This post is dedicated to Me7sin and all Windows renegades out there; congrats on your new Mac! Hope you find this useful.
First thing to do is getting all available updates for your Mac by clicking on the Apple icon on your menubar (on the upper left corner) and select "Software Update". This will keep your Mac up-to-date so make sure you download them all. Installing/Removing applications: Installing any application on Mac is a matter of Drag/Drop, just double click on the disk image (*.dmg) file extension, a removable disk icon will show on the desktop, open it and drag and drop the application icon into your "Applications" folder. If you want to remove an application simply drag that application icon and drop it in your Trash then empty it. If you want to remove every single relative file of that application, just search for the name of that application using Spotlight (on the upper right corner) and drag/drop all relative (*.plist) files into Trash then empty it. System Preferences: Like Windows Control Panel; System Preferences is where you can control all preferences on your Mac. It doesn't take a computer scientist to figure it out so make sure you surf a little inside that menu to have an idea of what it contains. Utilities: If you look around your Applications folder you'll find Utilities folder. This is where you can manage your Mac's utilities. The reason why I pointed this in priorities is because in Disk Utility you can mount/unmount, fix, remove, and repair disks & permissions. It is recommended that you repair disk permissions each time you install/remove applications or get new updates from the net.
- Must-have Applications:-
Stuffit Expander: Stuffit expander will unpack almost all compressed files such as .sit, .sitx, .zip, .rar, and some others. Make sure you install it because you need it to uncompress some apps/files. Real Player: To play Real media. (.rm/.ram) Windows Media Player: To play Windows Media. (.wmv/.wma) VLC -OR- Mplayer: Both are video players that can run almost any type of video (even .flv) except Real media. I personally prefer VLC over Mplayer. However, having them both won't hurt you. Adium: Although there's a version of MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger for your Mac, they're not as good as Adium. Adium is by far the best instant messenger there is for your Mac because it can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more! The only downside is that it doesn't support voice/video yet, but that's not a big deal. Roxio Toast: The mighty CD/DVD burner for all Macs. Transmission: The ideal torrent client for your Mac. Also Vuse and xTorrent although the first is quite heavy and the latter is not for free.
- Other useful Applications:-
DivX Player: For playing DivX videos. Web Browsers: FireFox, Opera, Flock. GraphicConverter: If you miss MS Paint then this is a better alternative. Amadeus Pro & Sound Studio: For audio editing but they're not free. Audio Hijack: Audio recorder that will come in handy if you want to record (convert) Real Audio into any other type. Path Finder: An innovative file browser and manager with powerful tools. Not free though. Pref Setter: Useful utility application for editing (.plist) files. TinkerTool: Another useful utility application that can expand your Finder options such as viewing hidden files (files that begin with dot "." are hidden on Macs) and lots more. HandBrake: Rip full DVD movies directly into iPod compatible .mp4 mode. TubeSock: Downloads and converts .flv videos directly from YouTube. (ps: works only with YouTube).
For all other video sites simply follow these steps.
OmniDictionary: English to Multilingual (including Arabic) lexicons.
Dashboard; Useful Widgets:-
iStat Pro: The ultimate system monitoring widget, consisting of nine sections which can be minimized, expanded, or closed. Amazon Album Art: Search for artwork for the currently playing track and import into iTunes with the click of a button. Organized: Take care of the little jobs with Organized, a new widget from iSlayer featuring a calendar with events, world clocks, notes and to do’s. ABD Indicator: Adult Body Mass Indicator; Are you overweight, obese or maybe under weight? Find out for yourself with this helpful widget. This version has a smaller footprint and you can enter your height in inches and feet rather than all inches. Also includes metric units. Gmail & Blogger Widgets: Gmail inbox & quick posting on Blogger in two widgets. Suduku: Play Suduku on your dashboard. Mono Solitaire: Play Solitaire on your dashboard. BubbleTrouble: Waste some time with this game. The Holy Qur'an: Read and Search the Quran in Arabic, English, French and Spanish on your Dashboard! ThinkFree Viewer: View ThinkFree or Microsoft Office word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation files without having any other office applications installed. After installing the appropriate Widget simply drag and drop files from your desktop, or copy and paste the Web URL into the ThinkFree Widget. Web Translator: Web Translator is a little widget that lets you translate any web page to and from ten different languages using AltaVista's Babel Fish translator and/or Google's Translation service. So when you come across a page that's written in a different language, Web Translator is the widget you need. Wikipedia Widget: A Dashboard widget for browsing the free, user-created encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Search for articles and view from the Dashboard, complete with pictures and links. Utility Button: UtilityButton is a small widget that gives you easy access to Mac OS X utilities that you use sometimes, but don't want cluttering up your dock. All you do is click on the button, choose the utility, and it opens.
- Tips & Hints:-
Get used to keyboard shortcuts. They're very useful.
Here are some of the most useful shortcuts:-
fn+F9: Expose ALL applications. (or F3 alone) fn+F10: Expose all windows of the active application. fn+F11: Show desktop. fn+F12: Dashboard. (or F4 alone) Commands+shift+3: Capture current screen. Commands+shift+4: Capture selected area of the screen. Commands+Q: Quit application. Commands+W: Close active window. Commands+alt+esc: Force quit. Commands+ "," (comma): Application preferences. Commands+I: Show file information. Commands+shift+B: Send file via Bluetooth. Commands+alt+ctrl+8: Invert screen colors. Commands+alt+8: Turn on magnification.
----> Commands + (+/-) = zoom in/out.
Commands+Tab: Swap between active applications. Commands+shift+N: New Folder Commands+shift+A: Opens Applications folder.
& some quick hints:-
- One finger: Move cursor.
- Two fingers: Scroll up/down, Zoom in/out.
- Three fingers: Next/previous document pages, Back/next browser page.
- Four fingers:
Up > Desktop, Down > Expose,
Left/Right > Active Applications..
In recent Apple laptops (Intel Based) you can configure your trackpad to have a Right-click by placing two fingers on your trackpad + click or tap your trackpad with two fingers. This can be enabled/disabled in "System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse"
And that's about all you need for a start. Hope it's helpful.
PS: I'll be updating this post frequently whenever there's new stuff to add.