15 things you must do when you have a Mac OS X

So a day might arrive in your life when you switch from a PC to Mac OS X.  Even an avid PC user will stumble in every step while operating the OS X. Though you will love the way OS X is carved for the user but will sure fume when simplest of thing will tend to confuse you. 

I have been using Mac Mini from last many months and now think I have mastered few things. So, I am compiling the list of 15 essential things, which you can set up on your OS X. 

  • Install Office for Mac - PC gets an advantage of having Microsoft Office at time of installation, as it’s a basic need for the machine. Unfortunately, the same is not found on the OS X when you bring it home. Installing Office on Mac OS X may or may not be a choice for the user. But if it’s a definitive need for you then you must buy Office for Mac 2011 (latest) suite for the OS X. The Office powered for Mac is same as that of PC. Once you get Office on Mac and learn to operate in Mac environment, you will hardly remind of the Windows. Office for Mac constitutes Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook.

  •  Set Time Machine – If you are installing the OS on your own then don’t forget to partition at least 50-60 GB of space for Time Machine backup. For those who are new to Mac, Time Machine is a built-in features for Intel Macs that takes incremental backups of your volumes. So, if in the starting you can create a distinct space for the time machine, then you can set the time machine to back up volumes of your computer. Or you can also allow a separate external hard drive to be as your time machine capsule. Do either ways to back up Mac machine. 

The time machine is a life-saving utility that offers edge to the Mac user to set prior backups and enjoy no loss at time of data disaster or system failure.
  • Using Disk Utility – Disk utility is the central function of the Mac OS X where you can perform series of activities to monitor the health of the hard drive. Disk Utility can be reached out by following path Finder<Application<Utilities<Disk utility. The icon of the disk utility is represented by a hard drive with stethoscope, clearly representing it’s functions.

What quickly can you check with Disk utility?
  • The hard drive information and its SMART status.
  • Individual volumes of the machines & their information
  • User can test hard drive & volumes for any malfunctions.
  • The application permissions on Mac can be verified and repaired by Disk utility alone.
  • Disk Utility can erase a partition and create a new one.
  • It can clone on of the partition or entire drive to another destination.
  • Burn a disc, create an image and unmounts a partition.

Apart from being very useful to the Mac, the Disk Utility doesn’t provide any support for hard drive defragmentation or data recovery. For these two operations, a user has to depend upon 3rd party software.
  • Customising the Dock – A dock is where ships are parked for loading & unloading of the cargo. Similarly in Macs, the dock is place where all your essential icons of applications are well parked so that you can make a single click to launch them. See Below:

With Mac you can play some fine game with the Dock’ settings:

  1. Firstly, to bring an app to the dock simply drag it’s icon and place in the dock to include that app. To remove an app from the dock, right-click and select Options<Remove from Dock
  2. GotoApple Logo < Dock and here you can play with the settings like magnifying the dock icons, hiding the dock and bringing it back when mouse floats towards the dock.

  • Force Quit – This feature is situated under Apple Logo < Force Quit and it ends up a stubborn application. Very handy.

  • Activity Monitor won’t let you miss Task Manager: -PC users are well aware of Task Manager. I remember, myself looking around for the same on Mac OS X. The equivalent application to the task manager in Mac is Activity Monitor, which is located in Finder<Application<Utilities folder.

What quickly can you check with Activity Monitor?

  • Quit bunch of processes that might be running at the background.
  • Quickly monitor the CPU, System Memory, Disk Activity & Usage and Network on your Mac OS X.
  • Check CPU load
  • Verify Process Identifier
  • Check Read-in and Write-Outs

  • Set-up Apple Mail – Apple Mail is build in client to send/receive mails from Mac OS X to anywhere in the world. All you have to do is configure Apple Mail by providing you account information. Once done it will sync all your mail, contacts from the account and you can start using Apple Mail without wasting a second.

  • Trash – Trash is what Recycle Bin is in Windows OS. So to delete a file in the Mac you can both drag and drop it into trash or right-click and select ‘Move to Trash’ option.OH Wait, if you seek to delete a file using keyboard then pressing only the Delete key won’t help you send the file to trash. In actual you have to select the file and press the combination CMD+Delete keys to trash a file. Tricky, it’s Mac after all. It is also simple to Empty Trash in OS X Mac. Either click ‘Empty Trash’ in the trash folder or right click the trash icon and select ‘Empty Trash’. 
  • App Store –It won’t be wrong to judge the App Store as one of USP of Apple Inc. It was Apple who brought the concept of digital store to the IT industry, followed by everyone else. The Apple App Store is full of opportunity, where you can check out for latest OS X developments. The App store continuously prompts you to download new updates for smooth up running of OS X Mac. 

  • Swap between applications– While you set hands on the Mac keyboard, you will come to know that CMD+ TAB shuffles user amongst open applications. While this is simple to understand, but one might become hot tempered in finding ways to swap between 2 similar open apps. E.g. I want to swap between two excel files but CMD+TAB doesn’t help me doing that. So, I must press CMD + ~ to shuffle between similar apps. 

  • Install Dual OS on Mac – Like Windows, you can have two copies of different OS X on Mac machine.A Mac hard drive is large enough to accumulate multiple OS on it. So go ahead and Install another OS X on Mac. On Intel Macs, one can have Lion, Mountain Lion or Mavericks in a pair of two.

  • Boot Camp – So, one cannot install OS X on a Window machine as it is a violation of Apple’s EULA. But the reverse of this is 100% possible with OS X built-in feature, which is Boot Camp. All you need is a 2GB of RAM and 20-30 GB of partition kept aside for the Windows OS. You could set a dream computer by having Mountain Lion and Windows 8 on the same Mac machine.

  • Screenshots – If your work includes taking lots of screenshots from systems then Mac is just the machine you badly need. A user can capture a screenshot in two ways. Firstly by pressing CMD+SHIFT+3, the entire screen is grabbed and saved on desktop by default. Also, by pressing CMD+SHIFT+4 altogether, a sign appears that allows you to crop the image as per need. 

  • Terminal – Terminal is all about finding deep routed features through several commands. It is as same as the Command Prompt from Windows OS. You can unhide system files, change a file format, change the destination of a file etc. and lot of other advance stuff that you can perform with Terminal application.

  • iCloud – Last but not the least, you have Apple’s own cloud support to hang your ultra important files in cloud backup. On cloud storage, they remain safe from worldly affairs. You must check iCloud now and grab your free support.

Keep searching new things on Mac and do let us know. See You Until Next Time.