Beginner Q&A sessions
We’re all beginners in the sense that we continue to learn. The Beginner sessions are for everyone who wants to grow and learn new Macintosh skills.
The session runs from 6:30 – 7:30 PM (before the general meeting).
- The setting is informal where you are encouraged to ask questions. Tables are set up for notes and laptops.
- There’s no set agenda. It’s purpose is to respond to the interests of the attendees.
- The emphasis is on basic Macintosh use: such as eMail; the Internet; Trouble shooting; iLife and iWork.
- There’s a broadband, wireless Internet connection available to all.
We’re not in the repair business, but you can bring your computer, set it up, illustrate any
problems or questions. It’s likely that someone else has had your experience.
Resources for Mac Beginners
Join SBAMUG. We have 100 members from beginners to experts. Come to the monthly meetings and special interest group meetings, receive the newsletter, get product discounts. Our email group is a great resource for answering questions.
2. Classes at the Apple Store
Go to apple.com/retail to find your nearest Apple Store. The Manhattan Beach Apple Store has free Getting Started workshops every Saturday and Sunday.
3. Other Apple Store resources
Apple Care – You get 90 days of tech support via telephone with your new Mac. You can extend it to 3 years (and extend your hardware warranty to 3 years) for a price. It’s $169 for an iMac, more for a MacBook.
Workshops – contact your Apple Store
Genius Bar – It’s free, but you need a reservation. Best for getting answers to specific questions.
4. Web Sites
Mac Basics is a good place to start: https://www.apple.com/support/macbasics/ Other useful web sites are osxhelp.com, allthingsd.com and apple.com/support. There are many more.
5. Books on the Mac operating system
The Missing Manual series by David Pogue
Teach Yourself Visually Mac by Paul McFedries
Allison Sheridan podcast at podfeet.com – interesting but not necessarily for beginners
7. Radio shows
Leo Laporte (Weekends on AM 640) – He has a big following, but he’s PC as well as Mac and the commercials are oppressive.
MacWorld and MacLife – neither are essential
Other Consultants mentioned on Nextdoor:
Gabriel Silk (378-9142)
Steve YouFirstTech.com 310-618-1537
Matt’s computer handymen – call or text me at 310-357-3504 or check out my website at computerhandyman310.com
markoncomputer.com – 25012 Narbonne, Lomita, on-site and in-shop repair, $75/hr
Martin Feldman 310-908-6851 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aaron Chang 310-497-3888
11 Tips for Beginner/Intermediate Mac Users
1. Google and YouTube are your friends
If you want to learn how to do a task or are having a problem, Google it. I just figured out how to selectively sync my ipod thanks to Google. Or search for a pertinent YouTube video.
2. The email group is there for you
Join the SBAMUG email group. Where else can you find a collection of experts like Dr. Dave, Bob, Jim, LJ, Hector, Glen and the others?
3. Check out the SBAMUG web page (sbamug.com)
It contains the current and past club newsletters with Bob’s monthly column and descriptions of Jim’s public domain CD’s. Plus the Wiki with hardware and software reviews, how to’s, tips and more.
4. Visit the Mac websites
Myfirstmac and Macefficiency have excellent how to articles for the beginner. Macfixit addresses more advanced tech issues. Macnn is a tech news site. Macrumors has news plus a useful buyer’s guide. There are many more.
Your hard drive is a mechanical device that will fail sooner or later. To protect your valuable files, you must backup. The simplest way is to buy an external hard drive. They start at less than $100. If you have OSX Leopard, you can backup with the Time Machine software. If you have an earlier version of OSX, you will need a program like Silverkeeper of Superduper. It is possible to go into great detail on this – see the SBAMUG Wiki how to’s for more.
6. Learn the vocabulary
Learn your operating system. Communication is difficult if you don’t know the dock from the menu bar. The Help menus and osxhelp.com are places to start. Buy or borrow an OSX book. Attend a class at the Apple Store (apple.com/retail/manhattanvillage).
7. Avoid span and viruses
Google search can help figure out an email is spam or real. Try searching for a whole sentence or 2. All emails that ask you to forward them are spam.
Your Mac does not have the same susceptibility to viruses as a PC. The consensus is that virus protection software is not recommended for a Mac. Still, you should not open an email attachment from an unknown sender.
If you are still worried about viruses, you might want to use an old Mac for web surfing and your new spiffy Mac, not connected to the internet, for critical work, personal stuff, etc.
8. Get organized
You shouldn’t have a lot of stuff scattered around on your desktop; it makes things hard to find. Put your files in folders in the Documents folder of your Home folder (the one with the little house icon).
9. Check out Apple Mail
You don’t need a .mac account to use Apple Mail. You can manage all your email addresses from this one location.
10. Mind your email etiquette
Don’t write your message in all caps. Have a subject. Use cc if you want all recipients to see each other’s address, otherwise use bcc. See Bob’s June ‘07 newsletter article for more.
11. Don’t panic!
If you make a mistake, you can undo it (drop down under edit). If an application is not responding (spinning pizza), force quit (cmd > option > esc) or drop down under Apple icon. If the problem persists, you can Restart (drop down under Apple icon). If your internet is not working, power off the modem and the router. wait a minute and power on the modem. When it seems ready (normal number of lights) then you may power on the router.