Pimp My iMac – setting up the home office in Jerusalem

Today was a major step forward in our Aliyah (move to Israel): I opened up the card table, pulled in a chair from the kitchen, and set up a home office in the spare bedroom.  Being the ridiculous tech-head I am, I was not just satisfied with putting out my Bezeq wireless router, Vonage phone, and laptop out on the table, no, I pulled out the two flat screens, the Apple Airport router, and the mother of them all – the brand new, beautiful 24” iMac (unopened until now).  Despite being on small surface, I couldn’t resist firing up the new machine.  It is awesome.

set up

I love seeing my work this big.  Sure, my work laptop is open for Outlook stuff, but anything I need to do on Connected (my professional network that I manage) is getting done on this baby (including this blog post).  One problem (besides the need to get my $9.99 upgrade to Snow Leopard via faxing in the form to Apple), the Leopard suite installed on the computer is very bare.  No Office programs, just the basic Mac stuff: Mail (which I still find useless), iChat (awesome), iTunes (eh), Garage Band (excellent), and others.  I forgot that my MacBook from 2006 had the Office suite on it.  What to do – buy Office or go Open Source?  Now that I’m Israeli and have NO money – go Open Source of course!

These are the programs I downloaded for my new iMac from the gate:

Firefox –   Easily the world’s best browser.  Forget Chrome, I love the new feel of the tabs in the 3.5 update.  Also, I customize with a Delicious toolbar b/c social bookmarking is not dead regardless of what Facebook or anyone else thinks.  While I have tried in the past to love Safari, it just doesn’t seem to ever work as my default, especially on certain sites.

Utorrent – I am a N00B to torrents, but it has been an easy learning curve using uTorrent.  This link has helped me to find my torrent sites of choice (currently isohunt), and now I am catching up on all those shows I want to watch (loving Entourage!).

NeoOffice – this is my Office replacement.  Seriously easy to use and awesome interface.  There is also a mobile app component I have yet to really check out, but very cool stuff from what I can sea (typo is an intended pun … you know, b/c the icon is a pirate ship … oh forget it).

Drop Box – now as a good Apple net promoter, I signed up for my 60-day trial of Mobile Me, but having been a devoted drop box user for 6-months I see no comparison (at least for files).  Drop Box allows you to have a designated file folder on multiple computers that updates the files whenever they change on any computer you are using.  As opposed to Mobile Me where the files are stored online, similar to Google Docs, I don’t need to go online to access my files.  Unless Mobile Me shows me some other value, I won’t be continuing the subscription past the free trial.

VLC – need something to watch those Torrent files on – this is the answer.  Plays almost anything! http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

So how are you pimping your Mac?



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5 responses to “Pimp My iMac – setting up the home office in Jerusalem

  1. Nice cite in the NY Times… also, even better choices of programs to download first. You hit most of my most used programs… can’t think of what else to recommend.

  2. fragmintz

    Hey Mike: I forgot to add Skype (must have), Flip4mac (for certain plug in stuff), and … any others?

  3. I just returned to Israel after 2 years in the States and I too brought a new 24″ iMac with me. I also love it but I haven’t figured out how to use my Apple router with Bezeq. Any hints?



    • fragmintz

      Hi Mike,

      The easiest way to do this is to set up the Bezeq router and then have the Apple router plug directly into the Bezeq router via high speed LAN cable. If your Bezeq router is also a wireless unit, make sure you turn off the wireless switch on it (little black button in the back). That should work – let me know how it goes.



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