New to Mac, finding my way around


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Sprocket

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Hello Everyone,

My wife bought our six your old daughter a pre-owned iMac, 20", mid-2009, with a dual core Intel processor, running El Capitan. I will be admin for this machine, so I thought I would sign up because I know I will have questions. It's old, I know, but it runs surprisingly well. A little slow to open some apps, but once up and running its pretty snappy. She will only be doing her homework, simple games and (supervised) YouTube on it. She is very adept using a tablet, Android and iPad, so she will get the hang of this pretty quick. I will be using it myself, as well, for networking, etc. I'm not new to Apple (have been using an iPhone for 10 years), but this is my first foray into desktop OS X.

I have been a Linux user since 1999 and use Linux on all of my other computers (except the wife uses one with Windows 10 on it, which I despise.) I was not surprised to find the similarities with Linux since both have their birthplace in Unix, but I am a little taken back by how locked down this system seems to be. I suppose I am just used to Linux and open source software. A few of the terminal commands work on both systems.

For now, I just wanted to say hello to everyone and I look forward to interacting here. I would like to know what kind of life I can expect given this systems age. I will be upgrading the memory this weekend (from 4GB to 8GB) so I am sure I will get some performance boost out of that, but I would also like to do a little video editing. Is this machine capable of that?

Regards

Bob
 

honestone

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Welcome, Sprocket! You will find quite a number of folks here that are more than willing to help.

I suspect you know this already, but two tasks that you (and/or your daughter) need to perform very often are 1) disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective, and 2) frequent backups to an external device. For #1, you can actually do quite a lot of disk cleanup on a daily basis. Myself I am doing just that a number of times each day by having deleted EMails permanently removed. I use Outlook 2016 for my EMails needs (I am running the latest version of High Sierra, OS 10.13.3, and Outlook 2016 is a solid performer), and it is easy to do that. A number of folks on here use Apple's Mail program, and unfortunately I have seen quite a few posts from folks who have various problems with it. Also, there are a number of excellent programs available (both free and commercial) that help you with those disk-related tasks.

As for #2, a number of folks here use Time Machine for backups. While that program is fine, I (and some others) would rather have an easier way to 1) do a recovery, and 2) do an upgrade to a newer Mac OS. Two of the best products for that are SuperDuper! (it's the one I use), and Carbon Copy Cloner. Either of them make a bootable backup, and it is almost like having another machine! It certainly makes the two tasks I mentioned above a lot smoother, easier, and one has much more control. Time Machine is free, but SuperDuper! costs $27.95, and Carbon Copy Cloner $39.95.

As for your longevity question, I guess it would be good to know the "state" of the internal drive on the machine. Although the disk-related tasks I mentioned above are beneficial, if the drive is getting "old", that could be a cause for concern. With the machine being 9 years old, if it still has the original drive, that could be/become an issue. Increasing the memory is good, but with you wanting to do video editing, you might want to consider removing the drive and installing an SSD. An SSD will certainly increase performance, and if the internal drive is still in "decent shape", you could install it inside an external enclosure, and use it for backups/storing "stuff".

In any event, welcome to the forums! It would help that whenever you pose a question in any of the other forums, you state what the exact Mac model you have, and what exact Mac OS you are using.

honestone
 
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Sprocket

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Hello, and thank you for your reply. I take your maintenance suggestions seriously and I do that on all of my other machines, and will do that on this one as well. My main email usage is from my gmail account which I have on all of my devices, and I keep that pretty clean. This Mac had a new hard drive installed before we bought it, so it's in good shape. I know that installing an SSD would perk up the performance immensely, but I will have to read up on how to do that.

I won't be upgrading to Sierra or High Sierra. I'll stick with El Capitan because I don't thing this machine will handle the newer system. Besides, I have not found that much difference between the two in my research (you may correct me on that.)

Regards

Bob
 

honestone

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Hello, and thank you for your reply. I take your maintenance suggestions seriously and I do that on all of my other machines, and will do that on this one as well. My main email usage is from my gmail account which I have on all of my devices, and I keep that pretty clean. This Mac had a new hard drive installed before we bought it, so it's in good shape. I know that installing an SSD would perk up the performance immensely, but I will have to read up on how to do that.

I won't be upgrading to Sierra or High Sierra. I'll stick with El Capitan because I don't thing this machine will handle the newer system. Besides, I have not found that much difference between the two in my research (you may correct me on that.)

Regards

Bob
You're welcome. Regarding any further OS upgrade, it looks like your iMac has "reached that limit", so to speak. Here is a link that states which Macs can run Sierra:

https://www.macworld.com/article/3121239/macs/which-macs-can-run-macos-sierra.html

For upgrading to an SSD, this site is an excellent resource:

https://www.ifixit.com/

Just click on "Repair Guides", then choose your iMac model.

As for software for disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, and backups, what software are you intending to use? I can recommend some excellent ones to use, if you want. Make sure to stay away from MacKeeper and CleanMyMac. Neither of them are good for your machine.
 

ky-clay

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Sproket, you can and should upgrade to Sierra which your Mac can handle. There are advantages to Sierra over El Capitan which may not be obvious to you. Sierra fixes over 60 security flaws in El Capitan. It is also almost 2 GB smaller than El Capitan. As to back ups I do not agree that you need anything more than Time Machine. It is about as easy as it gets and works perfectly. Why spend your money on back-up software when you already have a great one built in? I also use Mac Mail and find it to work flawlessly. But that of course is your choice. Good luck and enjoy your Mac.
 

honestone

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While Time Machine might be easy to use, it falls somewhat short when one wants to 1) do a recovery, or 2) perform a fresh, clean installation of a Mac OS. Also, it does not give one much (if any) control with such tasks. SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner are superior when it comes to either of those processes.

To be fair and balanced, one should read this thread I started back in Novemberl:

https://www.mac-help.com/threads/backups-backups-backups.223959/

A number of individuals made some excellent contributions to that discussion.
 

ky-clay

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I do not have to read anything as I have done 1 recovery & 1 clean installation with Time Machine and it worked perfectly. I cannot see how any other software could be any better. It does what it is suppose to do so how is that falling short? No way am I paying for something I already have. Guess we will agree to disagree.
 

honestone

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But I guess you don't want to hear about a "fair and balanced" discussion. There are a number of us here who truly value excellent backup/cloning software like SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner for doing exactly the two tasks I mentioned earlier.

I am certainly open to listening to new ideas/approaches, etc. If you are not, fine. I'll stick with SuperDuper!. It's part of my KISS philosophy: Keep It Simple, Stupid. SuperDupers! does exactly that.
 
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ky-clay

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I like the KISS philosophy. I also have a philosophy. Why pay for something you already have? Time Machine works perfect and it is as simple as it gets. I have my opinion and you have yours. I listened and I disagree. Deal with it.
 

honestone

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I can deal with it. It's you that is having issues. I am not narrow minded, but instead more than willing to listen to other ideas. Obviously that is not the case with you. So deal with it.

Also, Time Machine and the two backup/cloning programs I mentioned take a different approach to backups. That is what you don't want to learn. Fine, keep exhibiting tunnel vision. I'll make my life easier for 1) recovery and 2) installation of a Mac OS with SuperDuper! (and a number of folks do the same with Carbon Copy Cloner).
 

UpsideDownFace

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Your new computer sounds a bit like mine, which I got from e-bay in 2011.
Except I am older than your daughter !!!
Click on the apple ikon, top left corner, Select "about this mac"
the attachment is what I get on mine. It helps people trying to help with problems,
I use mine for photographs, program writing in C and Python, e-mails and looking at u-tube.
I use time-machine, and find it satisfactory
 

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Phillip Jones

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Hello Everyone,

My wife bought our six your old daughter a pre-owned iMac, 20", mid-2009, with a dual core Intel processor, running El Capitan. I will be admin for this machine, so I thought I would sign up because I know I will have questions. It's old, I know, but it runs surprisingly well. A little slow to open some apps, but once up and running its pretty snappy. She will only be doing her homework, simple games and (supervised) YouTube on it. She is very adept using a tablet, Android and iPad, so she will get the hang of this pretty quick. I will be using it myself, as well, for networking, etc. I'm not new to Apple (have been using an iPhone for 10 years), but this is my first foray into desktop OS X.

I have been a Linux user since 1999 and use Linux on all of my other computers (except the wife uses one with Windows 10 on it, which I despise.) I was not surprised to find the similarities with Linux since both have their birthplace in Unix, but I am a little taken back by how locked down this system seems to be. I suppose I am just used to Linux and open source software. A few of the terminal commands work on both systems.

For now, I just wanted to say hello to everyone and I look forward to interacting here. I would like to know what kind of life I can expect given this systems age. I will be upgrading the memory this weekend (from 4GB to 8GB) so I am sure I will get some performance boost out of that, but I would also like to do a little video editing. Is this machine capable of that?

Regards

Bob
Since you know about Unix this may or may not help anything. But, The Mac is a Three layers system On the outside is the Finder, is the view the user see and to engage tasks in the system, the next layer is FreeBSD UNIX, and at the very center Is Mach Kernel Created by Steve Jobs' NEXT Corporation. Up until High Sierra the File system was HFS+ (Hierarchical File System plus). With the High Sierra they switched to APFS (Apple File System) which is tuned to use Solid State Drive; replaces Standard Hard Drive so on Standard hard drive may actually be slower than Sierra. I Hope this helps in Understanding the apple system. Get a Thick skin and get use to Software Companies not treating Mac users as well as Windows users with software that don't have as many features or as up to date. (it's a 40 year Bias.) you can with the use of Terminal which in the Utilities Directory actually use UNIX Commands, if you need. Also if you install a software called Parallels you can actually use Linux.
 
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ky-clay

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Honestone, you do not know how to deal with someone who disagree with you do you? All you can do is call them narrow minded and not willing to listen. Why should I listen to someone as narrow minded as you are. Discussion over.
 

honestone

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Very simple: you "state" your case above, without ANY knowledge of other methods/products. I know you have tunnel vision and will most likely not do it, but if you bother to read the thread:

https://www.mac-help.com/threads/backups-backups-backups.223959/

you would actually learn a lot from it. I know I did with the useful comments others made to that thread. And I did say some positive things about Time Machine. But, like anything, it has its negative qualities also (as do SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner).

But again, I suspect you don't understand what fair and balanced means, and also will not even consider other backup software. Fine, be that way. Myself, I'll continue to be open minded, and more than willing to learn new things.

As Arnie said, "Hasta la vista, baby":

 
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Cory Cooper

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ky-clay and honestone - really?

Please refrain from any further posts in this thread, as it now has nothing to do with Sprocket's introduction and welcome to the friendly and helpful forums of Mac Help.

C
 
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