Questions from a Convert (Time Machine, Mail, etc)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Deschain, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. Deschain macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #1
    Well, i've taken the plunge and am now rocking a new Macbook.

    I have a few questions. I'm setting up Time Machine as we speak. I won't have it (the external drive) connected all that often (it is at my desk and my laptop is rarely at the desk).


    Will it simply make a backup whenever i do connect the drive? How large of a drive do i want for Time Machine (i ony have a 120gig external right now)? When/if the drive gets full does it just start deleting old backups and keep newer ones as needed? Anything else i should know about it?

    Onto Mail. Do most of you use Mail and iCal or some alternative? Do you find Mail sufficient? I'm having some problems getting used to it (coming from Outlook 2007 it just feels a little...weak? I'm having trouble setting up smart mailboxes, etc) but i plan to stick it out unless there is a much superior option.

    iWork vs Office for Mac -- Since it is the middle of summer and i'm not in class i'm not using iWork a lot . I mostly just use Word and Excel (um..i mean Pages and Numbers). Is iWork the way to go? Is it worth shelling out for Office? Just looking through Numbers it looks fairly good, but i'd like opinions from actual users.

    Any other tips for a Mac convert? Anything you wished you knew when you made the switch?


    D
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    @ Time Machine ideally you need a disk about twice as big as your hard drive in your Mac.
     
  3. macbookairman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    Time machine makes a backup every hour. But i believe if you don't have your computer connected to Time Machine much, it will backup when it connects to the hard drive. When the drive gets full, it will begin to delete old backups. In Time Machine options, you can set it to alert you when it begins to do this, cause you may want to know. When i got my mac, i talked to apple and they suggested i get a 250GB hard drive, but it's really up to you... you'll just lose your oldest backups faster with a smaller drive.

    I use Mail and iCal. Mail works for me pretty well. I have trouble with my RSS feeds sometimes (they won't update) but other than that, it does a good job for me.

    I use iWork--its cheaper, but i think it has more features, plus I can read the latest Office formats (xlsx, docx, etc.).
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Fixed it for you, unless you are talking about Keynote. Pages and Numbers both have less features than Word/Excel, but as your finding Numbers is a different application than Excel so is excellent for some things.
     
  5. Deschain thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #5
    Could you (briefly) run over some of the missing features/functionality?

    I'm not an Excel power user by any means. I use it for expense stuff and in my labs (so data entry, basic functions and formulas and graphing).


    Can i add error bars to charts in Numbers? I thought i read somewhere that you couldn't and they are actually something i require very often.
     
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I haven't used Pages in depth for ages but citations are a missing feature, the ability to have both footnotes and endnotes, a built in equation editor (though you can use LaTeXiT, as described in [guide]Installing LaTeX on a Mac[/guide]) are things I can think of off the top of my head.

    In Numbers, error bars are missing, as is VBA scripting, support for large spreadsheets are things I can think of off the top of my head.
     
  7. Deschain thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #7
    Hmm, none of those omissions in Pages seem critical to me. The lack of error bars in Numbers could be a deal breaker though..


    When you say you haven't used Pages in depth in ages is it because you simply don't use it often or do you use a different program entirely?
     
  8. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Well I've finished University so I've only had to write simple letters and stuff :p. Usually on my course (Maths) I used LaTeX though for big documents.
     
  9. macbookairman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    United States
    #9
    haha now that i think of it when i wrote that i was thinking of keynote. yeah you're right.
     

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