New to Mac and have some questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Scott7975, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Scott7975, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013

    Scott7975 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #1
    Hi everyone, after 25 years of PC products, and a terrible windows 8, I decided to switch to Mac. My plan is to buy a MacBook Pro 15 when they launch the new Haswells. I still need Windows to use Visual Studio so plan to use bootcamp with Win 7.

    Here are my questions....

    Trackpads are great but certain things I like to use a mouse. Do I need to buy an Apple mouse or do the same Logitech mouse that I use for PC work on Macs as well?

    MacBook Pros don't really have the space that I am use to. What kind of external drives can I buy that are cheap?

    I don't really know what kind of Apps Macs use. Can you recommend some must have Apps.

    For duel boot, I assume I will need to set up a partition. I will most likely be using Win7, Visual Studio the full package, and probably Microsoft Office 365. The files I create, and need to save, for these programs are usually relatively small. How big of a partition do you think I will need to make?

    Any hotkey recommendations... like I can use ctrl-c to copy and ctrl-v to paste in windows.

    What are some of the keyboard functions. I can see some, what to me are some strange symbols on the keyboard. Maybe you can point me to a chart of what each key does or something?

    Thanks for your help. I have browsed this community for a few days and you all seem kind and helpful. Some forums are full of egotistical jerks. I appreciate all of you.
     
  2. Tyler23 macrumors 603

    Tyler23

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    I'll answer a few of your questions:

    1) Yes, ctrl-c and ctrl-v work just fine for copy and paste.

    2) What are you looking to do? Macs come with a bunch of software built in, such as a calendar, browser (Safari), iTunes, Reminders, Mail, Photo editor, etc..You can surf the Mac App Store (built-in app) to check out what kinds of apps are offered (which is pretty much everything - games, music production, organization apps, productivity apps, etc..)

    3) Yes, any mouse will work as long as it has a USB plug, or is bluetooth capable (to set it up, turn it on, go to System Preferences on the computer and to the Mouse and Keyboard section).

    4) I think you'll get a lot of answers you're looking for on google. And I don't know anything about partitioning Windows, so can't help there.
     
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #3
    You'll find a lot of shortcuts that are <Ctrl> something in Windows works as <Command> something is OS X.
    Here's the big Apple list of useful shortcuts:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343

    Have you considered running Windows as a VM? Lots of people do this, so you don't need to reboot, and can drag and drop, cut and paste between OSes!

    As said, Macs come with lots of great software -- useful stuff, not just bloat! And the syncing is really good if you've got an iPhone.
    For other apps, it will depend what you do. What do you do?
     
  4. Scott7975, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013

    Scott7975 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #4
    Ahh good stuff. Thank you both.

    For what I do....

    Im currently a college student in the Computer Science program. I am 40 years old and burned out of my last career. So programming is what I am learning. I also do photo editing and am starting to dabble in making little movies with editing for a hobby. I have visual studio for the programming part but what does apple make?

    The link to the keyboard shortcuts is exactly what I was looking for, thank you.

    Most of my questions were answered so thank you. I have found some videos on resizing the partition in case I need more or less space, so I am comfortable with that now.

    I guess my last question for now is... can I just buy a regular external hard disc for transferring files and backups via usb? I am use to having about 1TB of storage. With the prices of the MacBook Pros I will probably only be able to afford a 256 model. Hopefully 512. A chunk of that will already be used for 2 OS's, the Visual Studio package, and Office 365. I do have a new WD My Cloud that I just bought. Maybe that will work for storage? I don't really care about fast transfer rate for storage. I just need something cheap that I can move stuff back and forth to save room on the laptop.

    Edit: Oh and yes, I have thought about using parallels. I seen a few videos on it and it looks pretty impressive. Due to cost, I may start with boot camp and then buy Parallels down the road. Right now, I would rather spend as much money as I can on Hardware. Macs don't seem to be very upgradable like PCs are so I want the best specs possible in my budget.
     
  5. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #5
  6. Scott7975 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #6
    Great! I have been doing some further research. I believe FAT has a single file size limit.

    Since I will be using both OS's, do you think it would be better to just buy 2 of them and use the better format of both OS's?
     
  7. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Apple has Xcode which is a free download from the Mac App Store (Also allows you to easily install the command line tools).
    Do you know what languages you will be needing to use?

    Most you can program in on OS X, but for some a different IDE (Integrated Developer Environments) would work better, for example for Java you could use Eclipse (this is just an example, there are lots of other IDE's).


    Yeah, any regular external hard drive should work fine.
    Personally I would buy a hard drive that can be dedicated to backups.

    Microsoft stuff price wise you may want to check whether you can get money off or get it for free.

    For example many universities comp sci departments have agreements with MS to give students access to MSDNAA or Dreamspark where you may be able to get software like Windows 7, Visual Studio Ultimate etc... for free or for very little, along with discounts on Office. Even if you can't get this you may be able to get an educational discount on Office 365 from Microsoft directly.


    Sounds good to me, I've used both Parallels and VMWare Fusion.
    They've been quite useful for when I was doing my Comp Sci degree.


    Oh and hard drive formatting wise you can use exFAT to get around the file size limit, or just use NTFS and install some software on OSX to let it write (it can read without any extra software) to NTFS formatted partitions.
     
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #8
    If I didn't have to use Windows full time and didn't game, I would run Windows in a VM and avoid messing around with bootcamp.
     
  9. satcomer, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013

    satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #9
    What you really want to do is save some money up and also get an Airport Extreme and a cheap USB2 hard drive and plug it in the Airport Extreme.

    The move your iTunes Library the correct way according to the blog post/video How to move an iTunes library to an external drive. Moving your iTunes Library to an eternal connected to the Extreme would save a huge amount of space on a internal drive (especially on SSD).

    Plus if you watch the video:

    Access your Time Capsule ( or Extreme) over the internet (File Server)

     
  10. Scott7975 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #10
    This is good stuff thanks! I will definitely keep this in mind.
     
  11. Scott7975 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #11
    If I am reading correctly the Airport extreme would operate as my router? Will it also provide wifi to my PC and Android devices?
     
  12. satcomer, Oct 19, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013

    satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #12
    Yes it's a router (according to it's specs it does NAT). It also dual-band, that means it can transmit on 2.4 & 5 GHz plus AC at the same time.
     
  13. hallux macrumors 68030

    hallux

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #13
    But ExFAT doesn't, or it's considerably higher. The single-file size limit in FAT32 is 4 GB. ExFAT is compatible with Windows and OS X. I suggest you read up on it, some here will say it's unreliable.
     
  14. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #14
    I'm not sure that would be the most efficient way. If you need to move files between the two systems (and don't want to use third party software which can be used on a Mac to read/write NTFS) then formatting your external in FAT may be the best option. The size limit is 4GB meaning you can not have files larger than 4GB. Note that OS-X can read NTFS formatted drives but cannot write to them. There is also an option with Mountain Lion to format your drive as ExFat which eliminates the file size constraint but I have not used this format and don't really know how reliable it is.

    (thread on Apple Forum https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4573363)

    Here is a good option if you want to install third party software:

    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/ntfs-mac/
     
  15. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #15
    A good App I use is Cheat sheet. By holding down the command key in whatever application you are in it will show you all the keyboard short cuts. Free as well which was a bonus.
     

Share This Page