For those of us just switching to Macs...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by myshoeshurt, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. myshoeshurt macrumors regular

    myshoeshurt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    #1
    I'm about to buy a Mac (12" iBook G4). What software should I avoid installing? Apparently Norton Anti-Virus... what else will give my Mac a bad first impression of me?

    Also, do I need to install any virus protection, and if so, what's the best software? I would appreciate the help a lot, and look forward to becoming part of this fine Mac community. :)
     
  2. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Location:
    Mac since 7.5
    #2
    Your Mac does not need virus protection, but you still might want to install some if you plan on sending documents or forwarding email to Windows users, as your Mac could still be a "carrier."

    Welcome aboard, and have fun with that iBook. Awesome machine.
     
  3. myshoeshurt thread starter macrumors regular

    myshoeshurt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    #3
    Awesome, thanks a lot. I may be doing some minimal file-sharing with Windows users. The only users I share files with are a few of my friends who keep their PC's surprisingly clean anyway. I assume spyware is not a problem with Macs either...

    Any must-have or must-NOT-install software for someone who's just starting out with a fresh system?
     
  4. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    Most must have apps come free with the operating system. But it depends what you're going to be doing with your computer.

    Utilities you'll probably need:
    Stuffit expander http://www.stuffit.com/mac/expander/
    Videolan Player http://videolan.org/
    Any Bittorrent application
    Ftp program like Fetch or Cyberduck
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    Also get FLip4Mac to let you view WMV or in Quicktime, including inside the browser. MS just recently teamed up with the developer to make this free. It's much better than using WMP9 (which I also have, at least on my iBook).

    As discussed below, you don't need antivirus, but check to see if your Mac came with the firewall down by default, and put it up if it isn't already. It's in the Sharing pane of System Preferences. :)

    Enjoy your new mac! :)
     
  6. myshoeshurt thread starter macrumors regular

    myshoeshurt

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Victoria, B.C.
    #6
    Thanks a lot, guys! I actually just found the Mac Beginner's Guide here at Macrumors... it's telling me a LOT of what I wanted to know! Thanks for the heads up about the WMV player...
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    I actually just got my second mac -- a used iMac G5 17", so I'm actually thinking too about what I had to go and get for this....

    Depending on your IM needs, you might want to get Adium (adiumx.com). It's a multi-client IM tool that does (text) IM with MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Jabber, ICQ, etc. It's a very nice program. :) If you have a webcam and need MSN webcam support, you may also end up with something like Mercury Messenger, though.
     
  8. rye9 macrumors 65816

    rye9

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    New York (not NYC)
    #8
    Well I've had mine for about 30 days now, same model as yours actually.

    I don't know about anything not to install but you should install some maintenance application such as Yasu just incase things get a little iffy (when my ibook is using lots of RAM, i run Yasu and it gives me back quite a bit of RAM).

    You should also install like jared said, stuffit expander.

    Finally, I reccomend that when you install a printer, check activity monitor to see if there is a printer monitor runnung bc that slowed my ibook down a lot. (seriously, more than u think) If so, just quit the process and you'll be nice and fast again.

    And if ur a student or anyone who uses word processing, I reccomend iWork '06 or MS Office.

    Oh, and make sure to delete excess languages and printer drivers. There is an app you can download called Delocalizer i believe and it wil give you back over a GB of space.

    To free up more space, you can delete apps you wont use/need.

    And make sure you have a minimal amount of widgets enabled. This will help a lot bc widgets use lots of RAM. (i only have 5 enabled)

    I hope this helps..:)
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    What option in Yasu does this?

    Oh, another thing that rye's post reminded me of... hopefully, this will not be an immediate issue for you, but it's one that came to a head with Tiger, much more so than previous OS X revisions... try your best not to let your hard drive get really, really full. That is, the OS X reported free space should be in the 8-10 gigs or more range. Tiger will really start to drag its feet if you end up with much less free disk space than this, because between VRAM and Spotlight indexing, it appears to use a lot of the "free" space behind your back.
     
  10. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Well, since you're new to the platform, probably the first thing you should do is run software update and download whatever it says is available, particularly the OS, since your iBook may not have the latest version (10.4.4 as of now) preinstalled.

    As mentioned previously, most of what you need software-wise comes with your new iBook. One thing it doesn't come with is a good, full-featured word processor. Microsoft Office for the Mac is probably the most popular choice, and there's also the up and coming Pages from Apple, which takes a template-based, page layout drag and drop approach to word processing. Pages also can read and write MS Word files, but if you find yourself interacting mostly with Windows users and Word docs, then Office for the Mac is probably the better choice as it's seamless and care-free with the cross-platform journey.

    Insofar as stuff to avoid, I would (and do) avoid any software that modifies or changes the appearance of Apple's applications or any software that modifies or changes the appearance of OS X. It isn't that this stuff doesn't work, most probably do, but they are also almost always problematical when Apple updates the OS (which invariably include updates to the applications that come with it). And Apple updates on a pretty regular basis, so if you want to maintain a clean, well-oiled machine like mine :) avoid this stuff. It can cause anything from annoyances to major, mysterious problems going forward.

    Along similar lines, one more tip: Don't move, delete, or otherwise tamper with any Apple-installed applications or system files. Don't move Apple applications out of the Applications folder, which is their default location, or for that matter, utility programs located in the Utilities folder. If you want to create your own custom Applications folders (i.e., an Internet Applications folder), you can, but put an alias to the application in the folder instead of moving the actual application. The application alias will look and behave just as if it was the real thing. The reason for this is also for when Apple updates the software. Apple's updater will expect that applications, system files, etc., remain untouched in their default locations as of the last software update. If they are not, bad, bad things can potentially happen.

    The bottom line is, you will have much better experience just using your new iBook rather than goofing around with application files or system files. As Apple says, everything "just works" and you can believe it.
     
  11. blackstone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    I would actually not mess with deleting language support, drivers, or unused applications (except for test-drive versions of applications) until you start running low on hard disk space. Until you get more accustomed to your Mac, there's too much risk that you'll accidentally delete something that you'll end up needing later.

    As for maintenance, the vast majority of maintenance tasks run on their own if you just leave the computer on for a while. You can use Yasu or similar utilities to force maintenance routines to run when a problem crops up, but Macs in general can hum along just fine on their own for a _long_ time without any user intervention. It's quite a change from the Windows mentality of constantly having to run virus scans, spyware scans, and defragging! (Macs also defrag most files automatically during the read/write process, making defragging a non-issue).
     
  12. rye9 macrumors 65816

    rye9

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    New York (not NYC)
    #12
    I don't know but when I check activity monitor and notice that my RAM is decreasing with the same app(s) open, I open Yasu and click on clear system cache to disable it (if you clear system cache your Mac must restart) so it runs whatever is already checked. Here is what it looks like...
     

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  13. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #13
    All good recommendations. Interestingly, though, I never use StuffitExpander anymore. I mostly get compressed dmg files or zip archives. Still, its good to have if you're downloading older stuff. My gripe is that its a pain to download the free version, you really have to hunt for the link because they want you to buy something so bad.
     
  14. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #14
    As a side note Flip4mac doesn't work on the intel imacs, nor does divx 6 for mac.
     

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