Getting a new MBA, tips requested

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by carguy21, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. carguy21 macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013

    I will be buying my first Mac in my life, and I will be getting the new Air and I will be completely lost. What are some essential programs or essential things I need to do. I dont really understand the whole operating system so what are some things I can do to make the transition easier? What are some cool features of macs that most people dont know about. Thank you in advance! :apple:
  2. DoctorK4 macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2011
    If you're near an Apple Store, check out their workshop schedules. When I went through the same process as you're going through, there was one called "Welcome to Mac" or "Welcome to Lion" or something like that. It walked through the Mac equivalent of Windows (like Finder instead of Windows Explorer) as well as things like Mission Control and other parts of the user interface. Very helpful, and free.
  3. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    Good advice. There are other sources of wisdom than MR.
  4. carguy21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
    Just checked, there are no workshops at the store near me :mad:
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I assume you are moving from a PC?

    There are some great tutorials on this page from Apple. Also, this book by David Pogue is a good resource.
  6. skofgar macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
    If you already own another Computer (Windows) and you want to transfer your existing files - take a look at the Migration Assistant: Migration from Windows

    Probably they also offer some courses at the Apple Store to help you with migration (or if you have a friend which is (really) good on computers).


    The good thing is - quite a lot of apps which are pretty cool are already pre-installed and made by Apple. (Like: iPhoto, iMovie, Mail, Safari (Browser))

    Apps like Skype also exist for Macs.

    Services / System Preferences

    A very superbig plus is Spotlight and Time Machine. Maybe you already know them, but just to make sure:

    • Spotlight is the search engine within the Mac. It helps you find any file and program you might need. You get to it by clicking the magnifying glass in the top right or hitting the shortcut
    • Time Machine as soon as you plug in an external hard-drive into your Mac for the first time, you will be asked if Time Machine can make backups of your computer on it. I strongly advise you to get an external one (if you don't have one) or even better get a wireless one (or one which can be connected to your wireless station). Because, with the wireless version, your Mac will do hourly backups of all your data and changes as soon as you are connected with your wireless. Of course - the first time will take a while because he needs to backup the entire computer. Once this is done it will only backup the changes. Time Machine is a life-saver ;-)
      Time Machine can be configured through the system preferences app
  7. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    Just did the change as well.

    I thought that learning OS X was going to be a pain, it has been actually so much fun for the pass ~2 weeks, even though I still don't understand much. There is one certain thing.. I am never going back to PC.. EVER!

    Anyways.. you would definitely need a case, either a sleeve or a shell or even a backpack depending on what you do.. you WON'T need a mouse (in case you are a mouse person like me) I love apple's trackpad, you can do so much with it! much better than a mouse!!... you would need applecare if you got the cash and want the coverage... you more likely will need an external hard drive for backing up with time machine and extend your storage capacity (I recommend you make good use of the usb 3.0 with a compatible external hard drive... you may or may not need a cleaning kit for the screen, I bought mine at the apple store bausch and lomb, green/white box for about 30ish USD... you might need a usb drive, for when you are on the go and don't want to carry an external hard drive (try to make use of the 3.0 as well).. and you might need a starbucks coffee next to your MBA once you get it to make yourself feel classy. Lol.
  8. carguy21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
    Wow this really helped! Thank you! But when you say time machine, is that like an external hard drive made by apple? I already have a 1TB external with 3.0 from western digital. I'm not entirely sure what time machine is.

    Also, sorry for not replying to other's posts in this post, I'm also new to macrumors. Give me some time to learn!


    In order to use the migration assistant, do I need to have the mac? I have not yet purchased, but will in the next couple of weeks, hopefully when they have the back to school promo.
  9. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    I am a newbie too so this is how I can define time machine: it is software made by apple that comes with OS X, and backs every thing you got on your computer with the touch of a button on an external hard drive or on a apple extreme thingy. (the apple wifi stations).

    I am pretty sure it can be configured to backup certain things only and it surely has other features.

    I will probably call Apple Care on monday for them to help me partition my external hard drive and make one partition for the sole purpose of time machine, and another partition for my personal stuff.
  10. SusanK, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013

    SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
    One to One

    One to One is available at the time you purchase the Mac. One year of personal training at the Apple Store for $99. Unlimited sessions for the year.

    Trainers are certified on the software. I enjoy the One to One as well as workshops.

    Have fun with your new Mac!
  11. JMountainDew macrumors regular


    Apr 24, 2012
    As another recent mac convert, I, too, am experiencing a bit of a learning curve and a few frustrations. To help alleviate this to some degree, I began googling some foreseen issues a couple months ago in preparation of easing the learning process (such as "how to put 'save as' back into mountain lion" and "how to print in booklet form in pages"). Enjoy your new mac! Don't look back!
  12. SusanK, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013

    SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
  13. zipur macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2011
    The great state of Texas
  14. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    Thanks! This will help me so much..

    The only one that I figure out myself was Command+C and Command+V, but I keep pressing Control+C and Control+V.. curse you Windows!

    Hopefully my brain starts to accept that I have finally moved to OS X from the other crappy OS that I was using for the past 15 yrs of my life. Lol.
  15. sponch macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2011
    I can recommend you the book "Swtiching to the Mac - the missing manual".
    Really good one!
  16. Hackney macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2008
    Lahndahn baby
    Puhleese! Starbucks coffee is low quality and vastly overpriced. Drink it all you want but be aware that you're drinking a brand and koolaid, not a superior product.

    Best wishes
  17. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    luisito meant it as a joke, not an invitation for a food snob Starbucks rant.
  18. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012

    Anything Pogue write about using a Mac is worth a look IMHO.
  19. skofgar macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
    Usually you use the Migration Assistant after you bought your Mac.

    Actually - when you boot up your Mac for the very first time - OS X will ask you if you would like to migrate stuff from a previous computer. It will guide you through the necessary steps. You can migrate from a windows pc or another mac.

    As far as I know it may copy things like mail accounts to the new mac. You might need to make sure that it also copies all your personal files (especially those, which you do not store in your 'home' folder on your Windows (e.g. if you have a D:// where you store stuff - instead of C://Users/Document… ))
  20. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Time Machine is software, built into the operating system, that handles backups. You can learn more about it here:

    It's automatic and very easy to use.

    Your western Digital 1TB drive should work just fine for this, though it might need to be reformatted to accept Time Machine backups.

    Apple also sells hardware (called a Time Capsule) meant to work specifically with Time Machine, but it's not required to have. If you have an external hard drive, that will work just fine.

    As far as needed software goes: Most of the "essentials" come included with your Mac. One thing you will probably want to look into though, is getting MS Office for Mac... IF you do any work with Office documents or plan on doing word processing/spreadsheets. There is also iWork which can be cheaper in some circumstances and is made by Apple, and works well, too, but I've found that if you're working with other PC users who deal in MS Office, then it's best to just get MS Office since it is much more compatible.
  21. techn0lady, Jun 25, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013

    techn0lady macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2010
    If you were a windows user then here is an essential tip . Dragging and dropping a directory into another directory of the same name (like you do in windows when you update files form one machine to another) does NOT work the same way :(

    In windows the default behavior is to only replace older files with newer ones. In OSX the default behavior is to completely erase and replace the old directory with the contents of the "dropped in" directory .

    You will only make that mistake once (or in my case twice) and you will rail and curse the day you switched to OSX after you deleted all your important files in that directory and don't have a backup :( Then you will calm down and get used to it and figure out ways around it and it won't be a problem any more.

    Edit: One more thing - if coming from a Windows environment, it will freak you out that you don't have to reboot your machine every other day (or hour) and you may wonder if "something is wrong"? Because it doesn't feel right to have your machine working for so long. In my case, after I switched to OSX I rebooted the machine once a week just because it made me "feel better". Then I got used to that as well.
  22. carguy21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2013
    Sorry that kind of confused me, can you dumb it down a little bit? Is it like having two folders named the same thing, and when you try to consolidate, the one just overwrites the other?

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