E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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10 Essential Windows Tools for the Mac (That I Am Keeping)

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After the initial couple of weeks using more and more the MacBook Pro I must say that I am still enjoying the experience quite a bit. I have already started the migration of most of the productivity tools that I use at work and over the next few weeks I shall be sharing some further thoughts on what the new environment is like. However, I thought I would get started with this series by mentioning the first round of Windows tools that I am still going to keep using in the Mac. I consider them essential, even more when the experience is even much more enjoyable.

Thus from here onwards I am just going to detail the first 10 tools I am keeping in the Mac and which I will continue using rather heavily. Then in subsequent blog posts I will share some further thoughts on other tools I am adopting and which are native to the Mac. And, in between, and throughout those entries, I shall be sharing further thoughts on the various options from IBM tools I am using for the Mac. And see how far I can go. So, let’s get started:

1. Opera: Yes, I know, Safari is the default Web browser for the Mac, but I feel that Opera is still the fastest one out there, so it will continue to be my default application for everything related to browsing Web 1.0 sites and  some of the Web 2.0 ones. In case you may not have tried it out I seriously encourage you to take it for a spin for a week and you will see you will not be back.

2. Flock: Oh, and for the Web 2.0 applications that I get to use on a regular basis, Flock still remains my default Web browser. Just as good as in Windows it allows me experience different social software tools without not noticing whether I am on Windows or the Mac. Just perfect.

3. FireFox: And for the different Web sites where neither Opera or Flock work I am making use of the good old (slow, CPU hog, incredibly slow) FireFox. I just wished that when people would put together those superb extensions they would also make them work for Flock. Not too much asking, don’t you think?

4. Skype: Definitely, my default VoIP and Instant Messaging client. It was one of the first tools that I installed in the Mac and I am just as happy with it as I was with the Windows version. Put simply, it just works (Despite the recent outage for several hours after years of not seeing anything like it. Not too bad!)

5. Qumana: I know that a few of my friends and work colleagues have recommended that I get to try out ecto, as perhaps the best offline blogging client for the Mac, and for a few days I did give it a try. However, I wasn’t sold on it too much. Perhaps I will keep testing it out and see how it goes, although having to pay for it is not what I am really looking forward to thus far. Why? Because in Windows I am rather content with how Qumana works. I still think it is one of the best offline blogging clients, rather solid and incredibly easy to use. In fact, I am writing this particular blog post with it and it feels exactly the same as in Windows, but with the Mac flavour 😉

6. iTunes: Yes, you could surely make use of it directly in the Mac, after all it is an Apple product, but I am surely glad that I am not missing anything out on the good stuff I had in my Windows machine. And on top of that, it already came installed with it. So it will still remain as my default podcast and vodcast player, amongst many other things. By the way, you can really see how this particular app. was designed for the Mac, and not for Windows. Nifty!

7. Audacity: This is perhaps one of the very first Open Source applications I am porting over from Windows in order to continue making extensive use of it to create, record, produce and edit different audio files. It is ideal to record podcasts, audio conference calls and webcasts and whatever else. And the user experience is just the same. So I am keeping it. No doubt.

8. Adium: Ok, this is not a Windows tool. We all know that. But if I wanted to keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family using whatever the IM network I needed to have an option for the Mac. And most of my friends suggested Adium as probably one of the best and although I am not making use rather heavily from the various IM networks as I used to (As I said, most of those interactions are now coming through Skype) I still went ahead and installed it. And will still be making use of it, specially since it would also allow me to connect with Google Talk, my second default VoIP and IM client. Perhaps, at a later time, I will provide some more details on what the experience is like for the Mac.

9. Lotus Mobile Connect: This has been the first of the IBM applications for the Mac that I have installed. And right on the same day that I bought the machine, since I wanted to check it out and get that one fixed. And avoid surprises. And boy, does it work beautifully or what? With it I can access the IBM internal network without a single problem. If there is anything else that I can say about it is that it works! Really nice!

10. Lotus Sametime 7.5.1:  And, finally, here you have got the second IBM tool that I have installed in this machine. I have been using this particular VoIP and IM client for a number of months and to date it is one of the tools that I am using on a regular basis for most of my real-time interactions. And it works beautifully. Something that I am really happy about as I couldn’t leave without it, specially with the various social networking capabilities it offers. But more on that as time goes on.

And that would be it. Next step would be to talk about the next round of tools I have decided to continue making use of in my MacBook Pro. There are quite a few to be honest, so one of the things that I have been very conscious of is to keep those tools to a minimum, to help avoid some clutter and ensure things are running smooth. After all it is a Mac. So how much clutter can you add to it? Very little, right? … You bet!

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  1. Luis, great to find this!. I have just ordered a MacBook Pro and I’m preparing the SW I will install. Is there a specific version of the Mobile Connect for the Mac or does the one on ISSI just work?. I have got 5.x working on my phone with some preferences hacking but it is Windows Mobile6. Thanks in advance.


  2. Hi Mike! Thanks a bunch for the feedback comments and for the info details! Congrats on the new acquisition and welcome to the club! It’s great to be on the Mac side, eh? 🙂 heh

    Right, there is a specific version for the Mac you would need to install, but, unfortunately, cannot share the link over here, since it is an internal URL behind the firewall. Please do ping me on Sametime some time this week and I will be able to send it across. If you already have got an LMC account, you would just need to download and install the software and off you go! Ready to rock!!

    Let me know whenever you get a chance and if you have got any other further questions do not hesitate to let me know. I will be more than happy to help out where I possibly can! 🙂

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