his new mac. Why sell the one of fastest PC’s in the world and run Windows on it……instead, he is going to sell a PC to buy another PC.

    I have to so this guy is not at all as smart as he says he is.

    Hello Boot Camp, Hello Windows.

  9. Notice there’s not ONE word about the Mac not getting infested with viruses, not crashing, or not needing an OS reinstall.

    So instead we get a whiney pice about no file delete option in Word (um, Finder?) and how his Safari won’t do Flash (Flash stinks anyway, turn it off). The screen capture bit is especially hilarious: try Cmd-Shift-3 and Cmd-Shift-4. As for the dead hard drive, sorry to hear about it. BUT if he’s dumb enough not to think a 3-month old machine just might be under warranty, he deserves the bill. Tell me a Dell never had a drive go bad.

    This guy is definitely a plant.

  10. Hmmm….I would have posted a few comments about that guy, but I’ll keep it short with a little one (But, note that I respect every stance in matter of choice, Windows is for some ones and OS X does it for some others. I’m not going to enter in this territory):

    “”I didn’t even bother with the Mac’s iCal or Mail, which required me to buy an address”

    Mail requires to buy what? Where did he read that? Why I am using Mail and iCal without one address. Does this guy know how to read?

    Well, if he is a lawyer I think I’d do better managing my own defense in a trial.

    I cannot take seriously his comments when he’s proven that cannot use real arguments to defend his preferences in computing stuff (which, I already said, do respect)

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