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Top 10 Mac Apps for New Users

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MacCast    80

So I always get asked by new Mac owners what software they need to download, purchase and/or install on their new machines. Now opinions are going to vary of course, but I thought we might compile a good list of apps that new users may want to consider. Please list the 10 apps you think every Mac owner should have installed on their systems and why? Please limit your list to NON-APPLE pre-installed apps (iLife, Mail, iChat, iCal, Address Book, etc).

 

1) SuperDuper, http://www.shirtpocket.com

This is my favorite "backup" program. I use it to clone my entire drive to an external drive. It has a great interface, is easy to use and in an emergency you can even boot from it.

Alternative: Carbon Copy Cloner, http://www.bombich.com

 

2) NetNewsWire, http://www.newsgator.com/NetNewsWire.aspx

RSS news reader. Save me time by bringing all my favorite Mac news sites into one interface.

Alternative: NewsFire, http://www.newsfirerss.com/

 

3) Transmit, http://www.panic.com

FTP Client. If you need to do FTP on a Mac this is your app. For me it just works, is easy to use and has some nice features.

Alternative: CyberDuck, http://cyberduck.ch/

 

4) TextMate, http://macromates.com/

Swiss Army knife of text editors. Offer lots of great features for text editing, coding, blog editing etc. The color coding is awesome and works with just about any file format (HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, etc.)

Alternative: TextWrangler, http://www.barebones.com

 

More to come....

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spike    0

Some of the 10 apps will depend on whether the person is a first time computer user, a switcher, or one who needs to integrate into the PC landscape. Other than specialty apps (e.g. webdesign, educational apps, and my Palm desktop which I'm keeping!) Apple apps serve about 60 % of my needs. (Even then I mostly use Text Edit even when composing simple html.) So going for the lowest common denominator (excluding specialty apps) which means mostly utilities...

 

I agree everyone needs

 

1. Carbon Copy Cloner

2. NetNewsWire

 

Also

3. Pacifist - why reinstall a whole OS when all you need is a single component or to check if something has been corrupted? Pacifist lets you do that.

4. TrimTheFat - strips out the PPC or Intel code from binaries. No reason to install code for a different chip architecture.

5. StuffIt Expander - still the best de-compression software around and nicely backwards compatible for sharing files with some of us old timers who don't "zip".

6. PDFLab - highly useful app for compiling pdf files or extracting only certain pages.

7. Onyx, or MacJanitor for maintenance, optimization & system personalization just as its described.

8. CleanArchiver - removes UNIX droppings (invisible files like .ds_) from archives/folders/disks shared with PC users

9. RBrowser for ftp in the free mode.

10.Speech Queue or Text Reader - for better control of how your Mac reads to you. Speech Queue lets you pause the speech, and Text Reader lets you export text to a sound file without using Terminal. You will be addicted to having your computer read to you once you give it a try.

10.Disk Warrior - install and run it once a month for a happy hard disk. ( :huh: how could I have forgotten that!)

 

edited to correct #10

Edited by spike

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RailRider    0

1) Default Folder X (shareware) http://www.stclairsoft.com/DefaultFolderX/index.html

Because navigating in Mac OS X's dialog boxes sucks without it. It's a System Preferences pane. It allows you to set up default folders for each app, allows you create a menu with favorite folders that you go to frequently, and it'll rebound to the last selected file. There's a whole lot more than that too.

 

2) Unison (shareware) http://www.panic.com/unison/

A UseNet newsgroup reader that let's you get rid of all the BS posts and key in on the files you're looking for. I've never seen another newsreader that works like this one.

 

3) Butler (freeware) http://www.petermaurer.de/nasi.php?section=butler

Application launcher that does a whole lot more.

 

4) SuperDuper: Agreed

 

5) OnyX: Agreed

 

6) Paparazzi (freeware) http://www.derailer.org/paparazzi/

Need to screen capture a full webpage (even the stuff that's off the screen)? This'll do it.

 

7) FileList (freeware) http://www.petermaurer.de/nasi.php?section=filelist

Batch file renamer and playlist generation. Need to change a bunch of file names? This will do it for you quickly.

 

8) Text Wrangler (freeware) http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/

Free text editor from the people who do BBEdit.

 

I'll add more later!

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haivu    21

My List:

1. SuperDuper - definitely

2. 1Passwd - a must, especially for those who are spoiled by RoboForm

3. CyberDuck ftp - free and useful, a perfect formula

4. QuickSilver - indispensable app launcher that is very easy to use, yet very powerful and flexible

5. VLC - a must, if you want to be able to watch videos that only Windows XP people can enjoy

6. Flip4Mac - again, for watching Windows videos. I use both this an VLC.

7. Yahoo Messenger - somehow, my relatives are mostly on Yahoo, so I need this. However, there are other IM's out there that can communicate to multiple protocols. Check them out; I am happy with this one.

8. SnagNDrag - a screen capturing utility ($0: priceless)

9. Skype - free calls to North America until the end of the year, need I say more?

10. Toast 7.x - for your burning desire. It is not cheap, but worth it.

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macdood13    0

I think the ten apps depends on the user so you should get to know what they need and use before you go suggesting 50 million apps that will just sit on their dock.

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MacCast    80
I think the ten apps depends on the user so you should get to know what they need and use before you go suggesting 50 million apps that will just sit on their dock.

 

I would tend to agree, but there are some apps that almost all Mac users use and benefit from and those are the ones we are looking for. Plus these are just a starter guide for new Mac owners and merely suggestions.

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houltmac    254

1. SuperDuper!

Simply the greatest backup application ever. Clone your machine automatically with a schedule and make a bootable backup in minutes with smart updates. (Cheap)

 

2. Flip4Mac

Watch Windows Media files on your Mac, especially useful when watching videos online. (Free)

 

3. VLC

Watch just about any video without messing around with CODECS and other geeky stuff. Simple. (Free)

 

4. Skype

Talk with friends online, on a landline, a cell... Talk as much as you want, cheap and mostly free at a really high quality. (Free)

 

5. AdiumX

Chat with IM contacts on MSN, AIM, Yahoo! and all other major networks.

 

6. SizzlingKeys

Control iTunes from anywhere on your Mac. A must for any music loving Mac owner.

 

7. ShowMacster

Share more than just video and audio through iChat. Share photos, QuickTime files and much more.

 

8, 9 and 10. iLife suite

I'll happily take three spaces to fill with iLife rather than waste it on generic stuff that people don't really use. iLife speaks for itself and I don't think there is anything else out there that I would recommend to 80% of new Mac users or more.

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andmac    0

can i list my dock? ;-D

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haivu    21
8, 9 and 10. iLife suite

I'll happily take three spaces to fill with iLife rather than waste it on generic stuff that people don't really use. iLife speaks for itself and I don't think there is anything else out there that I would recommend to 80% of new Mac users or more.

Matt,

How right you are. Nobody mentioned iLife, but it was iMovie that prompted me to buy a Mac in the first place. I think iLife alone is enough to draw many people to the Mac.

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These apply to pretty much everybody

My top 10:

1. Newsfire- The purdiest app ever combined with a unique and powerful rss reader.- $19

2. Transmission- the best torrent client on os x. -Free

3. yojimbo- Takes you notes, stores your serials, and archives whatever web pages you want. A must-have app.- $40

4. Adium- the best chat client on the mac-free

5. Appzapper- mandatory to get rid of unnessacary apps-$12

6. Quicksilver- the most powerful app in the world is something for everybody-free

7. Niceplayer (with Perian+Flip4mac)- By far the best way to watch video on your mac.-free

8. Handbrake (Handbrake lite if you own a ipod)- rip dvds for your computer or ipod-free

9. Growl- An awesome notification system.-free

10. Quicktunes- The best way to control itunes- free

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Ryan Duffy    0

I have a question about Quicksilver:

 

So many people say Quicksliver is a great app, and I am a new Mac user an it was mentioned many times on this thread, but I also hear it is a very powerful app. Does this mean it will take up a large amount of RAM on my computer. I have 1GB of RAM, and it usually fills up pretty quick...

 

Thanks

 

-Ryan

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Graham    1
I have a question about Quicksilver:

 

So many people say Quicksliver is a great app, and I am a new Mac user an it was mentioned many times on this thread, but I also hear it is a very powerful app. Does this mean it will take up a large amount of RAM on my computer. I have 1GB of RAM, and it usually fills up pretty quick...

 

Thanks

 

-Ryan

Nope, it's pretty light on system resources. They're refering to it being really powerful in what it can do.

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pieman    0

ok this is coming from the 1 hundred percent typical user here i dont back on a regular basis i proberly never will either i ony back up when u run out of hardrive space. so mine would be.

1.netnewswire

with this thing i never have to vistit the same webpage over and over gain to check for update saved me so much time.

2.bittorrent

its bittoreent every computer should come preinstalled to save the assle of downloading it

3.adium

i have all my im acoounts open at once i even have xfire thanks a to a resent pludin shown to me by the maccast community.

4.vlc player

plays everything and its free

5.firefox

because safari sucks and this is cross platform which is great for me being a slider

6.quicksilver

amazing i user it all the time ive been told there are lots of hidden features to it but im happy with it just being a app laucher

7.iphoto

how else wqould i remember the night before. organises all the picture of me in a drunken stupper lol

8. itunes

enough said

9. handbrake

take dvds and but them on to your ipod drm free :)

 

il add number ten when i think of 1

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Firas    0

LiquidCD (freeware)

Is a nice freeware app for burning and backing up various kinds of CDs and DVDs.

 

Burn (freeware)

Another freeware CD/DVD burning software:

 

ChronoSync (commercial)

A great file synchronization and backup utility.

 

PathFinder (commercial)

A swiss army knife alternative to the built-in Finder.

 

NuFile (freeware)

Allows you to right click and create a New File for several file types (and you can define your own too).

 

Pukka (commercial)

Easy posting delicious from any browser and weblog clients such as NetNewsWire and NewsFire.

 

Speed Download (commercial)

A great download manager.

 

Skype (freeware)

Best audio & video calling software (that's multiplatform).

 

Chicken of the VNC (freeware)

Connect to windows via remote desktop and other VNC clients.

 

 

Other apps that other users have already mentioned and which I use extensively:

 

QuickSilver (freeware)

A versatile application and document launcher and manipulator. A great productivity booster.

 

NetNewsWire (commercial)

A great RSS newsreader which allows you to sync your feeds between multiple computers and a web based service.

Edited by Firas

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ok this is coming from the 1 hundred percent typical user here i dont back on a regular basis i proberly never will either i ony back up when u run out of hardrive space. so mine would be.

1.netnewswire

with this thing i never have to vistit the same webpage over and over gain to check for update saved me so much time.

2.bittorrent

its bittoreent every computer should come preinstalled to save the assle of downloading it

3.adium

i have all my im acoounts open at once i even have xfire thanks a to a resent pludin shown to me by the maccast community.

4.vlc player

plays everything and its free

5.firefox

because safari sucks and this is cross platform which is great for me being a slider

6.quicksilver

amazing i user it all the time ive been told there are lots of hidden features to it but im happy with it just being a app laucher

7.iphoto

how else wqould i remember the night before. organises all the picture of me in a drunken stupper lol

8. itunes

enough said

9. handbrake

take dvds and but them on to your ipod drm free :)

 

il add number ten when i think of 1

Safari sucks????

*goes into happy corner*

 

But its so.... good!

 

Okay, I digress.

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jcavins    0

1. Super Duper

2. Text Expander

3. Quicksilver

4. Skype

5. 1Passwd

6. AppZapper

7. Firefox

8. Omni Outliner Pro

9. Yojimbo

10. Netnewswire

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kensterator    0
10.Disk Warrior - install and run it once a month for a happy hard disk. ( :huh: how could I have forgotten that!)

 

Isn't this program to recover deleted files?

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Firas    0
Isn't this program to recover deleted files?

"DiskWarrior is a utility program designed from the ground up with a totally different approach to preventing and resolving directory damage which is the leading cause of Mac instability."

It probably could be used to try and retrieve deleted files but I wouldn't know since I've never used it, and that function doesn't seem to be the focus of the product.

Edited by Firas

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Firas    0
10.Disk Warrior - install and run it once a month for a happy hard disk. ( :huh: how could I have forgotten that!)

I've been eyeing this product as well as Drive Genius. My questions to you are (if you would be so kind as to help me out here):

- How often have you had to use this product for unexpected failures or problems as opposed to just preventive maintenance?

- Have you tried Drive Genius? How do they compare? Unfortunately their demo/trial versions are very limited.

 

Thanks :)

Edited by Firas

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cfsporn    0

In no order at all.

1. Quicksilver: It is an application launcher and with a few adons it is very powerful. My dock went from http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/6346/picture11yk.png (that) to this http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/9868/picture13cl.png with QS.

2. Cyberduck: FTP program

3. Azureus: Bittorrent client

4. iSquint: Video conversion for free.

5. Superduper

6. Firefox: Web browser

7. Perian: Quicktime plugin

8. Omni Outliner; outline program.

More to follow.

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Sage    0
can i list my dock? ;-D

 

It is interesting how different a User's workflow can be. I never use the dock and probably have not seen it in over a year.

 

Sage

The HeySage Podcast | The Macintosh How-To ScreenCast

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Sage    0

I guess your list really depends on what you are doing. When I first moved to the Mac 4 years ago, it was Final Cut that sealed the deal. The point is, a new user may have the need for Pro level applications. Anyways here is my list

  1. Quicksilver: A unified, extensible interface for working with
    applications, contacts, music, and other data.
  2. Final Cut Studio If you do not know what FCS is you probably would be better of getting acquainted iMovie and iDVD.
  3. TextExpander: TextExpander saves you countless keystrokes with customized abbreviations for your frequently-used text strings and images.
  4. SuperDuper!: SuperDuper is the wildly acclaimed program that makes recovery painless, because it makes creating a fully bootable backup painless. Its incredibly clear, friendly interface is understandable, easy to use, and SuperDuper's built-in scheduler makes it trivial to back up automatically. And it runs beautifully on both Intel and Power PC Macs!
  5. Quicktime Pro: QuickTime 7 Pro offers a perfect solution for anyone who enjoys watching, recording, creating or sharing high-quality multimedia.
  6. Growl: Growl is a notification system for Mac OS X: it allows applications that support Growl to send you notifications.
  7. Textmate: The missing editor for code and markup.
  8. iGTD: An application for managing your To-Dos via the Getting Things Done methodology.
  9. ChronoSync: Perform folder and file synchronization with ease.
  10. Inquisitor: Spotlight for the web

I chose these applications because they are the ones I most frequently use (excluding CS3) but there are a number of less conspicuous applications that I use very often that I would like to share with newcomers to OS X.

  1. Delicious Library: An application for catalogging your music, book, movies, and video games.
  2. MenuCalendarClock: MenuCalendarClock is an iCal compatible menu bar calendar and clock
  3. MenuMeters:MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for MacOS X
  4. Handbrake:HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 converter, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows.
  5. iSquint A freeware media conversion application from the makers of visulahub (which is also awesome).
  6. RC Default App: RCDefaultApp is a free utility that CreativeTechs has started adding to our recommended Mac OS X installs. It adds a special preference pane that allows you to quickly change the default application for many common situations:
  7. Feeder: A great utility for creating RSS feeds.
  8. DatesToiCal: Imports all of your birthdays and anniversaries to iCal. The great thing about this application is that you are able to set custom alarms. I set up alarms with automator workflows that automatically send birthday anniversaries.
  9. CalTalk: A freeware application for sharing iCalendars over a local network
  10. XTorrent: A streamlined bittorrent client
  11. PodTube: A 1-click solution to download, encode for iPod, and add to iTunes of videos from Youtube, MySpace, and Daily Motion.
  12. Combine PDFs: A freeware application that can be used to… you guessed it, combine PDFs
  13. iShowU:Screen capture utility that I use to record the HeySage Podcast.
  14. Video Land Client (VLC): VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
  15. HumaneText.Service: A global application for converting HTML to Markdown and vice versa.
  16. Safari BookMark Exporter: A freeware application for exporting your Safari bookmarks to Firefox, Camino, OmniWeb, Mozilla, IE, iCab, and Opera.
  17. ClearDock: Makes the background of the rarely used Dock clear.

Of course there are many more wonderful apps for the Mac. I just wanted to share some of my favorites with the community.

 

Sage

The HeySage Podcast | The Macintosh How-To ScreenCast

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aclaughan    0

Lets not forget 'little snitch'. One of the mac gems that tends to dissapear into the background.

 

Alan

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Huskermn    33

Also, in no particular order -

 

1. Graphic Converter

Best shareware appl for Mac IMHO

2. SuperDuper

I've heard this more than once. Either you've had a drive crash or you WILL have a drive crash. Recovery made easy

3. Adium

Great little chat client with all the networks at once

4. VLC player

Like Adium for video

5. Firefox

I don't think safari sucks (especially 3.0) but it does have limitations

6. Transmit

Great for moving files to others

7. iPhoto

For organizing your pictures

8. iTunes

Just because

9. Handbrake

Make backups of your DVDs

10. Visual Hub

To burn those unDRMd DVDs

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