Greetings from my new Mac

March 11, 2011 at 2:14 am (Law School Gear, Uncategorized)

As luck would have it, my PC died the day before the new Apple Macbook Pro’s came out. So I went shopping for a replacement the next day and like magic, I came across a Macbook Pro (herein, “MBP”) for just $900 (a discount of over $300) that had been the brand spank’n new model until the newest MBP model came out (in other words, I have the April 2010 edition). Needless to say, I jumped on it and am now blogging from my new (and first-ever) Mac.

Having been a life-long PC user, I was very concerned about the transition from PC to Mac. But Macs are so intuitive, that I really haven’t had much difficulty acclimating.  For a few days I constantly was looking to the upper right-hand corner of the page to close/reduce/maximize but am now instinctively knowing where to go to get what I want.  Originally, I had thought that I would run bootcamp so I could run Windows with Microsoft Office. The only two applications which I use that are not available on the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 edition are OneNote and Publisher. However, there are many good non-Microsoft alternatives to Publisher – though compatibility issues would likely arise if I were to collaborate on a Microsoft Publisher document.  However, I am delighted to discover that Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac has a “notebook” view that is nearly identical to OneNote – including the ability to audio record and link recordings to typed-text. For example, say I take notes during a lecture and later want to refer back to a particular part of the lecture. I would simply refer back to the text I typed at the point I want to listen to and voila – the audio recording plays back to me whatever was recorded as I typed that text.  That said, I’m told there are several really good alternatives to OneNote, including Circus Ponies Notebook and OmniOutline.  I’m currently on day 2 of a free 30-day trial of the Circus Ponies Notebook.  Though I still have no clue how to make use of its wealth of features, I’m intrigued.  (If anyone wouldn’t mind sharing their circus ponies notebook template or an example of a law school setup, please send it my way to lawschooldreamer at gmail dot com!)  Additionally, this forum is dedicated to lawyers who use Circus Ponies.  I’m sure this is handy for paralegals, too!  My firm happens to be hopelessly devoted to PCs and Blackberrys, so I’m actually a little surprised to find that so many lawyers and firms are actually using Macs. The Mac Lawyer has certainly enlightened me. Also, checkout the Mac Law Students Blog. Though it could use some updating, its been a great starting place for me to explore using my Mac as a (future) law student.

Lastly, a few oddities that I hope some of my Mac readers can help me figure out:

1) How do I “insert” instead of “delete” text. For example, as I proofread, I tend to want to change text from the beginning of a word where my cursor already lies – not at the end of the work and backspace to delete the word. How can I delete the text in front of the texture, and not behind?

2) How do I make shortcuts to a flashdrive that would appear on my “finder?”  I save everything to a flashdrive and because I’m so “Type A” I have everything organized 2-5 layers (folders) deep. How can I make a shortcut to a particular folder on my flashdrive that I use frequently?

Mac users – what are your favorite apps? Please share your tips and thoughts with me! Your comments are always appreciated.

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6 Comments

  1. Practical Paralegalism said,

    Congrats on the new MBP. My only Apple product is iPad (plain old one, not souped up new one), but I love it!

  2. Amanda said,

    Congrats on the new MBP. I’ve got an old Macbook, but I’m holding out on getting a new one until August, so I can get Lion (and use summer job money to pay for it!). I can’t imagine working on a PC now.

    As far as applications and stuff, I love iProcrastinate (best to-do list software–and its free), Adium (for g-chatting or AIM, even Facebook chat is on it), and Quicksilver. Quicksilver is the best thing ever, but its difficult to explain. It basically lets you never have to click things–you can use keyboard shortcuts for everything. I haven’t found anything that is truly like OneNote, although Notebook is pretty close. OmniOutliner does work well for outlining, because you can drag and drop easily.

    As far as your questions, I’m not sure how to make it overwrite. Never tried it. lol For number 2, to add a folder, you drag it (the big one in the window) to the sidebar in a Finder window (I assume that’s what you mean by making it appear in Finder). You can do the same thing with files.

    I hope this helps! I love Macs and if you need any help/ideas just email me!

    • LawSchoolDreamer said,

      Thanks Amanda! You may be hearing from me! Everyday or so I have a list of questions or ideas. Google has answered many of them, but I’m always looking for fun new gadgets. Especially things that make me more productive. I especially love your recommendation of iProcrastinate. I live my day by to-do-lists and to have them right at my fingertips is very handy. And I also love that I can sync them to my iPhone. Though, I wish they would sync automatically without having to manually sync. Is there a setting where I can set this up or do I need to remember to sync on my own between the MBP and iPhone? I’ve been using dropbox to sync between the two.

  3. AnonMac said,

    Congratulations on your Mac.
    I know this is old, but I didn’t know if you received an answer to your questions to the delete key. On a MacBook Pro, you can press the “fn” key and delete. Also, for the shortcut thing, you can press and hold “command” and “option” (also known as “alt”) and drag the file you want to the desktop. This will make an “alias”, which is similar to a shortcut in Windows, but is more complicated and has more differences. Tell me how it works for you.

    • LawSchoolDreamer said,

      Ah! Thanks for your help! I did figure out the “fn” key trick but I’m so glad to know how to quickly make alias files. Have you made the move to the new OS? I’m thinking about installing it over winter break but am not entirely confident I will do it correctly.

      • AnonMac said,

        I’ve gone to Lion on one of my computers, but the other still runs Snow Leopard. Don’t worry, it’s easy to upgrade, I don’t think you can mess it up. Just make sure to back up everything, and make sure that all you programs will run on it.

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