Bought a new MBP. Now what?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FriarNurgle, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. FriarNurgle macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2011
    Bought a new 13" i5 MBP and am very pleased so far. This is my first Mac and I've been coping with the learning curve with more excitement than frustration. Things like 4 finger gestures just impress the heck out of me. Picked it up because my PC is old and I'd like to become more of a creator than a consumer, in regards to photo/video editing to even web and app creation.

    The amount of tutorial info available is a tad overwhelming. What would you suggest to a new mac user in regards to learning the OS, getting to know the hardware, and what applications/software are essential? :confused:
  2. parkm13 macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2010
    i just got my first mac a few months ago. the thing that helped me the most was youtube. just search how to use my mac, or something like that. watch tons of videos. it helped me and i hope it will help you too!
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    If you're even mildly computer literate, do what I did when I got my first Mac; just use it. I'm sure it came with iLife (iMovie, iPhoto, iDVD and iWeb) so start poking around in there and seeing what it can do. There is always help for specific things here on MR and through Apple's website.

    You'll get the hang of it quick enough the more you use it.

    Congratulations and enjoy!
  4. Hakkera macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    I find the best way is to learn by trying to do things. As far as trying to get used to it goes just do what you'd do on a PC, if you can't figure something out - Google it or some on here.

    When I started using the platform this was invaluable
  5. steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
  6. v66jack macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    London, UK
    I leant how to use a mac, just by using it and experimenting.

    But if there is something specifically that you want to do there are loads of ways of finding out how to do stuff:
    - These forums
    - Youtube
    - Google search will bring up a heap of other sites which will help do what you want.
  7. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    Just try to accomplish the same tasks you normally did on the PC.

    Well, what "essential" tasks did you buy your mac for?
  8. steveza macrumors 68000


    Feb 20, 2008
    I also find that there is a OS X alternative for most applications that run on Windows. I have found most of these by searching for: <application name> OSX. Also look out for the bundle deals from MacUpdate which are advertised on MR from time to time.
  9. FriarNurgle thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2011
    I appreciate everyone's input and have used a few of the suggested tutorial methods mentioned. Just wanted to see what others have used in their journey with their Mac.

    Regarding essentials, this was meant to be more open ended to begin discussion on what you feel is essential given your usage rather than specific to me direct needs. However my needs are entry level photo/video editing and web & possible app creation.
  10. The5thElephant macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2011
    Hey Friar,

    I think I know you from Gizmodo and other Gawker sites.

    Congrats on your new Mac.

    Try to learn a few essential shortcuts and you will be amazed at how much you can do quickly.

    Command-Space - One of the most useful shortcuts of all. This opens the spotlight search at the top right of the screen. Once its open start typing and results will start popping up automatically. This is a great way to open apps, files, Safari bookmarks (although I would just get Chrome or Firefox), and other such things. I use it all the time.

    Spaces - As you have probably discovered, swiping four fingers up and down will let you organize or clear your windows easily. Spaces lets you organize even more, and will be very useful for you with a 13-in screen. Enable it in your System Preferences and choose how many spaces you want, I recommend sticking with the basic 4. Then choose a shortcut (usually one of the F# keys, but keep in mind that they activate the symbol on them by default, you have to hold Fn-F# for it to actually register unless you switch the default to F# standard and Fn for the symbols) for opening spaces and switching spaces (I use Command-Arrow). Spaces gives you multiple desktops to work from, and you can even set applications to open by default in a specific space. I keep browsers in Space 1, Finder windows in Space 2, iTunes in Space 3, and things like Photoshop or Illustrator in Space 4.

    Command-Tab - This lets you quickly cycle through your open apps. Very useful.

    Dashboard - This is one of your function keys (look at the symbols) usually, and opens an overlay showing various widgets. I say keep it sparse to save memory, but there are some great widgets if you need. I keep a calculator, system stats (iStat Pro is awesome), weather, and sticky notes in there.

    System Preferences - Go through EVERY SINGLE ICON and you will learn a lot. You can turn on a lot of things that are off by default, customize your dock, change your right-click settings (two finger tap, right click on trackpad, etc.) and a lot of other things.

    VLC - To open video files that Quicktime can't handle.

    Firefox/Chrome - Duh, unless you really like Safari which has some perks.

    From the app store:
    Caffeine - An awesome little icon that sits in your menubar and lets you set the Mac not to go to sleep. Perfect for watching movies or when you want to let something run for a while.

    Alfred - A super-powered replacement for spotlight search. That works faster and has a lot more options (google search, calculator, etc).

    Backups - Set up Time Machine with any spare external harddrive, or a Time Capsule if you have one. The first backup will take a while, but all further backups are incremental and can be a lifesaver if you delete something by accident or whatever. Keep in mind external harddrives will have to be formatted in HFS+ to work.

    Google search "Mac essential apps" and other stuff like that. Lifehacker and other places will have great set up guides for what you need/want.

    I hope that helps!
  11. BurningJah macrumors regular


    Apr 15, 2010
    or Perian! it does almost the same! but opens everything in quicktime except the .mkv files! these are the only one I have to look at in VLC
  12. FriarNurgle thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2011
    Yep, that's me.

    Thanks for the help, Elephant. I'll look into those apps. Dashboard is pretty neat, I added a Mac tips widget last night. Like the icon idea.

    See ya around.
  13. adztaylor macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2009
    Preston, UK
    I agree with this. There is a difference and a bit of a learning curve coming from Windows (I got my first Mac 2 years ago) but once you get used to keyboard shortcuts, multi finger gestures and just generally how the OS runs you will love it. Just experiment and enjoy your new Mac! :)
  14. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
  15. entilda macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    If there is an apple store near you, sign up for some free classes. I signed up my mother who was clueless, and she is an efficient user now.

    Congratulations on the switch.
  16. maverick86 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 13, 2010
    As another first-time Mac user, this was very helpful information so thank you for that. I've found that the transition from PC hasn't been too difficult. Whatever I don't know I just Google; the rest is just experimentation and repetition doing the same basic tasks over and it becomes second nature.
  17. whyzdom macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2011
    One good app that you should get is Quicksilver. It's always been useful to me in starting up a program. It's a hot cut for anything. A quick way to lookup an address, song, movie, or to start an app. Many many uses.
  18. ScubaSteve57 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    if you jump on your iTunes you can download " podcasts " that are made from apple employees on how to use features in your mac.. I can't think of what to search for at the moment since I'm at work and not on itunes..
  19. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2010
    Just play with it and explore all the menus, options, and included applications. As for what software is essential, that's like asking what to do with the piece of rope you just bought. That is dictated of course by your requirements. There are a thousand possibilities. Why did you buy it, to accomplish what sort of tasks?
  20. gox81 macrumors member


    Jan 25, 2011
    Used OSX for about 3 days now, converted pretty easily from Windows 7.
    Already can do the regular stuff I did on my normal PC desktop.

    All similar, xcept everything looks and stays clean, no desktop filled with a bunch of useless icons..

    and trackpad <3 :D
    I checked my moms laptop earlier, lol no wonder she hates working with that touch pad

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