When you buy a Mac, you probably want to make sure you get your money's worth from your Mac. More importantly, you want to use it to its fullest. So here's the ten essential things to do after you buy your Mac (Don't worry, these won't make your wallet any lighter) -
1. The First would naturally be to transfer all your content from your old computer to your new Mac. I personally just transfer my stuff to a hard drive and then to the new Mac, but you can also use Mac's Migration Assistant. (Located in Applications --> Utilities)
2. Now, I'd like to brighten up my Mac. So launch System preferences and choose one of Apple's beautiful Desktop Wallpapers. Your Screensaver too ! Unless, of course, you want the feel of the new Mac to last in which case, just leave the current space wallpaper that came with your version of OS X. I personally like Lion's best.
3. Next up is what you've been waiting for since the moment you decided to buy a Mac: Applications. In my opinion the applications you should immediately download are -
- Alfred - A simple, minimalist and customizable search application. An absolutely amazing application. One of the few apps which can successfully substitute for Apple's own search application. It can search your mac, google, wikipedia, amazon, play songs, give commands to your mac like “sleep”, “shut down”, etc and is a lightweight application that looks absolutely stunning.
- Pop Clip – iOS like copy, cut, paste, dictionary, search, email all with one handy click.
- VLC – All in one cross-platform media player. To date, I have never come across a media file that VLC cannot play. Amazing software. Unlimited Options. For Mac, Windows, Linux and iOS .
- Vuze – BitTorrent downloader. Of all the various torrent downloaders I have used, Vuze is by far the best. Exceeding all capabilities, in a simply but beautifully designed cross-platform application, Vuze is simply brilliant. Transmission and Miro are other great alternatives for bitTorrent downloaders. Miro in particular has a stunning visual interface
- MagicPrefs - Customize your Mac's Magic Mouse / Trackpad gesture with Magic Prefs. Gives you the option to add countless gestures for your Mac's mouse or trackpad to enhance their utility and make your life easier.
4. If you have another Apple device and if you've visited Apple's website, you're probably pretty excited about the much advertised iCloud. So what are you waiting for. Set it up in System Preferences --> iCloud. It keeps in sync contacts, calendars, notes, reminders, mail and more on your Mac, iPhone, iPod and iPad wirelessly. It also allows you to wirelessly find your Apple device running iCloud from anywhere in the world, send it a message, remotely wipe its data or make it beep loudly for you to find it.
5. Set It All Up - You should probably start getting connected now.
- Set up your Wi-Fi (assuming you haven't already) - choose a Wi-Fi network from the list in the airport menu in the menubar.
- Set up your Mail - Launch Mail and Mail does the rest
- Set up iChat - While iChat isn't very necessary to set up (especially since it will soon be replaced by Messages in Mountain Lion), you can still set up your facebook chat account on iChat. See how here.
- You can also download the Messages app (currently in beta mode) from the Apple website which essentially integrates into a new app the features of iChat along with those of iMessage.
- Set up your Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo Accounts (Mountain Lion Only) - Go to System Preferences --> Mail, Contacts & Calendars