Windows made me stupid

I know that in 6 months when I become a Mac expert, I’ll look back and laugh heartily at how stupid I was on day one, but now my brain is still blushing with naivete. The iMac was super-easy to start up (especially with all the software pre-installed). The most interesting thing for me is that according to the start-up booklet that came in the box, step 1 is to plug in the power, and step 2 (before plugging in the mouse or keyboard) is to plug in the ethernet cable! Part of the start up process involved me signing into my Apple account where the Internet was accessed to get all my personal info from the Apple store. Weird. The good thing is that there was nothing I needed to do to connect to the Internet.

OK so why was I so embarrassed? Granted, it might be expected that a Windows user would not be used to the fact that the maximize, minimize and close window buttons are on the left instead of the right corner, but I had a hard time understanding where things went in the file structure. Case in point, I needed to install Mozilla Firefox (the Safari browser is not compatible with my beta Blogger site–for my other blog– or my Rogers Yahoo! webmail, which is also a beta) and after I downloaded the installer program and clicked on it, I got what looked like a temporary mounted “drive” with Firefox logo on it, and then a special little folder window with a Firefox icon inside, along with a graphic showing the firefox logo going into the Applications folder. So, me with my Windows corrupted brain, kept thinking that the installer program was going to put everything necessary for Firefox into the Applications folder, maybe even create a subfolder for itself. I ran the program by clicking the icon and figured all was done. I deleted the Firefox “drive” and got rid of the installer program. When I went back to the Applications folder, no Firefox! What gives? I even searched the system for Firefox but found nothing.

Finally, I went back to the web site and downloaded the installer again and went through everything all over. Everything happened the same–still no Firefox in the Applications folder. I decided to leave all the various pieces that Firefox had created on the desktop so that I didn’t lose the program again, but I still thought that it didn’t make sense that so much stuff would be required on the desktop. After I went to do something else a lightbulb turned on in my mind–the graphic showing Firefox going into the Application folder was an instruction for me to drag the icon over to the Application myself! Y’see, to me the actual Firefox icon was only the tip of the iceberg. It never even occured to me that I could move it because in the Windows world, moving programs could be risky without knowing all the little bits and pieces that might be looking for it in that spot. I finally remembered reading in Switching to Mac: The Missing Manual that in Mac OS X, the program is just one piece. By moving the icon into the Applications folder myself, I have successfully moved Firefox into the right place.

Hey, I’m still learning… No too bad for merely hours of experience. I just feel stupid for spending all that time looking for the “missing” Firefox files.

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  1. #1 by Kelvin on September 24, 2006 - 6:51 pm

    Thanks for the insight, Alvin! I have been contemplating getting Adah switched over to a Mac for some time now. She wants the laptop though, so I am this –>

  2. #2 by alving4 on September 24, 2006 - 8:18 pm

    That’s my goal here. I think it would have been great for me to read about someone else’s experience switching to a mac, so now that I’m doing it, I want to share my own trials and tribulations (which there have been very few of–Mac is living its hype so far.)

  3. #3 by Jim on September 26, 2006 - 11:02 pm

    Programs are definitely super easy to install (and delete), but I’ve found that larger programs use installers rather than the drag’n’drop method. Parallels and Office come to mind; I would guess Photoshop would be the same…

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