New to Mac Issues

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by merlin_1102, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. merlin_1102 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    #1
    Hey Guys

    This will be sorta quick as I am studying for exams.
    Long story short I planned to get a Mac in about 2 more weeks from today (after my exams), but my toshiba laptop broke down for the 33rd time since I got it with an estimated 2 week reapirs time and seeing as how Apples delivry time was about this I ordered my very first Mac. I will start off by saying this was the dumbest idea I think I have ever had and has resulted in nothing but problems for me. The problem stemming from all my mac software I had purchased was shipped to my home address far far awAY and me not having time due to studying to play with many of the features and figure out how things work. Therefore I have compiled a list of my questions below which I hope some of you can help me with. I apologize for not browsing around more and if some seem obvious but due to a lack of time my mac experience has not gone smoothly (with the exception of my cs courses... I love the unix environemnt). Also I am a huge gentoo user on the PC and am therefore not afraid to compile if need be I have the developer tools installed.

    Question 1: Codecs, some of my courses require watching WMV files. Asking for a diff format is not an option. I am currently using VLC to play them but would like to have Quicktime play them as well. In Linux I just used mplayer with some extra codec packs, windows I downloaded a nice codec pack. Anything equivalent for the mac so I can easily play wmv/divx/xvid/whatever in quicktime with perhaps one installation. Anyway to lock quicktime to the vlc codecs? How good does Flip4Mac work I am guessing it would only solve my wmv issue (I do have divx as well). The divx site is it safe? Last I recall they had spyware issues.

    Question 2: Installations/uninstallations. Sorry click and drag does not/could not work out in my mind. Where are all the preferences stored. Say I want to remove VLC how would I got about that.. I mean EVERYTHING....

    Question 3: PDF viewers.. I love preview, but I really find it to be lacking here and there and I do lots of PDF viewing. I dont necessarily need the slow monolithic Adobe Acrobat.

    Question 4: This is the most annyoing. Any way I can have better control over my battery life or just computer in general. I always hate it that when I am reading the screen dims. I figured out how to prevent it from going off and I usually just turn things to the lowest setting, but even when plugged in my screen still dims. It drives me nuts.

    Question 5: Better control over the mac in general. Like how would I got about changing files so that link to VLC instead of quicktime by default. I right click go open with and check the always open with but there is some kinda lock (I guess I need to be in root to set it). How do I do kinda a sudo graphically and do it (or textually).

    Thanks those are the biggies right now. Sorry if they have been answered again and sorry for spelling mistakes. I am really crunched for time and kinda frustrated to the point I through windows on here using Bootcamp just so I could get MS Word support (not apples fault I know) I just need time and to get home to get my software.

    Thanks for any help.
    PS: using Macbook Pro
     
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #2
    Okay, here we go:

    #1: I'll leave this for someone else more knowledgeable than I in this arena...I'm not a big media person.

    #2: You can use something like AppZapper to remove all associated files, but it costs money. The free way is to do a Spotlight search for the app's name...that should pull up most, if not all of the associated files.

    #3: I generally use Preview, but use Acrobat for a few things. I don't really have any other suggestions.

    #4: System Preferences --> Energy Saver --> Options: There's an option about dimming the display prior to sleep. I seem to recall some people having an issue with their machines not respecting that preference, but make sure that this option is unchecked.

    #5: For a given file type that you want to change the app that opens that type, right click and choose Get Info (or just hit Command-I with the file highlighted). Under "Open With," select the desired app and click on "Change all..."
     
  3. steelphantom macrumors 6502a

    steelphantom

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    #3
    To fix your first problem, download Flip4Mac. It lets you play .wmv files in the Quicktime player, and it works pretty well.
     
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #4
    I don't have an Intel Mac, and I do know that Flip4Mac runs under Rosetta, but it seems that it isn't fully operational. They say that a Universal Binary is under development, but it has been for a while now.
     
  5. igucl macrumors 6502a

    igucl

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    #5
    Question 2: Use Spotlight to find every file associated with the app you want to remove. That's one way. I don't know if there's something better.
     
  6. igucl macrumors 6502a

    igucl

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    #6
    Question 4 just relates to a thorough study of System Preferences, which I find quite enjoyable to study :eek:
     
  7. steelphantom macrumors 6502a

    steelphantom

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    #7
    Ah, I failed to notice that he was running an Intel Mac. My fault. :eek: Other than Flip4Mac, I don't really know anything that will play .wmv files on an Intel Mac. As far as I know, Windows Media Player :eek: doesn't run on Intel Macs very well, if at all.
     
  8. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    An awesome place
    #8

    Windows Media Player plays fine on Intel Macs. I also Use VLC for Mac and I have the Divx Player as well.
     
  9. merlin_1102 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    #9
    Hey Thanks for the help

    With regards to the codecs, there is no nice bundled package I can just install to run divx/xvid/whatever in Quicktime? I would prefer quicktime as it does everything I like nicely and it is a little more critical to the system. If not I might put one together then that will take care of everything.. (YAY my first program for the mac perhaps)

    I have had a bit more time (will have a lot more time at the end of this week) to go through the options but thus far I am honestly not to impressed. I found the majority of windows applications had far more options for controlling hardware and battery life. Maybe I am missing something. I also had far more control in linux. I am sure I will get that control if I edit a few config files. I will look more closely though at the options later in the week. As I said before I am unfortunatly very very crunched for time... and well.. I spent about 1 hour just sutyding some nice shortcuts to zoom/invert colours which I thought was cool.

    Thanks for the help
     
  10. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #10
    For quicktime, I downloaded a plugin from the divx website, and another for avi files. Both of these run fine in Quicktime now.

    DivX
     
  11. annk Administrator

    annk

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    #11
    It sounds to me like you're really pushed for time right now. Like anything else new, you need to spend a little time getting acquainted with it. Wait til your exams are over, then sit down and get to know the system. I wager you'll be impressed then.
     

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