Just Switched to Mac!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AliClifton, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. AliClifton macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Hi guys,

    Im new here, long time visitor, first time poster. i figured since ive finally switched (saved up enough :) ) that i should join the forums.

    Ive just bought the base model macbook pro, fortunatly im not completely without any mac experience and ive managed the basics of mac use and ownership but i do have a few issues you guys might be able to help me with.

    Firstly im not sure what the best method of backing up is. That may seem stupid considering time machine but the trouble is all i have are ntfs external drives which i dnt really want to reformat. Ive thought about trying NTFS X but from what ive read its buggy and doesnt work with time machine. I also thought a time capsule mite be a worthy purchase (expensive mind) but id rather have something i could back up my windows machines to aswell, preferable over my home network.

    The other problem im having is the infamous spinning beach ball. It keeps showing up and my mac locks up for a while during the simplest tasks (just itunes and opera open) which i dont really expect from over a grands worth or mbp, maybe during use of intense plugins in ae but not while using itunes and surfing the web. I worry that my ram isnt being distributed properly or maybe my HDD is fragmented (over 50% full but macs arent supposed to get fragmented that easily rite?). Or maybe itunes is buggy, all i know is that using cover flow for more than 60secs and get ready to use force quit.

    Hopefuly you guys can fill this newbie in a bit, despite all ive written above i do love my mac already, so much better than any windows notebook ive had in the past (except for the constant static when u plug headphones in but then u all know about that should be fixed soon hopefully), plus ive escaped the disaster of vista :D Cheers, Ali

    p.s im going to be cheeky here and just add that if any of you are demonoid members then could you pm me an invite code, been trying to join for ages to no avail so ive decided to start adding requests to the forums i frequent. Thanks
  2. italiano40 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2007
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    1. Welcome to Mac ownership!
    2. Welcome as a poster!
    3. Time Machine is a simple backup method, although not efficient in its use of space.
    4. You won't be able to use a NTFS-formatted drive for backups. NTFS is a read-only disk format for Mac OS X. If you have multiple drives, why not format one as FAT32, so it can be used by the Mac and your Windows PC?
    5. As for the beachball, how much RAM do you have? Adding RAM is an inexpensive way to get a good boost in performance.
    6. I hope this helps!
  4. Siron macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    I switched BIG TIME (check my sig) six months ago and have not regretted one minute. I still have to use Windoze for QuickBooks Pro and MS Money (in Parallels) but I grin :D and bear it :eek:
  5. AliClifton thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Thanks for the welcomes guys much appreciated

    I thought about formatting a drive to fat32 but doesnt that have some pretty big constrictions like files can be no bigger than 4gb and volumes can only be around 40gb (correct me if wrong plz)

    As for memory ive got 2gb atm, surely more than enough for day to day tasks and seems to handle ae and ps ok so long as not much else is running
  6. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    Not entirely true, in a fresh install of OS X it's read only, but if you download macfuse you'll be able to read/write to NTFS drives, but you still won't be able to back up to them using Time Machine.

  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I didn't say you couldn't find a third-party workaround. I said NTFS is a read-only format for Mac OS X, which is stated exactly that way on the Apple support site. The fact that the OP can't use NTFS for backups is the point, which not even macfuse can change.
  8. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2008
    As I also stated, you can't use Time Machine, but for interoperability between PC and Mac, FAT32 is not the best answer, especially if you are going to be storing files >4gb. Just giving him alternatives.
  9. thecartoonguy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2008
    Welcome to the family

    Welcome to the family. I think you will really enjoy your computer and the giant family of other Apple users, which come with it. :D :apple::apple::apple::apple::apple:
  10. tdgrn macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2008
    Little Rock, AR
    The least expensive thing to do would be to reformat your drive...
    With that being said, I know that you said you wanted to use it with Windows computers as well, (guess what) YOU CAN!
    The only problem with FAT32 file format with Windows is that XP and Vista can not be installed on partitions larger than 32 (hence the name) in the FAT32 format, but this doesn't mean that they can't read files from that drive. I currently have a 320 GB external firewire drive, as well as a 160 GB external USB portable, both of which are formatted in FAT32, and Windows sees all of the information on both drives, as well as all of the other computers that I have plugged those drives into. This would solve all of your problems on the drive.

    As for the ram, you wouldn't notice a performance increase unless you had enough open programs to warrant the extra memory usage. Right click on the program icon in your applications folder and click on get info. This will tell you about what kind of program it is, if it is an Intel program, then it will run fast, if it is a Power PC program the performance is going to be much slower. ( I know Firefox 2 was a Power PC program)

    Now, for your iTunes, how much music do you have on your computer? iTunes can take a while to load if you have a lot of music on your computer. There is nothing that will help with this, unless you replace your HD with a SSD drive.

    Don't have too much fun now!
  11. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    As with Siron, I switched 6 months ago after using PCs for 18+ years, and I also went big (Mac Pro, see sig) -- it is, hands down, the BEST computer I have ever owned, and OS X is seriously the best operating system out there today - a great mix of Apple GUI and UNIX behind the scenes :) (I'm also used to Linux, so I really like hitting the terminal here and there.)

    Welcome to the party - it's kinda like those Verizon commercials...you get the computer and the rest of the Apple community as a bonus :D:apple:

    About the fragmentation stuff - I believe OS X defrags automatically in the background, so unless you fill up the hard disk very quickly (within a few hours), there's plenty of time for the hard drives to defrag, especially if you leave the system on most of the time (I notice you have a MBP, so you might turn it off at night.)

    Also remember that because UNIX is running everything behind the scenes, it runs daily, weekly and monthly maintenance scripts, so if you don't leave the machine on when you aren't using it, you may want to grab Onyx or MainMenu and run the scripts manually once in awhile.

    RAM is fairly cheap now from places like OWC (www.macsales.com), so grab some extra. I think the MBP comes with 2 gigs, up it to 4, and I promise your spinning beachball of death will go away fast.

    Hope this helps!

  12. MacLadybug macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2008
    Welcome ...

    We switched over a year ago and I wish we'd done it sooner. For awhile I suffered with nothing to tweak, fix, defrag, or adjust. I'm used to just using my laptop and desktop now.
  13. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    no, its universal
    ntfs, no matter how you try, its not stable, nor safe to use it with mac. I do recommend you back up stuff on there and re-format it to FAT32

    Beach ball, more RAM
  14. AliClifton thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2008
    thanks for the replies guys, feels good to be part of the community :D

    @macladybug i know what you mean, in xp i had to tweak, defrag, and generally clean up all the windows mess to get anything working, feels wierd not needing to in osx.

    @GoKyu thanks for the tips about leaving my mac to run those scripts, just downloaded main menu so hopefully that should help. I might get some more ram when i can afford it, crucial.com is offering a 4gb kit for my mbp for around 50£ which isnt bad

    I reckon il buy a new 500gb external drive (can you recommend a good one/cheap one)that i can network and format it to fat32 as many of you have suggested. Am i right in saying i can only have a file as big as 4gb but folders can be as big as i want right? If thats true then it should be fine as most of my projects in ae are under 4gb...mostly :rolleyes:

    Seems like HFS+ is a lot better than NTFS, shame its not supported by windows. Out of interest is one format more likely to fail, ntfs, fat32, hfs+?

  15. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    HFS+ isn't "a lot better than NTFS", Im not sure even "better" is a convincing word. NTFS has more built-in features, such as encryption etc. and supports larger files (I don't know if anybody cares, but HFS+ doesn't support file larger than 2TB, lol). Don't let MR's mac love mislead you.

    The HDD most likely to fail, is an HDD that is old and inappropriately stored.
  16. kjs862 macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004

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