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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > What to do first with my new iMac?

What to do first with my new iMac?
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Nov 19, 2006, 11:31 AM
 
Hello, I will soon be a switcher and have my very own 24" iMac (2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB SDRAM, NVIDIA GEFORCE 7600 and 500GB ATA Drive)

From my Windows XP days (Soon to be over - yipee), I needed to do certain things when first installing the OS, you know, defrag, update patches etc.

I know the operating system will be pre-loaded and I probably don't need to do anything but enjoy. However if there are things I should do at first can you let me know? Right from brining the box home if poss?

Thanks loads and thanks for giving me the info to switch!

Jono
     
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Nov 19, 2006, 11:42 AM
 
You should, as quickly as possible, change the shipping address to my house.

Seriously though, the only thing I can think of right now is to download StuffIt Expander, and to do all of the updates.
     
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Nov 19, 2006, 11:49 AM
 
Well the short answer to your question is Have Fun! I always think the best advice to give a switcher is to forget about Windoze and follow your instincts. It is said that Macs are more intuitive and I tend to agree with that. Perhaps a good place to start is to familiarise yourself with keyboard shortcuts, and no better place to do that than here:
Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts
For slightly more advanced stufff this is also a good page:
Apple (UK and Ireland) - Pro - Mac OS X Tips
If you need to find out specifics, search these forums because there is a heap of info within, and if you can't find it just ask. Plus the Apple site of course. The Mac Help in the menu bar in Finder is quite comprehensive too.
Congratulations on the switch, I crossed over eight years ago and will never, never go back...

Just another point; when you are up and running go to Software Update (under the blue Apple top left of menubar in Finder - also accessible through System Preferences) and get all your Apple software up to date...
"Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

Buddha
     
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Nov 19, 2006, 12:25 PM
 
1. make sure firewall is turned on.

2. forget defragging----it's a thing of the past. no questions---just forget it.

3. tuodor is right about stuffit expander.

4. are you getting microsoft office? if not download neooffice.

5. helpful applications like macsolitaire,flip4mac,and dropic will be in your house of cards soon.

6. horse around with it and have fun. play a dvd.
imac g3 600
imac g4 800 superdrive
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Nov 19, 2006, 07:44 PM
 
Once you turn it on for the first time you will register the machine and OS, and then it will automatically run Software Update to update the OS and the installed applications (such as iLife which includes iTunes, iPhoto etc).

No need to worry about defragging anymore, it's not done on the Mac. The only thing you can do once a week/bi-weekly is repair the disk permissions which is done through the Disk Utility application located in the Utilites folder (which is inside of the Applications folder).
     
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Nov 23, 2006, 10:06 PM
 
Download macjanitor. This app will run the maintanence program (daily, weekly, monthly). If you leave your mac on all night long, OS X will do this on its own so you won't need it. I have had my 24 inch Imac for about a month and love this thing. Awwwwwsome.
Randy
     
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Nov 23, 2006, 11:07 PM
 
Pop in the system disk and do a fresh install of the OS, thus getting rid of GBs of unneeded languages, printer drivers, and other crap software you don't need like Test Drive of Microsoft Office.
     
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Nov 24, 2006, 12:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by MovieCutter View Post
Pop in the system disk and do a fresh install of the OS, thus getting rid of GBs of unneeded languages, printer drivers, and other crap software you don't need like Test Drive of Microsoft Office.
just how much can you save by doing this? remember he has a 500g drive. is the average switcher even capable of doing this? i did it when i installed panther on my 10g clamshell but that was a different situation.
imac g3 600
imac g4 800 superdrive
ibook 466
     
JKT
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Nov 24, 2006, 06:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by bearcatrp View Post
Download macjanitor. This app will run the maintanence program (daily, weekly, monthly). If you leave your mac on all night long, OS X will do this on its own so you won't need it. I have had my 24 inch Imac for about a month and love this thing. Awwwwwsome.
Randy
You don't need this since 10.4 - if your Mac was asleep or off at the time they were meant to run, launchd will run those cron jobs for you after you wake your mac from sleep.

Software to install immediately (all free):

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/17787 - Flip4Mac wmv player plug-in - this allows you to play back non-DRM'ed windows media files in Quicktime and also installs a browser plug-in that lets you do the same when visiting web pages).

http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/8428 - Real Player - for playback of Real media, either in your browser or in the standalone player. Incidentally it is a lot less offensive on the Mac than it is on the PC.

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/8270 - DivX Player and Quicktime codec - ditto the above. You can ignore the player and the other pay for software, but it intstalls a Quicktime codec that allows you to play the majority of .avi media files you'll find on the web in Quicktime.

http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/20954 - Stuffit Expander - some software downloads are compressed using a proprietary format (.sit or .sitx). Stuffit Expander is needed to decompress them.
     
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Nov 24, 2006, 10:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by gooser View Post
just how much can you save by doing this? remember he has a 500g drive. is the average switcher even capable of doing this? i did it when i installed panther on my 10g clamshell but that was a different situation.
If you strip everything - like PowerPC code, all languages except one and all printer drivers except the one you really need then you can save about 4-5GB!
1% of HD space? Almost not worth it!
***
     
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Nov 24, 2006, 10:28 AM
 
i will second everything jkt said.
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Jono_UK  (op)
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Nov 24, 2006, 02:27 PM
 
This is all great stuff. I hope it will make my switch as easy as possible.

I am thinking of buying an external HDD connected via firewire 800. Should I do a backup right away and how should I configure the new drive i.e. allocated sectors etc.

Can I do a major big backup with the software (Backup) that comes with .Mac? I have read this doesn't allow full drive backup - do I even need to do a full drive backup at first - will it all be on the disks provided in box? Or should I use software such as Superduper?

Thanks - excited soon to be a switcher - Jono
( Last edited by Jono_UK; Nov 24, 2006 at 02:46 PM. )
     
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Nov 24, 2006, 03:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by MovieCutter View Post
Pop in the system disk and do a fresh install of the OS, thus getting rid of GBs of unneeded languages, printer drivers, and other crap software you don't need like Test Drive of Microsoft Office.
I second this. I hate that it installs all those languages and extra junk you never use. Do all the updates, and then I suggest busting out iMovie and making some killer home movies that your PC could never do.
     
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Nov 24, 2006, 03:09 PM
 
Also, flip4mac so you can play windows media files in quicktime. I'd avoid real player. The quality is so horrid it's not worth watching anyway. Oh, and I can't suggest this enough:

VLC. It's an open source video player. It will play ANYTHING. Screw the hard to find or figure out 'updates' or 'codecs' for quicktime. VLC does it better, with fullscreen too.
     
JKT
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Nov 24, 2006, 03:40 PM
 
While wmv and Real media quality is pretty bad relative to H.264, it is still necessary to have them installed if you do any browsing. Especially if you use the BBC websites which the OP may do as they are from the UK.

VLC is nice to have but it can't actually play everything - it'll fail on anything encoded with the newer wmv codec. Personally, I also prefer the interface of MPlayer over that of VLC and it is able to play just as many/few media types as VLC.

Jono - when you get your external, you could use the installer/software restore disks that come with the Mac to install the OS and bundled software on the external. There are also other third party apps that will allow you to clone your internal hard drive to the external. The Backup application is not for cloning or synchronising - it creates archives of the backed up files and then creates incremental backups for files that have changed since the last time it was run.
     
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Nov 24, 2006, 06:28 PM
 
Really, Can you point to any documentation on this? I checked apples web site and doesn't mention this (doc was dated jan 06).

[QUOTE=JKT;3217341]You don't need this since 10.4 - if your Mac was asleep or off at the time they were meant to run, launchd will run those cron jobs for you after you wake your mac from sleep.
     
JKT
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Nov 25, 2006, 06:40 AM
 
Perhaps I should have said, it should run them:

http://forums.macnn.com/90/mac-os-x/...rforming-your/
     
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Nov 25, 2006, 09:36 PM
 
I find it's worth running permissions in Disk Utility on new installs occasionally.

One thing I would recommend is to create a 'clean' admin user right at the start. This is sometimes useful when troubleshooting later (you switch users and see if the problem still occurs). Those-who-know also seem to recommend your main account NOT being admin. OS X is pretty damned secure but IF there is going to be a security exploit, that's one of the likely routes. Unix users never run as 'root' habitually, though Mac users do now. When you have created the admin user, you can use that to authenticate when installing stuff and so on.
     
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Nov 25, 2006, 11:52 PM
 
The 'Root' user is disabled by default in a fresh Mac OS X install. There is no point in making an admin user and then running your main account as a standard user. After all, any significant change to system files etc requires you to authenticate whether you are working from an admin or standard account. Therefore the standard account gives you no added protection. It is hardly necesssary to worry about theoretical threats, anyway.

Also, forget about repairing permissions unless you have a problem and, even if you do, the procedure will rarely help anyway.
     
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Nov 26, 2006, 06:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcpc View Post
Also, forget about repairing permissions unless you have a problem and, even if you do, the procedure will rarely help anyway.
Sadly, I agree. I've never had any luck with repairing permissions. It definitely doesn't hurt to do it once in a while though.

I prefer MainMenu. It's a great program for cleaning up all the junk that builds up. It runs from your menubar and does quite a few things. You can set up your own "playlist" of maintenance tasks to run too. MainMenu 1.7 - MacUpdate
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JKT
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Nov 26, 2006, 08:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcpc View Post
The 'Root' user is disabled by default in a fresh Mac OS X install. There is no point in making an admin user and then running your main account as a standard user. After all, any significant change to system files etc requires you to authenticate whether you are working from an admin or standard account. Therefore the standard account gives you no added protection. It is hardly necesssary to worry about theoretical threats, anyway.
As a Standard user you (in principle*) have zero access to anything other than your own user home folder, unless you input an admin password. However, as an Admin, you have unlimited access to the /Applications folder and root level /Library folder (as well as your own home folder). If you run as Admin, you run the risk of having the /Library folder being compromised which will affect all other users of your system, whereas, if you run as Standard, you don't. There is a big difference between the two and running as a Standard account does give you an added level of protection. Not to mention that, should someone learn what your account password is, the only thing they can do is muck up your own home folder and not anything else, whereas an admin password will let them total the entire system. Given that the only inconvenience to running a Standard account is that you have to know and enter an admin password if you wish to install anything in /Applications or /Library, and the same is true for some System Preference settings, it is pretty stupid to not make use of the added level of security that you get running as a Standard account.

* Assuming there are no exploits that can bypass the need to input an admin password.
     
Jono_UK  (op)
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Nov 26, 2006, 01:45 PM
 
I know from my windows days that when I install a programme and then remove it as I didn't like it, Windows had a habit of leaving bits no bobs on the hard drive or within the registry.

Will this problem be a thing of the past? Jono
     
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Nov 26, 2006, 02:15 PM
 
This is just me, and I'm a bit odd this way, but the first think I'd do is take it out of the box. Second would be to power it up.
     
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Nov 26, 2006, 04:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jono_UK View Post
I know from my windows days that when I install a programme and then remove it as I didn't like it, Windows had a habit of leaving bits no bobs on the hard drive or within the registry.

Will this problem be a thing of the past? Jono
Thing of the past! The only thing left behind when you get rid of a program will be plists and harmless things like that. Google up App Delete. You can drag a program into it and it will put everything associated with that program in the trash. Just be careful when you're using it that you don't delete important files.
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JEB
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Nov 26, 2006, 09:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Wiskedjak View Post
This is just me, and I'm a bit odd this way, but the first think I'd do is take it out of the box. Second would be to power it up.
THIRDLY, get a nice espresso drink (preferably, double-shot, really big size, to match the 24" screen).

* As you chug your drink, you might want to watch:

This Guy
http://www.apple.com/macosx/quicktours/viewall.html


Eventually, you'll be:

* moving treasured files, Music & Photos, if you have any on your old computer . . . iPhoto & iTunes will manage all that stuff verrrrry nicely . . . I just helped my sister-in-law, and we did the migration with an iPod (fortunately, she had a usb connector for the PC laptop, and then faster firewire for the Mac)

* learn to use & setup "Mail" app --with an ISP (pop) mail acct, gMail, or Yahoo Plus-- OSX Mail = it's pretty amazing, especially compared to many people I know who still rely on web-browser-based mail acct's -- it integrates nicely with the system, and, you'll like later Spotlight searches that give results for your e-mail verrrrry quiclykly...

*Other good Mac apps to know are iCal & Address Book (just start typing in stuff)....last winter holiday, we finally got rid of our old-beat up family address book (you can printotut all your contacts from Address Book....too) . .. .

* (Nice idea to get to know these now! there will be some exciting updates for Mail, iCal, and tons more when OSX upgrade for Leopard comes out this spring)!!

* Notice your web/software download security worries will be lessened to nearly 100pct. (Yes, you can breathe again freely . . . ) So, for FREE, get a 2nd web-browser: FIREFOX . . . . Oh, yeah, our iMac llikes GOOGLEEARTH, too....

* at VersionTracker, you might like to download and use "iClock" (FREE + lets you customize your menubar clock fonts/sizes/colors/format...)...then you just de-activate the regular clock in System Preferences

* Well, thought I'd pass this on. In under 3 min, I solved the problem of trying to mute or lower/raise the volume quickly in iTunes when the phone rings, etc -- esp. when streaming over AirTunes to the stereo in our house.

"Sizzling Keys" for iTunes: FREE

http://yellowmug.com/sk4it/

Lets you customize keys -- to work when you're in the middle of *any* other tasks -- for our desktop iMac, I could simply & easily program unused keys to do this:

F1 - Mute iTunes
F2 - Volume Up
F3 - Volume Down

What I really like, too, is that you can set the Song Titles + Artwork to "Fade In-Out" between songs.

* Also for menubar, kinda nice, cheap: "WeatherPop" . . . and for that nice big screen, buy and install "Marine Aquarium Time" screensaver . . . (that is, if you have any moola left after this purchase.....)
'Simplify. Simplify.' --Thoreau
     
JEB
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Nov 26, 2006, 10:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by JEB View Post
* Also for menubar, kinda nice, cheap: "WeatherPop" . . .

Hi again -- Wow, just noticed you're in Nottingham, UK . . . I just checked . . . WeatherPop actually can track weather where you are . . . it's now 10C/50F . . . you can set for metric, standard temps., or both. About the same here today; we had rain earlier.

Now, if you haven't quite gotten to that drink yet, then: Cheers!
'Simplify. Simplify.' --Thoreau
     
Jono_UK  (op)
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Nov 27, 2006, 03:30 AM
 
More great posts to help me - THANKS loads!

All I need now is the computer itself! Est delivery is this Friday - very excited...

Thanks again,
Jono.
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 10:03 AM
 
I just got my imac g4 off ebay. It only has a 40gb hard drive and Im thinking saving 4-5g might be worth it for me. Is it hard to reinstall the os? And where during the process do I deselect the languages and printer drivers? Is there anything else that will save me room? First time mac user here. I burned some of my mp3's on a data disc from my pc. The mac wont read them. I'm thinking of connecting them together somehow to transfer my music and pics. I have alot of questions. Maybe I should just start a new thread..lol
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by keldave17 View Post
I just got my imac g4 off ebay. It only has a 40gb hard drive and Im thinking saving 4-5g might be worth it for me. Is it hard to reinstall the os? And where during the process do I deselect the languages and printer drivers? Is there anything else that will save me room? First time mac user here. I burned some of my mp3's on a data disc from my pc. The mac wont read them. I'm thinking of connecting them together somehow to transfer my music and pics. I have alot of questions. Maybe I should just start a new thread..lol

Do you have firewire on your old PC?
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 01:25 PM
 
Unfortunately no. Its pretty old. I suppose that wouldve helped things along.
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 04:12 PM
 
standard free applications I install first on a new computer :

iWebsites
Stuffit expander 11
MS Messenger
A-messenger
Firefox
VLC
Windows media player
Audio Hijack Pro
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