First Steps in New Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Qinetic, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Qinetic macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    So I'm a fiend over FedEx tracking right now. I'm expecting my new Alu Macbook to be here in about 2 hours, and I wanted to know what the first steps I should do should be.

    When searching I found four major things:
    1) Plug it in right away, fully charge it, fully drain it
    2) Calibrate the battery
    3) Calibrate the screen
    4) Download necessary apps

    My first concern is doing something that will become irreversible for the rest of its life, like permanently shortening the battery life. So do I fully charge the battery before turning it on? Do I drain it until it shuts off on me? For calibrating the battery and screen it seems like it was just like a connect-the-dots thing but any helpful comments would be nice. Lastly, as far as necessary apps I really would like to keep it to a minimum since I usually hate any type of quirky addons. For now I think I just want to start with iStat but if there are ones that truly are NECESSARY then let me know. Don't let me mess it up! :)
  2. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    I'd include sorting out a backing up solution for your Mac, so it's sorted from the start. There's Time Machine, for files, then programs like SuperDuper for the entire drive backups.
  3. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    You seem to have it pretty much all set.

    As far as calibrating the battery goes, you do not need to have it off while charging it the first time, use that time to set up the mac, transfer files, etc. Once it is drained, keep it off for more than 5 hours, preferably overnight, and then charge it back up and keep it charged after it says 100% for more than an hour. Then you should be all good.

    For calibrating the screen, there are a couple of good threads on these forums that have plenty of color profiles that you can try out, or you can make one yourself if you choose that.

    And for apps, firefox? That's obviously a personal preference for some, but it does take less RAM than safari does. We do need to know more about what you intend to do on your mac to be able to recommend apps.
  4. Qinetic thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    So does Apple battery calibration guide me through the steps of how I should charge/drain the battery? And I mostly plan on using Office or iWork, organizing lots of photos and music, online video streaming, and WoW - pretty basic stuff so that's why I sort of said apps that would really be useful to anyone.
  5. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Well the Apple calibration guide is perfect, since it tells you things like, "when your mac is fully charged, keep it charged for 1-2 hours more before unplugging the power." When you are discharging the battery for calibration, you can do whatever you want to make the battery drain faster (rip movies, convert and listen music, turn the brightness up, etc). I remember playing 12 movies that I have on my hard drive all at once to drain the battery quicker.

    I have both iWork and Office, and after using Office my entire life...I can honestly say I really like the simplicity of iWork, of course, that can be just my opinion, and someone else can be the total opposite.

    As far as other apps go, Adium is awesome for multi-protocol instant messaging. Handbrake for converting/ripping movies. VLC as a video player that supports pretty much every format. There's a lot of good apps, and a simple google search will bring you to them, not to sound like a dick, but that is what I did, and it brought me to a lot of apps that I like.

    Hope that helps.
  6. Stachelsk macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    Commercial Apps:
    - VMware Fusion (So, so, so much faster and better at memory mgmt than Parallels)
    - CoolBook (Bring the voltage going to your processor way down, make it cooler)
    - Office/iWorks (I haven't used iWorks, but Office is 'okay'... tends to crash a lot)

    Free Apps:
    - VLC (previously mentioned)
    - Monolingual (strips out languages other than English, giving you more space)
    - StuffIt Expander (takes care of almost any kind of compressed file)
    - Xcode (if you're a software developer, it's an awesome IDE)
  7. Doju macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    So his directions are right? (Getting mine on Friday. :D)

    How exactly do you "completely drain it" just use Safari alot?
  8. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Do whatever you want. Basically do anything that stresses the CPU...Youtube is a good example of could just play like 5 Youtube videos at once haha.

    Then once it automatically goes to sleep, Apple recommends keeping it off for 5 hours or more (so try to do it over night), and then charge it back up. Once it is fully charged, keep it plugged in for another 1-2 hours to make sure it has been fully charged. Then you're good to go.
  9. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Jan 4, 2008
    the island
    Does everyone really think that calibration is really that important? I asked a couple Apple Geniuses about it and while they both said that it wasn't all that important. I've seen conflicting advice about it. My battery seems to be in great shape and I haven't calibrated yet. It's not like I'm opposed to it or anything, it's mainly that I can't afford to not have my computer available while it is completely draining and recharging.
  10. countrykid333 macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2008
    i salute you for your devotion. when ever i get a new computer the last thing i am thinking about is the calibrating the battery:p.
    congrats on the new macbook!
  11. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Aug 13, 2008
    Kitchener, Ontario
    All calibrating the battery does is provide you a more accurate reading when looking at the "max charge" measurements on iStat or coconutBattery, and potentially a more accurate % and time remaining reading. That's about it. I have only done it one, the day I got my macbook, and haven't bothered doing it since.

    I guess it would be good to do it once every few months, especially if you're one that doesn't use the lower 30ish% of the battery, just to keep the electrons moving.

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