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karlth
Aug 10, 2011, 07:49 AM
Regular Windows user.

What is the essential Mac software I should download?



ZBoater
Aug 10, 2011, 07:54 AM
Regular Windows user.

What is the essential Mac software I should download?

That kinda depends on what you plan on doing. I got:

Microsoft Office for Mac
Filezilla for Mac
Pixelmator (paint program)
Parallels (to run virtual machines)

I also have Windows 7 running in Bootcamp so I can run Quicken and DVD Profiler, two essential apps in my library with no Mac equivalents I like.

Nightarchaon
Aug 10, 2011, 07:58 AM
Start with visiting www.sophos.com and installing the free antivirus

Macs are just as prone to virus infections as windows, dont belive the fanboys who would have you think otherwise.

after that, well, "essential" rather depends on what your going to be doing with your Mac, so please elaborate.

deeddawg
Aug 10, 2011, 07:59 AM
Regular Windows user.

What is the essential Mac software I should download?

Kind of depends on what you want to do with your Mac. Are you talking about maintenance/tweaking utilities?

Personally, I'd say just use the system as-is for a while before you go out and download anything. You might be surprised at how little is really needed.

Otherwise I'd say do the usual stuff you'd use for any computer. Dropbox, Chrome, Skype, etc. if you use them. Admium is a decent IM client. CarbonCopyCloner is good for disk imaging.

If you have specific needs, I expect people would be happy to make recommendations.

Littleodie914
Aug 10, 2011, 08:07 AM
Macs are just as prone to virus infections as windows, dont belive the fanboys who would have you think otherwise.This is completely, completely false.

You do not need antivirus software installed on your Mac.

Source One (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=9400648&postcount=4)

Source Two (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1206729&highlight=anti+virus)

Source Three (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1205122&highlight=anti+virus)

We're not fanboys, we just do our research. :)

MisterPark
Aug 10, 2011, 08:26 AM
If you do a lot of office work get iWork from the app store. In my opinion it works better then office for mac even the 2011 version. If you don't wanna pay for it use Libre office of lotus symphony both are good.

A few handy apps are the unarchiver(free), app cleaner(free),soundcloud(free),KeepassX(free) Skype, YASU(free) and VLC.

As for the antivirus you don't really need it. If you want you can use virus barrier express to do an occasional on-demand scan just for peace of mind if you need it. Realtime antivirus isn't really necessary (YET!) so save the resources for now.

scarred
Aug 10, 2011, 08:40 AM
First, do not download an Anti virus anytime soon. Give me a break. I just recently installed one on my Windows box (security essentials). Never had a virus. Be careful, and you won't have a problem... especially on a mac.

Second, I'd get Evernote and Wunderlist. Both free, and both really augment the Macbook Air. These both sync to other Android and other iOS devices. With them, you can have addresses, calendar, email (built in functionality), todo list (wunderlist), and rich notes (evernote) shared across all your devices.

Third, I've loved MS Remote desktop (free download from MS) to get to my Windows Desktop. I don't have to install parallels to use a windows app, just remote in.

Finally, the rest depends on what you want to do... Office or iWork for traditional office stuff. Xcode for development. Apeture for photos. etc.

karlth
Aug 10, 2011, 09:08 AM
Thanks for the info guys.

I'll be using it mostly for development(xcode), photography and graphics. Windows compatability is also important, I'll probably install a Windows partition for Windows dev work.

maril1111
Aug 10, 2011, 09:13 AM
Thanks for the info guys.

I'll be using it mostly for development(xcode), photography and graphics. Windows compatability is also important, I'll probably install a Windows partition for Windows dev work.

if you wanna run intensive apps use bootcamp (however the partition cannot be resized after done)

Or you could use virtualisation e.g. parallels,virtualbox(free),vmware fusion

Sounds Good
Aug 10, 2011, 09:15 AM
That kinda depends on what you plan on doing. I got:

Microsoft Office for Mac
Filezilla for Mac
Pixelmator (paint program)
Parallels (to run virtual machines)

I also have Windows 7 running in Bootcamp so I can run Quicken and DVD Profiler, two essential apps in my library with no Mac equivalents I like.
Any particular reason why you're running Windows 7 in Bootcamp and not via Parallels?

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2011, 09:32 AM
Any particular reason why you're running Windows 7 in Bootcamp and not via Parallels?

I wanted to boot native for maximum performance. Parallels can take the bootcamp partition and run it in a VM inside OSX, so I get the best of both worlds - Parallels using the bootcamp partition to run Quicken and other office programs, and I can always boot native into Windows 7 if I want to remove any overhead from running OSX and parallels.

newdeal
Aug 10, 2011, 10:26 AM
I wanted to boot native for maximum performance. Parallels can take the bootcamp partition and run it in a VM inside OSX, so I get the best of both worlds - Parallels using the bootcamp partition to run Quicken and other office programs, and I can always boot native into Windows 7 if I want to remove any overhead from running OSX and parallels.

the only issue with this is with finite hard disk space you can run into an issue since you need to allocate whatever amount to windows right off the bat whereas a normal parallels virtual machine file will dynamically resize as you put more on it. Not normally an issue but could be if you have a 128gb air as you may need to put a large portion of that towards the windows partition

Sounds Good
Aug 10, 2011, 10:43 AM
Parallels can take the bootcamp partition and run it in a VM inside OSX, so I get the best of both worlds - Parallels using the bootcamp partition to run Quicken and other office programs, and I can always boot native into Windows 7 if I want to remove any overhead from running OSX and parallels.
Hmm, I didn't know this. I'm not too familiar with how Parallels and/or Bootcamp works, exactly.

...a normal parallels virtual machine file will dynamically resize as you put more on it.
Same thing here. I've still got a lot to learn if I ever take the plunge.

KylePowers
Aug 10, 2011, 11:09 AM
I've downloaded:
- Chrome and Firefox (but still trying out Safari): Free
- Social networking apps like Twitter, FaceboxPro, and Tab for Google+: Free
- To-Do List apps like Producteev and Wunderlist: Free
- Archiving tools such as The Unarchiver: Free
- Cloud apps like Dropbox: Free
- Virtualbox for virtualizing Windows: Free
- uTorrent for torrents: Free
- Filezilla for FTPing: Free
- Xcode for programming: Free
- Office for Mac 2011: Not Free
- Pages and Keynote: Not Free
- Then some games/apps for games: N.O.V.A. 2 (not free), Steam (free), Team Fortress 2 (free), Touch Grind (free)

old-wiz
Aug 10, 2011, 11:12 AM
Start with visiting www.sophos.com and installing the free antivirus

Macs are just as prone to virus infections as windows, dont belive the fanboys who would have you think otherwise.
.

No they are not. There has never been a virus in the wild that infects OSx. Sophos anti-virus renders your computer MORE vulnerable. don't waste your time with anti-virus.

ECUpirate44
Aug 10, 2011, 11:14 AM
Start with visiting www.sophos.com and installing the free antivirus

Macs are just as prone to virus infections as windows, dont belive the fanboys who would have you think otherwise.

after that, well, "essential" rather depends on what your going to be doing with your Mac, so please elaborate.

Yeah, don't do this.

misterneums
Aug 10, 2011, 11:19 AM
I've never had any virus issues on my mac. I also don't download "hackyourenemiesfacebook" applications and stupid crap. If you have a scrap of common sense, you'll be fine.

Oppressed
Aug 10, 2011, 11:21 AM
Photoshop 9 Elements
Reeder
eBay
Amazon Kindle
Spotify
Desktop Monitor
Wallpaper Wizard (Personal Favorite)
Twitter

If you game, let us know because thats a whole can of worms.

GGJstudios
Aug 10, 2011, 11:59 AM
Start with visiting www.sophos.com and installing the free antivirus
Sophos is not recommended, as it can actually increase your Mac's vulnerability. ClamXav is a better choice, if you insist on running antivirus. You don't need any antivirus software to protect Mac OS X from malware.

Macs are just as prone to virus infections as windows, dont belive the fanboys who would have you think otherwise.
False. No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:
Mac Virus/Malware Info (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=9400648&postcount=4)

blairh
Aug 10, 2011, 12:41 PM
All Free:

Skype
Twitter
uTorrent
Firefox and/or Chrome
Handbrake
VLC
AppCleaner

I'll echo the "you don't need an anti-virus application on your Mac" words.

Also, go check out the Mac App store. Bound to be several cool free apps there.

OutGolfn
Aug 10, 2011, 12:54 PM
Meterologist is a great freeware weather program that resides in your menu bar at the top. Provides tons of weather.com info for free

Gemütlichkeit
Aug 10, 2011, 01:00 PM
I hardly install any apps

utorrent
unarchiver


That's seriously it. I use all the stock apps daily

GGJstudios
Aug 10, 2011, 01:01 PM
AppCleaner
In most cases, app removal software doesn't do a thorough job of deleting files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=12527023&postcount=6).

The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
Best way to FULLY DELETE a program (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=11171082&postcount=16)

KylePowers
Aug 10, 2011, 01:05 PM
In most cases, app removal software doesn't do a thorough job of deleting files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=12527023&postcount=6).

The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
Best way to FULLY DELETE a program (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=11171082&postcount=16)
While I agree with this to an extent, doesn't AppCleaner do all this? You pick an application, it searches for all relevant files, and you decide which ones to trash. How is that different than the manual method? Just not as thorough?

//OSX noob

GGJstudios
Aug 10, 2011, 01:14 PM
While I agree with this to an extent, doesn't AppCleaner do all this? You pick an application, it searches for all relevant files, and you decide which ones to trash. How is that different than the manual method? Just not as thorough?
No, read the link I posted. It deletes mostly just the .plist files and leaves behind much larger files. If you want to simply delete an app and aren't worried about disk space, simply drag the app to the Trash. If you want to remove all files/folders associated with a deleted app, use the manual method. Uninstaller apps are pointless and ineffective.

ritmomundo
Aug 10, 2011, 01:30 PM
I read somewhere in another thread that essentials are Flip4Mac (allows you to play WMV/WMA files), and Perian (I think adds DivX and other video codecs). Both are free.

Free:
Click2Flash (improves battery life drastically on the MBA; integrates into Safari)
Firefox or Chrome (I installed chrome, but I mainly use Safari. Some sites still dont support Safari)
Calibre (to convert ebooks to kindle, ibooks, etc)
Handbrake (to convert videos to avi, iPhone/iPod, etc)
MPlayerX (better than VLC, IMO)
The Unarchiver (the best unzipping program)
Transmission (very simple, clean, excellent bittorrent program)

Paid:
Aperture (more advanced than iPhoto with some features of Photoshop)
Photoshop
Office or iWork (I have iWork, but some power users prefer Office)

Best bet is to check out the MacAppStore first, and macupdate.com for the rest (I would recommend downloading from there rather than random sites on the internet)

Travisimo
Aug 10, 2011, 01:39 PM
avi, iPhone/iPod, etc)
MPlayer (better than VLC, IMO)

Not to hijack the thread, but I installed MPlayerX and do like it better than VLC. However, is there an easy way to get Mplayer to open as the default program for video files? I didn't see anything in settings, and all of my videos are still opening with VLC or Quicktime. I know I can right click and change individual file types to open in MPlayerX, but didn't know if there was a quicker/better way to do this? Thanks!

ritmomundo
Aug 10, 2011, 01:53 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but I installed MPlayerX and do like it better than VLC. However, is there an easy way to get Mplayer to open as the default program for video files? I didn't see anything in settings, and all of my videos are still opening with VLC or Quicktime. I know I can right click and change individual file types to open in MPlayerX, but didn't know if there was a quicker/better way to do this? Thanks!

I'd like to know this too. I want to set MPlayerX to be the default player, rather than Quicktime, but I can't find any info on how to do that other than setting file types individually.

Oppressed
Aug 10, 2011, 01:54 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but I installed MPlayerX and do like it better than VLC. However, is there an easy way to get Mplayer to open as the default program for video files? I didn't see anything in settings, and all of my videos are still opening with VLC or Quicktime. I know I can right click and change individual file types to open in MPlayerX, but didn't know if there was a quicker/better way to do this? Thanks!

Hold down option and right click a movie file. The "open with" becomes "always open with".

GGJstudios
Aug 10, 2011, 01:55 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but I installed MPlayerX and do like it better than VLC. However, is there an easy way to get Mplayer to open as the default program for video files? I didn't see anything in settings, and all of my videos are still opening with VLC or Quicktime. I know I can right click and change individual file types to open in MPlayerX, but didn't know if there was a quicker/better way to do this? Thanks!
To change the default app for any file type:

Locate a file of that type in Finder
Right-click and Get Info (or Command-I)
Change the Open With... to the app you want
Click Change All.

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2011, 01:56 PM
the only issue with this is with finite hard disk space you can run into an issue since you need to allocate whatever amount to windows right off the bat whereas a normal parallels virtual machine file will dynamically resize as you put more on it. Not normally an issue but could be if you have a 128gb air as you may need to put a large portion of that towards the windows partition

I found that 50GB was more than plenty for the Windows partition, since all the data lives in Lion. 200GB for Lion is also plenty for everything except my video collection. That lives on an external hard drive.

bp1000
Aug 10, 2011, 02:09 PM
I use my mba for development too

- I use cyberduck to connect
- MacVim to edit

- Xcode is good if you need all the functionality for making apps and programs.

- pixelmator for graphics is great


Other stuff i found important

- Wunderlist (task list management with syncing)
- Chrome / ff / opera
- Skype
- Caffeine
- Dropbox
- Adapter
- Handbrake
- VLC

And i also run windows under virtualbox as i don't need max performance, just the use of IE for testing.

Maury
Aug 10, 2011, 02:26 PM
Macs are just as prone to virus infections as windows, dont belive the fanboys who would have you think otherwise.

Is this post a troll?

GGJstudios
Aug 10, 2011, 02:36 PM
Is this post a troll?
I prefer to think it's just someone grossly misinformed. You know, the old "innocent until proven guilty" nonsense! :D

Maury
Aug 10, 2011, 02:37 PM
Regular Windows user.

What is the essential Mac software I should download?

Everyone at my work, a PC shop, started buying Macs for home. I made a list for them. It's a little outdated now that Lion's out, but there's still a few gems…

Quicksilver - you either don't need this at all, or will find it to be the most useful app on the Mac. basically this is an indexer, like SpotLight, but sorts the results based on "apps first". Better yet, if there's two apps with the same letter, it notices which one you use more and sorts it upwards. So you can SUPER quickly launch any app on your machine with a maximum of three keystrokes (or two really, one is option-space). Might not sound like much, but trust me, try it!

Perian and Flip4Mac, adds codecs to QuickTime so you can open practical any media.

The Unarchiver - adds support for practically every archiving/compression format out there. Get an archive from the 'net, double-click, done.

Mailplane - if you're primary email is on gmail, give this a run. Basically it's a lightweight mail program that talks only to gmail. The idea is that you don't want to run a big app just to do a quirky reply. However, since installing Lion I've found myself using Apple's built-in app instead, as it launches just as fast, or faster.

AppFresh - run this once a month or so and it tells you if there's updates for any of your apps.

MarcoPolo - are you on a laptop that moves from home to work? you might want to try this out. It looks around the network and tries to figure out where you are. if it can, it re-connects your servers, default printer, etc.

OmniGraffle - diagramming app. not the best, but workable.

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2011, 02:38 PM
Is this post a troll?

I don't think it is. Just because there aren't a lot of viruses out there on Macs doesn't mean OS X is immune to the threat or has some magic pixie dust sprinkled on it that makes viruses impossible. If you want to split hairs between "malware", "trojans", or "viruses", fact is a determined hacker can cause damage to your system, especially if you do stupid things on the Internet. Something akin to having unprotected sex with complete strangers. Or Russian roulette...

GGJstudios
Aug 10, 2011, 02:39 PM
I don't think it is. Just because there aren't any viruses out there on Macs doesn't mean OS X is immune to the threat or has some magic pixie dust sprinkled on it that makes viruses impossible.
Fixed that for you. :)

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2011, 02:46 PM
Fixed that for you. :)

Found this interesting.

Why are there no Mac viruses? (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2009/09/02/why-are-there-no-mac-viruses/)

So the argument that I haven't got a STD because no one wants to have sex with me is kinda weak... :p

GGJstudios
Aug 10, 2011, 02:49 PM
Found this interesting.

Why are there no Mac viruses? (http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2009/09/02/why-are-there-no-mac-viruses/)

So the argument that I haven't got a STD because no one wants to have sex with me is kinda weak... :p
The fact remains that the only forms of Mac OS X malware in the wild are trojans, that require the user to actively install them. As long as you are careful to only install software from reputable, trusted sources, you don't have to worry about malware on a Mac.

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2011, 02:52 PM
The fact remains that the only forms of Mac OS X malware in the wild are trojans, that require the user to actively install them. As long as you are careful to only install software from reputable, trusted sources, you don't have to worry about malware on a Mac.

I agree, but sometimes you want to install stuff and you don't know exactly where it came from (at least I do, I like to explore and try out stuff). It'd be nice to have a malware/trojan/bad juju detector software that would scan downloads to at least reduce the risk. Not a virus detection like Norton, but a utility that you run only when downloading files. Anything like that worth trying?

GGJstudios
Aug 10, 2011, 03:00 PM
I agree, but sometimes you want to install stuff and you don't know exactly where it came from (at least I do, I like to explore and try out stuff).
There's the problem. If you don't know where it came from, you assume a huge risk by installing it. If it's legit software, chances are great that you can search this forum for the app name and find other people's experiences, opinions and recommendations related to the app, before installing it. If it came from a torrent site, it would be pretty irresponsible to install it, as there's no way of knowing if it's been tampered with.
It'd be nice to have a malware/trojan/bad juju detector software that would scan downloads to at least reduce the risk. Not a virus detection like Norton, but a utility that you run only when downloading files. Anything like that worth trying?
In my opinion, no. As an example, consider the MacDefender issue. It wasn't a true trojan, because it wasn't disguised as another app. It simply did a drive-by download and launched an installer. No antivirus app recognized it as malware when it was first encountered. It took some time before AV apps were updated to defend against it. However, those practicing safe computing by not installing something they didn't initiate were completely unaffected. They knew better than to believe their Mac was infected with viruses (as MacDefender claimed on the bogus scan), and they simply canceled the installation and deleted the file.

Exercising common sense in installing software is a much more reliable method of protection, rather than depending on any 3rd party software to detect and intercept malware.

ZBoater
Aug 10, 2011, 03:08 PM
Exercising common sense in installing software is a much more reliable method of protection, rather than depending on any 3rd party software to detect and intercept malware.

Yes, but it's nowhere near as much fun... :p

munkery
Aug 10, 2011, 03:30 PM
New to Mac? Check out the links in my sig.

blairh
Aug 10, 2011, 03:41 PM
In most cases, app removal software doesn't do a thorough job of deleting files/folders related to deleted apps. For more information, read this (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=12527023&postcount=6).

The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
Best way to FULLY DELETE a program (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=11171082&postcount=16)

Thanks for this. I'll take back my AppCleaner suggestion.

Azathoth
Aug 10, 2011, 05:37 PM
"So I've just bought a Mac. What should I download? "

Pr0n :p

And:
RightZoom
Audacity
VLC player
Deeper
Onyx
StartupPrefPane
Coconutbattery
HandBrake
istat pro
MacFuse
gfxStatus (if you have a discrete gfx card in your mac, MBA doesn't)

I also d/l:
Firefox
Thunderbird
LibreOffice
Skype
Dropbox
Spotify

munkery
Aug 10, 2011, 05:42 PM
Now that NeoOffice is donationware, I recommend LibreOffice as well if you want a free office suite.

But, with the new features in Lion, I also recommend iWork (Pages, Numbers, & Keynote in the MAc App Store) if you are willing to go with a non-free option.

Before purchasing iWork, look out for rumors about the next release of iWork, which may be soon. But, rumors about this release have been inconsistent.

Travisimo
Aug 10, 2011, 11:38 PM
Hold down option and right click a movie file. The "open with" becomes "always open with".

Thanks, I'm familiar with this method. I just thought there might be some way to tell Mplayer to be the default for all video file types in one setting. In Windows, for example, usually media players will have an option to take over all video types so you don't have to change each kind of file separately.

KylePowers
Aug 11, 2011, 12:36 AM
Pick file -> Get Info -> Scroll down to 'Open With' -> Pick program of choice -> Click 'Change All'

Tested this on a folder of vids, all of them changed from Quicktime to MPlayerX

oyibo45
Aug 11, 2011, 06:49 AM
Desktop Monitor
OpenOffice
Blender
Inkscape
Gimp
Sketchup
VLC
Google Earth
Tux Guitar
EverNote
Kindle
Firefox