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mym6
Aug 14, 2005, 10:59 AM
This is a bit of a long post but I wanted to give everyone an idea of what kind of computer user I am so I can maybe get some better answers. If you could care less about my computing background I've put my actual question in bold :p

My wife and I are moving to a house soon (out of an apartment) and I want a good, do it all laptop to use around the house and while traveling. I have used Macs before, from System 7 on up to Tiger (on my own Intel box no less) but I'm still a long time Windows user. My current desktop system is a 3Ghz P4 with 1GB RAM. I'm also a long time Linux user and have a PIII 800 desktop system sitting next to my Windows machine. The two share the keyboard, video, mouse with a KVM. I'm very happy with my Windows XP system and don't currently have plans to replace it in the next year. It's easy to use (the idea of it just works applies here) and I don't have any trouble with spyware/viruses on my own PC.

I used to use Linux as my primary desktop system and although I love the power and flexibility of Linux, I got sick of not being able to do the day to day things I wanted to do...simply. iTunes was actually the start of why I went back to using Windows as my primary OS. That and all the digital stuff I wanted to work with like video editing, DVD creation, digital cameras and camcorders. I've since put Linux to work as a server and it works perfect for file sharing and remote access.

So like I said, I want a good do it all laptop. I really want the ease of Windows but I also would like to have a portable Linux system. After thinking about it for a while I decided that OS X was the obvious choice. I don't have to dual boot and I won't have any trouble getting wireless network working (another Linux gripe of mine).

I've decided on the 14" iBook because of the price, superdrive, long battery life and size. Even though the resolution is the same between the 12" and the 14" I think the slightly larger one will fit my lap better :) . Also, 1024x768 on a 12" screen just doesn't seem enjoyable to me. Anyway, I like the fact it comes with a firewire port, two USB 2.0 ports, dvd/cd burner, built in wireless and bluetooth and could be hooked up to a TV with the right cables. I'll primarily use it for web browsing, chat and iTunes but I also want to be able to do some web work, video editing and DVD creation on the system. I realize it's just an iBook but I think it'll get the job done well enough.

My question for everyone is, what kind of free software utilities do people use and where do you get them? What other sites are out there like this one? I'm definitely a power user and my day job is that of system/network administrator and webmaster. I'm interested in utilities like network/port scanners, wifi scanners, bittorrent clients, DVD copying such as DVD shrink for Windows (not for illegal stuff believe it or not), VPN clients, remote desktop, GPS and what ever else you can think of. The availability of these types of programs will help me decide if I want to replace my windows box as well :cool:



skubish
Aug 14, 2005, 11:08 AM
I will give you my shortlist

1. StuffIt-extract .sit files

2. Meteorologist - weather forecast in your menubar

3. MenuMeters - CPU, memory, network usage info on your menubar

4. VLC - media player

5. Fetch - ftp client (shareware though)

All of these can be found at www.versiontracker.com (http://www.versiontracker.com)

beige matchbox
Aug 14, 2005, 11:15 AM
The ones i can't live without are:

Stuffit - opens sit files, and some others
Adium - IM client
OneButtonFTP - simple free ftp client
Linein - App for passing audio from the linein to the speakers
NeoOfficeJ - free office setup
MacJanitor - for maintenance tasks


Apart from that i use the built in apps, and a few other bits of misc freeware :)

Also, theres a thread/list of useful apps to put on your new apple, but you'll have to sear for that yourself :)

XIII
Aug 14, 2005, 11:41 AM
Skype :)

Not many really.. ;)

mym6
Aug 14, 2005, 11:47 AM
The ones i can't live without are:

Stuffit - opens sit files, and some others
Adium - IM client
OneButtonFTP - simple free ftp client
Linein - App for passing audio from the linein to the speakers
NeoOfficeJ - free office setup
MacJanitor - for maintenance tasks


Apart from that i use the built in apps, and a few other bits of misc freeware :)

Also, theres a thread/list of useful apps to put on your new apple, but you'll have to sear for that yourself :)

I already downloaded NeoOffice/J as well as just OpenOffice. I've used OpenOffice on OS X before but hadn't heard of NeoOffice/J. As for OneButtonFTP...how well is the FTP support in Finder. I like how I can connect to network shares in OS X in a similar fasion to Windows but I'm wondering if it works as cleanly as WebDrive. WebDrive is a program that maps a remote machine, via sftp, ftp, frontpage and others as a drive in Windows. You can then use *any* app to edit files on a remote machine and the apps have no idea it isn't a local drive.

beige matchbox
Aug 14, 2005, 11:57 AM
OneButtonFTP is about as simpler an ftp client as you can get,

You start it up, connect to the server, do the actions you want it to do and it builds up a queue, hit play and off it goes :) no special integration (apart from you can drag and drop files from the finder) or anything, but imo it's all the better for it

As to ftp in the finder itself, not entirely sure, i tried fiddling about some time ago (early 10.3 i think) to see what it could do, go bored and downloaded a free client :)

Calihafan
Aug 14, 2005, 05:55 PM
Quicksilver - Application launcher. www.quicksilver.blacktree.com

Firefox - 'nuff said. www.mozilla.org

Skype - 'nuff said, again. www.skype.com

NetNewsWire Lite - RSS newsfeeder. http://ranchero.com/netnewswire/ be sure to get the light version.

AdiumX - great chat client. www.adiumx.com

Seashore - like Paint for Windows, I needed a simple graphics app. Based on GIMP but you don't have to open X11to use it http://mac.softpedia.com/get/Graphics/Seashore.shtml

ClamXav - virus scanner, very good for CDs and stuff you get from Windows users if you want to pass them on to other Windows users. www.clamxav.com

GmailStatus - if you have gmail, this is a really cool toolbar app. http://homepage.mac.com/carsten.guenther/GmailStatus/

iBackup - A great backup app. Don't use it if you have a harddrive with software that comes with it, but its good if you just have an old, generic external harddrive. http://www.grapefruit.ch/iBackup/

VLC - great universal video app. http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

Growl - really good universal notification app. I have it set to flash on the right side of my screen, translucently, when one of my contacts signs on or off on Adium. Also, when my GmailStatus finds some new mail, it flashes. Great app. http://growl.info/

Well, um, thats it, besides things like NeoOffice (I don't have any experience with it so I can't recommend it) and things like Windows Media Player/Real Player, if you find you need them.

Hope I helped.

Calih

Sttesuhc
Aug 14, 2005, 06:37 PM
Graphic Converter
Toast
Quicken

Just three that come to mind....yes two aren't exactly shareware or freeware, but those are three I like.

There's also:
iPod Rip
Calq - simple calculator app