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Setting up a MAC...(I'm a PC user) :)

By vanessaj ·
A client got a new Mac for their home, and asked me to set it up this Friday (Oct 13) and show them how to use it. It will be a stand-alone, with a printer, and besides that, I have absolutely no details until I get there.

Aside from it being Friday the there any other caution or tips that I should know when setting up a Mac? I have only worked with small to medium businesses setting up and networking PCs.

I remember, from a graphics class on a Mac, years ago, that there is no right-click, and that the little apple is for commands like open, close, etc. - but that's all I recall about the difference between Mac and PC...and that was several years ago.

I would welcome ANY and ALL hints, tips, tricks, cautions, etc. that you wonderful Mac users out there could pass my way about what I can expect or what I should watch out for. If there are links in previous discussions or on the web that I have missed, bring 'em on. And for your sage and timely help - I am grateful!

Thank you.


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Something that we need to know

by Tig2 In reply to Setting up a MAC...(I'm a ...

Which OS? If OS X, you are looking at a GUI over what is basically Unix. If it is an older OS, can't help you much- System 7 and 9 were a long time ago.

Try this site: for inforamtion.

Good luck!

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It's a new system - fresh out of the hatchery

by vanessaj In reply to Something that we need to ...

so I'm sure it's a new OS installed. I have been reading what I could find about the basic stuff, but worried about the actual set-up. Just KNOW I'll run into snags that I never thought of. But hoping it's just a simple plug-&-play for the most part. Thanks, Tig, for your input - I will be certain to check out the link, too, during lunch today. As always, your info is very, very appreciated. Especially for someone like me, who wants to know EVERYTHING before I actually get there. (The type that will do 24 hours of preparation for a 1-hour job.) You must be the same type to be so well-informed and helpful on so many different things. (And I think we're in good company.) Thanks a google.

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Trust the defaults

by lyon_bleu In reply to Setting up a MAC...(I'm a ...

For the most part, the set up wizard will direct you well to
setting up a stable and productive Mac. In general, Mac OS
provides a simplified interface for common activities, with
more advanced features 'under the hood'.
It is a Very Good Idea(tm) to a) include the first account in
the admin group; b) require log-in, choosing a solid
password; c) do _not_ activate the root [aka 'System
Administrator'] account.
Right-clicking has always been possible under Mac OS, it
simply isn't _required_ to get things done, and is
consistently accomplished by control-clicking.
Take advantage of the 'Location' feature and access the
networking through the Apple Menu>Location>Network
Preferences item. Most of your security issues can be dealt
with in the 'Sharing' control pane.
Without knowing which printer is involved, it is difficult to
say what the best way is to set it up. I would recommend
connecting the printer and trying to use the Foomatic
driver that the CUPS system recommends, but you
certainly can't go wrong following the manufacturer's
Unlike Windows, there is no user-accessible centralized
Registry for settings: each process is responsible for its
own. This has been greatly standardized in recent times,
and for the most part nearly anything one wishes to tweak
can be done so with the 'defaults' utility at the CLI--bash
is the default. Please man defaults for more detail.
Immediately after setting up, please let the computer run
for several hours without sleeping or shutting down. In
order for the 'Spotlight' feature to work, an initial
database needs to be built up, and there have been a
handful of incidents where interrupting this has caused
The major differences between Mac OS and Windows have
to do with their respective file systems. HFS+ allows for a
number of extents--in the past this included the so-
called data and resource forks--that NTFS or FAT32 are
not aware of. This needs to be taken into consideration
when exchanging files among the several platforms.
Here's a link to a one-stop resource of news and support
issues for Mac OS:
Have fun :)
Hope this helped,


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Wow. Yes, it helped a lot...

by vanessaj In reply to Trust the defaults

...AND I understood most of it - which relieves me of much trepidation of hooking up a system I'm not familiar with. I really appreciate all of your help and will check out the link as well. Thank you so much!

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What a beautiful machine!

by vanessaj In reply to Setting up a MAC...(I'm a ...

I am always impressed by the beauty of Mac computers. Wow. The computer Friday was an MA199LL/A.

It was actually a very simple hookup...everything plug and play, so I worried for nothing as usual. But good to be prepared. The posts and links helped immensely, too. Thank you Tig and Lyon_bleu, you both really helped me understand a mac more and I used much of your information during the setup. What you sent me was actually better than I found online myself. Thanks so much. My hat's off to you! <insert hat's off emoticon here> I really appreciate the time you took to help me out. Kudos!

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You can right click with a mac

by charles.fair In reply to Setting up a MAC...(I'm a ...

Either right click as done with a windows system, or hold
down the ctrl key when clicking is the "same" as right

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