New Mac, what are the first things you would do?

Grumpyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
101
44
I have a new Mac and I more or less have never used one before.

When I install windows on a PC there a few things I would always do but what about the Mac?

For example, File Vault is off by default.... Firewall is off by default.... By default I am using the administrator account for all my Mac use, should I setup a standard user account and use that for added security?

Interested to hear from seasoned Mac users what are the first things you do before you consider your Mac is 'ready to go'...

Many thanks
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
When I get a new mac, I :

1) Install the current version of OSX ( Mavericks in this case)

2) Setup my network, mine is complex, yours is probably just a case of connecting to the internet.

3) You don't need file vault unless you want to encrypt the drive..I'd leave that off

4) Install my apps ( you probably have few if any, but the Mac App Store icon will take you to the store)

5) I then setup Time machine for backups...This involves one of two things

1) A Time Capsule, these come in 2 and 3TB sizes and also provide wifi and four extra ethernet ports for your other equipment.


2) A USB based external drive which can be purchased much more cheaply than a Time capsule...any USB 3 or even Usb 2 drive will do the job.


Once that's completed, enjoy your new Mac!
 

Grumpyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
101
44
Great thanks for that. Pretty nice and straightforward then.
I already bought a time-capsule and that was super easy to set up.

Sounds like I'm already good to go!
 

And

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2009
389
1
92 ft above sea level, UK
Another quick one...I tend to run with my firewall on...It's probably not required, but I've always enabled it.
I would second this. In general I would have a look through the system preferences and get things set up how you like - I'm a fan of reverse mouse scrolling, any other way is insanity to me... Then it's just a case of installing the software you need. Must haves for me are - dropbox, textwrangler, twitter & vlc. Then, getting your commonly used items on the dock and move off the ones you don't use. Then enjoy!
 

Grumpyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
101
44
I would second this. In general I would have a look through the system preferences and get things set up how you like - I'm a fan of reverse mouse scrolling, any other way is insanity to me... Then it's just a case of installing the software you need. Must haves for me are - dropbox, textwrangler, twitter & vlc. Then, getting your commonly used items on the dock and move off the ones you don't use. Then enjoy!
Thanks. I'll check those out.
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,346
946
The Finger Lakes Region
I have a new Mac and I more or less have never used one before.

When I install windows on a PC there a few things I would always do but what about the Mac?

For example, File Vault is off by default.... Firewall is off by default.... By default I am using the administrator account for all my Mac use, should I setup a standard user account and use that for added security?

Interested to hear from seasoned Mac users what are the first things you do before you consider your Mac is 'ready to go'...

Many thanks
I urge most new OS X users to get the the easy to read book OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual. It will help you greatly in you first Mac adventure.

Also bookmark the site MacUpdate.com.
 

mtngoatjoe

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2008
233
33
Learn about iPhoto and iMovie

The biggest buggaboo for most converts is iPhoto. Most PC folks are used to storing their photos in a folder structure, but iPhoto is different. It stores everything in a database structure.

Go to this thread and scroll down to 'My standard "Why use iPhoto?" reply'. I have a LONG post on this subject.
 

Grumpyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
101
44
The biggest buggaboo for most converts is iPhoto. Most PC folks are used to storing their photos in a folder structure, but iPhoto is different. It stores everything in a database structure.

Go to this thread and scroll down to 'My standard "Why use iPhoto?" reply'. I have a LONG post on this subject.
thanks this is really useful and relevant to me. I'm exactly as you describe. i'm quite into the graphics and have aperture too and the whole library thing is hurting my brain, so worried that once i move from my folders i won't know where i am. Very useful link!
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
I have a new Mac and I more or less have never used one before.

When I install windows on a PC there a few things I would always do but what about the Mac?

For example, File Vault is off by default.... Firewall is off by default.... By default I am using the administrator account for all my Mac use, should I setup a standard user account and use that for added security?

Interested to hear from seasoned Mac users what are the first things you do before you consider your Mac is 'ready to go'...

Many thanks
Great thanks for that. Pretty nice and straightforward then.
I already bought a time-capsule and that was super easy to set up.

Sounds like I'm already good to go!
I would add to some of the advice given by other posters, an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS as they're commonly known. For a relatively small investment, you can shield yourself from voltage spikes, brown-outs and black-outs, all of which have the potential to wreak havoc with your data.

Kudos for already having a back-up strategy in place! If you have irreplaceable data --and who doesn't-- you may even want to add a secondary back-up solution, with an inexpensive external USB3 HDD, via multiple TimeMachine back-ups.
 
Last edited:

Grumpyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
101
44
I would add to some of the advice given by other posters, an uninterruptible power supply, or UPS as they're commonly known. For a relatively small investment, you can shield yourself from voltage spikes, brown-outs and black-outs, all of which have the potential to wreak havoc with your data.

Kudos for already having a back-up strategy in place! If you have irreplaceable data --and who doesn't-- you may even want to add a secondary back-up solution, with an inexpensive external USB3 HDD, via multiple TimeMachine back-ups.
Thanks for this, I'm not sure a UPS is so suitable for as its a Macbook that I have and i plug in to power wherever i might be. Or did you mean a UPS that just plugs into whatever power socket I'm close to?

I also do have a secondary USB drive plugged into the time capsule but not yet figured out how to do multiple Time Machine back ups.. Im reading through the book that Satcomer suggested and haven't got to that bit yet :)

thanks for all the replies, really helpful.
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
Thanks for this, I'm not sure a UPS is so suitable for as its a Macbook that I have and i plug in to power wherever i might be. Or did you mean a UPS that just plugs into whatever power socket I'm close to?

I also do have a secondary USB drive plugged into the time capsule but not yet figured out how to do multiple Time Machine back ups.. Im reading through the book that Satcomer suggested and haven't got to that bit yet :)

thanks for all the replies, really helpful.
I couldn't tell from your post that it was a laptop you got, so a UPS is less critical for you, however for what they cost, they're still a good investment, as you can also plug in routers, modems, etc., even if only to protect against brown-outs and voltage spikes, which can still affect your laptop while charging.

Here are some quick links re Multiple TimeMachine back-ups. These links talk about MountainLion, where it was first introduced, and some are a bit dated, but the process hasn't changed for Mavericks and the info is mostly the same.

http://computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/quick-tip-use-multiple-backups-destinations-in-time-machine--mac-48707
http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/how_backup_time_machine_multiple_locations
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57497132-263/how-to-use-multiple-disks-with-time-machine-in-mountain-lion/
 

Grumpyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 28, 2013
101
44
I couldn't tell from your post that it was a laptop you got, so a UPS is less critical for you, however for what they cost, they're still a good investment, as you can also plug in routers, modems, etc., even if only to protect against brown-outs and voltage spikes, which can still affect your laptop while charging.

Here are some quick links re Multiple TimeMachine back-ups. These links talk about MountainLion, where it was first introduced, and some are a bit dated, but the process hasn't changed for Mavericks and the info is mostly the same.

http://computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/quick-tip-use-multiple-backups-destinations-in-time-machine--mac-48707
http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/how_backup_time_machine_multiple_locations
http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57497132-263/how-to-use-multiple-disks-with-time-machine-in-mountain-lion/
thanks, all sorted then :)
 

PicnicTutorials

macrumors 6502a
Dec 29, 2013
544
12
One of the first things I did was download and sync all my apple devices with all the available mac and iPhone and ipad apps.
 

blueroom

macrumors 603
Feb 15, 2009
6,374
25
Toronto, Canada
Keep your iCloud & iTunes accounts separate if you have more than one Apple device and want to share your iTunes account with your family.