Re: [BCAB] Switching over to the Mac David Taylor 12 Sep 2011 06:42 BST

Hi,

Glad you're liking your Mac so much. Here are a few pointers that might help further.

Firstly, I agree that the bookmarks system in Safari is not intuitive. I have, in fact, abandoned the use of bookmarks. I find that typing in the first few letters of a website will bring that site up almost immediately anyway and find this easier and quicker. This can be done either in Safari or in Spotlight Search, so just press command-space and type in what you're searching for. This does pretty much everything that the Windows start menu in Windows 7 and Windows Search do all from one place, so I often use it for opening things like files and sites. You can also add things to the Bookmarks Bar in Safari and then use command-1 to command-9 to open them. They are numbered in the order you add them, so the newest will always be command-1 and slip down as you add more. Then, I've started using the reading list to save pages I like to go back to as well. This doesn't give me folders, but given all the ways of finding things you have on the Mac, it works extremely fast.

Also, don't forget to turn Instant Search on in VO. This uses one of your command keys and when pressed in combination with a letter it takes you to the next element starting with that letter. This works across all elements in all applications and I often use it for finding buttons more quickly as well as specific links on certain sites. Also, if you don't have a number pad, you can add commands to the keyboard commander to do some of the functions that are keystroke intensive.

I must admit, I found Windows 7 virtually unusable on the Mac side, but I know others who have much better results, and I'm not entirely sure why. I now only use Windows for going on chat sites where there is no Mac client, such as TAFN or Zone BBS. However, you shouldn't have to turn VoiceOver off to press command-control-return in VMWare, and if you leave VO on and have a seamless Windows Install, you should be able to multi-task in both systems at once. Mac and Windows keystrokes work brilliantly well together in that situation since the Windows and ALT keys swap places in Fusion, so that the Windows key is the Command key and the ALT key is the Option key.

Cheers
Dave

On 12 Sep 2011, at 00:14, David Griffith wrote:

> Here is a few thoughts on my switching to an Imac.
>
> I moved from my failing XP Windows system a few weeks ago.
> I decided to go this route as it became clear that I could maintain a
> Windows installation on the Mac and have the option of hopefully using the
> best of both worlds.
>
> To sop this email being too long I will confine myself to  2 main points.
>
> 1. On the Mac side it is a steep learning curve indeed for a long term
> windows user. I am definably making progress. There are some features like
> item chooser appearing across all applications which are definitely great.
> Personally my appreciation of Voiceover increased exponentially when I
> discovered  Numpad commander.  Using voiceover with numpad commander can  be
> very slick and I would strongly recommend that a visually impaired person
> purchasing a Mac makes sure that they get a keyboard with a numpad. Of
> course you can use Voiceover with a laptop but it is keyboard intensive I
> think. For example moving to the top of email messages on a laptop is I
> think press all these keys together,  function key Shift key control and
> option  keys and then finally left arrow. Thinks can e improved y using a
> lock on the voiceover control and option keys but you of course have to
> remember to keep pressing control option semi colon turn this on and off
> every time you want to use a non voiceover command.
>
> Things will get better as I learn but  at the moment the Mac is an odd
> mixture of the brilliant and baffling. For example Safari with voiceover
> offers now an amazing array of navigation features which I think puts my old
> Jaws setup in the shade. You can dynamically change quick access to list of
> page elements by using cursor key presses. So you want to change from a list
> of heading to landmarks or form fields , no problem just  press a couple of
> cursor keys together , left and up or right and up and you will dynamically
> Rota through all the elements listed in the  with the list changing elements
> as you Rota.  This will include options for web hotspots and navigation
> landmarks as well as the normal elements.   . I also love item chooser which
> will filter a list by your typing irrespective of where the word you are
> typing appears on a line or link. With Lion all the important single key
> navigation keys that jaws users will be used to using on web pages are also
> available,  but you have to enable this. This is not to mention the options
> to navigate web pages using the Track pad just like I think people do on
> I-Phones. All very slick and impressive but  above all what I love about the
> Mac is the predictability of the old menu bar which exists across all
> applications, much as in the old days of windows before the advent of the
> ribbons I hate.
> Against this I am still baffled  by relatively simple task .   For example I
> have been so far defeated in discovering how I can organise my  bookmarks
> into folders in a way that I can easily retrieve them.  I know it can be
> done but it is not intuitive for someone switching from windows. The lack of
> audible feedback when typing into secure edit fields also means that I
> struggle to use Safari when I am trying to access my bank.
>
> 2 On the Windows side I would make he following few points.
> 1. I installed windows through boo camp and I have  almost immediately
> regretted it. There are major disadvantages to this approach.
> The first is that I have lost my lovely rapid boot up time on the Mac side.
> Now booting  takes almost as long as booting windows.
> 2. Installation is difficult with sound being muted etc.
> 3. I found that neither my Apple wireless keyboard or track pad would work
> in the boot camp windows. It was impossible to pair these devices. Checking
> on Google it appears that you have to delete these devices from the Mac,
> then pair them in Windows and then pair them in the Mac again before all
> this to work.
> I strongly recommend that instead you use VM Fusion to run Windows in the
> Mac operating system.   In theory the advantage of using boot camp is that
> all resources are available for windows but I found no problem with
> responsiveness under Fusion. Booting into Windows is rapid and there is
> absolutely no problem with using devices like wireless keyboards or track
> pads.   Above all it is perfectly possible to install windows without
> sighted help using VM Fusion. I entered all the user and serial information
> in the Fusion setup using Voiceover and then when Windows started ran a
> portable version of NVDA which started automatically from a CD.
>
> It was still a head ache setting up Fusion but that is because the prompts
> and instructions provided in VM Fusion are useless for a Voiceover and Jaws
> users. For example the program tells you to press Command G to enter the
> Virtual version of Windows. This will not work. After many many attempt of
> trial and error I worked it out.
> Unfortunately some of the podcasts out there relate to older versions of VM
> Fusion and what is described there will not work with the latest version.
> So finally for anybody struggling with  VM Fusion this is what you do.
> In the Mac load VM Fusion.
> Depending on your setup Windows will either start automatically or you will
> need to start or resume windows.
> Wait until VM Fusion stops saying busy and you get the prompt to press
> Command G to enter the virtual machine.
> You should also wait until you hear Jaws or whatever screen reader you are
> using is loaded. You will hear this in the background.
> Do not press command G but instead turn Voiceover off by pressing command
> F5. Now press control and command and return to put windows into full screen
> mode. You should now be able to control Windows as normal with your
> keyboard.  On my system only control command and return works. I have seen
> Control command and enter suggested as a keystroke but this does not work on
> my IMac.
>
> To return to the Mac press control command and return again to take Windows
> out of full screen mode. Now you can turn Voiceover on again with command f5
> and you will have control of your Mac with your keyboard.
>
> Hope this helps for some people.
>
> Regards
>
> David Griffith
>
>
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