Preparing for My First Macbook - Need Tips

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by FrakkinShip, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. FrakkinShip macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #1
    Hello!

    I am currently in the preparation stages for my first foray into the Mac world. Next month I'll be buying a 13.3" MBP with an i5 (2.6ghz) processor, 16gb of ram, and a 256gb SSD.

    So far, I've subscribed to iTunes Match and am currently in the process of uploading my entire music library. I've also made a list of apps that I'll need to get ASAP to enjoy the experience.

    What I worry about, however, is the learning curve involved with going from Windows to OSX. Do any of you have any tips that could help me before I actually get it? Videos to watch? More app recommendations? I need excellent apps for video playback for all sorts of file types, including h264 matroska files. Also, I instant message frequently, so a client that allows AIM and logs history would be phenomenal.

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    Only things that will take a bit of getting used to is top left to minimise and close stuff and the top most bar becomes the tool bar for the current active app/window.
     
  3. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #3
    Would you recommend sticking with Firefox, my browser of choice, or going with Safari? I cannot do Google Chrome because I can't stand that browser on Windows, so I know I won't like it on OSX.
     
  4. Elbert C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    AK, USA
    #4
    Lessons on Mac basics

    Switch 101 Migrate to Mac

    Switch Basics: On Windows, I used to...
     
  5. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    The best advice I can give you is...forget about the Windows registry. No such thing on the Mac. The apps you install get installed into one place. In other words when you go to the apps folder and you see the app icons, each one is really a folder with all the relevant executable files inside. You never should need to access those files.

    In OS X there's a directory called Library. Some small files do get installed there but they are primarily each apps preferences files. They have a .plist extension. Again, you should never have a need to access these.

    When you want to uninstall an app all you need to do is drag it to the trash and most of the time OS X is smart enough to delete those extra files in the Library directory. It's not 100% but anything left over will have no affect on the operating system unlike the Windows registry where there's always a lot of crap left behind when you uninstall something.

    That was the hardest thing for me to get used to. The fact that I didn't need to do any kind of maintenance. OS X takes care of all that for you.

    Hope that helps somewhat. It's late so I hope it all makes sense ;)

     
  6. Sandesire macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    #6
    I recommend the 512GB drive, it's absolutely worth the higher price.

    I know you don't like it so far, give Chrome a try though.

    Something like "learning" isn't existing, it's just self-explaining in my eyes.
     
  7. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #7
    I wish I could afford the 16gb and 512gb sdd, but I can't. I have plenty of drives laying around here, though, so I'm not too concerned about space.

    Thanks for the links, Elbert!
     
  8. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I would recommend you don't go and install lots of applications as soon as you get your Mac, unless they are ones you really need. So for example I would give Safari a go for a few days, if you don't like it then install Firefox.

    As a side note I would also avoid utilities such as cleaners, optimisers, RAM optimisers etc... as they are generally not needed at-all unless something has actually broken.

    For video playback I use VLC which works well, another option is MPlayerX.

    For instant messaging the built in Messages client will handle AIM fine. Adium is another option.
     
  9. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #9
    Thanks for the tips, Dark. I'm only installing Adobe cc and Office 365. Those are the major apps.
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    YS. The above is dead-on. Do NOT install junk like "cleaners, optimisers, RAM optimisers etc... "

    VLC can play just about anything and apple's messaging system works well.

    DOn't worry about a learning curve. There is none. Many Windows users know that it took them YEARS to learn all the work-around a hacks to keep a Windows system working and think it will be like starting over. No. Windows is unique, other OSes are not like that.
     
  11. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #11
    I took a look at my finances and I can totally afford the 16gb and 512gb SSD model. Looking forward to it!
     
  12. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #12
    If you get the book Switching to a Mac, Yosemtie edition by David Pogue. His books are very informative and funny. IMHO this book will almost make you almost a Mac power user. Plus it makes a good reference book if you are unsure of something inside your new Mac.
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #13
    Before you rush out and buy Office 365, if money's tight, consider the free Mac versions you will get Pages, Numbers etc. if you have an iOS device, you can edit and sync between them very easily.

    You'll find lots of photography apps and plug ins to work alongside your CC subscription on the App Store. Enjoy your new Mac. I made the switch a couple of years ago and wish I'd done it sooner!
     
  14. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #14
    I went to Best Buy today to take a look at a 13" MBP with some apprehension about the purchase. Of all things, the touchpad sold me on getting it next month, haha.

    I actually bought 365 earlier in the week, haha. I love it.
     
  15. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #15
    Would anyone recommend getting Apple Care just in case something happens?
     
  16. cruisin macrumors 6502a

    cruisin

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    #16
    I had an unusual number of issues on mine so I'm predisposed to say yes. I had a motherboard replacement ($560) and the screen ($725). It was all covered under warranty. They did fit under the 1 year warranty and I'm currently on year 2, so you could probably get by without it.

    The warranty also gives you phone support if you get lost using your Mac. So if you need help past the 90 days of free support, it might help.

    BetterSnapTool gives you a Windows-like ability to instantly make a window fill exactly half the screen or a quarter of the screen. Double clicking the title bar maximizes it without making it fullscreen. OSX does not have a maximize button, so this was the first app I got.
     
  17. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #17
    Only if you cannot afford a repair if something happens. Only a couple of my roughly a dozen Macs I've purchased have had something fail in the second or third year.
     
  18. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    It isn't exactly maximise at-least not in all applications (as it can act as a mode switcher), however holding down alt/option and clicking on the green button in the top left of the window will (depending on the application) maximise the window to fit the screen without going fullscreen.
     
  19. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #19
    BetterSnapTool sounds right up my alley! I often use split screen on my PC, especially when writing papers.
     
  20. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #20
    Consider instead "BetterTouchTool" which is by the same programmer but is not in the App Store (it's at http://bettertouchtool.net). It gives the same snapping features as BetterSnapTool but also allows programming more touchpad actions. It's also completely free.
     
  21. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #21
    Well, I'll be buying it on Friday and it will arrive some time next week, right in time for the holidays.
     
  22. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #22
    My suggestions:

    First, don't worry too much about the soon-to-arrive MacBook.
    Just open it up and start using it.

    Second, whether you currently use a desktop PC, Windows laptop, or both -- DON'T "put them away" when the MacBook comes.
    I suggest you plan on keeping the Windows machine(s) available for a period of 4-6 months. It will provide for a smooth transition, enabling you to "go back" if necessary for whatever reason.

    If you find yourself getting "hung up" on something on the Mac side, the Windows side will still be there for you. Less frustrating that way!
     
  23. FrakkinShip thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #23
    Good call! I never even thought to do that. I was going to retire the machines and put them away in storage.
     
  24. Garsun macrumors regular

    Garsun

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #24
    I have a large family and at any particular time maintain 8 to 10 mac. Personally I go for AppleCare every time. Whilel Mac's are very well-built,they're not perfect and I end up getting something serious repaired once every couple years. Half the time they just replaced the entire computer and I end up with a brand-new computer after two years. And once they had to give me a larger screen computer because they didn't build the smaller one anymore.
    Anyway, I have always had pleasant ,worry free, fast, competent, service through Apple care.

    Of course my experience might be influenced by the fact they see I have so many contracts…
     
  25. Garsun macrumors regular

    Garsun

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    #25
    I highly recommend implementing the built-in software "Time Machine".
    You will need a couple of USB drives a couple times larger than the maximum amount of you keep on your system.
    I keep one of the drives plugged in whenever the computer is at home and the other drive offsite. Every week or so I exchange the two drives.

    The nice thing about Time Machine is that, except for the first time,it only needs to copy over the files of changed even though it appears in the recovery interface as if it copied the entire contents every time.

    Time machines makes this copy every hour or so and allows you to recover any of the previous documents you choose and a very slick interface.

    It's great for recovering from human error issues.

    ----------

    One of the other nice characteristics of OS X is that the operating system is not locked to your particular hardware.
    I use a program called "carbon copy cloner" to clone the operating system drive to an external USB drive.
    You can then take this drive and plug it into any other Mac and boot off of it, And presto you're now are running the new Mac just as if it were your original.

    You can then use carbon copy cloner to copy the external drive back to the internal drive of whatever system you switch to and your back running again.

    You can also boot your existing computer as if it were a external disk drive and plug it into some other Mac and access the data or even boot from it. Very handy if something weird happens to your computer and you need to recover quickly. Also handy when you upgrade to a new Mac and just want to move your date over quickly
     

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