Switching to a MacBook

Yesterday, I got a nice and shiny new white MacBook. I eagerly tracked my order from China to Provo, and couldn’t wait to come home and fire it up.

So far my experience has been very good. I used a Mac for about a year and a half while working at BYU’s SAS Creative Marketing and came to really love Mac OS X. So, I’m not coming from a non-Mac user experience. Still, I’d never started from scratch with a brand new Mac.

The only real complication that I’ve experienced so far is that I was getting really slow response from my D-Link 524 wireless router. I finally fixed the problem by either running the updates, and changing a configuration on the WEP password. I don’t know which one fixed it, but it’s working really well now.

I’m not quite set up to the point that I can put away my Windows machine yet, but I’m getting there. The applications that I’ve installed so far include:

  • Adium – a messenger client that handles my MSN and Google Talk accounts
  • Skype – I can’t live without skype. It’s my favorite chat/voip client
  • Fugu – an visual SFTP application for file transfers
  • Firefox – I’m hooked on Firefox, although I’ll give Safari another look
  • Growl – a notifier that helps with alerting me of Adium messages
  • DarwinPorts – helps me get and compile Open Source applications and their dependencies with which I’ve installed RubyGems, MySQL5, and other web related applications
  • Eclipse – an IDE for writing applications in either Java, PHP, Ruby, etc. I’ll use this until I can get TextMate.

Still to come:

  • Parallels – A virtual machine application that will allow me to run Windows, Linux, etc. while running Mac OS X
  • TextMate – An awesome code editor for the Mac
  • Macromedia Studio – I have a Mac/Windows version of MX 2004 which I’ll be installing here
  • MS Office for Mac – I’m still deciding whether to do this, just run my Windows version from Parallels, or get an Open Office version.
  • Other cool applications from FreeMacWare.com

I still like Mac OS X. I’m new to Tiger, so I don’t have any favorite Dashboard widgets yet. I’m still discovering cool new features that didn’t exit in Panther.

Anyone have a killer app that they can’t go without on the Mac?

5 thoughts on “Switching to a MacBook”

  1. I’m a fan of cyberduck for ftp. Also check out Quicksilver for all kinds of quick shortcuts (even faster than spotlight).

    I’m not a big fan of Apple Mail (it’s aight), but I haven’t found a better emial client. Thunderbird doesn’t cut it for me. Let me know if you find anything better.

    You may know this, but you can use ichat as a jabber client; certainly not as good as adium, but a good service to use when you want to use the video conferencing of ichat (we use it quite a bit in my fam).

  2. Jimmy, thanks for the mention of FMW. Here are some free apps I really like:

    Chicken of the VNC (VNC client)
    VineServer (VNC server)
    Smultron, TextWrangler (text editors)
    Quicksilver (application launcher)
    Audacity (audio editing)
    VLC (video player)
    NetNewsWire [Lite] (RSS reader)
    TheUnarchiver (opens any compressed file)
    PrefSetter (really handy for working with preference files)
    Transmission (BitTorrent)

    DarwinPorts and TextMate are awesome.

  3. I’ve had bad luck with VLC on my Macbook Pro. I’m not really sure what the problem is, but it usually runs slow if it runs at all, freezes a lot and sometimes will throw errors and continue to play. I use MPlayer OSX and it plays just about everything I could want. Also had issues with Chicken of the VNC when connecting to Linux servers and found better luck with plain old VNCViewer.

    MPlayer OSX
    VNCViewer
    Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection
    Flip4Mac (allows playing of .wmv files in Quicktime’s Player)
    Handbrake (I’ve never seen a better video encoder on any platform)
    Fink & Fink Commander (similar to DarwinPorts, but has some different software, I use both)
    CocoaMysql-SBG
    CombinePDFs
    CSSEdit (nag screen unless you pay for it)
    iStumbler (find wireless networks)
    Remote Buddy =)
    svnX
    USB Overdrive
    Virtue Desktops (can’t live without it)

  4. Jimmy, I’m surprised to read about your Mac Desires. I hope it works out for you. I must say, I became more interested in Mac’s when they switched to a Unix based OS. I think that was the best move they could have made. It is drawing more interest from power users.

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