Just bought a Mac Laptop and have questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by HPLouis, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. HPLouis macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2010

    I'm a regular over in the iPhone section but after spending my whole life in Windows, my wife and I are gonna make the leap into Apple. We have a lot of questions and we're both reading old threads here so we can learn this computer.

    We bought the 2014 version because it was cheap. Did we get a good configuration that can last 3-5 years? Are the MacBooks like an iphone? You know, they get unusable after a couple of years?

    Can we run Windows on this?

    What about transferring our files from the windows computer to the Apple computer? Stuff like Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, pictures, videos, etc.

    Can the Apple computer view websites like Chamberlain College of Nursing or any other e-Learning websites? I remember that Steve Jobs didn't like Flash and I think those sites are in Flash.

    I saw that we can input our iCloud and iTunes accounts into these computers. What will that give us? Will our pictures and songs transfer over?

    Thanks for the time
  2. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    1. That computer should last you quite a while, depending on your uses of course.

    2. Yes, you can run Windows having the option to boot into one OS or the other using Bootcamp to install Windows. This can be the best option if you are playing games and running very CPU/GPU intensive software in Windows. The other option is to run Windows in a Virtual Machine using Parallels, VMWare, or Virtualbox. If you only need to run some basic applications in Windows Virtualbox is quite capable. I'm currently running VMs with Windows 7 and Windows 10 on my significantly less powerful machine and they are handled quite nicely with Virtualbox for what I need. If one of you is enrolled in school, you may be able to get VMWare or Parallels either free or at a discount through the school.

    3. You can migrate them over using an external hard drive, flash drive, etc., depending on how much stuff you need to move.

    4. Safari is the default browse on Mac, and you can download and run Flash in Safari. Occasionally some sites do not play well with Safari. For those, if you download and install Firefox and/or Google Chrome, you can view and use them without issues. I generally use Safari for most of my browsing and only rarely run into issues. The only eLearning site I used was Cengage's Mastering site the last time I taught college physics, and it plays nicely with the Mac.

    5. You can import your music files into iTunes and play them without issue. The account gives you the ability to purchase more songs, applications for the mac and iPhone through their respective stores app stores. iCloud gives you the ability to sync calendars, contacts, photos, etc. between various Apple devices, as well as the option to store some files in the cloud for access away from your machine. I don't use iCloud for much personally.

    Hope this helps.
  3. HPLouis thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2010
    Thank you for the detailed and informative answer.

    We use our computers for emails, surfing the Internet, Microsoft Office, etc. We don't do video games, photo editing etc. Just very light usage.

    We got these because we're hoping it lasts for 5 years, or even more
  4. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    In that case, it will last you for as long as it doesn't have a hardware failure. It's more than enough to do that sort of thing for many years to come. Enjoy your new machine and welcome to the world of Mac! Once you get used to it, I think you'll decide to stick around for a long time.
  5. yes_indeed_so macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2015
    Congrats! I think your questions are answered above, but I wanted to add that Chrome has Flash built in. I advise to use Safari since it works great with iCloud and the trackpad of the MBP, but if you need Flash for a website you could just use Chrome for that, instead of installing Flash on your system.
  6. bmclaurin macrumors member


    Nov 10, 2011
    Las Vegas, NV
    Not much to add to meson's great reply, although for #3, you might also consider using cloud storage. You can open up a free account with lots of complimentary storage with service like Dropbox, etc., and that makes it a snap to share files across multiple devices and platforms.
  7. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Questions numbered for ease of answering.

    1. 100% dependant on usage(same goes for any computer, OS X or Windows or Linux). Impossible to answer without taking a stab in the dark if you do not give us more info on what you actually do with a computer.

    2. No. iOS and OS X are completely different OS'es aimed at different things and do not behave the same way with older hardware. My older MacBook Pro from 2008 is on OS X 10.9.5, it came with 10.4. Still runs like it did new.

    3. Sure, just like on any other Mac made later than 2006. Apple switched to Intel processors back them (they used PowerPC before that). A Mac is a regular old PC, in a pretty case with a glowing Apple on it, that can run OS X.

    4. I suggest you read up on Migration Assistant, here: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204087

    5. Yes. Flash is installed separately from the OS, just like on Windows, simply download and install Flash if you need it.

    6. I strongly urge you to read a bit about iCloud, but I'll give you some of the things it does

    If you have an iPhone 5s or later, you get access to Continuity and Handoff https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204681

    It'll sync your Mac's calendar across all your devices.
    It'll allow you to use services such as iTunes Match and Apple Music across all devices
    You'll be able to text through your computer, and take phone calls from it should you be away from your phone provided you're on the same WiFi network.
    It'll sync contacts across all devices
    It can sync Maps info across all devices (check itinerary on computer for bigger screen, send it to phone)
    It allows you to use Find My Mac, Find My iPhone and other services
    Sync Bookmarks across all devices

    For more info https://support.apple.com/kb/PH2608?locale=en_US&viewlocale=en_US
  8. HPLouis thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2010
    Thanks again for the great replies. This is getting me really excited about this computer. It comes in tomorrow and I can't wait.

    Thanks for the links also. From what I'm reading, the MacBook integrates very well with the iPhone, iPad and the iTunes accounts.

    Thanks again
  9. HPLouis thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2010
    One more question....

    Where will I get programs, such as Office, etc. does the MacBook have an App Store? Or do I buy a CD from the store like I do wish my PC?
  10. yes_indeed_so macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2015
    Yep, integration of different Apple devices is a major selling point. See http://www.apple.com/icloud/ for more info on this
  11. yes_indeed_so macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2015
    OS X has the Mac App Store, where you can buy and download apps/programs. You can install MS Office on OS X perfectly fine without issues, see https://products.office.com/en-US/mac/microsoft-office-for-mac. Moreover, you get the full iWork suite (like Office but from Apple) for free with your Macbook so that's worth checking out. It can read and save to Office documents as well. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask, we love to help :)
  12. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Both are correct. Most Apps are available online straight from their developers also. I'd suggest, for example, that you buy office for Mac straight from Microsoft.
  13. HPLouis thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2010
    Thanks again for all the help. This board is great. The computer is coming in tomorrow and I'm really excited. Another question, Does this come with a CD drive? If not, how do I add the programs?
  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    No, it does not. AFAIK no Mac made past 2012 does.

    A lot(read most) of software is downloadable now, negating the need for a disc anyway. Office can be downloaded from Microsoft for the same price (or less) than the price of the CD box set.

    Alternatively, you could buy an external DVD drive for older software that is not readily downloadable. Unless you use very old software, that's not likely to happen.

    I've removed the DVD drive in my own Mac to add a second hard drive (and before you ask, no you cannot do this on a retina MacBook Pro) and I don't think I remember the last time I've actually used a CD or DVD.

    An external drive can be had for $25 or less right here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n...+drive&ie=UTF8&qid=1438299457&rnid=2941120011
  15. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2011
    Ridgewood, NJ
    The Mac should come with Pages, Keynote, etc. If you need MS Office, you'll have to buy those. You mentioned nursing school. I would check and see if your institution offers MS Office for free. Also, I saw it's an online program or distance learning program, right? If so, I would access a practice section if possible, and make sure the browser/flash/etc. is good to go before an assignment or online test is due.
  16. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014

    Should not be an issue with stock safari browser. I have done many online sources (coursera and edx primarily, others as well) no issues. A really funny story about browsers. I need to take dell tests to keep certs current to order parts for my servers. For reasons still mysterious to me IE on the work computer was not processing a test completion correctly. So I used my MBP, hit the dell site, retook test and voila it worked, class and test done.

    If browser issues arise there is chrome and such. Just like you would do with windows an IE issues.

    In regards to software buys. Just a personal preference here, other mileage may vary as always, but I like to buy from source developer if an option. Apple app store has a code verification process. This adds some time to release of updates. If you get from the vendor directly, you can get this patch day 1. If an apple app store buy...you get the patch when they clear it. If you like day 1 just keep in that mind. Apple store gives the convenience of pushing the update the same as system updates. App depending...you get this convenience of sorts anyway from vendor as well. Most of my apps in a few seconds of opening will say "update available, would you like to dl and install now".

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