Software suggestions for a re-switcher...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Powda~P, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. Powda~P macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2005
    Im getting a Powerbook next month and I need some suggestions on what type of software to use.

    I need:
    1. a dvd ripper- from .vob to .mpeg/.avi/etc.
    2. a dvd converter - from .avi/.mpeg/etc. to DVD
    3. a good Office program. Im gettin Office 2004, but I might get iWork as well if its version of Powerpoint equivilent is better than powerpoint.
    4. Any other programs that I may find useful as a student/ frequent music downloader.
    5. Is Toast the equivilent to Nero on the Mac?
    6. an equivilent to Trillian (an all-in-one IM client)
    7. a Download Accelerator
    8. A way to download files from IRC, since I dont think they have mIRC for Mac :(

    Thanks in advance for the help :tu
  2. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Keynote is better than PowerPoint, but Pages vs Word is another matter; Pages is better from a graphics standpoint, it's far more powerful for positioning images in the text and that type of stuff, but Word is better for word processing; overall Word is probably superior. And the iWork package does not include an Excel equivilant.

    Before you purchase Microsoft Office, might I recommend NeoOffice (a Java port of OpenOffice)? If it doesn't work well then you can buy MS Office or iWork. NeoOffice is free, and opens all Office docs...

    Download accelerators, uhm, IMHO they're gimmicks. I've never found one that made a significant difference.

    Yes, Toast is the equivilant to Nero.

    Music? GarageBand will come with your Mac, you'll love it :)
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    VersionTracker is your friend.

    My opinion (on some issues):

    1. Mac the Ripper is freeware. Many people swear by Handbrake.
    2. iMovie and iDVD come preinstalled on your computer. Download and install the DivX QuickTime codec. You may have all that you need.
    3. Office isn't a program, it is a bundle of applications. On the Mac, Microsoft Office includes MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Entourage, and possibly MS Virtual PC. It also ships with MS Windows Media Player, MSN Messenger, and REALbasic. The question that you need to answer is which of these apps do you need. Many people say "Office" when they mean "Word." You are also asking about PowerPoint and Apple Keynote. Keynote can read and write PowerPoint files. However, Keynote presentations make PowerPoint presentations look like the scribbles of a special needs child using wax crayons.
    4. If you download music, what more than iTunes do you want? I suppose that you could use RealPlayer, but do you really want to do that?
    5. Nero is a commercial application. You can do much of what Nero does using Disk Utilities, iTunes, and the Finder which are part of a basic installation of MacOS X. If you want to spend the $80 for Toast, I suppose that you can. However, I recommend that you check out the stuff that comes with your computer first.
    6. There are several chat cliens. Every Mac ships with iChat, which supports AIM and Jabber. Among the third-party clients are Adium, seems to be pretty good, and Fire, which seems to have problems with MacOS X 10.4.
    7. There are several, but I am hardpressed to see their worth. But then, I have a cable modem.
    8. Adium does this. You may also want to check out Colloquy.
  4. Pittsax macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    That's very debatable. I tried to switch to Keynote, but it was lacking a lot of features that Powerpoint has (its ability to draw paths is pathetic or non-existent if you actually want to have curves). Plus, I found that a lot of the interface needed work (the font panel is an abomination).
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Do you mean text on curved paths, stretched text, and that sort of thing? When I mentioned a "special needs child using wax crayons" in my previous post, that was one the things I was talking about.
  6. Powda~P thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2005
    Download Accelerators work great to make sure you get the best connection out of broadband connection. Using Firefox, i get about 150kbps depending on the server, but when i use Download Accelerator Plus, I get450kbps all of the time.

    Also, I was aware Office was a collection of programs, as Ive used it as long as Ive had a computer.

    Thanks alot for the help guys, this makes the switch alot easier as I know the equivilents to my favorite XP programs.
  7. stridey macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2005
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
  8. DJY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2003
    Canberra AUST
    1. & 2. I concur with the comments above in the first couple of posts.

    3. Definitely Office: Mac! Works well - better than any version I ever ran on a PC, and whilst Keynote is very nice! Powerpoint has a heal of improvements and options on a Mac that you will love!

    4. iTunes! There are also a couple of album cover apps that you can download from Version Tracked to import album covers into iTunes as well!

    5. Toast is better and easier to use than Nero. It is as widely used in the Mac market as Nero seems to be in the Windoz enivornment.

    6. Adium X - no contest here!
    7. can't help you with this one - sorry
    8. There are several IRC clients - and this one seems to be individual preferences. there are several thread in here asking for people's opinion about IRC apps - so do a search.

    The other couple of must have's I use - you may not need on your new PB.
    Side Track is a must for me!
    Grab a couple of widgets - AusTV2, SysStat, Aust PhoneBook, and maybe a Wireless Network detector as well - if you are hoping to use wireless at Uni or other locations.

    Read lots of forums - here and elsewhere. Use these and macosxhints forums to answer your specific questions.

    I grabbed a couple of P2P apps for sharing and recieving large files whether they be for Uni or otherwise (Aquisition etc).

    The other must have I think is VLC - video player that plays everything (except some wmv files - so grab Windows Media Player for Mac as well - but I rarely use it).

    The only other thing I use regularly - is Firefox. I use it as an alternative web browser. I really like Safari - but occasionally something doesn't like it - so I have Firefox.
  9. Pittsax macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    No, nothing with goofed up text. I'm talking about things like curved lines, usually with arrowheads. I don't touch that "WordArt" stuff.
  10. cooknwitha macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2005
    I second this. And... well.... I only just downloaded it thanks to stridey's post. :) I've been using MSN Messenger now for years. How long has thing been around?! What a nice background chat software. And anything to avoid using an MSN product gets my thumbs up!

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