Technical/Amateur questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dillytheturtle, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. dillytheturtle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    #1
    Instead of looking at tons of different threads, I thought maybe we could get a single thread that answers the technical questions for the amateurs. After the relative disappointment in the 2016 MacBook Pros, I bought my first ever Apple computer (2015 MacBook Pro: 15.4", 16gb, 256gb, Sierra). I am coming from a Windows OS to a Mac OS, having used a PC my entire life. I have already become used to some of the MacBook's features and have done a plethora of research online, however I do have some questions. Others, feel free to add/edit/answer questions or share your opinions, even if it is one worded. Thank you!

    -Is better to install apps/programs from their respective websites or the app store?
    -In saying that, how do you delete or uninstall unwanted programs? (Drag the .dmg file to the bin?)
    -How can you delete the preference files?

    -What is time machine/how often should I use it? (It serves as a backup, but more info would be awesome!)
    -What is filevault and how does it affect my laptop's performance?
    -Should I leave firewall on or off?
    -How much cpu/ram/memory should kernal task be using on average? I believe mine fluctuates between 800mb-1.1gb.

    -In Finder, I cannot go back to a previous page by using the two-finger swipe. Is this normal?
    -Is there an app for quitting all apps at once OR for quitting the app after you press the x (like on Windows)?
    -How much battery life does background apps use such as safari if you forget to quit them?
    -Optimal video scale resolution?
    -Any battery saver tips, such as limiting notifications, siri, spotlight search, etc.?
    -Best settings for initially setting up laptop/eventual use?
     
  2. protoxx macrumors 6502a

    protoxx

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    If you but apps from the app store, you can install them on any mac you have. TOC of store. Adobe for one if you buy the Elements apps from there leave out the import/library management piece.

    "Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor is now available on Mac App Store to download. It is Editor only and does not include Elements Organizer similar to PSE 10 Editor on Mac App Store. Click More on product app store screen to learn more details about features."

    .dmg file is a disk file not the application.

    Command Q is quit application. Command P is print.

    Backup is the same everywhere. If it's not backed up you can't recover it. Backup often enough that you wouldn't cry like a little girl over not being able to recover if your disk died, or machine was stolen, broken, etc. When the TM location is accessible it will backup regularly.
     
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #3
    I wish you had numbered your questions.
     
  4. Howard2k macrumors 6502a

    Howard2k

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    #4
    Open Activity Monitor and check the Energy tab. It'll show you how hard your apps are driving your laptop in terms of power consumption.

    For Safari, it depends what you're doing. Leaving it open in the background with a single simple tab open which is not running any scripts, video, sound etc. will not use much. But leaving Safari open with a badly behaved complex webpage or playing video will drain it much faster.

    I keep the CPU monitor showing in the dock so at a glance I can see how hard the machine is working. The harder it's working the more battery it's going to consume. If it seems to be working harder than I would expect I can check out Activity Monitor and see what's going on, which apps are hogging the CPU etc.

    But simplistically, with well behaved web pages, background Safari isn't heavy on battery. In fact any of your apps could well be better left open if they are well behaved. The act of closing them and opening them again later is going to invoke a fair amount of disk and processor activity which might consume more than the app would have done if idle.

    Another tip for batter life is not to shut down the machine. It takes a huge amount of power when it's starting up the OS. Typically you'll use less power to let it sleep for a few hours, or even a day, than you will to shutdown and start up later.

    You can also turn off TM backups while on battery power.

    Finally, you can also use Activity Monitor to see if apps are preventing the laptop from sleeping. If I'm about to put mine to sleep I'll take a quick glance at that. Otherwise you can wake up the laptop later and find it's chewed through a chunk of your battery.


    In a nutshell - Activity Monitor - it's a really useful tool to see what your laptop is doing.
     
  5. Wildkraut macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    Is better to install apps/programs from their respective websites or the app store?
    -In saying that, how do you delete or uninstall unwanted programs? (Drag the .dmg file to the bin?)
    *** Both App types can be draged to the bin, but this won't remove launchers, preferences, frameworks, etc.

    -How can you delete the preference files?
    *** I usually hunt app related stuff with "find / -iname *appname*" from the shell and delete them manually
    *** There are UninstallTools for that, but I don't trust them.

    -What is time machine/how often should I use it? (It serves as a backup, but more info would be awesome!)
    *** You set it up and it auto backups e.g. your home folder to an external drive or network share.
    *** Thats all it does! Well and you can browse the TimeMachine backups by time and date to restore file versions.

    -What is filevault and how does it affect my laptop's performance?
    *** It encrypts your whole filesystem. e.g. If somebody steal your hardware, or if you lose it, they can't access your files.
    *** Not even if they unplug the harddisk and plug it to another Mac, it's encrypted and not accessible for them.
    *** Well, I lost around 5mb/s of my internal SSD iMac27" i5 (late 2012) which has around 480mb/s, so it does not affect much.
    *** CPU wise I didn't notice anything. It worths if you care for privacy and data security!

    -Should I leave firewall on or off?
    *** I use little snitch as Firewall to monitor and control outgoing trafic.

    -How much cpu/ram/memory should kernal task be using on average? I believe mine fluctuates between 800mb-1.1gb.
    *** o_O
    *** 1,49GB here on my 24GB iMac
    *** But stop caring for the kernel task, there is nothing you can do here.

    -In Finder, I cannot go back to a previous page by using the two-finger swipe. Is this normal?
    *** Yes

    -Is there an app for quitting all apps at once OR for quitting the app after you press the x (like on Windows)?
    *** Usually there is no need to quit macOS Apps, they freeze, but if you need it badly, just hit "command+q" to quit them, or "option+command+q" to force quit them.

    -How much battery life does background apps use such as safari if you forget to quit them?
    *** Dunno, try out, depend of the app and app settings, hardware, you won't get an answer for this.

    -Optimal video scale resolution?
    *** o_O

    -Any battery saver tips, such as limiting notifications, siri, spotlight search, etc.?
    *** o_O Simply use your hardware, and set screen brightness to decent but lower level.
    *** Btw. your Hardware wants to be used. :)
     

Share This Page