Making the Switch: What software should I have?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Phatpat, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #1
    I'm gonna buy a 12" powerbook as soon as they are updated. I would like to learn more about what Mac users think are good things to do on the software side. Are there any important preferences to change? Programs to download or buy? Think general. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    We would be glad to help you.

    For preferences, you should start by selecting System Preferences... from the Apple menu at the top of the screen, and going though the preference panes one at a time to see what's available. Network settings are important. Accounts settings are important if you will be sharing the computer. Sharing settings are important if you will be on a network with others. For most of the rest, set them however you like. You can always change your mind. If you aren't familiar with the Dock, try each of the settings and see what suits you.

    For freeware you might download and shareware and other software you might buy, we all have our favorites. You should tell us what you will be using the PowerBook for before we give you a bunch of suggestions that may not have anything to do with your interests.
     
  3. Freg3000 macrumors 68000

    Freg3000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Since it is a PowerBook, you might want to look around in the Energy Saver Preference to see if you want to change the default settings. There are preset ones and then you can customize. As for as software, there are many little things you will probably need, like VLC or mPlayer to play AVI files, and Watson as an internet utility. Those are two of my favorites. As for big software titles, I can't really say much because I don't know what you will be using it for. it would be foolish for me to say to buy Final Cut Express if you don't have a DV camera.

    Congrats on switching, and feel free to ask more questions.

    P.S. If you are into movie making, definitely pick up Final Cut Express for $99 when you buy your PowerBook. At $99, it is an outrageous deal.
     
  4. Phatpat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #4
    I'm almost tempted to get Final Cut Express cause its such an amazing deal, but I only do occasional movie editing, and I get all the content using my friends video camera. I will be doing a lot of website creation and editing. I also do a little digital photography, in addition to the typical stuff such as listening to music and browsing the web.
     
  5. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #5
    For websites and photos-
    Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Period.
     
  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #6
    Well, the best of the best for general applications (subject to my opinion, of course):

    Web browsing - Safari (Apple)
    POP3 or IMAP email - Mail (Apple)
    Organizer - iCal (Apple)
    Address Book - Address Book (Apple)
    Basic word Processing, basic drawing/painting, spreadsheet, etc - Appleworks (Apple)
    MP3, AAC, Internet Radio, Music Store - iTunes (Apple)
    Video/photography - iLife suite (Apple)
    Photograph quality manipulation - Photoshop (Adobe)

    Notice a trend? Apple makes it's own software to compete with what's out there, and in almost all cases it's better. It all integrates together but unlike MS, apps can be switched pretty easily.

    General rule of thumb, if you're looking for a specific application, see if Apple makes an app for it, because their software is just the best around...

    pnw
     
  7. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #7
    photoshop and illustrator are the core programs for any of adobe multi title collections for graphics students and professionals

    macromedia titles are also nice to have...i have freehand...dreamweaver is very popular

    i don't know if photoshop elements is out for mac, but that is a more consumer designed product instead of the fullly professional photoshop title

    i hope this helps
     
  8. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #8
    Since Phatpat brought it up, I'm interested in hearing about what software folks would recommend for lightweight desktop publishing. To provide a frame of reference, it would mainly be used for putting together a 4-5 page quarterly newsletter, and it's something I could probably pull off with Microsoft Publisher if I were doing this under Windows.

    As a first cut, I will probably try out OpenOffice and see what kinds of page layout capabilities its word processor has. If that doesn't pan out, I figured I might try AppleWorks instead, but I'd like to hear what others are using for similar applications. I do not want (or need) "professional-strength" desktop publishing software in the hundreds-of-dollars price range.
     
  9. blogo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    #9
    +transmit
     
  10. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #10
    Photoshop Elements is out for Mac OS X. I have and so far I haven't found anything that it doesn't have that it's older brother has. I guess I'm the perfect person for this software.

    I only do slight photo editing, but when I do Photoshop Elements does just what I need it to.

    P-Worm
     
  11. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #11
    Re: Making the Switch: What software should I have?

    Even though some people might disagree, try to get MS Office X, hopefully through a reseller with your Mac so you can get it for $199. Unless you absolutely do not need to access old Office documents or share files with others, Office X is a must. It will make the transition easier.

    I use Netscape as my primary web browser, I am not too fond of Safari. Oh, and keep IE around, some websites still don't work well with any other browsers.

    If you are planning to move your email over to the Mac from something like Outlook on Windows, there are a few packages out there raning from $10-$20 that will make it a snap, I would recommend finding one. Manually trying to do that is a PITA! :rolleyes:

    Your Mac will come in with most of the software that you will use daily. Even for movie making! :D I use iMovie and I love it, FinalCut Express might be nice for $99, but weigh in if you need it and if you are welling to spend the extra money.

    Get external speakers, it will make using your notebook and listening to Music at home more fun! Also consider a two button mouse.

    Can't think of anything else right now. If you have specific stuff that you use and wondering about Mac alternatives, just let us know and we will reply back!

    Oh, and welcome to the Good side! I barely use my PCs anymore!
     
  12. Flowbee macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #12
    If you're new to Mac OS X, I would also recommend the book "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual" by David Pogue. While OS X is simple enought to use without a manual, there are tons of features and shortcuts that this book explains very well.
     
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    Your plan is fine. AppleWorks isn't outstanding at page layout, but the price is right and it has the basics you need for a small newsletter. That's what I'd use.
     
  14. Schiffi macrumors 6502a

    Schiffi

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Missouri
    #14
    Here's some freeware apps that I use frequently on Mac OSX (notice I recently switched so I was in the same boat as you)

    MacJanitor - does Unix Background stuff

    Download Wizard - useful if you use dialup

    USB Overdrive X- is ok if you use a mouse with more than 3 buttons or a Gamepad w/o OSX driver

    X-Chat - if you use IRC any at all

    Most of these can be found at versiontracker.com

    Before getting Photoshop Elements, check out iPhoto (comes with new mac purchases). iPhoto can do some things like red-eye, brightness/contrast, and enhancing. Photoshop is good if you can get it for the educational price. Esp. if you get it in a collection. The Adobe DV collection comes with Premiere, After Effects, Illustrator, and Photoshop for $500 (ed discount) which is a pretty good deal. Some people may say that you shouldn't get Premiere since it's discontinued for the Mac, but it works just fine.
     
  15. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #15
    TOAST

    Since no one else has brought it up, I'll chime in with Toast. You can do most of the stuff that Toast does for free with various other applications, but you can do it simpler with Toast. If you catch it right, you can pick it up for about $60 (after rebate). Plus, you get a few other apps that are useful. I like iView Media to organize photo catalogs. I use it to catalog my iPhoto library because for slide shows and such, iView is much faster.
     
  16. Phatpat thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #16
    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    Eple- It doesn't look like transmit will do much for me, as I currently host my site off of .Mac. Are there any tools to ease updating to my iDisk? It looks like panther will make regular updates simple...but until then.

    iShater- I do plan to use Office X. The compatibility is key for me right now, especially as I plan to continue using my Windows desktop. I might explore OpenOffice, but I would like to have Office X just to be safe.

    I definitely plan to get an external 2 button mouse. I might use one I already have...but I would love it if Apple released a bluetooth 2 buttom mouse ::crosses fingers::

    I would like to get Photoshop, but it is a bit pricey... so I'll experiment with other things unless I can find a deal.

    Any other freeware/sharware apps?
     
  17. blogo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    #17
    I think Office X is the best office suite for mac right now, I myself have never had a problem with it.

    As for Appleworks I really think it needs an update, even the older version claris works is better in my point of view.
     
  18. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    See this thread.
     
  19. gopher macrumors 65816

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    Mar 31, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #19

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