By  on  
MacBook Pro

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned -- I sold my soul for a MacBook.

So I didn't necessarily sell my soul but after much prodding and advice from the MooTools team, I've decided to buy a 15" MacBook Pro. Everyone told me I needed to get one and in all honesty, when the alternative is a garbage Dell laptop fitted with the trainwreck that is Microsoft Vista, it was my only option. I still have a Windows XP desktop that I love but I also got the MacBook so that I had both systems for testing.

Mac Fanboy?

I'm not a Mac guy. In fact Mac fanboys scare me almost as much as Trekkies (they're basically one in the same, so maybe I shouldn't be scared of one over the other). I feel as though now it's time to drink the Kool-Aid though. There's no denying Macs are solid, dependable systems and every designer/developer I know praises them like they're Christina Ricci. It's time for me to give it a shot.

I Need Your Help!

Since I've never worked on a Mac, and there's no doubt that many of you love and work on Macs, I need your help and guidance. Here's what I'd like from you:

  • What apps do I need to download?
  • What apps should I stay away from?
  • Have any tips for the switch from PC to Mac?
  • How much of a loser am I for just switching now?

I really appreciate any feedback or advice you can give me!

Recent Features

  • By
    Responsive Images: The Ultimate Guide

    Chances are that any Web designers using our Ghostlab browser testing app, which allows seamless testing across all devices simultaneously, will have worked with responsive design in some shape or form. And as today's websites and devices become ever more varied, a plethora of responsive images...

  • By
    Animated 3D Flipping Menu with CSS

    CSS animations aren't just for basic fades or sliding elements anymore -- CSS animations are capable of much more.  I've showed you how you can create an exploding logo (applied with JavaScript, but all animation is CSS), an animated Photo Stack, a sweet...

Incredible Demos


  1. Congrats man! The Apple world is a beautiful one.

    Here are the Mac specific apps I rock daily:


    TextMate – development
    MAMP (Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP) – local development
    VMWare Fusion with XP – for Windows testing
    Transmit – FTP
    xScope – Make it perfect


    Tweetie – Twitter action
    Adium for IM
    Camouflage – hides the desktop mess
    Google Quick Search Box – just awesome!
    Linotype FontExplorer X – type management
    OnyX – disk utilities

    Learn to use Exposé and Spaces with active screen corners. Takes a bit to get use to but so worth it.

  2. Wes

    Are there any specific types of apps you are looking for?


    Here are my essential apps for suggestions.

    Growl – Growl lets Mac OS X applications unintrusively tell you when things happen. This sounds really innocent and trivial, but it makes life convenient. Plus you can skin the notifications.

    QuickSilver – This is a quick launch program for applications…learn keyboard combos to open apps, documents, etc. It can really speed up your production.

    MAMP – Set up a local test environment with your Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

  3. I’m gonna second Quiksilver and MAMP. Lots of coders use Coda and love it; I use Espresso and like it a whole lot.

    Cyberduck is a good free FTP app if you don’t want to buy Transmit, and TextWrangler (also free) is good for quick code edits.

    The others like VLC and everything Adobe you probably already know about!

  4. Ahmed


  5. I’m going to put a third recomemdation on MAMP and a second on Growl.
    I like YouSendIt for sending large files, not Mac specific but handy none the less.
    I don’t know how much you deal with large quanties of images that need renamed but NameChanger is nice for that, and free.

    Other than that, congratulations on coming to the mac world, it is so very nice and virus free.

  6. FTP —————————– Transmit
    Text Editor——————— Text Mate
    RSS —————————– Newsfire
    Twitter ————————– TweetDeck
    Timing/Billing —————– Tasktime
    Music ————————–
    MySQL/PHP (local sever) —- MAMP
    Shortcuts ———————- Butler

  7. Michael

    Christina Ricci? Really? Nice contrast to your new, hip, MBP.

  8. Wes

    Oh, I forgot to add that is a great site to find out about mac programs. The site is currently down and returning a 500 error, but it should be back up soon.

    Also, keep an eye out for bundles of mac programs that are cheap.

    Macheist is a pretty amazing event that lets you solve fairly nerdy puzzles to unlock software. At the end of the event, they have a bundle that is sold and proceeds go to charity. This past year, I have gotten over $1000 of software for only $49 through macheist.

    Also, MacUpdate runs a bundle every once in a while. In fact, one ended last week. However, they frequently have promos for software where you can get a steep discount. I recommend saving their RSS feed to keep current on their promos. (example bundle)

    Finally, MacZot has daily promotions on software…another good RSS feed to keep an eye on.

    (I had to disable the links due to spam filtering.)

  9. Wes

    (And then you automagically enable them.)

  10. Scratch Mamp — it sucks DO NOT USE IT. You’re hardcore, do it the natural way. Download entrophy php package (, setup apache and mysql 64bit, configure your virtual hosts file in /etc/apache2/users/USERNAME.conf, add a host in /etc/hosts, “sudo apachectl graceful” in terminal and you’re done.

    I just discovered macfuse — a google project that opens up remote drives as a mounted drive on your machine (it does sftp, etc.)

    Virtualbox — see devthought’s post on how to set up a good testing evn.

    MacGDBP — for your PHP debugging

    Colloquy — your IRC

    Sequel Pro — if you’re into visual MySQL manipulation (i go back and forth between this and the command line)

    Crossover Mac — Install some windows apps natively. IE6 baby!

    Use iWork — Office for os x sucks. It really fucks up when you’re using spaces

    MacCallGrind — eval your grind files from your php scripts. Really useful as you can see what processes eats up cycles

    RegExhibit — stand-alone regex testing

    I believe everything that I named is free. Of course you want textmate (I know that you have it already)

  11. CONGRATS MAN!!!!!!
    This are my favorite apps…

    Adobe Masters Collection —-> Design

    Adium —————————> IM MSN

    Calaboration ——————–> Sync Google calendar — iCal

    Fetch —————————–> FTP

    NetNewsWire ——————–> RSS Reader

    Processing ————————> program images, animation, and interactions

    Stuffit —————————–> *.rar files

    Toast 9 —————————> Burn CD/DVD

    Transmission ———————> BitTorrent Client

    Twitterrific ————————> Twitter

    VLC ——————————–> Watch Windows Garbage.

    iChat ——————————-> Google Talk

    MAMP —————————-> Local Server

    GROWL ————————–> Just 100% Usefull

    Firefox —–

    Have FUN!

  12. Thank you for the tips everyone! Keep them coming!

  13. Hi David;

    You knew someone was gonna ask it: Why not Linux?

    Love your blog, interesting content on almost every post! Keep it up


  14. Listen2Me

    When I got my Mac I had this same problem. I ended up writing this blog about it:

    However, I do tend to waffle on, so here is the guts of what I wrote.

    Transmit – Best FTP client I’ve ever used. I tried dozens of FTP programs on Windows and couldn’t find one I liked anywhere near as much as I like Transmit

    Coda – Best IDE I’ve ever used. Not as feature rich as BBEdit but really well suited to the type of development I do as a website developer. One could easily argue that Visual Studio is far better than Coda but I find it hard to make this comparison as I would use each application for completely different things.

    Clips – This is a tiny clipboard management application. I’ve used a number of clipboard management apps on Windows but never left them on my system long because they weren’t very useful. Clips however is extremely handy and I’ve never seen an app do this sort of thing so well.

    ScreenFlow – Video Casting software. Adobe has a package I used a while ago which is probably comparible to ScreenFlow in terms of features, but it’s ScreenFlows speed and simplicity which makes a much more preferable application to work with.

    Growl – Status notifier. Sounds just like a status bar… and in some ways it is I guess but if you’re a Windows user and want something similar, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything as good.

    OverFlow – Application Launcher

    TextExpander – Really useful if you use Lorem Ipsum a lot

    Little Snitch – Firewall

    LittleSnapper – Screen Capture (and edit) software. Great for blogging.

  15. Aaron Willis

    I would check out ExpanDrive for Mac. Mounts SFTP and FTP like a standard hard disk. Great compliment to TextMate (which I use almost everyday, for many tasks web and otherwise). Also, Coda is a more all in one solution that I use, but for rapid stuff, and expandability, its hands down TextMate. Welcome to the Fandome. We’ve been waiting for you.

  16. Development : Aptana Studio Pro : Be sure to get the Andretti Alpha # 3: It blows away the “stable” release

    SSH Port Forwarding : Meerkat

    Expandrive : Persistent SFTP connections as mounted drives

    FTP/SFTP : Transmit

    Passwords : KeePassX – crossplatform

    Windows : Parallels

    Packet Sniffing : Charles ( – Beautiful website

    Wireframing : iPlotz – web and AIR application

    Terminal : iTerm

    MySQL GUI : SQLYog for Windows run in a Windows virtual machine via Parallels. Seriously, it sounds like a pain, but SQLYog blows away ALL Mac clients. Run screaming from Navicat. Querious is pretty, but it’s slow and not nearly as feature rich as SQLYog. Also, you can run SQLYog via CrossOver – but Parallels is the best way to integrate with the Mac.

    DB Design : MySQL Workbench

    Backup : DropBox

    GMail : MailPlane – awesome , integrates GMail with your Mac – drag and drop files, iPhoto, etc

    General Text Editing : TextMate

    Encryption : TrueCrypt

  17. Nice choice Dave,

    Don’t know anything about the software. But the system is indeed more stable then Windows. Have fun with it.

    By the way: I am a Linux fan (no trekkie or fanboy). I hope that is not a problem ;-P

  18. ale

    That’s a cool list in my opinion. Things and Coda are my personal favorites.

  19. Ah – a good list already – here are my faves:

    Coda for development (never got used to TextMate, but everyone raves about it)
    Transmit for FTP
    NetNewsWire for RSS
    Jing for screencasts
    Tweetdeck for twitter
    Littlesnapper for screenshots and great integration with Flickr – this really has changed my workflow
    xScope for screen measurement utilities – great little app
    Things for GTD

    Good luck, and enjoy your Mac!

  20. I am stunned to see that nobody mentioned Camino here. This is the best browser a Mac can get! (screw Safari!)

  21. riosatiy

    Welcome to the dark side.
    If youre not into terminal stuff then.

    Code editor: CODA! this is the best ive ever used since vim.
    If youre like me and dont get on by those monsterous IDE’s like visual studio etc. do try coda.

    FTP: Cyberduck (

    Mail: Thunderbird
    Music: Spotify
    Office: openoffice
    IM: Adium

  22. Hey David,

    a very importent programm for mac is the twinkertool. You can`t see hidden files like .htaccess, bacause the dot files are importent system files and be hidden for security reassons. At OsX there is no way to activate this view at the Systemconfiguration. Otherwise you can use an applescript or some terminal code.

    There are some other work arrounds but twinker is the easiest way to show this files.

    You can download it at

    If you search for a app like winrar for mac take a look at

  23. ghazal

    welcome to the club !
    My personal webdev Sacred Trinity :
    MAMP – FF – Coda (best everyday webdeveloping tool)
    However, as CODA is sometimes buggy with UTF-8 encoding of files, then I use TextWrangler or BBEdit with .sql or .ini files, just to be sure.

    4 very useful little apps :

    CSSEdit —> er, … CSS stuff

    Color Schemer Studio —> colors stuff

    ChronoSync —> sync folders tool

    CleanApp —> once you have tried … and rejected some of the apps mentionned here or above, cleanly remove them from your computer

    PS : being an unconditional Mac user, I had to buy a PC laptop though and I installed Windows 7 a fortnight ago. Not bad, the interface could be made to look (somehow) like OSX’s, lol.

  24. hi all,

    Personnally i prefer having a virtual machine to install my web server / mysql… parrallels desktop – with ubuntu on it.

    Development : eclipse + parrallels desktop (ubuntu for server + windows xp to test)
    twitter : nambu (must have)
    vlc : video
    torrent : transmission
    some tweaks : tinkertool
    if you’re still using ftp : filezilla


  25. Sat Pirott

    You should really try Coda ( !
    All the other applications have nearly been listed, so I can spare on the rest.
    I could try to fill the gaps and replace some suggestions though …

    Mac Apps:

    Development … Coda (this includes a css-editor, ftp-upload and preview, as well as svn and more)
    Webserver … Mamp ( – mac includes one, but this has been useful though)
    Simple Layout & Text … Pages (simple, fast, clutter-free)
    Professional Layout & Graphics … Adobe CS (as you probably already use it)
    Chat … Skype, Adium (Adium does anything (except a/v and is Growl supported which you also should get)
    RSS … Newsfire (simple, fast, reliable)
    Torrent … Xtorrent (not free, but great so far)
    DVD Backup … Handbrake (If you do such thing)
    Safari Tool for search … Inquisitor (by David Watanabe, who made Newsfire and XTorrent – free)
    Screen Recording … Snapz Pro X
    Application development … REALBasic (alternative for cocoa and it builds cross-platform)

    Thats it so far, but I want to suggest some nice developers which make applications you may
    also like, but which I could not all test, because I still used the old MacOS and I am stuck with a PC right now (until november).

    Look up these (but don’t use RapidWeaver, you don’t need it!)

    Nice Apps (links):

    Ok, now I’m finished :-)

    Got my mail btw? Have fun with your Mac – if you have it for at least two month, you won’t ever wanna live without it, trust me! (And try to watch it carefully – except the right click, Microsoft got more things mac invented then the other way around. That’s no Mac-Geek hype, it’s true, you’ll notice!)

    Greets, Sat

  26. Steffen

    Seems like a lot of people use a mac here and can give some advice – me too! And since nobody mentioned it:

    This gives you the best tools you need for serious Webdev, name it:
    Apache, Mysql5, ImageMagick, git, svn, wget, ruby, subversion, latex, pngcrush…

    Textmate – seriously, it is good
    TheHitList for GTD, i prefer it over Things
    Glimmerblocker for Mac-global Add-Blocking
    Jumpcut (clipboard-history)
    Quicksilver, this is a must.
    GitX as Git-Frontend

    And a tip I give every Mac-startes:
    When copying and replacing a folder in Finder, it replaces the complete folder and does not merge the contents of the folder and subfolders as in Windows. Or simply just use Forklift :-)

  27. Yes, you’re late. =P

    My personal recommendations are: Coda, MAMP, Tweetie, Adium, Billings and obviously, Photoshop.

    These 6 apps let me do just about anything. Coda is much better than TextMate IMO. has a nicer UI.

  28. For me the main problem on MAc platform is that almost all good software is not free, programming/design talking. Coda, textmate, photoshop, aperture, pixelmator, or another software like scrivener, notes, evernote… But, on the other hand we have amazing software like cyberduck, smultron, audium…

  29. kyle

    I just switched back in November. It’s been fairly painless. The only thing I’m still not really happy with is iTunes. I used Winamp before, and basically just want a music program that lets me pick files from my already organized folders on my computer (I actually keep my music on a separate server) – so the way itunes works still hasn’t gelled with me too much. I’ve been thinking of upgrading to Pathfinder too, since I’m not a big fan of Finder – but for the most part I navigate with Launchbar, so it hasn’t been too bad.

    I tried Quicksilver, but it just wasn’t playing well for me, so I ended up getting Launchbar – which does a great job. The clipboard manager is very handy.

    I tried a few FTP clients, and Transmit wins, hands down. I keep finding cool extra things it can do. If you’re okay with a single panel FTP program, Cyberduck was alright – but I needed two windows.

    I tried a few (a lot) text editors, and Textmate won in the end – just lots of great integration. I couldn’t really get a feel for coda, for some reason – odd considering I love Transmit so much)

    Other apps I use:

    Google notifier (mail and calendar)

    Skitch (image/screenshot capture)


    adium (messenger)

    Photoshop CS4 (I already use a second monitor, but am eyeing a 30″ monitor because Photoshop just gets so messy)

    MAMP (I’m not sure why anyone would get the pro version – you can pretty easily edit the httpd.conf and /etc/hosts files to add extra domains)

    Tweetdeck – for twitter

    VMware fusion – I don’t use this all that much, because my “server” runs Windows XP, so I’ll remote desktop in and use that for most windows stuff – but it has come in handy on occasion.

    Mac the Ripper – to copy DVDs

    Handbrake – to convert said DVDS to different formats

    Other little tidbits… I have a folder of screenshots of various sites from around the web – to use for inspiration. I keep the folder in my dock, so I can take a quick screenshot with Skitch and drag it to the folder. I do any torrent downloads on the xp box, but I hear Transmission is great for the mac.

  30. Wes


    I have my iTunes pointed to my music on an external hard drive, and it should work for having your music on a server. In the preferences under the advanced tab, just set which folder that you want iTunes to look for your music in. Just make sure you turn off the feature where iTunes copies everything it imports to its own folder.

  31. Although I’ve not updated it for a little while, my Fave Mac Apps page, here: lists most of the cool stuff I found, loved and stuck with from when I moved to a Mac. The loveliest apps are things like Coda, Delicious Library and Scrivener, I’d say, but it depends what you do on daily basis…

  32. Wow, awesome list guys! Keep them coming!

  33. I moved to mac from being a die-hard Windows user about a year ago. I bought it for the hardware alone but have fallen in love with everything else. My biggest recommendation for going to a mac is: DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY A NEW WORKFLOW. It’ll take you about 2-3 months to get used to the mac’s way of doing things and you’ll probably say several times “This is stupid”. But when you actually step back and add in some of the features into your work flow it’s will speed up your workflow alot. I thought Quicksilver (or Google Quick Search) was one of the stupidest programs till I actually took the time to learn about it and force myself to really change the way I worked with it. Using spaces is another thing that seems useless till you actually make yourself change the way you do things and you realize that it actually does work well.

    All the aps listed are really good ones so I’ll just add a few that I’d second.

    Coda. It has integrated SVN which is very awesome, but I’m on the search for something better to manage SVN. Coda doesn’t display all the log messages when downloading. It doesn’t integrate with GIT, yet. But knowing the devs they always stay on top of things.

    I personally use Google Quick Search over Quicksilver. The main developer od Quicksilver went to work for Google and is developing Google Quick Search so that is the future. It’s really nice to be able to launch aps quickly and etc..

    If I have a need for FTP outside of Coda I use Filezilla.

    I use MAMP for local development. the also have a full dev download if you need to modify their bundle in any way like adding in xDebug or something.

  34. coda
    versions — great svn gui
    fluidapp — Site Specific Browsers are awesome for things like Gmail
    ripitapp — takes full quality copies of your dvds for easy watching
    navicat — database management gui
    thehitlist — to do list
    transmit — awesome ftp program
    and last but not least use good old terminal

  35. Textmate
    Zend for Eclipse

  36. I made a mistake and subscribed to this thread. My phone keeps chiming every few minutes.

    Let me reiterate – Do not use MAMP, you dont have all the control you need. I have about 30 local sites defined by name. Other than that there are some good suggestions in here. If you need visual SVN are are willing to pay, I’d suggest cornerstone – awesome app.

  37. I second MacPorts!

    Once you get the hang of using it, it is incredibly simple to install the latest versions of your favorite open source software like Apache, Gimp, Git, ImageMagick, iTerm, Lynx, Mercurial, MySQL, PHP, Python, WordPress… pretty much everything.

  38. @EmEhRKay You assume everyone needs that level of control or even knows how. I mean I guess this post is about David and I’m sure he has some clue about compliing all that on servers. But for the average person, MAMP is easy. download it, start it and you have a complete localhost in no time. Why bother learning a bunch of stuff that you’ll never use if your site is on a shared host that does all that for you?

    We own a server and I’ve managed it for years. I do all the compiling and software upgrades myself on it as well as installing any extension that I need. But I run MAMP because for local development I really don’t care. i just want a localhost that will run and if I need to add in an extension like xDebug then I can toss it in with no problem. Compiling all those things locally is just a waste of my time. I have yet to run into one single thing that I do that I can’t do on MAMP. And for instance when PHP 5.3 is released I’ll just recompilie it and ti will work just fine through MAMP. same with any featured of MySQL that I would need. The answer is to use whatever tool is right for the job.

    Also, thanks for the heads up on Cornerstone. I’m looking for a decent SVN client and it looks pretty nice.

  39. EmEhRKay


    I say steer clear of mamp for a few reason (which I probably should have orginally stated). When I last used mamp It barely worked under leopard (this was true for a few of my friends too) that actually forces me to reasearch how to set shit up in apache, modify hosts files, etc. — it isn’t difficult and you can use the apache install with leopard. And with the free version of mamp you are limited to running one site under a port, need to test another site? Stop, redefine site path, restart. Yeah you can modify mamp’s httpd.conf but it is customized for sake of portability and if you’re going to do that why not just use the built in stuff? And David seems to be the type of dude who is into having full control. Mamp is for people, like you said, who do not want to be bothered with the inner workings of apache/php– dave just wrote a post about modifying the file to get wamp running on vista. I say if you have the mac, use/learn the unix — the real windows stand apart.

  40. I have absolutely no idea why I can’t post my comment, All it says is it’s spammy.
    At first I thought it was because I had 7 links in it, so I went and took those out, and it still didn’t work.
    Maybe it’s because it’s about 500 words long, that’s still a silly reason to mark a comment as spam, but it should have still gone through, there was nothing remotely spammy about it.

    At the worst it should be automatically marked as spam by WordPress and left for you to approve/delete.
    Don’t not allow me to post the comment at all. All that’s doing is making me not want to post it.

  41. Braxo

    Learn to love expose, especially when you’re away from an external monitor. The fast application switching will really ‘extend’ the size of your screen. Here at work, some people don’t use it and they really should.

    For dynamic web development, use Textmate with the Project+ plugin. I prefer that plugin over the OS drawer. I also use the RailsCasts syntax coloring too, I have a new 15″ Pro and the screen is intensely bright, darker themes really help out.

    For static web development I switch to Coda because of the built in ftp and simple management of your sites and projects. Plus you can split the window to have an html window open along the external CSS. If I need a stand alone FTP client, I just use Fetch though it is not a favorite among Apple users.

    In Terminal, I like the Pro setting. Makes me feel like a cool developer.

    For Windows, I like VMWare. I like that I can choose between having the apps in their own Windows environment, or I can have them mingle with the native apps. Its great for showing off the Mac to Windows lovers. Have your Vista or XP on one monitor, and Mac OS X on the other running at the same time.

    I use Tweetie for Twitter.

    For IM’s I need to use almost all of the networks out there because I work with people that use them all. So I’ll have skype, windows messenger and adium open most of the time.

    For my browser, I actually prefer Safari over Firefox. Though firebug is sometimes necessary, I find the Develop menu in Safari to be pretty robust. (Has to be enabled in Safari’s preferences).

    Install your Apple Developer Tools (comes on a separate DVD in the box) or downloaded from Apple’s Developer Website. Soon enough you’ll want to dabble with iPhone development.

    For Office documents, I just use Microsoft’s suite, just because so many people use it.

    I’m a Mac user that loves the Dashboard. Some widgets I use all the time is iStat Pro, Cicero (Lorem Ipsum generator), iCal Events, and Harmonic so lyrics are automatically added to my MP3s.

    For video playback, I installed Perian, a plugin for Quicktime. Its helpful.

    That’s pretty much what I install whenever I get a Mac.

  42. Incidentally, I have installed MAMP, but only for specific reasons — while the built-in PHP and Apache are good enough for most purposes, MAMP comes with things like the GD graphics library built in, which Apple’s PHP doesn’t, and which is an absolute pain to hack into Apple’s PHP. On the whole, it works well for me, though I only run it for my test sites that need its extra features.

  43. Awesome, congrats! Your life is about to change, seriously.

    Web design: Coda, TextMate, CSSEdit, and Transmit (Cyberduck is good and free though)
    Graphics: Adobe Creative Suite, at least PS
    and then: FontExplorer X Pro, LittleSnapper (snap and organize sreenshots, grabs html too), Tweetie, Adium (iChat for AIM video/screensharing though), Adobe Connect Now for online screensharing/demoing, Fluid SSB, Transmission.

    Of course all the browsers, but for Safari, enable developer menu in preferences. Then right or control click on stuff and select inspect element. Safari’s web inspector has improved much since Safari 3. Plugins, Glims and ClickToFlash.

  44. kyle

    @wes – Yes, I’ve got itunes grabbing the music fine, it’s just I like to keep everything stored like so:

    First Letter/Artist/Album-Name/tracks, so for example:


    and there doesn’t appear to be a way to import it into itunes that way – so I have to import it, move the files, then tell itunes I’ve moved them. Not a huge deal, but considering I don’t really care about most of the added itunes features, I’d be happy with just having a player that i can click OPEN on, find the directory, and go. Plus, Itunes does weird things with compilations, etc.

    Plus I find my keyboard’s Play/Pause doesn’t always control what I’d think would be the active item to control.

  45. I would suggest you use Coda and TextMate but really dig into them because both have great qualities. I use Coda for most web development, but if I am working on something really quick or simple TextMate is much better. I would recommend iWork as the productivity suite as it is much cheaper and just as nice as MS Office. Tweetie for twitter, and be sure to grab dropbox if you use it. I use Safari, because it is much faster than Firefox, but I keep FF around for some web development work. For the people suggesting MAMP I do fine with the built in PHP webserver, and using a remote MySQL server, but I guess if you do lots of remote work than MAMP is a good choice.

    Congratulations on your decision to get an Apple you will really appreciate it once you take the plunge.

  46. Also I would def recommend picking up an external HDD for time machine backups it will save you when you overwrite or lose something. I bought a Western Digital 1TB ~150, but in retrospect I wish I would have sprung for the 500GB Time Capsule because it is a pain with a laptop to always plugin the drive.

  47. PHP install from
    BBEdit (All things coding)
    Sequel Pro (MySQL gui)
    Cornerstone (SVN client)
    Xyle Scope (often helps with debugging specificity in CSS)
    XScope (frequently use rulers and the loupe)
    Adobe Creative Suite
    NetNewsWire (RSS)
    Adium (IM)
    Transmit (FTP)
    Flickr Uploader (exactly what it says)
    Growl (notifications)
    Paparazzi (screenshots)
    SnapzPro (screenshots)
    >cd to… (Finder toolbar item to “cd to” the current window in a new Terminal window)
    Knox (secure disk images)
    FontExplorer X (font management)
    MenuMeters (show memory usage, network and processor activity in the Finder menu)
    Enkoder (email address obfuscation)
    CSSEdit (for quick mockups before going server-side)
    Parallels (with 3 XP installs; IE6, IE7, IE8)
    RDC (just because it’s sometimes faster to control a PC than to fire up Parallel’s on my older MacBook Pro)
    And obviously Safari, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Camino

  48. Hi

    Same as you and a recent convert to the mac and have to say after a while of using it I am now also singing its praises and indeed just shelled out for a new macbook pro

    The “niceness” comes from keyboard shortcuts which are consistent across applications, some that are very useful to know

    apple+space = opens finder so you can open applicatoins
    apple+q = quit application
    apple shift tab = goes backwards through applications
    apple shift 3 = print screen
    apple shift 4 = grab a section of screen

    As for apps



    ScreenFlick for video screen shot grabbing

    Adium for im

    Skype (this is poorer on the mac)

    Cyberduck for ssh

  49. I couldn’t be happier with the app suggestions and tips you all have posted! Anything you post helps, so please don’t stop!

  50. IMs:
    adium vs pidgin
    a duck vs a pigeon

    If you don’t have or don’t plan to get an (ex webmail address, i suggest you the second..

    In September UltraEdit will be out for Unix systems, so I suggest it also.

    Plus remember:
    Ubuntu > Mac OS X > MS Vista

  51. Don’t forget a new laptop lock (Kensington or my favorite – the Targus Defcon). Now that you’ve got a sweet ride, someone might try to steal it from you!

    Swiss Gear (by Wenger) makes some awesome laptop backpacks.

    I just got a new MBP as well and am in heaven. My 3 yr old one was having trouble with 20+ apps (windows and Mac) open at the same time. No problems now!

    General Awesomeness Quicksilver (Open Source)
    Network Filtering Little Snitch ($30)
    Notification FW Growl (Open Source)
    Fullscreen windows SizeUp (Nameyourprice-ware)
    Video Player Movist (Open Source)
    Dev for real machos TextMate (50€)

    Home Theater Plex (Open Source)
    Video Encoding HandBrake (Open Source)
    Audio Editing Audacity (Open Source)
    GReader, FB, Twitter.. EventBox ($15)
    GMail MailPlane ($25)
    GTD Things ($50)
    Pixel Perfection xScope ($27)
    MAMP MAMP (Free)
    MySQL GUI Sequel Pro (Open Source)
    Subversion Versions (39€)
    Virtualization VMWare Fusion ($80)
    7z Archives 7zX (Free)
    RAR UnRarX (Ugly but works, Free)
    Password Management 1Password ($40)
    Desktop Album Art Bowtie (Free)
    Uninstaller AppCleaner (Free)
    Global App Updater AppFresh (Free)
    System monitoring iStat Menus (Donationware)
    Fan Monitoring smcFanControl (Free)

  53. @alex : Where did you here that UltraEdit was coming in September? See they now have a Linux version. Would love to have UE on Mac.

  54. Honestly, Vista with SP 1 has not given me a single problem. SP1 fixed many of it’s issues. And you can grab the Windows 7 RC now, and use that till Window 7 gets released. (And I feel Windows 7 is superior to OSX).

    Mac’s are cool, but they cost twice as much as a comparable PC laptop. Doesn’t seem worth it.

  55. Michael

    I personally feel that every unreleased operating system is superior to OS X.

    I am writing this comment on my 13″ Dell 2.26GHz Intel Core Duo 2 laptop with 2GB of RAM, 160GB HD, SD card slot, built in camera and mic, etc….that I purchased for $600.

  56. Wes

    @Sean & @Michael

    I pay the apple tax simply because it makes me feel better. Nothing wrong with that.

  57. Michael

    Perhaps my sarcasm was too subtle.

  58. Beau Rixon

    This article and site should be useful.
    Ultimate Switcher Guide Windows PC to Mac

  59. There is a really helpful guide for new Mac users at TaoOfMac:
    The Switcher’s Application Guide
    How to Switch to the Mac
    Hope this help!

  60. @justin n.
    I feel you’re wrong :)
    It says: (Now in Beta testing)
    There is a Beta version, but it’s not for public. Though, I’m a Beta tester and I have to tell that the app feels great on my ubuntu x64.

    You can also read the UEX blog:
    It says: One last note, we believe that realistically, UEX for Mac OSX will be about a calendar quarter behind UEX for Linux. It will be there however!
    Something that means.. YES, there will be a release just for your Mac OS

    Emulation software for UNIX systems (such as linux and mac os) can’t do nice with such complex Windows Apps, this is why we need to wait. Let’s hope the release date won’t be delayed!

  61. Hey David,

    I’d recommend:

    Coda/Espresso – Web Development
    Transmission – BT Client
    PNGCrusher – PNG Crusher!
    MAMP – Mac/Apache/MySQL and PHP (like WAMP)
    MacPilot – tweak settings without going into Terminal
    Transmit – FTP Client
    Delicious Library – catalogue your stuff (also get the iPhone app)
    1Password – also get the matching iPhone app
    Hazel – cleanly uninstall stuff
    Glims for Safari – Inquisitorx Google search doesn’t work anymore :-(
    Adium for IM

    David I have a spare license for LittleSnapper and Parralels VM (via Macheist) – email me if you would like them.

  62. @alex : I saw the title of their blog post about UEX. The title just mentioned Linux. I didn’t notice the mentions about Mac until my second review. That would be awesome. I’ve got a lot of coworkers that use UE on Windows. They can do column selection, insertion, etc. That would be sweet.

  63. A lot of people say Transmit for FTP and TextMate for editing web docs. Though they’re very capable applications, you’ll get 99% as much mileage out of the free and quite excellent Cyberduck and Smultron.

    It’s also worth mentioning how great Quicksilver, Adium, and Growl are. If you want to tinker with user interface capabilities, google SIMBL and look for some of the amazing plugins that have been made for it.

    Here’s everything I use frequently:


  64. OSX is a beauty, I have PC and MAC, I can say : Windows is str_repeat(more,…) better than OSX,
    For OSX I use XAMPP and Textmate(no app can equate notepad++)
    More app :
    Adium : incontournable instant messaging
    Twitterific : twitter API client (commercial)
    Cyberduck : FTP client

    OSX must be multi machine system to evolve

  65. Just Textmate & Transmit, all you need basically. Stay away from Office and use your XP machine for that, it’s amazingly slow on Mac.

  66. Mac Book Pro is the right choice to develop ;)

    For my profesional use:

    Coda : easy to use and you can build your own clip or plugins (I am waiting for a completion plugin through a project)… there is the mootools.mode to write faster moo code ;)
    Transmit for FTP (and more), with it you can directly work on a website with coda directly
    Versions for SVN
    Terminal for symfony command (you can also use the coda terminal!!!)
    You don’t need to install MAMP, just enable the built-in Apache server and drag your work in the “Site” folder. I installed macport because I needed a more complete PHP version

    Apps for fun:
    – Adium the best IM client
    – Nambu for twitter
    – Doubletwist
    – Drop Box
    – Evernote
    … some useless others

    And you must install growl!

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!