Macintosh User Groups
Macintosh user groups provide a place to interact with other Mac users, to ask questions and socialize. There are often special interest groups (SIGs) that meet regularly to discuss specific topics.
User Group Resources
- Apple User Groups gives information about user groups and provides help to user group leaders.
- Apple's Find a User Group allows you to search for a group within the United States or by country.
Macintosh Information Sites
Other than Mac user groups, the Internet is the best source for help with your challenges.
- Apple — the place to start for Mac products and information.
- Mactopia — Microsoft products for the Macintosh.
Downloads and Information
- FAQs.org — Macintosh — various FAQs for the Mac.
- MacTracker provides detailed information on every Apple Macintosh computer ever made, including items such as processor speed, memory, optical drives, graphic cards, supported Mac OS versions, and expansion options.
- apple-history.com provides information on Apple computers and products by date, family and processor type.
- VersionTracker: Mac OS X Software is a free Macintosh software download site for Mac OS X freeware, shareware, etc.
- Info-Mac HyperArchive.
- MacFixIt — troubleshooting solutions for the Macintosh.
- Unsanity products — additions for Mac OS X that add extra functionality.
- Isolating issues in Mac OS X provides a methodical approach to determining the source of software (and hardware) issues.
Apple has a Force Quit option for programs that don't respond to a normal shutdown request. This should be your last resort option.
- Mac OS X: How to quit an unresponsive application using Force Quit — Apple's guidelines.
- 6 Ways to Force Quit Mac Applications.
Backing Up Your Email
People use Macs because of the relative lack of security vulnerabilities compared in particular to Windows. However, with the increased popularity of Macs has come a new set of security threats.
Viruses & Malware
I strongly recommended that you install antivirus and anti-malware protection on your Mac.
This list of Mac software is not extensive and is listed for the purpose indicated. A more extensive listing can be found on the Apple site
Reports are appearing about increased risk of malware and viruses to Apple computers (as well as the ever-more-ubiquitous hand-held devices) and I'm starting to hear from Mac users infected with malware. Do not click on links sent via email and be wary of websites and sudden warnings of infections.
You need to be running an antivirus program on your Mac:
- ClamXav is a free virus scanner for Mac OS X that uses the open source antivirus engine for detecting threats.
- avast! Free Antivirus for Mac.
- 10 Best Anti-Virus Programs for Macs — rates several programs in order of increasing price and lists the requirements (some only work on Intel-based Macs).
Antivirus & Anti-Malware Protection
You can learn more about malware from these resources:
- How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware — Apple support documentation.
- AVG LinkScanner for Mac — free software that indicates if a link in Safari is trustworthy. (Look below the huge Free Download for Windows button for the Mac download.)
LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice
Free Office Alternatives
Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice provide the core features of Microsoft Office and are both free to download, use, and distribute.
Governments, education, businesses, not-for-profits, IT businesses and more are using Apache OpenOffice products (and LibreOffice) as their standard office software.
Minimum Requirements for Mac OS X (X11)
Apache OpenOffice runs on many operating systems including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The Mac OS X requirements have been included below.
- Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or higher
- Intel Processor
- 512 MB RAM
- 400 MB available disk space
- 1024 x 768 or higher resolution with 16.7 Million colours
Java is required to use full LibreOffice or Apache OpenOffice functionality (I recommend using the latest version available). See Java for Mac OS X or Oracle's Java Downloads for All Operating Systems page.
HTML and Text Editors
WYSIWYG HTML Editors
- Taco HTML Edit is a freeware full-featured HTML and PHP editor for Mac OS X.
- BBEdit ($125 USD) is an excellent HTML text editor.
- TextWrangler is now free, and considered the replacement for BBEdit Lite. There is a TextWrangler FAQ that should answer questions about the intended market for this product and the advantages of moving to the full-featured BBEdit.
- BBEdit Lite is discontinued. There is still a download available here, which you'll need if you are not running OS 10.
- Safari Browser is the Mac OS X default web browser and supports the latest standards and features.
- Firefox Browser is available for Mac OS X 10.2.x and later.
- iCab Browser. This alternative browser for the Mac is highly customizable and includes image filtering, which eliminates banner ads.
- iCloud includes email, calendar and more. available for OS Lion 10.7.2 or iOS 5.
- Mozilla Thunderbird is available for Mac OS X 10.2.x and later.
- Interarchy ($59 USD) is a good Mac FTP program that requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later.
- Manager is free cloud-based accounting software that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. It includes modules such as cashbook, invoicing, receivables, payables, taxes and comprehensive financial reports. You'll need to create an account to use this program and your data will be stored in the “cloud” rather than on your computer.
- VLC media player is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols.
- Making the Macintosh: Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley - An online project documenting the history of the Macintosh computer.
- apple-history.com has information on Apple products listed by date which provides an excellent historical reference.
This page is maintained as a service to Macintosh users.
Updated: March 15, 2013