Getting a new MBA, tips requested

carguy21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 18, 2013
20
0
Hello,

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:
 

DoctorK4

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2011
133
1
Hello,

I will be buying my first Mac in my life, and I will be getting the new Air and I will be completely lost.
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.
 

kodeman53

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,091
1
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.
Good advice. There are other sources of wisdom than MR.
 

carguy21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 18, 2013
20
0
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.
Just checked, there are no workshops at the store near me :mad:
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,469
9,104
California
Hello,

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:
I assume you are moving from a PC?

http://www.apple.com/support/macbasics/pctomac/

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

skofgar

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2013
14
2
Migration
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).

Apps

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
    cmd + space
  • 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
 

luisito

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2012
215
0
Hello,

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:
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.
 

carguy21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 18, 2013
20
0
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!
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!

----------

Migration
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).
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.
 

luisito

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2012
215
0
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.
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.
 

SusanK

macrumors 68000
Oct 9, 2012
1,675
2,636
One to One

Just checked, there are no workshops at the store near me :mad:
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!
 
Last edited:

JMountainDew

macrumors regular
Apr 24, 2012
171
25
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!
 

luisito

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2012
215
0
Here's a very handy link I have found most useful for learning the keyboard shortcuts. It's #1 in my browser quick links.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1343?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
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.
 

sponch

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2011
64
10
I can recommend you the book "Swtiching to the Mac - the missing manual".
Really good one!
 

Hackney

macrumors newbie
Jun 20, 2008
14
0
Lahndahn baby
...and you might need a starbucks coffee next to your MBA once you get it to make yourself feel classy. Lol.
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
 

kodeman53

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,091
1
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.
luisito meant it as a joke, not an invitation for a food snob Starbucks rant.
 

skofgar

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2013
14
2
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.
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… ))
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
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.
Time Machine is software, built into the operating system, that handles backups. You can learn more about it here:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427

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.
 

techn0lady

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2010
105
0
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.
 
Last edited:

carguy21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 18, 2013
20
0
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 .
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?