First Day Tips And Tweaks For New MacBook Owners

CNET’s Dan Ackerman comments that as much as new MacBook owners love to rave about their systems, no laptop – even one with an Apple logo – comes right out of the box ready to perform optimally. Ackerman suggests several tweaks, tips, and fixes you should check out on day one that will make your MacBook easier to use. Included are:

• Turn on tap-to-click – one of my first steps setting up any new laptop

• Reverse “natural” scrolling – I actually haven’t done this since installing OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on my MacBook. I find myself familiar enough with the reversed scrolling direction from using my iPad that it’s not an issue for me on the Mac. What I wish could be fixed are the maddeningly anorexic scroll bars and lack of scroll arrows in Lion and Mountain Lion!

• Get a new web browser – A no-brainer. Safari 6 is a better than decent Web browser, and I use it, but I typically have at least three Web browsers up and running, with Firefox, Chrome, Maxthon, and Opera being current favorites.

• Comparison shop for apps – I’ve never warmed to the App Store concept. For example, I much preferred using physical media for installing OS software in particular, but also in general I think vendor independence for third-party application software was a better system. I second Akerman’s advice to shop around for better prices on third-party stuff.

Use Image Capture instead of iPhoto – Personally, I don’t use iPhoto, and prefer Photoshop Elements or just the Finder for photo management. As Ackerman observes, Apple’s iPhoto has its virtues, but is bloated, can be slow at times, and stores images by default in a hard-to-find library. I haven’t tried using the Image Capture app, but I think I’ll check out Ackerman’s suggestion to use it as an alternative.

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