The Absolutely Essential Software List for Mac Newbies

This is for my friend Jason Kealey, who finally got a MacBook Pro today. Welcome to the awesomeness of OSX :)

Newbies, here's the absolutely essential, grab-this-software-today stuff you want to go install:
I still haven't found a perfect image editor. I'm thinking of dropping the cash for Pixelmator, but even on a new MBP it feels a bit sluggish... I'm still wrestling with the decision while my trial period ticks down.

The fact that this list is actually pretty small for me means OSX is, really, quite a bit more functional out of the box than Windows. Bundling of software with an operating system can be a bit contentious, but I think OSX generally gets at least this correct.


Jean said...

I recently fell into the same dilemma, concerning image editing. I installed the trial of Pixelmator, but was left unimpressed and concerned about its lack of maturity (less of an issue than six months ago, but still valid - especially when compared besides Photoshop Elements). I have settled on Gimp.app (darwingimp.sourceforge.net), and it fills my modest needs for now. It is unfortunately a slightly quirky app and the dev team have been known to exhibit bullish and condescending behavior in the past, but it works ok. Photoshop Elements might be the safe choice. Haven't heard much serious criticism, except for the usual Adobe idiocy and lack of respectful Mac citizenship (see www.dearadobe.com).

I had a tough time trying to figure out what that Plex app was about. Their website assumes its visitors are fully endowed with its intricacies.

Never bothered with Quicksilver. Cmd+Space (Spotlight) is good enough for me.

Growl should really be integrated in the OS by Apple, it drastically improves the end-user experience.

A year ago, I started playing with a new profile at iUseThis, an app profiling and recommendation website. That was an enjoyable thing to do.


Jason Kealey said...

It is surprising to find out how many of these products don't even list what they do on their home page.

Another issue I have is my limited use of Mac OS X up to date makes it hard for me to figure out why I would want this application, as I have not yet experienced the pain points they are supposedly solving.