The Sunday Post: Mac Edition

Just because I don’t think I’ve done a proper Mac post in a while. This should help out the switchers among us.

5 Apps that should be on every Mac

So you bought a Mac. Nicely done. I’m sure that you have already discovered why your friends and the internet won’t shut up about this damned computer. For me, it’s iPhoto, iMovie ’08 and Preview, plus the fact that it. Just. Works.

Besides that, there are a few other apps that I think should be preinstalled on every Mac. Let’s call this my list of **must have** Mac applications.

screen shot

First up in our hit parade has to be Skitch. Sure the Mac does screen shots out of the box very well, but Skitch takes screen shots to a new level. Easy to use, quick to start, plus you can do all kinds of neat things like add text or graphics to your snaps. Then, when you are done, you can easily share those snaps with the entire world via Flickr or Skitch.com. This is an app that should cost $50 for the Pro version. Luckily, it’s still free!

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In the number 2 spot is Quicksilver. It’s an app launcher and much much more. Also free. If you are one that likes to use the keyboard more than the mouse, I highly recommend it. Once installed, set it to launch with a cmd-spacebar key* combo. Feel free to search around for other cool stuff this app can do. It’s limitless.

Coming in at numba 3 is Exposé. Ok, this one comes on every Mac already, but it’s not turned on. Go into System Preferences and do just that. Don’t forget to activate hot corners either. Being able to display all of your open windows with a simple swipe of the mouse if way handier than you think. Being able to show the desktop the same way is even handier still. For the record, I use Top right to display, botton left to show the desktop.

For you Instant Messengers out there, you need Adium. Works with AIM, Yahoo, MSN, gChat and I think ICQ. The only drawback is that it does not support video chat. Get your friends to start using Skype for that.

Of course, you have iChat already installed. It’s basically an AIM client that supports audio and video. Oh, and screen sharing that works. Great way to help or get help from your Mac friends.

If you need light image editing and don’t want to drop $700 for the latest Photoshop, I would recommend Acorn. It’s a great app, and for only $50 it’s a steal! Does almost everything Photoshop does already, is faster and easier to figure out. Sure I still use PS, but for the bulk of the image editing I do, Acorn is my go-to app.

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Finally, a browser other than Safari. Sure the Mac fanboi’s are freaking out right now, but lets be honest. Safari isn’t all that and a bag of chips 100% of the time. No browser is. Always nice to have a backup, and you would be very well served by either Firefox or Camino. Unless you are an Opera person. You can run that too.

If you think I missed something, you know what to do. Comments are open! Feel free to ask questions too.

*System Preferences –> Spotlight. Uncheck the bottom 2 checkboxes. Envoke Quicksilver, press cmd+, (comma) and in the Command section, set it to cmd-spacebar.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

2 comments

  1. I’ve got to add – AppShelf. http://www.kedisoft.com/appshelf/

    It’s not a free application unfortunately, it’ll run you $6.90

    I’ve always struggled with keeping track of registration numbers. Either I loose the e-mails, transcribe a number or whatever but I’ve lost registration numbers more times than I can count. I’ve been using it for about 6 months and I really like having the central repository it give me…

  2. ooh. I’ll have to check that one out for sure!

    Related, but not really, anytime I have that kind of thing sent to me from software I purchase online, I always use my gmail email address. That way, a simple search always finds the license keys or login information or whatever I need to make an app work.

    So, hack my gmail and get about $400 in software keys!

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