The jump from PC to MBP: Educate a newb!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by GuyInTheBack, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. GuyInTheBack macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2008
    So I recently/yesterday made the leap of buying a Macbook Pro for the upcoming move to college. Now this is a guy who has always looked at the Apple world from afar (ipod nonewitstanding) and while there is a rather noticeable learning curve, I want to make the most of it and I'm sure I'll learn to love it.

    However I keep getting 'newb' questions about the this sexy new computer of mine and figured that instead of browsing google for hours on end I'd go straight to the gurus.

    question 1
    question 2
    I'm sure they'll be MANY more but those are my two first newb inquiries. :D

    **If you have any tips or recommendations of programs I should get or things that are vital to the MBP then PLEASE share. I'm a blank slate here. :)
  2. Mirrorball macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2007
    Apple Mail. It came preinstalled in your computer. Enable IMAP in your Gmail account using a browser, then follow these instructions:
    Don't ignore step 10!
    Just click and drag any icon (application, folder etc) to the dock or out of it.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Thunderbird is also a good client. I use Entourage as I'm used to Outlook on Windows. Entourage is part of Office 2008.
  4. amac4me macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2005
    Congrats on the decision to buy a Mac. Although there is a 'learning curve', it isn't as steep as you may think. Good luck!
  5. Batt macrumors 65816


    Dec 17, 2007
    Syracuse, NY
  6. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
  7. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    As for the Dock, you can also go into System Preferences: Dock and change certain things, like how it minimizes things. For further customization, download Tinkertool. I have my dock on the left hand side, using a hidden "hide" feature.

    Stuff you don't want on the dock you an just drag off and it'll poof.
  8. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Use Apple Mail for the Mac experience, use Entourage or Thunderbird if you don't want to let go of your old PC ways. As for changing icons: Find an icon you want, right click (control click as it's called in the Mac world), get info, click the icon in the top left hand corner, command+C (to copy), then control click and get info on the item that you want to change the icon of, click the icon in the top right hand corner, command+v (to paste).

    If you're a power user and don't mind a bit of a learning curve (easy to get into and use basic features, hard to master) download and install quicksilver. I'd also recommend Final Cut Express if you're into movie making and Aperture if you're into Photography (only if you shoot in RAW and plan on having a large photo library >20GB), Logic Express if you're into music making. If you don't think you're too big into any of those areas just stick with iMovie (awesome app), iPhoto (pretty good) and Garageband (sweet).

    If you're going to be using your laptop for writing papers and such, which I'd expect since you're going to college, then get the iWork suite from Apple. It's much faster and better than Microsoft Office, unless you are a big excel user. Although Open Office is a free solution if you're tight on money (I'd expect not since you just bought a spendy computer) iWork is beautiful and a breeze to use, although it can seem a little confusing coming from Windows.

    Spaces and Exposé may seem like useless apps, especially if you're coming from a Windows PC, but just try and work them into your computer routine and eventually you'll love them. (Hot corners are also an important thing to set up, they can be accessed in the system preferences under Spaces and Exposé.)

    It's also important to back up your data, Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner are two great tools for this.

    Avoid using Firefox, in my opinion it's a bit of a mess on the Mac right now, if you really need that gecko engine use Camino. Although Safari is very 'snappy' and slick, so I'd stick with Safari for web browsing.

    EDIT: As the poster below me says, Watch the guided tours, they're especially useful for the iLife and iWork apps. Actually there are great guided tours and tutorials on Final Cut Express, Aperture, but not really for Logic Express.
  9. buyusfear macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
  10. GuyInTheBack thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2008
    Thanks everyone. After a few tries I *think* I'm gonna go for Entourage. It's very easy to use and feels familiar. I like that it's part of Microsoft too because I send a lot of big word files with school, etc...

    Yeah I noticed that too. I spent the better part of the last hour and a half trying to get Firefox the way I want it but to no avail. The add-ons don't seem to synch up as well as on Windows (where my Firefox is a beast :D). But I am gonna keep trying since it's my favorite browser. Haven't really given Safari a fair try except to err, download Firefox. :D

    Thanks for the videos and blog! It's too late now but I'm gonna go through them intensively tomorrow. Expect more questions lol.

    I freaking love Spaces though. Before I couldn't exactly keep track of applications since they just seemed to...disappear expect for the bar so it was a huge help.

    Random Tidbit: It took me a ridiculously long time to figure out how to right-click. :eek:
  11. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    I actually enjoy Firefox 3 better on a Mac. It feels faster than Safari in my opinion and the AwesomeBar is just awesome. There's also a high degree of customization, and the one-click favorites is really useful.

    If you want Firefox on a Mac to look more like a Mac app,

    It's a theme for Firefox that makes it look as sleek as Safari.

    And if you want Firefox to have multitouch trackpad gestures like in Safari, get MultiClutch

    You can configure MultiClutch to add multi-touch gestures to almost ANY program. It's incredibly useful.

    But yeah I guess it's all about personal preference. Firefox just feels faster for me, and with those add-ons that fill in the holes and make it feel more like a Mac app, it's perfect for me.
  12. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Just remember you're on a Mac and not a Windows PC. Entourage doesn't have any greater compatibility with Windows than any other Email client. Unless there's some feature of Entourage that doesn't exist in any Mac alternative you're going to eventually find yourself changing all sorts of settings on your Mac trying to get it to work like a Windows PC (example: you trying to make your Firefox just like the one running on your PC). Sending word files works the exact same way in all Mail clients. Pages is fully compatible with Office, Any file you make in pages can be exported as a Word document, any Word document can be opened with Pages, same with Keynote to Powerpoint. Sort of with Numbers and Excel.
  13. GuyInTheBack thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2008
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    I'm sort of having a huge learning issue with Mac in terms of....folders and drives. Windows was pretty simple on that front. You could move files-documents by simply right-clicking and using the 'move to' option.

    However in mac, Im completely lost as to how to move files. I dont know what to delete and what not to. (ex. I created a folder for the files which I download off the internet but then I dont know if I can delete them, and I can't seem to be able to move them into 'Finder's existing video/pictures folders).And if a file is in iPhoto, can I move it or delete it without affecting the images?

    I have a firefox disk on my desktop which I cant seem to be able to eject or delete even though Ive moved the firefox icon own to the dock days ago.

    I downloaded and installed iStat (i think I did...) but while there is an istat icon in my preferences, I just can't seem to find it in the Application Folder.

    Im sure there are very simple guidelines here but for now its definitely the worst thing about having a mac.

    Another issue is Mail (which in the end, I chose over entourage). It doesnt seem to 'synch up with my gmail account'. I always have to click 'get mail' and it updates only to a certain point (like back in 2006). And all of the emails it takes are unread which is quite the rear pain.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    You can't move stuff around iPhoto; it's designed so you can't tamper with it and if you do, you will break it.

    If you drag the program to the application folder? That's how you install it. Then you drag the program from the application folder to the dock.

    Right now it sounds like you're running it from the mounted image.
  15. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    For your iStat issue it sounds like you installed iStat Menus, not the application. The app you just have to drag to your application folder. As for Mail, you may have to resetup your account. It sounds like you're using POP instead of IMAP. In google preferences it will explain to you how to set up the IMAP account in Mail.
  16. GuyInTheBack thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2008
    Thanks! I've solved the problem. That was probably the biggest learning curve for me (folder managing and installation of softwares from the web needing to go through the 'applications' folder). Now I feel like I have a pretty solid grasp of it. :)

    A few more questions:

    1- I installed 'The Unarchiver' and have been using it to import files from my PC which I email to myself. Everything is going smoothly and I've created an image folder (Im a big graphics fan). The files open with Preview but the problem is that they remain individual. Meaning that I can't move from one to the next with the arrows or click for a slideshow even though they're all in the same folder. Thoughts? Do I need to install another viewer?

    2- I tried to do it myself through preferences but I can't seem to be able to. How to set mail to IMAC instead of POP? What is it exactly?

    3- What's the purpose of the the 'library' folder?

    4- What are some applications you recommend I install on my MBP? I've installed some of those recommended on this site ( but I would like to keep my computer extremely safe- especially since I'm about to install a torrent, gulp. (I'm thinking Azereus?)

    Really...NO anti-virus needed?

    5- What is the best way to charge the macbook and preserve the battery? Right now since the semester hasn't started I just use it at home. Even though I'm inches away from an outlet I only charge it when i need to. Is it better to charge it while you're using the computer or when it's turned off (or does it make no difference)?

    Thanks in advance, folks. I'm learning, I'm learning....:)
  17. smcgil9899 macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I have a question. I have a gmail account and a college email address. Can I have both of those in Mail? I have tried to set up the college email address but what do I put in the incoming mail server? The gmail account worked perfect. The college uses a Sungard system.
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Welcome to Mac ownership and welcome to MacRumors:Forums! You'll find a lot of information both here and on the web. Here are a few resources that may be helpful:

    Mac 101 a tour of the Mac OS X
    Apple Support search Apple Support and the Knowledge Base
    MRoogle for searching the forums with Google (always a good idea before posting new questions)
    How to set up a quick right-click search of the MR forums.
    MacRumors FAQ
    MacRumors Rules
    MacRumors Guides Very helpful stuff!
    A list of the MR Forums (so you'll know which forum is best to post a new question)
    Maximizing your MacRumors troubleshooting experience. (if you really need help, this is valuable to know!)
    Apple Find Out How
    Apple Keyboard Shortcuts
    You can find lists of essential applications here and here and here.

    If you search the forums and don't find what you're looking for, just ask! There's lots of friendly help here! Enjoy your new Mac!
  19. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Hurt me if i'm wrong... I might be here! If you hit the spacebar when you're clicked on an icon it opens it up in Quickview, which will allow you to navigate through the files instantly using the arrow keys. This works with most types of files; videos, images, pdfs, word/pages documents etc.

    I hope that helps, oh and congratulations!
  20. Radioheadcase, Aug 16, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011

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