New MacBook Air - Things I should know/do?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jadAce, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    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?

  2. macrumors 68000

    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.
  3. macrumors regular

    Thanks robvas. Does turning off bluetooth help conserve battery life?
  4. macrumors 604


    I bought Parallels because I could not quit Windows cold turkey.
  5. macrumors 68000

    A little bit. But I don't use any Bluetooth accessories so I just leave it off anyway.
  6. macrumors 68020


    Most importantly, NEVER mention on a Mac forum that you upgraded to the i7 processor!!!! :cool:
  7. macrumors newbie

    And why is that? :p
  8. macrumors 6502a

    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.
  9. macrumors regular

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

    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
  11. macrumors regular

    Saturn1217, this is awesome, thank you for all of your help!
    Do you know how would I go about calibrating my screen?
  12. macrumors 68020


  13. macrumors regular

    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 :)
  14. macrumors 68020


  15. macrumors 6502a

    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.
  16. macrumors newbie


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


    Those 80% of people had to pay for there laptop and not be able to claim on expenses ;) :p
  17. jadAce, Aug 10, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013

    macrumors regular

    I tried not to be a Captain Obvious there.

    The key word is tried. :)
  18. macrumors newbie

    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.
  19. macrumors newbie

    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...
  20. macrumors newbie

    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
  21. macrumors regular

    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)
  22. macrumors newbie

    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?
  23. macrumors regular

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

    Student budgets say otherwise :eek:
  24. macrumors newbie

    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?
  25. macrumors 6502a

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

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