Essential progams for my new MBP tomorrow?!

Race Johnson

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
My new MBP is here tomorrow! Ive never owned a mac and dont really know where to start. My question is: what are the essential programs everyone uses? What programs can you not live without?


macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2007
I like Adium for instant messaing (MSN, AIM, Yahoo, etc) it can manage all your IM contacts in one huge list.

I like transmission for torrents, i just started using it for downloading and its nice and quick, easy to use, simple interface.

The iStat Pro widget is also very helpful, it shows your batteries health, cpu usage, fan usage, etc...


macrumors 68000
Jul 10, 2007
If you are on facebook, here is a great thread (although long) for "necessary" mac apps.

I personally always have the following downloaded immediately on a new mac:

Adium (IM app that allows most IM clients)
smcFanControl (allows user to set fan speed...notebooks only)
Onyx (system optimization app)
WhatSize and/or Disk Inventory X (lets you find what is taking up HD space)
Dock Dividers (a 'do nothing' app that sits in your dock to act as dividers)
MacTheRipper (strips region codes and copies DVDs to HD)
HandBrake (converts/compresses from DVD or from MacTheRipper files)
Flip4Mac (allows playback of WMA files in Quicktime)
Perian (adds most other formats for Quicktime playback)
VLC (secondary media player)
ClearDock (allows user to remove/change color of dock)


macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
Seattle, WA
Some I like are:
Coconutbattery (shows you a lot of information about your battery)
LabTick (Gives you control of the backlit keyboard)
MacSaber (it's fun.)
uApp (application uninstaller)


macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2005
Tacoma, WA
Candybar (change icons if that's your thing)
Audacity (basically SoundForge for Mac)
Pacifist (lets you extract individual files from dmg's and CDs)
Switch (converts audio to/from just about any format)
Toast (best burning software ever)


macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2007
a few that havent been mentioned already that i love:

cabos - p2p
firefox/camino - browsing
neo-office - office suite
gimp - photo editing (needs x11)
inkscape - vector editing (needs x11)

have fun! and congrats on the new MBP!


macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2005
At the risk of being repetitive:

Adium for chat AIM/MSN/Yahoo/GTalk/etc...
Camino for browsing
Cabos for v. occasional p2p stuff
Flip4Mac so I can see .wmv files in Quicktime
Google Earth
Skype for video chat
Smultron (text editor) for sitting in the dock for dragging random files to when I want to see their content
Perian for viewing most codecs through Quicktime
VLC Player (probably obsolete for me now that Quicktime has fullscreen and I've discovered Perian)
Transmission for torrents
The Unarchiver for unarchiving everything
UnRarX for the few .rar files that The Unarchiver can't handle