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Got a Mac today. Software reccomendations?

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:57 PM

Got my first Macintosh today, and, well, I'm pretty darn happy with it. I'm still on my HP Laptop though, because I don't want to connect the thing to the internet juuusttt yet. I must admit, that Welcome Video was cool.
System Specs:
24" Display
2.8GHz Processor
Intel Centrino Duo 2
Came with iLife. Bought iWork '09 and CS4 with it, as well. Obviously, since I haven't downloaded the Mac OS X Update Yet (10.5.6 i think), I haven't been able to install much yet. Just wanted to know a three things.
1. Is Antivirus/Firewall software all that necessary? I'm certainly downloading Firefox 3, NoScript and WOT, but I need to know if I need anything more. The sales guy at the Apple Store I got my iMac at said I didn't, but I just wanted to double check. :thumbsup:
2. AppleCare. Yay or nay?
3. What's the best way to go about downloading the 650MB update for OS X? I have a slowish internet connection (about 25kb/s on downloads). Will I be able to leave my Mac on, say, overnight, to download? Or is that a bad idea?

Oh, any free software that I should be using on my Mac (other than FF)?

Thanks guys. :D

Edited by Kevin Lee, 20 February 2009 - 11:28 PM.

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#2 Buddyme2


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Posted 21 February 2009 - 07:28 PM

Nice. I'd suggest maxing out the RAM for CS4.
1. Antivirus not needed yet, unless you download and install from seedy sites. Enabling the firewall is sound judgment, even better if the Mac is behind a router.
2. You have free 90 day phone support w/o AC, 3 yrs. with. After 90 days your CC could be charged a fee for calling, no charges w/AC. You have one year from the date of purchase to buy AC for your Mac, after 1 yr you'll be out of luck. Ebay has some cheap prices on AC, I bought one for my MBP for less than $200 US while Apple wanted $350 for it. In other words, your choice really.
3. Downloading overnight will work if the connection doesn't fail. It took me 8-10 hrs to download the 10.5.6 Combo update on my iffy 256/56 connection and I got it on my second try.

What programs would you be interested in? Some Mac OS X download sites with freeware, shareware and commercial programs.

Enable color management in FF3.
Download and install AppleJack. Who knows you might need it sometime.
What's wrong with Safari?

#3 TVT


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Posted 22 February 2009 - 06:27 PM

If you use IM a lot, you'll want Adium

If you dont want to use Time Machine for backup, either Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper work great.

AppFresh is a good way to help keep all your applications up to date, but its still in beta so use at your own risk.

If you have an iPod, or if you would rather keep your DVD's on your computer, Handbrake makes ripping and converting them to compatible video files a breeze.

You'll definitely want Flip4Mac to be able to play Windows media files through QuickTime

Another great media player thatll play just about anything is VLC

If you use a USB drive or MP3 player between your Mac and other PCs alot, HiddenCleaner is a great way to get rid of all the hidden files OS X tends to leave behind

SimplyBurns is a great CD/DVD ripping/burning utility

You'll probably want StuffIt for extracting zips, rars, etc.

The rest of this list either costs money, or is completely pointless but still fun to play with
AppZapper-Deleting apps in OS X is pretty straightforward, but they almost always leave behind something that you dont know. This app scans your hard drive for those unknow files and sends them to the trash. You can find free alternatives to this.
CandyBar-This is THE app you want if you like to customize your system/application icons.
CoconutBattery-This is a great app to track your laptop battery's life
Little Snitch-This here acts like a reverse firewall. Instead of monitoring and blocking whats coming into your computer, Little Snitch monitors whats going out. When running, it tells you when an application is trying to access the internet, where its going and on what socket. You can tell it to allow or deny access to it.
BootXChanger-Lets you change the grey Apple image you see on startup.
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#4 tonygreyjr


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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:11 PM

Congrats on the conversion. I use both platforms regularly for my work as a designer/web master. My best advice is to run the machine for awhile and use the built-in/included software until you're finding you're missing something you had on your PC. If you plan to use both machines, then the obvious would be to get MS Office for Mac. Even though I have iWork, I find that conversion of word/excel/ppt docs to Mac work better when you're using the evil empires programs. If you have no need to pass MS docs back to any windows users, assuming you still have friends on PCs, ;-) , then forget the MS apps. Besides, there are other office apps out there that will allow you to share docs if they have problems with your iWork docs.

The list from TVT is a great one. I have many of the apps suggested. But you've likely spent a ton on getting the system, so spending more on apps always hurt me when I didn't know what I needed to begin with.

Personally, I have AV running all the time. Even though many viruses don't run on Mac, all it takes is one to ruin your day. Stuffit is a must if you're passing zips back and forth from PC users.

If you're not going to run your HP at the same time, think about getting Parallels or Boot Camp. Gives you the Windows OS when you need it but keeps it nice and clean on the single machine.

And yeah, max out the RAM if you can. Makes a world of a difference, especially when running Windows along side the Mac OS.

[ t ] <--new to bleepingcomputer, but running on Macs for 20+ years.

#5 inthismind


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Posted 28 February 2009 - 02:50 PM

Only have time right now to add this to the topic. You should use ClamX, it is open source and is available here http://www.clamxav.com/, as your AV. I have used the program for the last two years and yet to get hit by anything. As [t] said run AV 24/7 is the best way to go, reguardless of the myth of no viruses on OS 10.x.x.

#6 Twin B

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 08:54 PM

I just bought a new iMac today for my wife, and this thread has been very helpful. Thanks everyone.

I've learned blood is not thicker than money. 


#7 Paul2s


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Posted 05 June 2009 - 01:35 PM

Giving this thread to my niece. She just got a MacBook for HS gradruation.

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