My first Mac is on its way... advice?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by paulschellin, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. paulschellin macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Hello everyone,

    I very recently picked up the baseline Mac Mini that Amazon was selling for pretty cheap. The computer should be arriving within the next two days, so I thought I would ask around what someone who is switching should know or do.

    So for some background: I've been doing work with computers for a while. I've built basically every non-laptop computer I've owned, made a dozen or so for other people, etc., always with Windows on it.

    I'm familiar enough with *NIX machines, and after being fed up with Windows and tired of virtualizing/dual-booting Windows and Linux for work I decided that I would just go with OS X, which natively does everything I need, I think (I hope).

    So I bought this machine with a few ideas for it:
    • iTunes & iPhone sync (I'm sick of iTunes on Windows, it never seems to run correctly)
    • Media (for mkvs, Netflix, etc. on my TV & 5.1 system)
    • Programming (mostly along with CERN's ROOT, for those of you who care)
    • Apple TV replacement (hopefully using Banana TV, once it is compatible with Lion)

    So if you have any advice for someone completely new to OS X, Apple computers in general, or if you have advice for what more I can/should do with the Mini, I'm all ears!

    Thank you in advance,
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    My advice: Use Google first when you have issues or questions.
  3. paulschellin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Interesting thing I've noticed:
    Google is my best friend when I have somewhat of an idea what I'm looking for, but browsing through and posting to forums and such places allows me to learn about things I didn't know that I should have known, you know?
  4. Digg macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011
    Firsty: Just enjoy your Apple computer.

    iTunes on Mac runs great, for movies you may try Movist.
  5. lilsoccakid74 macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2010

    Your mini should be able to handle a somewhat heavy workload, so i wouldnt limit it to anything until you try it. Just enjoy it, it will be very easy to work with:)
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Yes, but that wasn't really the advice I gave you.
  7. philipma1957, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Paul my advice is pick up more ram for your mini. I post on this forum and on 123 mac mini> I mod and upgrade mac minis for friends family and sell a few on ebay. I have been doing this for around 5 years as i like the Small Form Factor. SFF aside the new 2.3 mac mini is good for netflix streaming ,iTunes, general net surfing. It is quite a bit faster for handbrake. Handbrake is used for video/audio format changes encodes and decodes. If you record a lot of video off the net and want to resize Handbrake is free it uses cpu's up and it likes more then 2gb ram.

    There are some clear photos and videos on the net on how to put in some ram for your mini. I will find some links for you.

    my thread above has lots of photos including ram removal and replacement
    I know it reads that it is the install video for a 2010 server's ram but it is the same for your machine.

    In the years I have looked at mac minis insides I have found apple uses three oem types of ram. micron/crucial samsung and hynix. After using all kinds of ram for upgrades over the years I used to buy lowest price as first choice. I then found some bad ram with oddball companies so I stuck to hynix samsung and micron/crucial then the 2010 minis came out for some reason they did not work great with micron/crucial ram sticks. yet the same sticks would work in 2009 minis and 2009 iMacs. In fact I am typing this on a 2009 iMac with 4 4gb sticks of micron ram that won't work in a 2010 mini. So I now push samsung ram and hynix ram This could change.

    2 links for samsung ram 4gb sticks

    a link for samsung ram a pair of 2gb sticks total 4gb

    If you do not want to rush to buy ram don't I will post a few screen shots to show you how to find out if you need ram.

    There is some truth to this going to forums always leaves people open to rude nasty comments.

    Defending your rude answer to a polite question , hmm looks like you need your tower.

    As promised how to check your ram use. go to finder search for activity monitor click it to open . when it comes up go to system memory screen. look at your current use and what is free in the case here more then 11 gb free. Also read page ins and page outs and swaps I have lots of page ins and 0 page outs and 0 swaps. this means my ram is not being exceeded. the new 2.3 mini with the stock 2gb ram will not fare well it needs more then 2gb.

    Attached Files:

  8. Username02 macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2010
    x2. Normally I would say just max it out, but if you are money conscious, 8GB is at a sweet spot right now in terms of $ per GB.

    If this is your first Mac and you are coming from the MS world...

    1. Don't be afraid to let your OS X manage your files (iTunes, iPhoto, etc). IMHO you may find that life has been made so much simpler without having to manually manage file folders.

    2. Time Machine is an awesome program. Set it and forget it. Also recommended to get something like Carbon Copy Cloner and clone your drives as backups every week or so (or daily if you are ADD).

    3. Fully research and explore OS X features before reaching out to 3rd party developers so you can rally learn what your system can do.

    4. Buy from the Mac App Store whenever possible. You may find that it will allow you to focus on doing stuff with the software rather than archiving it, worrying about updates, etc.

    5. Copy is Command+C, Copy is Command+C, Copy is Command+C, Copy is Command+C, Copy is Command+C, Copy is Command+C... etc
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    yeah I use time machine and superduper.

    superduper is free it will clone a drive. pretty much a twin of ccc

    great if your boot drive dies just attach the clone via fw800 or usb (soon via thunderbolt)

    oh a screen shot is shift + command + 3
  10. CorMac22 macrumors newbie


    Jul 24, 2011
    Just a warning... when you boot the Mini for the first time, make sure you have a paper bag close to you because you're going to hyperventilate.
  11. paulschellin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2011
    Thanks for the advice everyone!
    I've ordered 8GB of memory for this little machine.

    So I've never really trusted anything to back up my stuff automatically (I've always hand-copied and verified using Teracopy on Windows), with the exception of Dropbox. I'm looking forward to seeing how easy Time machine really is.

    I'm going to make myself use the mac mini for everything I do for a couple of weeks, just so I get used to doing it all OS X style. I imagine the first steps are going to be difficult, not because it isn't easy but because I'm not an OS X power user but I am used to being a power user on Windows and Linux, which might be a little frustrating at first.

    It should be here tomorrow, looking forward to it!
  12. slyseekr macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Once you're all set up, I'd recommend checking out one of the semantic launcher apps like Quicksilver or Alfred.

    I use Quicksilver and it's completely invaluable for my productivity.
  13. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011

    My "first" Mac arrived today, a base mini. Although I'll wait until the 8GB RAM gets here tomorrow to boot it. I've had iPhones, iPods, iPads, and my wife has Macs. But it is pretty awesome to set up up a new Mac when you're used to Windows. I think "this is how computers should work" ;)

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