What does a new mac user need to know?

<p>I'm happy to report I just picked up a new 13inch macbook pro :D</p>

<p>so...this is my first mac everrr...what should I know/learn? </p>

<p>post away

<p>buy microsoft office for mac</p>

<p>or just use openoffice and stop contributing to the microsoft monopoly</p>

<p>There's nothing wrong with the Microsoft monopoly as long as they make good products :D</p>

<p>How does it compare to iWork? It's cheaper, but is it worth it?</p>

<p>you're not immune to viruses so don't go downloading from shady websites.</p>

<p>I must reluctantly conclude that it is probably a good idea to buy MS Office for the Mac, primarily so that you will have the best chance of compatibility with documents from others. I like iWork, and particularly Keynote, which runs rings around PowerPoint. Pages and Numbers are very nice applications too, but neither does a great job of exchanging formatted documents back and forth between MS Office for Windows. You can get the student version for about $150, and supposedly the next version (2011) will fix most of the complaints that Mac users have now, most notably the lack of the ability to run Excel Macros from Windows users.</p>

<p>Compatibility is incredibly important. I have open office on my computer, but the formatting when switching between that and Word is such a pain that I write all my papers in the computer lab. Working in the lab also makes it easier to focus on the work, but that's a separate issue.</p>

<p>Microsoft Office Ultimate costs $60 - don't buy retail if you're a college student
<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-us/default.aspx%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-us/default.aspx&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>If you just need word processing, google docs is a good option. Microsoft is trying hard to compete with google in that regard so they have microsoft office web now available to live.com users (go register a hotmail.com address for it).</p>

<p>If you are doing heavy presentation or excel work(stats/finance etc.) then buying a copy of office might be a better idea.</p>

<p>I agree that compatibility can be a big issue with mac computers, but if you do some research on any programs or peripherals you may use, you can avoid some trouble down the road.</p>

<p>That Microsoft Office Ultimate Deal does not look like it includes MS Office for the Mac (2008).</p>

<p>My favorite Mac trick is to make documents into .pdf files when I email them. To do so, just select 'Print' from the file menu, then hit the 'PDF' button in the lower-left corner of the Print window. Select 'Save as pdf', and you're done!</p>

<p>@ALF - Microsoft Office for Windows has the same feature under the "Save As" menu :D</p>

<p>tbh, compatibility is/should be rarely an issue, I use OSX/Windows/Ubuntu on my computers and never run into compatibility issues, as long as you save them to the correct formats, such as remembering to save as a .doc instead of a .docx(Microsoft's Office Open XML format) in Word or saving as a .doc in Open Office instead of a .odt. The most trouble you will run into is formatting issues, and even with that, more oft than not, unless you are doing some fancy template stuff in Word(which, don't get me wrong, some, but not many, may need), you usually won't be able to tell.</p>

<p>As for things you NEED to know, I don't know you're background so I can't give a complete answer, but I'll carpet bomb this one:</p>

<p>General Things:
-Generally speaking, in OSX, if you think, oh I wish I could drag that straight there, even across multiple programs, you probably can (which is very nice for most people)
-Chrome Beta is my browser of choice for OSX, but you also have the nice options of Opera and Firefox too.
-VLC is a must-have, it will play any media thrown at it, except blu-ray discs atm, but I''m sure it will in the future
-Adium is imo, by far the best chat client for Mac, it supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC, GChat, FBChat, and I could go on, but you get the point... It also has the symbol of a cutesy little duck who opens his eyes when you are online and closes them when you go offline.
-TextEdit basically is the same as NotePad in Windows
-.exe's and .msi's will not work on your computer, OSX typically uses .dmg files
-if you need to burn a disc image to a disc, the Disk Utility has that capability
-if you intend on running a virtual machine, I would advise VMWare as the program of choice
-be aware that if you intend on having the dualboot ability, bootcamp makes Windows run seamlessly thanks to all the drivers, but while you can install and run Windows without bootcamp or some Unix or Linux variant, be aware you will be missing a bunch of drivers and things will not behave appropriately (e.g., closing your computer will not sleep it properly, your eject and sound buttons won't work, etc.)
-Macs' sound output is an optical out as well, I didn't realize that for 3 years.
-Also, when using flash drives, your mac will install a bunch of hidden files, do not fear, they aren't anything malicious</p>

<p>Programming and tech related things:
-subversion, ssh, and other convenient services are pre-installed on OSX, always check to make sure it's not already pre-installed before you go off downloading it.
-Fugu is a very good for SFTP purposes
-Emacs for OSX works very well as a text editor, there is also TextWrangler
-Xcode is best supported for Mac, followed by Eclipse, then Netbeans, in terms of IDE's
-OSX is based off of FreeBSD Unix, so the environment is similar (e.g., capitalization matters for directories/files, you use ls for listing files in a directory, etc.)
-Java, Ruby, Python, Perl, and probably some others I'm forgetting come pre-installed
-Downloading and installing Xcode will install in addition to the Xcode editor the g++ and gcc compiler as well as opengl libraries, and a bunch of really cool other libraries</p>

<p>That's all I can think of for now, hope that helps.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot guys.
I'm not sure I understand what "macs sound output is an optical as well"
whats that mean?</p>

<p>thanks again</p>

<p>Check with your university first before buying software. Some universities have computer stores with major discounts for students. For example, mine offers Microsoft Office for $33 for either Windows or Macs.</p>

<p>TOSLINK</a> - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</p>

<p>it allows your computer to send the information via a bit stream that is transmitted through light, so your audio out would have a little red light that flashes out of it into the cable. It's fiber optic audio</p>

<p>My main tip is LEARN TO USE SPACES.</p>

<p>Spaces are a simple implementation of virtual desktops. You can have 6 different desktops. Let's say you want to leave Mail open. Open it in space 1 and it will stay there unless you drag it to another (or control-click on a space, etc. to pick a different one). You then open Safari, Firefox, whatever in space 2. You are working on a paper so you open Pages or Word in space 2. You want to listen to music so you open iTunes in space 4. And so on. You can bind these programs so they always open in a specific space. So when I click on the iTunes icon, I'm moved into space 5 on my Mac and then when I click on Mail I go to space 2. I leave space 1 open so I can go to the desktop or open something odd in an empty space. </p>

<p>What Spaces does is multiply the size of your monitor manyfold. I have Mail open all the time, not minimized. iTunes is open full size. I hit control-2 and go to Mail. (function-f8 takes you to a live screen of all spaces; you can watch a movie play in mini while a page loads in another window and then you select a space by clicking on it.) </p>

<p>The only inconvenience is that you may have a Finder window open in some space and you want a different Finder window but you're taken to the open one. You quickly learn to avoid that by clicking on the desktop and then hitting command-N. You can always move a window to any Space by clicking anywhere on the title bar and hitting control-space#. </p>

<p>There are gazillion shortcuts you'll pick up but Spaces is built in and not many people use it. I find it essential for working well on a laptop. As of this moment, I have iPhoto open in space 1, Mail in 2, two different browsers in 3, vlc in 4, iTunes in 5 and Pages in 6. Spaces works with the Dock so you can move to any space with key commands or by double-clicking on the Dock icon. You set up Spaces in the system preference for it.</p>

<p>that you made a bad purchase.</p>

<p>Although you may think you are funny or witty with a comment like that, all you do is detract from the community, and cowardly at that since you lack any defense, and I'd like to know what you think is a good purchase, because I'm quite positive I could shoot that down in a heartbeat.</p>