Moving to a Mac

I actually moved a few years ago, but I still field a few questions on this topic, “How do I move to a new Apple computer?”.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but I certainly had to bang my head against a few walls for the first few weeks. Simple questions are sometimes hard to find, others don’t make sense until you’ve used the Mac for a while. So here’s a summary of useful points:

  • CMD + Space is singularly the most useful keyboard shortcut. It replaces the need for the “Windows Start Menu” which doesn’t have an equivalent in the Mac world.
  • Applications are installed by copying them to your /Applications folder. It’s that simple. Most applications have basic instructions on this by prompting you when you “mount the installer” (you double-click it).
  • You can technically put applications anywhere. Best place? Where it prompts you. If you want applications only for one user, put them in ~/Applications. The tilde means “your home folder”, or “/Users/<user name>”.
  • Application settings are stored in ~/Library/Application Support. It’s akin to the Windows C:\Users\<user name>\Application Data.
  • You never really need to power off your Mac. My Macbook spends weeks just having the lid closed and opened when required.
  • Never try to “Window-ize” your Mac experience. Go with it. Learn its intricacies and differences. Most of them are there for good reason.
  • There is no concept of drive letters (like C: or D:). Most drive things sit in /Volumes.

Hope some of this helps.