Windows Renegades: Common Mac Problems and How to Solve Them
Article by George Norman
On 20 Jan 2009
With Microsoft and their Windows operating system, running into problems comes as a given; even with the brand new Windows 7 Beta 1, which is properly good even if it is still in Beta, one will get the occasional blue screen of death (BSOD). This is not to say that in the Apple camp everything runs very smooth and you will never run into a problem – because from time to time you will do just that, squashing your dreams that moving to Apple is like finding the Promised Land.

Before we get into it, it must be said that the next iteration of the Apple developed operating system, Mac OS X 10.6 a.k.a. the Snow Leopard is currently available for download on some of the best well-known torrent sites. Since this is still and early Alpha build, some users might not be enticed by the perspective of testing the software, but they might want to tweak their current Mac OS X 10.5 for free.


One problem you might encounter on your Mac-powered machine is when an app stops working – it just plainly freezes. If that is the case, do not be afraid to perform a force quit. You can do so by pressing Command + Option + Esc and then clicking on the Force Quit tab. A force quit should not have a negative impact on your operating system’s stability, but if the app refuses to re-launch, then the problem might be an incompatibility one.

Software updates will most of the times be done in a swift and smooth manner, but sometimes they will not (like when the Mac OS X 10.5.6 update was released, or when the iPhone OS 2.2 caused the iPhone to perform poorly, not to mention that it broke the jailbreak). One simple fix would be to repair permissions: Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility, click the Macintosh HD (your boot drive) and select Repair Disk Permissions.

Is your CD/DVD stuck in the optical drive? In order to get it out you could open Terminal, type in “drutil tray open” or you could restart your machine while at the same time keeping your finger pressed on the left mouse button. USB memory devices may get stuck as well – just shut down the machine, unplug the device and then start it back up.

If you cannot locate a certain file, there are two options at your disposal: you can use Spotlight, or you can use the Google Quick Search Box, which boasts some additional functions besides aiding you in locating a locally stored file.

Here are some other pieces you Windows to Mac (potential) switchers might like to know about:
- You will find the same right click functionality as in Windows; rumors about Mac not being able to right click are just myths.
- There are keyboard shortcuts available in Mac OS X just as there are in Windows. The main thing to keep in mind is that Ctrl is now replaced by Command.
- To configure your machine you will no longer have to go to the Control Panel, you will have to access System Preferences.
- The Start Menu is specific to the Windows OS, but with the Mac Dock you will certainly not miss it. Windows fans can get pretty much the same functionality as the Mac Dock with RocketDock 1.3.5.
- Programs that no longer respond would in Windows be shut down by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del and then clicking on End process. With the Mac OS X you will have to perform a force quit (see above, the third paragraph from the top).
- Deleted files will be moved to Trash, not Recycle Bin.
- Shortcuts in Mac OS X are called Aliases.
- Alt + Tab is replaced by Command + Tab.

Tags: Apple, Mac OS X, Microsoft, Windows
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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