New Mac - what Apps do I need?

You may want to give spotlight another try. My Macbook Pro was the same way for two days, but now there’s nothing noticeable on my little iStat thingy.

Spotlight does a full index of volumes the first time they are mounted on your mac. If you don’t want an external drive, flash drive, whatever indexed, you can exclude it in the Spotlight preference pane.

Spotlight even runs fine on my first-gen mac mini. Apple really did a good job fixing it. I’m amazed they didn’t just buy Quicksilver.

Add iStat Menus to the download list. It’s a great FREE utility for monitoring system functions in the top menu bar (cpu, memory, network activity, etc).

I still use quicksilver because it learns from previous requests, and has mnemonics. I can type wow and have quicksilver bring up world of warcraft on one computer, and the PTR client on another.

That and the itunes plugin.

Panic software makes some awesome apps - Unison (Usenet), Transmission (FTP)
Disco - Great lightweight CD/DVD burning program.
Path Finder- Replacement for Finder that adds a ton of functionality. Has multiple tabs, a stack for moving files around, built in preview, etc.

Has anyone tried the XBMC for OSX yet? Any impressions?

I saw that, but it wasn’t all that clear why I’d use it instead of Front Row.

Especially since it’s super-unfinished and apparently doesn’t support remote controls well yet.

Cyberduck has gone all slow and unstable and horrible the last couple of versions, an apprehension I find echoed on the user forums. Is there an alternative, or must I buy fetch?

The idea of having to pay for a decent FTP client is almost enough to make me go back to Windows.

Fetch may not be free but it’s definitely awesome. It does everything I’ve ever needed an FTP program to do and it does it very smoothly. That’s worth it for me.


Adium for IM (along with MeBeam plugin for Cross-platform Video conferencing)
Colloquy for IRC
VLC for video files
Gimpshop for image editing

I don’t know if it’s gotten any better, but VLC was always unstable for me on the Mac and would occasionally freeze up. I’d put a vote in for MPlayer as the best video player on the Mac, or, really, any platform.

I used to switch between VLC and MPlayer, but these days I barely ever run across anything that the Perian codec pack for Quicktime can’t play, so I don’t bother with the others anymore.

Make sure you’ve got the OS installed, too. When we bought my wife’s MacBook Pro a couple months ago, we made sure it came with Leopard. It did, but we didn’t realize they would ship Leopard on a DVD, not preinstalled like we expected. Being complete Mac newbs, and not knowing what would look different, it took us a few weeks to figure that one out. We had just tossed the Leopard DVD in the drawer with the other materials, thinking it was merely a restore disc.

I believe that’ll just happen when you buy a new machine right after a new OS comes out — instead of doing a full rev of the hard drive image for already-shipping hardware, they’ll toss an upgrade DVD into the box for a while until the new full image is ready and tested for the shipping machines.

These are all great suggestions–I bought my first Mac ever (MBP 2.4 ghz) yesterday. I’m liking it so far, though I haven’t spent much time on it yet.

But the catch here was that nothing told you this. It doesn’t pop up a “Tiger OS” screen or anything while booting. The sales people said nothing about loading it ourselves (we ordered by phone). Nothing in the documentation they sent said, “Be sure to load the new OS.” When you run the software update, it doesn’t tell you your OS version or name, or even try to upsell you on Leopard, it just says no updates are available. We only realized it when we tried to plug in an external drive & could not figure out why Time Machine wouldn’t come up.

And seriously, for $3000 LOAD UP MY NEW OS DAMMIT.

Weird, I haven’t noticed anything different with Cyberduck lately and I have the most up to date version. I use it regularly to manage my web-space and it seems to work the same as always. Anyway, there’s always the FTP functionality built in to Finder!