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  1. #1
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    Apple computer training

    I will be starting a computer training class in our local senior center in a few weeks. My experience in computers has been Windows from when MS-DOS transitioned to Microsoft Windows. Although I don't have any official training classes I've got a lot of OJT experience which has served me well. I already volunteer at a local non-profit organization a few hours a month and I look forward to volunteering at our local senior center.

    I'd like to be able to help Apple users also. I was notified this morning that one of our senior center members has received a brand new Apple computer as a gift but doesn't know how to use it but wants to start off doing email.

    So I'd like to know how to find the system specs on her brand new Apple computer
    --- Since I don't know what her make/model etc. is, I'd like to pull up that information so that on future requests I'll know the correct computer information to provide.

    On her e-mail, I do not know whether or not she even has an email address but when I find out I'll see whether or not I can help her

    Last but not least I'd like to buy a basic Apple training book: any recommendations are appreciated.

    I have googled the above information but being brand new with anything Apple, I'd appreciate your advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy View Post
    So I'd like to know how to find the system specs on her brand new Apple computer
    --- Since I don't know what her make/model etc. is, I'd like to pull up that information so that on future requests I'll know the correct computer information to provide.

    On her e-mail, I do not know whether or not she even has an email address but when I find out I'll see whether or not I can help her

    Last but not least I'd like to buy a basic Apple training book: any recommendations are appreciated.

    I have googled the above information but being brand new with anything Apple, I'd appreciate your advice.
    Writing from my MacBook Pro OS X Yosemite, current installed version on new Macs. Apple has just announced a BETA of the next version called El Capitan.

    You can find a lot by clicking the apple icon at top left corner. I'd leave the Update for later. Notice that a difference from Windows is the 3 icons in the upper corner are on the left instead of the right. The Ctrl/Control key on a Mac is called Command. It does have the 3-finger salute but uses Command, Option and Esc.

    As for E-Mail I'd start with Webmail/Online E-Mail provided by her ISP. There is a Mail app usually on the Dock. The default browser is Safari but Firefox and SeaMonkey work fine. SeaMonkey also has an E-Mail application. The Finder icon, usually left end of the Dock/Taskbar, is useful and can be right-clicked and choose to open another copy.

    I don't have a book but maybe Books for Dummies has something.

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  4. #3
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    Here in the UK, I often look in the local library for books on various op systems and software. Even if a bit old, it costs me nothing to take them home and browse. That way you'll get to know which books suit you best. The Dummies series are normally good as are the guides for Idiots. They will probably be all you need for basic usage. Do you have public libraries where you are?

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    The way to learn is by doing, I have not learned Apple because no one has given me one It is not worth it to me to fork over $$ for that privilege. I am in the process for W8.1 w/ my Asus transformer if I could buy a modern Apple computer for $250 maybe I would have to reconsider. You could offer to help him/her if you could borrow it for a couple of weeks. Sounds like a fair trade to me!
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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    The only thing that person knows is she has a brand new Apple laptop and she wants to do e-mail. She's in contact with one of the directors at the senior center and that's all I know right now.
    --- It seems they think all I have to do is snap my fingers and voila: email is in use and she'll be all set in about 15 minutes. Well, that'll be nice if it can happen that easily but I won't know until I see what's actually going on and that won't be until about 10 days from now.

    So my approach right now is to determine what her actual model & information is
    --- It's easy enough to do on a Windows computer
    --- I suspect it will be easy enough on an Apple computer also
    --- I did find some instructions on the Internet on how to do that but I didn't keep track of the website but I'll be following up on that

    On an Apple computer manual, once I know her model I'll get a manual geared to it
    --- The reason I want my own manual is because I can mark it up as I go along

    I just found MAC Basics for Dummies
    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/comput...ac-Basics.html
    and it has a lot of good how to's which I'll be checking out but I still want my own book until I'm at least decently familiar on how Apple computers work

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    The way to learn is by doing, I have not learned Apple because no one has given me one It is not worth it to me to fork over $$ for that privilege.
    I wouldn't have gotten one either but I had the money [one time deal] but did justify it as I have 6 clients that have moved over to Macintosh although one did move back to Windows, couldn't upgrade her Notebook from Leopard to Snow Leopard.

    The latest version of Mac OS X is 10.10 Yosemite and the previous version was Mavericks. I started in mid-2010 with Snow leopard but skipped over Lion to Mountain Lion and all since then.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_OS_X

    Other:
    http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/ma...ricks-3526895/

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    The best Mac OS X (and iOS) training I know of is the Take Control eBooks (www.takecontrolbooks.com). These cover the OS, major Apple built-in applications, and some key third-party products that are available. Inexpensive, authoritative and comprehensive. That would be my recommendation for anyone starting to use Macs.

    (The Apple conceit that everything is easily discoverable and written documentation is not needed is, obviously, not true! I have been using Macs for about 10 years, and I buy a lot of these books - particularly when new versions of the OS are released. Apple hides a lot of valuable functionality.)

    David

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  13. #8
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy
    I'd like to be able to help Apple users also. I was notified this morning that one of our senior center members has received a brand new Apple computer as a gift but doesn't know how to use it but wants to start off doing email.

    So I'd like to know how to find the system specs on her brand new Apple computer
    --- Since I don't know what her make/model etc. is, I'd like to pull up that information so that on future requests I'll know the correct computer information to provide.
    This is easy in OS X.
    1. Click on the Apple icon in the toolbar running across the top of the screen.
    os x 1.png
    Click to enlarge

    2. Select About This Mac from the dropdown menu.
    os x 2.png
    Click to enlarge

    3. A dialog will appear showing the version of OS X (1). If it's a new Mac (as opposed to new to her) then it's probably going to be OS X 10.10 Yosemite. (Note that a new version of OS X - El Capitan - will be available from Sept 30th.)
    os x 3.png
    Click to enlarge
    The dialog will also show you basic hardware details (2) including the system's serial number. For comprehensive details you can select the System Report... button (3). At the top of the dialog you will see that you are looking at an overview of the system. Choose any of the other buttons (4) for more information about major sub-systems, e.g. Display, Storage, Memory, etc. Storage in particular is very useful to see a quick and clear snapshop of file system usage.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy
    On her e-mail, I do not know whether or not she even has an email address but when I find out I'll see whether or not I can help her
    I'm sure you'll be able to help her. Setting up a new mail account is made quite easy in OSX, for example:
    1. Click on the Mail icon in the Dock at the bottom of the screen.
    os x mail in dock.png
    Click to enlarge

    2. Select Add Account... from the Mail menu.
    os x mail add account.png
    Click to enlarge

    3. Select one of the Mail provider options.
    os x mail choice.png
    Click to enlarge

    It's difficult to tell you any more without knowing which mail provider you choose but they'll all have links to create new email accounts. Note that one thing which is very different from Windows' system is that, to all intents and purposes, OS X (and iOS) systems are 'walled gardens', i.e. new apps can (usually) only be downloaded and installed from Apple's App Store. As a result, it's usual for OS X users to have an Apple ID as well as any email address. If you select to create an iCloud email address then you'll be shown how to create both an Apple ID and a (linked) iCloud email account.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy
    Last but not least I'd like to buy a basic Apple training book: any recommendations are appreciated.
    I can't help you with any recommendation about books but the Mac basics for Dummies link you included look good.

    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy
    I have googled the above information but being brand new with anything Apple, I'd appreciate your advice.
    As noted by another contributor, OS X isn't intuitive and does need documentation. (Why else is there so much information available online?)

    For example, people coming from a Windows background usually assume apps work in the same way, i.e. clicking on the red Close button in an app's window exits the app. Nope... it just exits the window... and the app is still running in the background. Have a look at these 6 apps in the OS X Dock at the bottom of the screen.
    os x 5.png
    Click to enlarge
    (From left to right, the apps are Finder, Launchpad, Safari, Mail, Contacts and Calendar.) Notice how three of the apps have little dots underneath their icons. This shows they are running in the background, even if there are no visible windows open.

    As a starting point for obtaining information, have a look at the Support button (in About This Mac) and its links to system- and operating system-specific information (1).
    os x 4.png
    Click to enlarge
    I found these very helpful when I was starting out with OS X, and still do. For example, Specifications (2) shows you what the model originally came with (as opposed to a System Report which shows details about that particular model. Very helpful when checking for modifications to the standard specification.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2015-09-20 at 15:46.

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  15. #9
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    Rick, many thanks

  16. #10
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    My pleasure.

    As a Windows user since 3.1, during my introduction to OS X last year I found the biggest difference was how to understand the OS X file system. In a list of 'things I wished I'd known sooner', I guess my number 1 tip would be to investigate the Go button in the Finder menu, particularly Utilities.
    finder go.png
    Click to enlarge
    I can't tell you how many times it's saved me, especially when trying to connect to other machines on a network to transfer files.

    Hope this helps... and best wishes for the computer training class. I'm sure you'll find OS X a pleasurable experience.

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