Just switched and have a few questions

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hey, I just switched from my terrible Compaq to a mac mini and I'm not regretting it at all. There's just a few little problems I'm having that I'm hopeing someone will be able to help me with:



1. I'm having trouble playing .avi files. I downloaded Real player and Windows media player and neither of them will play them. Same goes with Quicktime. Is there anywhere I can download the codecs to be able to play them?



2. As far as viewing pictures goes, I'm not a huge fan of the Preview program that comes with OSX. I really liked the program that came with windows that allowed me to view all the files in a folder just by clicking the arrows. I know preview can do this but the files all have to be loaded into the drawer which can take awhile to do if you have a lot of pictures. Are there any good photo viewing (note "viewing", not "editing") programs that I can download for free?



3. Is spyware something I should worry about with a mac? I haven't been able to find anything that scans it so I'm assuming it's not. Is this correct?



4. Probably the biggest problem I've been having with my mac is that it often lags and freezes momentarily. Might this be due to the low amount of RAM that comes standard with the mac mini? Are there any tricks that can help a mac run a bit faster until I can afford a RAM upgrade?



5. I have a wireless mouse that I bought awhile ago. I would like to continue using it with my mac mini but I can't get it to work. It hardly responds when I move the mouse however, I can't find any drivers and it didn't need any for Windows. It did come with an install disk but I think its only for windows and it's on a floppy. Another mouse (not wireless) that my roommate is using with his PC is working fine for me so I don't understand why my wireless wouldn't work. Is there anything I can do about this?



6. Last question, Obviously, my mac came with Panther, has there been any indication from Apple that people who recently bought a mac will be able to get a discount on Tiger or will that not be happening?



Thanks in advance for any help!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sekio

    1. I'm having trouble playing .avi files. I downloaded Real player and Windows media player and neither of them will play them. Same goes with Quicktime. Is there anywhere I can download the codecs to be able to play them?



    VLC - www.videolan.org





    Quote:

    3. Is spyware something I should worry about with a mac? I haven't been able to find anything that scans it so I'm assuming it's not. Is this correct?



    So far, correct.





    Quote:

    4. Probably the biggest problem I've been having with my mac is that it often lags and freezes momentarily. Might this be due to the low amount of RAM that comes standard with the mac mini? Are there any tricks that can help a mac run a bit faster until I can afford a RAM upgrade?



    It is definitely due to the low amount of RAM. OS X is very RAM hungry and I am not aware of any such tool.



    Quote:

    5. I have a wireless mouse that I bought awhile ago. I would like to continue using it with my mac mini but I can't get it to work. It hardly responds when I move the mouse however, I can't find any drivers and it didn't need any for Windows. It did come with an install disk but I think its only for windows and it's on a floppy. Another mouse (not wireless) that my roommate is using with his PC is working fine for me so I don't understand why my wireless wouldn't work. Is there anything I can do about this?



    Have you tried going to the manufacturers website? They usually have drivers in their website(s).





    Quote:

    6. Last question, Obviously, my mac came with Panther, has there been any indication from Apple that people who recently bought a mac will be able to get a discount on Tiger or will that not be happening?



    Thanks in advance for any help!



    No official announcement yet, but I'm sure it will come soon. With regard to #2, someone else will help you hopefully.



    Welcome to the forums!
  • Reply 2 of 9
    sekiosekio Posts: 150member
    Thanks for the help. In regards to the mouse, I tried going to the manufacturer's website but as far as I can see, none exists. it was kind of a cheaper mouse and I think it was from somewhere in Asia as the instruction booklet was pretty badly tanslated. The brand of the mouse is "Cyber Ninja" Model M-CN28WC. I was hopeing that there might be somewhere in which drivers for various pieces of hardware could be found. I think this mouse might be a lost cause though.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    You might want to search in www.versiontracker.com or www.macupdate.com but I doubt they have any drivers for that specific mouse.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,657member
    Don't .avi files use DivX? Try going to http://www.divx.com and downloading the application. This installs the plug-in for quicktime. I'm not a big fan of VLC.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    There are several options for viewing .avi's. VLC and MPlayer are both very good programs.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sekio

    1. I'm having trouble playing .avi files. I downloaded Real player and Windows media player and neither of them will play them. Same goes with Quicktime. Is there anywhere I can download the codecs to be able to play them?



    Some one suggested VLC, which is a respectable program. You might also try searching for something called MPlayer through www.download.com. Whatever you decide to do, your Mac will want to open .avi's in QuickTime. To fix this problem, find ANY .avi file you have on your computer and click once one it - do not open it. Next, go to the "File Menu" and drag down to "Get Info". A window will pop up with all the information for the .avi file. Look down to where it says "Open With" and select the program you've decided to download. There should be a button that say "Apply to all" which will cause that same program to open anything with a .avi ending.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sekio

    2. As far as viewing pictures goes, I'm not a huge fan of the Preview program that comes with OSX. I really liked the program that came with windows that allowed me to view all the files in a folder just by clicking the arrows. I know preview can do this but the files all have to be loaded into the drawer which can take awhile to do if you have a lot of pictures. Are there any good photo viewing (note "viewing", not "editing") programs that I can download for free?




    Why not just import all of your photo's into iPhoto and view them there? You'll be able to see all of the thumbs and it shouldn't take a horrendously long time to load up. I know if you upgrade to (or have) iPhoto 5 installed, then when you open up an album and select one of the pictures to view, the rest of the photos in the album will be displayed in a horizontal scroll directly above it, making it easy to switch between photos with the arrow keys. If you DON'T have iLife '05, then I'm not quite sure I know of a freeware program that will do it.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sekio

    3. Is spyware something I should worry about with a mac? I haven't been able to find anything that scans it so I'm assuming it's not. Is this correct?




    Yes, absolutely. Take the time you save scanning for spyware to look around and explore the features of your new Mac.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sekio

    4. Probably the biggest problem I've been having with my mac is that it often lags and freezes momentarily. Might this be due to the low amount of RAM that comes standard with the mac mini? Are there any tricks that can help a mac run a bit faster until I can afford a RAM upgrade?






    Yeah, I agree with what was said earlier ... most definitely a low RAM problem. 512 is probably a good number and more cost effective to upgrade to, it just depends on what you're using the computer for. But 256 is a little low to be running Panther effectively. Up it to 512 at least whenever you have the chance.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sekio

    5. I have a wireless mouse that I bought awhile ago. I would like to continue using it with my mac mini but I can't get it to work. It hardly responds when I move the mouse however, I can't find any drivers and it didn't need any for Windows. It did come with an install disk but I think its only for windows and it's on a floppy. Another mouse (not wireless) that my roommate is using with his PC is working fine for me so I don't understand why my wireless wouldn't work. Is there anything I can do about this?




    Hmmm ... you might also wanna try checking the sensitivity of the mouse in "System Preferences" -> "Mouse and Keyboard" Adjust the mouse sensitivity to a higher level and see if that helps.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sekio

    6. Last question, Obviously, my mac came with Panther, has there been any indication from Apple that people who recently bought a mac will be able to get a discount on Tiger or will that not be happening?




    This has been a contested point on the AI boards for a while. Apple will explain the upgrade policy when they announce Tiger. Usually the low-cost upgrade offer is only extended to those people who buy a computer after the OS release announcement, though; however, I may be wrong and Apple may surprise us all. Its happened before...



    Hope that helps! Enjoy working with your new mini!!!
  • Reply 7 of 9
    sekiosekio Posts: 150member
    Thanks again for all the help! I downloaded both VLC and MPlayer. I liked VLC best so I'm going to continue using it.



    My computer came with iPhoto 5 so I'm going to play around with it some more and see what I can do with it.



    I tried all the suggestions for the mouse and looked around on the internet for drivers again and have yet to find anything. I don't think it's going to work. I'm tempted to buy a wireless apple mouse however I like to have the scroller and I'm not sure if I would like having only one mouse button where I've used a mouse with two since I got my first computer 10 years ago.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    I'm not sure how intense a "preview" you have in mind, but have you tried just using the Finder in column mode? Just navigate to your picture folder, click a picture, and it will preview it to the right. You may also find the "large icon" option in the Finder Viewing Options menu helpful.



    Now if you had a more powerful previewer in mind, you may consider taking a look at GraphicConverter shareware. It's a time expiration demo, after which you can choose to pay a fee to register. In there, you should find an option to "browse folder", to which you will be treated to a large pane of thumbnails of pictures in any given folder, larger preview to the right upon manual selection, click to open, etc...



    I tried using iPhoto to duplicate this sort of functionality, but found it quirky and impractical as I had to import this and that just to get to the point where I could preview something. Granted, I didn't spend a lot of time with it, but I just didn't get that beginner' incentive feeling with it. It certainly is more focused toward interacting with digital cameras wrt photo collections.



    I hope that helps.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sekio



    I tried all the suggestions for the mouse and looked around on the internet for drivers again and have yet to find anything. I don't think it's going to work. I'm tempted to buy a wireless apple mouse however I like to have the scroller and I'm not sure if I would like having only one mouse button where I've used a mouse with two since I got my first computer 10 years ago.




    You could consider a bluetooh mouse from a third party manufacturer. Some are listed below:

    http://www.macally.com/new/new_btmouse.html

    http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/pr...CONTENTID=7110

    http://www.kensington.com/html/5465.html



    As far as Tiger upgrades - I think discounted up-to-date programs for Apple's OS upgrades usually only include users who buy a Mac on or after the announcement date. So, unfortunately I don't think you'll be eligible.
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