The bare necessities? Which apps do you consider a necessity?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jevel, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. jevel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #1
    So I'm new to Mac, and I'd like some recommendations on which apps I should buy for my new PB. I use my laptop for video and image editing, wordprocessing, surfing, a little gaming, email and networking (traces, windows / linux shares, ftp, portscanning, ipscanning etc. etc.).

    My preferences on PC has been MS Office, Opera, and Adobe solutions on image and video. In games I'm into roleplaying games like Neverwinter Nights and lately Star Wars knights of the Old Republic.

    -KJ
     
  2. Lain.v2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #2
    office v.x
    netscape - as a replacement for Opera, since it is not as good as on a PC... shame

    dont know about games or video editing but I hear Final Cut Pro is good... I think Adobe would have the same progs on the Mac as on a PC
     
  3. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    Many of my frequently used programs are included with the OS.

    I also bought Office X (student edition) because I really need that.

    How into your video editing are you? iMovie is good for beginners and Final Cut Pro is the number one for pros, but I have Final Cut Express and think it's amazing. You can produce professional videos for a fraction of the price of Final Cut Pro.

    I have Adobe Photoshop Elements for image editing. This is a cut down version of Photoshop and is really good - I would definately recommend. If you have the money, you could always get the real thing but Elements is almost as good if you're not doing it for pro work.

    Web-wise, I don't think you can beat Safari. But then you can still download Netscape 7 if you want that.

    Most popular games are out for Mac but you may find that PCs or consoles are better for gaming...
     
  4. jevel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #4
    Thanks for the replies so far!

    I was thinking about getting the MS Office for Mac, but does anyone know if there's a big difference between Wintel Office 2003 and the current Mac Office? I've totally fallen in love with Outlook 2003, and I would hate to lose it.

    Also I don't know how advanced my use is? I take loads of pictures and batch them with filters and conversion, I merge some to create illustrations, and I make small videos on how to do things. (Simple stuff, basically just taking parts, adding them together and adding onscreen caption.) I simply started using Adobe since the company I worked for had licenses, and I kinda stuck with it as they've upgraded...

    As I'm now changing platform, I'd be open for a change in apps as well, if someone could give me a little background on why I should do it. (E.g. what's better with other apps?)

    I suddenly remember that I need a good CD burning app as well? Or is that included in the bundle? (Buying a SuperDrive version...)

    Thank you to those that have and will answer my questions :)

    -KJ
     
  5. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #5
    For the video work you're doing, (i.e. just simple editing, transitions and captions) iMovie should be ideal, though a little slow.

    For photo work, if you're tight for cash you might try the shareware GraphicConverter, it's an excellent tool. Apple is also starting to include Altivec image proccessing via folder action scripts, I haven't looked into it much but it does sound ideal for batch image processing.
     
  6. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    For a CD-burning app most people swear by Toast. I don't have it personally but I might get it at some point.

    You can burn data CDs directly from the Finder (a piece of cake). Photo CDs can be burnt from iPhoto (need iPhoto to access properly though) and audio CDs can be burnt easily from iTunes itself.

    As you are getting the superdrive version you'll also get iDVD included which will enable you to burn video DVDs complete with menus that work in any DVD-player (DVD-R-compatible ones, which is most of them). You can also burn data DVDs from the Finder.
     
  7. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #7
    Office V.x for mac includes Entourage, which is the Mac equivalent of Outlook. It's the same thing, and in many cases, much more useful than the PC version I was using before switching. You won't miss a thing, and you'll be amazed at how well it works.

    Also I don't know how advanced my use is? I take loads of pictures and batch them with filters and conversion, I merge some to create illustrations, and I make small videos on how to do things. (Simple stuff, basically just taking parts, adding them together and adding onscreen caption.)

    From what you describe, iMovie and Final Cut Express should be perfect for you. iMovie will come free with the computer, and when you buy the new Mac, you have the option of buying Final Cut Express for $99 (regularly sells for $299). It doesn't sound like you'd need Final Cut Pro, which is a very incredible, but quite complicated, app. Express is awesome, and you can do much of what you can in Pro, but without the steep learning curve.

    I simply started using Adobe since the company I worked for had licenses, and I kinda stuck with it as they've upgraded... As I'm now changing platform, I'd be open for a change in apps as well, if someone could give me a little background on why I should do it. (E.g. what's better with other apps?)

    Yeah, I don't think you'll miss Adobe products in video editing too much if you use Final Cut Express and iMovie. Also, Adobe recently discontinued developing video apps for the Mac, because there's no need for it. With Final Cut Pro/Express and iMovie, Adobe Premiere has no advantages.

    I suddenly remember that I need a good CD burning app as well? Or is that included in the bundle? (Buying a SuperDrive version...)

    Well, if you just want to burn music onto a CD, nothing beats the simplicity of iTunes. Select a playlist, insert a blank CD-R, press one button, and that's pretty much it. I've also heard that Roxio Toast Titanium is great, but I've never used it myself. For burning DVDs, your mac will come with iDVD, which is as easy as DVD burning can get, with very classy results, too.

    Other apps that I find a necessity are: Adobe Photoshop (you can use Photoshop Elements which is almost the same thing except for some features that Pro designers and printers need), Soundtrack (If you need music for your videos, there's no easier way of getting pro-sounding results), and all the iApps that come with your Mac for free. Then there's all the games you could get, but that's another story...;)

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. jevel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #8
    Thank you very much!

    I must say I'm impressed with this helpfulness and the general nice attitude people have on this forum! Is this typical for Mac users? ;)

    Anyway; I now feel that I'm starting to see what I need on most parts except the networking and shares bit. What I've listed for buying so far is this:

    Final Cut Express
    MS Office X
    Adobe Photoshop CS for MAC
    Roxio Toast

    That offer on Final Cut that was quoted a bit up, is that an international offer? I did not see anything like it when I ordrered my PB? (I'm in Norway.)

    -KJ
     
  9. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #9
    I debated over Photoshop and PS Elements. I went with Elements and haven't regreted it one bit. I have yet to run into something I have not been able to do.

    I use FileMaker a lot, but that is a work related thing. If you are interested in databases, that would be my vote.

    MS Office is a must. There are very few PC to Mac problems. The biggest loss is the lack of Publisher on the Mac.

    Other than that, I agree with the folks above...

    Games? I still play Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Aside from Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, I don't think I have any recent games.
     
  10. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #10
    Hmmm, I don't know. I just know that on Apple's website it's offered after you select any computer for purchase. But I'm in the U.S., so I don't know if it was offered internationally.:confused:

    As for Mac users being all this nice, well, I like to think so, and most of those on these forums are genuinely friendly and helpful. You'll occasionally run into some not-so-nice folks here, like wdlove or Mr. Anderson ;) , but I find MacRumors to be a great community overall, much more civilized than many others I've visited.

    Good luck with your new Mac!

    [edit] ps- Do realize that wdlove and Mr. Anderson are probably the nicest people here... See the following thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=49585&highlight=wdlove
     
  11. revenuee macrumors 68020

    revenuee

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    A place where i am supreme emporer
    #11
    Image/Video
    I wouldn't be able to live without Photoshop for image editing, and i can't work without Final Cut Pro for my Video editing (might be able to get by with Final Cut Express but i got the Pro anyway)

    productivity
    Office X is good just because it makes it really easy to maintain contact with the Windows world should i need it.


    Networking
    As far as running your Ip scanners, and tracers. .. etc.. your running FreeBSD under the hood of the OS so everything you used under linux will generally work under OS 10's Unix power; if your using OS 10.3 i beleive Xtools and X11 are all installed into the OS so you have no worries for the developer tools needed to "./install" a file. If it's 10.2 or less then you need to download the developer tools found at the APPLE website (no big deal) so no problems running things like nMap - plus trcroute, ftp,telnet dig, nslookup and all the tools your use to are standard.

    email/internet
    As far as email and browsing - safari is pre installed, mail is pre installed and so is Internet Explorer ... and if you get MS OFFICE then Entrouge have all that aswell.

    Gaming
    Gaming - well not to much we can do for you there. There is a handful out there but you probably going to have to dig around, don't really care for gaming so i don't really know

    CD's
    As far as burning, TOAST - can't beat it, i found that the build in burning software on the OS wouldn't let me burn ( would always freeze up)

    - hope that Helps : REV
     
  12. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #12
    Network Utility will do most of the interesting things you need on the network. For more detailed information and reporting, you may resort to using a shell through the Terminal application. Both of these are part of the operating system.

    Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate II run natively on Mac OS X. The level editor in NWN is not available, though. There are various simulations, RPGs, and strategy games, but they're no usually easy to find. Try http://www.macminute.com daily for news on practically anything Mac.

    You definitely need Roxio Toast, if you need to communicate your work on CD-ROM to the PC world.

    I'm not so sure that MS Office is a necessity for most people but AppleWorks is another choice, along with ThinkFree Office. ThinkFree Office creates MS Office files better than it reads and decodes them, but works reasonably well for the price.

    I believe that there are a few Norweigen (sp? Norsk!) members here, so you might want to ask them about local deals.
     

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