I have never used a Mac but I'm a windows power user.
It's time for me to learn the Mac and I plan to start with all the great information on this site. I can read it with my iPHONE or Windows laptop while I play with the mac, and I know there are other voiceover tutorials online as well.
But I don't want to buy a Mac, yet. I work for a college with about ten different computer labs that have iMacs. But I know the first step will be to log in, because that's how it works for the Windows computers in our labs. The Windows 7 computers join our campus domain first before they can access anything but the login screen.
Can I press Command-F5 and get voiceover and do the tutorial on a lab computer, or will I need sighted help to log in to the campus network first? Some of them run Windows too, so how will I know if it's running Windows and I need to switch to the MAC OS?
How will I know what version of the operating system is running, and will it matter for a beginner?
And what should I do if I get voiceover but am not asked if I want to go through the tutorial first? I know the sighted people in our labs don't even know what VoiceOver is!
What things should I try doing first, and what other tips do you have for approaching learning voiceover and the mac on a computer in a library or campus lab. Where is the headphone jack on an iMAC?
Many of the other tutorials assume the learner owns the Mac on which they are learning. I am looking for tips specifically for those just using the mac temporarily.
Thanks for your time, and I hope your answers can help others who read this post.
First, yes, VoiceOver will be available on the login screen by pressing command-f5. As to whether you are in Windows or OS X so you can know if that keystroke will work, there's no way I know of except to just hit cmd-f5 and see what happens.
You can run through the Quick Start Tutorial at any time, even if it doesn't appear automatically. Once VoiceOver is on, just hit vo-command-f8 (you might need to add the function key to that command). From there, just follow the instructions.
The version of OS X is available from the About item in the Apple Menu (vo-m, down arrow) but it doesn't much matter for a beginner. All the basics will be the same from 10.6 up through, probably, 10.11 and beyond.
Some interesting discoveries
One real fascinating thing is that on some Macs, the VO-F8 does not load the utility nor can I get the VO tutorial before logging in. On other Macs this isn't a problem. I'm pretty sure it depends on whether the log-in is to join a domain or simply to log in to that individual Mac. Since I don't need Mac knowledge to do my job I've had a lot of fun experimenting.
I still think it would be helpful to have some tips here for people who don't own their own Mac and are obliged to use Macs in lab settings, at friends' houses or whatever, because the experience is quite different from when you own your own.