It’s been a few more days, and quite a few more hours of hacking since the last time I talked about trying to understand my new Mac I’ve learned some tips and tricks that have eased the transition considerably, and have made my experience much better.

Tip 1: Command+space bar brings up a search bar that will search the index of all your files and applications. Kind of like Launcy, if you’re familiar. If not, also similar to the Windows start menu search function. It’s pretty neat.
Tip 2: Open your Finder. See all the default links on the left? With the exception of the “All Files” and “Applications” links, these are folders in your User folder. So, /Users/shawnacscott/documents is the file path for that “Documents” link. I’ve found that using the column view (the third option from the left at the top) shows a much more analogous-to-Windows view of the file structure. I found reading through this discussion of how someone coming from Windows to Mac can understand Finder very helpful.
Also, the one area where I will say unequivocally, and without remorse of any kind that Macs perform better than Windows machines is in battery life. When I got this laptop, the friend who gave it to me apologized for the measly four hours of battery life. Four hours of battery life has never been a thing to complain about, in my opinion. If any of my Windows laptops had had four hours of battery life, even out of the box, I would have been thrilled beyond words. So, good on you, Apple. Your batteries are sweet.