pre-OS X and OS X are sufficiently different that there really isn't much utility in getting used to an old version. OS X is also cool enough that you really ought to go with that one off the bat. I went to pick up my copy of OS X today but they had once again sold out of the English version. I have to wait until next week to get it, but I can't wait.
Install X. You won't regret it.
If you insist on using OS 9.x for a bit, you can get MSIE (MicroSoft Internet Explorer, you can get it by following this link. www.download.com is a good resource for getting stuff for your comp.
http://www.versiontracker.com is also a highly prized resource. If you want some more mac-related web links and sites, let me know and I'll let you know what I frequent.
I am not familar with windows systems, but I think that OSX might have a file navigation system that you would like. When you install, be sure to run the updates and get it up to speed, 10.1.4 is the latest I think. I think the i-series of programs run better under X as well, and iPhoto is also available.
My favorite mac site is http://www.xlr8yourmac.com He has daily updates during the week, mostly hardware stuff. He does cover lots of major software stuff though and keeps me pretty informed.
hey, i just traded the iMac off for an iBook, and it really is a nifty computer, probably the first mac i've owned that i felt was really price/performance comparable with it's wintel competitors. (although i've always placed extra value on the OS). I was also kind of surprised that the battery life was actually in line with the marketing hype. I mean, when they say four hours, that seriously means that you can watch Godfather II on the DVD drive without plugging it in.
Nute is correct. There is little to nothing to be gained from messing with OS 9. X offers better power management. The X version of the finder should feel familiar enough to someone used to Windows Explorer, especially the 3-pane view. It is fast.
X tips, shortcuts, the only thing i can think of is to hide the dock for more screen real estate, you can cmd-tab from app to app, very handy. cmd-H will hide the current app, you can get it back by either cmd-tabbing to it or selecting it from the dock. Also, unless you really, really enjoy the genie effect for minimizing or maximizing windows, i'd turn it off. I like how X rolls all of the System Preferences into a single app instead of 9's folder of separate control panels.
i believe there's a section on macweek.com called "Forward Migration" that offers tips specifically targeted at people transitioning from PCs.
I don't remember all that much about starting up my comp. When I've reinstalled my system before I usually just skip that stuff, or at least as much of it as I can. Your comp does need a name/ ID for network identification purposes, but I really don't know why it would need more than that or if it (or anything) wouldn't work if you gave it trash info. That might be a great question for one of those forums i mentioned earlier. the xlr8yourmac forum is the only one I regularly visit but I think that registration is still closed for it for a while.
I have to concur. OS X is pleasing me no end, now I can run my most used pieces of software (Final Cut, After Effects, a wordprocessor and the Encyplopedia Britannica). The ability to mess around with a Unix style command line is also extremely helpful.
The information requested at the start of the OS X install is ostensibly registration information forwarded to Apple. It has no bearing on the operation of the machine, and you can change it later. All of my machines are registered to a certain individual who lives somewhere in the South Pacific. All the OS X Macs use ethernet MAC addresses for network identification anyway. (And if you want to spoof those you can rebuild your kernel.) Fill in whatever you fancy and then deny the machine access to the network when you click the submit button. Possibly reboot.
Anonymity is assured.
If any of this merry band want a CD of or links to handy shareware utilities I've accrued over the last few months, let me know. (email rather than PM.)
If you could CONCIEVE of scrounging up the money to spend, you've got some time to learn (not that long, in the scheme of things) and ANY interest in digital video, get Final Cut Pro. It is the industry standard, and a great deal of features are edited on pretty much the same version you can buy in a store.
I've been editing video for probably eight years, digital for three. Three years ago, I could not DREAM of what Final Cut Pro can do, and how quickly it can do it.
this might sound kind of stupid, but if you want to get more usability out of your iBook, especially if you're using OS X, get a two-button scroll wheel mouse. X makes use of the second button and wheel natively, hopefully that's some kind of admission on the part of Apple that here in the Jetsonian Era, we can deal with such complex interfaces as multi-button mice.
Yeah, I like the delete key too. My extended keyboard has one but I have to make do with the keycombo or (rightarrow+backspace), on my Pismo. And my extended keyboard isn't working so well, so I am using my iMac keyboard, which not only has few keys and is smaller, it is also layed out Japanese style. My quotes and apostrophes are now shit+2 and shift+7 respectively. Gotta love that!