This week I’ve bought a Macbook Pro, it’s the first Apple laptop I’ve owned but I felt I had to do the switch since I was tired of looking at those pesky Windows pop ups telling me to clean my desktop, run my Antivirus, don’t close the firewall, “are you sure you want to do that?” and in general just getting in my way.
I needed a fast machine which didn’t get in the way of the things I wanted to do, I wanted peace and simplicity. Besides, I’m a Rails programmer so no more wasting time with Windows problems.
Switching from Windows to OSX takes a little while to get used to but luckily I’m having a great time doing it, I don’t miss any application Windows offers because I’ve found similar or better Mac apps.
My only gripe is Photoshop which isn’t optimized for Intel processors yet (but the CS3 version should correct that), I also miss not being able to fully maximize the windows in Mac applications and I haven’t adapted myself to the keyboard layout in full.
In the end it’s a powerful and fast machine with a great OS. There’s a fantastic newbies guide for switching from Windows to OS X at the TaoOfMac website which has tons of practical good advices for people who never experienced playing with OS X, I recommend reading it.
Last but not least, here’s yet another list of essential applications everybody should own on their Mac (not ordered).
It’s the best multi-protocol Instant Messaging client (IM) you could wish for Mac, you can Use AIM, MSN, Jabber,Gtalk, Yahoo and many other accounts and it comes with Growl for adding notifications for your desktop. Really recommended.
It’s a fast and very functional browser. Based on Firefox but has the OSX look and feel.
Firefox is a great choice if you’re a web developer, tons of useful plugins to install which enable you to debug your apps and much more.
My favorite FTP and SFTP client. Very fast and easy to use/setup. Looks great too and best of all, it’s free. You might want to try Transmit as well.
The perfect text/code editor. I use it to edit normal text documents, RoR, PHP, Java, whatever.
It has dozens of great feautures (like Textile preview) and you can increase it’s potential with plugins downloaded from the official website. Well worth the 39$.
It’s a great looking and fast application launcher which I can’t live without.
It can also index every application, file, contact, image and snippets on my mac and I can search and open or perform other type of file centric operation on them (like mail, open in Photoshop, whatever).
Make calls using the internet for free or cheap calls to anywhere in the world. I used it when I visited London and it saved me big bucks.
A video player which can play almost everything except WMV (Windows Media Video) files. I prefer to Quicktime Player. Perfect for Divx and other types of video. Essential.
A very functional downloader and manager for bittorrent files. The gui is also very nice.
A free and very nice looking RSS/Atom newsreader.
Tofu is a text reformatter that increases legibility by reformatting text into columns (thereby reducing the effort of reading very wide lines on screen), download this for your eyes well being.
This is OpenOffice but repackaged to have a nice looking OSX look and feel. You can open and import MS Office documents although it’s not quite the same. It’s free though.
Good if you receive alot of WMV files on your mail, it’s a QuickTime plugin that lets you view WMV and ASF videos. You can download a upgraded version which performs format conversion to Quicktime.
So that’s it for me, I’ve got my list of essential mac applications summed up. And what about you? what apps do you favourite the most?