With the arrival of my new MacBook Pro on Friday, I begin my journey into the world of Mac.

Any recommendations for alternative web browsers? I am a die-hard Firefox guy, and I understand that you can install a version of Firefox on OSX, but that it's mainly designed for PC so it can be clumsy.

Also, feel free to jump in with any of your can't-live-without Mac applications. I really have no idea what's out there...

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Hey Ron... congrats on the new Mac. You're gonna love it!

My primary browser is Firefox. I've used it on both Mac and PC, and it works just fine -- not sure why somebody would think otherwise. Google Chrome is a great browser, as well. I don't much care for Safari, which is the browser that will come with your MacBook Pro. I'd suggest just installing whatever browser you want, and decide which one  you like best.

Re: can't-live-without applications... what business are you in? What are using your Mac for?


Not clumsy at all, Ron. FF is my primary, preferred browser on Mac, and has been for a few years.

Other software: couple of years ago, Open Office became a realistic office suite, so download it free and say goodbye to Microsoft forever. (Does Microsoft still make Office for Mac?)

All I can say has already been said... http://xkcd.com/934/


Oh, yes, I vote for FF and Open Office, too.

Sweet link.

Thanks for the heads-up regarding Firefox, folks.

@Cynthia I wear a lot of hats. I am a one-man IT department for a sales and engineering consulting firm. I manage a virtual network,  a SQL back-end (and a CRM front-end) for several offices across the Rockies. Most of my work is in the Windows Server/Windows 7 world, but recently I've been tasked with graphic arts and web development/design, which is done on Mac.

Surviving this economy, I'm just happy to be employed, or what I like to call OVERemployed at this point.

I'd like to be able to handle some of my MS stuff like Office docs, so I'll take Open Office out for a spin for sure.

I mostly use Firefox and Chrome, but I have been using Camino also. For most things, Camino is faster than Firefox, but Google + reads it as an outdated browser, so it doesn't work for everything. It was created by Mozilla and is Mac specific. 

Also, I think extremely highly of Apple's IWork suite.  Low cost, and works extremely well with Microsoft Office, it seems to run more smoothly for me than Open Office.

There were a few programs I had to use for school where I needed a PC, so on my Mac laptop I run Parallels and am able to boot Windows and at the same time as my Mac stuff. I don't use it much anymore, but it was a lifesaver awhile back.



congrats on your new pro! I upgraded last fall from an old ibook and I love my machine. like everyone else here, I use firefox as my main browser. (if you're at all concerned about encryption, you might check out this ff add-on called https everywhere.)


regarding patricia's suggestion, all mac os x software includes a program called bootcamp, which will allow you to run--and guide you through setting up--a disk partition for windows os. you just have to have a copy of the windows software ready to install. I haven't yet done this myself because I can't afford the windows based software I want, but I know some people who successfully run autoCAD and some other programs on their macs using bootcamp.


I run a free app called f.lux, which alters the color/tone of your display based on time of day. you can download here. it took a little getting used to for the first few days and I still sometimes boost the screen brightness above the app's autosetting, but it's been great for reducing eye strain and I can't imagine not having it now, especially as I'm someone who loves to stay up late at night staring at my screen. :)


one of boingboing's editors did a series on "my essential mac apps" last spring that I found really interesting. here's the first one, but there are 4 more you can search for also.


enjoy your new tool/toy!

I love the f.lux app too, Hettie! Been using it for about 6 months now...

Hi, Ron:


I, too, have a new Mac. I haven't used a Mac since the System 7 days, so I'm a MacNoob. I'm a web developer and project manager. All of my Windows boxes are running Windows 7.


The first thing I did was download Firefox and got my favorite plugins installed. Ditto for Thunderbird. Both work exactly as I expected, with very little (if any) difference from their Windows counterparts.


I do find the Mac interface generally to be a little strange at times, and occasionally still find that there are some operations that you can only do with the mouse -- that's pretty trivial, though.


OS X's true power is that it's really a flavor of BSD, which makes it an extraordinarily powerful machine for Unix folk. Many of our systems folks use Macs, and I'm looking forward to having a fast, realistic development environment to work in. If you're a Unix geek, you're in for a treat.


Oh, there was one thing that I was surprised to learn: locking the machine isn't as easy as it is with Windows. I'm used to hitting Windows-L to lock my machine when I walk away from it. The best workaround that I found for Mac is to create a hot corner for the screensaver, and ensure that the screensaver requires a password to stop it.




MacNoob... I like that! Very cute!



On my 10th mac since my first SE. Still running three right now - all use Firefox as the primary browser. The latest update is quirky, but all in all I think it's the best for mac right now.

Mac - gotta love 'em. I sold a dead one on ebay for $138. Dead, dead, dead and still bringing in the bucks.

Epson plays well with mac - just a tip.

And I still prefer Open Office to iWorks.

MobileMe has been a bonus and worth it to me to have all my devices linked/synced for calendars, music, photos, and backing up to "the cloud" continuously and effortlessly. I didn't always use it, and now I'm wondering why.

Another fun little app that came with it that I feel is pricless Grab. I am a hopeless Mac addict.

I came to Mac reluctantly (work issued me a Macbook for graphics-related and video stuff) after using PCs for 35 years - I began back in the days when you had to boot up with floppies and use DOS commands.

I use Firefox and Chrome. I'm still trying to figure out the Mac-love that everyone talks about, so I'm eager to learn about the can't-live-without Mac apps. I'm about to install LaTeX (MacTeX with BibTeX) and I'll let you know how that goes (in case you need a doc prep software package for your mac).

I think I'll always be a Linux girl at heart... 


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