Got a New Mac for Christmas - Now What?

— 4 minute read

If Santa provided you with a shiny new Mac, iPhone or iPad under the tree this year and it's the first time you've used a Mac or iOS device, here's a couple resources you could use to get yourself started:

Tutorials and Training Videos permalink

SCOTutor for Mac permalink

SCOtutor for Mac is an application that includes videos with screen capture training and instruction from the brilliant Don McAllister of It's a resource that's perfect for the person who's brand new to the Mac and is coming from the world of Windows.

  • Topics include: Introduction to the Mac, Exploring the OS X Desktop, Applications and your Mac, Introduction to the Finder, Auto Save & Versions, Introduction to Apple Mail, Managing Application Windows, Printing and Scanning, Sharing with the Mac, Using the Safari Web Browser, Users, Accounts & Parental Controls, Time Machine.

SCOtutor for Mac is available for $4.99 for your Mac in the Mac App Store or for your iPad in the iTunes App Store.

SCOTutor for Lion permalink

SCOTutor for Lion is for the somewhat more experienced Mac user who is getting their first taste of Lion - Apple's most recent operating system, 10.7, also called Lion.

  • Topics include: Introduction to Lion, Gestures in Lion, Full Screen Apps in Lion, Mastering Mission Control, Launchpad, Resume in Lion, Auto Save in Lion, Versions in Lion, Using Safari in Lion, Using Mail in Lion, Enhancements to Preview, Address Book in Lion, iCal in Lion.

SCOTutor for Lion is available for $4.99 for your Mac in the Mac App Store or for your iPad in the iTunes App Store.

SCOTutor for iPad permalink

SCOtutor for iPad is another app with video training, this time focused on using your new iPad.

  • Topics include: The iPad Controls, Managing The Home Screen, Personalising Your iPad, Using the Home Button, MultiTouch Gestures, Installing, Applications on Your iPad, Searching on your iPad, Notifications on your iPad, Using Text and the Keyboard, iCloud and the iPad, Syncing with iTunes, Airplay and Mirroring, Safari, Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Camera and Photos, Messages, Music, Video & iTunes Store, Reminders, Newsstand, Maps.

SCOTutor for iPad is available for $4.99CAD for your Mac in the Mac App Store or for your iPad in the iTunes App Store.

As I mentioned, all of the above apps are produced by Don McAllister. If you'd rather just have access to his full library of training videos and tutorials you can buy a 3 month membership for $57. 320+ tutorials plus a new video added every week.

[box style="info"]If you'd like to hear more from Don, I interviewed him on a recent episode of Welcome to the Internet.[/box]

Sites to Read / Podcasts to Listen To permalink

There are new Mac blogs and websites popping up every other day so I'm sure you'll find the ones that appeal to you, but here's a few that I read regularly.

  • The Unofficial Apple Weblog has news about Mac stuff as well as tutorials and tips/tricks thrown in.
  • is a site for more of the work side of the Mac.
  • Mac Power Users Podcast The podcast companion to MacSparky - The Mac Power Users currently has 67 episodes covering all sorts of topics on how to use your Mac, iPhone and iPad.
  • Apple's Tips for iPhone Some tips you may not have heard of or seen.
  • Macworld is the online version of the popular Mac magazine. The main site is somewhat useless to me, but there's plenty of good articles in their How To section.
  • The Tech Guy Leo Laporte is considered the godfather of podcasting and he's got lots of video or audio shows devoted to all things tech. The Tech Guy isn't focused on Mac exclusively, but there's lots of tips for the hardware/software newbie.
  • Apple's Support Site Apple's own support site is a great resource and many Google searches will result in you ending up on their forums or support articles. Videos, manuals, and community forums are all worth a visit if you're stuck on something with your Mac or iPhone/iPad.

There's my quick list. I'd love to hear what sites you visit for Mac support and tips/tricks - leave a comment with your resource.