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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?" :)

Just switched from Windows


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mesut

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2013
Location: Turkey
Posts: 93
mesut will become famous soon enough
Mac Specs: MBA mid-2013

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Hi, this is my first post in this forum. So hi all

I was a proud owner of a great desktop machine with Windows on it. I decided that I should get a 13" notebook (my original purpose was to get a new ultrabook) and get rid of my beloved desktop because a) I travel a lot, and I needed a computer with me to work (freelance translator), b) I am also a student and a student moves his house frequently in my country. It was nice but also it was more than 10 kg.

So anyway, I went to a store to get an ultrabook. But saw this one (Mid-2013 Macbook Air) and just got it. It is lovely and its battery is still 22% after 2 complete days. I think I used it more than 6 hours actively now.

I want to know some stuff about my new computer. I'll probably come up with more questions but to keep it short, I'll just ask the ones that bug me most.

1- I used to have a BIOS (well it's EFI now) but I don't have one now. How do I get to my computer's BIOS? In case I wanted to boot it with a USB stick. Or maybe fine-tune it at a later time.

2- I wasn't handed a MacOS X disc and it seems I don't have a bootable rescue partition. I heard that Macs are tougher than Windows to break bad enough to need a rescue or a fresh install, but I want to know what my options are here. And to be honest, I wanted to create a couple of backup discs for the OS but... You know, I don't know if it is doable and if it is, how.

3- What free apps should I install to get the most out of Mac? I work with clients who need/demand full MS Office compatibility, I love music (both listening to and making), I love watching movies (seems like a candidate regret for getting a 13" computer), I don't have any other Apple product and not considering getting one in the foreseeable future.

4- So far I am not able to get that special mac user feeling with my computer except that I have a beautiful computer That's not a question actually but I imagined not wanting to go back to Windows or "Wow you can't do that on Windows" moments.

Thanks in advance for the replies.

Funny story how I ended up looking for a mac user forum: I realized I don't have a Delete button on this thing Of course I learned about it now. And a temporary frustration when I thought I was pressing Alt + Q but instead pressing Cmd + Q
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesut View Post
1- I used to have a BIOS (well it's EFI now) but I don't have one now. How do I get to my computer's BIOS? In case I wanted to boot it with a USB stick. Or maybe fine-tune it at a later time.
You don't...there is no "BIOS" with Mac's. As far as "fine tuning"...depends what you want to fine tune...there may be an "app. for that".

I will also mention an Apple program called "Terminal"...which is included with the OS install. I think that Apple's "Terminal" program is probably the closest thing to BIOS in Windows computers.

But you REALLY need to be careful when making adjustments with Terminal. Terminal is a command line type of program..and is actually more "basic" than BIOS. If you forget what you changed/adjusted using Terminal (so you can change it back)...you can really mess up your Mac.

So I would HIGHLY recommend you study up on Terminal...BEFORE using it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesut View Post
2- I wasn't handed a MacOS X disc and it seems I don't have a bootable rescue partition. I heard that Macs are tougher than Windows to break bad enough to need a rescue or a fresh install, but I want to know what my options are here. And to be honest, I wanted to create a couple of backup discs for the OS but... You know, I don't know if it is doable and if it is, how.
Apple stopped using OS install disks a couple OS versions ago.

You certainly should have a "Recovery Partition". To access it...reboot the computer while pressing the two-key combo as "Command + r (FYI...then command key is the one that looks like a 4-leaf clover).

Read this:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4718

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesut View Post
3- What free apps should I install to get the most out of Mac?
A maintenance program called Onyx. This is not something you need to run very often...maybe once every couple months (or longer). I probably don't run it any more than every 6+ months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesut View Post
4- So far I am not able to get that special mac user feeling with my computer except that I have a beautiful computer That's not a question actually but I imagined not wanting to go back to Windows or "Wow you can't do that on Windows" moments.
That's because you haven't used/owned your Mac long enough. After you've used your Mac for some time...and realize that you haven't had a:

- problem for months
- haven't had to deal with antivirus or anti malware programs
- don't have to reinstall the OS periodically (like many Windows users do)
- get great battery life

...then you start to realize the big benefits of Macintosh computers.

Basically...Mac's just work!

Congrats on your 1st Mac purchase...and welcome to Mac-Forums!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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MacInWin

 
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Mac Specs: 2011 MBP, 2008 iMac, iPhone 4S, iPad (Retina), 13" MBP and MacMini

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Welcome to the Mac world! I'll leave some of your questions to others, but will take on a couple.

1. No need to get to a bios. If you want to boot from something other than the default drive, hold down the Option Key as soon as you hear the boot sound, keep holding it down until a screen appears that shows the options you have for boot--the Recovery HD, the main HD and any USB stick you have inserted, if it's bootable. Here's a link to Apple that describes it.

2. The Recovery HD partition should be there if the MBA is new. You may not see it until you do the Option-boot from #1, as it is generally not visible to the user until needed.

3. I'll leave that to others to help. It's personal thing. If you demand full MS Office compatibility, you can get Office for Mac. There are free alternatives, although if the documents from Office are complex, they may or may not be perfectly preserved. The more complex the document, the more chancy it gets.

4. The "Wow" moment will come when you realize that unlike Windows machines that need plenty of user maintenance, Macs "just work." It's a beautiful thing.

One comment on battery life. Li-ion batteries don't like deep cycles of power, but prefer to be topped off. So it is generally better to be on external power whenever you can. The purpose of portable machines is to port them around, of course, so go ahead, but if you end up with it on your desk a lot of time, keep it plugged in whenever it's there. That will extend the life of the battery.

Again, welcome to the Mac world!
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MacInWin

 
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Nick wins! Beat me to it!
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mesut

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2013
Location: Turkey
Posts: 93
mesut will become famous soon enough
Mac Specs: MBA mid-2013

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Thanks for the quality answers in such a short notice!

Now BIOS won't be needed because I know how to get to recovery (Command + R) and how to set boot priority (Option -- Well, for me this is Alt, it seems for some keyboards it is Alt, I think there's a similar case with Backspace button- the arrow to the left side, the button on the right top corner).
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
Nick wins! Beat me to it!
No winning or losing. I'm sure we both said things a little bit differently...which complemented both posts!

But yes...I did get my post in first!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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docx

 
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As a fairly new mac user I found it takes a little bit of time to get get rid of the Windows mindset.
No antivirus and no downloading updates every other day, surely this couldn't be right.
However after a few weeks I absolutely loved my mac.
I found this forum and now have access to a wealth of knowledge for any questions or problems I encounter.
In short just stick with it and post your questions here, and soon you will love your mac .
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mesut

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2013
Location: Turkey
Posts: 93
mesut will become famous soon enough
Mac Specs: MBA mid-2013

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
No winning or losing. I'm sure we both said things a little bit differently...which complemented both posts!

But yes...I did get my post in first!

- Nick
Yes, both posts taught me similar but different things, like Command + R and Option (Alt) button's function.

Quote:
Originally Posted by docx View Post
As a fairly new mac user I found it takes a little bit of time to get get rid of the Windows mindset.
No antivirus and no downloading updates every other day, surely this couldn't be right.
However after a few weeks I absolutely loved my mac.
I found this forum and now have access to a wealth of knowledge for any questions or problems I encounter.
In short just stick with it and post your questions here, and soon you will love your mac .
I'm afraid I can't get rid of the Windows mindset so easily. Everything except this computer around me are either Windows or Android. My friend had an iPhone 4S, he was complaining about its restrictions. Then he performed jailbreak and then the phone got a little unstable. So he sold it and got a Galaxy S4. All of my family and friends use Windows and I am their computer guy.

Although there are intense discussions about Windows vs Mac and Android vs iOS, I think it's possible and sometimes the most logical way to combine these all. I mean, we don't have to clear our Windows knowledge in order to use Mac. Same goes the other way. We should just adapt to the newer one.
Now being a guy who used/is using Windows, Mac, Android and iOS; I say it's possible to use Android without hating iOS and I know some people have Windows on their Macbooks and some have Hackintosh in their ultrabooks. Nothing wrong there, and I like that freedom more than any OS is supposed to provide to us.

By the way, the install and uninstall processes... Is it just copy the file to Applications folder to install and remove it from the Applications folder to uninstall? I figured the installation is just copying the file, because I tried to install Wordfast to Mac. I copied the file to desktop so I can install it, but it just opened the application. So, copying does it for most of the times. But it was different with MS Office.
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MacInWin

 
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Installation depends on how the application is packaged. Some have an installer, like MS Office, others are installed simply by dragging the application icon to the Applications folder. If you decide to uninstall, look to see if the application has an uninstaller and run that, otherwise just drag the app to the trash. Form what you said about Wordfast, it's a "drop in Applications folder" application.

- Jake
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Dogbreath

 
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As for listening to music, iTunes works well for me. For music composing/recording, I highly recommend starting with GarageBand. I think GB is only available with the iLife 11 package...or Sound Studio app available at MAS for $30. Either will serve you well until you are fluent in Mac OSX...and beyond that actually. You can make pro recordings with it. You will need a mic interface if you will be multitracking. Of course there is Logic and ProTools for the pro pro.
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mesut

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2013
Location: Turkey
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Yeah, I have GarageBand. But I'm still trying to figure out a way to connect my electro guitar to it. I should get a connector I guess. But not sure if it should convert it to USB or something else. Other than that, I'm not considering multitracking, so that should be enough. GarageBand has a nice interface too.

One other thing is the disappointment when I found out Mac doesn't support NTFS. Well, this was expected somehow, but I also expected a workaround out of the box. I had to download NTFS-3G for that. Sorry for being cheap here and not going for a paid and more stable solution (Medical school here is not cheap, and I spent enough when I got the Macbook Air). It is said to be a good solution with small storage sizes and files, but it is said that it can cause data loss with bigger files and storages.

I read somewhere I don't remember that you can activate NTFS support with a code in terminal, which unlocks Mac's own support for NTFS but it is also said that it causes (not might cause) instability. Does it still cause instability in the system?

My another question is about the apps that came with the computer, like iPhoto. With 128 GB SSD, I find it the logical way to store my archive (music, videos and photos) on an external drive. So I'm on the market for one. I think the "Mac experience" or the "Wow" moment might get closer to me if I can use iPhoto, iTunes and other stuff with my existing archive.
But you know, you can't keep an external drive connected to your portable device forever, this would eliminate the first reason I got Macbook Air: portability. So, if I import (or index, I don't know) my archive into iTunes and iPhoto and other iApplications, what happens when I open one of these apps when the external drive isn't connected? Does it give an error saying "You don't have those files anymore" or something else? Does it try to copy everything to its own folder, say Musics or Movies? Because that would make my point useless
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Dogbreath

 
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About recording your guitar, I mic my amp with a BLUE Snowball USB mic. I then go to System Preferences and set it up there. I am currently on a Windoze box and cannot access my Mac right now (day job), so I cannot elaborate on the set up.

My Mac Mini will not recognize the Snowball if I use a USB hub even though it is powered. Therefore I have to plug the mic directly into my Mini.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesut View Post
I'm afraid I can't get rid of the Windows mindset so easily. Everything except this computer around me are either Windows or Android. My friend had an iPhone 4S, he was complaining about its restrictions. Then he performed jailbreak and then the phone got a little unstable. So he sold it and got a Galaxy S4. All of my family and friends use Windows and I am their computer guy.

Although there are intense discussions about Windows vs Mac and Android vs iOS, I think it's possible and sometimes the most logical way to combine these all.
No system is perfect (computers or otherwise). Everything has its advantages & disadvantages.

Yes...Macintosh computers do cost more...but they certainly are more flexible. Since Apple switched to Intel cpu's in 2006...Apple computers since then have been able to run the Windows OS natively via a "bootcamp" partition.

So YES...you actually can have a Macintosh computer that can run both the Mac OS and Windows "natively" (no performance loss)...just need to reboot the computer.

Of course Windows can also be be run on a Mac via emulation. The disadvantage is some performance loss...but the advantage is you don't need to reboot the computer.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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mesut

 
Member Since: Sep 09, 2013
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It would be great if you can send me a link to the mic you use when you have time. Well, my English falls short on music equipment names, but the tip of the cord that I use to connect to my amplifier is thicker than my notebook, so... I don't know what to do with it.
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docx

 
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You should use a USB interface to connect your guitar to your mac. You can get inexpensive ones but in my experience you get latency issues so its best to spend a little more.
Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could recommend a specific model.
Also, you should get a USB hard disk for backup. Good information here
Official Backup FAQ or Start Backing Up Now!
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