The Essential Mac: Introduction

Earlier this year, Apple released a new version of the Mac operating system, OS X, code-named Mountain Lion. This is the third upgrade to the OS since I first purchased my Mac, and I have a well-practiced process for upgrades. The process is as follows:
1. Update all my applications, either manually or with the help of the Mac App store
2. Backup my disc with Time Machine
3. Verify and fix all of my disks with Disk Utility
4. Download and install the new OS
5. Repeat steps 1 and 2

So far the process has served me well, with no major gotchas due to an upgrade. Obviously, Apple has to take a lot of the credit here. I’ve never before worked on a platform so easy to upgrade- I ran my last two upgrades during breakfast.

I’m saving some of the credit for myself, though. Deciding when to run the upgrade process is a critical part of pain-free upgrades. A huge part of that decision is using RoaringApps, an online wiki that describes which applications have been tested on the new operating system. I never upgrade without checking first that all of my critical apps are supported and working.

Which leads to an interesting question– What are my critical Mac applications that I just cannot live without? I’ll explore this in a series of blog posts. Coming up first: Task Management

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