Advice for Windows/Linux users who’ve migrated to Mac

April 23rd, 2014 | Categories: Apple | Tags:

On the 23rd January 2014, exactly one day before the 30th anniversary of the Apple Mac, I took delivery of my first ever Apple computer – a late 2013 model MacBook Air. I still heavily use Windows and Linux machines at home and at work but the laptop I cart around with me is now a Mac and I like it a lot.

Until I bought the MacBook Air, I hadn’t used Macs very much and I quickly realised I had a lot to learn. As I figured things out, I kept notes and I’ve turned these notes into a .pdf document that may be of use to others. The document covers

  • General Mac stuff – Some answers to various questions I had.
  • Linux-centric tips – Things I am used to on Linux, and how to do them on OS X.
  • Windows-centric tips – Things I am used to on Windows, and how to do them on OS X.
  • Software – How-tos – General software-related questions I had.
  • Software -Listed by task – The software I like to use.
  • Mac OS X Environmental changes – Some changes I made to OS X

I intend to keep this updated as I learn more and feedback is welcomed via the usual channels.


  1. Mike B
    April 23rd, 2014 at 19:12
    Reply | Quote | #1

    I recommend checking out BetterTouchTool:
    It lets you do things like define a 3 finger tap as middle click and enabling Windows 7 style snap

  2. Mike B
    April 23rd, 2014 at 19:17
    Reply | Quote | #2

    Also The Unarchiver:

    It’s the easiest way to deal with extracting files from archive formats not supported natively

  3. Marc
    May 5th, 2014 at 00:58
    Reply | Quote | #3

    I realize that serious programmers may frown upon this but I found this very nice piece of software called FTranProjectbuilder by Nocturnal Aviation Software for my Mac. It has been a lifesaver for me when I need to build and compile fortran code with lots of files. It also has two add ons, an editor and a make file add on. Works with the gcc compiler I grabbed through maoports and the creator helped me get everything working as I was completely new to this.

  4. lodolph
    May 5th, 2014 at 14:34
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Soon or later you will see, that OSX is very user limited OS. Very nice GUI, very good HW-SW integration, but very progressive efforts to limit the user’s ability to change anything, what is deeper than trivial “look and feel” configurations.