Essential programs/downloads for new Mac users?


macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 24, 2006
Southern California
I just bought a new MBP that will be arriving soon, and I just wanted to make a list of the programs or downloads to download onto it.

Is there anything you guys can't live without, that make things (docks, etc.) more customizable or otherwise cooler looking (I'm still a college student, after all)? Thanks.


macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2006
Without going into what I could call work applications, here is a list of small and handy programs I use in my personal life.

These are free to download and use, just Google them:
  • Firefox: Alternative to Safari.
  • gDisk: "Turns your GMail account into a portable hard drive so you can always have your important files accessible accross the Internet."
  • Flip4Mac: Windows Media Components for QuickTime.
  • Transmission: Lightweight BitTorrent client.
  • Azureus: Full featured BitTorrent client.
  • VLC: Convenient media player.
  • HandBrake: DVD to MPEG-4 converter.
  • iSquint: Converts most video files to iPod compliant format.
  • Adium X: Multiple protocol IM client.

I think that's about it for free applications, for me anyway.

Some of the ones you have to pay for:
  • DVD2oneX: DVD ripper.
  • AppZapper: Application uninstaller.
  • Fetch: FTP client.
  • Toast: CD and DVD burning.

As for things that would modify the UI and make it cooler looking as you would put it, there is CandyBar, Stattoo, ShapeShifter and a bunch of others. But I don't use those because I don't see the point of modifying the interface but that's just me.

You don't really have to get Toast if you don't need more than burning data discs, by the way. OS X will do that by itself.


macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 24, 2006
Southern California
Thanks so much, guys. I couldn't find anything else like this. If anyone else has anything... feel free to add; a newbie always needs as much help as can be given.


macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2006
Acqlite: Gnutella File Sharing Program for Mac OS X

Audacity: Free, Cross-Platform Sound Editor

CandyBar:Let's you customize icons you usually can't. (Not exactly free..but you're allowed to try it for free :) )

CoconutBattery: Shows you only the current charge, and the current capacity of your battery.

CoreDuoTemp: Lets you monitor the temperature of your Mac.

Funny Photographer: Similar to PhotoBooth, it adds several new effects :)

Image Tricks: Image editor.


Solitaire XL:

Stuffit Expander:

TinkerTool: Gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X.

Afloat: A small Cocoa plug-in that adds "Keep Floating", "Always on Top" and "Make Transparent" commands to the Window menu of many Mac applications.

Clear Dock: Removes the semi-transparent white background from the



macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2005
South of the border
If you're still in college then the vast range of classic arcade games available to play through MacMAME probably doesn't have the same emotional resonance as it does for people like me who spent a mispent youth with them but.. some of those early, crude first attempts at video games are still the finest examples of the genre - frustrating, impossible, addictive.

And no one should be without a bookmark to


macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2006
^ That is brilliant!

Also, I'd say actually use Bon Echo as opposed to FireFox - it's been optimised for Macs and is uber-fast >_>


macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2006


macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2006
DZ/015 said:
Don't forget Stuffit for compressed files. An absolute necessity. It is free, also.
stuffit, first thing that came to mind :)

also, i use RDC (Remote Desktop Connection) to connect to my now defunct headless windows machine and/or "Chicken Of the VNC"


macrumors member
Jun 28, 2005
Boulder, CO
OnyX -
Does what MacJanitor, TinkerTools and other utilities do, but it's free.

wClock - good luck finding it. No longer listed in the normal places. Does something totally magical that Apple software engineers never were able to figure out: shows *both* the time and date at the same time. They should have won a Nobel prize for this coding, since I'm sure it required breaking a few laws of physics to do it.

I second ClearDock.

I did not know that there were any Mac viruses. Good to know that there are some?

The following aren't free, but they're what I install on all new Macs:

LiteSwitch -
What Apple's app switcher should be like.

USB Overdrive -
If you use a mouse, instead of the trackpad, this is the USB driver to use. The amount of additional features is amazing.

the Western zoo

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2006
Aarhus C, Denmark
You gotta have these two games - they are brilliant!

Gridwars - alot of squares, circles and triangles are attacking! -

Quinn - free tetris -

Also if you have an old copy of Transport Tycoon Deluxe (and love it cause it's a great game!) then you might wanna check out for an OSX version but you need some of the old files from the windows version...
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