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Kevclark1985

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 2, 2013
72
3
So I just got my new MacBook Pro 13" (late 2013), and having never used an apple computer before I am wondering if there are any essential programs that are worth running outwith the usual Office/VLC type programs? Thinking more apple specific stuff I would not be familiar with.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

PS - I have (after one day) found out that once you go Mac, you don't go back (new MacBook is awesome)
 

tinix

macrumors newbie
Jun 14, 2013
14
0
Well it depends on what you want to do. To track temperatures I use HWSensors/HWMonitor which you can download from here http://sourceforge.net/projects/hwsensors/files/ (it is the HWSensors.5.4.944.pkg). During installation there should be customize button around step 4 which you need to click and then uncheck everything except HWMonitor or it will break your OS. The program is good when you need to monitor temperature and do not want to pay for other programs. Also I use Alfred 2 which is replacement for Spotlight, but that is about personal preference. Can't think about anything else.
 
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Bending Pixels

macrumors 65816
Jul 22, 2010
1,304
363
Considering the new MBP comes with both iLife and iWork suites, learn those first. Figure out if they meet your needs or if you need to look for alternatives.

As to office related app's, MS Word and Excel for Mac are good, but Outlook for Mac is borked. The App Store is a good source for what's available, and customer ratings/comments can be a good guide as to which ones are worthwhile and which to avoid.
 
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Kevclark1985

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 2, 2013
72
3
cheers for the replies. Will look into those!

Anyone able to recommend software so that I can snap windows like in windows 7/8? I.e so dragging to right side of screen resizes window to take up the whole right side of the screen. I used this feature a lot on my windows machine.
 
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josh.b

macrumors regular
Oct 19, 2013
158
0
welcome to the good life :)

  • Alfred 2 (custom fast search / launcher) available from AppStore (v1) or website (v2)
  • CloudApp (uploader) available from Appstore
  • ScreenFlow (premium screen recording, the best there is) App Store
  • TextWrangler (for editing system files (eg.hosts file) if you don't feel like using the terminal App Store
  • iStat Menus (system monitoring) website
 
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dean1012

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
130
0
I'd recommend two things primarily.

1) I'd get a Time Capsule (for convenience) or an external harddrive and immediately start using Time Machine. This will save you one day.

The Time Capsule will do the same thing as an external harddrive but also acts as a wireless router, has Wireless AC (a nice upgrade), and allows you to obviously use Time Machine wirelessly. It also means since the backups are wireless you are less likely to forget to do them.


2) I'd hold back on installing a bunch of applications at least for a few days, if not a week or so.

You need time to learn about OS X and your hardware. You need a chance to figure out what is possible with the builtin applications and what isn't taking care of your needs.

Then, you can try installing some applications to fill those needs.
 
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Qaanol

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2010
571
11
BetterTouchTool lets you set up custom gestures and shortcuts, as well as window snapping.

For Office programs, there are Apple's free-with-a-new-Mac iWork: Pages, Keynote, Numbers.
There is also the free open source LibreOffice.

For graphics there is the free open source Gimp.
There is also the $30 Pixelmator, the $50 Acorn, the $80 Photoshop Elements, and the free Seashore.

TextWrangler is a workhorse of a text editor, and it's free.

VLC is available, if you need to play media QuickTime can't handle.

The Unarchiver is available, if you need to extract files OS X can't natively.

For programming, you want Xcode.

What are you looking to do with you computer?
 
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GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,465
833
So I just got my new MacBook Pro 13" (late 2013), and having never used an apple computer before I am wondering if there are any essential programs that are worth running outwith the usual Office/VLC type programs? Thinking more apple specific stuff I would not be familiar with.
Congratulations! This may be useful (includes sources for apps and recommendations):
 
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Kevclark1985

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 2, 2013
72
3
I'd recommend two things primarily.

1) I'd get a Time Capsule (for convenience) or an external harddrive and immediately start using Time Machine. This will save you one day.

The Time Capsule will do the same thing as an external harddrive but also acts as a wireless router, has Wireless AC (a nice upgrade), and allows you to obviously use Time Machine wirelessly. It also means since the backups are wireless you are less likely to forget to do them.


2) I'd hold back on installing a bunch of applications at least for a few days, if not a week or so.

You need time to learn about OS X and your hardware. You need a chance to figure out what is possible with the builtin applications and what isn't taking care of your needs.

Then, you can try installing some applications to fill those needs.

Already have an external hard drive, don't think a time capsule is necessary for me at the moment but may consider it at a later stage.


BetterTouchTool lets you set up custom gestures and shortcuts, as well as window snapping.

For Office programs, there are Apple's free-with-a-new-Mac iWork: Pages, Keynote, Numbers.
There is also the free open source LibreOffice.

For graphics there is the free open source Gimp.
There is also the $30 Pixelmator, the $50 Acorn, the $80 Photoshop Elements, and the free Seashore.

TextWrangler is a workhorse of a text editor, and it's free.

VLC is available, if you need to play media QuickTime can't handle.

The Unarchiver is available, if you need to extract files OS X can't natively.

For programming, you want Xcode.

What are you looking to do with you computer?

Had a look at the iWork, seemed ok but the numbers program looked awful compared to excel so picked up office! I use spreadsheets a lot so think I need it lol.

Will get TextWrangler as seen lots of people suggest that.
Already have VLC (best media player around tbh)

Got Xcode as well, I am looking to re-learn some programming (did it at uni but not touched programming in a few years!). Otherwise just looking to do standard stuff, programming, some photo editing (nothing major), maybe some video editing. I am not a heavy user to be honest but was sick of windows and wanted a premium laptop without windows so made the switch :)
 
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BinaryTim

macrumors member
Mar 29, 2011
42
1
Dakotas
My favorite application

I use, and strongly recommend, 1Password from http://www.agilebits.com

I make all my passwords very long and complicated, and the only way I could ever keep them organized, and secure, is with 1Password. It is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, so synchronizing your passwords between devices (with Dropbox) is a breeze.

As you know, using the same password for all your web account logins is a really, really bad idea. This application will make your life so much easier (and safer). The price may seem like it’s a little high, but it is SO worth it in my opinion.

You can buy it from the Mac App Store, or directly from the Agile Bits website store. I recommend purchasing directly from http://www.agilebits.com for three reasons.

1. The developer makes a little more $ (doesn't have to pay Apple 30%).

2. If you buy the Family Pack license you can install it on any/all computers of up to 5 USERS living in your household without having to have your iTunes ID setup on each computer (as you would if purchasing through the MAS.

3. If you have a mix of Mac & Windows systems in your home, get the Mac+Windows Bundle, Individual or Family License versions, see licensing details here. The Windows license is not available when purchasing through the Mac App Store.

They also have a 30 trial version you can download from their website. Give it a try, I think you'll really like it, too.
 
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Lord Hamsa

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2013
663
540
This isn't Mac specific, but if you've got 2 or more computers and you want to keep certain files in sync, I'd recommend DropBox on each of the computers (and your iPhone/iPad, too).

Other favorites of mine:

* Handbrake - for making digital copies from your DVDs for iTunes; get a metadata editor like MetaZ, Subler, or iDentify to tweak the metadata after ripping and before putting into iTunes

* Mobile Mouse Server - with Mobile Mouse app, use your iOS device as a remote mouse/keyboard for your Mac

* Caffeine - override sleep settings when you need to
 
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caughtinfire

macrumors member
Jul 2, 2011
57
8
Bellevue, WA
I like Divvy as a window resizer snap feature thingy.

If you do much writing of any sort, Scrivener is fantastic for getting all of your thoughts and sources together.

Seconding the vote for TextWrangler as well.
 
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