We are back on the Noob2Pro series, its been a long time since the last instalment, this is due to me being on holiday and doing various things after which took up my time. The previous post in the series was discussing how to find apps for a new user, this post is my recommendation of nine apps which should come included with the operating system. I’ve tried to keep it short and compact, if you have any apps which you think every new user should have installed please leave a comment at the end of the post.
If you are into instant messaging of any sort you need Adium, its similar to iChat except it covers pretty much every format available. Use it for MSN, Google Talk plus hundreds of others. The app supports a wide variety of plugins, odds are someone has made a plugin for the protocol you want to use. It doesn’t have Skype (due to the way Skype works), but that app is featured at the end of this post.
I have mentioned about Growl a number of times on this blog. The reason I mention it is due to the fact that it is an awesome bit of software. It is designed to show you pop up messages from different programs in a very simple and unobtrusive way. A lot of apps have used Growl to give the user extra information. I recommend using it since you can get a lot more feedback from app that you are running.
Although Quicktime is a good media player (its supposed to be improved in Snow Leopard), VLC is a must install. It can play practically anything even if the file isn’t perfect. It use it to play nearly all of my video files. It works every time and plays nearly every video format known to man.
In a world where Twitter is become more and more dominant you need a good app to view and send your Twitter messages. I recommend Tweetie. It allows you to easily send and receive tweets, but also has a load of other features to make you day easier. It also supports multiple accounts which I personally find very useful. You may also like to try Twitterific, which is a similar excellent application.
The one problem with uninstalling apps on the Mac is that the app doesn’t pick up every single file, such as preference files, as a result 3rd party apps have been developed to remove these files and folders. The best free app that I have found is App Cleaner. It will remove those files for you and allow you to continue in peace. There are paid apps of this nature, but they do exactly the same thing.
The best way to monitor your Mac is through iStat Menus. Its a simple application which allows you to customize what sort of information you see in the menu bar, this could be CPU usage, RAM usage plus a whole load of other settings. Its very useful and allows you to keep track of what is happening to your system.
Some people prefer Firefox, some people prefer Safari. It really doesn’t matter which app you use for your web surfing habits. I have included Firefox as many people moving from Windows may be used to Firefox over Safari. I prefer Firefox since I can use lots of plugins to increase my productivity, I can’t yet do this on Safari as much as I want.
This is probably not a must have install, but it is worth a look if you want something to do for 10 minutes. Little Snitch is an app designed to snoop in on out going connections from your Mac. Its really good at showing you what different apps are doing and what they are connecting to. You can easily see if any apps are making any hidden connections. The full app does cost however the demo is still very useful.
The final app which you should install as a new user is Skype, a great way at doing conference and voice calling over the internet. Useful if you have friends all over the place and want to keep in touch by talking to them. This app is free so it doesn’t cost you anything to use (unless you want to ring an actual phone).
If you have any apps of you own you want to add please leave a comment, i’m particularly looking for apps are designed for every one and would be useful on a default install.