questionswhat are some essential apps for a new mac owner?

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Typinator, Hazel, properly customized Firefox, M$ Office 2011, Google Notifier, MenuMeters, Growl (though if you got Mountain Lion, the new Notification Center makes it somewhat less useful), HandyPrint if you have an iOS device, Dropbox, iTeleport if you need remote access to your or other computers, and GrandPerspective, which will become more useful as your hard drive begins to fill up.

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Microsoft Office, Spotify, MacKeeper, Chrome

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Growl's no longer necessary. Skitch is nice if you do screenshots very often. I LOVE Quicksilver for launching apps.

If you don't want backups every single hour, but want to use Time Machine, then you want TimeMachineEditor. I do my backups every 4 hours and save some energy.

I prefer Chrome to Safari, but I have no complaints about Mail, Address Book, or iCal. So no substitutes needed there.

If you have an iOS device, Delivery Status is available in both iOS and Dashboard Widget form. It's an app for tracking package deliveries - almost any tracking number you can think of. And there's somebody who's developed a Woot Dashboard Widget showing the current daily deals.

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picasa is a must. Don't use iphoto - when you let it search your photos, it finds them all and puts them into one giant ball of a multi-GB file. Picasa can do everything iphoto does, it's faster and lighter, and it preserves your original folder organization.

If you've got an android phone, i recommend double-twist for perfect wi-fi syncing of calendars, music, and other files.

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WoW
Having been a Mac user for about a decade I am shocked that I barely even recognize about half of those mentioned above, lol.

Dropbox - great for transferring pics or just about any other file from your mac to another (Drop)box - even a friends!

VLC - the easiest & simplest player - vid, music etc that seems to never need updated codecs (whatever those are)! Just tell your file to open with VLC no matter the format and it will usually do very well with it!

Skype (especially if you can get a pre-microsoft version) - great for video chatting with anyone in the world.

Transmission - seems to be the simplest file sharing app (anyone know a better one?).

Carbon Copy Cloner - makes a back up copy of your system (on another HD in case your Air really gets messed up). And it is free.

SuperEmptyTrash - for those cases when your Trash just refuses to empty no matter how many times you try...

YouTube to MP3 - name says it all.

Could go on, if you would like more ask, k

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btw

Do a Google to find: Mac + (name of app) will usually bring up download site.

Just make sure you dont download the windowz version (as there may be a version of that out there too.