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Advice on Setting Up a New Old Mac

EvanderEvander Disappointed FatherRegistered User regular
So, I just refurbished a late 2006 MacBook to replace my HP laptop that just died. I've never used a Mac before, so I'm trying to get everything set up right.

Any advice or pointers anyone has? I upped the HDD from 60gb to 640gb, I picked up a 2tb to use for the Time Machine program, and I'm waiting for the Oct 20th event before buying a copy of iLife (in case a new one is announced). Is there anything I'm overlooking?

Evander on

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    HIGH NOONHIGH NOON Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Is this an intel-based Mac? what's the condition of it (read: the battery)? What version of OSX are you running? Personally I wouldn't put anything past Leopard on that thing (read: Snow Leopard or the new one that's being announced next week.)

    HIGH NOON on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    It's the first gen that had intel processors. I've already replaced the battery (old one was completely dead) and it had snow leapord running on it when I got it (why wouldn't you install SnowLeopard/Lion?)

    Evander on
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    floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Isn't Snow Leopard supposed to be easier on hardware? At least, that's the impression I got when I upgraded my aluminum Macbook from Leopard to Snow Leopard. Everything ran noticeably faster. In "Mac years", 2006 isn't that old.

    As was already mentioned, maybe replace the battery if it needs it. Otherwise, extend your iLife waiting policy to iWork, if you were thinking of getting it. If not, Office 2011 is coming out pretty soon for Mac, and it's supposed to beat the piss out of 2008. I assume you've run software update. I dunno. Just go through the different settings in system preferences, and tailor things to your preferences. Definitely make use of Expose. I can't overstate its awesomeness. Arrange the dock to your liking, add stacks as you see fit. If you feel like it, throw in a Bootcamp partition (all it takes is a bit of time). I don't really know what else to say. Things really just worked out of the box when I bought mine, and I haven't had any problems whatsosever for nearly 2 years.

    floobie on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    I guess the thing to make clear is that there is no "out of the box" here. It's an orphaned unit that has been lying around. My brother installed Snow Leopard and Office 08 on it over the summer, just because he was bored and had the software, but that is it. No ilife, no nothing else.

    So, new question, bootcamp versus paralells? Is one inherently better than the other?

    Evander on
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    floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Bootcamp is a separate partition. Parallels (or VMware Fusion, for that matter) run "virtually" within OSX. So, for gaming, Bootcamp will be far superior. For less intensive stuff, Parallels seems to be pretty solid. If there are any specific programs you'd use, I'd have a search on the internet to see how they run.

    You're probably set for productivity software. iLife will add a lot of functionality. I particularly like iPhoto... very good for organizing and making "the usual" edits to photos. You can use the usual suite of browsers, save for internet explorer... Firefox seems to run the fastest for me right now. You can download Steam for Mac. Might as well grab VLC for playing movies of any format. If you use an instant messenger, there's a Mac version of MSN, or you can download Adium which will work with a whole bunch of different services, or use iChat, if you use AIM or Google Talk (or Mobile Me, or Jabber). You can grab Transmission or uTorrent for downloading LEGAL NON-COPYRIGHTED torrents. You can grab GIMP as a free open source Photoshop equivalent and Inkscape as a free open source Illustrator equivalent... though both are inferior to the real deal, in my opinion. I've literally just gone through my applications folder and picked random stuff out. Uh... Put files in your home folder. It looks like a house. Can I assume you're familiar with how to install and remove applications? Whatever... to install most of them, drag the .app file into the applications folder, and you're done. To remove it, just delete that file.

    Is there anything else you want to be able to do with it?

    floobie on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    thanks for all the tips

    let me think... I would love a good OneNote replacement. I'm also open to hearing about audio recording software (audacity is nice, but is there something nicer?)

    Evander on
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    floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    thanks for all the tips

    let me think... I would love a good OneNote replacement. I'm also open to hearing about audio recording software (audacity is nice, but is there something nicer?)

    I'm not that familiar with note taking software. I usually just take notes in a regular word processor. But, Evernote seems to be pretty popular. A google search yielded this article: http://en.onsoftware.com/5-mac-alternatives-to-onenote/ So, you can give some of those a try.

    For audio recording, you have lots of options. Arguably the best options. If you're hardcore into it, there's Logic Studio or Logic Express (stripped down version). There's also Protools, of course. None of these could be described as cheap, though. If you're getting iLife, you'll be getting Garageband with it, which is pretty good depending on your needs. Definitely nicer, and with much more "stuff" than Audacity. I seem to recall some popular hiphopster recording his albums with Garageband. So, it is decently capable.

    floobie on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited October 2010
    Evander wrote: »
    thanks for all the tips

    let me think... I would love a good OneNote replacement. I'm also open to hearing about audio recording software (audacity is nice, but is there something nicer?)

    Circus Ponies Notebook is amazing for note taking.

    Esh on
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