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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

A few questions from a new MacBook owner.


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The.Gab

 
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Hi, this is my first Mac ever.

First of all, a few specific questions. I actually bought a white MacBook that is 2 years old (MacBook4,2) with Leopard and a Snow Leopard install disk.

1. Should I upgrade to Snow Leopard? From what I've read, there are performance improvements. However, I've also heard that laptops that wasn't preinstalled with Snow Leopard will run slow once it is installed.

2. When I used the OS disk to install Leopard, did I format the disk and clean everything? Here is the whole story. The seller reinstalled the OS, but in French, which I do not want. When I first opened the machine, it would let me create an account and go through all the process which is normal for a newly installed OS. Since I wanted in English, I put in the disk and chose Install Mac OS X and Bundled Software. It asked to restart and then started installing everything. During the installation, I got to choose English, but it didn't ask me to create a new account which I would expect in a fresh installation. After the installation, the account I created was still there. I'm now worried that the old files (like the French files) are still there because I have more than 17GB of used HD space and I don't think I have iLife installed, although I'm not sure because I don't know where to check. How do I make a clean installation?

3. Here is a more vague question. I'm very savvy with Windows. I know about GPOs, OUs, active directories, domain controllers, NTFS permissions, and will know in the near future pretty much everything needed to be a network administrator. I've also been using Windows since Windows 3.0, so I know how to get the most out of them. With the Mac, I feel like I'm lost in the wood, completely naked and I do not like it. Would you recommend a few books to get as savvy with a Mac?

P.S. What's with the one button touchpad?
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iPod Nano

 
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1. An upgrade couldn't hurt. You'll regain some HDD space and get a couple of new features.
2. Typically you really have to know what you're doing to format when you install SL. The default is a simple upgrade.
3. The _________for Dummies series is a great resource.

Chris K.
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The.Gab

 
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Ok, I just found out in the installation process, there is this disk utility which lets you format the disk before installation.

Edit: I just discovered the erase and install option
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EndlessMac

 
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1. I like Snow Leopard. I always thought Leopard was a little bloated. The best time for you to try SL is now since you don't have anything really to lose after reinstalling the OS. If you end up not like SL then you can install Leopard.

3. You can learn the basics for free on Apple's website: switch101 and mac101. As for books I've heard the Mac Missing Manual series is a good book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Gab View Post
P.S. What's with the one button touchpad?
Apple likes one button mice and touchpads but they are better about two buttons with their newer laptops. You can either get any USB two button mouse, press Control+Mouse Click, or on the newer notebooks you can set the left and right side of the touchpad to divide into two buttons or do a two finger click for right clicking.
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iPod Nano

 
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I've never had a problem with a single button mouse. I actually like them.

Chris K.
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The.Gab

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iPod Nano View Post
I've never had a problem with a single button mouse. I actually like them.
I have 5 buttons on my gaming mouse and still find there isn't enough. Well, its good that I'm using the Mac for work only.
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Gab View Post
I have 5 buttons on my gaming mouse and still find there isn't enough. Well, its good that I'm using the Mac for work only.
You can use a mouse with more than 2 buttons. You just have to make sure the manufacturer has Mac software for it or in other words made sure it is Mac compatible. A basic two button mouse works on both Windows and Macs without additional software but the fancy mice need software/drivers.

Some people prefer one button. Some prefer more. I prefer options.
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DarkestRitual

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlessMac View Post
1. I like Snow Leopard. I always thought Leopard was a little bloated. The best time for you to try SL is now since you don't have anything really to lose after reinstalling the OS. If you end up not like SL then you can install Leopard.

3. You can learn the basics for free on Apple's website: switch101 and mac101. As for books I've heard the Mac Missing Manual series is a good book.


Apple likes one button mice and touchpads but they are better about two buttons with their newer laptops. You can either get any USB two button mouse, press Control+Mouse Click, or on the newer notebooks you can set the left and right side of the touchpad to divide into two buttons or do a two finger click for right clicking.
on the old ones i think you can still do 2 finger tap to right click.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Gab View Post
Hi, this is my first Mac ever.

First of all, a few specific questions. I actually bought a white MacBook that is 2 years old (MacBook4,2) with Leopard and a Snow Leopard install disk.

1. Should I upgrade to Snow Leopard? From what I've read, there are performance improvements. However, I've also heard that laptops that wasn't preinstalled with Snow Leopard will run slow once it is installed.
Definitely upgrade to Snow Leopard. The rumor about it running slower if not preinstalled is utter hogwash.

Quote:
P.S. What's with the one button touchpad?
When I bought my first Mac Powerbook 7 or 8 years ago, I frowned on the single-button design, but figured it was no big deal. Control-clicking worked well enough, and in some situations it proved easier to use. It wasn't until about 3 years later that I finally saw it Apple's way completely… I was trying to use someone's Dell laptop and I kept accidentally hitting the right-click button, which was really ticking me off. There's no way I'd ever use anything but a Mac laptop now, especially the one I have now with the newer style of trackpad doubling as the button. If you have the multi-touch trackpad, here's a tutorial on using it:
Apple Portables: Using the Multi-Touch glass trackpad


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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The.Gab

 
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Well, the one button pad is pretty much a question of habits. Since I've been using a 2 buttons pad from my other laptops, having only 1 button is an inconvenience.

Anyway, I've started reading Switching to the Mac, the Missing Manual and hopefully the book is much more advanced than Switch 101 which explains stuff that I can pretty much figure out by myself. I'll probably read a book on Mac servers later. I'm a real control freak when it comes to computers. A default place for documents and downloads might be convenient for most users, but to me, that is highly unorganized.

Oh, by the way, I just installed the iPhone SDK and was expecting to be able to choose the folder. Well, at least I got to choose the disk, but after the installation, I had to get help to find where I should go to open Xcode. Needless to say that the control freak in my was well... freaking out.

P.S. I just discovered the 2 fingers scrolling on the touchpad, which I think is a superior design to the scrolling system on PC touchpads. I've also set up file sharing with my other Windows computers yay!
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Gab View Post
Anyway, I've started reading Switching to the Mac, the Missing Manual and hopefully the book is much more advanced than Switch 101 which explains stuff that I can pretty much figure out by myself. I'll probably read a book on Mac servers later. I'm a real control freak when it comes to computers. A default place for documents and downloads might be convenient for most users, but to me, that is highly unorganized.
So put them where you like. There's no reason why you can't.

Quote:
Oh, by the way, I just installed the iPhone SDK and was expecting to be able to choose the folder. Well, at least I got to choose the disk, but after the installation, I had to get help to find where I should go to open Xcode. Needless to say that the control freak in my was well... freaking out.
Most apps, once installed, can be moved and run from anywhere. My Applications folder is sub-categorized with apps sorted accordingly. You can move them at any time… no reinstalling necessary. OS X just keeps up with wherever they go. Try THAT in Windows.

Quote:
P.S. I just discovered the 2 fingers scrolling on the touchpad, which I think is a superior design to the scrolling system on PC touchpads. I've also set up file sharing with my other Windows computers yay!
These multi-touch trackpads are utterly the bomb. I don't think you have the newer unified trackpad that doubles as a button. Trust me… once you use one, you just don't ever want to use anything else. There are a few more gestures besides the 2-finger scrolling.


Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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EndlessMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Gab View Post
Well, the one button pad is pretty much a question of habits. Since I've been using a 2 buttons pad from my other laptops, having only 1 button is an inconvenience.
You should try out the new unibody MBPs then. As I have mentioned you can set the trackpad to simulate two buttons which makes it very similar to most two button laptops. The other finger gestures you can do on the new trackpads are nice too. It makes me hate going back to laptops that can't do them.
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Ketan

 
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I'd say time for an upgrade to a MBP unibody or at-least the new white MacBook. If not then I think I could not hurt to upgrade, as long as its a Intel Mac then the install should go smoothly, it wont slow down your computer at-all, Although I have a unibody MBP, I also have a White Intel iMac running Tiger, I upgraded it to Snow Leopard and it was a breeze. It did not slow down the Mac at-all.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkestRitual View Post
on the old ones i think you can still do 2 finger tap to right click.
You are very correct. Even the iBook 12" Last generation that I own will do the two finger tapping once 10.5 was installed. I was very happy!

I agree with Lifeisabeach, Snow Leopard if anything will be faster and not slower. I did an upgrade and boot time for one example is 2x faster as is shutdown, and once in the OS many apps launch faster.

If you do the Erase and Install be warned that if you now have Ilife installed, it will not be there as iLife only comes on the original DVD that came with that Mac. Do you have the Original install DVD's that came with the Macbook? If so you can later install iLife back. I just wanted to warn you though just in case.
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The.Gab

 
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lifeisabeach, I feel like I need to defend Windows here. I'm just adding a Mac to my life, not switching to it.

So put them where you like. There's no reason why you can't.

I wasn't pointing out a fault on the Mac or anything. The My Document folder is also a default for lots of stuff for Windows and I've never used it. I'm just saying that I need control and I'll have to see if Macs will give me as much as Windows.

Most apps, once installed, can be moved and run from anywhere. My Applications folder is sub-categorized with apps sorted accordingly. You can move them at any time… no reinstalling necessary. OS X just keeps up with wherever they go. Try THAT in Windows.

Yes, that's one place where the Mac is superior in everywhere, which I'm glad to admit.

These multi-touch trackpads are utterly the bomb. I don't think you have the newer unified trackpad that doubles as a button. Trust me… once you use one, you just don't ever want to use anything else. There are a few more gestures besides the 2-finger scrolling.

If we only compare trackpads, the Mac is superior. However, on my Fujitsu T4310, I use my fingers on the screen to scroll. Now try that with a Mac. (And the iPad doesn't count because it doesn't have OS X.)
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