I get asked by a lot of people with Windows computers "Can you do this on a Mac?" or "Can this program run on a Mac?"
Sometimes there will be a Mac version of a program, while other times there are Mac programs that do the same thing. I'm just going to list the 10 programs that I cannot live without.
1. MenuMeters. A handy utility that sits in the upper menu bar and lets you see the current CPU, network, memory and hard drive activity and usage without taking up valuable screen real estate. Available for free from http://goo.gl/vmwK2
2. Little Snitch. Protect your privacy with little snitch. Monitors outbound network activity for all programs and processes that may be sending your private information out over the internet. Available for download on free evaluation licence from http://goo.gl/4ko7l or just $29.95 for full purchase.
3. Mozilla Firefox.. Sometimes Safari is incompatible with some web sites. In cases like this you'll need another web browser to continue using the site. You can download Firefox for mac from http://goo.gl/kmKI
4. Transmission. If you spend time on file sharing sites and bit torrents are your thing, this is your program. Download for free from http://goo.gl/8QRi
5. VideoLAN - VLC media player. Move over Quicktime and iTunes, if you want to watch a movie in any format you can think of, VLC is the program for you. Best of all it's open source and free to use. Download from http://goo.gl/DJ2Q Blu-Ray not supported on Mac at present, but there are workarounds.
6. Handbrake 0.9.5. If you need to convert your DVD collection to a compressed format like MP4 or AVI this very handy utility will do the job. With presets like Apple iPod / iPhone / TV you can also have your movies converted to PS3 or XBOX format. You will need to install VideoLan - VLC player before Handbrake as VLC decrypts the DVD's for Handbrake. Download for free from http://goo.gl/0Pd5G
7. Microsoft Office : MAC 2011. I just cannot function without Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Your documents are completely interchangeable with the Windows version, but the programs themselves differ a bit between the platforms and can take a little re-orientation to find the familiar menu functions. Not a big fan of the Entourage or Outlook for Mac - the Mac mail program is superior. Not available for free, but Home and Student version without Outlook available for AUD$209 from http://goo.gl/GJClh
8. PS3 Media Server 1.20.409. PS3 owners rejoice. This wonderful utility acts as a DLNA server that allows you to stream your media files (music, videos, photos) to your PS3 over a wired or wireless router connection. Easy to setup and you'll be watching or listening to your Mac's media in just a few minutes. Free download from code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver
9. Carbon Copy Cloner. Handy backup utility to clone your hard drive and perform backups. Time machine is a brilliant program that constantly backs up your system files and documents, but CCC is useful when you want to replace or exchange a hard drive. Its quick, easy to use and best of all free to download from http://goo.gl/kayb
10. TeamViewer. This one is not for everyone, but IT enthusiasts like myself will appreciate TeamViewer, a program that allows remote support and desktop sharing over an internet connection. It's fast, it's secure and it will save you bucket loads of time with computer support. Users can setup unattended access and effectively dial in to take control of the remote system as if they were sitting in front of the screen. It does not matter what type of computers are being used, Mac to PC, PC to Linux, Linux to Mac, this is a cross platform support tool that allows the remote system to change user settings, restart the remote system and transfer files. About the only thing you can't do is change the CD in the remote system's caddy !
No matter what requirement you might have, chances are there is an equivalent program developed for Apple computers.
Happy computing :)
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