General discussion

Welcome to the Mac forum. Please post tips & Guides here.

Feb 19, 2008 10:15AM PST

This mac forum is to be used to provide tips, guides and solutions for mac users, and users who have been planning on switching to the Macintosh operating system.

This forum will also provide help for future Mac buyers with questions and concerns about making the switch.

Mac users with helpful hints and guides, please post them to this forum. This well help mac users to get the best experience possible using a Mac.

The Mac OS is a great operating system and we would like to share it with as many as

Please remember to follow the Forum Policies when you are posting.

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Casual Tips for New Users
Feb 19, 2008 2:04PM PST

Apple has a podcast available via iTunes called Apple Quick Tips, where each video briefly explains how to perform simple tasks here and there. You can find it here if you are interested. Bear in mind that these are simple tips.

Mac OS X Hints is a great site to refer to for multiple different solutions for any issues you may have. There is also Low End Mac which has some great info for both old and new Macs.


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Why don't you get this stickied at the top?
Feb 24, 2008 4:02AM PST

Might be something to consider. Ask Mr. Macfixit.

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Just a short explainer.
Feb 24, 2008 4:06AM PST

The forum sticky is an odd thing. Post #1 has to be plain and welcoming without any information that will become outdated. This way we can change out the higher numbered posts without breaking links to the sticky.


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Installing Mac OSX
Feb 20, 2008 6:46AM PST

This post is to help with the installation of Mac OSX. First off, make sure that your Mac system could install the operating system. This guide is based on the installation of Mac OSX Leopard, but it will work almost the same way in Tiger. The apple site has the detailed system requirements to install Leopard or Tiger. Here are the links:


Before you start the install, make sure you have all the needed products to perform it. The Mac OS CD?s or DVD?s, Backup media, Application media, and serial numbers for your apps. External drives will be your best backup option. You can buy them very cheap at many retail stores online, or stores which sells computer electronics.

Now for the good part. I will explain the process step by step so it will be easy to follow.

1. Backup all your data (All of it!). This is the most important thing. Losing all your data is such a pain.
2. I will advise to disconnect all peripherals attached to your Mac. Sometimes external drives and other
devices may cause problems. A standard keyboard and mouse should not have any problems.
3. Turn on your Mac and insert the install disk, then hold the C key to boot from the OS X install disk.
4. When the install is loaded, there are many paths to go down here. You can reinstall the operating
system from Time Machine (Leopard?s backup system) or install from the media disk.
5. Before you begin the install, you will need to format the disk if you just replaced it. In the top menu bar; click
utilities then disk utility. There you can reformat,verify repair disk and even partition your drive.
6. To install Tiger or Leopard the hard drive has to be formated in the Mac OS Extended Journaled format. Here is a
link to a site with step by step visuals to format your hard disk for Mac OS. Just make sure you do not format your backup
7. Leopard users, Apple has posted an install pdf so you can follow here:
Tiger users:
8. Users restoring from Time Machine follow the same guide and go to the restore system function page.
9. Reading and following these guides will help you to install OS X successfully with very little problems.
10. For advance users I will advise you to customize you installing by selecting only the apps and tools you need.
This will save a few gigs of space; e.g printer drivers, other fonts ad languages. Click the customize button after
you select your install destination.
11. After installing Mac OS X, a setup assistant will be launched. Follow directions till you get to your desktop. At
this time you can transfer your data, if you did not transfer it using the setup assistant menu.
12. Resist from diving in to all the new goodies, and surfing the waves. Now is the time to update the system. Go to
the apple menu which is located in the top left corner of your desktop. Navigate to software update and
download all the updates for your system.

Note* If you have Apple applications on CD?s or DVD?s install them before you launch software update, this will
install any new updates of the program. At this point I do not advise to install third part applications until
the full update is complete. Some updates require restarting your system. After restart keep checking to
make sure you have installed all updates.

13. At this point you can install all your third party apps. Just make sure they are compatible with the operating
14. For new users to the Mac family installing apps is a little different from other operating systems. Here is
another link which shows how to install apps on a Mac.
15. Customize the OS to your liking.
16.Now is the time to run maintenance for your system. Mac requires very little maintenance because of the
system structure. Your mac is set up to run maintenance scripts at night when it is not in use. There are a few
apps which you can use to maintain your mac when you need it on demand.

Coctail- (Paid software)
Mainmenu- (Free)
Onyx- (Free)

Note* These apps will make sure that your mac runs smooth. The default setup should not hurt your Mac,
for advanced user there are many tools built into these apps to twick your system to your liking.

After refreshing your mac it is now time to enjoy using it.

*Cnet?s provides a mac software page where you can get paid and free apps for your system.
Here is the link:

Good Luck.

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I have a question about using Mac OS,
Jun 21, 2008 4:17AM PDT

I am getting tired of all the problems with Microsoft's constant problems and costs due to having to upgrade or get left out. I have XP SP3 on my computer and microsoft is trying to make everyone upgrade to Vista so they can stop all updates or any further assistance with XP. I have been wondering if my IBM compatible pc could be setup using the current Mac OS ? I don't like the problems with Vista and I feel like microsoft is forcing everyone to go to a much more problematic OS.

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"my IBM compatible pc could be setup using the current Mac..
Jun 21, 2008 4:24AM PDT

"if my IBM compatible pc could be setup using the current Mac OS ?"

We are not allowing such discussions here as it violates your agreement to use that OS. If you find a discussion about that, it won't be here under the current rules.

-> And these rules are not up for debate. Forums that allow such tend to descend into some sort of hellish condition where you only find pleas for help on cracked software.

This place hopefully will avoid this.

-> In closing, go try a Mac at the Apple store and see if you like it.

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Quick tip. Apple site in many languages.
Feb 20, 2008 9:15AM PST
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Free Mac apps.
Feb 23, 2008 6:50AM PST

This guide is to provide Mac users who made the switch and is looking for applications which are equivalent to some of the applications which they used in windows. Also, I will provide websites where you can download free, opensource and paid applications for your Mac.

Messenger (Msn, Yahoo, Aol? etc) ? Adium, Microsoft Messenger, Amsn, Skype
Ccleaner- Mainmenu, Onyx
Microsoft Word- Microsoft Word for Mac, NeoOffice, OpenOffice, iwork '08
Burning software- Burn, BurnX
Compress, Uncompress ? The Unarchiver, Stuffit Expander
Internet Browsers - FireFox, Opera, Camino
E-mail Clients - Thunderbird

Because Quicktime is the default audio, video software on Mac OS X, you will not be able to play many files such as avi, divx, wma and so on. To solve this problem a plug-in called Perian was developed to play many files in Quicktime. Also to play Windows media play files you will have to download Flip4mac another plug-in for Quicktime. If you do not like these plug-ins you could use an opensource all-in-one media player called vlc player.

For areas I did not cover you can find more paid and free opensource programs from Cnet's,,, and


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Please save us!
Feb 23, 2008 7:02AM PST

Please avoid the extra carriage returns. The forum already has us scrolling much too much. Bob

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