How to get started with a Mac (MacOS)

The Apple Mac has had a long history in computers, dating back to the mid 80’s, not all of it good, but definitely an adventure. These days Mac’s are highly regarded by graphic designers, developers and quite a bit of private people for their simplicity and ease of use. Mac also used to be known as MacOS, the OS part meaning Operating System, which is fancy tech speak for the program that runs all the other programs on a computer.

Due to Mac’s age and Steve Jobs brilliant marketing of the computers, there is a lot of myths floating around about Mac computers, that mostly aren’t true. The biggest most dangerous one being that Mac’s can’t get viruses, no computer exists that is protected from viruses, which we also talk about in what is up with antivirus. The reason is that the popularity of Mac’s means more viruses and most people believe the myth and don’t have antivirus and are therefore more at risk.

Another myth is that Mac’s are better at graphic design and video editing, which used to be true back when Apple made their own computers, due to them having special components for it, but these days it is the exact same as a Windows or Linux computer.

Apple Logo
Take a bite out of the Apple

What is still entirely true about Mac computers is that they are very easy to use and have a big focus on the good looks of the Mac. In fact the only real drawbacks a Mac has is that they refuse to use a standard keyboard and that it can sometimes be hard to find specific programs for them. For most people this won’t be an issue though, the programs you’ll be missing is mostly for IT professionals and if you only really use Mac keyboards, it’s not really anything you will think about anymore.

As for how to use a Mac, it is designed with simplicity in mind and it therefore is quite a bit simpler to use. This sadly also means that there aren’t many shortcut keys, but it also means that you can access and change pretty much everything with just the use of your mouse or touchpad.

The most important tool in the Mac arsenal is the Dock, it’s the big colourful row of icons at the bottom of the screen. This is where you access everything from open programs (the ones with a little blue dot under them), to programs you want to open, files and even the settings menu. If the Dock isn’t in view, you can always just put your cursor at the bottom of the screen and the Dock will quickly pop up to help you.

A cool feature is also the multi screen environment, which is fancy speak for you being able to move programs left or right off screen to create a new screen where you can have a few programs running. It is especially helpful if you are working on several things at once, as you can switch context digitally and mentally.

Settings is not something that merits a big talking point on Mac’s, it’s the big cogwheel in the Dock. If you open the settings menu, all your Mac settings are there and they a kept short a precise to keep you from rummaging around for too long, the search at the top also helps.

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