Creative Geek Geek Love

A Study In Computer Users…

Now that Mike & I both have new computers, it is interesting to see how we use them from the ground up. The night we opened them, we spent the same amount of time on them – doing very different things. He went right into downloading things, getting it all set up just the way he wanted it. Me? I went right into a web browser, played on Flickr, sent some Twitter messages, and surfed the web.

On Christmas Eve, we took our computers over to my parent’s house, and after all the gifts were opened Jason spent time setting up his new iPod on iTunes, and I finally spent a little time tweaking the Mac. Mike showed me how to install things, and I added widgets to my dashboard.

Since that night, I have spent minimal amounts on the computer. Mike is on vacation this week, but I had a meeting yesterday, a meeting today, and have another meeting this weekend. Also, now that I have some energy back, I’m trying to catch up on housework. My computer time has amounted to minutes spent printing documents for the meetings; my email has gone mostly unread except for the business accounts. I haven’t even set up an email client on the new Mac; I’ve been using Gmail or my iPhone for all correspondence. Mike on the other hand has totally pimped out his machine, or is at least well on his way to doing so. He gets up in the morning and it is the first thing he does – spends time on the computer with his morning cup of coffee. (Served up this morning in the thermal coffee mug with the USB connection to keep it warm.) He has talked about getting Gmail IMAP’ed to the iPhone, and his online to-do list is now set to go there too, tied in to Gmail and Twitter. He has figured out how to take DVDs and get them on the iPhone. He has made everything sparkly and shiny. Me? Lucky I finally figured out how to change the wallpaper on the desktop.

I’m jealous. I want a pimped out Mac too. Although at least I’m not that far behind on the learning curve, and I’ve already done my first Mac OS upgrade!

But there are things to do around the house – we’re finally finishing the painting in the living room! – and this week, that is just more important for me. After the crazy rush of the holidays, I still need a break from the glow of the monitor. But someday, I will be upgrading. What should I put on it? The obvious items – PhotoShop and Lightroom – are a given. But what else? Have any recommendations of what you simply have to have on your Mac?

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

7 replies on “A Study In Computer Users…”

Oh let’s see. My beloved programs besides browser/email/Lightroom are:

Adium for IM chat

NetNewsWire for RSS reading

Twitterific for Twitter

CandyBar for endless tweaking and customization.

Preview is an included program on your Mac that is Apple’s version of a PDF reader. So much easier to work with than Adobe’s version.

Also I would recommend some research on Photoshop/Leopard. Seems to be some buggy issues out there.

First thing I did was retrieve some hard drive space by eliminating the foreign languages with Monolingual. It’s a freeware you can get from SoundForge.

Create a standard account and use that. Keep the admin privs for updating and installing new software. It’s safer that way.

Standard apps: GMail Notifier, Twitteriffic, Adium for chat… If you really want to pimp it out search for “OS X Icons” to replace your standard icons. Also hit up sites likes InterfaceLIFT and DeviantART for cool wallpapers. Let me know how I can be of more help!

feel free to talk to me or Ginger if you want info/advice (or post here, since it seems to get you a bunch, too!)

I use iChat for chat, but I add Chax to make it better.

TextWrangler for text and HTML editing.

I turn the Debug menu on in Safari, and I use a nightly build of webkit (hella fast!).

Do not install Input Manager Hacks (or Haxies).

Also, be wary of useless widgets that do stuff. Some of them aren’t smart enough not to run when the dashboard is off and can suck down bandwidth and CPU cycles.

As with any computer, make sure you don’t turn on features you don’t need, both for performance and security (if you don’t use bluetooth, turn it off. if you don’t use ftp, turn it off…)

Of things already mentioned: NetNewsWire, Twitteriffic, and TextWrangler.

If you use Nextflix, get a queue manager; I like Netflix Freak but there are several out there.

iScrobbler with your iTunes if you use

Autorate if you use iTunes and rate your music for use on an iPod/iPhone.

Firefox all tricked out, with Bookdog to keep your bookmarks in sync. You should be able to transport your profile from your Windows machine if you have one.

MarsEdit for blogging from the desktop.

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