Must-have programs for your new Mac

You have just un-boxed your shiny new Apple computer, connected it to the Internet and are now ready to download some useful programs. Here is a short list of free programs that we find indispensable on our Macs:

With built-in iSight cameras on most Apple machines now, Skype offers an easy way to chat and see friends and family anywhere in the world. Free from computer to computer and with low priced calls available to land lines and mobiles, Skype provides an all round communication tool.
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time. Particularly useful in conjunction with a mobile device.
Install the Logmein program any of your Macs or PCs and access them anytime from anywhere. The free version provides basic remote control functions, with paid versions providing extra functions such as remote printing.
Use your voice, email, instant messaging or SMS to capture, retrieve and share ideas and reQall lists the things you need to do. The iPhone application makes your lists available at any time.
Growl is a notification program that allows applications that support Growl to send you updates. A choice of display options is available and allows you to follow updates in your system easily.
PTHPasteboard Pro Keeps a record of all the items you have copied or cut to your clipboard. So you can paste not just the last item, but any item in the history, be it text or image.
Skitch is the ideal tool for capturing images, saving, sending or uploading.
1Password is a password manager with many extra features. If you have the same password for all your website logons and don’t want to remember lots of different complex passwords, this is the program for you. It will allow you to generate secure passwords for each site and remember them for you. Identities can also be stored with credit card and bank details for secure storage and ease of form filling.
VirtualBox allows you to install other operating system within your Mac. So for instance if you run an accounts package on your PC and there’s no OS X version, install VirtualBox and choose a version of Windows to access at any time. You can even download the latest Microsoft operating system called ‘Windows 7’ for free, to try out until the end of August.
QuickSilver is a launcher that will create a catalogue of applications and some frequently used folders and documents. Activate it, and you can search for and open anything in its catalogue instantly. The search is adaptive, so Quicksilver will recognize which items you are searching for based on previous experience. It also supports abbreviations, so you can type entire words, or just fragments of each. When not in use, Quicksilver vanishes, waiting for the next time you summon it.
Your Mac may have come pre-loaded with the iWork or you may be wondering how to create a Word document. Well one free answer is to download and use the OpenOffice suite.

This is just a selection of the many free applications available to download for OS X on the Mac. Hopefully some or all of these programs will make your use of your Mac more productive and enjoyable.
You can also open the links to all the above-mentioned pages here.


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