First Mac- MBA 11.6 1.6-4-128 Questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by somewhere21, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. somewhere21 macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2010
    Hey everyone, I finally decided to get a Mac. My current laptop is a Toshiba with a 1.6 C2D 1.5 ram and a 100GB HD (12in). After reading many posts here, I think it would be correct to assume that my MBA will be an upgrade. I really will only be using it for school and web browsing. Also, can anyone make some suggestions of any software I should install right away? I want to make sure I have a good start and intro since I've never used Mac OSx.
    Thanks for any info.
  2. ltsching macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Your Mac will come with most everything you need to get started such as the iLife suite. You'd probably need a word processor if you do a lot of writing. Go to the Apple website and there's a easy and quite comprehensive guide to Mac OSX. Good luck!
  3. elwood58 macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2010
    iWork, or one of the free Open Office suites, would be a good idea. I have used NEO Office quite a bit, and it is fully compatible with Microsoft Office files.
  4. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    If you'll be using it for school, you should probably get an MS Office 2011 or iWork.
  5. redRAYZA macrumors member


    Sep 19, 2007
    I agree with Jaro65 on getting an office suite, but I'd recommended OpenOffice. It's free and I'm sure as a student, you'd appreciate the extra cash in your pocket!
  6. opera57 macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2009
    Yeah quite a significant upgrade I would have thought! To be honest you will probably want to get microsoft office (as a student you can probably get it fairly cheap anyway), but openoffice is a good alternative. Personally I was annoyed by little compatibility errors in formatting when opening some powerpoint slides using openoffice so had to go for microsoft office - but for essay writing, spreadsheets etc, openoffice should do the job nicely! [​IMG]
  7. mkelly macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2007
    Good choice! I just picked up a MacBook Air 11.6 1.6/4/128 yesterday and I'm *really* impressed with how speedy the little guy is. Plus it can drive my 27" LCD without any issues. I think it'll meet your needs nicely.

    Now, as for software to install... coming from Windows, you're going to want a few things:

    Perian ( - this is a plugin for Quicktime that gives it the ability to play back all kinds of common video formats (eg: DivX, etc)

    Windows Media Components for Quicktime ( - another Quicktime plugin that gives you the ability to play back some additional Windows video formats.

    VLC video player for Mac ( - always handy to have, although the first two plugins will cover 99.9% of the file formats you'll encounter.

    An office suite. If you want to go free, try OpenOffice ( or NeoOffice (a variant of OpenOffice that's Mac-optimized: You can also buy iWork, which is Apple's office suite. It's mostly Office compatible, and includes Keynote, which generates much nicer "Powerpoint" presentations than Powerpoint does. Finally, you can splurge and get Microsoft Office for Mac, which is exactly what it sounds like.

    Don't forget that Apple is no longer installing Flash by default on Macs (which is a good thing, since it's better to download a newer version from Adobe anyway). So you *may* want to grab Flash player from Adobe's site.

    Don't bother with Adobe Acrobat Reader though. Apple's built-in Preview app is faster and nicer.

    Hrm. That's all I've got for now... enjoy your new Mac! :)
  8. Gruber macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    For school, I would get MS Office instead of OpenOffice (Powerpoint compatibility). If you can afford it, the Adobe Creative Design Suite might be worth considering (Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat).

    You will need an ASCII text editor. I recommend TextWrangler (free). The standard mail and calendar programs are good enough (you might want to slave iCal to a Google calendar if you intend to share your schedules across several machines or with your friends and family).

    What else? Download VLC and Perian for video playback. Transmission for bittorrents. Adium for IM. Growl for notifications. Skype. Everything else is covered well by Apple (GarageBand, iPhoto, iWeb etc.).

    Depending on your needs, you may want to consider more advanced productivity apps later on (Things or Omnifocus for task management, an outliner or a mind mapper for note taking etc.).
  9. somewhere21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2010
    Thanks everyone for the replies. Just got it this afternoon and am impressed for sure:)

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