Learning Mac: 16 First Steps With Your New Macbook
You have already bought the Macbook Pro in Universia and you have it on the table, just unpacked. Many of the new Mac users are so excited and overwhelmed by their new possession, they do not even know where to start. It’s very easy since the Macs come ready to be used according to the box, but it does not hurt a bit of basic configuration and some other useful application to start.
Users with more experience with the Mac, either Macbook Pro, Macbook Air or iMac, often have a particular ritual about how to install and configure the Mac when they turn it on for the first time.
Each user has their own routine, but, they all have the same idea in mind. All round about the idea of personalization and take to Mac OSX, and its functionalities by default, a little further, improve it. Unfortunately, the new converts of the Windows universe, and the first computer buyers have not yet developed those “primary” skills by themselves, they still have to learn.
So, in order to make the process easier, we have compiled a list of the first things to do when you have to set up your Mac for the first time. They are suggestions, it is not something that is required and that is mandatory, its purpose is only to serve as a starting point when you start to configure your new Mac.
Then, once you have more knowledge, you can go deeper into the Mac community looking for more advanced tips and tricks.
1. UPDATE THE SOFTWARE: “SOFTWARE UPDATE”
Apple is continually publishing updates to fix bugs, improve compatibility, and add new features to your Mac. Just go to the Apple menu, and then select “Software Update”, is probably the best way to start with your Mac. You will have to do some more, since some updates only appear after having previously updated other components.
2. ACTIVATE THE CLICK WITH THE RIGHT BUTTON
Do not ask us why Apple has not done this by default, it is beyond my reach and imagination. That magnificent Trackpad or Magic Mouse of (apparently), a single button is also very capable of having the right click. Just go to System Preferences, choose Trackpad or Mouse and select the box next to “Secondary Click”.
3. SHOW THE COMPLETE DATE IN THE MENU BAR
The menu bar of the Mac only shows the day of the week and the time in the upper right corner. You can also add the month and date to the menu bar, by clicking “Show Date”, in the “System Preferences” window, in “Date and Time”, in the “Clock” section.
4. CONFIGURE AND SPACES
Spaces is possibly a slightly more advanced tool, but the management of windows of applications with Exposé is affordable for all, especially if we combine it with the “Active Screen Corners”. Many Mac users do not know that this feature exists and allows us to improve our productivity.
5. ACTIVATE THE FIREWALL
If you have not done it yet, it’s a good time, although the Mac provides you with a good layer of security, it never hurts to have an extra layer of security. All Macs come standard with a solid Firewall, and reliable that can be activated in “System Preferences”, section “Security”. Activate it and you already have a more protection tool.
6. CONFIGURE TIME MACHINE
Time Machine, is the automatic backup system of Apple, and is an essential for anyone who handles documents, photos, videos, music and in general any kind of valuable documents on your Mac. You only need an external hard drive with enough space Free and your Mac will know what needs to be done.
7. INSTALL FIREFOX
For now, we have finished with the operating system, so we will focus on adding some free third-party applications. The first, of course, is Firefox. Safari, we like it, and a lot, maybe it is the best browser for your MAc, but you never know if you will have to use an alternative, such as Firefox, so you can see the site correctly.
8. INSTALL GLIMS FOR SAFARI
If you have chosen to use Safari, as your main browser, Glims is a fantastic extension. It gives Safair a lot of new additional features, especially related to searches.
9. INSTALL FLIP4MAC WMV
That there is no Windows Media Player for Mac means that there is no compatibility with the WMV and WMA files, right? Well it’s going to be that no: Flip4Mac WMV is a simple plugin that makes QuicTime compatible with these video and audio rooms.
10. INSTALL PERIAN
In the end, at some point, you will need compatibility with other audio and video files. Similar to Flip4Mac WMV, Perian is a plugin that gives QuickTime access to many more file formats.
11. INSTALL VLC PLAYER
No matter how many plugins you install to QuickTime plugins, it will never work with all types of files. This is where the VLC Player is indispensable. VLC is your own video and audio player, and also executes virtually anything you have – it’s perfect for those times when QuickTime simply can not do it.
12. INSTALL HANDBRAKE
Depending on how you use audio and video multimedia files, Handbrake can be a program that you need (or not). Do you want to record movies from your DVDs to be able to see them on your computer, your iPad / iPod / iPhone? Do you need to convert files from one format to another? So, you need Handbrake.
13. INSTALL CHAX OR ADIUM
Everyone who uses iChat should have Chax , an addition that extends Apple’s instant messaging application to a new range of utilities. If that does not seem enough to use iChat, then you should give Adium a chance. It is a totally independent application that works with many more services than iChat, and it is much more customizable, although it is not so well finished, but we like it.
14. INSTALL GROWL
Growl is a notification system that is supported by a lot of Mac applications. Do you want to be notified when a friend from Messenger or Google Talk connects? When is an FTP upload completed? When a video conversion has finished? Growl is very useful, almost indispensable for some, but it is only useful depending on the software with which it interacts, and installs, that is compatible with Growl or not. Adium, Chax, Handbrake, and Firefox, all support it, for example.
15. INSTALL STUFFIT EXPANDER
Mac OS X comes with native support for ZIP files, the most common among compression formats. From time to time, you will know, that you get a file in RAR format that you can not open. This is where StuffIt Expander comes into play.
16. DELETE THE LANGUAGES AND ARCHITECTURES THAT YOU DO NOT USE
Did you know that you can recover a few seconds of your hard drive simply by removing the extra language packs and outdated architectures that come in your Mac OS and third-party applications when you install them? With a program called Monolingual , you can save up to 4, 5 GB (like us), in a simple way.
Completing these 16 steps your new Mac should be prepared for most of the challenges you encounter on your way.
New users of the Mac platform are welcome to use this list as a reference, and of course, the most experienced and veteran can suggest your own applications, which we will collect and update in this list.