What to get with my first Mac - MBP 15"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Scarecrow01, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. Scarecrow01 macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    Been lurking around this site for a good month or two, found it to be very good for information on everything Mac.

    I'm finally converting and about to buy my first Mac, I'm going for the high end MBP 15".

    I study part time and have just signed up as a Student Apple Dev, so that going to give me a very nice discount on the price!!

    I have limited experience with Mac's due to day to day dealings with them at work, Installing Printer drivers and setting up sharing is the limit of it though, I can navigate my way around what I need to to get my job done, but don't know a lot of the rest of it.

    What I want to ask is, what would you recommend getting with a new system,
    Should I go for the usual stuff like a case/shell, or keyboard covers?
    In terms of software, whats good to start off with?
    I do want to Dual boot it with some form of windows as well, what is the "better" software for virtualisation?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
    I can't wait to confirm my order and start into it!!:D:D
  2. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    I'd use Boot Camp since it comes free with every intel Mac and I'm pretty cheap. You will just have to get your own version of Windows. If you want Windows to run at the same time as OSX, go with either Parallels or VM Fusion. They both work well. Hope this helps.
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
  4. windywoo macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    Get a nice bag to keep it safe from scratches. Get a USB toaster or some equally pointless gadget just because you can.
  5. Scarecrow01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    Thanks for that, those ares are very good.

    Is it worth getting the 7200rpm HDD over the 5000rpm?
    And is there anything else that you think of as "must get" with the system, like going , minidisplay to DVI adapter or a Apple remote etc?
  6. Scarecrow01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    I'm looking at cases at the moment, however most of the ones I have found are simply neoprene sleeves, do you know if there are any good semi-rigid cases, I know Crumpler make a decent one. I don't want to put a hard shell on it.

    On that note, does anyone have a good laptop backpack that they'd recommend?
  7. mrj205 macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2009
    There are rigid cases. But I don't know exactly what you mean by "semi-rigid". Most cases are rigid and "snap on", or soft like neoprene. Check the apple store to get you started. Be aware that some users complain of hard shell cases scratching the casing on their aluminum macbooks. I use and incase neoprene sleeve. I leave my MB either on the desk on or the sleeve. But the choice is yours.


    I recommend this backpack. I use it and is has enough space for my computer and books:
  8. Scarecrow01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009

    Thanks for the link the Backpack looks alright.

    By "semi-rigid case" I mean one that you can put the laptop into like a neoprene sleeve, but it is more solid on the top and bottom, than just the neoprene material

    This is the Crumpler one : http://www.crumpler.com.au/Lite/English/Products/School-Hymn-15-SH0203A.html?image=1

    I just think that this sort of thing will offer a lot more protection that the standard inCase.
  9. mrj205 macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2009
    Gotcha. The backpack is ugly as sin, but it's functional. I prefer a messenger bag/briefcase type bag myself, but I use the backpack when there is lots to carry.

    Most laptop backpacks/bags/etc. have a "semi-rigid" compartment to store your computer in. I don't know of anything else other than the link you posted.
  10. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    I'd suggest you use the laptop for awhile before making any decisions about accessories in general, but I would recommend getting a backup hard drive right away, preferably one capable of connecting through your Firewire 800 port. Time Machine makes backing up nearly effortless, and the price of outboard hard drives is very reasonable now.

    Macs are intuitive to a great degree, but if you're a convert with little prior Apple operating system experience nothing will make your transition more comfortable than "The Missing Manual". It takes a bit to learn how Macs think to the point where you can accurately guess how to do things, and having this thoroughly comprehensive step-by-step guide to absolutely everything Mac is very helpful. Most things can be done on a Mac a number of alternate ways, and this book will show you all of them, and give you very helpful tips. I've bought it as a gift for several friends when my proselytizing resulted in their buying a Mac.

    I find the most useful hardware accessory, one I use all the time, is the Airport Express. Not only is it great for playing iTunes wirelessly through any stereo system in your home, but with Airfoil you can play any audio your MBP can produce the same way. A plus is that you can take it with you to any place (hotel room, conference room, friend's house) where they have ethernet access to the Internet, and create a wireless network.

    I also like owning an extra power cord/adapter. I keep one plugged in where I most use the laptop, and if one dies, you have redundancy.

    Congratulations on your forthcoming arrival!
  11. Scarecrow01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    Thanks for that Cartaphilus, atm I have a WD My Book Home, which has FW400 ports on it, should be easy enough to get a FW800 to FW400 cable, though after doing a proper clean up of my music and shows, its kinda full. For the short term I have plenty of 2.5" drives that I can drop into cases for backup use.

    I am looking to get a new Router to hook ADSL2 up at home, I have been looking at the Netgear DGN200, because it does support 802.11n. The Airport Express does look useful, though it doesn't have a inbuilt modem, but it would be extremely useful to have simply to plug in where ever I go and be able to put a wifi network.

    I will definatley get a second power adapter, though they are rather steep at A$87
  12. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    If you're looking for a wireless router, and to simplify backups, you might also consider the Apple Time Capsule (in conjunction with a modem and "bridge mode"). Having an Airport Extreme coupled with a backup drive and automatic backup over your wireless network might be attractive to you.

    Many people, especially in apartments, use an Airport Express as their main wireless router, and you might also wish to think about using one as an interim step, with the idea of getting an Airport Extreme or Time Capsule later on. You could then use your Airport Express to play music through, or to convert a USB printer to a wireless printer.

    Best of luck!
  13. hornshwangler macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2007
    All great suggestions but to your earlier question, YES I would opt for the 7200 rpm 500 gb drive. A $50 upgrade from the factory may be the best deal offered. I just did this today and can expect my new 15", 2.8 ghz MBP next Thursday.

    Another great virtualization option is a FREE product from Sun called VirtualBox. Very reliable, stable, and performs very well when compared to parallels or fusion. The free dual boot from apple, while I've used, becomes cumbersome in everyday use, especially when you become accustomed to OSx and the Mac applications. You'll want to be able to switch seamlessly between windoze and OSx without a boot.

    best of luck to you and please let us know what you decide

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