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Getting Started

Make sure your specs are correct.  
    Click the Apple logo in the top left, then click "About this Mac."  For your hard drive, right click on Macintosh HD on your desktop, then click 'info.'  Make sure you got what you paid for.
Your Trackpad and/or Moues feel unresponsive?
    You can't change your trackpad's responsiveness, but you can speed it up by going to System Preferences (the icon with the gears), then Mouse & Keyboard. 
    You can, however, download an application called SteerMouse (on the Apple site) that allows you to adjust your mouse's responsiveness.  It is awesome.
The Apple/Command key
    The Apple (or command) key is mostly the equivalent to your old control key.  Cmd + C = Copy, Cmd + V = Paste, Cmd + X = Cut, etc.
Resizing Windows
    You have to click in the bottom right then drag to resize windows, unlike in Windows, where you could do it from any edge.
The Dock
    The Dock acts as a shortcut and a resting area for currently running programs.  You can add any program or folder you like to the dock.  Applications go to the left of the vertical crosswalk, and folders, files, and the trash can to the right of it.
    When any program is started that doesn't have an icon in the dock, its' icon will appear in the dock.  So if you are using multiple programs at the same time, simply click on the icon at the bottom to bring up the current window for that program.
    Keep something in the dock by right clicking it then clicking 'Keep in dock'
    To get rid of any unwanted programs on the dock, simply drag it off and let go.
Using a Mighty Mouse?
  You have to press 'control' and click to right click.

Finding your way around

The Finder is like 'My Computer' on Windows but much better.
    Here you can navigate to, search to, and play around with your files.  Your programs are under Macintosh HD, while your documents/downloads/movies/pictures are under your user name (in The Finder).
    I recommend the list or column view, which you can access by clicking on one of the four grouped boxes on your title bar.
    If you want to enlarge the text or icons in the Finder, press 'ctrl + j' while in the finder for an options palette that will allow you to do this.
Create A Windows Like Start Menu
    Drag your Applications folder (which is under 'Macintosh HD' in the Finder) to your dock.  Once there, try right clicking on the folder.  You can change the way you view the contents by clicking on one of the options under 'view options as.' I highly recommend the "List" view.  But play around with it and see what you like.
Spotlight is the greatest thing ever
    See that magnifying glass icon in the top right?  That's Spotlight, a powerful finding program.  Click on it and start typing.  You'll see results from every part of your computer, including web history.  Open it with 'cmd + space.'  I use this pretty much anytime I want to find something.
Dealing with CDs
    You have to push CDs into the drive.  Nothing comes out.
    Eject a CD by right clicking the disc icon on your desktop then hitting eject or dragging it to the trash can.
Safari Tips
    Press ctrl +f to search the current page.  Press 'return' to navigate through each word, and 'shift + return' to navigate backwards to the previous word.
    'cmd + l' highlights the address bar.  I use this a lot.
    To browse privately click 'Safari' in the menu bar, then go to Private Browsing...
    To add a one-click link to a site in the title bar, go to the site and drag the address to it.  To remove links from there, click on the open book icon on the far left and delete them.
    Press 'cmd' and click on a link to open it in a new tab.
    If you used Firefox on Windows, you're used to the downloads box popping up when you download something.  OS X has a download box as well, but it pops up behind whatever programs you're running, so you have to look around to find it.  Also, in order to open programs from the download box you have to click on the icon, you can't just click its' row.  
Want more hard drive space?
    You might want to reinstall the software to delete programs, languages, and excess printer drivers you don't want.  Put in disc 1 that came with your computer, restart, then hold down C.  After the prompt asking about your language, go to Utilties -> Disk Utility -> Erase, and erase your Hard Drive.  Then just install like you did the first time.  This saved 10 GBs on my computer.  Definitely worth it.  You can always reinstall those programs if you want them.
The Trash
    The items in your trash can remain on your hard drive until you right click on the trash icon and click "Empty Trash".
    You can choose to securely dump the Trash: From the Finder menu, choose Secure Empty Trash.  One might do this if they had personal information like a Social Security number in a file in the trash.
Downloading and Installing Applications (and uninstalling them)
    Unistall apps by dragging them to the trash.  That's it.  But again, they won't be deleted until you empty your trash can.
Installing things is almost as easy.  For a good brief overview of installing things on your Mac, check this link:
The Mac's equivalent of ctrl + alt + delete (or Windows Task Manager)
    Applications -> Utilities -> Activity monitor.
The Dashboard
    The dashboard holds Widgets, which are just small programs that do small things (like a calculator).  For your weather widget, click on the 'i' in the bottom right corner of it to customize it to your area.  You can find a bazillion widgets on the apple site.
Renaming and Creating Folders
    Rename folders by right clicking on one, then clicking 'info.' 
    Create folders by going to File -> New Folder 
Holding down left click
    In safari, hold down left click over the back or forward button to see recent history.
    Holding down left click can also act as a right click.  Not in all situations, though -- like the one above.
Built in Dictionary
    This is really cool.  To look up a word, simply highlight it, then type 'cmd + control + D'.  Bam, instant definitions.  Just let go of that keyboard command and it'll leave.
    You can even search wikipedia through it.  Open the Dictionary.  Click the Wikipedia tab, and start typing.
    Also, you may want to look around in the dictionary program itself.  Click 'Go' in the top bar, then go to 'Front/Back Matter' to find some cool little items such as "Clichés", "The History of English", and "Grammar Rules".

Apple peripherals 
    Mighty mouse sucks.  I'm using the VX Revolution on my MBP, which I recommend.
    I use the wired apple keyboard, and it is awesome.  Highly recommended if you're looking for a keyboard.
MacBook Pro's heating up?
    The MBP gets really hot.  Download a program called SMC Fan Control, which allows you to control the speed of your fans.  I generally keep my fans running at 3600 rpm, which keeps it ice cold.
Reprograming keys
    You can reprogram keys under System Preferences -> Keyboard and Mouse.  Click the '+' box in the lower left, choose which application you want this to refer to, enter the menu title, and finally the keyboard shortcut you want to use.  The menu title is the phrase in the menu bar for the action you want to replace.
    For example, if you, like me, wanted to reprogram opening a new tab in Safari to 'cmd + e' because typing 'cmd + t' is somewhat awkward, then you would enter "New Tab" because clicking on File in the menu bar reveals that the command title is "New Tab".  Also, capitalization matters.
    I also have set 'cmd + ;' to "Google Search..." for quick access to the google search bar in the top right of Safari.
                                                        Various Useless but Cool Things
Slow Motion minimize
   Hold shift when you minimize a program.  It goes in slow motion.  You can do the same for the dashboard exit animation.  I guess that's cool.
Make The Screen Negative
    ctrl + option + cmd + 8







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