Mac Daddy

I recently ordered a MacBook (the White 2.0). I was going to wait until Leopard came out but the new features don't look all that compelling (other than maybe Spaces). I thought there might also be a hardware update in the next few months but I bought the MacBook refurbished (~$250 less) and any new Macbook wouldn't hit the refurb store for a long time.

This is my 3rd Apple product. iPod nano -> Airport Express -> MacBook. Well played, Apple. Boot Camp was the clincher...

Anyways, I've got a few questions:

1) Browser? Safari seems more than adequate but what about Firefox or Camino? I like the Firefox extensions in Windows. Does that give it a leg up on a Mac as well?

2) Torrent clients? For, um, sharing... improv tips...

3) How much space on the HD does OS X take up? Any useless apps that are typically uninstalled to save space?

I'm sure there will be more to come. Any advice or tips to a Mac n00b are welcome. If I remember, I'll post my impressions.

Posted by vinny9 on March 29, 2007 with category tags of

1. Safari works pretty well, I used it for a long time. I'm using Firefox now, and most (all?) extensions work on the mac side too.

2. I'm using Transmission as my torrent application. It's simple and works.

3. A few gigs I think. GarageBand takes up a wackload of space that can be deleted if you're not planning on using it.

VersionTracker is probably the best site for finding Mac software when you need something specific. Search for what you want and look at the user ratings and comments.
   comment by dustin (#1) on March 29, 2007

I've also had my eye on a macbook, let me know how you like it. I'm planning on waiting for a while before doing this, but I do want one.

Actually do any sillytechers have another suggestion? My needs are a simple small form factor laptop with good battery life. A large display and impressive stats aren't all that important to me. The purpose of this machine would primarily be web-browsing, email, basic office applications, and possibly watching the odd movie on a plane. Essentially I need a stripped down laptop that travels well for when I'm away from home.
   comment by KingCasey on March 29, 2007

Welcome to the Mac!

1. I use Safari for 95% of my browsing. Firefox works well (as do the extensions) but Camino is a native port of Firefox that is much faster.

2. I don't really use Bit Torrent, but I've heard Transmission is good.

3. Hard to answer. I would wait until you know what you will use before you delete stuff. If you reinstall, you can also remove drivers and localizations you know you will not need.

One thing I do with all new Macs is to reinstall OS X. But first partition your main disk into two partitions. Install OS X on the first. And make the second your "data" partition. Then use the Network Info Manager in the Applications/Utility folder to move your user's home directory to the second partition. This allows you to reinstall OS X or upgrade to Leopard with no worries of harming your data.

Enjoy your new Mac.
   comment by Jon Trainer on March 29, 2007

I literally spent an hour last night looking for a new Torrent client for my little MacBook.

I had been using XTorrent, which rocked my world, but their most recent update makes it altogether useless without registering, and $20 for a torrent client defeats all purposes for anything ever.

What XTorrent had which was super fantastic was a internal search engine that pretty much did all torrent finding you needed and organized it like any other downloading program (e.g. Limewire, Acquisition, etc.). Also, somehow or another, XTorrent consistently connected quickly and gave me lightning fast download speeds.

I looked and looked and all the other ones I tried were not satisfying me in one way or another (mostly sexually).

Finally I stumbled on BitRocket. Its in its Alpha stage, but it is essentially an opensource version of XTorrent. It looks and feels very similar and gives me similarly excellent download speeds. It has an internal search, too, which seemed to be not quite up and running, but thats OK because you can still open external torrents.

The short of it is, I downloaded about 3 or 4 other apps (Azureus, Tomato Torrent, and some widget), and download speeds (after a slow connect) would not exceed 5-10 kb/s. BitRocket, with the same file, shot up to 60-100 kb/s within seconds. Case closed in my book.

I haven't had it long (about 10 hours, which was long enough to download the latest episode of House), but I highly recommend it, even in its Alpha stage.

Oh, and a post script: Many nerdy Mac Torrent fora said that Transmission is bad because it doesn't adhere to certain standards and trackers block it. I don't understand completely, but you can easily find more info if you Google it.
   comment by Gbrowdy (#55) on March 29, 2007

1) I use Firefox, not a big fan of Safari.

2) I use Azureus for all my sharing needs. It suffices, but I'm sure there is better out there.

3) It takes up a fair bit of space, but as Dustin said it comes with all kinds of extra software that you'll never use, and can be deleted.

4) Enjoy.
   comment by LePhil (#198) on March 29, 2007


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