Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

My most recent computer has something in common with my very first.

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Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some of the many questions I get at

My first computer was an Apple ][. A whopping 64k of RAM, using the 6502 processor, and my audio cassette deck for storage. My second computer was a CP/M based Z-80 machine, and since then it's been Windows, Windows, Windows, with a little Linux thrown in in the past couple of years.

Until, that is, last week, when I came full circle.

Last week my Intel based Apple MacBook Pro arrived.

Yep, I bought a Mac.

My hidden agenda last week in trying to switch to Thunderbird was to have a cross-platform email client. Sadly that attempted failed. As a result, I haven't totally moved to my Mac - I'm still just sipping at the Kool-Aide.

A couple of my initial impressions...

My MacBook arrived with an almost unusable trackpad. I suspect a hardware problem, and will be visiting a local Apple store to see how they respond to the issue.

Setup and initial configuration was a breeze. In fact, it was much smoother than anything I've experienced in Windows. A couple of obvious questions, and not only was I done, but I was connected to my wireless network at home.

To use the local network, however, I clearly need some education. It's definitely not as easy as I would have expected to operate a mixed Windows and Mac network.

I love that OSX is based on a Unix variant firing up a unix shell lets me geek out to my heart's content. And I do geek out.

I had hoped to record this podcast my Mac, but Garage Band doesn't seem to give me the control I want, or I just haven't figured it out yet, and I couldn't get the Mac port of Audacity to come up reliably.

Other than that, so far most of what I'm finding boils down to differences, not abilities. OSX's UI is intuitive, but naturally different than Windows. A side effect of losing my trackpad was that in plugging in a USB mouse, lo and behold, right click worked - consistently, and in totally expected ways. I'm sure that there's a Mac-way to get the same functionality on the default single button mouse, but to a Windows guy, it's helping to ease the transition.

So while I'm a little disappointed with my out-of-the-box hardware problem, and my failed attempt to record this podcast, overall I'm impressed and am looking forward to more adventures in this new, to me, Mac world.

I'd love to hear what you think. Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 10096 in the go to article number box. Leave a comment, I read them all.

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Article C2608 - March 30, 2006 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Greg Bulmash
March 31, 2006 11:48 AM

I wouldn't be surprised if, with Microsoft now delaying Vista for 6+ months, Apple sees a sales boost at Christmas. People will think "I want to buy a computer, but I don't want to buy one with Windows XP and then have to upgrade to Vista in a few months. And that iBook looks cute..."

March 31, 2006 6:27 PM

Another way to access the right click function on a mac in OS X, is by pressing the control button when you click on your track pad.

That will bring up the menu like it does if you pressed the right mouse button with a two button mouse.

April 3, 2006 9:48 PM

I was a recent switcher as well. I have a podcast I used to make with Adobe Audition on my Windows box but completely made the transfer to my new iMac. It's a bit different but I think you'll find GB 06 as a great program for making a podcast. I have gotten some great free tutorials from and from The screencast podcast did a tutorial on Garageband podcasting just this week. It really gives us switchers support on creating a podcast in Garageband. I really enjoy using GB 06 now and have been making enhanced podcasts each week. Good luck with your new MacBookPro!

May 4, 2006 11:19 AM

I gave up on Apple back around 1995, after quite a few years of enthusiasm. They were so messed up, and I was getting seriously disgusted.

Then Steve came back.

Then they moved to a FreeBSD/Mach core. and NextStep. Whoa.

So I bought a PowerBook G4 last year. I love it. I *almost* wish I had gotten the 17" version.

And then Apple switched to Intel. I did *not* expect that transition to go as quickly as it did. So I'm anxious to get a 17" MacBook Pro.

Nay ... anxious is not the word. I have palpitations. I often can not breathe ;c)

These machines are not cheap. But they are also not cheaply made by any stretch. They're not just beautiful and elegant ... they are solid performers. They are the "best of both worlds" -- a solid Unix underpinning (with Perl, Apache, bash, emacs, tcl, etc. etc.) with iLife and myriad other applications at your disposal.

A nice virtual machine system that lets me run Linux, BSD, Windows, and any other OS at *the* *same* *time* on that MacBook Pro will really make my world.

There's still a few UI things that annoy me (former full-time FreeBSD/Linux user). But I'm adjusting.

Leo: welcome. You're going to have a *blast*

Amy Gahran
May 4, 2006 12:21 PM

Hallelujah! You're saved, my friend! :-)

- Amy Gahran

July 22, 2006 7:55 PM

I thought i was just one in a dozen, maybe.

So, about your old computer...
How fast is it?
How Much is it?
Where and when do i pick it up??


However, do you know where i can get a decent 2.0+ GHz computer for a pretty low price near south lake tahoe, carson city, reno, san diego, or oceanside?
(various towns in CA or NV)

Anyway have fun with your new mac.
#3 second sleep for most OSX X.X.XX
Hold down keyboard eject button ~3 sec
And mac computer will sleep!!#

Have fun!!

July 22, 2006 7:57 PM


I Didn't mean to put computer at the end!!

November 8, 2011 11:26 AM

- I just bought a used Macbook Pro's so different from where do I go for help when I need it???I used to go to CLOUDEIGHT FORUMS but I know they deal mainly with Windows ....can you direct me to an Macintosh forum??Thanks ever so!!!

MacMost is run by my friend Gary Rosenzweig who bills it as a site dedicated to "Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple TV Help and Tutorials". He's even posted a video on hot to get help: Where To Go For Help With Your Mac Or iOS Device.
Mac Help for Mom is run by another friend of mine, Steve Loyola. It's great if you feel like you're in the less than computer-savvy crowd. Naturally, he's taking questions from more than just his mom these days.

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