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Sunday, 06 February 2011


Dear James,

So long as you're patient, that'll work fine. David is right about USB being slow for this purpose. It's not about data rates, but how USB handles handshaking and small, frequent exchanges of data (which is also why USB drives make horrible scratch drives). Installing OSX on your flash drive will take all afternoon, as a result, but eventually it'll get there.

pax / Ctein

@David & Rob:

You guys are great! Regarding the "maximize the window" issue, yes, I tried the green button and it doesn't do what I expected from years of using Windows, but true, it is application dependent, and for some apps, I'm still seeing the wallpaper which is something I don't expect, not to say it is wrong. But honest, when trying out the green button (when I first tried to switch to Mac OS), I was frustrated not seeing what I expect. Also, do you guys know any shortcut keystrokes to just maximize the window, instead of clicking with the mouse. All these years, I've preaching to people around me "not to use the mouse whenever there's a shortcut keystroke". I know It's just me, 'cause I failed miserably in my preaching.
And the "ctrl+delete" shortcut, Yes, option+delete would do the trick, but again, it's just me, I still cannot get over "delete" = "backspace". There are both the backspace AND delete key on a Windows keyboard.
Mike: I love your site because of the readers, I cannot believe they would read all the way down to the 79th(?) comment AND provide constructive feedback!! Also by the number of comments on your problem, the readers love you too!
I am now having my 17" MacBook Pro beside my desktop with the 22" monitor, I'm trying to train myself to like the MacOS. As promised.


"Also, do you guys know any shortcut keystrokes to just maximize the window?"

Not really. Well, yeah but not by default. At least there isn't a consistent one, built into the OS (but again, that should change when the next iteration of OS X, 10.7 arrives.)

This discussion only applies to Snow Leopard (10.6) I can't remember the details of the earlier OSes anymore.


For each application you're using there's typically a Window menu, up there in the Mac's menubar at the top of the screen. Most, if not all apps, will show there a menu choice to minimize the front-most (that is, the "active") window. AND notice the menu choice also reveals (or should, take a look at Safari as an example) the relevant keyboard shortcut: Command-M. (sorry, I can't input the Command key symbol on my iPad.)

Below that, still within the Window menu, should be a menu choice for Zoom. Safari doesn't include a keyboard shortcut for it, but look at iTunes: it's Control-Command-Z. Can't envision where a three-finger shortcut is ever truly a shortcut, but there it is.

A global "fix" for you:

1) Go to System Preferences and select Keyboard. Hit the Keyboard Shortcuts tab if not already selected.

2) In the left pane select Application Shortcuts.

3) Click the small + box. A drop-down dialog box appears.

4) Choose All Applications or whatever targeted app you want from the Applications popup there.

5) For Menu Title, name it "Zoom" or "Edwin's Custom Window Maximizer Supreme"

6) For Keyboard Shortcut, hit whatever you want that doesn't conflict with an app's built-in Shortcuts. So maybe try Control-Command-Z. Worked for me.

7) Go back to Safari---you'll see it got added to its Window menu but did no harm to iTunes' Window menu.

8) Go back to Step 3 if you wish to delete and do-over the shortcut, by selecting what you added an hitting the minus button.

9) There are many books available for this. The "Missing Manual" series is a good one. There are also many online forums devoted to helping Mac users get questions. And the built-in Help, and Apple's online help are pretty good.

10) You can't hurt anything by poking around on your Mac. Do NOT be fearful of exploring!

Dear Edwin and others,

As one who has supported systems with a myriad of OS's over the years, I can tell you that switching from one OS to another, no matter what, is going to be a bit frustrating. There will be operations, both minor and major, that are very easy to do in one OS that will be difficult in the other.

Sometimes they're minor, like which editing commands are easiest in which OS or how windows and programs launch and shut down.

Other times they're major: it's a trivial task to set up multiple boot drives on a Mac, but a lot more work on a PC. Conversely, live disk partition management is well-understood and common in the PC environment and almost unheard of in Macspace.

In all cases, you can find hacks, scripts, shortcut software, and third party solutions that will pretty much let you do anything on any platform. In many cases it will not be worth your energy to do so.

The least useful thing to do is dwell on what's different, unless you're forced to work in multiple environments. Then it can be aggravating. Otherwise, it's much more fruitful to just get over it and ignore the minuses and enjoy the pluses.

pax / Ctein

"There will be operations, both minor and major, that are very easy to do in one OS that will be difficult in the other."

I (obviously) work within the TypePad interface all day, and I've noticed the same thing with successive iterations of that interface. They tend to fix some things and break others; progress is seldom completely linear. But as you say, you just learn to deal with the limitations and adapt.



You might consider one of David Pogue's books on Mac usage such as Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual. I've not read this title, or any of his books for that matter, but Pogue is a well regarded writer on things Mac, and it appears to get good reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/Mac-OS-Snow-Leopard-Missing/dp/0596153287/ref=pd_cp_b_1 (not sure if this link will give you your commission ;-)

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