Essential applications for Apple Macs

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MacBookPhoto credit: Mikael Miettinen (Flickr)

I’ve been lusting after a MacBook Pro for nearly a year.  Last night I finally convinced my better half to agree to my getting one.  There are some steps involved in my being able to order or go pick one up immediately, but my ownership is so much closer than ever before.

Other than the Apple Newton and my iPhone, I’m pretty much an Apple noob.  Its scary how little I know about the platform given my extended Microsoft experience and knowledge.  This said, I’m a technical sponge and as such have already, excitedly been looking to see what accessories I need to purchase (Magic Mouse, Case, Carbon cover) and more importantly, what applications I need to buy or download.

As part of this quest to find what applications and software I need to get, I tweeted out looking for suggestions.  The below list is a combination of suggestions that people tweeted back as well as some I’ve found for myself:

EDIT 05/05/10

Since I originally put this post out there I’ve had some great responses.  Here are the additional suggestions so far:

I’m keen to hear from others with regards to what applications you’d recommend or suggest please. Perhaps there are applications listed that you’d advise I steer clear of.  Either which way, please feel free to place your comments below.

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  • I personally use Vuze as a bitTorrent client. It also acts as a media server for my xbox360 (or PS3). It can stream audio and video to many devices as well as itunes. It doesn't transode on the fly, but does convert to a format supported by the device. I have been able to stream HD content to my 360 with the 360 connected to the hub by cable, but my mac using normal wifi…It also is a painless setup!

  • Rob

    Thanks! I hadn't considered getting a bittorrent client on there, but given it's media capabilites I'll re-think this. (my NAS drive has a torrent client built in).

    What do you use to backup your Mac? I can enable Time Machine on my NAS drive, which I thought would be a sensible option.

  • I use Time Machine…just on a 1TB external drive. Don't do it regularly, but generally do it after installing all essential apps. Then backup when i start messing around with odd apps trying to do something clever that i don't want to pay for…like video converting etc…

  • Rob

    I assume it does backups using delta replication or similar? Think I'll use the NAS (1Tb Linkstation). It also hosts my iTunes library.

  • Dave Morgan

    smcfancontrol is a really cool app… 😉
    I use transmission a lot for my torrents.
    If you like photography, I can recommend aperture.

    As for hardware, I hate to say this but I would stay away from apple mice… go for a nice logitech you won't regret it.

    Good Luck with the purchase dude!

  • Rob

    Thank you. I bet you were surprised when you saw that I tweeted to say I was getting one (finally!).

    I've got a Logitech mouse on my PC, so I'll take your advice and get something decent from them to pair with the MacBook too.

    When you bought your MacBook, did you manage to broker a deal with Apple or was it pretty much you pay your money, you get your hardware?

  • any chance you can have a word my mrs? /me wants a macbook too lol

  • Rob

    I had to agree to a new kitchen in order to broker the deal for a MacBook Pro. I know you are in rented accomodation at the minute but there must be something you could offer in return.

  • Dave Morgan

    Deals in the Apple Store and few & far between, they know they don't need to haggle… However the education discount is worth having… You can also get some good reductions of refurb items in the online store.

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