Carnell’s Customized Setup

I’ve had my Mac for two years and while it seems like a brief time to me in comparison to a good number of my friends I’m a guru and a resource. So I came up with this idea of attempting to put forth an application rundown and throw in some websites that can help your transition be a bit smoother as well as showing you where to go to stay up on all things Apple. There are many “top 100″ app lists for Mac users floating around on the Internet. What I’m trying to do differently here is to provide a basic rundown of apps that I think law students, who are pressed for time, should be aware of.

Let’s Start

Adium – Yes I know, I started with an IM client but it is really beneficial when you’re studying apart from your study group and you have a quick question.

Anxiety – A lightweight app for those of you on the GTD bandwagon. It’s unified with iCal so as you include things you need to do in it they’re copied into iCal.

Appzapper – One of the few apps on here that you have to pay for, but well worth it in my opinion. Appzapper allows you to drag and drop icons from your applications folder into Appzapper itself, thereby making uninstall as easy as, well, installing is. With some apps there are underlying items in different places on your hard drive and using Appzapper makes sure you get all of them.

Camouflage – Camouflage is the equivalent of what you did when your mother told you to clean your room. That is, place everything in the closet until she left. Camouflage hides EVERYTHING on your desktop so that you can enjoy and clean, uncluttered view of your wallpaper. I find this to be great during exam time when I don’t take the time to place files from the desktop into their respective folders, so it allows me to not notice the clutter until when I’m ready to address it.

Sidenote – I love this app for the simple fact that it is quick, simple, unobtrusive and gives me a place to drop quick notes and ideas in without having to open up word or pages. I keep track of songs I’ve heard on Pandora or Artist that I may want to check out that friends have turned me on to. I wouldn’t use this for a place to keep reminders and such, although you could.

Superduper! – A backup program and the second “pay to use” app on this list. However, all is not lost! The backup options are standard and can be used simply by downloading. However to take advantage of scheduled backups and “smart updating” you have to pay for it. Smart updating allows Superduper! to copy your entire hard drive once in it’s entirety and then it only updates what has changed on the drive that is being copied in future backups saving tons of time. Now, some may ask why you need Superduper! when there is Time Machine. The big thing is that Superduper! gives you bootable backups, meaning if your drive goes down you can plug in your external and boot Leopard from there. You can’t do this with Time Machine; it simply stores all your data, so while you do have it, you can’t access it until you get your fried drive replaced and copy your Time Machine backup to the new drive.

Whatsize – Keep track of where all your hard drive space is going. It’s as straight forward as they get and a must have for anyone who is concerned about where their free space is going.

RSS Readers

I don’t have time check every single blog and webpage that I enjoy during the day, so I don’t. I leave it up to my RSS reader which pulls down the articles from my selected websites (feeds) as they’re added. A lot of the major readers are now free so it’s a matter of preference. I’ve used all the ones below at some point in time.

Key Commands

If you’ve ever looked at the toolbar and wondered what some of the scribbles for the keys you’re suppose to press mean look no further than this webpage. I suggest saving it as a PDF on you hard drive. You can do this by selecting “print,” in Firefox/Safari/Camino’s toolbar and selecting PDF.

Personal Suggestions

Quicksilver is the be-all, end-all of Mac apps. Read more about it in this MLS article.

Get a GMail account and link it to Mail.app in the Dock. You never realize how much time you spend GETTING to your email when you have to type in your address, wait for the page to load, etc. This gets it done in one swoop.

If you have the time/desire to customize your icons and wallpapers start with Candybar. It keeps track of all your icons for you and makes switching them in and out a snap, plus it allows you to reset your entire system to the default icons just as easily.

Wallpapers can be found all across the Web. Some good starting points:

Watch anything in Quicktime:
Download the plug-in Perian and enjoy any video file you find on the Web.

Apple News:

Final Thoughts

I hope this has been a big help to those of you are just getting accustomed to your Mac and for those of you who have had your machine for a while I hope I have introduced you to some things that you didn’t know were out there. I would like for this to evolve into a running list of applications because the applications landscape for Mac software changes so quickly.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop me a line at Carnell.Hicks@gmail.com.

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