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Undoubtedly there are some brand new Mac users out there that just got their first Mac as a holiday gift. If you were to ask me "Hey Terry as a new Mac user, what should I know?"

 

Here are the 1st 3 things I would tell you:

 

 

1) If your new Mac is a portable Mac like a MacBook, the 1st thing I would do is setup the security to require a password upon startup/wake from sleep. Although Mac OS X has you setup a Password for your new account, it logs you into that account automatically every time you boot up. This is probably fine for most desktop Macs at home, however if your Mac is stolen, the thief would also be able to log in automatically. This makes all of your data and identity that much easier to access. Turn off the auto login to at least make them work a little harder.

 

2) Get an external drive and backup via Time Machine. If you want to take things up a notch, partition that New External drive using Disk Utility and use one partition to backup to with Time Machine and the other partition to do a SuperDuper! bootable clone to. This way if your drive ever crashes you would not only be able to restore to a new drive via Time Machine, but you would also be able to boot up immediately from the other partiton and immediately be productive. This is crucial if you use your MacBook for presentations as it could take hours to restore from a Time Machine backup and the show must go on.

 

3) Join your local Mac Users Group. Users Groups are a great resource to learn about your new Mac. As a new Mac user you will find that most users groups out there will go out of their way to help you when you're stuck! Find your local group here.

 

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  • George Jetson

    Explore the System Preferences – Pretty much everything you need to fine tune your new Mac will be there ….

  • Robert Campbell

    Dude, so many tech writers out there just got put out of their jobs. You should be ashamed!

    Yeah, you really did just kinda summarize all of day 1. But do you mind if I throw out a few other hints? (BTW- thx to GJ for shortening the list by one)
    1. If something doesn’t make sense to you immediately it’s because you missed the obvious.
    2. It’s still NOT a coffee cup holder.
    3. Worst Case Scenario- Just unplug the dang thing. It’s not like you can screw anything up forgodssake- it’s Mac!
    4. Oh yeah, it’s “Mac” not “MAC”. Steve Jobs named the original Macintosh after a type of apple (the fruit), the McIntosh. (So they couldn’t spell- it was California in the 80′s. I understand things aren’t much better now.) MAC stands for something geeky like “Media Access Controller” or something. It’s the thingy that does something with, like, your ethernet or something. All I know is that if you write it wrong the diehard fanboys come out of the woodwork and say things like “stoopid” and “noob” about you. (Just kidding. People are really nice on Mac bulletin boards. None of this “RTFM noobie!”, because there just ain’t no FM for a Mac. You just turn it on and it works.)
    5. Oh, and one more thing (get used to hearing that too). Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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