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Made the switch to a mac

And loving it. What software do you recommend?

10:26 pm on Aug 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So, i just went and dropped 2K on a macbookpro 15.4" 2.2Ghz (santarosa chipset). This machine is awesome! I feel like i was computing with an abacus before this.... I recall one lady mentioned before that with a mac for the first time, i feel like im actually using my computer, not fighting with it ;)

Everything just works, period. Everything is so intuitive that i now feel that windows is setup counterintuitivly. I dont want to start a flame, but i just love it.

Any software you guys recommend that you just cant live without? What is on your most used list perhaps?


12:05 am on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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MainMenu puts all system maintenance tools and scripts nicely in one menu.
12:16 am on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)


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Transmit for FTP'ing.
6:06 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The answer really depends upon what you are going to be doing with your computer.

Personally, my most common use of a computer is for writing code and the application that I use the most is TextWrangler.

9:23 pm on Aug 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The Microsoft Office pack for Mac is basic. Expect it to be better than what you are used to on Windows, unless you have been working with the very latest releases.

And, yes, 2004 is the most recent version.

Now, MS Mail (Entourage) vs Apple's mail. Apple's mail is very good, but if you work on a Windows mail at any time, you'll want to go with Entourage just so you don't have to switch gears. And, if you have a PDA, I find that MS's products match up a tad better.

2:45 pm on Aug 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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For web work, BBEdit is the must-have text editor for the Mac.

Also, if you host your sites on Unix/Linux, you'll dig into your Mac's Unix underpinnings. Install the Mac OS X developer tools. Check out the Terminal app. Learn vi just to impress people at parties.

When I had to use Windows stuff for work, I found MS Remote Desktop Connection for Mac took the pain out of it.

3:26 pm on Aug 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Textmate - text editor
Firefox - Gotta have FF extensions
OmniOutliner - todos and KinklessGTD
iTerm - replace default terminal.app
Navicat - GUI for MySQL
Adium - all in one IM
Parallels - so I can login into Adcenter
Quicksilver - launch apps and more w/ just keyboard
7:52 pm on Aug 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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TypeIt4Me - for correcting my typos and avoiding repetitive typing of paragraphs tht I use every day.

SubEthaEdit - for collaborative editing of PHP etc.

vlc - for playing movies in all formats

Wire Tap Pro - for catching audio

Snapz Pro - for capturing screen shots (still and moving).

Roxio Toast - for burning CDs and DVDs

RAGE ButtonDesign for web sites
RAGE Google Sitemap Automater

Reunion 8 - Genealogy

PageSucker 3.2 MacOS X

Nisus Thesaurus

GraphicConverter US X - Shareware "PhotoShop" comparable.

Flip4Mac - QuickTime enhancer

ffmpegX_0.0.9s - video app.

Fetch 4.0.3 - FTP client

FileXaminer - changes file permissions

Easyfind - better than Spotlight for some find functions

Chicken of the VNC - remote desktop controller


BBEdit Lite 6.1

Dock Timer

Fission audiofile splitter

2:56 pm on Aug 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm relativley new to Mac as well, going on about 4 months now I think. I love it!

Some of my must haves:

Textmate - By far the best text editor for web design IMHO. It took me a bit to get used to but it's well worth it. The Bundles are a huge timesaver for me. I tried BBedit and to me, it just felt clunky and not as customizable.

Transmit - FTP, tried a bunch, this one has everything I could ever want.

Color Picker - The default OSX one is great, I found an applescript to let me keep it as a program in the dock which for me is extremely handy. (Painters Picker and Hex color Picker are great add ons for this.)

TextExpander - Helps easily write often used snips with shortcuts. (Similar to TypeIt4Me, I haven't tried that one yet, going to right now though.)

Flip4Mac WMV - For those times I need to view windows media files.

Adium - Instant messaging that connects to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo etc.

MAMP Pro - Made it easier for an Apache novice like me to have multiple local test sites.

1Passwd - Password manager. I went with this since it seamlessly imported my old Roboform database.

Parallels - One of the least used programs in my Mac. I bought a copy simply to be able to test sites with Windows browsers side by side the Mac ones while designing. It's worth it to me to not have to switch back and forth to test in IE, if you don't mind logging out and into Windows, Boot Camp may be a good (and free) alternative.

QuickSilver - I LOVE this! Takes a while to get used to it, but once I found the gestures that can work in *all* programs, I fell in love and started really learning what else it can do :) This little program is a goldmine of features.

[edited by: LunaC at 2:58 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2007]

10:50 am on Sept 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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i want to go against the pack regarding the FTP/SFTP/SSH client.

everyone seems to like Transmit. fair enough. if it works for them, good. but i'm a solid advocate of YummyFTP.

i'm also a recovering Gatesie (6 months sans windows). vista finally pushed me over the edge.

anyhow, i searched high and low for something that would replicate even 50% of what WinSCP can do. i must have tried over 50 different apps. most were abysmal. ONLY YummyFTP came close. it's does about 95% of what i could accomplish with WinSCP.

i manage over 2 dozen websites, and make constants updates to all of them on a daily basis. and Transmit just can't do what i need it to do. if you're a casual user, Transmit definitely does the job. but if you need more "power" Yummy is my recommendation.

just my 1p (2 cents in u.s. money)

7:33 am on Sept 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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A good set of software you could get is the free set of software development tools that you can have shipped when you purchase the operating system.
10:39 am on Sept 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Mobro4000, I'm one of the die-hard fans of Transmit, particularly its DockSend feature and its API hooks into TextMate, although I have one issue with Transmit that's problematic for me.

What does YummyFTP do that Transmit doesn't?

1:00 am on Sept 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I've been using the Mac as my source of income for 20 years now, well 19. I still keep adding must haves to my list of applications, so I will try and edit my list considerable here. As someone else said though. It's all relevant to what your trying to accomplish.

First off if you have a lot of things going on in your business, I find Daylite a must have application for managing, projects, task, calendars, quotes, etc. I'm not sure how I would function if someone took it away form me. It can be customized to no end, it takes several months just to get it tweaked to your style of working, but it's worth it to keep you on task and on budget and not miss anything. No more to do's falling though the cracks.

I like Interarchy for FTP now. The older versions I didn't warm up to as well as transmit. But I've made the switch and haven't looked back. I well have to look at yummy.

Because I can't spell and Apple's spell checker sucks, I use Spell Catcher all day long, works with any app.

If you want a small flexible database that is set-up and ready to use for cheap, take a look at Data Guardian for keeping track of domain info, software serial numbers and anything else you have to constantly look up. I can make a new template for various databases in about two minutes, very easy.

Navicat definitely gets my vote for managing my MySQL databases.

Surprisingly we use Apples iWork suite a lot in our office, at $79 it works very well. Reads most Office docs fairly well, exports to them just fine and has a lot of useful templates that don't scream Office! We have Office and just about every major Adobe application made, we are both print and web based company. But we all go to iWork apps when we can, simple and effective, like a good Apple app should be.

When things in the OS seem a little off, I run Tiger cache cleaner, does a lot more than the name implies, think its about $10

OmniGraffle Professional is a great flowchart tool (think visio on a diet) with a lot of user support for stencils (template objects). There are a lot of good web stencils available for free. It's a great way to mock up a form for a customer to look at before coding one. Looks like the real thing.

Mac Pilot is a good tool if your not inclined to tweaking the OS in the Unix command line world. Does nice things like being able to change what file type screen shots are taken in and where they end up. And several hundred other items.

6:03 pm on Sept 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Having used all the FTP clients available that I could find, I also settled on Transmit. Far better than anything I ever had on Windows.

VisualHub is my tip for the thread - converts any video format to anything else, smoothly. Also creates SWF files for streaming video from a website.


2:55 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm new to Mac - 2 months - but I'd like to recommend these programs:

TextWrangler (Free) - I love the way you can open several files at once and they are listed down the side. It has some amazing features too.

Parallels Desktop - believe me, this rocks. Use Windows from within OS X! Yet with little or no loss of speed compared to a PC for running everyday tasks. You can run it within a window, full screen, or with version 3, each app can use a separate window on your Mac desktop!

It's invaluable for Windows-only programs, such as Microsoft Access. (Why isn't that included in Mac Office 2004?)

TypeIt4Me - for correcting my typos and avoiding repetitive typing of paragraphs tht I use every day.

Does it not work on this forum? :-)

12:39 pm on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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In my experience VMWare Fusion is much better than Parallels. Parallels takes much more RAM and has bad crash habits if I try to run it after my machine has been running a while. On the other hand Fusion gives me no problems. I paid for Parallels but use Fusion exclusively now.
10:41 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Parallels takes much more RAM and has bad crash habits if I try to run it after my machine has been running a while.

You can set how much RAM it uses, of course. I'm on a 2Gb iMac and find I can run Windows XP and Linux together without problems. I gave 256Mb of RAM to Linux and 400Mb to XP.

Parallels really is smooth. Using XP within OS X is just like using it on a standalone PC!

Just make sure you install Parallel Tools for each operating system. You can then freely move the mouse in and out of the virtual window (and drag and drop files from Mac to Windows!). Tools also allows you to resize the virtual window and the desktop inside it automatically fits the new size. Fullscreen is also possible, of course.

I haven't noticed any bad crash habits, even if I run Parallels late in the day.

11:54 am on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I can give Parallels less RAM but it would just slow down XP. VMWare is simply a more mature product and more efficient at using resources. But maybe that is not an issue for you. Your "end of the day" comment implies you shut down your computer every day. I don't. I have a laptop - MB Pro - and it stays on for weeks or even months at a time. I reboot primarily for major security updates. Try running parallels for the second or third time after your computer has been up for two weeks - then tell me how much you like Parallels and whether VMWare works better for you. But, yes, I would agree that parallels works pretty well if you reboot often.
4:13 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm quite a fan of iLife, simple, quick to use, free and results which looks professional in minutes.

I also use Microsoft Office:Mac 2004 Student and Teacher Edition.
Much cheaper than the full works, but includes everything 99.9% of people need.
Also if you purchase now you're eligible for a free upgrade to 2008 office for mac.

Having said that, when I need to make a quick poster or anything graphical, iWorks 08 is fab! - the same principle as iLife, just for word processing and desktop publishing.

2:39 pm on Oct 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I reboot every day as I am used to Windows. Should I be doing otherwise? I am on an iMac which I don't want to leave switched on overnight.

Can anyone recommend a free and simple database program for the Mac?

I have to boot into XP just to use Access. I'm basically just editing text, no need for fancy database features.

4:48 pm on Nov 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I reboot every day as I am used to Windows. Should I be doing otherwise?

Some of the Macs here at work only get restarted a couple times a year. Your Mac does do some housecleaning tasks when you restart, so it's a good idea to do it occasionally but you definitely don't need to do it everyday.

Set your Energy Savings settings in your System Preferences though so that you don't waste energy/money when you aren't using it.

2:09 pm on Nov 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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DiskWarrior- you may only use it once or twice, but its worth every penny just having it around.

ASM menu - bring back the application switcher menu and makes the finder windows work as they did under OS 9. I couldn't work without it.

Default Folder - saves me about an hour a day of productivity.

Another fan of Transmit. Although it does have some issues with SFTP.

Carbon Copy Cloner - I clone my system to an external hard disk for backup purposes. If something happens to the internal HD, or even the Mac itself, I can boot up and be working in an identical environment withing minutes.

Onyx - gives access to some 'hidden' OS X features.