just got my first mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by twoodcc, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #1
    just wanted to let ya'll know that i just bought my first mac. a mac mini (the $600 one). i love it so far. anything i need to know about mac os x? i've been a windows user all my life.

    thanks in advance
     
  2. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a

    kingcrowing

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #2
    Ok, there is one thing you need to know about OS X, when something seems too easy... your doing it wrong because 'too easy' dosen't even begin to describe OS X :p , OS X is a great OS, and i'm sure you'll fall in love with it as soon as you really get your teeth into it!
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #4
    Most important - just play around with things and get comfortable. Stay out of the System and Library folders (at least to start with) and you're unlikely to do much damage.

    Always look for the most obvious way to do things (ie when you want to save a picture from the internet, don't look for a right click (control click) option - just pick up the picture you want and drag it to where you want it to go) rather than how you might be used to doing it.

    Don't worry about trying to get things 'full screen' - push the green button and try it at the size the window comes up - chances are that it's wide enough to show you everything to you need. Learn to use that 'side space' for fun stuff like Synergy

    If you get stuck, come back and ask questions. :) There are a lot stored on the boards so searching may turn up the answer quickly. If not, someone will very likely be able to help
     
  5. h0e0h macrumors 6502a

    h0e0h

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Location:
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    #5
    ... congratulations on the move

    and here's something kinda funny that a Windows-based tech support friend of mine told me. Well, when we get calls, all of our problems are simply solved by dragging it to the trash. You need to eject a CD? Drag it to the trash. You need to disconnect your digital camera? Drag it to the trash. Got a pesky mother-in-law that you need to get rid of? Hell, drag her to the trash. Good luck man, and have fun...
     
  6. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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  7. skp574 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    greenwich.london.uk
    #7
    I am a recent switcher, coming up to about two months now and lovin' it!

    I am so much more productive now at home and at work.

    My girlfriend wants my PowerBook! **Hands off **. Maybe an early Christmas present me thinks?!?!?!? Hell she can have a 12"! :D
     
  8. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #8
    thanks for the replies and links. keep'em coming.

    i haven't installed anything on it yet. is there any programs that i would like or need? i have no idea on any programs
     
  9. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    Just wanted to say congratulation and welcome to the family.
     
  10. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #10
    i'm a little confused about installing programs. i installed msn messenger, and after i downloaded it and installed it, i had a few things on my desktop. a msn messenger disk, and a .dmg file. can i delete any of this? what exactly is it? i don't want them on my desktop
     
  11. thecow macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Location:
    Timonium MD
    #11
    The .dmg file is a disk image file. When you open it, it mounts a small disk on your desktop, just like a CD. You can copy the files that you want from it to wherever you want and eject it by dragging it to the trash. Then you can delete the .dmg file if you don't need to mount that disk image again. The files are still copied to wherever you put them.

    Edit: versiontracker.com has tons of free and shareware software for Mac OS X.
     
  12. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #12
    Best to put all applications in the applications folder. Seems commonsense, but they will still work in other places, but could cause problems later on.
     
  13. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #13
    So, did ya just cut and paste that out of my post, or actually type it yourself? :p ;)
     
  14. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    #14
    Probably the strangest difference you will find is...
    When you use the red x button to close an App you are not really closing the App.
    You are just closing the active Window.
    What will be stranger still is it doesnt happen that way with every App just about 50 to 60% of them.
    I believe it has something to do with how long it takes for an App to load. IF it is longer than a certain threshhold then it stays open.

    Congrats on your first Mac
     
  15. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #15
    Yah, that one took me a little while to get used to as well. That and the multiple CDs appearing in Finder when I burn discs. I insert a blank CD-R, use Toast to burn it, and Finder shows me 2 blank CDs. Even after I eject the burned media, they still show up in Finder!

    Anyway, slightly OT... ;)
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #16
    Good advice. For many windows users (myself included) going OS X is tough since many are used to worrying about DLL's and such with Windows. I have found if I just take the attitude that "it just works", I can stay out of trouble with the Mac. And be more productive.
     
  17. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #17
    I had to train myself along those lines as well. Being a "techie" I always needed to know exactly how things worked, how things were set up, and then most importantly, how to fix things, troubleshoot, etc. in the Windows world. My first Mac made me a little nervous because I felt I was unsure about certain things, and didn't have that "control" over my system. But yah, basically you just assume everything works, and nothing will go wrong (since that's pretty much the way Macs work!) and you'll be fine!
     
  18. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #18
    Welcome to the fold. There are several things I recommend doing to start for a Windows user.

    1) Open your web browser of choice and go to Preferences and set up your home page to the page of your choice (may I recommend Google.com).
    2) In said Preferences, set your download folder where you want it. For a total beginner, the easiest is the desktop. Keep in mind that your desktop will get very cluttered if you don't maintain it by moving files to other folders as you need (to Applications, or Games, or Music, or whatever folder you want to make).
    3) When you download files on a Mac, they will generally fall into two categories. First are disk images, or .dmg files. When you download these files: double click the .dmg file, which creates a "virtual" hard disk on the desktop which will contain your uncompressed files. Then, either drag the application to an existing folder which matches the category of file that you have downloaded, or (better option) FIRST create a new folder in the folder that matches the category, then drag ALL files in the "virtual" hard disk to the new folder. [STEP BY STEP EXAMPLE: you download a game file called "chess." If your download folder is the desktop, a file called "chess.dmg" shows up on your desktop. Double click this file, which opens a "virtual" hard disk called "chess." The virtual hard disk will have a white icon which looks like an external hard drive. The file "chess" will generally open in a window automatically. If it doesn't, double click the white icon. Now, while still in the Finder, create a new window (File->New Finder Window). In this new window, navigate to the folder you want. In our case, let's assume you want a new folder in your main hard drive called "Games." In the left of your new window, you will see a list of your available hard drives (you may only have one). Click once on it's icon. A list of folders in that hard drive will show up (you may see them in icon view, list view, or columns view. I prefer list view.) Create a new folder now by going up to File->New Folder, then name it "Games." The new folder will automatically come up ready to be named--just start typing. Now double click the folder "games." In the now open "games" folder, again create a new folder and name it "chess." Now, with the "games" window still open, and containing the folder "chess," move the mouse over to the still open window of the "virtual" hard drive called "chess." Click anywhere in the window to make it the active window. (You may need to resize, or move, one or both windows so you can see them both.) Now, click and hold the mouse button just to the upper left of the top left-most icon and sweep to the right and down, selecting all the files in the window. Let go of the mouse. (A quicker way to do the last step is to simply hold the Command (Apple icon on it) key, then hit the "A" button to "Select All.") Once all files are selected, move your mouse over ANY of the selected icons and drag them to the newly made folder "chess." Drag them directly over the icon and it will darken. When this happens, let go of the mouse. It will now copy the files from the "virtual" hard drive called "chess" to the newly created folder called "chess." At this point you have fully installed the program "chess," and the file you downloaded is no longer needed. To eject the virtual hard drive, drag the white icon to the trash. It will disappear. You may now drag the "chess.dmg" file to the trash as well. (Some people save all such files in a folder they make, with a name like "Installers" for example--I save some, but not all--it depends on whether you think the file will be unavailable later, or if you have a huge hard drive that can spare the space.)END OF EXAMPLE. The other type of file you may encounter is a compressed file. You will likely find one of three types for Macs. Most common=.hqx or BinHex files. Also found are .sit or stuffit compressed files. A third, less common type on Macs are .zip files. In all three cases, Stuffit Expander can decompress them and open them. You simply need to double click the files and Stuffit Expander will automatically do the work (that is IF you have Stuffit Expander on your computer--if you don't, download the package "Stuffit Standard" from here: http://www.stuffit.com/mac/expander/index.html) How do you know if you have Stuffit? Open Applications in your boot drive, then open Utilities. You will see a folder called "Stuffit Standard" if it is on your computer.

    Once you double click the .hqx, .sit, or .zip files, and they decompress and open, a new file or folder will be created in the same folder or location where the compresses files are located, containing the uncompressed file or folder (which folder will have all the uncompressed files of a specific program together). Once you have this uncompressed file or folder, you no longer need the .hqx, .sit, or .zip file, and you drag it to the trash. You may (again) want to save them in case your program were to become corrupted and you wanted to reinstall a fresh copy of the program (note: this has NEVER been an issue for me since I've been running OS X. I had a few corruption problems in OS 9, but even then they were extremely rare.)
    4) As far as I'm concerned, you must get control over that pesky Dock. For me, that means going to System Preferences (it is an icon on the dock), then to Dock, then check the box "Automatically hide and show the Dock." I would also make the icons as small as I could stand them so that I could reclaim more of my screen real estate.
    5) There are several programs I cannot do without.

    First=MouseZoom. Go here to get it: http://homepage.mac.com/bhines/mousezoom.html. This is a wonderful program which allows you to speed up your mouse tracking to ridiculously fast speeds, which really helps with the feeling of having a zippy computer. Follow the installation instructions carefully.
    Second=ASM, a program which mimics OS 9's application switching menu (which means the ability to put your mouse in the upper right part of the menu bar to switch between active applications--for a long time Mac user, it is a very desirable thing to have. Yes, you can use the dock to switch, or click on any program's window to switch, or use keyboard shortcuts to switch, but for many (like me), there is nothing like the comfort of that application menu to switch between apps. You can find it here: http://www.vercruesse.de/software. Another KEY feature for me is its ability to have "single application mode," which means that if you select an application from the application menu, all other application's windows will disappear. This can come in very handy at times (but can also mess up dragging and dropping between programs until you switch it back).
    Third=WindowShadeX, an indispensible app for controlling windows. You may find it here: http://www.unsanity.com/haxies/wsx.
    Fourth=APE manager, found here: http://www.unsanity.com/haxies/ape. Read about it on that page.
    Fifth=Onyx. This program quickly and easily takes care of your most important maintenance chores (repairing permissions, etc.) Open this program and run the repair permissions every month or so and you will be very happy you did. Find it here: http://www.boostware.com/os/mac/onyx.html. [Also check out their programs Cache Control X and Moo X, both good stuff][Also, many programs do what Onyx does, so try more than one if you like. Another one is System Optimizer X found at http://www.mkd.cc/sox.]
    Sixth=BroadbandOptimizer, a nifty little program which will improve internet performance if you have a broadband connection. Find it here: http://www.enigmarelle.com/sw/BroadbandOptimizer.


    Enough for now to give you a start.

    Some good advice can be found here: http://8help.osu.edu/1821.html.
    Also, this page is HUGELY helpful for many, many Mac issues. BOOKMARK IT.: http://8help.osu.edu/cat_macos.html
    This page can help with specific issues you may want to explore, but I recommend getting used to the Mac first: http://www.osxfaq.com/DailyTips.
    Also, consider a good mac book from the bookstore. Go to the computer section and look for "The Missing OS X Manual" or any other comprehensive book in the same section. There are vital things in those books that you will be many weeks and years in the finding without the books.

    Lastly, my favorite Mac software site is http://www.macupdate.com. Go crazy there searching for everything you might want or need by searching by category (see the pulldown menu on the opening page), then by subcategory. You will find LOTS of useful and fun programs here.

    Lastly, part II: get used to the basic keyboard commands of save, copy, and paste as a start (Command-S, Command-C, and Command-V). Move soon to learn Open (Command-O), Close (Command-W), and New Window (Command-N). These are good for a basic start at speeding up your user experience.
     
  19. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #19
    Try to keep everything organized.

    File management is much easier in OSX.

    I prefer to view my files as Icon's, but many
    also prefer to view them as a list.

    When you open your HD from your desktop,
    you have 4 main folders.

    Applications
    Library
    System
    Users

    Everything belongs within one of those folders!

    All your personal stuff belongs in Users/Home
    You'll see the shortcut and when you open it you'll find the correct places
    to keep photos, music, documents etc.

    Try to get familiar with what goes where and create new files as needed.

    It's also a good idea to make a STORAGE folder on your desktop,
    for stuff you're not sure about keeping or where.

    Just a few tips off the top of my head
     
  20. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #20
    thanks for all the replies.

    so when i download a file, it saves it to the desktop. how do i get it to install in the applications folder? msn messenger isn't in there. but the icon is in my dock.
     
  21. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #21
    Open your HD and search MSN or messenger.

    That should tell you where you put the file.

    ( It may have gone to the bottom of your applications folder if
    you have not set your Application folder view preferences to Arrange by NAME.) This keeps your folders in alphabetical order.

    You can set these view preferences for each folder individually or groups.

    IF... you still have the downloaded .dmg,

    You may have to open it again and reinstall
    by dragging the installer icon to your Applications folder.

    The icon you see in your dock is just a shortcut.
    you can safely click drag it up and it will poof disappear.

    When you open the actual application a new dock icon will appear
    and you may right click or control click to save it in the dock for your
    working shortcut.

    Hope this helps
     
  22. wnameth macrumors 65816

    wnameth

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #22
    Whenever you get a dmg. (disk image) of an app on your desktop (from downloading or a cd) open it and drag the app to your applications folder, then go to the apps folder and put it in your dock, never put it in your dock right away or else it will be lost because that particular one isn't actually saved onto your HD just in your dock.

    congrats now all you need is a ipod
     
  23. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #23
    yeah, i lost msn messenger. so the .dmg file is like an installer or setup file for windows?
     
  24. iindigo macrumors 6502a

    iindigo

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #24
    Think of it as a nice fancy package for the app - it doesn't actually install the application, since OS X apps don't have DLLs or libraries they need to install, unlike Windows apps.

    To install it, simply drag the application from the disk image to the Applicatons folder. Wait for it to finish copying, then drag the disk image to the trash, followed by the .DMG file.



    HTH!
    iindigo
     
  25. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #25
    i got my mini (my first mac) yesterday and the first thing i installed was msn messenger. at first i opened the dmg, which mounted it on my desktop then i double clicked to install it, and i had the same problem as you. couldnt find messenger, except for the icon in the dock. each time i clicked on the icon, it mounted the dmg on my desktop.

    what i did to stop that was drag the icon off the dock, then mount the dmg, then dragged the messenger icon (from the dmg) into my applications folder, then dragged the icon onto the dock. now it runs normally!

    you dont actually install programs with a mac that often, usually you just drag the application to your applications folder and its "installed". to remove it, just drag into your trash. simple! another tip which i really love is if your moving a file/folder to somewhere else e.g. applications do the following:

    drag file onto the disk on your desktop (dont let go of the mouse button) the disk will then flash, and open in a new window. while continuing to hold the button drag the file onto the applications folder and release.

    try it!

    the main thing you have to watch out when coming from a pc is if you drag a file to a folder which contains something with the same name as the file (e.g. a file/folder) it'll ask you if you want to replace it. if you click yes it will delete the file/folder thats already there, and theres no way of getting it back. so if it asks you that say "dont replace" and rename it. i was livid when i found that out by accidentally deleting a folder containing my presentation files, 3 minutes before my presentation!

    macs are fun arent they!
     

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