I am finally switching to MAC!

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Armanius, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    I just placed an order with Amazon (via our affiliate link of course) for an 11" Mac Book Air.

    I've meaning to switch for at least a year or two, but could never pull the trigger. Then when I was about to pull the trigger, I wasn't sure if I should get an iMac first or a MBA first. The need for a new desktop is probably more real than a laptop as my PC desktop is about to run out of hard drive space. But I think I'll get much more use out of the MBA given that it will go everywhere with me, sort of like the iPad does (or did now).

    So for you long time Mac users, any words of wisdom for someone making the switch? Any "must have" programs? I think I'll get the Mac version of Lightroom once I get an iMac. Other than that, any "must have" software for Mac's?

    Woohooo!!!
     
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  2. Will

    Will SC All-Pro

    Aug 30, 2010
    England
    Congratulations and welcome to the enlightenment :)
    You won't regret it.
    Macs come with most of what you need but visit the apps store and have a browse. My latest purchase is Pages, which is cheap and wonderful
    Also get and external drive and set it up with time machine (the free incremental back up software that comes free with all macs)
     
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  3. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Timemachine +1

    So easy to use!

    Only caveat on mac: do you do personal finances on your PC? Quicken Mac is horrid, horrid, horrid. If you don't, then no worries.
     
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  4. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Is Time Machine a program or the hardware that Apple also sells with 2 or 3 TB of storage space?
     
  5. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    Armanius,

    Time machine is an application that comes with your Mac. basically you connect an external Hard Drive and configure TM with a few clicks and it backs up your Mac.

    One thing - I hope you ordered your MBA with maxed out RAM. They come with 2GB, which is just 'OK'.

    I also suggest you order a connector for an external monitor. The MBA then gives you a super portable mac with full keyboard etc, and when at home or office you can plug in a monitor for that extra space.

    For my portable Macs I always get a second charger - I leave one at home and the other in the bag.

    Have fun, and please post here or PM at any time for help. I run an office load of them, and a house full too.
     
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  6. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Time Capsule is the HW. Don't bother. Though very convenient, the drives are prone to failure.

    Time Machine comes on every mac. I bought a 500GB G mini drive for my macbook and every couple of weeks time machine pops up and says "your drive hasn't been backed up in 10 days" (or whatever). I plug in the G drive, and it backs up everything while I work.

    For my iMac, I have a 2GB Western Digital that stays plugged in and I just turn it on every once in a while. It's really easy.

    What's really cool is, once you back up to the Time Machine, you can restore a user to a new drive any time (let's say you upgrade HDD size, or get a new machine).

    There's definitely some "mental transition" from PC to Mac -- mostly around file management -- but once you get your mind around it, it flows pretty smoothly, and many of the things you need to do, are easier on a Mac (like Backup, networking, wireless configuration, virus management, sharing with other computers in your home, music management, etc.)
     
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  7. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Good points. 2GB will run. 4GB is really the comfort level (I've got 8 in my MBP). And I don't think you can change the RAM after the fact on the MBA.

    I've got the wireless aluminum KB for my MBP. Bluetooth works very well (though not 100% perfect), but the wireless mouse and keyboard are a nice combo with a mac laptop.

     
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  8. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Real Name:
    Sue
    Congrats on your choice. You are going to have a lot of fun with that little gem!
     
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  9. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Thanks for all the info everyone! I got the 4 gig RAM version with 128 gig of HD. Apple doesn't allow more than 4 gig in the MBA.

    Anyone using their MBA to run Lightroom? I'm sure the 11" screen is probably too small to edit photos, but I could connect it to the external monitor as Pelao has suggested. Hopefully, the MBA is powerful enough to handle LR.
     
  10. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    I ran LR on a MBP 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo and 4GB RAM. The 8GB really has helped in terms of instant speed, but the 4GB was do-able. The screen will let you down (size and color gamut). I got a Dell IPS as an external, though, which is quite nice.

    Does your MBA have thunderbolt port? Then you can hang a thunderbolt external drive, and it will be very fast.
     
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  11. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    The MBA won't arrive until tomorrow. But it is the new one with a Thunderbolt port. Have they begun making Thunderbolt external drives already?
     
  12. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
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  13. Will

    Will SC All-Pro

    Aug 30, 2010
    England
    If, like mine, it has a solid state drive, that will help its performance and partly compensate for the limit on RAM
     
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  14. thekeddi

    thekeddi SC Top Veteran

    539
    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    I have the 11" new model MBA with 2 gigs of ram. It happily runs photoshop CS5 while plugged into my 27" external monitor. They are amazing little laptops!!!!

    I take mine everywhere and also advise a couple of chargers. I have one at my desk and one next to the bed :)

    There are loads of cool photography apps in the app store! Have fun shopping in there :)

    Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the dark side!!!! Hehehe
     
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  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Armando, congrats on the move to sanity.
    The most important thing to remember about a Mac is...
    They are intuitive. If you get hung up on something, just sit back for a second, think about what you want to do and then do it.
    Like Starwars.... Use the force Armando, use the force.

    Get at least a 1 Tb external hard drive. Use Time Machine on a schedule that suites your needs but no more than 48hr intervals.
    Remember if a gremlin shows up, you can only go back to the most recent backup.
    Good luck
     
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  16. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf SC Top Veteran

    868
    Apr 25, 2011
    Western NC
    I would like to suggest another option you may want to consider. I see the MacBook Air comes with the 128gig SSD drive. And since this is a laptop, you will be probably traveling with it. I would highly recommend you buy an external portable drive of at least the same size as your internal drive and use a program like SuperDuper to duplicate your internal drive. This should be at least a USB 2.0 powered drive. I see MacSales selling an external 128gig SSD for a little over $200 that would match your internal drive.

    Take this drive with you while traveling and use SuperDuper to make an exact copy of your internal drive daily. If you're internal drive ever fails you can boot from your external travel drive and keep working. Depending on how often you've backed up your work you won't have lost very much.

    I also concur with others and have a much larger drive that stays at home and you would use Apple's included software application Time Machine that does incremental backups. The only problem with this method is if its your only backup and you're internal hard drive has failed it can take a bit of time to recover the data from your Time Machine backup to a new internal drive.

    Whereas, also having a small portable drive that's duplicated your internal drive, you can keep working without a big hiccup.

    Think INSURANCE INSURANCE INSURANCE. Ask anyone who has had a disk failure and what they miss the most is those precious digital photos that most likely can't be recovered.
     
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  17. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf SC Top Veteran

    868
    Apr 25, 2011
    Western NC
    A free program I use many times everyday I'm on the computer is: Quicksilver Once you've used it you won't know how easy it is to launch all your apps and many of your favorite documents, contacts etc.
     
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  18. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    Once you use Mac... You never go Back!!! I have saved £1200 by not having to replace the PC for 2 years by having a Mac so they are cheaper in the long run!! I love mine but it is an iMac so has to stay home when I go away.:biggrin:
     
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  19. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    For finance, my personal favorite is iBank.
     
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  20. thekeddi

    thekeddi SC Top Veteran

    539
    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    I don't use any backup programs. I have external drives and just drag and drop all of my important stuff every day. If my hard drive fails or I need to reformat I have no worries.

    I have the little 500 gig travel hard drive that fits in a pocket for when I'm not home and as soon as photos go on the MacBook they are transferred to the hard drive.

    Google is great for documents too. Just email them to yourself and they are safe in the cloud!

    Dropbox is another option and you can access stuff from any computer by just logging in.

    And for all my best photos Flickr is my friend. They are uploaded full size and safe in case of fire, flood etc :)
     
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