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Old Jun 20, 2012, 09:45 AM   #1
anton1s
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Post MBA: [must-have] applications

Hi All

I just bought my MBA 13 and since it's the first time I am using mac , I was wondering what are the -must have- applications that each user should have ?

Thanks
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 09:46 AM   #2
mattpreston11
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Lion.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 09:50 AM   #3
wrboyce
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Originally Posted by mattpreston11 View Post
Lion.
Not an Application, and not helpful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anton1s View Post
Hi All

I just bought my MBA 13 and since it's the first time I am using mac , I was wondering what are the -must have- applications that each user should have ?

Thanks
Depends on your intended usage really? For a lot of people the basics (Mail, Safari, iCal) and iLife (iPhoto, iMovie) are sufficient. Personally, I like to replace Terminal with iTerm2, iCal with BusyCal, and Mail.app with Postbox - among many other apps I use for work/play.

Give us an indication of your intended usage, and we may be able to help. What is your Mac currently missing?
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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Mailhub.
invaluable with mail app.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 09:52 AM   #5
LukeSpringUK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anton1s View Post
Hi All

I just bought my MBA 13 and since it's the first time I am using mac , I was wondering what are the -must have- applications that each user should have ?

Thanks
The first things I install upon buying a new Mac are...

iWork (Apple's MS Office)
Clean My Mac (Similar to CCLeaner, deletes cache and language files your may not need)
Total Finder (Allows for a tabbed Finder experience so you don't have to have open multiple windows)
Cinch (Brings the W7 snap feature to Mac)

There's a few more that are purely tailored to my needs (Photoshop, Coda, etc). But those are the basics.

I'm sure other people will have more suggestions.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 09:59 AM   #6
anton1s
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I am a new mac user and therefore I have to start from scratch. For example vlc is something I would most likely think of installing for movies(never used imovie before so I might not have to install vlc after all).

I've been told that istat pro is really good as well for monitoring the activity of the CPU,SDD etc

Also, do I need a seperate archive tool ? (i.e to open .*rar, *.zip files?)

Thanks for all the help
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:01 AM   #7
appleguy123
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Bettertouchtool has exponentially increased my Mac's ease of use. I love it, favorite app, free too.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:01 AM   #8
palpatine
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Nothing really. Unless, of course, you give us a use-case

I pretty much exclusively use Chrome, Everntoe, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and Adobe Acrobat Pro (for OCR, annotations, etc.). None of these are "must-have" applications for the Mac, but in my workflow (moving between the Mac and iPad a lot) they are wonderful.

Unique apps like VoodooPad and so forth might make your Mac experience more enjoyable, but these depend on your use-case.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anton1s View Post
I am a new mac user and therefore I have to start from scratch. For example vlc is something I would most likely think of installing for movies(never used imovie before so I might not have to install vlc after all).

I've been told that istat pro is really good as well for monitoring the activity of the CPU,SDD etc

Also, do I need a seperate archive tool ? (i.e to open .*rar, *.zip files?)

Thanks for all the help
I use rar expander. Hasn't failed me yet. iMovie edits edit, VLC plays them. It's really a must have for Mac.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by anton1s View Post

Also, do I need a seperate archive tool ? (i.e to open .*rar, *.zip files?)

Thanks for all the help
OS X can handle basic ZIP files. If you want to add encryption or use something more complex, there's an app call BetterZIP that I have used.

I'd check out this forum for more information about software.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:17 AM   #11
iNole
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeSpringUK View Post
The first things I install upon buying a new Mac are...

iWork (Apple's MS Office)
Clean My Mac (Similar to CCLeaner, deletes cache and language files your may not need)
Total Finder (Allows for a tabbed Finder experience so you don't have to have open multiple windows)
Cinch (Brings the W7 snap feature to Mac)

There's a few more that are purely tailored to my needs (Photoshop, Coda, etc). But those are the basics.

I'm sure other people will have more suggestions.
I completely agree with the Cinch suggestion. Love it so much!
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:19 AM   #12
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by LukeSpringUK View Post
Clean My Mac (Similar to CCLeaner, deletes cache and language files your may not need)
I would not recommend CleanMyMac, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.

You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.
Five Mac maintenance myths
If your goal is to free up space on your drive, this should help: Freeing up space in Mac OS X
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:19 AM   #13
mattopotamus
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some that i use often:

caffeine: keeps your mac from going to sleep, which is nice when you are downloading some big files

divvy: really nice for adjusting windows, especially on the 11" (does cost $7)

mplayerx: I think it is the cleanest media player out there.

unarchiver: basically winzip
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:55 AM   #14
sarah11918
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Originally Posted by wrboyce View Post
Personally, I like to replace ... iCal with BusyCal, and Mail.app with Postbox
Seconded, but again that's personal opinion.

Adium for chat (MSN Messenger, GTalk etc.) is another Mac staple.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 10:59 AM   #15
mszpara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeSpringUK View Post
The first things I install upon buying a new Mac are...

iWork (Apple's MS Office)
Clean My Mac (Similar to CCLeaner, deletes cache and language files your may not need)
Total Finder (Allows for a tabbed Finder experience so you don't have to have open multiple windows)
Cinch (Brings the W7 snap feature to Mac)

There's a few more that are purely tailored to my needs (Photoshop, Coda, etc). But those are the basics.

I'm sure other people will have more suggestions.
Is there an iWork package I can purchase? I do I have to get Keynote, Pages and Numbers separately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah11918 View Post
Seconded, but again that's personal opinion.

Adium for chat (MSN Messenger, GTalk etc.) is another Mac staple.
Does Adium offer anything that iChat doesn't?
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:01 AM   #16
GGJstudios
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Is there an iWork package I can purchase? I do I have to get Keynote, Pages and Numbers separately?
Yes, you can buy iWork as a package.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:04 AM   #17
tootall
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This is what I use on a daily basis

Mail, iCal and Contact
Word, Excel, Powerpoint
Safari
Adobe Acrobat Pro, Preview
Unarchiver
Dropbox
SuperFlexibleSynchronizer
Time machine
Better Snap Tool
Yoink
Flux
iTune

also useful occasionally:

Handbrake, HandbrakePM
iPhoto, iMovie
Tansmission
Skitch
Skype
Yemuzip
Papers2
Caffeine
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:06 AM   #18
bit density
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The one app I use EVERY day...

Audio Hijack Pro.

It has always been on my laptops. Apple laptops are too quiet to watch media and listen to music on.

Audio Hijack Pro, while ostensibly not designed for this purpose lets you increase the volume of the speakers beyond what the Mac will allow you to do otherwise.

The only other one that I use is Thunderbird for Usenet.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:10 AM   #19
wrboyce
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Actually, the current MacUpdate Promo is particularly good, although you've missed BusyCal now - which was a major player.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:11 AM   #20
mszpara
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Will the mid-2012 MBA 13" 1.8/8/128 run Civilization V?
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:12 AM   #21
31rhcp
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Apart from what comes standard, I recommend:

Google Chrome (might as well get Firefox as well)
MS Office 2011
VLC
Evernote (but this could be obsolete soon given the changes in Mountain Lion)
BetterTouchTool
Caffeine
Jumpcut
Handbrake
Transmission
Skype
Dropbox
Gimp

Also, set up a Time Machine backup immediately. They're super easy and can be a real life saver.

Based on your needs, Boot Camp is very useful too.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:13 AM   #22
KPOM
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
I would not recommend CleanMyMac, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.

You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.
x2. Also, I'd avoid MacKeeper (you will get lots of pop-up ads for it). In general OS X doesn't require all the "cleaner" applications that Windows does, because it has no Registry. Applications do a better job of uninstalling themselves.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:16 AM   #23
wrboyce
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Originally Posted by mszpara View Post
Will the mid-2012 MBA 13" 1.8/8/128 run Civilization V?
I can let you know if it'll run on my 11" 2.0/8/256 sometime tomorrow ;-)

Edit: Wouldn't hold your breath for anything spectacular.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:19 AM   #24
KPOM
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Originally Posted by 31rhcp View Post
MS Office 2011
Caffeine
Handbrake
Skype
Dropbox
Gimp
For some background, Caffeine is a utility that disables sleep mode. It can be useful if you are running a presentation.

GIMP is an X11 application that requires an additional download to run. X11 is another "shell" on top of UNIX, so X11 applications really aren't "Mac" applications. They are UNIX applications that can run on OS X. GIMP is a photo editor. You can download X11 support here. http://xquartz.macosforge.org/trac/wiki

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mszpara View Post
Will the mid-2012 MBA 13" 1.8/8/128 run Civilization V?
I would be skeptical. Civilization IV shows lots of artifacts when running on anything above low detail. That said, perhaps Civ V is optimized for the HD 4000, while Civ IV most certainly hasn't been.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:28 AM   #25
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