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jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 03:16 PM
Hello everyone,
So I just bought a 13-inch MacBook Air. This is my first Mac (been a Windows user for 10+ years, not planning on going back).

1) Do you have any tips on setting it up, calibrating it (such as the screen, or general settings), or just things I should know/do in general?
2) When you buy a new Mac, what do you personally do to customize/optimize it to your needs?

Thanks!



robvas
Aug 10, 2013, 03:58 PM
Just use it. I normally turn off the auto brightness for the keyboard and screen, setup wallpaper and screensaver, install the apps I use, remove almost all the apps from the dock and move it to the left side of the screen, invert the scrolling, turn on tap to click, turn off bluetooth and enable the running of apps from the internet.

But that's just my choices.

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 04:11 PM
Just use it. I normally turn off the auto brightness for the keyboard and screen, setup wallpaper and screensaver, install the apps I use, remove almost all the apps from the dock and move it to the left side of the screen, invert the scrolling, turn on tap to click, turn off bluetooth and enable the running of apps from the internet.

But that's just my choices.

Thanks robvas. Does turning off bluetooth help conserve battery life?

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2013, 04:16 PM
I bought Parallels because I could not quit Windows cold turkey.

robvas
Aug 10, 2013, 04:35 PM
Thanks robvas. Does turning off bluetooth help conserve battery life?

A little bit. But I don't use any Bluetooth accessories so I just leave it off anyway.

Ronnoco
Aug 10, 2013, 04:46 PM
Most importantly, NEVER mention on a Mac forum that you upgraded to the i7 processor!!!! :cool:

philipkroberts
Aug 10, 2013, 04:53 PM
Most importantly, NEVER mention on a Mac forum that you upgraded to the i7 processor!!!! :cool:
And why is that? :P

Saturn1217
Aug 10, 2013, 04:54 PM
Especially if you're a windows user the first thing I do is change the default trackpad settings

-disable natural scrolling (why switch your brain back and forth between two methods)
-enable tap to click (will make your trackpad last longer)
-enable two finger tap = right click (again tapping as opposed to clicking will prolong the life of your trackpad)

The trackpad is one of the best things about Apple computers so figure out what works for you and enjoy :-)

Also figure out where you want the dock to be. IMHO having the dock at the bottom is very wasteful of space. I prefer it on the side and actually now I autohide the dock so all of my screen can be for apps.

Calibrate your screen. After calibration the screen almost always looks better than it did out of the box (at least in my experience).

Learn keyboard shortcuts (especially for spotlight) so you can be super efficient!

You'll have to google this but unhide the library folder. It will make your life easier later. Unlike windows on mac os you can find almost anything associated with a program by simply looking through finder (and knowing where to look). For example I needed to know where my kindle books were stored so I could convert them to another format to read on my tablet. Without access to the library that is impossible. Other examples: printer drivers, the custom calibration profile for your screen, email etc. All found in the user's library folder that apple hides by default.

I'm of the opinion that most of Apple's default settings are dumb but their computers are brilliant. You just have to tweak them a bit.

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 04:57 PM
Most importantly, NEVER mention on a Mac forum that you upgraded to the i7 processor!!!! :cool:

Rule 2: Always tell the aforementioned Mac forum that you got the 8 GB RAM upgrade. Always. Period. :)

philipkroberts
Aug 10, 2013, 04:59 PM
Rule 2: Always tell the aforementioned Mac forum that you got the 8 GB RAM upgrade. Always. Period. :)

I'm a mahoosive n00b when it comes to mac, Been a Windows/Unix boy myself for years so guessing this is some kinda joke :P

For the sake of it, I chose the i7 with the 8GB or ram ;) :P haha

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 04:59 PM
Especially if you're a windows user the first thing I do is change the default trackpad settings

-disable natural scrolling (why switch your brain back and forth between two methods)
-enable tap to click (will make your trackpad last longer)
-enable two finger tap = right click (again tapping as opposed to clicking will prolong the life of your trackpad)

The trackpad is one of the best things about Apple computers so figure out what works for you and enjoy :-)

Also figure out where you want the dock to be. IMHO having the dock at the bottom is very wasteful of space. I prefer it on the side and actually now I autohide the dock so all of my screen can be for apps.

Calibrate your screen. After calibration the screen almost always looks better than it did out of the box (at least in my experience).

Learn keyboard shortcuts (especially for spotlight) so you can be super efficient!

You'll have to google this but unhide the library folder. It will make your life easier later. Unlike windows on mac os you can find almost anything associated with a program by simply looking through finder (and knowing where to look). For example I needed to know where my kindle books were stored so I could convert them to another format to read on my tablet. Without access to the library that is impossible. Other examples: printer drivers, the custom calibration profile for your screen, email etc. All found in the user's library folder that apple hides by default.

I'm of the opinion that most of Apple's default settings are dumb but their computers are brilliant. You just have to tweak them a bit.

Saturn1217, this is awesome, thank you for all of your help!
Do you know how would I go about calibrating my screen?

Ronnoco
Aug 10, 2013, 05:01 PM
For the sake of it, I chose the i7 with the 8GB or ram ;) :P haha

:eek::eek::eek::eek:

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 05:04 PM
I'm a mahoosive n00b when it comes to mac, Been a Windows/Unix boy myself for years so guessing this is some kinda joke :P

For the sake of it, I chose the i7 with the 8GB or ram ;) :P haha

philipkroberts, right there with you. I think the joke is that (I've been browsing the forums since the past few days) whenever anyone asks "i5 or i7" or "4 GB vs 8 GB RAM", >80% people seem to say i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD.

Coming from a Sandy Bridge i5 and narrowly escaping Windows 8, everything looks like an upgrade here :)

----------

:eek::eek::eek::eek:

Ronnoco, your signature i7 hints at the sarcasm :)

Ronnoco
Aug 10, 2013, 05:05 PM
philipkroberts, right there with you. I think the joke is that (I've been browsing the forums since the past few days) whenever anyone asks "i5 or i7" or "4 GB vs 8 GB RAM", >80% people seem to say i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD.

Coming from a Sandy Bridge i5 and narrowly escaping Windows 8, everything looks like an upgrade here :)

----------



Ronnoco, your signature i7 hints at the sarcasm :)
Busted...:D

hakr100
Aug 10, 2013, 05:10 PM
I bought Parallels because I could not quit Windows cold turkey.

I've been using VMWare Fusion for years because there isn't really a decent checkbook program for OSX that compares to the standard Windoze versions of Quicken.

There, I confessed. :D

There's nothing else in Windoze I use anymore.

philipkroberts
Aug 10, 2013, 05:21 PM
----------



Ronnoco, your signature i7 hints at the sarcasm :)


I was thinking that also, Just thought I'd keep it hush :P

----------

philipkroberts, right there with you. I think the joke is that (I've been browsing the forums since the past few days) whenever anyone asks "i5 or i7" or "4 GB vs 8 GB RAM", >80% people seem to say i5/8GB RAM/256GB SSD.

Those 80% of people had to pay for there laptop and not be able to claim on expenses ;) :P

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 05:23 PM
Busted...:D

I tried not to be a Captain Obvious there.

The key word is tried. :)

philipkroberts
Aug 10, 2013, 05:23 PM
I've been using VMWare Fusion for years because there isn't really a decent checkbook program for OSX that compares to the standard Windoze versions of Quicken.

There, I confessed. :D

There's nothing else in Windoze I use anymore.

I just simply can't deal with browsing the web looking for something then seeing the extension is .exe, That'd be soul crushing for me, Hence the VM.

M0V3M3N7
Aug 10, 2013, 05:39 PM
Right so I am actually not sure why everyone hates on the i7 so much? Is it because it costs extra for not much more performance? Or something else? I dont get it. (I know next to nothing re: processors). All this sandy bridge ivy bridge chat has really lost me. Haswell = better battery and graphics is about as far as I get...

philipkroberts
Aug 10, 2013, 05:44 PM
Right so I am actually not sure why everyone hates on the i7 so much? Is it because it costs extra for not much more performance? Or something else? I dont get it. (I know next to nothing re: processors). All this sandy bridge ivy bridge chat has really lost me. Haswell = better battery and graphics is about as far as I get...

If it didn't make the computer preform better, It would not be sold.
I have seen plenty of i5 v i7 comparisons online and the benchmarks speak for themselves, The i7 with 8GB is obviously better.

I think personally it's all down to price, and people are jealous :P haha

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 05:48 PM
Right so I am actually not sure why everyone hates on the i7 so much? Is it because it costs extra for not much more performance? Or something else? I dont get it. (I know next to nothing re: processors). All this sandy bridge ivy bridge chat has really lost me. Haswell = better battery and graphics is about as far as I get...

So in processors, all of these names are informal/codenames for Intel's processors. In order of appearance, first came Sandy Bridge processors (2000 series), then Ivy Bridge (3000 series). Now, the most recent are Haswell (4000 series). Obviously, newer processors mean better battery and graphics, so Haswell is the most recent and the best (some people say otherwise, but this is the general idea).

I think most people don't like the i7 Haswell upgrade for several reasons. 1), most people say that the money is better spent on RAM, because i7 only increases performance by 20% or so (read this somewhere on these forums). 2), there were rumors that battery life was affected by having a more powerful processor (not sure if this has been proven false or not). Also, 3) some people just don't need the extra processing power if they are not gaming.

I think it just depends on what you want to use your Mac for. For heavier tasks (heavy video editing, lots of Photoshop, lots of gaming), I think i7 would be better. But for word processing, web browsing, etc, i5 does the job very well.

(If I'm wrong anywhere, anyone please feel free to correct me)

M0V3M3N7
Aug 10, 2013, 05:49 PM
thanks for the reply...I expect there will be a swarm of indignant responses now. In my layman's eyes thats roughly the way I looked at it.

I'm now just worrying about temperatures on the MBA. How hot is too hot?

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 05:49 PM
If it didn't make the computer preform better, It would not be sold.
I have seen plenty of i5 v i7 comparisons online and the benchmarks speak for themselves, The i7 with 8GB is obviously better.

I think personally it's all down to price, and people are jealous :P haha

Agreed, i7/8GB is definitely more powerful if you look at the benchmarks.

Student budgets say otherwise :o

philipkroberts
Aug 10, 2013, 05:51 PM
thanks for the reply...I expect there will be a swarm of indignant responses now. In my layman's eyes thats roughly the way I looked at it.

I'm now just worrying about temperatures on the MBA. How hot is too hot?

I think you are over thinking this mate, It won't over heat and will have a trip set anyhow so it turns off before it can get too hot to cause damage to the CPU, Well my PC desktop has that setting in the BIOS, Not 100% this is available with the new MBA?

hakr100
Aug 10, 2013, 05:51 PM
Right so I am actually not sure why everyone hates on the i7 so much? Is it because it costs extra for not much more performance? Or something else? I dont get it. (I know next to nothing re: processors). All this sandy bridge ivy bridge chat has really lost me. Haswell = better battery and graphics is about as far as I get...

My one month old MBA has an i7, 8 GB of RAM, and the 256 GB solid state drive. I like it. :D

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 07:07 PM
Does anyone know how I would go about calibrating the screen?

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2013, 08:58 PM
I've been using VMWare Fusion for years because there isn't really a decent checkbook program for OSX that compares to the standard Windoze versions of Quicken.

There, I confessed. :D

There's nothing else in Windoze I use anymore.

Quicken was one reason. DvD Profiler is another Also the ability to upgrade the firmware on some of my gadgets. No Mac or iOS clients for that. Plus some work apps that require IE.

ohbrilliance
Aug 10, 2013, 09:06 PM
-disable natural scrolling (why switch your brain back and forth between two methods)

I disagree with this advice. Natural scrolling feels much more intuitive to me.
It may feel odd at first, but it will soon feel like he right way to navigate.

Fifteen20s
Aug 10, 2013, 09:52 PM
If your new to Mac and its a new machine to you, you need to ignore what WE do and get your own unbiased experience.

Put it all back to default settings, start using it and change what you don't like.

Mac is not Windows and you owe it to yourself to get the "Oh wow" new user experience where you discover what you have been missing.

jadAce
Aug 10, 2013, 10:33 PM
If your new to Mac and its a new machine to you, you need to ignore what WE do and get your own unbiased experience.

Put it all back to default settings, start using it and change what you don't like.

Mac is not Windows and you owe it to yourself to get the "Oh wow" new user experience where you discover what you have been missing.

I see what you mean. So, kind of "jump" into it, and get the intuition by myself, and figure out what works for me. Thanks a lot for your advice!

I was about to read the "Missing Manual" book for switching from Windows to Mountain Lion. Would you recommend not reading that and instead seeing if I can figure out how to do things by myself, and only use the book if totally lost?

Fifteen20s
Aug 10, 2013, 10:41 PM
Im new to Mac myself, less then a year.

When I first unboxed my iMac I tried to adjust and set up my Mac to be like my Windows box I had grown tired of. It did not work and I frustrated myself. And really, your on a new OS, why make it like what your leaving.

After a few days I reinstalled OSX and forced myself to just deal with it and just learn the Apple way. I have adjusted some settings but very few. OSX really is very easy to learn compared to Windows, it is something that can be done on your own without any manuals.

Mrbobb
Aug 11, 2013, 12:51 AM
If your new to Mac and its a new machine to you, you need to ignore what WE do and get your own unbiased experience.


Exactly. U have the freedom to make it what u like, why follow what WE do?

If u come from Windows naturally you have "ways" of doing things, so from time u time, u will ask, how do I do this on OSX?, so u Google and find out. Don't need to do this in one seating.

I personally have a disaster recovery method (admin task) that I ported from Windows but nobody seems interested.

anotherarunan
Aug 11, 2013, 04:41 AM
I see what you mean. So, kind of "jump" into it, and get the intuition by myself, and figure out what works for me. Thanks a lot for your advice!

I was about to read the "Missing Manual" book for switching from Windows to Mountain Lion. Would you recommend not reading that and instead seeing if I can figure out how to do things by myself, and only use the book if totally lost?

Don't read a book - learn and discover for yourself. Unlike Windows there is very little you can 'break' accidentally. If you want to know how to do something urgently - just google it.

mortenandersen
Aug 11, 2013, 05:07 AM
Does anyone know how I would go about calibrating the screen?

Please be overbearing with me if this question already has been answered in the thread, without me seeing it.

But I also lack the knowledge of how to do this? Are there many ways of doing it? What parameters must/should be taken into account, and so forth?

designs216
Aug 11, 2013, 05:38 AM
https://www.apple.com/why-mac/

https://kis.kellogg.northwestern.edu/Pages/SecurityTipsMac.aspx

http://macperformanceguide.com/index_topics.html


Welcome to a better user experience! That last link has some basic tips for setting up your Mac for battery/security optimization. Cheers.

iterva
Aug 11, 2013, 08:22 AM
Does anyone know how I would go about calibrating the screen?

Please be overbearing with me if this question already has been answered in the thread, without me seeing it.

But I also lack the knowledge of how to do this? Are there many ways of doing it? What parameters must/should be taken into account, and so forth?

When new to Apple/OSX, learning to use the search on this forum is a lifesaver, especially with this question that has been asked, answered and discussed more than a few times. Also Google works great. ;)

This (http://osxdaily.com/2012/06/29/fix-dull-color-contrast-on-mac-screen-calibrate-display/) might be something to get you started....

Best of luck!

robvas
Aug 11, 2013, 08:56 AM
Please be overbearing with me if this question already has been answered in the thread, without me seeing it.

But I also lack the knowledge of how to do this? Are there many ways of doing it? What parameters must/should be taken into account, and so forth?

If you don't know why you need to do it, you don't need to do it.

DisplacedMic
Aug 11, 2013, 10:25 AM
Especially if you're a windows user the first thing I do is change the default trackpad settings

-disable natural scrolling (why switch your brain back and forth between two methods)
-enable tap to click (will make your trackpad last longer)
-enable two finger tap = right click (again tapping as opposed to clicking will prolong the life of your trackpad)

The trackpad is one of the best things about Apple computers so figure out what works for you and enjoy :-)

Also figure out where you want the dock to be. IMHO having the dock at the bottom is very wasteful of space. I prefer it on the side and actually now I autohide the dock so all of my screen can be for apps.

Calibrate your screen. After calibration the screen almost always looks better than it did out of the box (at least in my experience).

Learn keyboard shortcuts (especially for spotlight) so you can be super efficient!

You'll have to google this but unhide the library folder. It will make your life easier later. Unlike windows on mac os you can find almost anything associated with a program by simply looking through finder (and knowing where to look). For example I needed to know where my kindle books were stored so I could convert them to another format to read on my tablet. Without access to the library that is impossible. Other examples: printer drivers, the custom calibration profile for your screen, email etc. All found in the user's library folder that apple hides by default.

I'm of the opinion that most of Apple's default settings are dumb but their computers are brilliant. You just have to tweak them a bit.

great post!

mortenandersen
Aug 11, 2013, 11:58 AM
If you don't know why you need to do it, you don't need to do it.

The Thread Starter and I asked HOW to perform calibration - not "why", as the post of "robvas" implies.

I simply don't understand the "robvas" post; it is not intelligible.



BTW, much more important: Thanks so much, "designs216", for your very informative, valuable and understandable post/reply.

johnjey
Aug 11, 2013, 02:14 PM
No mAtter even if you buy an ultimate machine or whatever, every MACBOOK HEATS up --> Harsh but TRUE REALITY !

jadAce
Aug 11, 2013, 04:52 PM
https://www.apple.com/why-mac/

https://kis.kellogg.northwestern.edu/Pages/SecurityTipsMac.aspx

http://macperformanceguide.com/index_topics.html


Welcome to a better user experience! That last link has some basic tips for setting up your Mac for battery/security optimization. Cheers.

Designs216, thanks a lot, all of these are great. I know we've all probably seen the "Why Mac" page on the Apple website, but it is amazing how Apple goes the extra mile to explain just why Macs are great. I've never something comparable on any company's page for Windows.

----------

I found this link yesterday on screen calibration:
http://theultralinx.com/2013/03/macbook-air-hack-screen.html

Very simple to follow along, even for a new Mac user like me.

Thanks for all of the great advice so far, everyone!

jadAce
Aug 11, 2013, 10:04 PM
Any recommendations for general software from the Mac App Store you find useful for the MBA?

Ronnoco
Aug 12, 2013, 01:36 AM
Any recommendations for general software from the Mac App Store you find useful for the MBA?

These aren't in the App Store, but three apps I really like are SmcFanControl, MiniUsage and iStatPro. A fourth app I also like is LittleSnitch but that's because I am paranoid about hacking especially on public wifi. :D

Macneck
Aug 12, 2013, 04:04 AM
The Thread Starter and I asked HOW to perform calibration - not "why", as the post of "robvas" implies.

I simply don't understand the "robvas" post; it is not intelligible.



I guess he was just trying to say relax and enjoy your machine. No offense intended. Calibrating your monitor will not affect performance. I don't say it's unimportant, but it's not THAT important, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, after a few seconds googling around I found these:

http://mac.tutsplus.com/tutorials/customization/how-to-calibrate-your-macs-display/

http://www.computer-darkroom.com/colorsync-display/colorsync_1.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL-OZUuqr5E


I hope it helps.

mortenandersen
Aug 12, 2013, 09:59 AM
I guess he was just trying to say relax and enjoy your machine. No offense intended. Calibrating your monitor will not affect performance. I don't say it's unimportant, but it's not THAT important, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, after a few seconds googling around I found these:

http://mac.tutsplus.com/tutorials/customization/how-to-calibrate-your-macs-display/

http://www.computer-darkroom.com/colorsync-display/colorsync_1.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AL-OZUuqr5E


I hope it helps.

For me both keyboard and screen are very important parts of the computer, but I think I see what you mean:)

Anyways, thanks so much for the info!