Reducing Clutter On A Mac – Doing A Clean Install Of Snow Leopard

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While upgrading to Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro went well I realised that doing a completely fresh install would probably be a good idea.


When I got the MBP about two years ago it had OSX Tiger on it, which was then upgraded to Leopard and that was upgraded to Snow Leopard. God only knows what kind of crud was left hanging around the system. I also have a habit of downloading software, installing it, playing with and then forgetting that it's there. The end result - a very messy hard drive.

So a clean install on a freshly formatted hard drive made sense.

It also means that I can now install only the software that I actually need and use. (Of course I'd be kidding myself if I honestly believed that a new "diet" will last!)

So after a fairly uneventful install process, what did I install?

  • Firefox - I don't really like Safari, so I use Firefox and a number of plugins (Alexa Sparky, Google Toolbar, SEOMoz, Delicious and a few more)
  • Microsoft Office for the Mac - while I use Apple's Mail App for my email due to issues I've had with Entourage, I need to be able to manipulate documents produced by Office. I've used open source alternatives, but since we have licenses for Office...
  • Ecto - there's something very calming about composing blog posts in a simple environment without any distractions AND also being able to do so offline is a plus
  • QuickSilver - one of the most useful little utilities for OSX. You can put plenty of applications in your dock, but accessing some less frequently used ones is so much easier via QuickSilver
  • iShowUHD - A really nice application for doing screencasts
  • Tweetdeck (and Adobe Air) - I've tried several Twitter apps, but Tweetdeck is about the only one that I'm happy with. Also available in iPhone flavour!
  • Adium - The OSX instant messaging solution for all your needs
  • Skype - Being able to call friends on the other side of the globe at no cost? Do I really need to explain that one? Total no brainer
  • Adobe Acrobat - while "Preview" can open PDFs it doesn't have as many features as Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Flash Player - I think this is installed by default, but they've had so many security issues with it recently that grabbing the most recent version seemed like a good idea
  • Pixelmator - a nice and easy to use application for editing images. Think Photoshop without the hefty pricetag!

There are probably a few other applications that I was using regularly prior to this reinstall, but I'll either live without them or install them as I realise how "important" they are.

Update: Also needed to grab a few multimedia addons for audio and video formats that the Mac doesn't support

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