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Bought a mac, need some apps

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Jamven, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Jamven

    Jamven Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    So yeah, how's everyone been? Sorry I've been away so long, school and shit have happened.

    Anyway, I am going to school to learn about the ins and out of making films and tv shows. This semester, we've started heavy into editing with Final Cut Pro. Thankfully I can get Final Cut Studio for free from my department.

    I was hoping people that use Mac's regularly could post some interesting, helpful and must have applications for this new platform I find myself using.

    Also, why do the fonts in Firefox look god awful when I turn up the brightness on my display?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  2. Giovanni

    Giovanni God of Scotch

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    Because you should be using Chrome.
     
  3. Innomine

    Innomine Chief Warlock ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    What type of apps are you after? I'll post the ones I use mostly day to day.

    For MSN/AIM/all other chat protocols, use AdiumX. http://adium.im/ Quite customizable etc etc. The best skin for it is http://www.adiumxtras.com/index.php?a=xtras&xtra_id=3717 by far.

    I tend to use Safari, the browser from Apple, and same for Mail. Both work exactly as I want them too. Same for itunes. I know, iTunes is about the worst program ever on windows, however on a mac it works a lot better.

    For BItTorrent, I use Transmission. http://transmissionbt.com/

    What i'd also suggest doing is going into the system preferences, opening the "Expose & Spaces" part, and playing around with the options in there. I tend to have "All Windows", "Desktop", and "Spaces" bound to the corners, so all I do to switch between windows, see the desktop or open spaces is just flick my mouse into the bottom left, bottom right or top left corner. I also use the command + arrow keys to navigate between spaces.
     
  4. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity Destroyer of Worlds ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I don't do a lot of fancy stuff, just basic computing things, but software I use all the time include: GraphicConverter, a handy utility for turning graphics of format A into format B where A and B are pretty much anything. TeXShop, a nice, clean LaTeX interface. Mathematica, IDL, Matlab for mathy things. Then basic stuff you get on all platforms: Microsoft Office, Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Dreamweaver CS5. I use Firefox as my browser and Turbotax and Quicken for tax and finance stuff. I do software development using X11 and Emacs or Vim, with command-line compilation. (Yeah, yeah, old school, never got into IDEs).
     
  5. Innomine

    Innomine Chief Warlock ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Pers, I've always been a fan of iWork over Microsoft Office, especially with iWork '11 coming out sometime this month, I think. I'm probably even going to buy it this time, as it'll be on the mac app store priced individually at something like $20, as I don't use anything apart from pages really.

    Have you ever tried it? If so, why do you use MS Office over it? Admittedly I don't use anything but the basics, so I can't speak for the more advanced applications of each program.
     
  6. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity Destroyer of Worlds ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I've used both, but have a higher level of comfort with Office, having used it for longer and finding it more "featureful" in the ways that matter.

    In the working world, office software needs to be able to open whatever random attachment someone emails you or let you trade documents between collaborators and know that they'll be able to open them, use them, modify them, and pass them back to you without being mangled beyond recognition. Despite occasional cross-platform glitches (Windows to Mac and vice versa), Office is a functional standard for the business world, provided you stick to vanilla features. About the only thing I refuse to use it for is writing scientific papers, where LaTeX is the only sane choice.

    I've used iWork stuff in the past when I've been working on stuff by myself, like writing. I'm not all that picky about software, though, provided it lets me get the job done with minimal hassle.
     
  7. Zerg_Lurker

    Zerg_Lurker Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    I started on a Windows 95 PC when I was a wee lad, so I use MS Word mainly because that's what I'm accustomed to. I know where all the stuff is, the shortcuts to change spacing, and the toolbar is bigger. It took me a few days to realize that the fonts and shit were there in Pages too, but that bar is small as hell.

    What really pisses me off about Pages is that it's an absolute bitch to open a MS Word document. The formatting doesn't hold, possibly because it doesn't have the same font files. Every time I closed the class syllabus it asked me if I wanted to save with the broken formatting.

    Also, it doesn't maximize properly even when I use Rightzoom. It just puts the page in the corner and expands the grey space.

    As for Apps? I use standard iChat for AIM, but it can't start IMs to blast groups.
    I have both Firefox and Chrome installed, with a gmail extension for the former. Never cared for email clients. Firefox for everyday browsing, Chrome incognito is mostly for sensitive stuff like checking bank info and course registration.

    Definitely set up expose and spaces to your liking. Still, default shortcuts work well enough (four finger flick up to see desktop, down to see all open windows.)

    I rarely use iTunes, but that's because my library's on my speakerless desktop and I only listen to music during commutes.

    Heard of Mathematica but my school has Maple 14. Didn't use it much since I was in a calc 1 course.

    Dropbox to backup/share files. Notational Velocity for quick, odd note taking, but otherwise Word.

    Get Rightzoom. The green button does not maximize fullscreen. Rightzoom does, and you can configure the shortcut.

    Also, download WhatPulse and join the DLP group ;)

    If your school IT department offers free antivirus/firewall software, or any software, and it really should, take advantage of it. Even though Macs are less targeted, take at least minimal precautions.
    Btw, did you buy a laptop or a desktop?
     
  8. silverlasso

    silverlasso Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    I guess I'll list some of the apps I use daily that make my Mac experience better.

    Growl is a fantastic notification system; it shows little notifications in the corner of your window that then fade away. Almost every Mac application worth a damn has Growl integration (assuming that the application has a need to notify you).

    f.lux adjusts monitor temperature to compensate for the time; the end result is less strain on the eyes. note - crossplatform

    Dropbox
    allows you to sync files online, very useful. note - crossplaform

    CloudApp allows you to upload files instantly to the Web and get a link automatically put into your clipboard (it does this by default if you're taking screenshots, otherwise you have to use a keyboard-shortcut to upload specific files).

    BetterTouchTool allows you to customize multi-touch features if you have a trackpad. It also includes Windows 7-esque window snapping features. If you want just the latter features, get BetterSnapTool.

    Textual is a great IRC client (only downside is that it doesn't have DCC; use something else for that). If you want a compiled version of the latest update, just PM me. This is actually sold in the Mac App Store, but it's also open-source with the source available on GitHub.

    GrandPerspective is a nifty utility to show what files are taking up space on your hard drive. An alternative is DiskInventoryX.

    Alfred is a nice lightweight application launcher/filesystem searcher; you can, of course, use the built-in Spotlight, get Google QuickSearchBox, or try out Quicksilver, which to be honest has so many features that I prefer to stick with the simpler Alfred.

    Musicality is a neat app that serves as a browser wrapper for Last.FM, Pandora, and Grooveshark. The main utility of this program is that you can use the standard Apple media keys to control music from those websites.

    VLC is the best for video playback, of course. note - crossplatform

    VMWare Fusion and Parallels Desktop are the leading products for Windows virtualization, although I think Parallels has a slight edge (for now). You can also use Boot Camp to dual-boot into Windows.

    People have mentioned Photoshop, but if you need something more lightweight, try out Acorn or Pixelmator.

    Most of the productivity stuff has already been covered. I'll just say that Office '11 is much better than '08 (the implementation of the Ribbon is decent), and I hope that the next version of Office will finally feel like a real Mac application, because Microsoft's Mac Business Unit seems to be doing better with each new version. Sometimes I do use iWork, though, and it serves me well when I do.

    If you need an email client, the already-installed Apple Mail is a good choice. As far as browsers go, they each have their pros and cons. I regularly switch between Camino, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, and Opera (mainly when one browser session ends up having too many tabs and I decide that I should just use another browser). I'm well aware this isn't the typical behavior, so just try out the different options and see which one you like that best.

    That's probably enough for now; I might make a post later that mentions some more useful applications but also focuses on the little things related to working in an OS X environment (like keyboard shortcuts, multitouch features, cool behaviors/features of OS X). Either that, or I'll find and link something good that's already been written. :p

    Also, you should post about specific needs and what Windows applications you use that you might need good OS X replacements for. We would be able to direct you more effectively that way.
     
  9. Jamven

    Jamven Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    I am having to re-learn all of my shortcuts.

    It's been forever since I have had WhatpPulse installed on any computer. Surprised I remembered my log in info.

    I got Office 2008 free from an old school that I transferred from. I got the 2.4ghz MacBookPro along with the Care Plan. Always been a Windows guy, so I know crap shit about repairs on Mac hard and software (and the fact it is a laptop).

    I also found out that some of my games via steam will play on Mac's. Left for Dead 2, here I come... maybe...

    For the most part, I will probably just use the Mac as my production workhorse. Video editing, sound editing, school work, etc. Been wanting to change my desktop to a dedicated gaming rig for a while now.

    iTunes seems to work better for me on Mac than it ever did on windows.

    I forgot that VLC was cross platform. Is there anyway to disable the trackpad when you have a mouse attached?
     
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