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 @mac.com 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.

220 Comments

  1. I see that the adults are in charge at MDN today ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    For the record: my attorny’s entire office is Mac.

    maczealot: you must be a lawyer.

    Last: this guy has to be fake. No one can be that incredibly stupid and then write about.

  2. I’m glad that MDN pointed out the first thing I was thinking while reading this: The person that sold him this machine failed. They sold him the wrong thing, and obviously didn’t address a single concern this guy might have.
    That’s assuming, of course, that this guy went somewhere for help. He seems like the kind of guy that wouldn’t ask for directions even if he was lost for 24 hours in a Map Store. He probably went to CompUSA, pointed to the one with the biggest price tag and said “Mine”.

  3. I have a daughter in college and one of her classes is an online IE 6.0 or better. (I got her a macbook. She loves it). She could not get into the web pages because of MS IE. We installed bootcamp/Windows SP2 just to get her to the web pages. More $$. Is there a safari patch for this?
    Mac does have a problem of not helping with how to use its software. Yes they have help files, but it does not all ways help. I have had to look at apple support and mac rumor sites to find help some of my problems. This one I cant find.

  4. Well I’ve got to agree with MacBones, this is FUD underhand advertising for the Redmond camp…
    If not, all it illustrates is some pseudo-computer-savvy hack who wants to run a windoze box on a mac.

    I really think “Mr Bodine” (or is that Bovine? one with long horns?) should’ve been flame-grilled to a within an inch of his ficticious/pretentious life. MDN was too lenient on this one…

  5. When I was learning to use my Mac, the help tab at the top of every page was immensely helpful. I could type in any question and the answer appeared before me. Also, the biggest problem I found that i had was overthinking things. Could deleting a photo from iPhoto really be as easy as highlighting it and hitting ‘delete’? Why, yes it can. Also, Apple used to send out these emails every couple of weeks that had a did you know section that talked about features on your Mac. I learned a lot of stuff that way and looked forward to getting those. Wonder if they still do that.

    By the way, the entire exerience was an absolute joy compared to the 12 year suffering with Windows that I had just gone through. I have gotten dozens of my friends and family to switch and this story is the polar opposite of what I have heard from every single one of them.

  6. EVEN IF he had all the issues that he describes – and is as positively neanderthal as he seems – macs have one AMAZING feature for the real dummies:

    You can go onto a mac user forum, and find someone nearby who is so totally utterly IN LOVE with their Mac, that they would come over and spend a FEW HOURS with you showing you exactly how to get the most out of it all for FREE – or at worst, maybe for the price of being served some lunch.

    Try finding a fan of windows so dedicated….

  7. Anyone else notice that he bought a dual 2.7 GHz PowerMac on May 21, 2006, about 8 months after Apple stopped selling them? Last October, Apple updated the PowerMac line, and the top of the line machine after that was the Quad 2.5 GHz. So he’s probably just making this whole thing up because Dell and HP paid him to.

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