Rene’s Mac tips

Rene is a good friend of mine and Mac aficiando. When I got my new MacBook, he passed on these suggestions to make life more bearable for a un*x geek.

Mail — use Thunderbird. Apple Mail, IMHO, sucks

Browser — I recommend Firefox!!!! but you already know that rocks, right?

Plug-ins/add on I recommend.

My favorite is Adblock Plus and NoScript. I consider them essential others that are also nice:

FireFox PDF plugin

DownloadHelper reduces the number of windows you have open Fancy Numbered Tabs


…the uber-geek tools for Macs — ACP….

find out more here

With these tools you can replace some Apple stuff with better apps. In particular, some folks don’t run Finder at all. If you want to do that, you can use "Xfile" as a file browser, which is probably a lot more like what you are used to.

I use this Xfile, CLIX, and Xscan every day!


The best now is MacTeX get it here download the " " link and the ""

The package manager is called TeX Live Manager , but you shouldn’t need to mess with this, as the package manager comes in the large download. Let me know if you have any trouble. (BTW, in the download you get LyX which is a word processor like app that is a front end for LaTex … it sometimes is nice to use when you don’t want to learn how to format something the TeX way but want it to look beautiful.

Dictionary --

I like CocoaAspell the best, it integrates well with apps and the system and you can edit and add dictionaries.

I just looked in my Applications directory and have listed apps that I suggest you consider. These are in alphabetical order, not priority order ….

If you do IM, get Adium

Carbon Copy Cloner is a great tool for disk cloning (for backups too)

Fetch is nice if you don’t want to FTP from command line for whatever reason

(Grab) it’s already on your box — play with it, very useful for screen/window captures, etc.

Graphic Converter is awesome shareware that works for free but takes longer to start. It’s able to do an incredible amount of stuff with any image files — edit, create, reduce size, change colors, etc.

Flip4Mac - Flip4Mac WMV is a collection of QuickTime components that allow you to play, import and export Windows Media files

KompoZer is a lightweight htlm editor that is sometimes just what you need for quick and dirty

ManOpen — viewer for Man files

Monolingual — removes the language files from system and apps. As you know, OS X is multi-lingual, but if you don’t work in 30 languages, you can remove them. I removed 1.x GIG when I ran it. I use it like this:

install stuff, then run it ...

BTW, you can do the same thing MANUALLY. Control Click (brings up a box with more choices) on an app — Select "Show Package Contents" and then go to Contents -→ Resources and get rid of all the x.lpoj folders that aren’t English.

You can also use CLIX in rixstep to do this language pruning.

NeoOffice is a replacement for MS Office and it works pretty well

Pacifist — lets you see Packages from Apple (updates, installs, etc.) so you can extract something you need without running the whole thing.


PDFLab allows you to combine pdf files, remove pages, etc. and export as a new file. I use to extract pages from several docs to combine for a new one, or change the page order, etc. (not sure but may come with MacTex extras)

smcFanControl - those intel Macbooks run hot, this allows you to change the temp the fan kicks in on, as well as some other settings.

Skim is a great replacement for Apple’s "Preview" which is a PDF file viewer. Skim has a lot more features that I use

Simultron is an awesome text editor with lots of nice features for coding! Unfortunately, there seems to be no more development (may be temporary) but it still works great

I’ll write more later with some general tips and info. Here are a few key ones ….

get an external 3 button mouse. These are nice and cheap

don’t forget you have "Spaces" which allows you to have different screens. F8 lets you see them and move windows between screens, and Control + arrow navigates among screens