Sold my MBA, final references for newbies.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dudeitsjay, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. dudeitsjay macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    So, I finally ended up selling my MBA after having a great time and experience using it. It was my first apple product and OSX use ever, and I have to admit I'm utterly stuck to using osx for laptops--not so much for desktops. So this going to be more of a beginner's guide to what you might want to consider looking into with the purchase of a brand new macbook air. The great multitouch features and the large trackpad, the shortcut keys, expose, spaces, and such were all great. That aside, I just want to mention some quick things on the Rev B 1.6/HDD I've had and some pointers.

    1) Coolbook. will save your CPU and GPU if its getting abnormally hot (80C+ according to iStats temps when viewing flash/videos). It can be $10 well worth it, and rid the stuttering you may be experiencing if you spend the time to tweak it and understand how it works. The dude who wrote it is a chill and helpful guy too, very willing to do elongated correspondences back and forth.

    2) Get a sleeve and a protective skin. This has to be my favorite combo to protecting your MBA through travel. The specks and other hard cases just add relatively considerable amounts of weight and bulk, and may kill the purpose of the Air. Therefore, I stuck to getting invisible shield, and knock offs of it, and put it all in my incase sleeve. I usually keep the sleeve in my briefcase. When your mba is out of the sleeve, just be careful, as the protective skin can prevent scratches and a modicum of damage, it can't protect much against falls.

    3) Reapply thermal paste if its still getting hot. There are plenty of guides to doing it on a desktop CPU. Just follow that and adjust the amount of paste you put on the cpu/gpu to 1/3 of a grain of rice. Clean off all previous ick with a 50-70% alcohol solution. There are plenty of guides on how to do it well.

    4) Quicksilver. It's an app. Get it, learn it, use it. Your productivity level will increase 10x. You will feel foreign to the mouse and browsing through your HD thusly. Think of it as spotlight on steroids, with extra features.

    5) Command + L. For times I do forget that I can just quicksilver app the URL, I enter safari and use CMD+L to go directly and highlight the URL bar. Very useful. I'd also recommend going to your Safari preferences and setting new pages/windows to being blank--just a preference.

    6) iStats and SMC Control app. It may be an overflow of information, but it isn't to me at the relatively minuscule amount of resources they take. Love seeing my network usage and all that stuff right at the top with a glance. SMC control definitely if you want to control your fan noise and speed better than the automated triggers.

    7) Adjust your display. Look up color profiles or display calibrations on the MBA, and you'll find people have posted up zipfiles of their calibrations done to their display. Download those profiles and place them in your HD>Library>ColorSync>Profile. And you can then see it in your System Preferences>Display>Colors Tabs>Profile. The factory setting will strain your eye. I didn't notice it until I actually switched.

    8) Keep the vents on your MBA clear. Those vents aren't designed optimally, and is one of those design over function choices design won. If you're in bed using the MBA, make sure blankets and such aren't covering the vents, because it'll get hot fast.

    9) When people laugh at you and ask you why you bought a MBA, always understand that one of the best answers to give is "you've got to own one to understand," and leave it at that. Don't go into computing lifestyles and specs and preferences. Just don't. It can't be understood.

    10) If at all possible, get the SSD. the ipod HDD crap that is running the 120gigs and such are huge bottlenecks to your potential in enjoying the machine. It's manageable and still a great machine, but the SSD is definitely the way to go if you're on the fence about it.

    11) If you're getting "permission" errors and such in terms of your torrent downloads (legal, of course!!!!) when you're transferring them from your PCs to your MBA, then I found a snazzy way to avoid it was to actually use an external HD. Though its an unnecessary and extra middleman, it made all my "permission" errors go away. I've tried all the unlock and admin and all that other stuff on the forums and help centers. This way worked for me--it may work for you. Thumbdrives just couldn't transfer my PC files over without the permission errors, yet my external 160 gig harddrive did. Someone could probably clarify on that why, but my basic point is: if you have this kind of problem, this is how I managed it.

    That's about it so far. These are all PREFERENCES And PERSONAL opinions I have that I figured I'd shout out to people to try or consider. Some of it, admittedly, could be stupid advice or suggestions. Just ignore the ones that are =\. I tried to be somewhat structured and offer 10, but I feel like I'm squeezing some of them out lol. I sold my MBA rev B, and picked up the new Unibody Macbook Pro 17'' 2.8/500HDD, since I no longer have a desktop to pair with the MBA. The 17'' will be taking on both responsibilities now, and so far, its doing amazingly. I also got it dirt cheap INCLUDING the 3 year pro applecare. Take $3000 and divide it by 2 =D.
  2. Yairp macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    I'm planning on getting a MBP not MBA but that's extremely helpful, still, thanks.
  3. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    Nice information for any Mac user. I am an MBA lover myself, and I agree with your explanation of just stating you have to own one to understand... perfect.

    Best wishes with your new 17" MacBook Pro. What a change... but I would own one of those if I needed the power.
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    That is a great, informative and very interesting post, thanks for it; I have promised myself a MBA (SSD) in the not too distant future as I travel a lot and your post just makes me lust that bit more.

    Cheers and good luck
  5. McGilli macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2008
    Thanks for the OSX tip on COMMAND+L . this is my new favorite shortcut!
  6. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2007
    In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
    also new to me, thanks
  7. dudeitsjay thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hahaha yeah. I hate having to use a mouse or the trackpad unless absolutely necessary. Thats why when I'm surfing the web, I use quicksilver to type out URLS, or just in safari press CMD + N to open a new window, and then CMD + L to get to the URL bar. I thought the CMD+L was weirdly placed at first, but I've gotten super used to it by using my thumb and middle finger. I do it now on my XP partition by habit which leads me to Log Out. Very annoying =D...

    Maybe you guys already know this, but after you CMD+L you can tab to say the bar where you can type your search or whatnot. I tab to the places I need to go to type. If you overshoot a tab, then you can do the reverse of a tab which would be SHIFT+TAB. Enjoy mouseless browsing ;)

    None of you were surprised about the price I got my 17'' for =[. The whole point of this post was to show that off. The rest of this "advice" stuff was garbage to divert attention away from being an obvious attempt to evoke envy =\.
  8. Disavowed macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Great and informative post.

    Quicksilver is NOT a power-user ONLY tool, everybody should use it. You certainly can't beat the price!
  9. GeekGirl* macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    Never had to use cool book on any Air I owned.
  10. dudeitsjay thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    Also forgot.

    MainMenu app.
    Think of it as an all-included intensive app that cleans up your computer--permissions, histories, caches, system caches, deep cleans, etc. Very useful.
  11. Elgabacho macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    New MBA User

    Great info. Command + L are the most used keys on my keyboard. Also INSTALL SL on your MBA. It makes a definite noticeable performance boost.

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