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Old 30-12-2009, 13:56   #1 (permalink)
bazzle
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Where can I sit myself behind a mac?

Hi all,

My predicament is this.. I've got an interview next week for a creative agency that I'm pinning a lot of hopes on. They have already said they like my work but level of my ability using a mac is akin to Frank Spencer flying a light aircraft.





Last time I used one I couldn't get comfortable with the interface, and it took me ages to do simple tasks.

Last thing I want is for me to flounder the minute they put me in front of one, so I just need a few hours of my own time to practice.

I'm also looking to play with some mac-only web dev tools, so a place where they are relaxed about me downloading and installing a few things. If they could also have creative suite installed that would be perfect.

Preferably in the London/South East area.

Cheers
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Old 30-12-2009, 14:14   #2 (permalink)
MikeMackay
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Maybe the agency have PCs too? I know ours does, because not everyone is used to using a Mac. I'd never used one before I started at my place but decided to jump ship - it was one of the best decisions I'd made.

Re: Mac Dev tools
If you're talking about coding wise, here are a couple of tools I couldn't be without during my day (some free, some not so free (but not expensive)):

Sequel Pro — MySQL database management app for Mac OS X
Iconfactory : Software : Xscope
TextMate — The Missing Editor for Mac OS X
Panic - Transmit 3 - The next-generation Mac OS X FTP client!

And, of course:

Firefox web browser | Faster, more secure, & customizable
Google Chrome - Download a new browser
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Old 30-12-2009, 15:23   #3 (permalink)
metalfingers
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Go to the apple store if you're in London. They're generally quite helpful so might let you try out some other software.
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Old 30-12-2009, 15:42   #4 (permalink)
hawken
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all the adobe apps are the same, they might also get you to use Coda instead of Dreamweaver, but I doubt it.

If you can use adobe apps, you'll be fine.

Mac's operating system is designed to be picked up in a few hours, you'll be fine.
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Old 30-12-2009, 21:38   #5 (permalink)
DKuntz2
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You could bring a windows laptop? They all generally play nicely over the network.
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Old 30-12-2009, 21:45   #6 (permalink)
sub
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If you need a mac to fart about on then you're welcome to use the spare iMac I have at my office in Brighton.
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Old 30-12-2009, 23:37   #7 (permalink)
Jed Hunter
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Is there an apple store near you?
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Old 31-12-2009, 00:45   #8 (permalink)
freelancr
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Urgh forget going to an apple store at this time of year, fuck me you can barely get through the door of the one in birmingham let alone actually see anything. God knows why the dickheads decided to rent the smallest bloody shop there.
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Old 31-12-2009, 01:01   #9 (permalink)
Klang
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God knows why apple would want a shop in a shit hole like Birmingham in the first place.

Bazzle, don't worry about the mac, just explain you're new to the system, it not really an issue, it takes a few days to get up to speed.
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Old 31-12-2009, 01:07   #10 (permalink)
pat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klang
God knows why apple would want a shop in a shit hole like Birmingham in the first place.

Yeah ennit, god knows why Apple would want a shop in the country's second city. Beggars belief. They should definitely fill Kent with shops instead.
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Old 31-12-2009, 01:36   #11 (permalink)
Mandy Moo
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Best option is to find a chum who owns a mac or if the college/uni you went to is within travelling distance... perhaps you could go visit some past lecturers and then ask whether you can borrow one of their macs to have a play around with?
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Old 31-12-2009, 03:27   #12 (permalink)
bazzle
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Cheers for the offer sub, Can't really justify going all the way to Brighton for a bit of farting about on a mac though.

They should accept I'm inexperienced using them, it's not really a huge problem just would be great to be 100% confident with them from the off.

Creative suite applications shouldn't be a problem, only difference is you use the command button instead of control for shortcuts etc.

The main concern is a coding app. I've always used notepad++ but you can't get that for mac. It seems most mac developers use textedit or panic, but you can't get that for PC. You can't win.

Think I will take up moo's suggestion of paying a visit to my old college. Don't know if any of my lecturers will still be there though, or even if they remember me as it was 8 years ago now but worth a try.

Cheers all.
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Old 31-12-2009, 05:00   #13 (permalink)
seen.to
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Take a look at the stuff about switching to Mac from PC on lynda.com
Tutorials & training: Switching from Windows to Mac with David Rivers
Went through the first few when my Mac was ordered at work (after a dozen or so years with Windows) and felt totally prepared when it arrived.
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Old 31-12-2009, 09:58   #14 (permalink)
Jed Hunter
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If it's the coding app that you're worried about I'm sure they'd be more interested in the actual code which has nothing to do with the app but you, no? You seem to be perfectly confident in your abilities to write the actual code. I'd say you'll be absolutely fine.

When I have to use Windows systems I fumble about a bit too—it's to be expected if it's not the system you're used to. If they are decent employers they will be perfectly understandable. If they don't understand this I'd say there will be much deeper issues with them not you. If they are dicks about a simple issue like this they'll be dicks in other areas too (chances are they won't be dicks at all though ;-) If they are really understanding and they like you but you don't like the Mac they may even be willing to get you a PC but that's a little less likely. I wouldn't go so far to say they aren't decent if they don't do that but they'd be really good if they did. But give the Mac a chance once you get used to it chances are you won't want to go back. In my opinion (and I don't want to get into a Mac vs PC war here this is just my opinion)—Macs are designed very much with the end user in mind where as using a PC afterwards feels like everything is just slopped together with no actual thought about how the user will interact with it—I'll reiterate that's my opinion and experience if you feel differently I'd seriously push for them getting a PC if they hire you.

Good luck mate!

EDIT: just visited your homepage—nice and clean I reckon you'll do just fine!
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Old 31-12-2009, 13:26   #15 (permalink)
Brown
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Might be worth giving someone like these guys a call: CORPS BUSINESS CREATIVE RECRUITMENT AGENCY - IT Software training courses - in London UK, Authorised Apple, Adobe InDesign, Dreamweaver, QuarkXpress explain your predicament and see what they'll ask for in terms of payment for an afternoon session. might be worth it in the long run...
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Old 31-12-2009, 13:29   #16 (permalink)
Brown
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btw, i've used them many times in the last 10 years, they're very good at what they do. however, what you'll find is that their trainers are often excellent freelancers who have the ability to communicate very well. if you can find out who those people are or find someone similar, then you'll likely save yourself some money.
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Old 31-12-2009, 13:52   #17 (permalink)
Mandy Moo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazzle
Don't know if any of my lecturers will still be there though, or even if they remember me as it was 8 years ago now but worth a try.
If any of them are still there... you may be surprised how well they remember you. When my sister was doing her Masters, she went back to her High School to ask whether she could get the year 10 to complete a questionaire... she was surprised that the Headmaster remembers her after nearly 10 years. I still go back to see my lecturer who help me get into uni. It's amazing when you think how many people they taught and yet they remember all their students... or I think he remembers me... he certainly plays along if he doesn't!
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Old 31-12-2009, 17:12   #18 (permalink)
hawken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bazzle
It seems most mac developers use textedit or panic, but you can't get that for PC. You can't win.

coda. most decent coders on the mac use coda. It's flippin brilliant, that's why.
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Old 31-12-2009, 17:42   #19 (permalink)
HalfMachine
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Sometimes you have to take the punt and buy some kit. May seem radical but I guarantee if you think of the shit you probably spend your cash on it's a great investment.

I had my first MAC by spreading cost over 4 years and cost me a small fortune at the time, wasn't good for much other than propping the door open after the 4 years but helped me spend the time to learn the tools of the trade. That was some 12 years ago, kit has come down in price a hell of a lot now so is more affordable for a decent spec.
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Old 31-12-2009, 17:49   #20 (permalink)
Klang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat
Yeah ennit, god knows why Apple would want a shop in the country's second city. Beggars belief. They should definitely fill Kent with shops instead.
Population density doesn't make it any less of a shit hole.

Kent is owned by Tesco
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