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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Ultimate Newbie Thread


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Scotty

 
Member Since: Apr 08, 2010
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Hi Guys, brand new to the forum! Well I can say that iv been a follower of this site for a while but my lack of knowledge stopped me from registering. Figured there's not a better way to learn..

After a history of unreliable PCs and Laptops, I've swithered about purchasing a Mac for a while now.. Ultimately, it looks like I'm going to convert very soon, and was wondering if the MacBook Pro is real value for money? I seem quite impressed by the specs of the MacBook itself, and the basic model looks pretty good?

I'm really unsure about all the wireless supplements that can be purchased, Airport etc. and hoped somebody could clear this up for me, and what they actually do haha.

After the initial cost of the device itself, how much extra am I looking to spend on neccessive accessories and the likes? I'm aware of iLife and iWork..


Thanks in advance, and sorry for the amateur style questions!


S.
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snaple

 
Member Since: Feb 15, 2010
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Yes. buy it. buy it soon, wait till the update should be coming soon, rumour has it on the 13th of april.
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SweetCosmicPope

 
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Member Since: Dec 16, 2009
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I, like you, am a newb, myself. I recently bought the MBP and couldn't be happier.

Depends on your needs, as far as the MBP vs MB, and I'm sure you'll hear that several dozen more times in this process. If you'll just need basic stuff, like surfing, e-mail, and word processing, then the MB will be perfectly fine for your needs. Anything else, and I'd consider going pro, as it has more ports, and can expand to more ram than the MB can (4gb vs 8gb). I found the MBP to be quite worth the money, but it's not going to be worth the extra dollars, functionally, if you don't need the extras. Now, it's up to you if the aesthetics are worth anything to you.

You'll want a wireless router if you don't have one, already. You'll spend between 50 and 200 bucks on a decent one of those. I get great use out of my linksys, which was 50, but alot of people on here swear by airport extreme (which, I believe is about 160 bucks). The airport express card comes installed, so there's no need for a wireless adapter or anything.

i-work is about $70 bucks last time I checked, and i-life comes with the computer.

What else are you looking for?

"That's Peter Graves scat! I'd know it anywhere!"
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Scotty

 
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Thanks,

I'll only need to buy iWork then. I'm looking to get into website design, and possibly a bit of photography..

Ive got a wireless home network, but I don't need an Apple specific router for a MB or MBP? If I was purchasing a MBP I don't think I'd take the base model, probably save a few more pennies and get a midrange one.

Noticed there's skins and cases.. Worth buying one of them? And the warranty is about 170 or something, so I'm considering getting that as well..


S.
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SweetCosmicPope

 
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You might consider getting a skin, and definitely get a case, if it's going to be mobile. I don't have a skin, and you can see smudges on the case where I carry it around, when the light is glaring on it.

I'd definitely get applecare, but you have until the factory warranty runs out, after a year, to purchase it. And no, you don't need an apple branded router. As I said, there are people here who prefer it (I haven't used it, myself), but people have their preferences. I've been using the same router for like 5 years.

I would definitely suggest saving a few bucks and upgrading your own HD and RAM, if you think you're up to it. The value is horrible to have apple do it. Make sure you're happy with the processor, though. You won't be changing that. There's not a huge difference between the macbook processors, though, honestly.

"That's Peter Graves scat! I'd know it anywhere!"
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the8thark

 
Member Since: Jan 27, 2007
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Just remember the Apple wireless base stations are just that wireless base stations only. You need your old router as well to make them work. The Apple base stations just transmit the internet signal from your router wirelessly to your computers in your house.
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J.Fo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
Ive got a wireless home network, but I don't need an Apple specific router for a MB or MBP?
No need for an Apple-brand wireless router. If you already have a WiFi network set up at your home, you'll be able to connect to it with any Mac. When I bought my MacBook two years ago, I had it connected to a Microsoft wifi router. Aside from the fact that it was an old slow 802.11b router, it worked just fine.

However, I upgraded that old thing to a Time Capsule (which is basically an Airport Extreme base station with a built-in hard drive). I really like it because it (a) let's me wirelessly backup the hard drive on my laptop and (b) is loads easier to set up and control than any other router I've encountered. Apple is really good about making things simple and automatic. That extends to their wireless routers as well.

Still, if yours is working perfectly fine no need to change. Just enter your network's password and you should be good to go.
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Sawday

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
Thanks,


...Ive got a wireless home network...

S.
Then stand by for some magic! Within a few seconds of switching on your new mac it wil find the network and ask if you want to connect to it. If you are used to the hassle of connecting a PC to a network you'll be blown away.

Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get.
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
Just remember the Apple wireless base stations are just that wireless base stations only. You need your old router as well to make them work. The Apple base stations just transmit the internet signal from your router wirelessly to your computers in your house.
I'm not sure what you were trying to say here, but that's incorrect. You do not need "your old router to make them work." They work just fine as standalone routers.
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Scotty

 
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Ah brilliant. Thanks for clearing that up for me guys, hopefully il get myself sorted out soon!

S.
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osxx

 
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Apple has one advantage well maybe two with their Airport Express you can have a remote printer being fed through the USB port also you can send your iTunes playlists
to your Hi-Fi wirelessly and bit perfect through the optical out. The latter I found to be
very useful everyday.
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sau124

 
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also, you will need an external drive for backing up the mac. It is highly recommended since you are a new user and it will save you a lot of time reinstalling everything.

Some people will advice you to get the Apple stuff, yes it is good to have wireless backup of data with Apple product but you can initially just use any hard drive (500GB preferred, but will work with 250GB too) for backing up and save some dough there....

Feel free to ask more questions...

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MYmacROX

 
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Before purchasing iWork, you should give Neo Office and OpenOffice a try. They are both free downloads and are very much similar to MS Office suite. Pretty much all you need.
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the8thark

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
I'm not sure what you were trying to say here, but that's incorrect. You do not need "your old router to make them work." They work just fine as standalone routers.
I had a long discussion on this topic with a topic on this forum here. And from that discussion I got the impression you need your router and the AEBS. That they do not work as stand alone routers.

But if you say they (AEBS etc) are a stand alone router sure I'll believe you. I just am unsure on this. Getting conflicting information always. I think I'll only know when I purchase one and use it.
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IvanLasston

 
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The problem with FLAs and TLAs is you are never quite sure what people are talking about. (Four letter acronyms and three letter acronyms if you don't know what I'm talking about)

AEBS could mean Airport Extreme or Airport Express Base station.

Anyway - you can use either the Extreme or Express as a router. The Extreme has more features but the Express can do base level NAT translation for you for up to 10 users whereas the Extreme supports up to 50 users wireless. The Extreme also has 3 more gigabit ports so you can use it as a switch.

I have a user for sure that has an Airport Extreme, connected to a DSL modem being used as a router. The usb hub has a USB drive connected and is being used as a time machine backup. You don't need another router - unless you have a something specific i don't know about(Only thing I couldn't find was a dynamic dns updater built in). The Airport Extreme and Airport Express, can both do Network Address translation and serve as DHCP, filter content, and access.

Edit - one thing I did read in your other thread, you may have an all in one modem/router - like a 2 wire or some such. So you would use that to do the routing function and just use an Extreme or Express to create another wireless network. I do have a similar setup where I have a router and I use a Time Capsule for making the Wireless network. So I still stand by the original statement, the Airport Express or Extreme both can be used as a router.
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