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My iMac has a mysterious complaint: it keeps shutting down, about once a day, for no obvious reason. For a computer that is left on 24×7 to record TV and run offsite backup this is a bit of a problem. Yesterday, amongst other things, Apple techs had me wipe the hard drive and reinstall OS X. I have restored data from back up but they want me to re-install all the software manually in case a corrupt file is the cause of the problem. Now I am faced with the old chestnut: what would you install first on a new Mac?1) with a lot of files & folders to copy from Time Machine the first thing I wanted was my usual file management tool: Totalfinder, which is a nifty little thing that adds multiple windows to Finder. It is good for smaller tasks but I soon realised that I needed my heavyweight file manager: Forklift.

2) once I had Forklift copying several hundred gigabytes it was time for my prefered browser: Firefox.

3) Next, I need the glue that ties my digital life together: Dropbox.

4) Passwords and licenses are next on the list, so it is time for 1Password.

One week on

So far so good: no crashes since the reinstall. I am reinstalling software slowly so as to isolate anthing which gives trouble. This week has mostly been a few practicalities:

Crashplan which I use for offsite backup

– Drobo Dashboard to allow me to access my Drobo

Divvy for positioning open windows quickly using the keyboard (have a look at Moom for a mouse focused alternative)

Afloat which provides a quick way of keeping one window on top of the rest

– the exception was Aperture as I needed to find a photo for my wife.