OS X Mountain Lion Resources for Apple Newcomers

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OS X Mountain Lion

It is a great week for Apple. The ninth major release of OS X Mountain Lion (version 10.8) was finally made available in Apple App Store on July 25, 2012. It has many features inspired from iOS including notifications, game center, iMessage, Twitter and Facebook integration,  familiar applications such as Reminders and Notes, and  more than 200 other new features.

Those who recently ditched Windows for an Apple MacBook or iMac should be really excited to experience the best OS X experience Apple can give to date.

I gathered the resources that I think should be of great use to any beginners out there as well as seasoned OS X users who wants to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.

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Upgrading

If you bought a new machine recently pre-installed with OS X 10.7 Lion, you can get Mountain Lion for under $20. I wish every OS upgrade would be as cheap as this. Seriously there\’s no way you can complain for that price.

Make sure you read the pre-requisites from Apple website.

Your Mac must be one of the following models:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Wonder why older machines are not supported? It appears to be the graphics drivers so if you think of getting a second-hand Mac, take note of the hardware limitation.

Make sure you have Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard before you download OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store.

Free Upgrade

You can save yourself $20 if you purchased your Mac from Apple, an Apple Authorized Reseller or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer after June 11, 2012. Check the details here.

Software Compatibility

You can check App Compatibility Table by RoaringApps for the list of applications that works with OS X Mountain Lion. It is important to check this so that you you won\’t be surprised when some of your old programs do not work properly after the upgrade.

New Installation

If you want a clean fresh install of OS X Mountain Lion, you will need to burn the installer to a DVD or a bootable USB drive.

You can install your copy to as many Macs as you want as long as your machines share the same Apple ID. Now, if you have another Mac that doesn\’t share the same Apple ID you can use a work-around to add a new Admin account on that machine and use it to login using the same Apple ID you use to buy Mountain Lion.

Install Best Mac Apps

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There are some good apps that comes pre-installed in OS X but you definitely need more apps. You can find here the best 100+ Mac applications for all your needs. Some of them are linked to Mac App Store.

Setup iMessage, tweak some settings to get the most of the new Mountain Lion featuresget rid of some annoyances, add OS X Server if you wish.

Book Reference

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OS X Mountain Lion, The Missing Manual covers OS X 10.8 and iCloud. It is perfect for newcomers because you can get crystal-clear, jargon-free introduction to OS X and then you can go in-depth with new key features such as Messages, Reminders, Notification Center, Gatekeeper, AirPlay Mirroring, Share Sheets, and more.

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OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide is a handy guide with all the details you need to know on OS X system preferences, built-in applications, utilities, and other features. It can be a great resource for problem-solving and troubleshooting on the fly.

Further readings

If you wish to read a detailed review, I recommend you read this very long Ars Technica article about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review. If you want to read something shorter perhaps this review from The Verge will do. Both articles will give you a taste of what OS X Mountain Lion can do.

For any PC owners out there, you may want to try creating your own Hackintosh. Tech Erra has  a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to run OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a PC. Of course, nothing beats having your own authentic Mac.

What else are you waiting for? Dive in, read these resources, and let me know if I missed any important resource here.

 

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview VirtualBox Installation Step-by-Step

Windows 8 VirtualBox Guide

I have documented how I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview using VirtualBox. It\’s actually very easy to do if you have installed Windows 7 before.

If you have not tested Windows 8 Consumer Preview yet, download the ISO here and follow the easy steps below to guide you through the installation process. You can click on one image to get a bigger version and click the edge of that picture to see the next one.

Create the Virtual Machine

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On Virtual Hard Disk options, tick \”Start-up Disk\” and choose \”Create new hard disk\”

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Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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Enjoy Windows 8 Consumer Preview on VirtualBox.

If you want my opinion about it…. fine. It feels like like a copy of what Apple has been doing in iOS for so long, but with a twist. What bothers me is the whole idea about Metro UI on top of Windows Aero interface. Metro looks like  an independent program that you can toss anytime you want. It serves as the start menu at this point and I don\’t know if that is good or bad. If I want a desktop operating system, I still want my icons and traditional menus, not Metro UI.

Apple could have included the iOS interface, with all those cute squarish app icons instead of OS X dock long ago but they did not. Perhaps not until Macs get a touch screen. They have kept the interface optimized for different user experience. OS X with mouse, gestures and keyboards; iOS with touch interface. With Windows 8 Consumer Preview I am confused if it is trying to do both desktop and tablet interface at the same time. I sure it will mature and develop over time. It is just a consumer preview anyway.

Windows 8 is promising and it could be the only chance Microsoft has to redeem the post-PC  era.

 

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