Making the PC-to-PowerBook Move

My wife’s 10-year-old PC is dying again, and I’m tired of resuscitating it. The solution? She gets my little iBook G4 and I get a new 15″ PowerBook. That seems only fair, doesn’t it? But at the same time, I’ve decided to do what thousands before me have done: I”m moving my life (email, IM, word processing, etc.) from Windows to OS X. It’s both exciting and frightenting for a guy who’s lived on a PC for nearly 20 years and knows virtually nothing about Macintoshes. I’ve mostly used the iBook to make sure IT Conversations works okay for Mac owners, but when I took it on vacation recently, I decided to make the change.

What recources exist to help people with this migration? Any tips? Web sites? Books? And what are the must-have utilities and other apps on the Mac? So far, I’ve found the following:

10 thoughts on “Making the PC-to-PowerBook Move

  1. I can’t live without:
    * Default Folder: gives you incredible navigation control with any file selection or save dialog. (
    * MaxMenus: popup menus with lots of options for the four corners of the screen to activate applications, open files, etc. (
    * Audio Hijack Pro: Given your interests, you need this immediately. It lets you record sound or redirect sound among any application or system input or output device. (
    * Soundflower: free virtual audio device tool that is a great help in mixing with Audio Hijack Pro. (
    * AirFoil: if you have an AirPort Express, lets you take any audio output from any application and play it over AirTunes to the Express’s audio output. (


  2. A couple more:

    * ecto, a blog posting program that works with anything that supports the XML-RPC API.
    * NetNewsWire Pro (2.0 beta) for syndication aggregation and automatic podcasting downloads (


  3. NetNewsWire is far and away the best RSS aggregator. I love SuperDuper! for backing up to an external firewire drive I have. You’ll need to have Transmit by Panic for FTP/SFTP.


  4. If you use, you need cocoalicious []. Also, I’d second the reccomendations on NNW and LaunchBar- I couldn’t live without them.


  5. FWIW, rather than along comment, I’ve written a post on this, but don’t have track backs…

    You should definitely check out , a really useful resource for, as they say ‘Mac-Windows Integration Solutions’ : )

    Menu Bar Items
    Apple Mail plug-ins and tools


  6. A few Mac apps I reallt like:

    Text editing
    Enhanced Carbon Emacs
    TextWrangler free lite version of BBedit

    Graphics (Other than Photoshop of course)
    Graphic Converter (Should come with your Powerbook – it did with mine – good barebones graphics editor)
    Gimp 2.0 – free, open source graphics app that does most of what photoshop does. UI is a bit weird but the price is right.Requires X11 to run
    Photoshop Elements: Good value for the money if you don’t want to shell out for full version. Comes with some cammeras and scanners

    NeoOffice J: is OpenOffice for MacOSX. Still in Beta but I find it to be more than adequate as a replacement for Microsoft Office which is expensive

    OmniOutliner: should come with your Powerbook. Great outliner
    Omnigraph: also should come with powerbook Great for flow charts and database schema drawings

    Web browers: Safari, Firefox and Camino (OSX native version of Mozilla) all are solid browsers

    Obviously you will get iLife (iPhoto, imovie, iDVD and Garage Band) as good as advertised

    Apple Mail – good enough for me
    Mozilla Thunderbird
    Mailsmith – from makers of BBedit

    iTerm – Terminal replacement with tabs
    VLC (initially VideoLAN Client) is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, …) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

    More here:


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