Looking to do ALL the things with new Mac Pro Retina 13.3
March 12, 2013 11:16 AM   Subscribe

I've retired my old Windows laptop and sprung for a new Mac Pro Retina with a 13.3 screen. It is gorgeous and fast. But my experience with Apple is limited to using an Itouch and Ipad 2. Is there a great detailed Pro Retina for Dummies guide, or especially great website for navigating what this machine can do? And what apps or tricks or tips would be especially helpful to install or learn as I explore this machine? Many thanks, all you Mac users.
posted by bearwife to Technology (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't think you need a "For Dummies" guide as OS X (and many other Apple products) are built for dummies. I don't mean that in a condescending sort of way, I say that as a MBP/iPhone/iPad user. I mean that most things are fairly intuitive. (And, if you're so inclined, there's a fairly robust UNIX underneath, so script away all your repetitive tasks.)

As for tips and tricks, you can google and find thousands of Mac T&T.

If you let us know what you hoped to accomplish with your computer, that would help greatly. No one wants to spend half an hour documenting their awesome web design workflow only to learn that the only thing you care to know about it is how to surf it.

Also, previously.
posted by Brian Puccio at 11:25 AM on March 12, 2013

I use my laptop to check mail and calendar, surf the web, do legal research, take notes on trials and complex presentations, design and present PowerPoints, write letters and formal documents, and, when possible, communicate real time with others. I might bring this one to legal conferences. It would be fun to manage some of my photography on it, too. I do listen to music on a laptop with speakers as nice as this one, often sync my audio books and playlists with my Ipod using the computer, and might manage some of my photography on it. I might even take a stab at writing some fiction on it.

So, I'm kind of a standard recreational/business computer user, and fairly sophisticated at using Windows based computers and my Ipad2. But I don't know what I don't know with this Mac, and can't use my standard approach of just working through a manual because the computer comes with no more than a very superficial quick guide.
posted by bearwife at 11:48 AM on March 12, 2013

If you need to sign a PDF, open the Preview app and:

Preview » Preferences » Signatures. It prompts you to sign a white piece of paper and hold it in front of the iSight camera. It will recognize the signature and save it for later use.
posted by bluecore at 11:55 AM on March 12, 2013 [3 favorites]

Mail: Mail.app (I tried Sparrow, didn't like it, then it got bought out by Google and abandoned)
Calendar: Calendar.app, f/k/a iCal, BusyCal if Calendar.app isn't enough
Web: Chrome (though Safari isn't bad)
Legal Research: Look into DEVONthink Pro Office and DEVONnote and DEVONagent; see also Evernote (though I'm strongly in the DEVONthink Pro Office camp)
Notes: See above
Presentations: Keynote (though I've never gotten complex with it, just basic slides with images/text)
Write Letters: Pages.app, Word for Mac, Scrivner, LibreOffice ... or LaTeX via TextMate if that's your thing
Real Time Communication: Adium (multiplatform IM client, AIM, IRC, etc.)
Photography: Start out in iPhoto, if you need more, look into Lightroom or Aperture, if you need more still, look into Photoshop, Pixelmator or GIMP
Music, Audiobooks, Ebooks: iTunes + iOS device
posted by Brian Puccio at 11:59 AM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cult of Mac's 100 OSX Tips is a good place to start.
posted by ZipRibbons at 12:03 PM on March 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

bearwife: "and might manage some of my photography on it. "

I use Adobe Lightroom to manage large collections of photos. It's similar to Adobe Bridge but with a MUCH nicer and more versatile interface. It's also relatively inexpensive. Excellent for sorting and grouping. You can create slideshows and subgalleries, print contact sheets, export in a variety of formats, (the software can auto size groups of photos according to your specifications on export,) create web galleries to upload to your own website, and make minor photoedit adjustments. Download a trial copy here

I haven't found anything in the "free app" category that beats Microsoft Word and Powerpoint's features. Libre Office has serious limits if you're working cross-platform in an office. Keynote is not a great replacement for Powerpoint. Pages doesn't hold a candle to Word. Neither are versatile enough for my business purposes. Last I checked, none of them could track changes the way Microsoft Office can, either. YMMV.
posted by zarq at 12:41 PM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sorry, let me clearer regarding tracking changes.

If you receive a file that has tracked changes in Microsoft Word, and want to edit and track your changes in Libre Office then send to a Word user, my experience is that the tracking won't work the way it's supposed to when re-opened in Word. If the original changes even register at all when opened in Libre Office. Very frustrating.
posted by zarq at 12:50 PM on March 12, 2013

and make minor photoedit adjustments.

This is quite an odd way to describe Lightroom. Not that it *doesn't* do all those management things, but it's actually an incredibly powerful photo editing/color correction tool used by professional photographers.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:40 PM on March 12, 2013

I'd say it's a good photoediting and excellent color/contrast/lighting correction tool. But Lightroom was designed for instant spot editing and color correction. Not in-depth, complex, layered and fine-tuned photoedits. For that, you'd need Photoshop.
posted by zarq at 1:56 PM on March 12, 2013

« Older Expense Report Tips and Tricks   |   Is it reasonable to want my money back? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.