Calling All Mac-Heads

OK. The Mac mini is officially on its way to me. From China, no less. It’s supposed to arrive by Monday. So, by this time next week I’ll definitely have it up and running.

What I’m looking for now are tips and tricks that would be helpful to know before I even open the box, programs I should check out, etc. Got any advice? I’d like to hear it, because in a few short days, I’ll be taking the plunge….

About Terrance

Black. Gay. Father. Buddhist. Vegetarian. Liberal.
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6 Responses to Calling All Mac-Heads

  1. Sean Hurley says:

    Get The Missing Manual (Amazon Link). It will make your life easier, especially as a relative Mac-newbie.

    Don’t be afraid to customize everything — icons, backgrounds, menu features, etc… The Missing Manual can start you on the path, but check out The Icon Factory for great icons (use CandyBar to replace system icons.

    Play. Have fun.


  2. Bernard says:
    Go to the menu in the lower right corner (Mac OS X Support)
    Read the links under Techniques (for very technical users, especially those who want to tinker or work in UNIX)

    Get a subscription to MacHome Journal (for beginners)
    Get a subscription to MacAddict (for intermediate users)

    Macintosh iLife ’05 by Jim Heid
    Mac OS X 10.3 Visual Quickstart Guide
    Mac OS X Killer Tiger Tips by Scott Kelby

    Suggested applications:

    ONYX (general system maintenence)
    DISCUS 3.1 (multimedia label design application with templates)
    OFFICE FOR MAC (the student editions cost close to half of regular retail)
    REALPLAYER & WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER (neither come pre-installed)
    VLC (if you happen to download videos from the net)

    DATA RESCUE, DISKWARRIOR, or TECHTOOL PRO (for comprehensive system maintenence or back-up)

    SLICK PLUG-INS FOR IMOVIE HD by GeeThree (a great suite of programs to make iMovies more professional and creative)

    CLUTTER (an application for find album art for iTunes)

    POCKETMAC (an app to sync your Mac with your Blackberry, if you have one)
    and finally, to browse the majority of MacOS X software out there:


    (Also, buy a subscription to Versiontracker Pro, an application that can track and update ALL of the apps on your computer).

  3. Chris T. says:

    You should definitely get QuickSilver and learn how to use it. It makes OS X a thousand times better. I don’t recommend messing with Safari—just download Firefox for your web browser. I also recommend this article on all the built-in stuff that makes you more productive under OS X, as well as some of its negative points.

  4. John says:

    I’m a veteran mac user, but found this article very helpful:

    It’s a set of steps you can take to keep your Mac running happily. After reading it I downloaded Macaroni, CacheOut, and Preferential Treatment and have found them quite helpful.

    Oh, and don’t use it as a coaster. It really does look like a funky high tech coaster.

  5. Here’s what I recommended to a friend when she had essentially the same question:


    So many.

    Weblog/site/news reading: NetNewsWire

    Weblog writing: ecto

    General application launching (plus tons more that I haven’t investigated): Quicksilver

    gMail notificaton (if you have gMail, I don’t know…and if you don’t do you want it? I’ve got 50 invites): gCount

    IM: Adium X (I actually still use iChat for AIM, but Adium lets me log into AIM, Yahoo (multiple times), MSN (if I bother), etc. all at once)

    Netflix Queue management: Netflix Freak

    Screenshots: Snapz Pro X

    General text/html editing: TextWrangler

    Collaborative text editing (this is cool if you have the chance/opportunity/need to play with it): SubEthaEdit

    That’s all I’m coming up with off the top of my head. Should give you some good exploring/playtime, though. 🙂

  6. Terrance says:

    I should have mentioned which programs I’m running on the iBook I use for work, most of which were recommended to me by our very knowledgable sysadmin.

    Newsfire – This I use to handle RSS feed of blogs I read that are related to work.


    BBEdit Lite

    Cyberduck – For FTP access.

    Then there are the usual suspects; Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc.

    I’ll also have to decide what to do with the iPod. I’ve been using it with the PC, but I suppose I could switch to using it with the Mac. Of course, that would mean reloading all of my music. Ugh.

    Thanks for the tips folks! I’m sure it will all help get me off to a good start.

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