What's on your new (or fresh OS install)Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sartrekid, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. sartrekid macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2014
    I'm going to purchase a new iMac next week (yay me!). I have been wondering how you set up your computer initially and what specific apps you use on a clean install. In other words; what do you do to make sure your computer runs flawlessly and fast well into the future?

    A few questions:

    • how do you do maintenance and if so, how?
    • what's your backup routine and which app(s) do you use?
    • do you protect your machine against malware?
    What other apps would you recommend that you consider mandatory on any new Mac/clean OS install? Some categories I'm thinking of are:

    • your favorite games to play on OS X?
    • your favorite audio player and converter for e.g. FLAC or other lossless media?
    • your favorite video player and DVD ripper e.g. from DVD to .mp4?
    • your favorite simple writing app?
    • a good money/budget management app?
    • your favorite to-do app?
    • other apps you're specifically fond of using?

    I thought I'd just put everything into one thread. I'd love to know what apps you use for any of the above tasks/categories.

  2. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    well...never install stuff and then later decide u don't need it is where i always come from....

    Its easy enough to forget and say u may need this in the future, but i would never install any app *until* and *if* i needed it, otherwise is just using space...

    It may consume a small space only, but it all adds up... u start installing 1. then 10, and 20 apps but u only use 1 of them all the time....

    VLC and Handbrake are my first two apps i always install as a must for encoding and/using VLC as a media player.

    Most of the time (if not at all) i never use Apple's apps except mail in my only one, for everything else, its open source (Mozilla Firefox my primary browser, Thunderbird (mainly for newsgroups, but i may switch away from mail) and any other apps that i would be actually using, not just to stare that hours on end.

    I also use iStat widget for help monitor usage, Ram, activity, networking etc... as a visual overview.... as well as using Activity monitor to monitor for slow performance as well. Been using my Macbook Pro 2015 and it hasn't been to Apple store for repairs not even once.

    That's about it for me...
  3. sartrekid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2014
    Thanks for your thorough response. I appreciate it.
  4. chabig macrumors 68040

    Sep 6, 2002
    If the machine breaks under warranty, I take it to an Apple store. Thankfully I haven't had any machines fail after their warranty periods, but if you have concerns, AppleCare will extend your warranty to three years.
    I have two external hard drives connected at all times. One is dedicated to Time Machine. Another is purposed as a clone of my internal drive. I have SuperDuper set up to update that clone once per day early in the morning. I keep two clones drives, actually. One is kept at my office, so it's out of the house in case of disaster. I swap the clone drives between home and work once per month.
    I just run OS X. I operate in a user account, and I don't install stuff willy nilly. I don't run Adobe Flash, and I don't use Adobe Reader. I don't believe that third parties are able to secure OS X any better than the professional engineers at Apple.

    I recommend an ad blocker for Safari, and if you do install Flash use an extension like ClicktoFlash that prevents it from running unless you specifically approve it.
  5. Fishrrman, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016

    Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Re malware:
    There isn't as much adware/malware on the Mac (as is found with Windows), but it still shows up from time to time.
    There's a small free app called "MalwareBytes Anti-Malware for Mac" that can scan for malware and adware. That's probably all you need.

    Re favorite audio player:
    I've been using something called "Vox", works well enough for me.

    Re favorite video player:
    I've been using "VLC" lately, seems fine.

    Re DVD ripper:
    I Don't do this myself, but I suggest you look into "HandBrake".

    Re favorite simple writing app:
    You might try either "Bean" (no longer updated, but still works), or "Growly Write".
    Actually, Apple's "TextEdit" works, too.
  6. sartrekid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2014
    Thank you both for the really great information and tips.

    As for ripping DVDs, I have a bunch of original DVDs that I do archive on my computer for personal use, simply because I prefer streaming my media rather than having to insert a different disc every time I want to watch something else. As far as I know having a backup/archive copy of your original media is legal or at least in a gray area.
  7. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    There is no particular maintenance except to clean the screen.

    I use Time Machine for backup as well as a few other static copies I make once in a while. Now I keep more documents on iCloud.

    For writing, notes, todo lists and such I mostly use plain text. I like Tex-Edit Plus for its great scripting support but others are good. I like plain text for its simplicity and longevity.

    I use Pages, Keynote and Numbers for most documents and number processing. They've gotten quite good over the years.

    My only game is Sudoku so I can't help you much with that.
  8. Pakaku, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016

    Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    what's your backup routine and which app(s) do you use?

    Disk Utility is all I need. Usually done by alt-booting into the Recovery Partition and backing up drives from there. I used to use SuperDuper, but it never made a complete copy, so it's worthless to me.

    your favorite games to play on OS X?

    Gaming on OS X isn't worth it to me anymore, since I can dual-boot and will be building a PC for games. I keep Minecraft installed on the macbook, though, since OSX is my "daytime" OS.

    your favorite audio player and converter for e.g. FLAC or other lossless media?

    XLD to convert to ALAC, and then iTunes. It's not that bloated, I got used to 12's UI just fine, older versions can still be downloaded, and I have a very specific music setup involving star ratings and smart playlists when it comes to what music gets synced to my iPod. So moving away from iTunes is a finnicky process and no alternatives has worked for me.

    If you're not that dedicated to smart playlists like I am, you might consider something like Vox. It has native FLAC support out of the box, but the UI is very "special".

    your favorite video player and DVD ripper e.g. from DVD to .mp4?

    I got an app called RipIt for ripping DVDs, but haven't used it in a while. Handbrake covers converting digitals.

    your favorite simple writing app?

    TextEdit :) Then Pages '08 or iBooks Author for 'serious' stuff

    a good money/budget management app?

    Haven't needed one yet, but I'd probably end up setting something up through Numbers.

    other apps you're specifically fond of using?

    Firefox is always my default browser, Adium for most chat stuff, Skype 2.8 for when forced to Skype, Little Snitch 2 as a firewall, Pixelmator for almost any digital art, Vienna for RSS stuff.
  9. sartrekid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2014
    Thank you so much, @neutrino23 and @Pakaku, for the detailed replies. There are a few apps I've not known before, so I'm going to check them out.

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