Setting up a new Mac

As part of my new job, I got a shiny new 13″ MacBook Pro.  Even though I’m quite a Linux fanboy, I really enjoy the quality of the hardware and OS X. However, it isn’t perfect.  There are a lot of applications that I like to have available.  Since I have nothing better to talk about, I figured I’d list them here:

  • Adium — one of the best instant messenger clients I’ve ever used.  It has support for just about every major IM protocol except…
  • Skype — I don’t really use it for IM, but it’s great for audio and video calls.
  • Firefox — I prefer it to the Safari browser that ships with OS X.  It happens.  And with that comes…
  • Xmarks — a browser plug-in that syncs bookmarks.  It comes in very handy when you use multiple computers.  So does…
  • Dropbox — allows you to synchronize arbitrary files between multiple computers.  I mostly use it for configuration files (e.g. .bashrc, .screenrc)
  • VirtualBox — sometimes you actually need to use another OS to do some important task (like play Sim City)
  • DOSBox — is good for playing some of the older games that I like
  • Chicken of the VNC — I’ve played with several VNC clients for Mac, and this one is the best.
  • iTerm — hands-down better than the default
  • ZTerm — a program to make serial connections.  I used it a fair bit in my old job, I don’t anticipate needing it much in my new job.
  • Colloquy — an Internet Relay Chat client
  • VLC — a media player that will play just about anything
  • Grand Perspective — a program that shows a graphical representation of disk usage, allowing you to find the files that are chewing up all the space on your hard drive.

4 thoughts on “Setting up a new Mac

  1. Great selection of programs. I’d say those are a must install for any OS. Switching out Adium for Pidgin on a *nix/M$ install, cause of the necessity for Cocoa (Adium still based off of libpurple). I used to be a Firefox fan boy ever since it was dumped for open source development by Netscape, but have recently become more and more frustrated with the start time, dare I call it bloat-ware. I’ve a big fan of the Chromium Browser , not to be confused with Google Chrome, although still in dev, it is hands down THE fastest browser, and the extensions for it are great. Also for my media player I do use VLC for playing DVD’s, but for other media I’ve been using SMplayer(*nix), it’s Mplayer with a nicer GUI. I know this was a Mac post, but most of these programs are cross platform thanks to OSS.

  2. Mike, thanks for the comment. I agree with you about Firefox. I still prefer it to IE, but it’s getting to be a bit cumbersome, especially on Linux. I’ve got some slow time at work this week, so I might see if I can find something that works a little better for me.

    I wish the Pidgin devs would make Pidgin a bit more like Adium to be honest. Maybe it’s because I seem to be biased against GTK apps, but Pidgin feels old, and not in the “hell yeah I listen to Pandora from my terminal” kind of way. I also don’t like how it stores passwords in plain text. I tried Konversation for a while, which uses Kwallet to store passwords, but I wasn’t entirely thrilled with it either.

    Maybe when I build my new Linux box at home I’ll just run an rpm -qa and share what I install on Linux. 🙂

  3. Great collection… some other little things that I use:

    PasswordGorilla (cross platform implementation of the M$ only-passwordsafe). Must have VERY STRONG PASSPHRASE! 22-25 char recommended, with spaces and any punctuation.
    CarbonCopyCloner or TimeMachine to external HDD.
    Thunderbird (and the enigmail extension for GPG). IMAP FTW!

    Some FFox extensions: NoScript, AdBlock Plus!

  4. Being an ubuntu fan boy, and a bunch of friends of mine are mac users, i’ve got a few of them recently to dual-boot and they use it as their primary OS on that machine. Most of them use the Mac for recording music, so they can’t just up and ditch their M-box and Digidesign software, completely understandable.

    So you’re a KDE user? … nice to talk to someone who doesn’t look (e-look?) at me like i have 3 heads when i mention Linux, and then try to explain to them that Linux isn’t an OS it is a Kernel. if you want hit me up on gchat sometime it’s nice to geek out with someone… i’ve got gchat constantly running on my Droid, love it! Did you get your N900 yet ?

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