New to Macs - Need Advice.

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by RobbieL, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. RobbieL macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    In response to my post over in the Buyers Tips section, there is a things I'd like to know about applications. I'm brand new to Macs, so I'm not exactly up to scratch on what's the best application for individual tasks.

    The main tasks I'll be carrying out on the Mac will be web browsing, chatting (both IM's and IRC), web development, word processing and other of the usual office tasks. Can anyone suggest a few apps that'll cover that'll meet my needs above?. Plus, is there any other neccessary apps I should know about?

    Another thing I'm not to sure on is Anti-Virus and Firewall. Now being a PC user for all these years, having an AV and FW is essential. But what about with a Mac? I know Macs are well known for there virus free ways, so does mean I don't need to worry about an AV and FW?

    Thanks for your time, much appreciated. :)
  2. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    No antivirus needed.

    Stuffit Expander is almost essential

    Inquisitor is a great plug-in for safari (allthough some people like firefox)

    Adium (latest beta especially) is a great customisable IM thingamabob - I also use Mercury Messenger for video

    Get the skype 2.5 beta if you want it

    VLC player is great for all codecs

    Flip4mac allows WMV in quicktime

    NeoOffice is a great office suite

    Xtorrent/Azureus for torrenting, Acqlite for P2P if you like that kinda thing

    SuperDuper is good if you want to back up your HD

    These are all free!
    Welcome to the world of macs

    Parallels is not free but great if you want to run windows inside OSX, not for games or graphics though...
  3. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I like Safari just fine for web browsing (with PithHelmet, for blocking in-line ads in webpages) especially since it reads RSS feeds, though having Camino around for safety ain't a bad idea.

    For IM, I like AdiumX (the 1.0 beta, at the moment). Except when I have to do an AIM file transfer. Then I use iChat. For IRC, it's Colloquy all the way.

    For Office-y tasks, assuming you need compatibility with Microsoft Office documents from PCs, running Office 2004 is probably a must. If not, iWork's Pages is more than enough.

    If you need to FTP, I recommend Panic Software's Transmit.

    There are plenty of other apps I use, but those are the ones I'm most often in on a daily basis.
  4. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Using Anti-Virus software on a Mac is a waste of performance, time and money. Unless you need to filter files that will be moved to a PC in which Macs can transfer viruses but cannot be infected by them (but I consider this situation very limited).

    Overall I say Anti-Virus is a PC thing, not a Mac thing.

    As for Firewalls there is one built-in on Mac OS X, and again isn't that necessary to run (to me). I'm sure other people have their own opinions on that.
  5. quigleybc macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2005
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
    Firewall is built in Sys prefs>sharing>firewall....turn it on, or turn it off
    Anti Virus is a thing of the past

    Other than the above mentioned apps I will add or restress

    VLC (play any video free)
    iWork (word prossesing)
    Transmit (ftp)
    Cyberduck (free Ftp)
    Yojimbo (does a lot of stuff)

  6. benthewraith macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    A firewall in OS X isn't that sensible to run because all of the options for accessing your computer are disabled by default. If you're going to start doing things like Windows sharing and stuff, perhaps, but again, unless they know your password and user name, it's rather difficult for them to get on your computer (if not impossible). Also, routers have firewalls built into them by default. You're not actually connected to the Internet, you're connected to a NAT, which is connected to the Internet. So you have hardware firewall practically built in by default.
  7. RobbieL thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
    Cheers for all the advice, much appreciated. Been looking out most of the mentioned applications, and very pleased to see the majority of them are free! :)

    It's going to be strange not having to worry about AV, FW, Spyware & Adware checkers etc ... but at the sametime, it'll be bliss. :)
  8. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I noticed there was only one suggestion for IRC software. I'm by no means a pro IRCer, in fact I'm a bit of a newb. I've found Conversation to be the only one with an even half decent interface (I know "IRC" and "GUI" don't exactly go hand-in-hand, but why shouldn't they?). I'm not stupid, I don't need things simplified so much, but frankly the others are just so unwieldily (and I was unable to get DCC transfers to work in some of them).

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