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Bought my first Mac, what are the essential programs?

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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Wezoin wrote: »
    Just a warning about Word 2008 on OSX. If you are a student and want to record lectures/discussions or whatever, stay the hell away from the Audio options in Word. After writing upwards of 80 pages of notes per class, and recording every lecture (over 20 hours of audio in each file) ALL my notes have become inaccessible and freeze on load and won't open. I managed to get them back but it took a few hours of working with old versions of Word and whatnot to get around the audio situation.

    That said, keep an eye on MacHeist for when they are giving away free stuff, its usually pretty good. Occasionally their bundles have something useful in them too. For most purposes the iLife package that will come with your iMac will be sufficient, but it is missing a few things. I don't have any experience with iWork, but keep meaning to check it out.

    PS. Jealous. I'm probably going to buy that same computer when I get back from my vacation/my bank account has time to recover.

    I work in an all-PC office (I do video editing so my work got me a giant-ass 27 inch iMac as per my request), and I use only iWork '09. I still often have to work in excel and word files, and aside from a few formatting hiccups, I can open all of their files within iWork, and in turn, all iWork apps can save to .doc, .xls, and .ppt files. You can also export anything to pdf, which is much easier for anything I make that they don't have to edit.

    Check dealmac.com for deals, I found iWork '09 OEM on there for 15 bucks a little while back. Before '09, I'd been using the older versions throughout college, and I never had a need to get Office.

    In short, if you own a Mac, don't even bother installing Office, and get iWork instead. Much cheaper, much faster, better integration with OS X, and cross compatible with Office.

    Brodo Faggins on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I've had some formatting issues with taking .docs between Pages and MS Word, has that improved? I haven't tried it in a while.

    KalTorak on
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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I've had some formatting issues with taking .docs between Pages and MS Word, has that improved? I haven't tried it in a while.

    As of iWork '08, typing an essay in MS Word and then opening in Pages brings about spacing issues (especially wherever the tab key is used).

    Haven't had the opportunity to see this in '09.

    Brodo Faggins on
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    birrubirru Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I like Safari as my primary browser, but my recent play with the latest Chrome build has been pretty positive. Don't care for Firefox for Mac, but use it a lot on my Win7 PC. It's the same damn program, but my mind switches modes depending on the platform. I want Mac programs to feel consistently like Mac programs and vice versa.

    ClickToFlash is great if you use Safari.

    Flip4Mac and Perian - I'll reiterate that these are worth having.

    Handbrake for Mac is actually quite nice. I usually use Apple Universal for SD content. Haven't found settings I like for HD yet.

    DoubleTwist is useful if you want to put media on something other than an iDevice with your Mac.

    SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner are excellent for making bootable clones of your Mac. I believe SD lets you use the same drive for your bootable clone, as well as Time Machine backups, if you need versioning.

    CrashPlan - Also on the backup tip, this is the best backup app/service I've used so far. You can also share with friends so you're using each others' hard drives for offsite backups. It works, it's reliable, and supports delta blocking. It's also cross platform, so check it out for Windows and Linux too.

    I like Pixelmator and Acorn for raster image editing. A lot.

    I like Opacity for precise pixel work.

    Lineform is awesome if you need a vector illustration program. It's lean and mean.

    Get WinClone if you're going the Boot Camp route. It lets you image an entire Windows partition which is really handy if you ever need to resize the partition or replace your hard drive.

    Use Parallels for gaming in a virtual machine. I happen to use VMware Fusion, and it's fine and dandy for what I need, but the latest benchmarks show VMF as all but useless for gaming.

    GlimmerBlocker is also seconded by me. It's always running on my Mac mini, and all our computers and capable wifi devices go through it.

    NTFS-3G is really handy for mounting NTFS formatted volumes on the Mac with read-write capability.

    birru on
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