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Old Aug 10, 2013, 03:16 PM   #1
jadAce
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New MacBook Air - Things I should know/do?

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!
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 03:58 PM   #2
robvas
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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.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:11 PM   #3
jadAce
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Originally Posted by robvas View Post
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?
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:16 PM   #4
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I bought Parallels because I could not quit Windows cold turkey.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:35 PM   #5
robvas
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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.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:46 PM   #6
Ronnoco
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Most importantly, NEVER mention on a Mac forum that you upgraded to the i7 processor!!!!
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:53 PM   #7
philipkroberts
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Most importantly, NEVER mention on a Mac forum that you upgraded to the i7 processor!!!!
And why is that? :P
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:54 PM   #8
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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.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:57 PM   #9
jadAce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnoco View Post
Most importantly, NEVER mention on a Mac forum that you upgraded to the i7 processor!!!!
Rule 2: Always tell the aforementioned Mac forum that you got the 8 GB RAM upgrade. Always. Period.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:59 PM   #10
philipkroberts
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Originally Posted by jadAce View Post
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
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 04:59 PM   #11
jadAce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn1217 View Post
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?
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by philipkroberts View Post

For the sake of it, I chose the i7 with the 8GB or ram :P haha
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:04 PM   #13
jadAce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipkroberts View Post
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

----------

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Originally Posted by Ronnoco View Post
Ronnoco, your signature i7 hints at the sarcasm
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jadAce View Post
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...
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:10 PM   #15
hakr100
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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.

There's nothing else in Windoze I use anymore.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:21 PM   #16
philipkroberts
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Originally Posted by jadAce View Post


----------



Ronnoco, your signature i7 hints at the sarcasm

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

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jadAce View Post
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
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:23 PM   #17
jadAce
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Originally Posted by Ronnoco View Post
Busted...
I tried not to be a Captain Obvious there.

The key word is tried.

Last edited by jadAce; Aug 10, 2013 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:23 PM   #18
philipkroberts
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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.

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.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:39 PM   #19
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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...
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:44 PM   #20
philipkroberts
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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
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:48 PM   #21
jadAce
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Originally Posted by M0V3M3N7 View Post
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)
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:49 PM   #22
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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?
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:49 PM   #23
jadAce
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Originally Posted by philipkroberts View Post
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
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:51 PM   #24
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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?
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:51 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by M0V3M3N7 View Post
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.
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