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

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Grumpyman, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Grumpyman macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #1
    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
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    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!
     
  3. Grumpyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #3
    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!
     
  4. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #4
    Another quick one...I tend to run with my firewall on...It's probably not required, but I've always enabled it.
     
  5. And macrumors 6502

    And

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    92 ft above sea level, UK
    #5
    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!
     
  6. Grumpyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #6
    Thanks. I'll check those out.
     
  7. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #7
    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.
     
  8. Grumpyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #8
    Thanks, the book is on kindle too :) bought and looks excellent!
     
  9. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular

    mtngoatjoe

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #9
    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.
     
  10. Grumpyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #10
    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!
     
  11. macs4nw, Feb 27, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014

    macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #11
    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.
     
  12. Grumpyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #13
    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/tutor...ckups-destinations-in-time-machine--mac-48707
    http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/how_backup_time_machine_multiple_locations
    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_...ple-disks-with-time-machine-in-mountain-lion/
     
  14. Grumpyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Grumpyman

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    #14
    thanks, all sorted then :)
     
  15. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #15
    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.
     
  16. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #16
    Keep your iCloud & iTunes accounts separate if you have more than one Apple device and want to share your iTunes account with your family.
     

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