first 2 days with a mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by xjames, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. xjames macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    A windoze user for 20 odd years, I've spent the last 2 days with my beautiful new macbook pro.

    It's my first time with a mac, and the learning curve isn't steep. I still have trouble navigating my open windows without the windows bar at the bottom, and I still have a hard time understanding when an app is closed or just hidden.

    And I have other questions: does the mail app check emails even when it's closed? Does sleep drain a lot of battery? Is it common practice to shut down after use when not plugged-in? (to take it to class, for instance). Can I activate a standard international keyboard to type accented vowels, and not just the weird accent combinations that the mac uses? If I have a document or a folder on my "documents" folder that I access often, how can I make a "shortcut" to it?

    I do have some general impressions:
    -This is one quiet notebook. Very impressive.
    -Shutting down and powering up is very fast. And sleeping and waking is near instantaneous. Amazing. Windoze was sooooo slow.
    -the two finger shortcuts on the trackpad are a breeze to use. Very practical. I already find myself two-fingering my old dell (still transferring my life over here)
    -The OS is solid as hell. No hangs, crashes, problems, slow-downs. Everything worked perfectly the first time. From internet to airports to wireless printer and scanner, sleeping/waking, everything works without a hitch. Wow. That's why I switched, and I'm very satisfied.
    -I love the integrated spell checker. Very practical.

    And one downside: The new excel in Windows is a lot more functional, at least in regards to conditional formatting. The mac excel still uses the old conditional formatting "way", and that's a bummer. But, can't have everything (or you can with parallels, but still haven't tried it).

    Overall, I'm extremely happy. Very impressed. It's like going from a rusty old cargo ship, to the USS Enterprise D (yeah, I'm a trek geek).
    In only one day, I transfered 95% of my digital life over here. Very fast, very easy. To go from my old windows desktop to my windows notebook, it took a lot longer, because of all the problems that cropped up at every turn.

    After 20 years with windows and 2 days with the mac, I can say: how can anyone use that crappy os is beyond me. lol
  2. Harryt223 macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2008
    Thanks for making this post.

    I'm waiting for my mac to ship here and I've been a windows user from the start, so these questions will help me out too.

    I'm great you love the MBP, I can't wait to try mines out, HOPEFULLY this week :D
  3. xjames thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    glad to help.

    Also, I've compiled a bunch of links to help with the transition. From tips to useful apps.

    Here they are (sorry, didnt know an easy way to copy the bookmarks with their names):'s_Guide

    Also, to transfer your IE favorites to the mac, you should install (if you dont have) Firefox on the PC. Import your IE favorites to firefox, and then export from Firefox. It will export as a HTML file that you can import on safari.

    To transfer files, I used a standard Cat-6 ethernet cable. On windows I shared the folders I wanted to transfer (sharing to "everyone"). On the mac, I went to Finder>Go>Connect to Server and I typed smb://james-pc
    james-pc is the network name of my windows pc, which I found under "network" somewhere in windows.
    The james-pc with the shared folders then appeared on my Finder, nd I could copy the files over.
  4. superduperjacob macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2003
    Good stuff - welcome aboard!

    No, not after you have quit the application. Yes, if you by closing mean closing the window and the application still is active in the dock. One difference between Windows and Mac is that an application is active until you actively quit it - closing all windows in it will not do.

    No, not in my opinion. As long as I did not have a week-long pause, I put my computer in sleep mode when I had a Mac laptop.

    If I assumed that the ride could be bumpy, I turned it off - if not, only sleep mode.

    "Enable the Input menu in the International pane of System Preferences to bring up Character Palettes for several languages" (from

    Drag it to the Dock. If you want to streamline your work beyond comprehension, look into Quicksilver ( or LaunchBar ( Using these applications, you can use a keyboard shortcut of your choice to bring up the application and type letters to narrow the search results. These applications search almost anything on your computer that you choose to search from (applications, folders, preference panes, documents and so on). For example, I press CTRL + spacebar to bring up LaunchBar, press T which selects TextEdit and then Enter to open the application. Especially Quicksilver can be customised beyond belief and perform much more advanced tasks than LaunchBar, but I have found it to be a bit unstable on my configuration so I almost only use LaunchBar as a shortcut launcher.
  5. mheidt macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2005
    Actually I disagree.
    A missing real hibernate mode is very annoying.
    The overnight sleep takes 20% of my battery.

    Therefore I changed my sleep modus into safe sleep, so that it hibernates evertime I close the lid.
    It takes longer to wake up, but I save a lot of energy.
  6. xjames thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2008
    hey man, thanks for the tips
  7. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    It shouldn't drain 20% only overnight.

    The reason I am not using hibernate is because it was horribly unstable with Tiger.
  8. mheidt macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2005
    Not 20% of a new one...I should have stressed the "my" battery :)
    But actually that's a good reason for the safe sleep as doesn't wear down the battery that much.

    I don't have any problems with Leopard so far...
    I don't even bother the longer wake-up time, since the WLAN is there, when it awakes from hibernate.
    Without hibernate it always takes a couple of seconds to log into the WLAN, so that the total amount of time doesn't differ that much.

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