Here’s a little guide/list of things I do when setting up an OS X machine.
- Make sure to reformat using media the isn’t compromised. Download it directly from apple where possible.
- 1 Enable built in firewall.
- 2 Enable “FileVault” – Apples built in encryption
- 3 Install ALL available Updates
- 4 Setup your screen save to automatically turn on after 15 minutes and require a password.
- 5 Communications
- 6 Install Applications
- 7 Menubar Apps
- 8 Terminal Applications I also use
Enable built in firewall.
System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Turn On Firewall
Enable “FileVault” – Apples built in encryption
System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> FileVault -> Turn On FileVault
Install ALL available Updates
Apple Menu -> Software Update
Install all available updates. Enable Automatic Updating as well.
Setup your screen save to automatically turn on after 15 minutes and require a password.
For Instant Messaging, use Adium, its free and supports all the common protocalls (AIM, Facebook, Google Chat, etc). It also supports OTR (Off The Road) messaging.
- Use PGP.
- Automatically sign all outgoing messages so that other people you interact with all have your pub key.
This is my favorite application for instant messaging. It supports most of the protocalls out there (AIM, Google Chat, ICQ, IRC, etc) and it also supports OTR (Off The Road) messaging.
Apple Remote Desktop
No easier or more efficient way to connect to other Apple machines. (Available in App Store)
Caffeine is a free utility that sits in the taskbar. It appears as a coffee cup. When you click it, it toggles between being on and off. When the cup is full of coffee, and caffeine is engaged, then your computer will not go to sleep or dim. This is very useful for when your watching a movie, downloading something and don’t want your computer to go to sleep, or whatever other reason. (Cost: Free. Available in App Store or at the website.
I use this to keep all my eBooks organized. It provides two primary functions. First it keeps a nice catelog of all my books, it will even help download cover art and such if its missing. Second, it will convert books of any format into a format that my ebook reader can handle (i.e. iPad or Kindle). I can drop a PDF, or whatever other format book into the application and it will convert it to something the ipad can handle and add it to iTunes. (Cost: Free)
Cog is a great (and free), very simple, multi-format music player. (Cost: Free)
Simple RDP Remote Desktop (For connecting to windows machines).
This is a great journal. It syncs with dropbox to your iPhone as well so that you can easily save notes, photos, etc. Keep a log of things you do and a place to write down all those important notes that you don’t have another place for. (Available in App Store)
Evernote is a note taking applications. All the notes are stored on their server (You get a certain amount of usage monthly for free). They also have iPad, Blackberry, iPhone, Android, etc applications so that you can access and add to your notes from anywhere. I love the ability to take a snapshot of something on my phone and immediately have it saved into a note. Helps get rid of extra paper, just take a photo of the page with evernote, upload it, and throw out the physical piece of paper. (Available in App Store)
KeePassX is a password safe. You lock it with one master password, and then can have all your other passwords saved within. In this fashion, for every new account I create somewhere, I generate a random password, then save that password, along with the username and any notes, KeePass. This way every account I have uses a different password, so if one password is ever compromised (for whatever reason, say the site I have the account at gets hacked), the password will only be good for the one site in question. There’s also an iPhone and Blackberry app for KeePass databases. I recommend version 2.
Free, Easy to use, light weight program for extracting rar’d up archives. This can handle both multipart and single file rars. Since using this I’ve never looked back. Double click a rar in finder to extract it.
This is in my opinion the best emulator around for running windows/unix/osx virtual machines. It’s a free download as well.
Play any kind of media easily and for free.
- Stock meter
- you control tunes
- Menu Meters
- Coin Notify
Terminal Applications I also use
- lftp (via homebrew)
- encfs (via homebrew)