Loading Up My New Mac

I’ve recently purchased a new Mac Pro, and now I’m looking to my other two Macs (iMac, Macbook Pro) for the essential software that I need on this new machine. I feel that my other two machines are way too bloated, so I’m looking to install only my most relevant apps. Through this process, I’m realizing that I use many apps on a daily/weekly basis.

Here is my list of my essential Mac apps. This does not include the preloaded apps, such as iLife ’08.

Firefox: I’m not sure what’s up with Safari, but I try it from time to time and it never seems to properly load the pages I need. Does anyone else have this experience? Firefox is my “duh” app … everyone should use Firefox. IE is just awful and it continues to be a source of grief for any of my students still using it.

Journler: This personal journaling tool is terrific. I use it for almost every place I take notes or reflect. In fact, I built this list using Journler.

Skype: I use Skype to communicate all the time, with people at a distance, and even people on campus. It’s the simplest tool, it’s still great quality but I wish I could actually get SkypeIn service in Saskatchewan.

Quicksilver: Yea, it takes a while getting used to, but this tool is something that should just be built in to OS X. It’s described as “A unified, extensible interface for working with applications, contacts, music and other data.” It’s amazing and works so well with everything. You have to experience it to love it. Take some time to do that.

OpenOffice.org: I don’t use MS Office anymore. Can anyone give me a reason to? OpenOffice.org does everything I need.

Jing: I use Jing all the time … everyday. If a student asks me a technical question related to my course via email, Moodle, etc., I am able to quickly send them a quick Jing video as a solution. As part of my course, I use student question (sent via email) that I answer via Jing and post solutions for everyone. It’s just so convenient.

Twitterific: Not sure if there is a better Mac Twitter client out there, but it just works.

iGTD: iGTD or i Get Things Done is my master. It tells me what to do everyday, and it makes my life much more simpler and organized.

Miro: This is great cross-platform, open source video player with built in search capabilities. I’ve written about Miro more here. And it’s great with TVShows, for personal entertainment viewing.

VLC: Although Miro is based on VLC, I like having VLC as my default media player. It plays everything I have come across.

Adium: Adium is my multi-service instant messaging client. I use it with my MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, GChat, AOL and iChat contacts. It doesn’t support video conferencing but it does the basics and is so convenient.

Cyberduck: I’ve used all of the free Mac FTP clients, and this seems to work best … it’s got some issues, but it does the job.

So far everything has been free. Here are a couple of apps that I actually pay money to use.

VMWare Fusion: I’ve used both Fusion and Parallels to run Windows XP on my Mac. At this point, VMWare wins out for speed.

XTorrent: This is the best Mac Torrent client by far! It’s worth the money.

That’s all I can think of for now. It’s a pretty basic list but there are some amazing apps here.

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8 thoughts on “Loading Up My New Mac

  1. Take a look at Yep (http://www.yepthat.com/ ). It is a great PDF management tool. It is pretty much “iPhoto for PDFs”. I have used it to manage all of the reference articles I have downloaded as PDF files.
    Very handy app…

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  3. Pingback: Open Thinking & Digital Pedagogy » More Great Mac Apps

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  5. Hmmm…. with regards to why someone would want to use Safari, it could be because Firefox is not perfect all of the time. I have a real problem with Firefox, running *no* extensions, stalling on my beautiful Mac G5 desktop machine. It made me laugh when I realised that Safari was rapidly becoming my go-to browser. Unfortunately, not all apps work for all people all of the time. And Firefox still has some issues to iron out. Now, as for X Torrent, after previous experience with Acquisition, a p2p client from the same developer, I swore that I would not support them financially due to their vicious hijacking of your browser. Nothing says “Delete me!” quite as quickly as a program that is intercepting your other applications. I am okay with the prompt at the beginning of a program, however, I do not agree with their techniques, and feel that the jazzy interface is not worth the money when there are a variety of free and lightweight apps available. Is the interface design quite as slick? Perhaps not. Are they intentionally Mac-designed? No, but, any user would be able to find ample support in user forums, to get them off the ground in no time. So no, no X Torrent for me!

    I am really enjoying you r blog, keep up the good work!

  6. Hi Holly,
    I’ve had my fair share of issues with Firefox as well, in fact, it seems to crash fairly often on both my MacBook Pro and my MacPro. However, I do love the extensions available, it’s design, speed and that it is open source. Philosophically, the latter point, is huge to me.

    I’ve tried going the Safari route a few times, but never like the way it renders some pages … it just doesn’t work in a lot of cases with some multimedia sites I access. I am not sure what the issues is.

    As for XTorrent and Acquisition, I realize they are from the same company and I have used them both. I know Acquisition was certainly nag-ware, but I have never had any experiences of it hijacking my browser … not on Firefox anyways. Xtorrent certainly doesn’t (at least the paid version). I have used virtually every torrent client out there for the Mac, and this by far, is the best. But, I do understand your point if you have had that experience, as I do get turned off in those type of cases when software companies use methods like that.

    Thanks for reading, I appreciate your comments.
    All the best!

  7. Thanks for using Jing! I appreciate it!

    I’d love to get your feedback and show off on our blog how you’re using it. Drop me a line if you get a change.

    Thanks again –
    Betsy Weber, Chief Evangelist

  8. I have been using a mac now for around three years and find the following software really useful:
    Backdrop – for blanking out the screen ideal for taking simple screenshots.
    Screensteps – for creating teaching materials (specifically walkthroughs)
    iShowU – simple screencapture software that saves instantly as a quicktime file (used for recording lectures)
    Screenflow – for preparing more sophisticated screencasts using the screen plus isight
    Transmission – my preferred bittorrent client
    Pixelmator, Vectordesigner, openoffice, mousepose, grandperspective, garagesale, coda, etc

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