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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:14 PM   #1
Mezmorizor
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What apps are essential for a new Mac to have?

Stuff like Winrar, malwarebytes, and CCleaner are on windows. Basically upkeep, archiving, and general use tools. Freeware is preferable, but if there is something really useful that isn't freeware, so be it.

The only names I have right now are Sophos, Onyx, and Microsoft office. I'm sure there's more stuff than that out there though.

Also, is there a Mac equivalent for foobar? I'm not a huge fan of iTunes.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mezmorizor View Post
Stuff like Winrar, malwarebytes, and CCleaner are on windows. Basically upkeep, archiving, and general use tools. Freeware is preferable, but if there is something really useful that isn't freeware, so be it.

The only names I have right now are Sophos, Onyx, and Microsoft office. I'm sure there's more stuff than that out there though.

Also, is there a Mac equivalent for foobar? I'm not a huge fan of iTunes.
Basic upkeep apps are not actually necessary on Mac. The scripts that Onyx runs are already done on a schedule by the OS. Onyx just does them on demand.

Stuffit Expander will take care of archiving.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:21 PM   #3
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Essential? OSX.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mezmorizor View Post
Stuff like Winrar, malwarebytes, and CCleaner are on windows. Basically upkeep, archiving, and general use tools. Freeware is preferable, but if there is something really useful that isn't freeware, so be it.

The only names I have right now are Sophos, Onyx, and Microsoft office. I'm sure there's more stuff than that out there though.

Also, is there a Mac equivalent for foobar? I'm not a huge fan of iTunes.
Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 12 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.

I recommend avoiding Sophos, as it can actually increase a Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here. 3rd party antivirus apps are not needed to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as the user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
Mac Virus/Malware FAQ
If anyone insists on running antivirus for some reason, ClamXav (which is free) is one of the best choices, since it isn't a resource hog, detects both Mac and Windows malware and doesn't run with elevated privileges.

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. 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
This is OS X, not Windows. You don't have to "monkey around under the hood" to keep it running well.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dalton63841 View Post
Basic upkeep apps are not actually necessary on Mac. The scripts that Onyx runs are already done on a schedule by the OS. Onyx just does them on demand.

Stuffit Expander will take care of archiving.
Okay, so Onyx + Sophos will be more than satisfactory on that end correct?

I'd still like to know a good media player that's not itunes or VLC though(I'm also not a fan of VLC)
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:31 PM   #6
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Okay, so Onyx + Sophos will be more than satisfactory on that end correct?

I'd still like to know a good media player that's not itunes or VLC though(I'm also not a fan of VLC)
Honestly Sophos + Onyx are pretty much useless, for the reasons mentioned in GGJStudios post. Malware cannot run on a Mac unless YOU accidentally give it permission to, thanks to Unix permissions, so it really just needs you to pay attention to what you click/put in your password for.

You might look into something like Decibel.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mezmorizor View Post
Okay, so Onyx + Sophos will be more than satisfactory on that end correct?

I'd still like to know a good media player that's not itunes or VLC though(I'm also not a fan of VLC)
No, do not use Sophos. Read my last post.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 01:51 PM   #8
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No, do not use Sophos. Read my last post.
Your post wasn't there yet when I posted that. I definitely won't get sophos now, but I'm still going to get some sort of Antivirus. If only because I don't want my external drive to accidentally give a windows PC a virus.

For everything else, I'll read the links, think about it, and then report back.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 02:11 PM   #9
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Okay, Onyx does seem to be pretty unnecessary. For a final upkeep question, SSD work best when there's at least 10% of their memory free correct?

Decibel does look promising, but I'm still open to more suggestions on that end(music is more important than other forms of media to me).
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mezmorizor View Post
Stuff like Winrar, malwarebytes, and CCleaner are on windows. Basically upkeep, archiving, and general use tools. Freeware is preferable, but if there is something really useful that isn't freeware, so be it.
...
For an unarchiver that handles formats that the OS X unarchiver doesn't handle, try The Unarchiver available on the Mac App Store for free. It handles many formats including RAR and 7-zip.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 02:25 PM   #11
jdechko
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What are you planning on doing on your Mac? There are thousands of applications that vary from games to utilities to productivity.

As far as general-purpose utilities, a few favorites of mine are:

Dropbox (file syncing)
1Password (or another password manager)
F.lux (adjusts the temperature of your LCD based on time of day)
Caffeine (keeps your mac from going to sleep)
Evernote & Notational Velocity (my external brains)

Those are "essential" to me. If it's a work computer, for me AutoCAD and SketchUp are essential, but I doubt most people will find it essential. Likewise, I'd personally eschew Office for Byword and Keynote.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jdechko View Post
What are you planning on doing on your Mac? There are thousands of applications that vary from games to utilities to productivity.

As far as general-purpose utilities, a few favorites of mine are:

Dropbox (file syncing)
1Password (or another password manager)
F.lux (adjusts the temperature of your LCD based on time of day)
Caffeine (keeps your mac from going to sleep)
Evernote & Notational Velocity (my external brains)

Those are "essential" to me. If it's a work computer, for me AutoCAD and SketchUp are essential, but I doubt most people will find it essential. Likewise, I'd personally eschew Office for Byword and Keynote.
I'll be using it for:
Music Notation(Sibelius)
Word Processing
Web Surfing
Some Music Creation
Music Mixing
Acoustic Instrument Recording(eventually)
General University uses I'm forgetting about.

Really, I only need help with the general apps though. I know that I want Sibelius and Logic X(whenever it comes out) for the music end, and I'm going to use Chrome for web browsing. I'm sure that Byword and Keynote work great, but I'm already know how to use Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Plus, I get a free copy of Office '11 from the University anyway.

Thanks for the app suggestions though, I'd love to see more general utility stuff like that.


Edit: Is Prey worthwhile, or is it redundant with find my mac?

Last edited by Mezmorizor; Jul 2, 2013 at 04:07 PM.
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Old Jul 2, 2013, 04:33 PM   #13
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I've been playing around with MplayerX which is being great so far.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 05:06 PM   #14
Mezmorizor
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I've been playing around with MplayerX which is being great so far.
This looks really promising.

I'm not terribly familiar with OS X, but will third party apps generally check for updates automatically, or is something like AppFresh worth using?
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 05:24 PM   #15
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It depends on the program, but a lot of applications will inform you when they have an update. And if they're from the Mac App Store, you'll always be informed.
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Old Jul 3, 2013, 05:32 PM   #16
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It depends on the program, but a lot of applications will inform you when they have an update. And if they're from the Mac App Store, you'll always be informed.
Okay, that's what I figured. Thanks!
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 01:39 PM   #17
dammerl
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Some time ago I made a list of essential/useful applications and tools. Of course, it’s subjective and specific to my needs, but it contains quite some “general purpose” tools, too.
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 05:38 AM   #18
AK785
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MacBook Air 11in 2013 - Just arrived!

Hi All

I've purchased a MacBook Air 11in 2013 version and it arrived two days ago. I've spent some time researching some good apps for it, and so far i've installed:
  • Adium
  • Alfred
  • Skype
  • Microsoft Office 2011
  • FM 2013

Does anyone have any apps that they recommend for the mac? Alfred is pretty awesome so i'm really happy with that.

Its a very very fast machine, even though the clock speed is a little lower than last years model. I've never owned a Mac before, and it was my iPhone usage combined with a deal that was on at a local retailer that made me purchase the Air.

Some of the simplest things on the PC are a bit difficult to master on here at first such as the mystery of the "maximise" button that doesn't always maximise. And the fact that there is no DEL key? only a backspace.
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 05:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AK785 View Post
Hi All

I've purchased a MacBook Air 11in 2013 version and it arrived two days ago. I've spent some time researching some good apps for it, and so far i've installed:
  • Adium
  • Alfred
  • Skype
  • Microsoft Office 2011
  • FM 2013

Does anyone have any apps that they recommend for the mac? Alfred is pretty awesome so i'm really happy with that.

Its a very very fast machine, even though the clock speed is a little lower than last years model. I've never owned a Mac before, and it was my iPhone usage combined with a deal that was on at a local retailer that made me purchase the Air.

Some of the simplest things on the PC are a bit difficult to master on here at first such as the mystery of the "maximise" button that doesn't always maximise. And the fact that there is no DEL key? only a backspace.
Fn+Backspace= Del Key!

My favorite apps on OS X are:
  • Omnifocus
  • 1Password
  • Tweetbot
  • Day One
  • VMWare Fusion
  • MarsEdit
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 06:15 AM   #20
ItHurtsWhenIP
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Thanks for mentioning Alfred, just downloaded it and love it!

Sorry, I can't help though..I must not be a "power user", because I can't find hardly any apps worth downloading..
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 07:02 AM   #21
DisplacedMic
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Originally Posted by petvas View Post
My favorite apps on OS X are:
  • Omnifocus
holy hell - $80 for a task manager?
what are your thoughts on that app?

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItHurtsWhenIP View Post
Thanks for mentioning Alfred, just downloaded it and love it!

Sorry, I can't help though..I must not be a "power user", because I can't find hardly any apps worth downloading..
that's how i feel... maybe it's because i'm an Android guy but even though I'm a long time Mac user, I just don't use that many "apps"

probably in part due to the price! look at that list of apps Petvas posted, $50 for a password manager, $20 for twitter or $40 for a blog editor just seems very expensive to me.

maybe i'm missing out...this might also explain why i resisted Lion for so long...just don't understand why they're making the appstore and the "iOS" look so much more prevalent...

/fuddy duddy
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 07:03 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by DisplacedMic View Post
holy hell - $80 for a task manager?
what are your thoughts on that app?
It is a very powerful planning tool for me. It is meant for people that use Omnifocus in their job, planning projects and working towards goals.
Have a look here for more information:
http://www.omnigroup.com/products/omnifocus/

Omnifocus is not for people that want something simple. It allows a complex organization of tasks, allows me to focus on my current tasks very easily and provides an interface that gives me the opportunity to review the progress of my projects.
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 08:04 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by ItHurtsWhenIP View Post
Thanks for mentioning Alfred, just downloaded it and love it!

Sorry, I can't help though..I must not be a "power user", because I can't find hardly any apps worth downloading..
You welcome, i didnt know about it until i read a thread somewhere recommending it (might have been this forum).

Now that i've downloaded it i find myself alt and spacing a lot so much quicker! I've only just scratched the surface of what is possible with it, so i can imagine it only getting better as I learn more about what you can do with it.
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 09:20 AM   #24
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You welcome, i didnt know about it until i read a thread somewhere recommending it (might have been this forum).

Now that i've downloaded it i find myself alt and spacing a lot so much quicker! I've only just scratched the surface of what is possible with it, so i can imagine it only getting better as I learn more about what you can do with it.
Yea, it's pretty awesome. Seems like anything you can think of it can find. I added folders to the list of things it searches and it's pretty much perfect. Love being able to google search and calculate, too. Very cool app.

As a student, the only app I've found I really like is iStudiez Pro..just to keep my assignments and class things organized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisplacedMic View Post
holy hell - $80 for a task manager?
what are your thoughts on that app?

----------



that's how i feel... maybe it's because i'm an Android guy but even though I'm a long time Mac user, I just don't use that many "apps"

probably in part due to the price! look at that list of apps Petvas posted, $50 for a password manager, $20 for twitter or $40 for a blog editor just seems very expensive to me.

maybe i'm missing out...this might also explain why i resisted Lion for so long...just don't understand why they're making the appstore and the "iOS" look so much more prevalent...

/fuddy duddy
As a fellow Android user, I think we're in the same boat. I won't pay that much money for any of those apps. It's a personal thing and I'm not going to question why he uses them, but I know I sure don't need them. I've used maybe 75-80 apps over the last 5 years (and 25% of them were probably root apps before I decided to stop messing around with all that), and the only one I remember paying for was Beautiful Widgets years ago, which I don't even use anymore.

#ohwell

Last edited by ItHurtsWhenIP; Sep 1, 2013 at 09:25 AM.
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 10:16 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mezmorizor View Post
Your post wasn't there yet when I posted that. I definitely won't get sophos now, but I'm still going to get some sort of Antivirus. If only because I don't want my external drive to accidentally give a windows PC a virus.

For everything else, I'll read the links, think about it, and then report back.
I use ClamXav on my 2008 system and have it set to look at my downloads folder and mail folders. that is all I need and it has been tiptop for 5 years now.
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