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Just got my first Mac

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15" book Pro. After 15 years on Windows, mostly gaming and surfing. I wanted to try to do some new things I never did before. I read that on OSX you can turn on text to speech and then open iBooks and have it read to you similar to an audio book which is something I may want to try out.

 

What else can I do with it? I just can't seem to think outside of editing, surfing or games that I may find useful or interesting. I don't have anyone to skype or facetime with and not sure what all on a Mac I could do. Any interesting apps I should be aware of?

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Well to be honest, there really isn't anything you can do on a Mac that you can't do on a PC. I got a 15" MBP a few years back and it is essentially my surfing and netflix machine now, but I'll give what I can remember learning in my changeover. Firstly don't bother using any of the Apple first-party software, it has a tendency to crash a lot (Could just be me, but still) so as soon as you can switch your browser to Firefox or Chrome instead and pick up VLC player for any video needs. I can't remember where it's located in the settings, but you can set up your trackpad to actually use a right-click, this is a life saving when coming from Windows.

One thing I also learned pretty quickly was always wait before updating to the next release of OSX, as personally I always had issues during that process.

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For task management I'd recommend something like HyperDock. It's only really useful if you have lots of things open though. If you are casual user who mostly uses only a few applications, I'd stick with the built in task management mechanisms (Expose). Expose just doesn't scale as well as Windows for lots of tasks (Or modern Linux window managers).

 

Woah, on the judgmental comments about it being a Mac. Come off of it... people can choose what they want to use. You should just try to do your daily routine that you'd do in any other OS. Once you get use to it, you may prefer it over other OSes.

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I'd recommend getting a program called Alfred (http://www.alfredapp.com/), it can totally change your workflow (launching programs, calculator, opening files, finding files, internet searches, controlling programs, etc)

 

Boom (http://www.globaldelight.com/boom/) is a volume booster and system-wide audio Equalizer.

 

smcFanControl (http://www.eidac.de/?p=243) can be used to monitor your system temperature, and speed up your fans manually if you're not happy with how the system does it.

 

Not exclusive to OSX but, Flux (http://justgetflux.com/) warms the colour of your display at night, making it easier on your eyes when it's darker.

 

Pixelmator (raster) and Sketch or iDraw (vector) cover the basics of programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. 

 

Pages, Keynote and Numbers are Apple's answer to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Not nearly as feature rich as Microsoft Office, but nowhere near as awful as a lot of people seem to enjoy making them out to be.

 

OSX has native PDF printing support, so on any Print dialog box you can print to a PDF file instead.

 

I'd recommend making sure you figure out how Mission Control works so you get the most out of it, as well as full-screen apps.

 

If your vision isn't the best (mine is dreadful), OSX has way better screen zooming than Windows (when it's turned on, hold Control and use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out).

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I'd recommend getting a program called Alfred (http://www.alfredapp.com/), it can totally change your workflow.

 

Boom (http://www.globaldelight.com/boom/) is a volume booster and system-wide audio Equalizer.

 

smcFanControl (http://www.eidac.de/?p=243) can be used to monitor your system temperature, and speed up your fans manually if you're not happy with how the system does it.

 

Not exclusive to OSX but, Flux (http://justgetflux.com/) warms the colour of your display at night, making it easier on your eyes when it's darker.

 

Pixelmator (raster) and Sketch or iDraw (vector) cover the basics of programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. 

 

I'd recommend making sure you figure out how Mission Control works so you get the most out of it, as well as full-screen apps.

 

If your vision isn't the best (mine is dreadful), OSX has way better screen zooming than Windows (when it's turned on, hold Control and use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out).

You sir have just made my home life as a Mac user a whole lot easier. Thank you.

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Does installing/uninstalling lots of 3rd party software bloat or slow down the system? Do they add lots of registry entries and leave junk behind when unisntalled? Or is it like iOS or WinRT in that regard?

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Does installing/uninstalling lots of 3rd party software bloat or slow down the system? Do they add lots of registry entries and leave junk behind when unisntalled? Or is it like iOS or WinRT in that regard?

Some things get left behind, depending on how you uninstall.  Some apps come with uninstallers (imo, the best kind), some will let you uninstall from launchpad, and some you have to just drop in the trash (these tend to leave a lot of crap behind, in my experience).

 

 

It won't slow down your system, but over time it will eat storage space.  There are some uninstallers out there.  I use AppCleaner:

 

http://appcleaner.en.softonic.com/mac

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Does installing/uninstalling lots of 3rd party software bloat or slow down the system? Do they add lots of registry entries and leave junk behind when unisntalled? Or is it like iOS or WinRT in that regard?

no, but if you get too worried about it you can use something like this http://www.freemacsoft.net/appcleaner/ i use a similar app and it works well

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If you like windows snap features, there is a program called Cinch

it cost $7, or if you can deal with the occasional  popup, you can use it for free.

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I'd recommend getting a program called Alfred (http://www.alfredapp.com/), it can totally change your workflow (launching programs, calculator, opening files, finding files, internet searches, controlling programs, etc)

 

Boom (http://www.globaldelight.com/boom/) is a volume booster and system-wide audio Equalizer.

 

smcFanControl (http://www.eidac.de/?p=243) can be used to monitor your system temperature, and speed up your fans manually if you're not happy with how the system does it.

 

Not exclusive to OSX but, Flux (http://justgetflux.com/) warms the colour of your display at night, making it easier on your eyes when it's darker.

 

Pixelmator (raster) and Sketch or iDraw (vector) cover the basics of programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. 

 

Pages, Keynote and Numbers are Apple's answer to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Not nearly as feature rich as Microsoft Office, but nowhere near as awful as a lot of people seem to enjoy making them out to be.

 

OSX has native PDF printing support, so on any Print dialog box you can print to a PDF file instead.

 

I'd recommend making sure you figure out how Mission Control works so you get the most out of it, as well as full-screen apps.

 

If your vision isn't the best (mine is dreadful), OSX has way better screen zooming than Windows (when it's turned on, hold Control and use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out).

 

These are all good suggestions, but be careful with Numbers if you are working on large datasets. I think Numbers puts too much effort into making things "pretty" and doubling as a layout tool to the extent that it made my Mac Pro crawl. Maybe they improved it in recent versions. Keynote is great though.

 

You'll definitely want some sort of system temps monitor. My McBook Pro had a lot of heat issues and eventually failed two years later, so get a temperature monitor and see what it idles at. If it's too high, you should take it back to the Apple Store and get a replacement asap.

 

One good thing about Mac though is that iTunes is actually pretty good, unlike the Windows version. You can stick with that to manage your media.

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If you like windows snap features, there is a program called Cinch

it cost $7, or if you can deal with the occasional  popup, you can use it for free.

 

I personally like their 'sizeup' program better.

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I personally like their 'sizeup' program better.

Sizeup is really nice. I use cinch mainly because I'm used to dragging windows where I need them.  Sizeup is more powerful and defiantly helpful if you have multiple monitors.

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IMO - Pages and Numbers don't come close to matching the functionality of MS Office apps (keynote is pretty close though).  They are fine for basic needs, however.

 

I use my Mac at home and really haven't worked much on it.  Here is a list of apps I find noteworthy (in no particular order):

* Pixelmator - Great raster image editor with a nice user friendly interface

* InkScape - Not a native app, but probably the best free drawing program out there and a worthy install on any computer I use.

* MS Office 2011 - I suspect we will be seeing a new version here soon... but I haven't heard anything yet so I may be wrong.

* Unison - Great Usenet downloader and reader.  If you are a Usenet user, I doubt you've seen a client this nice on Windows ever.

* OpenEmu - For all your emulation needs (well..most of them, anyway).  Nicest interface of any emulation program, hands down.  Really shows off the Mac OS X UI well.

* Tweetdeck - Probably the nicest free twitter client around.

* MPEG Streamclip - Its a bit dated, but runs like a dream on OS X.  There is a windows port, but it sucks on Windows for some reason.  Great for quick clip edits.  I use this to shave down my video files before importing them into iMovie

* HandGrenade - Good video transcoder.

 

I'd stay away from TextMate as a general text editor.  It doesn't even support split screen mode or anyway to view two different sections of the same document at the same time :(.  I haven't found a good text editor for Mac yet.  I've been using MacVIM mostly.

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I'd stay away from TextMate as a general text editor.  It doesn't even support split screen mode or anyway to view two different sections of the same document at the same time :(.  I haven't found a good text editor for Mac yet.  I've been using MacVIM mostly.

 

For those too faint of heart to get into vim, I think TextMate works fine. I prefer Sublime Text, though.

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For those too faint of heart to get into vim, I think TextMate works fine. I prefer Sublime Text, though.

 

TextMate is fine for anything but probably coding.  However, the fact that I can't view two separate parts of the same document in TextMate makes it useless to me.  You can't even open the same document in two separate windows.  Their slogans are laughable considering this lack of functionality.  When ever I've brought it up to the developers via Twitter I get: "It is a well known request, but not possible currently."

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TextMate is fine for anything but probably coding.  However, the fact that I can't view two separate parts of the same document in TextMate makes it useless to me.  You can't even open the same document in two separate windows.  Their slogans are laughable considering this lack of functionality.  When ever I've brought it up to the developers via Twitter I get: "It is a well known request, but not possible currently."

 

Not that I'm a fan of TextMate, but you're describing something that is not necessarily a deal breaker for every coder's workflow. I use Vim as my main editor, and I never open the same document in separate windows. I instead set marks throughout the document, and jump between them. I wouldn't apply a blanket statement saying that TextMate can't be used for coding. Clearly, a lot of people do use it for coding, and it has had a big influence on editors that have come after it.

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Not that I'm a fan of TextMate, but you're describing something that is not necessarily a deal breaker for every coder's workflow. I use Vim as my main editor, and I never open the same document in separate windows. I instead set marks throughout the document, and jump between them. I wouldn't apply a blanket statement saying that TextMate can't be used for coding. Clearly, a lot of people do use it for coding, and it has had a big influence on editors that have come after it.

I prefer vim for quick and dirty one shot modifications. You can achieve dual view in vim also for what it is worth if you really want/need to. It really is a rather useful feature at times. Though there are other things that are deal breakers for me: selection highlights, clone view (same document in two views), dumb completion (word completion, not something smarter), macros, column select, document map, function map, and spell check.

 

Most of these you can get in one way or another with vim (I mean come isn't vim the original macro editor ;p), and last I checked most of these are in sublime text per default. Though, I'm using Notepad++ instead (I don't program on Macs or if I do it is over ssh and I'm editing files remotely). Other than the cross platform nature of sublime it seemed worse overall to Notepad++ in my testing (it wouldn't split view correctly for me, and was very much a hassle to configure) so I didn't migrate to it despite the appealing nature of a cross platform editor. If Sublime 3 ever releases, I'll re-evaluate it and see where to go from there. In my opinion Sublime is the second best programmers editor out there feature wise.

 

As for TextMate, to be fair it is a programmers editor, it just isn't feature-full.

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Sublime doesn't work for my workflow. These days, I prefer to open documents in new windows. Not tabs, not splits, but proper windows. That way I can manage the windows using Slate. This setup gives me consistent window selection and window management shortcut keys that work across every single application. Sublime insists on opening project documents in new tabs.

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Not that I'm a fan of TextMate, but you're describing something that is not necessarily a deal breaker for every coder's workflow. I use Vim as my main editor, and I never open the same document in separate windows. I instead set marks throughout the document, and jump between them. I wouldn't apply a blanket statement saying that TextMate can't be used for coding. Clearly, a lot of people do use it for coding, and it has had a big influence on editors that have come after it.

 

I'm sure for folks who have better memories than I do, split screen editing is probably not necessary.  For me, it is paramount.

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