12 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2012 10:05 AM by namethatisnttaken Branched to a new discussion.
Andy :] Level 2 Level 2 (400 points)

I finally decided to switch from Windows and now currently have a MBP. I am wondering, what software etc is essential for your mac.

 

Thank you


iPhone 4S, iOS 5.0.1, Macbook Pro (10.7.2), iPod Touch 4G
  • namethatisnttaken Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I think that all depends on what you wanna do with your mac like photo editing, graphic design etc.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (29,890 points)

    Some people will recommend a variety of "cleaning" utilities, none of which are needed.  See The myth of the dirty Mac.  People will also post an extremely wide range of opinions on the topic of anti-virus software.  Ultimately, that's a choice only you can make, but you need to be well-informed before making that choice.  See my Mac Malware Guide.  (Note that my pages contain links to other pages that promote my services, and this should not be taken as an endorsement of my services by Apple.)

     

    Beyond that, as has already been said, what software is "essential" depends on what you're doing and what your preferences are.

  • Wayne Contello Level 6 Level 6 (15,195 points)

    As stated earlier it really depends on what you are doing:

     

    NONE OF THEE PROGRAMS ARE ENDORSED BY APPLE OR ME... THIS LIST IS JUST WHAT I USE.  There is a hug selection of programs with a variety of functionality and tradeoffs.

     

    Here are my recommendations for different areas:

     

    Programming:

    - XCode (Apple development environment)

    - Source Tree (version control)

     

    General documentation:

    - iWork

    - LibreOffice

    - TeX

     

    Graphing:

    - iWork

    - DataGraph

     

    Engineering:

    - DesignWorks

    - MacSpice

    - GraphClick

    - 0xED (hex editor)

    - OsmondPCB

     

    Photo and Images Management:

    - iPhoto (probably will upgrade to Aperture)

    - Graphic Converter

    - Skim (for reading PDFs)

     

    Networking

    - Transmit (FTP Client)

    - FileZilla (FTP Client)

    - Chicken Of the VNC (remote desktop sharing)

  • Victor Romero1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Hi Andy: I installed MacKeeper and it helped improved the performance of my MacBook Pro.  It was starting to run slower than when I got it new and after some reasearch I found this application and I love it.  Give it a try when you feel your new MBP doesn't run the same as new. 

     

    Good luck and you are going to love it!

  • b j t Level 4 Level 4 (3,670 points)

    Victor Romero1 wrote:

     

    I installed MacKeeper and it helped improved the performance of my MacBook Pro.  It was starting to run slower than when I got it new and after some reasearch I found this application and I love it.  Give it a try when you feel your new MBP doesn't run the same as new. 

     

    Good luck and you are going to love it!

    If you search through the the forums, 100% tell you to stay as far away from MacKeeper as possible, and that it ooes more HARM than good.

  • dalstott Level 4 Level 4 (2,590 points)

    Far more important is having adequate backups. At a minimum consider having TimeMachine and bootable clone (SuperDuper, Carbon Copy Cloner) backups on separate external drives.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (29,890 points)

    I installed MacKeeper

     

    As I predicted, there's one of those recommendations for unnecessary software I mentioned, and of course it would be the worst of the bunch by several orders of magnitude.  I probably should have mentioned that one.  See Beware MacKeeper.

     

    (Note that my pages contain links to other pages that promote my services, and this should not be taken as an endorsement of my services by Apple.)

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (153,440 points)

    There are no must-have applications, but there are plenty of must-not-have applications, and MacKeeper is at the top of that list.

     

    Make redundant backups, keeping at least one off-site at all times. One backup is not enough. Don’t back up your backups; make them independent of each other. Don’t rely completely on any single backup method, such as Time Machine.

     

    Keep your software up to date. Software Update can be set to notify you automatically of updates to the Mac OS. Some third-party applications have a similar feature, if you don’t mind letting them phone home. Otherwise you have to check yourself on a regular basis.

     

    Don't install crapware, such as “themes,” "haxies," “add-ons,” “toolbars,” “enhancers," “optimizers,” “accelerators,” “extenders,” “cache cleaners,” “defragmenters,” “firewalls,” “guardians,” “defenders,” “protectors,” most “plugins,” commercial "virus scanners,” or "utilities." With very few exceptions, this kind of material is useless, or worse than useless. The more actively promoted the product, the more likely it is to be junk. The only software you should install is that which (a) directly enables you to do the things you use a computer for: creating and editing documents, communicating, playing, and so on; and (b) does not modify the way other software works. Never install third-party software of any kind unless you know how to uninstall it.

     

    The free anti-malware application ClamXav is not crap, and although it’s not routinely needed, it may be useful in some environments, such as a mixed Mac-Windows enterprise network.

     

    Beware of trojans. A trojan is malicious software (“malware”) that the user is duped into installing voluntarily. Such attacks were rare on the Mac platform until recently, but are now increasingly common, and increasingly dangerous. There is some built-in protection against downloading malware, but you can’t rely on it – the attackers are always one day ahead of the defense. You can’t rely on third-party protection either. What you can rely on is common-sense awareness – not paranoia, which only makes you more vulnerable. Never install software from an untrustworthy or unknown source. If in doubt, do some research. If a web page seems deceptive, it is deceptive. Any page that prompts you to install a “codec” or “plugin” that comes from the same site, or an unknown site, is untrustworthy. Software with a known corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash, must be acquired directly from the developer. No intermediary is acceptable, and don’t trust links unless you know how to parse them. Any file that is automatically downloaded from a web page without your having requested it should go straight into the Trash. Any website that tells you that you have a “virus” or that something is wrong with your computer is rogue.

     

    Relax, don’t do it. Besides the above, no routine maintenance is necessary or beneficial for the vast majority of users, specifically not “cleaning caches,” “zapping the PRAM,” “rebuilding the directory,” or “repairing permissions.” Such measures are for solving problems as they arise, not for preventive maintenance. The very height of futility is running an expensive third-party utility called “Disk Warrior” when nothing is wrong, or even when something is wrong and you have backups, which you must have. Don’t waste money on Disk Warrior or anything like it.

     

  • Andy :] Level 2 Level 2 (400 points)

    From what I heard and from apple support section, they said to not install mackeeper because it has some type of malware.

     

     

     

    To anyone thats wondering im using my mac mainly for

     

    - University (word processing, spreadsheets and taking lecture notes)

    - Light video editing

    - Light gaming maybe?

     

    I know Mac dont really need some type of anti virus program but my university insist of getting one so I heard Clamxav was good so I downloaded that from the Mac App Store. Was that a good decision?

     

    Thanks

  • Victor Romero1 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Well, how can I explain this... It may be unnecessary software, but honestly... It helped the performance on my MacBook Pro and that is all I can say.  I am just now reading all the negative posts about MacKeeper and if I would've read them before I went with this solution I probably would've doubt getting it.  Sadly or more interesting, I cannot say any negative things about MacKeeper, I can't since I haven't seen anything else but good out of it. 

     

    The reason why I downloaded the application was because my MacBook was running slow, actually quite slow and when I used it for the first time my MacBook started running fast again!  Like new.  Sorry, I just can't agree with you.

     

    Good luck!

    Manolo.

  • namethatisnttaken Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I have good luck with a free word processor called Bean. You could also try openoffice for mac which is also free. If you go to downloads.cnet.com you can find reviews and safely dowload a bunch of free software that could fit your needs.