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The mac is back…

Virtual Assistant Natasha McCann

Natasha McCann

Natasha McCann one of my own VAs, really surprised me last week.  It’s unusual for that to happen… So I’ve asked her to explain herself on the SVA Blog! 

As background, I am the Anti Mac… iNever is my app of choice, because every time we incorporate someone with a Mac into the team we run into problem after problem.  Their browser isn’t compatible with our workflow system.  We can’t do remote desktopping to show them how to fix the problem.  Their documents come back with screwy formatting.  The transcription software we use doesn’t work on them.  And generally Mac users have a total “does not compute” when dealing with anything that is fairly standard on a PC – Outlook (nope!), setting security settings on email (yeah, they hide that), clearing cookies or caches is buried under loads of difficult unfamiliar settings which I can’t explain because I don’t use them.  So my advice to VAs over several years now has been that if you want to use traditional VA equipment or work with clients on PC, don’t get a mac.

(Incidentally the other way round, going from Mac to PC formatting is never a problem – don’t ask me why!)

So when Natasha casually mentioned last week that she was using a Mac and had been for a while, I was slightly flabberghasted – because I hadn’t noticed.  She’s single handedly and without fuss ironed out all the compatibility issues… So here’s where I hand over to her:

See also  24/7 connectivity

Natasha’s Mac Virtual Assistant Set Up:

I installed Microsoft Office for Mac onto my iMac computer.  I use this predominantly for Outlook, Word and Excel.  All my typing and audio transcription is done here.

I also installed VMware Fusion.  This allows me to run Windows from my iMac.  So in effect I have two operating systems on my iMac.  The Windows operating system is displayed as another window on my iMac, so I can easily swap between the two.  The ONLY reason I did this, was so that I could use Express Scribe, as I couldn’t get this to work at all on my iMac and was struggling to play DSS files on my iMac.  I could play via iTunes but couldn’t use my foot pedal control or have any control over the speed at which audios are played etc.

I haven’t got round to installing Microsoft Office ono my Windows system yet.  However, if I did do that, then I’d need another keyboard because using the Apple keyboard with Windows makes usual keyboard stokes (like ctrl and enter for a new page on word) impossible.  Ha!  Now, when I receive a DSS file that is attached to an email on my iMac, I can click, drag and drop it from my iMac operating system straight into the Windows operating system  window and then load it onto Express Scribe.

Having an iMac certainly came with its challenges and I was really pulling my hair out with it for a while.  I did think I’d wasted my money and would need to go out and buy a normal PC in addition to the iMac but by installing the VMware Fusion software it really helped with playing back audio files, which was my biggest concern… So, it works, for now… Lol
– Natasha McCann, http://www.adminexpertsonline.co.uk/

Well done Natasha!

1 Comment

  1. Mark Tissington on 8 September, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    It’s also possible to install Windows onto a USB Hard drive (SSD is better for speed) and then boot into it by holding down the option (alt) key as the Mac starts.
    The process is essentially:
    1.) Use Bootcamp to download the drivers (but then stop Bootcamp, otherwise it may make changes to your Macintosh HD partition);
    2.) Download an ISO image of Windows which can be burned to an SSD disk (or mechanical hard drive) using Etcher or similar;
    3.) Run through the install then run the Bootcamp assistant for the Apple drivers;
    4.) Register your copy of Windows; and
    5.) Install your Windows software.
    When you boot just hold alt/option down and you will be offered a list of bootable drives (i.e. Macintosh HD and whatever you named your Windows partition.
    This approach removes the advantage of the Windows OS inside MacOS but if you use cloud services like Onedrive, Dropbox, iCloud etc. you can access the data from both operating systems with ease. The advantage is to preserve space on your native Macintosh HD partition.

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