The kool aid, I has drunked it. Is quite yum akshualy.

I have purchased an mac laptop, for the OSXing and the Final Cutting and the Garagebandage, and all that good stuff.

This will be an amusing learning curve – the last time I seriously used a mac, it was a mac classic running I guess System 7? Something like that. It’s been a good decade or so since I used a mac for reals. I’m told that the operating system has come some way since the mid 90’s….

Now I need to make a list of all my commonly used stuff, and find mac software that does it all. Amusingly, I’m likely to be 100% fine with OSX at a very very low level – a while back Annette had some issues with a piece of software on her iMac and asked me what I thought. Naturally, I said “Mmeidunnuh” while shrugging, because seriously, idun’t nuh. However, it eventually popped up a file permissions error and I said “Oh! Screwed up file permissions in the unix underbelly of this thing! That I can fix.” And indeed I did, once I found how to open a shell.

But high level operations of OSX? Could be amusing for Annette to watch me wrestle with it after using Windows operating systems ever since Doom came out and I switched from my beloved Amiga to a shitty, but Doom-playing, DOS-based PC.

Advice from Apple people on cool/must-have software is welcome.


  1. Hey, I moved from a beloved Amiga 3000 to a Doom-playing PC too.

    I suspect I’ll be copying your next step too. Not sure I’ll be able to handle the gloating of some of the people who know me. 🙂

    • If it helps, I’ll make at least some effort to keep the gloating to a minimum 🙂

    • That switch got me Doom to play, which was cool, but was otherwise pure pain. I recall actually literally laughing out loud after exchanges with my DOS-using friends along these lines:

      “So .. how do I switch to another task so I can read usenet or something while this archive is unzipping?”
      “Uh, you can’t. You just can’t. One thing at a time.”

      Commodore did NOT know what they had.

  2. Quicksilver – task launcher.
    Things – todo list manager
    NetNewsWire – RSS reader
    Textmate – Text editor from hell.
    Adium – Multi-network IM
    Camino – Gecko based browser with tasty mac flavours
    iTerm – a better terminal
    Transmission – Bit Torrent client.
    Tubesock – Download youtube videos and store them in itunes
    VLC – you should know this one already.

    • This is a +1 for Quicksilver, TextMate, Things and Adium, and also for Colloquy (below). I want to add xTorrent, Awaken (iTunes alarm clock), Celtx (script writing), and Transmit ((S)FTP).

      But trust me on Quicksilver.

      • +1 from me for NetNewsWire, Textmate, Adium, Transmission, Transmit

        Get the Perian plug-in for QuickTime, which handles AVI among other formats, and Flip4Mac for Windows Media. With these I find the QuickTime Player a better experience than VLC, but it’s a matter of taste.

        I’m not as big a fan of QuickSilver as Matt – I used it solidly for about a year, but eventually removed it. However, it’s a really interesting UI idea, and if it works for you it works really well.

        I’ll add OmniFocus for to-do management, and VMWare Fusion for virtual machines

      • ++++1000 on the quicksilver. I came to depend on it so much I found a windows version for when I’m at work.

        Adium is also a must and firefox as well because, lets be hones, safari licks balls.

        Photoshop, rather obviously is good on the mac and I’ve found office for the mac to be good for those days I really, really have to open a word document from work.

        Quicksilver can be a little “why would I use this” at the beggining.. but trust us.. you’ll be 2 months down the track, use a windows PC and go “WTF?!!? where’s my launch bar!!”

        Welcome to the light side of the force. 😛

  3. Ah ha. You bought a Mac. Muwhaha.

    Colloquy – IRC client
    Forklift (Costs moolah) (or Fugu, which is free) – SFTP/FTP client
    Transmission – Torrent client
    VLC – Video watching stuff
    iSquint – Will make AVI’s into iPod viewable videos, and then sync to iTunes
    XSlimmer (Costs moolah) – Friendly way to right-size your apps without losing functionality
    Bean – Word Processor

    If you’re interested in paying for apps, I would recommend MacHeist. Unfortunately, their support is bollocks.

  4. Jamie recently got some kind of mac laptop thingie* (don’t ask me what flavour – it’s not like I get to touch it or anything). It’s been quite an experience for him not immediately knowing how to do everything.

    *he says it will “help my career”.

    • Well, you are _just_ a girl. You might break it. It’s _complicated_, and laptops have no ribbons or kittens or anything else you might be interested in. So that’s fair.

      I just tried that excuse on Annette.

      “Sweetheart, I’m buying this laptop because it will Help My Career.”
      “You’re buying it because you want a shiny shiny.” [While wagging a finger]

  5. I’m learning how to use a Mac at the moment too. I kinda like it. It makes sense.

  6. Welcome and congratulations on your decision to purchase MacLife. Please ensure all the documents and listed accessories are present in your iPackaging: packaging, MacLife iGuide, sandals, possibly a laptop, one pair of iMacAppleMaciBlinders, and this instruction sheet.

    Please remember that if this machine does not do something you expect or does something you did not expect then it is not a fault, bug, issue, or undocumented feature. It is, in fact, our way of telling you that you are living incorrectly. Please adjust your life & expectations accordingly for iSatisfaction.

    Remember, we’re watching you.

  7. Heh, tempering my triumph at getting Kieran to apply for the Great School is the knowledge that they require all the kids to have Mac laptops. So give us six months and it’ll be Karl going, “Um… I dunno.”

    But I’m sure it’ll be good for his career.

  8. Wow, all the Mac users coming out of the woodwork.

    I use mine for presentations a lot (lecturer, etc), and the two Cannot Live
    Without Apps for me are:

    OmniGraffle (for drawing dinky diagrams)
    Keynote (for slides – part of iWork)

    They’re pretty much the two apps keeping me on the Mac.

    Also VMWare Fusion is a big win too. Been running Linux under it with
    no real trouble at all. (I use Parallels to run Windows because I bought it first
    and it works well for that, and I can’t be bothered migrating my image over,
    but it really really couldn’t cope with Linux)

    – MugginsM

  9. Good lad. 😀

    Anything I would have told you to get has already been suggested since my needs are pretty basic. Transmission is great.

    I really just had to chime in on the glee. Let us know how long it takes for you to exlaim that you want to marry it… it took me about 5 seconds. 😉

  10. I think you must replace whatever new startup noise it has with the classic Mac “bong!”.