Tips for a New MacBook Pro Owner

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AppleBoyFreak, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. AppleBoyFreak macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    Hello guys! I am soon going to be getting my first Mac and made this thread because I have so many questions and would love for others to share tips from their own personal experience. I thought a lot other new or soon to be Mac owner would learn something from this thread. So go ahead and share any advice you have, but to start off I have a few starter subjects:

    - Is AppleCare worth the money?
    - Is it worth it to go to Apple and get the whole experience or will a 3rd party retailer suffice when buying the Mac?
    - What is the best protection against scratches?
    - Are there any reputable cases or sleeves that you can highly recommend?
    - In the situation that the Mac gets stolen is there any software that I should have enabled or downloaded onto the Mac before hand?
    - Is there any good software that is very beneficial?
    - What is your favorite app?
    - How long does a Mac usually last?
    - If you could go back in time what would you do to make te experience better?

    That is just a few subjects to get started with and any other advice you can give would be appreciated! Thank you very much and have a nice day! :apple:

    P.S. If this deserves to be in another thread then please close this one.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Subjective. I think the whole business about getting the "whole experience" is a bunch of nonsense, but to each their own.
    Being careful.
    I've had the Tucano second skin (I found it a little tight) as well as an Incase sleeve for carrying. Both worked fine.
    Orbicule Undercover.
    Depends on what you use your computer for.
    As long as you need it to.
  3. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Depends on your point of view regarding extended warranties in general. I never do with anything, but it's a personal choice. Also depends if you can afford to fix or replace it if something happens I guess.

    I always buy mine online from the Apple store so couldn't say. Apple stores are fun places to visit with your credit card though :)

    I don't use one, and it's not normally a problem. Don't drop it on a hard wooden floor though. I did that once on one corner and it did a lot more damage to the floor than the MBP.
    Yes, in iCloud settings enable Find My Mac. However it's not foolproof. A friend of mine had one stolen and the Police found it the old way, in a local pawn shop.

    Lots but it depends on what need you are trying to address.
    Years, long enough that it's not really an issue. Many people upgrade every year or every other year though. Resale values are strong.
    Get an SSD right from the start.
  4. AppleBoyFreak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    So based on the answers so far I would like to say a few things. First, thanks for the advice! As far as software that is beneficial it's going to be used as basically a over powered iPad so any software that use on the iPad that is also on the Mac. Also I need the Mac to last me to hopefully after a 4 year college degree and in August I'll start my sophomore year in high school. Do you think with the proper care it'll last long and run good? I ask this because my windows laptop slowed down 2 months after I got it and was always trying to update random stuff.
  5. playsontheleft macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2012
    It should do. I'm on a mid 09 MBP right now which I got more or less as soon as it was released. It had a hard drive failure at one point which I managed to sort out myself just by replacing it and aside from that little maintenance task it's running as smoothly as it did on day one. You should be able to do that with yours given that I mess around a lot with mine and tend to break stuff on the software side more than I should.

    If you use education pricing, you might be able to get a good deal on it - I used it and knocked it from £280 down to just £60 which was something I couldn't turn down. But aside from that, your shout. Which Mac are you getting and how much would it cost to repair? Bear in mind that if you're getting an rMBP, while its failure rates on the hardware side will probably be very low, they can happen and it's an expensive laptop to repair in some respects next to standard MBPs.

    I... don't think it matters too much. It never stuck me that buying directly from Apple would make my experience more complete. If you can get your Mac at a better price or on a sooner date through a 3rd party retailer then by all means do so.

    Primarily, care. But otherwise I've seen people get plastic shells or stickers which cover the whole body of the computer to give it a new look which would do the job just fine. I always decided against this though because I thought stickers looked sort of tacky and I didn't want the shell to make my laptop bulkier. I've never had any severe scratches on it.

    I've used a Tucano Second Skin since I got my laptop. The sleeve is a bit beaten up and worn but it's done the job - the laptop's never been damaged when being moved around outside of where I live, and it's comfortable to carry. Not using as high-quality materials as some sleeves which are made out of leather, for example the Hard Graft ( ones, but it did the job for me brilliantly and I'd get another one.

    I found out about an app called Prey the other day which looks interesting -

    Otherwise, I believe iCloud will do the job.

    It depends on what you want to do. There are a number of apps that allow you to easily fine-tune and clean up your Mac - Onyx is my app of choice because it's free, powerful, and not -too- hard to use although there are more user-friendly ones out there for people who aren't experienced on Macs. Adium is an exceptional IM client which can handle accounts from a lot of sources such as IRC, AIM, Yahoo!, Msn and (if memory serves) even Facebook Chat. And it's really customisable in appearance so you can have it look just as you want it to. If you're into that, of course. But aside from those, what you want to do with your computer will lead you into what apps to get.

    Probably Safari, especially under Mountain Lion. It just feels so clean and sleek next to other browsers I've used. Cop-out answer, I know. Adium is great too for the above reasons.

    If it's got the power to do what you need it to do, then it'll last as long as you take good care of it.

    Get rid of the standard hard drive and install an SSD immediately, if it's not an rMBP. It speeds everything up phenomenally. If you don't want to order an SSD with your Mac because it's usually cheaper to get it third party, you can actually install the original hard drive in your Mac into an external enclosure to have it function as a backup drive.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Yes, especially given that its more of a replacement of the laptop now then a repair of a component.

    Go where ever you can get the machine at this point

    screen protector and being careful

    Search the forum - lots of opinions. Here's a long thread

    Enable Find my Mac and enable filevault2. The latter will encrypt your drive to protect your data the second may be helpful in locating the stolen computer

    Check out this thread

    As long as it meets my need.

    Knowing the powerball number and not having to pay for the laptop
  7. zyr123 macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2009
    " If you could go back in time what would you do to make te experience better?"

    Get 1 gb of video ram. My 2.2 quad core late 2011 15 inch mbpro is amazing, but I wasn't thinking and didn't future proof it buy getting a gb of video ram.
  8. SpyderBite macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2011
    Depends. Once the 1 year of included AppleCare has expired, can you afford a $600 logic board replacement? There is no guarantee, in fact it is unlikely that your logic board will have an issue; but, if it did, could you afford to fix it out of pocket? That is what you are paying for.. peace of mind.

    Up to you. If it is conveniently located, you may as well go to the store so that you can go home with it immediately. If you aren't in a hurry, go ahead and order it from the online Apple store. I don't have any experience with 3rd party resellers when it comes to Apple products. I have always bought directly.

    As mentioned earlier. Caution is your number one prevention of cosmetic damage. I use a Speck shell on my mbp so that I don't have to pull it out of a sleeve every time I want to use it.

    Tons. As I mentioned above, I use a Speck shell. I'm looking at a Hex messenger bag that I like though. Take a gander through the hundreds of cases, sleeves and bags available on Amazon or the Apple Store.

    iCloud, Find My Mac. However, any software like that is designed to find lost devices. Stolen devices should be reported to the police.

    Thousands of beneficial software titles out there. Depends on what you'll be doing with your Mac. As a student you'll probably want a word processor such as Word or Pages.

    Favorite? I guess XChat as I use IRC all day long. But, the most useful application for me is Mail.

    I've seen people drag 10 year old Macs in to an Apple store with failed hard drives. I've also had friends burn their Macs in to the ground inside of a year. Take care of it and it'll last you as long as you need it to. Hardware is light years ahead of software these days, so it isn't necessary to upgrade as frequently as it used to be when software demanded more resources than newer computers could provide.

    I would have purchased a Mac sooner. But, I bought my Mac because I wanted one. Not because I needed one. I already have two PCs and third computer running Linux. But, I really enjoy using my MBP for casual every day use.

    Enjoy your new Mac and good luck with school.
  9. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Applecare- debatable... but the reason people suggest it is because of the high cost of repairs on macs. You can buy it anytime in the first year. B+H charges less for applecare than Apple. You can buy it there even if you buy the machine elsewhere. Make sure it's registered within a year from purchase if you wish to do this. Ignore the anecdotes on what people got due to Applecare. The problem with them is that they aren't guaranteed to be repeatable if they aren't within the written policy.

    Buying experience is nonsense. Just make sure you review the return policy of the retailer if you feel you may need to use it. Sometimes third party retailers are cheaper, but Apple has no restocking fee. It's up to you what to pick. If you're a student, look up Apple's education pricing on their site.

    Scratches happen, but you can find reviews on many cases.

    Computers vary in lifespan. The most common dead parts are batteries and hard drives. In Apple's case the warranty does cover the battery up to a certain number of cycles (after which it's considered wear and tear).

    Mentioning the student thing again, Apple usually does back to school promotions, and you can look up if your state has a sales tax holiday.
  10. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Even more fun with someone else's
  11. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think apple care is very important. I have had to use it and it pays for itself!

    Buy from whomever has the best price. I've bought from apple, best buy, amazon, and Melrose Mac. All have had a good experience. Sometimes you can even buy your computer from apple (student discount is pretty good.) and get apple care from amazon.
  12. ugp macrumors 65816


    Jan 7, 2008
    Inverness, Florida
    AppleCare has coming in handy several times for me in the past. Repairs are very expensive depending on what it is. Worth the money in my opinion.
  13. AppleBoyFreak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    Nice! Two more questions:
    - Can you get education pricing in-store at the Apple store? If so, what kind of documentation do you need?
    - Since I purchased Pages, Numbers, and Keynote on my
    iDevices will that purchase transfer to the Mac or do I have to purchase the Mac version? Thanks!
  14. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Yes you can, and they're supposed to ask for student ID. Based on reports on this forum, they don't usually ask for it though.

    You need to purchase the Mac version. I'd hold off on buying iWork if you don't absolutely need it right now as a new version is rumored to be coming out soon.
  15. AppleBoyFreak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    What kind of student ID? My high school doesn't have student ID cards, but our school and school district is recognized under the k-12 section on Apples education pricing website.
  16. Dragoro macrumors 6502


    Nov 27, 2010
    You don't need to sign up for extended apple care till towards the end of the first year right?
  17. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
  18. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Don't worry about it, they generally do not ask for the ID. Especially if you look like you're a student. (which I'm guessing you do, as your sig says you're 15)

    You can buy the APP up until your factory warranty expires.
  19. gentlefury macrumors 68030

    Jul 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    educational requirements are quite abstract (to the point that its more of an everyone discount that thinks to use it!)

    You have to be a student, an educator (or faculty....or anyone that has to do with a school) or a parent buying for a student.

    Basically anyone can use it.
  20. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Exactly, which is why they rarely ask for ID.

    If you're a teacher or something like that they might be more likely to ask for ID. Not much reason to ask a teenager to prove he's a student though.
  21. Alameda macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2012
    Get an enormous USB drive to use for backups with Time Machine. On a new MBP, you can use a USB 3 drive for Time Machine and you'll definitely notice a difference.

    The Speck cases are really excellent, but you still need to remove it regularly and wipe down the case and the Mac, or else fine particles will scratch up the Mac.
  22. Pipper99 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2010
    Fort Worth, TX

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