Switching From PC To A Mac?

Mid last year, I bought myself a Mac. At first I had trouble doing the tasks I did on my Windows box. I simply did not have Mac alternatives to the programs I used in Windows.

Now it has been almost a year with my Mac and I have hunted down most of the useful programs to have. I list them here so it may help others converting from a PC.

Word Processor: You can get Microsoft Office for Mac, this is what I use. But if your looking for a free alternative then you can always use Open Office.

HTML Editor: I used Dreamweaver in the Windows box, and now use the Mac version. Dreamweaver is a commercial software.

Graphics Editor: Fireworks has served me well in this area. I am not much of a graphics artist so my work in this area is limited. However there is a version of fireworks for Mac and also the professional graphics package Photoshop has a Mac version. Both Fireworks and Photoshop are commercial softwares.

DVD to DivX: Most people would have used DVD Shrink to do this. Unfortunately, DVD Shrink runs only on Windows. I recently came across a Mac program called HandBrake. This is open source and best of all is just as easy to use as DVD Shrink. It will rip your DVD and encode them to DivX and other formats. It is very powerful and provides a lot of options with a nice clean easy to use interface.

Yahoo Messenger: Luckily Yahoo supports a Mac version of their messenger, so there is no issues here.

MSN Messenger: If you get Microsoft Office, it will come bundled up with MSN Messenger, but a very cut down version. There is no webcam functionality and is missing lots of other features. I use an open source version called aMSN. This does have support for webcams but voice is not supported and won’t be for a while as the open source MSN library it uses does not support voice. There are other messengers such as Aduim, but I have not tried these yet.

If you get completely stuck for an alternative program and feel like you need Windows to complete your task, you can use Parallel Desktops to run Windows on your Mac and then you will have access to all the Windows programs. I sometimes use this as a last resort, however I find myself using this option much less as I discover Mac alternatives to get the job done. The other alternative is to use Boot Camp and run Windows on a seperate partition on your hard drive and then when your Mac boots up, you can decide which OS you wish to run. I personally prefer the Parallel Desktop option as it means you can share files easily between OSX and Windows and not have to keep rebooting your Mac.

I would like to hear from my readers other good alternatives to popular Windows programs.

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