So, Help me get the most out of my Macbook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Flipadelphia, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Flipadelphia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #1
    1.8 GHz Core i7
    4GB Ram.

    I have this computer for both business and pleasure. What are some things that you have put on on yours, or utilized for to make your life easier, more entertaining etc?
     
  2. Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    #2
    Fun question, posting so I can come back later.

    Personally, one thing I enjoy is Spotify.

    Not really sure on anything else in particular that I've added to my computer to make my life easier/ more fun/ better.
     
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
  4. hawk1410 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    #4
    The first things i install are SMCFanControl(not so essential on Air i guess), unrarX, google chrome(the latest one has many features similar to safari and i dont like safari as it is a memory hog), skype, Wine(i enjoy some old classic games, most older windows games work ok with this), steam, spotify and grab some nice widgets for dashboard. Also Adblock for chrome/safari are amazing.
     
  5. Flipadelphia thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #5
    I do actually have windows 7 installed on the other half of the machine for work proposes.

    I am a new mac user, what widgets are out there that are cool, aside from the standard?

    Any good games that work with this machine?
     
  6. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    #6
    * Evernote and Wunderlist for organizing things.

    * iMessage beta

    * iPhoto for photographs. Pixelmator or Aperture if you really want to edit stuff.

    * Chrome so you don't need to install flash.

    * Dropbox. More useful then I ever imagined.

    * Twitter App. Even if you don't post anything, you can follow interesting people.

    * Transmission, unarchiver, smart converter.... ;)

    That's all that is coming to mind right now. There are a bunch of fun little games you can get too.
     
  7. MacRazySwe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    #7
    Spotify - Thanks to this wonderful program I no longer use iTunes for anything other than iPhone syncing. Moreover, you'll save space on your MBA's SSD.

    Dropbox - Try it and you will understand. By using Dropbox I'm able to leave my computer at school and finish my assignments at home on my iMac. When I get to school and awake my MacBook, it automatically updates my file in a few seconds. For me, this is better than cloud-services like Google Apps (Docs) as I prefer to store my files locally.

    Pages - I have always preferred MS Word, but this is a different story. "Versions" is one of my absolute favorite features ever. The auto-save is also a great feature. Last week I was working on a document, but had to move about. Closed the lid, and for some reason - pulled my USB-stick where the now edited file was located (not saved) without thinking. 30 minutes before my presentation. Thanks to the auto-save feature everything was saved. I have now switched completely from MS Word. The only thing Word is better at is the spell-check.

    Chrome - The best browser. Although I also like Safari a lot, it drains a lot of memory, unlike Chrome.

    iStat - Useful tool for monitoring your computer.

    VLC - Pretty self explanatory. Play all mediafiles.

    Also, I must be the only one using iWeb occasionally?

    Hmm, probably plenty of other, can't think of them now though.
     
  8. jsgreen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #8
    +1 for Evernote

    The OmniGroup products are pretty good too - OmniPlan, OmniFocus see a lot of use on my MBA

    Alfred is a great app too

    MindNode Pro is fun for mind mapping/brainstorming

    I'm experimenting with TextExpander, that looks like a good productivity enhancer.

    Caffine is also handy for keeping your screen from sleeping

    flux does a good job making your screen less bright when its late at night
     
  9. msoravia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Location:
    Como, Italy
    #9
    Hotspot Shield, but I guess it's a little less useful if you live in the US
     
  10. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    #10
    TextWrangler is a great free text editor. I use it all the time for PowerShell scripts and small C#, Objective-C and other source files.
     
  11. EthanMiller macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    #11
    It makes a great bread slicer. (Kidding)

    If you do any -and I mean any- text editing, do yourself a favor and get TextWrangler.

    Apple's Mail client is pretty good, and worth setting up to at least try.

    I use Appigo's Todo (which syncs to my iDevice) for task management - it's the only one I've found that I really like.

    +1 for Evernote.

    Whatever you do, don't use Adobe Reader. It's a steaming pile of **** and security holes. I've yet to come across a PDF that Preview can't handle, and my PDF load isn't light - forms, documents, annotation.

    MS Office 2011, IMHO, isn't worth paying for. For a clean $20 per app (sold individually), you can get Apple's iWork (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), which have handled almost everything I've thrown at them, and have the advantages mentioned earlier. They can open and save MS things fine.

    If you're a programmer, learn Xcode.

    EDIT: Forgot Alfred. Set up a hotkey, then whenever you need something (an app, simple math, complex math, a definition...) it's only a few keys away.
     
  12. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    #12
    Just a note on the Apple office products: While they work with Office documents, they don't always keep the formatting correct. At least not the iPad variants of them. I went with Office 2011 due to the iPad variants not treating documents correctly. I could be wrong with how the OS X variants work.
     
  13. KylePowers macrumors 68000

    KylePowers

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    #13
    Apps I use daily:
    • Twitter
    • iChat (AIM + Google Chat accounts)
    • Wunderlist (task manager - there's also an iPhone and iPad app)
    • Safari (because it syncs bookmarks with my iPhone and iPad)
    • Microsoft Office for Mac (because Pages doesn't always keep the formatting and I share documents with classmates/colleagues/etc who use Windows)
    • Virtualbox (to virtualize Windows 7)
    • Dropbox (currently at 12+GB, syncs/backups all my important files, accessible from my iMac, iPhone, iPad, and any other computer with a web browser)
    • Time Machine (for backups)
    Other apps I recommend:
    • Carbon Copy Cloner (alternative to Time Machine)
    • PS3 Media Server (access your music/videos/pics from your PS3 or Xbox 360)
    • Mobile Mouse server (to use in conjunction with the Mobile Mouse app to use your iPhone as a mouse ... like when your MBA is connected to the TV or something)
    • Splashtop Streamer (to control your MBA from your iPad remotely)
    • Plex (either as a client or server, serves as a media center - also has an app for the iPhone)
    • Filezilla (for FTPing)
    • The Unarchiver
    • MPlayerX
     
  14. eric/ Guest

    eric/

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio, United States
    #14
    I recommend Perian. It's an add-on for Quicktime which allows playback for most video formats. It's convenient if you just want to use Quicktime and not download additional software, particularly a concern for macbook airs.

    Games? Check out Steam or the Mac app store. Depends on what games you like as well. Obviously you aren't going to be playing FPS games at max frame rate though.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15

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