Just purchased my first ever Mac, a 13" MacBook Air, suggestions please

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by brig2221, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. brig2221 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    As the title indicates, I just purchased a new 13" MacBook Air this morning (256GB SSD model with 8GB RAM and Core i7 upgrades). This will be my first even Apple computer (not counting iPad/iPhone).

    I'm really looking forward to learning Mac OSX, but have a little worry/concern about switching cold turkey from the Windows environment.

    Looking for any pointers and advice on how to best (and quickly) get acclimated to OSX (without breaking anything), along with some of the most popular programs to get (must have's).

    I appreciate all feedback in advance, and like most of you, I will be constantly trolling the Apple order tracking stage over the next few day's until I get my computer :D
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #2
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #3
    Best thing you can do is....

    ... install Windows 7 in Bootcamp. :D

    I too switched 9 months ago, and for the most part have made a good transition, but there are still some apps I have to run in Windows. Having Windows 7 in Bootcamp (and running Parallels too) has been a lifesaver.

    Besides, the MBA runs Windows 7 better than most laptops out there.
     
  4. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #4
    Your MBA could easily run Windows in a virtual machine, if you want to still keep a foot in the Windows camp. My 2010 13 inch MBA handles VMware Fusion and Windows 7 with aplomb. although it has only a C2D processor and 4GB of RAM, My financial life revolves around Quicken for Windows, so I continue to have a critical need for Windows. I run Quicken for Windows, WordPrefect, and Garmin Training Center in my VM and use them on a daily basis. Everything else, though, I do from the OS X side. All of my apps run just fine. Your 2012 MBA, with its i7 chip and 8GB of RAM, should handle a setup like mine without breaking a sweat.
     
  5. ericandrews macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Forget OSX, Run Windows 7 as your primary OS.

    I switched to a 13" MacBook Pro 3 years ago with the hopes to switch to OSX as my primary OS, worst decision I ever made.

    Now I run Windows 7 as my primary OS through BootCamp and it's the best Windows laptop ever. I just ordered a new 13" MacBook Air to do the same thing. Apple makes great hardware.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #6
    It sounds like you didn't take the time to learn how to use OS X effectively.
     
  7. brig2221 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I knew you could run Windows via a virtual machine, which I assume is akin to emulation. That said, I've never seen a first hand testimonial from someone that it works well, on an older system no less, so thanks for that!

    Quick question, as you know, I have the 256 GB SSD model, so drive space is going to be a concern for me, and is one reason why I most likely wouldn't consider using bootcamp as I would have to setup and partition a good portion of my drive space to accomplish this. When running VMware Fusion, do you need to partition any hard drive space to run Windows, or does it just run off your RAM?
     
  8. dontpannic macrumors 6502

    dontpannic

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    #8
    It runs from a virtual hard disk file in your home directory. You can specify the size of the file and where it's located.
     
  9. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #9
    Windows 7 runs awesome in a VM on a MBA. Awesome.

    Having said that, I also installed it in bootcamp. There are times when booting native into Windows has no substitute. As good as VMWare and Parallels are, they will never match the speed/performance of a native boot.

    I gave my bootcamp partition 50GB and could have gotten away with 30.
     
  10. dona83 macrumors regular

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    #10
    I haven't used a Mac as a primary work machine yet but will be soon, it's great AutoCAD is available for Mac but I'll still have to install Windows under Parallels as pretty much all engineering tools are still PC only.

    As a personal machine, I hardly ever booted into Windows. Maybe to run a benchmark or try out a few things. 98% of what I need to do can be done on Mac OS and it is my preferred operating system.
     
  11. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    First, you can find endless testimonials to the efficacy of either VMware Fusion or Parallels running Windows and a variety of Windows apps. Windows runs better under VMware Fusion on my 2010 MBA than it ever ran under any native Windows box I ever used. If you want to learn OS X, though I would not recommend Bootcamp. Bootcamp's weakness is that you have to shutdown OS X and boot up Bootcamp before you can run Windows apps and vice versa. Although the drivers for Bootcamp are probably superior to those used in either Fusion or Parallels, they wouldn't do me enough good to be willing to pass up the ability to seamlessly shift between OS X apps and Windows apps. Highly, highly recommended. Try it, you'll like it.:)

    You should not have the slightest problem running both OS X and a virtual machine with 256GB of storage. I have been running Fusion and Windows with the 256GB of storage in my 2010 MBA for the better part of two years and still have about 50GB of unused space.
     
  12. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #12
    The beauty of bootcamp is that you can boot native if you need to, otherwise you can use the bootcamp partition and run it inside a VM. When I play Windows games, I like booting native for best performance. For almost everything else I run it in a VM and it runs great. Best of both worlds, really.

    Apple hardware puts almost all other manufacturers to shame in the way they support and run Windows. Crazy.
     
  13. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Interesting! I'm not a gamer, so had not known that you can run Bootcamp either natively or within a VM. I had understood, though, that you really need Bootcamp to get the most out of Windows games because of the superiority of Bootcamp's graphics drivers.
     
  14. dcorban macrumors 6502a

    dcorban

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    I can't believe that some people's first suggestion is to install Windows!

    I was a hardcore Windows guy for 15 years. I worked in IT supporting Windows systems and networks for 10. After three days of using OS X, I had the basics figured out and grew familiar with navigating around the Mac. At that point, I never wanted to use Windows again.
     
  15. ZBoater macrumors G3

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    Me neither, but those of us who rely on apps that still run ONLY on Windows have little choice. And the fact Apple supports Windows so well on their hardware makes it an easy choice....
     
  16. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    You beat me too it. There still a lot of apps, which are either available only for the Windows environment, or which, like Quicken for Windows, are dramatically superior to their OS X counterparts.
     
  17. halledise macrumors 65816

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    #17
    buy a Mac to run Windows? - I must be missing something.
    historically (or hysterically), the Mac OS has always been a simpler and easy-to-use interface compared with other OS's.

    Why not just dive in, follow the links supplied by GGJstudios and spend a day doing some fresh learning.
    You'll be pleasantly surprised.
    then, if one really must play Windows based games, by all means install VMware for that purpose - but not for everything.
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    As already stated, there are many who have a need to run Windows-only apps from time to time. What puzzles me is why anyone would suggest buying a Mac and ONLY running Windows. If you're going to do that, you can buy a nice Windows PC for a lot less than a Mac.
     
  19. GKDAIR macrumors regular

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    #19
    I am sort of in the same boat.

    My first Air I got back in October.


    Best advice I can offer is to just sit down and play with it. I still have a hard time learning a lot of apps but I know a lot of my way around the system now. It does a lot of things differently then Windows which for the most part is a good thing, but some things are really weird.
     
  20. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    Yeah, but the original poster made no indication that he needed to run certain applications in a Windows environment.
     
  21. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #21
    No he did not. He only said it was his first Apple computer ever. So naturally I should assumed that all the apps he has been using in his Windows environment would magically become either unnecessary or have Mac equivalents.

    Sorry, my bad. Carry on... :rolleyes:
     
  22. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    Save the attitude. I'm just pointing out that his apprehension seems to be stemming from the switch itself, not application compatibility. Therefore, it might be helpful if people helped him by outlining some of their favorite features that they found on Mac OS after switching from Windows rather than saying "just load windows". I'm not saying Bootcamp or VM's don't have their place, I just think based off his original post, he'd be missing out on an opportunity to learn something new/better if he just took the easy way out stuck with Windows because he's familiar with it.
     
  23. dona83 macrumors regular

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    #23
    Of note, when I was in school, my PC crashed and I lost a lot of photos and music and everything, I was determined to buy a Mac from then on and basically disassociated myself from it, other than using it to do school work. When I got out of school, I bought an iBook with my first two paycheques. Because of my dissociation, it was an easy transition, and it wasn't like I could run Windows on my iBook anyway.

    You should make an effort to use OS X for everything, but keeping Windows on board via Fusion or Parallels is like riding a bike on training wheels, great to ease yourself in but you'll eventually want to get off it. Once you're comfortable with OS X, Windows becomes that gas guzzling truck that's your second car, use it when you need to and sometimes it's even fun, but otherwise you prefer not to.
     
  24. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    And I'm just pointing out that as good as Apple is, it still lags in supporting some apps that we've come to rely on (like Quicken) and some that make no sense (like DVD Profiler, which is an awesome iOS app, and the desktop companion is Windows only - go figure). There just too much stuff out there, and there is no need to go cold turkey on a switch like this. You can ease into this and learn at your own pace while having a familiar OS to fall back on in case the need arises.
     
  25. Geekbabe macrumors 6502a

    Geekbabe

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    #25
    I got my 1st Mac, a 13 inch MBA in Nov of 2011. I made the deliberate choice to only run OS X Lion on the system. I did keep a desktop PC for those occasions when it was needed to run a Windows program. Doing this forced me to spend time getting acquainted with OS X & finding Mac apps to do the things I need to do. This was time well spent, I'm no expert but am comfortable now with the operating system & the ins and outs of the Apple ecosystem.

    I recommend you get David Pogue's book " OS X Lion, the missing Manual" you can buy it in soft cover or as an e-book at the iBook store or Amazon.
     

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