Dude, I’m getting a Mac

Well, after all the teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing, Otis Inc. is getting a Mac–a 17″ MacBook Pro, to be specific. As most of you predicted, after diddling with my cousin’s MacBook for a bit, I was hooked. The only thing I didn’t like was the fact imessages kept popping up, but I quickly learnt you can turn off imessage on mac so that wasn’t an issue. Moreover, all my VPN concerns were allayed within five minutes. And, so thanks to you (and especially one particular “you” who made the decision even easier), I’m expecting the slow boat from China to bring my MacBook by the end of this week.

Now comes the part where I have to figure out what I need; how to transfer all my music, email, and such over to the new machine; and what Mac programs work better than the PC programs.

You all were such a big help the first time, take a look at the stuff I use on a regular basis and tell me if I’m going to find myself wanting a replacement, if I will be able to find the same program for Mac, or if there is a better version out there that I should use. Also, if there is anything else you think I should know in the run-up to the big day or a must-have program, let me know.

  • Trillian (really important I aggregate my IM accounts)
  • Google Chrome (with Quix)
  • Windows Mail (aggregating several email/gmail accounts)
  • TweetDeck
  • Coral Paint Shop Pro X
  • iTunes
  • Netflix streaming
  • Audacity
  • Evrsoft
  • CCleaner
  • Microsoft Office products (already purchased Office for Mac)
  • Brad Willis

    Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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    9 Responses

    1. Michael says:

      Congrats! I love my Mac (PowerBook circa 2003) and I just bought a second one (shiny new iMac) this weekend in fact.

      Here are my recommendations:
      Trillian – use Adium (http://adium.im/)
      Chrome – there is a Chrome beta, but I haven’t tried it. I use Firefox, many others like Safari
      Windows Mail – I’ve been using OS X Mail for many years and I’m happy with it. Not sure if it supports gmail though.
      TweetDeck – runs on Mac
      iTunes – native Mac app
      Netflix streaming – works great on all recent Macs
      Audacity – there is a Mac version, not too familiar with it.
      Office – I’ve been happy with OpenOffice but I only do minimal things with Office docs from home. Try it out to save you from paid Office upgrades later.

    2. Brian says:

      Let’s see –
      I don’t use all of these, but I can offer some advice/thoughts:

      Trillian – I use a program called Adium to aggregate my IM accounts. It’s free and works really well.

      Mail.app that comes with OSX works pretty well for aggregating several different email accounts. I use it to check my Google and Yahoo email, and I understand that it works with Outlook, but I’m not 100% sure about that.

      I use TweetDeck for the Mac; haven’t had any problems with it.

      ITunes is mac native; if you want to move your music library, it takes a little bit of work, but it isn’t too difficult. Let me know if you have questions about it. I’ll be happy to help.

      Netflix streaming now works on Mac – I just watched the pilot episode of 30 Rock the other day.

      You shouldn’t need CCleaner for the Mac.

      I haven’t used Chrome on the mac, so I’m not sure about it. Firefox works well enough.

      You can also look into VMWare or Parallels for the Windows-only software.

      If you have other questions or want more info, feel free to let me know.

    3. Absinthe says:

      I use Adium for instant messenger protocols and stick with Safari mostly out of habit (and I like the way it presents RSS). Nobody complains about Firefox. The stock Mail program that’ll come with your Mac should do you fine.

    4. BG says:

      Get Quicksilver, which is an excellent indexer/launcher, and tie it to a keyboard shortcut such as CMD+Space. Then, use Automator (already on your laptop) to batch up some standard programs into bundles you’ll use. For example, I have a bundle I call “Launch Suite,” which launches Adium + Firefox + Tweetdeck + Gmail + GVoice all at the same time. I hit CMD+Space, then type LAU and Quicksilver pulls it right up. Nifty.

      Oh, and “Fluid” helps you create site-specific apps that run outside your browser. This is what I mean when I say I launch Gmail+GVoice and a browser. Add “Growl” for notifications to those site-specific apps to get a new mail notification too.

    5. I’ll third the call for Adium – it’s what I’ve used for couple years now. I think Audacity started life on Mac, but I could be wrong. Either way, it Special K and I have each edited out podcast on differing versions of Audacity and had no problems sharing the files across platforms.

      Other programs I use every.single.day include Evernote for lists, CaptureMe for screen caps and DropBox for free cloud storage.

    6. Brian says:

      I second the call for Quicksilver. I use it all the time.

    7. Absinthe says:

      I’m going to have to get Quicksilver and batch together all my poker-related programs. I’ll call the batchfile “Asspucker”.

    8. Astin says:

      Adium ftw.

      I use Firefox myself, as Chrome didn’t have mouse gestures or plug-ins out of the gate, so it lost me immediately.

      I’ve heard good things about OSX Mail. There’s also Thunderbird, but it lacks some useful Outlook features.

      I use Tweetie on the Mac.

      Adobe Elements? Most Adobe products run better on Macs than PC’s. Not sure about Corel. There’s also The Gimp for free, but it’s a pain in the ass usability-wise.

      I use OpenOffice, but hardly do anything on my Macbook that would test anything on it.

    9. KenP says:

      Well, I guess you letting your choice out had results.

      Today Apple surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization, a metric of the perceived worth of a company. At around 2:30 pm EST, the total number of Apple shares were worth $227 billion, whereas Microsoft’s were worth $226 billion.

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