If you are like me you are, or were, a “PC” guy….or gal. But for one reason or another you are making the transition to Mac. I am 50/50. I have about 5 different computers….actually 6 that I work on regularly. I know that’s ridiculous but I like “gear” and I have different machines for different tasks. Example: I have my main studio box (Mac) upstairs in my home studio and a laptop (PC) downstairs to use while watching TV. BUT I also have a Media Center PC attached to my entertainment center that I want separate from my PC. The main reason I started up with a Mac in the first place is my gig here at TM Studios forced me to dive in.
So this here post is from the mindset of an Audio guy and written from the viewpoint that PC’s and Mac’s are both awesome. I wont trash either platform and I truly have found great advantages of both. This post and subsequent posts in the series, will also focus on stuff you can do on a Mac that I find makes life easier for a PC person.
Make the Machine Act like a PC
The Mouse: The number one thing I couldn’t get used to is the way the moue acts. The Mac software has this acceleration/deceleration thing that really pisses me off. You are moving feverishly around the screen and when you want to quickly go to an element on the right and drag it left – right when you are about to get there the mouse slows way down anticipating where you want to go giving you more precision in the last few millimeters. This extra “precision” F**ks with my world. Mainly because I am used the way a PC mouse works. There are many utilities out there to fix this and I tried about 5 of them before I got Steermouse. This is the one for me that not only lets you switch Mac mouse behavior to a PC but it gives you a multitude of settings to make it even better than that. I bought it and never looked back!
The Keyboard: The first thing I did was go into settings and swap the Command Key with the Control Key. Perhaps I should have just got used to it but I couldn’t, nay, WOULDN’T! This has caused issues when the other prods in the building sit at my desk to do something (as the buttons are backwards) but for me its the best way to allow me to stay with the keyboard setup I already knew. Bonus: I can go back and forth between a PC and Mac audio environment with ease. After a while I realized I could it make it perfect and change the Command to Option and the Option to Control. Totally up to you how you set these but it may be the quickest way for you to dive in, using MOST (not all) of the keyboard shortcuts you are used to.
***EDIT*** FUNCTION KEYS: I forgot to put this in originally DAW users, specifically Pro Tools users will want to turn off the Function Keys. Because most PT users use them within the DAW regularly and wont care to use them for their original Mac purposes. Personally, since there are usually multiple choices for hotkeys within PT, I have learned to ue the NON-Function key shortcuts. Therefore I leave them on. I love Expose on Mac. Real time saver. In Settings>Keyboards – see image…
“Option Enter” in Chrome: This one I am a bit cloudy on as its been a while. When I first used chrome on the Mac it didn’t act the same way. Little things that weren’t a big deal but the main thing was when you type a site name in the address bar you don’t want to type “.com.” You just want to hold Control and hit Enter like on the PC. It wouldn’t work onMac. I THINK that since the Mac has the Command button it changes some functions of Control and Option. SO, long story short, if you setup your modifier keys like I have above you can hold Option and hit eneter for this functionality.
The Dock: I couldn’t really get used to it at first. For me I actually shoved it to the left side of the screen. That helped. Why? I don’t know. BUT the main thing that helped was to turn off the god awful magnification. I think if you make the whole dock small and turn that off PC users will get used to it quicker. Here are my dock settings. This one isn’t a huge PC Person saver but its something that helped me.
I will write more of these. Next I will post some of my favorite Mac Apps that either replicate PC progs or are just cool and make life easier. I will also update the tweaks to make the Mac machine act like PC as they come to me.