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Getting started with the Macbook Pro (recommended accessories, apps, etc..)

Discussion in 'Apple and Mac OS X' started by cy007, Mar 27, 2011.

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  1. cy007

    cy007 Notebook Deity

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    So after 6 long years of wanting to get a mac, I finally bit the bullet and ordered one - the retail US$2200 Sandy Bridge 15" Macbook Pro. Was clearing out my 2-year savings worth it? Going to pick it up at the store tommorow, we'd see. :D

    Anyways, I digress..

    I was wondering; since I'm OCD when it comes to scratches/smudges on expensive (US$1000+) electronics, what kind of accesories would you recommend? I've used Windows on every computer I've owned to date. What apps/plug-ins should I install to make my "transition" easier?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ajreynol

    ajreynol Notebook Virtuoso

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    ....are the stickies not helpful enough?
     
  3. wave

    wave Notebook Virtuoso

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    Yes please have a look at the sticky topics for software. If you have any particular needs ask a more detailed question. Have a look at the Mac freeware sticky and the switcher guide.

    The same goes for accessories. There are so many for with price ranges of 10 - 200$ or more. So we would need a price range and some more details what you are looking for.
     
  4. shurcooL

    shurcooL Notebook Deity

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    I recommend you don't install any custom software first, but rather play around and figure out what OS X comes with. There's plenty of great stuff. Start with my favourite app: System Preferences. ;D

    I would just install Chrome and OnLive to begin with.
     
  5. cy007

    cy007 Notebook Deity

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    Thanks guys!

    Since I've already spent so much already, I don't have a lot of dough left to spare. Say US$100 on accessories? Screen+keyboard protector or maybe a leather case if they're not too expensive perhaps? Already got the magic mouse so that's off the list.

    As for the apps, what shurcool said sounds reasonable enough. Chrome and onlive it is.
     
  6. r1n7r4h

    r1n7r4h Notebook Guru

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    I am in a similar position, having just got a 13" MBP after years of owning Windows PCs. I've had the opportunity to borrow and use Mac Pros and MBPs for video editing projects though.

    Anyways, these are my recommendations because I still use my Windows desktop for gaming so I wanted to see certain features on my MBP:

    Hyperdock ($10)-Allows you to preview open windows for each app just by hovering over the icons on the dock.

    Tuxera NTFS-3G Community- Write and modify NTFS drives. Kind of buggy but it works fine for the most part. I tried something else and it wouldn't mount my external.

    Insomniat- for those times you want to close the laptop but still have it playing music or downloading. You need to create a .command file to have it enabled every time you power on but I can't get it to work. Something about permissions but I don't need it enabled anyways.

    Divvy ($14)- Windows snapping feature. It is better than iSnap and I didn't try the other ones.

    Also, XBMC as a media extender to stream if you need it.
     
  7. cy007

    cy007 Notebook Deity

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    Went to pick it up and guess what? The salesman didn't place the order and I have to wait until Wednesday. :(

    Got a keyboard cover protector for 17 bucks. The keys are most prone to wear-and-tear; figured why not.

    Who here thinks the protective cases are worth it? I wouldn't be taking the notebook out a whole lot but I do plan to from time-to-time.
     
  8. aznguyen316

    aznguyen316 Rock Chalk Jayhawk

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    $40 is worth the risk of a dent in the aluminum. Speck and incase are the most popular cases.
     
  9. Lieto

    Lieto Notebook Deity

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    I d go with:
    1) defensive shell of your choice (there you can put it into any bag you currently have)
    2) external mouse and maybe keyboard (i prefer one because i use it with external monitor a lot)
    3) photoshop (obviously optional)

    I guess thats all i need.
    Using safari btw.
    Sure thats only thing that ever crashed on my mac but its like once per month so i refrain from downloading additional software.
     
  10. kornchild2002

    kornchild2002 Notebook Deity

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    I purchased a 2011 Core i7 13" MacBook Pro. These are the accessories that I purchased along with it:
    • Black Spec SeeThru shell - I wanted this as I thought it would allow me to carry my MBP anywhere but it still left some of it unprotected and I often found lint and dust between it and my MBP (which could lead to scratches). I wanted more protection for my money so I returned it.
    • Incase protective case - $40 and offers extremely thick padding, it is enough that I can throw my MBP in a backpack and not worry about it getting dented or scratched. The inside is also extremely soft using fake fur that somewhat wipes my MBP clean every time I take it out or put it back into the case. It was one of the more expensive sleeves for the 13" MBP but it is worlds better than the cheap polypropylene (ie thin plastic) slip cases sold by Incase and many other companies.
    • Magic Mouse - I didn't want an external mouse as I love the built-in trackpad but I hook my MBP up to my 1080p HDTV all the time and having said mouse makes couch surfing a lot easier.
    • Apple bluetooth keyboard - Again, I didn't want an external keyboard but having a wireless solution makes couch surfing better.
    • Twelve South BookArc - This is essentially a "dock" that holds my MBP next to my HDTV and gives me full access to all its ports. It is as a little expensive ($50 at Best Buy) but it is a lot better than just having my MBP sit there on my HD cable receiver+DVR unit.
    • 8GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM - This was about $85 and that included the $4 for the appropriate Phillips head screwdriver. If anything, I think upgrading the RAM should be the very first thing that you do (it was the first thing I did).
    • MATLAB - I am an engineer and MATLAB runs through my blood. I need it for my job and my next degree (which I will be starting soon).
    • Office 2011 - I didn't want Office but I run some spreadsheet macros that work only with Excel.
    • Parallels - I need to run Windows but didn't want to bootcamp my MBP.
    • Windows 7 Ultimate x64 - I run this using Parallels. I really only run two things in Windows: Internet Explorer (for the government sites that are still using archaic scripts that work with IE only) and SigmaPlot.

    I purchased the software for a total of $50 from my university bookstore (future university). Otherwise it would have come out to a higher price that what I paid for my MBP to begin with. Anything that isn't software comes highly recommended by myself for certain uses. You don't need an external mouse and keyboard unless you plan on using your MBP from a distance. Otherwise the built-in options are good. I actually think that the built-in trackpad is better than the Magic Mouse.
     
  11. Lieto

    Lieto Notebook Deity

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    i went with macally shell + vinyl on top of it and random sturdy bag.
    Looks healthy for now -) Biggest advantage is that you can actually work with that shell on which offers extra protection in case your notebook slips to the floor or something.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Helpmyfriend

    Helpmyfriend Notebook Evangelist

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    Dumb question but can i use my current logitech mouse on a MBP? What happens to the scroll wheel and right click button?
     
  13. doh123

    doh123 Without ME its just AWESO

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    yes, and they scroll and do right clicks..
     
  14. mikeyharm

    mikeyharm Notebook Geek

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    If I were the OP, I'd take that $100 bucks and slap in a Momentus XT hard drive... The MacBook Pro OEM drives are so slow (5400 RPM) and the Seagate is a 7200RPM drive, 500GB storage capacity, with a "flashcache" component - A hybrid SSD drive to keep the most commonly-accessed files. It's also got a 32MB buffer - twice what even the upgrade drives from Apple offer. This is truly one of the fastest drives I've ever seen, let alone used every day. Cost: $99 at Best Buy.

    As far as protection - Get a Moshi PalmGuard (www.moshimonde.com)for the palm rest and a MacStyle (MacStyles.com) color vinyl for he top shell - To give the system a unique look, and lots of scratch protection for that beautiful shiny new lid... They also do a nice job of cuting out the Apple logo.
     
  15. peterbz

    peterbz Notebook Guru

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    The first thing I bought for my MBP were protective cases and keyboard/trackpad covers. I didn't want to have scratches or dents on the fortune I spent.

    I suggest Moshi keyboard covers and trackpad covers. I don't have a Speck case, but I've read some reviews that since it's plastic, tdust and debris that gets in between the case and the notebook might leave some scratches. So I opted for a McAlley leather case.
     
  16. theseadragon

    theseadragon Notebook Consultant

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    I recommend "Mac OS X Snow Leopard - The Missing Manual" by David Pogue.

    I switched to Mac and have been using SL since 1 year ago; I just got this book last week and I learned a whole bunch of new stuff in the first 50 pages. If you're one of those folks who want to know all the shortcuts, hidden features, etc. in your OS, this is the resource.

    Plus, a nice portable HDD to back up your stuff, of course.
     
  17. cy007

    cy007 Notebook Deity

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    As for the answer to my initial question whether the Macbook Pro was worth spending the majority of my 2-year savings, I'm afraid gotta say it's a resounding "NO". :(

    It's the best built computer I've owned to date; no doubt about that. I was naive enough to expect myself to be utterly blown away by such a luxurious piece of electronic equipment. Ended up it was just like any other computer. Heck, I'm already making plans to sell it if people are willing to pay a good enough price for it... and probably build myself a desktop and keep the extra money for my tarnished savings account. God forbid what the heck is wrong with me? :rolleyes:

    One more thing..

    Who else here thinks the rubber feet wears way too easily? I've only had the thing for like a week and it's already showing noticeable shine.
     
  18. doh123

    doh123 Without ME its just AWESO

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    if it takes you 2 years to save enough money to buy one.. you probably need to be spending your money on better things...
     
  19. AppleUsr

    AppleUsr Notebook Deity

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    what did you expect do your laundry and cook your breakfast? its just a computer.
     
  20. Asherek

    Asherek Notebook Consultant

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    No offense, but I think your expectations for a laptop computer weren't anywhere reasonable.
     
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