the Joy of Macs Recommended Software



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Alsoft DiskWarrior 5

When hard disk corruption occurs, your Mac may behave strangely (e.g., loooong pauses in Finder or Open/Close dialogs). In severe cases your Mac will refuse to startup. When Apple's Disk First Aid (a feature of the Disk Utility) fails to fix a corrupted disk, turn to DiskWarrior.

See the "Repairing your Mac's hard drive directory with DiskWarrior" in the Joy of Macs Cookbook for more information about using DiskWarrior.

Alsoft's DiskWarrior 5 is the disk repair champion. Have it on hand before problems arise.

Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" (10.6)

Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" is still available for those who need a stepping stone to a later version of OS X, which is available only from the Mac App Store (which first appeared in 10.6.6).

Snow Leopard requires a Mac with an Intel processor, 1 GB of RAM, and Leopard (10.5).

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011

Although iWork apps can read and write Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, some Office features are not supported. For maximum compatibility with Office for Windows documents, Office for Mac is the solution.

Office for Mac 2011 Home & Student includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Office for Mac 2011 Home & Business adds Outlook, an email, calendar and contact manager app compatible with Microsoft Exchange 2007 or 2010 servers.

Note: An alternative to Outlook is the Mac OS X Mail, iCal and Address Book apps. Mac OS X 10.6 supports Exchange 2007, and 10.7 supports Exchange 2010.

FileMaker Pro 13 & FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced

FileMaker Pro 13 is a superb desktop database application for Mac OS X and Windows.

Note: Upgrades are available to licensed users of previous releases of FileMaker Pro.

See also: FileMaker Pro 13: The Missing Manual

FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced has all the features of FileMaker Pro 13 plus advanced development tools (Database Design Reports, custom menus, custom functions, royalty-free runtime solutions, script debugger).

See also: FileMaker Pro 13: The Missing Manual

Phone Amego

Mac + Phone = Smarter Phone

Phone Amego fills the gap between your phone and your computer. With Phone Amego, you can streamline calling and call management by automating the typical procedures you would perform when using a phone. Binding the phone and desktop together multiplies capabilities, improving both productivity and customer service.

  • On screen caller ID with optional voice announcement (including Address Book search and web reverse lookup)
  • Dial calls from your Address Book, Daylite, or selected text
  • Keep notes on each call organized by caller in a shared database (shared notes via Dropbox)
  • Call logging and accounting quickly pays for itself if you bill for you time.
  • Deep integration: Contacts, Calendar, Mail, Safari, Growl, etc.
  • See incoming SMS on your Mac without reaching for your phone.
  • Works with many popular phones and services including cell phones, landlines, and VoIP.
Phone Amego Download

Modern Macs no longer have a built-in telephone modem.

This tiny Zoom USB Modem is essential if you'd like to manage your telephone land line with Phone Amego.

Note: The discontinued Apple USB Modem is not supported in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and beyond.

Windows on Mac OS X

Back in Mac's PowerPC days, Virtual PC provided an Intel PC emulator that enabled PC operating systems (mostly various releases of Windows) to run in a window on Mac OS X. Since the Power PC CPU was pretending to be an Intel CPU, performance of Virtual PC, even on the fastest Macs, gave new meaning to the computing adjective "glacial."

With the advent of Macs with Intel Inside™, Windows "virtualization" became a practical solution for Mac users who needs to run Windows applications and the Windows environment at the same time as Mac OS X. (Apple's Boot Camp takes a different approach, allowing you to startup your Mac as a Windows PC or as a Mac, i.e., one or the other, but not both at the same time.)

VMware Fusion is the Windows virtualization solution I've chosen for my Mac. Parallels Desktop for Mac was first to the Mac Intel market with Windows virtualization.

Fusion or Parallels, running on Mac OS X, provides a platform for running an PC operating system (typically MS Windows XP or Windows 7) plus layered applications (e.g., QuickBooks for Windows). So, at a minimum, you need to add a copy of MS Windows to your shopping list.

Windows Vista Home Basic has been unpopular because it's considerably slower than Windows XP on the same hardware.

Choose the Vista Home Basic for System Builders (shown) if you're comfortable supporting yourself -or- the Full Version ($176.49) for support by Microsoft.

Windows 7 Home Premium has better performance than Vista.

Choose the OEM 32-bit Edition (shown) if you're comfortable supporting yourself -or- the Full Version (32/64-bit, $190) for support by Microsoft.

Windows 8 has not been well received, and many users have chosen to stick with Windows 7.

Choose the OEM 64-bit Edition (shown) if you're comfortable supporting yourself -or- the Full Version ($102) for support by Microsoft.