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First Mac, Some Questions

New 20' iMac, I have some questions

     
5:06 am on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I just bought my gorgeous 20' Imac, which I bought for cost because I work at CompUSA. I am formerly a Vaio user, fed up with spyware, etc and I plan on using Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash for web design.

At Compusa I've sold so many Macs that I've actually convinced myself. :) This is especially after seeing my Mac customers and their satisfaction. Windows users seem much less satisfied with their experiences.

I have some questions:

I am a power user that needs quick response times and efficiency on the web for multitasking and web design.

1) Will adding a Kingston 512 mb ram chip increase the gui response and loading programs more quickly? It seems a tad bit sluggish for opening things like Safari and iTunes.

2) Can I multitask as efficiently with OS X versus Windows? I need to rapidly switch between programs- I want the best virtual ergonomics and usability. It seems like Mac users have extreme usage of key commands, vs Windows users? Is this true?

Many people say Macs are easier to learn, but Windows was never hard for me to learn anyway. I hope Mac OS isn't simpler but lacking in features and ergonomics.

I'm looking forward to my experiences with this wonderful platform, just a little daunted, temporarily :)

Please clue me in,

Thanks- Jesse

5:31 am on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Welcome,

RAM is always great, no matter what OS you are running. I think you will appreciate keyboard shortcuts, command(apple)-tab is my favorite to multitask. Also expose is great.

If you have any questions keep asking, the boards are great around here.

dcrombie

11:28 am on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not to mention a 'Help' system that actually helps you ;) Try going to 'Help -> Mac Help' in the Finder and search for "keyboard shortcuts".
12:53 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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1) RAM is a must under OSX. More is better and I would give OSX at the very least 512 but it would be very happy with 1GB.

2) OSX multi tasks great. You can switch applications with Command + Tab just like windows, although a neat trick is that while switch apps you can hit the Q key and quit them. This is a real time savor.

Macs are easy to learn, just look around, see all the different key commands and enjoy.

BZ

1:28 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The only problem I have found with Mac is sometimes adding (even reputable) after-market RAM into Apple machines can cause Kernel Panics. Here at the office I've got 16 G5's, and so far 3 of them had "Bad RAM" according to the Memtest utility. Once the "Bad" chip was removed, all was well. I don't know what makes them so much more finicky then other PC's, but I do know I have search many-a-forum, and this is a common problem with the G5's. Seeminly "good RAM" not willing to work. It wasn't that big a deal though, just went back to Kingston and had them replace the 6 bad chips (3 chipsets) I had. They did it, no questions asked.

Other than that, my experience with Mac is they are better as far as cross-platform (networking with windows-based machines), they're a little more fun for your eyes, and they are easy to use for the end-user. Last and most important in my line of work, if one application quits, 99% of the time it will not take your system down with it. Just restart the application, and away you go.

The actual system takes a bit of getting used to, esp. if you're used to the DOS command line. Moving to UNIX is quite different indeed.

Like I said, the only problem I've ever had is the RAM issue. But even that was trivial.

-- Zak

6:42 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It seems like Mac users have extreme usage of key commands, vs Windows users? Is this true?

Yes, the difference with Mac keyboard shortcuts is that they're quick and easy: you know, like a shortcut.

[docs.info.apple.com ]

[webct.pcc.edu ]

And beyond the old chestnut "RAM is always good," if you like to have lots of apps and windows open, then you definitely shouldn't skimp on the RAM.

7:48 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Vetteman,

welcome to this great resource, we just bougt 2 20" imac g5's upgraded from G4 and G3.... what a speed difference!

Two things will help:

1. get a Meg of Ram since there are only 2 ram slots. You will see a difference.

2. Go to the system preferences, click on "Energy Saver", then choose "Options" make sure that "Processor Performance" is set at highest (it defaults to automatic). This was a little trick I picked up from MacAddict magazine and it made a difference...

Have fun with your new machine.

7:51 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks guys!

I will definately get more ram. Now I think I will buy a 1 gb ram chip to give me 1.25 gb.

What is the best, most reputable brand of RAM if cost isn't much of an option?

I've heard Kingston and Corsair, but I think Apple uses Samsung as OEM. Is it OK to mix ram brands?

7:53 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Travelin Cat!

I just saw your message, that is just gold! Has this increased your performance?

8:06 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's hard to tell... we heard about this b4 we bought the machines, so we did it right away....

I must say, though, these machines scream! They boot up in less then a minute and all apps boot up incredibly quickly including Photoshop!

8:27 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Do you notice that it doesn't seem so snappy opening Safari or iTunes, though? I feel like there is a slight delay, somewhat.

Ram would probably help that, hopefully.

8:50 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Actually they both open very fast on our machines. We have 1.25 gb of ram in each
8:58 pm on Feb 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you just have the 250 mb that came with it, that's probably why....

Another hint:

Go to Applications, open "Utilities" and launch "Activity Monitor" lots of good info there, click on "System Memory" on the bottom and you will see how much real and virtual memory your g5 is using.

Mine is currently using 21.84 mb of real memory iTunes and 57.31 for Safari... that eats up a lot of stuff b4 you even launch Dreamweaver... I use GoLive and it is using 89.91 mb.

1:52 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I put 1gb of Kingston RAM in my G5, and it is perfectly happy with the mixture. I did have a few lockups / applications falling over BEFORE the upgrade, but it actually seems more stable now.

Having upgraded from a g3 500 with 128mb, it is pretty zippy!

2:13 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Any upgrade from 256MB makes a world of difference. I recently bumped by 12" G4 Laptop from 256 to 1.125G, and the speed of the UI is greatly improved while multi-tasking.
4:17 pm on Feb 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Ok, now I decided to buy 2 gb of ram from Corsair. I read that when you have two identical ram chips, the memory bus becomes 128 bit, vs. 64 bit when having a single chip or 2 different ram chips.

It will be great to run most of my programs straight from ram w/out using much slower virtual memory.

Now if my iPaq PDA will just sell on Ebay, I can go ahead and buy the ram :)

3:08 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hummm ...

No one has mentioned the Apple problem with their text editors. I'm not even sure what the problem is exactly ... something about Apple using "\r" instead of "\n".

What I do know is that using SimpleText or Appleworks (in text) for HTML or PHP doesn't work always. One needs to download BBEdit or some other third party application.

With everything else Apple being so superior, seems a strange self-annialation habit.

6:08 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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something about Apple using "\r" instead of "\n".

Ah yes, OS X's split personality for line endings. Yes it's a common gotcha', so here's the scoop:

Some GUI Mac apps still use Mac OS 9 style line endings, which are carriage return (CR, ASCI: 13).

Apple's Unix-style applications, e.g., Apache and PHP, prefer Unix-style line endings: line feed (LF, ASCII: 10).

The default Apache install on Mac OS X can cope with HTML (or PHP, if that is on) files with either kind of line ending.

The caveat is that CR files might not work well in other situations, e.g., if you are using the PHP command line tool to debug a page, or you upload the file to a Linux server (for example) in a way that the line endings don't get translated automatically.

With everything else Apple being so superior, seems a strange self-annialation habit.

I'd count developing a web site in AppleWorks or TextEdit as a self-annihilation habit. Download a free text editor if you like, but BBEdit's worth it.

5:42 pm on Feb 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I bought 2 1gb ram cards.
First I got Kingston value ram, both chips were different and one was never reconized.

I returned them and ordered from crucial. When I opened the pack it said samsung on the chips them selves and was near identical to the factory ram.

5:39 pm on Feb 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The first thing I did when I bought my powerbook was buy more ram for it. I'm only running 640MB right now, but I normally have 4-6 programs running at the same time, and don't have any noticeable speed problems (unless I'm doing sth fancy with Photoshop concurrent with doing anything else ;) ).

One of the next things I did was upgrade to the newest version of BBEdit, and set it to use Unix line endings by default.

Of course, now I'm looking at the newest powerbooks, and the minis, and thinking, "Gee, I wonder how much better it would be if I had a brand NEW one..." but the fact is I really don't need it.

4:14 am on Feb 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> Cmd-tab

Also Cmd-~ (tilde) to switch between (maximized) windows within most applications.

In both cases add the shift key to reverse the direction.

>> Expose

I mapped the expose functions to buttons three, four and five on my mouse. Will have your head spinnin in no time :) (see system prefs).

6:25 am on Mar 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I just did the one gig memory upgrade, but I was still thinking that the Mac seemed slow, especially in Safari -- and then I changed the settings recommended in this thread about "processor performance".

It made a huge difference - thanks!

--Greg

1:32 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Has nobody meantioned Expose yet?

Press F9 to see all open windows, F10 to show all windows in your current application and F11 to clear the screen and show the desktop.

1:44 pm on Mar 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Since you're a power user you probably like to keep your hands on the keyboard and away from the mouse as much as possible. Check out QuickSilver which allows you to pull up any application and perform virtually any action via the keyboard.

It's one of those programs that continually evokes the feeling of "It can do that too?!?". It's awesome.

 

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