Today is my second day with my iMac, and I’m totally consumed by it. I mentioned to my wife that I feel like I’ve been transported 10 years into the future as the iMac with the OS X operating system seems so streamlined and futuristic. I’ve spend most of the past two days searching and installing apps which are equivalent to those I’ve used for years on my Windows PC machine. Here’s what I’ve converted to with going to my iMac:
Email: MS-Outlook to Apple Mail
Apple Mail is a very streamlined email client which on the surface seemed too lite for my needs, but in time I realized that it was totally sufficient. For a while it was a toss up between Apple Mail and the 3rd-party freeware called Thunderbird. Both apps look very similar, but the Thunderbird app had many more plug-ins and “themes” to help customize the application. In the end, I decided to stick with Apple Mail since it is designed to be integrated into the Apple OS.
Calendar: MS-Outlook to Apple iCal
I use my calendar for very basic stuff, so I didn’t need a “power” calendar app. What I did need, however, was a way to have 2-way syncing with my Google Calendar in the Cloud. With MS-Outlook on my PC, I needed to have a small background app running continuously to sync my Outlook Calendar with Google Calendar. Fortunately on the Mac, iCal can handle this two-way syncing automatically.
Web Browser: Firefox
I used Firefox on my PC and fortunately I could do the same on the iMac. All of my favorite plug-ins were available, however, the theme I was using on my PC wasn’t available on the iMac. Apple’s Safari browser is good, but I really like using the plug-ins from Firefox. And best of all, Firefox is still free!
Office Suite: MS-Office to iWork
Although I do have MS-Office for the Mac 2008 installed on my iMac, I prefer to use Apple’s iWork suite of products. For $49 US (after the $30 rebate), the iWork suite seems to be a good deal compared to MS-Office. Pages is the counterpart to MS-Word, Numbers to MS-Excel, and Keynote to MS-Powerpoint.
Palm WebOS Development: VirtualBox, Eclipse, WebOS
For my Palm WebOS development work, I’m using the exact same software as I did on the PC platform. So no changes there.
Text Editor: Notepad++ to Text Wrangler
I really loved using NotePad++ on my PC for code editing, and was lucky to find a similar product with Text Wrangler for the Mac. In fact, the Mac counterpart looked much better and fuller featured than NotePad++.
Media Player: Windows Media Player to VLC
VLC is a freeware video player which does a good job playing various windows formatted video files such as WMV. I tested it with some of my Zune-formatted WMV files and it worked great.
Notes Clipping App: EverNote
EverNote is the same for the PC and Mac, so this was a no brainer move.
So that’s a short list of the major apps I had to deal with during my Mac transition. I also installed apps for file compression (zip), remote desktop connection, screen capture, WiFi scanning, and cloud storage (DropBox). So I’m now at the point where I can be productive again.
In addition to all my apps, I also copied over my documents and files from the PC to the Mac. This was my chance to clean house a bit, and spent a few hours deleting old files which I wouldn’t need on my Mac. So I’m feeling good now with all of that over with, and I can now focus on exploring and learning how to use my new iMac!