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View Full Version : MBA 11.6" ultimate arrived - now what?




theoretician
Dec 8, 2010, 01:04 PM
Have finally taken the plunge and my new macbook air 11.6" ultimate has arrived. I am a long time linux and windows user and this is my first mac. My question is - what do mac experts do/install in setting up their machines on arrival?

Obviously your answers will be subjective but it will help to give me some ideas. To set the context, if this was a new windows laptop that had arrived I would immediately repartition, setup dual boot, install a linux flavour, use partimage to save an image of the windows partition so I could recreate it if necessary. Would then install various windows software items that I tend to use. Would install cygwin to get linux tools on windows, then rsync my files to the machine. Use the linux partition to setup a local webserver (for managing a local database), setup local dovecot imap server coupled with offline imap to maintain a maildir archive of my emails etc etc.

I don't plan to use dual boot on the MBA but will use vmware to have a virtual windows machine. I am hoping that most of my standard linux tasks can be done with OS X so was not planning to have any linux flavour on the MBA.



KPOM
Dec 8, 2010, 01:17 PM
Since you aren't planning to dual boot, you can install Windows at any time in the VM. Normally, I'd suggest Boot Camp users set it up right away since it needs contiguous space to set up the partition.

I'd suggest just getting right into it. Go ahead and install any programs you plan to use, and just start using it. Try Apple's "switcher" site to familiarize yourself with OS X and some of the key differences (e.g. using the command key vs. the control key, learn how to "right click" using the control key or two-finger click). If it isn't set up already, open up the Applications folder in Finder and drag it to the right side of the dock (to the right of the dotted line). It will add a shortcut (called an alias) there that will act somewhat like the Start button in Windows.

Once you have everything installed, set up Time Machine and do your first backup. It is easiest if you have a Time Capsule or hard drive connected to a wireless router, as it will back up automatically from then on. The nice thing about a Mac is that when you replace it, you can migrate it (applications included) to a new Mac, either through a direct connection, a wireless network, or through a Time Machine backup.

jdavtz
Dec 8, 2010, 01:35 PM
I would:

Move the Dock to the right hand side of the screen
Drag Applications, Documents, and Downloads folders to the Dock next to the trash (creates aliases)
Install Adblock and Clicktoflash extensions into Safari
Set up Time Machine backup disk
Install Perian for random video codecs not supported by Quicktime
Install Flip4Mac to enable WMV video/audio support
Set up Trackpad settings (System Prefs) to enable tap-to-click and anything else you personally like.


Nothing else very general.

Look through every panel in System Preferences so you know what's there.

theoretician
Dec 8, 2010, 02:16 PM
Thanks both - very helpful.

Actually, I have decided to find software updates first (hopefully its a safe thing to do - again its probably what I would do before setting anything up on a pc). Actually I am surprised this isn't the first thing that happens in the setup process.

KPOM
Dec 8, 2010, 02:23 PM
Thanks both - very helpful.

Actually, I have decided to find software updates first (hopefully its a safe thing to do - again its probably what I would do before setting anything up on a pc). Actually I am surprised this isn't the first thing that happens in the setup process.

Yes, definitely run Software Update. Like Windows Update, it does run automatically periodically, but it isn't set up to run when you start up a Mac for the first time.