Macs have keyboard options

June 22, 1998|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

A few months ago I needed to upgrade from a 486/33 system. I ended up with a Motorola Power Mac clone system.

Windows 3.1 seems to have keyboard commands that I haven't found on Mac OS, such as pressing Alt+Tab to toggle between open applications and Ctrl+Esc to open the task list to select an open application. Is there a way to accomplish this on the Mac without leaving the keyboard? Also, is there a way to access the menus from the keyboard to use commands that don't have keyboard equivalents?

Macs respond to keyboard commands a bit differently than PCs do, but the Apple world definitely lets us mouse-o-phobic wretches do our stuff sans rodent.

The Apple Key (next to the space bar) along with Tab calls up a list of all running programs, and you can toggle between them with repeated key presses. The Option Key + Tab moves you from desktop icon to desktop icon on the Mac screen. Once you have selected the icon you want to run, press Option + "O" (for open) and that software will run. Apple + "F" calls up the file finder on a Mac, and Apple + "I" (for information) tells you how big a file is and where it's located. Finally, whenever you press Apple + "Q" while inside an application, that application will quit.

Regarding an earlier question you answered about transferring files from one computer to the other, this can be done quickly and easily if both computers have Windows 95. Use the "direct connect" program in Windows with a $7 "interlink" cable from a computer supply store.

Good point. You can indeed use this Windows feature to transfer files, although doing so doesn't leave you with an archive in case stuff gets corrupted later on. That's why I suggested either a 1-gigabyte Sparq drive by Syquest or Iomega's 100-megabyte ZIP disks.

But as you say, a direct connection will allow you to move files as well. This feature really shines in the new Windows 98, which walks you through the process step by step, starting with connecting the cable to either the serial or parallel ports.

It then guides you through establishing a connection and, finally, dragging and dropping files from one machine to the other.

Can I install Windows 95 on my 4-year-old PC, 486-66? I have a 28,800 bps modem.

As Richard Nixon once said about raising Watergate hush money, you could do that.

But it would be wrong; that's for sure.

Microsoft's specifications for Windows 95 and the brand-new Windows 98 call for a 486/66 with 16 megabytes of RAM, but the result is a dramatic slowdown that isn't worth the added features. If you're in the 486 world you can continue to use Windows 3.1 for all kinds of word processing and just about all other computing functions.

It is only for the Internet that most of us really need the hot new Pentiums and Windows 95/98 to handle multimedia downloads and deliver the resources needed to display Web browsers.

Pub Date: 6/22/98

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