GETTING STARTED WITH MAC SOFTWARE
This category will teach you How To Install Software in general, on OS X (Mountain Lion and Mavericks), by using some common software as examples, so you can see just how easy installing software really is once the process has been explained and shown to you. After seeing the examples you should begin to realise that installing software is just a matter of clicking a few NEXT, OK, I AGREE, CONTINUE and/or FINISH buttons.
Along the way you might need to read the occasional information that a window presents to you, to make sure you don't click on the wrong button, but apart from this installing software is quite straight forward and something I encourage you to try. Read the explanations below before attempting any of the installations/uninstallations in this Install Software category.
On top of this; Just because I show you an example of how to install a specific piece of software, such as Microsoft Office 2011, doesn't mean you have to have that specific piece of software yourself in order to follow the examples - The examples serve the purpose of showing you common installation steps, that usually have common hardware/software features exampled/explained, whereby after following those common examples you should then feel more confident to install your own particular piece of software (i.e. Libre Office instead of Microsoft Office).
This category will also teach you How to uninstall software in general. As a rule, unless a piece of software
states otherwise, you should always uninstall a piece of software before you reinstall it - Regardless if you are reinstalling the same version, a newer
version or an older version. Otherwise you might get conflicts and/or corruption between the already installed version and the version you are about to
Conflict and/or Corruption is normally due to fragments (leftover software) of the old installation still inside the computer. For example. Imagine you have Anti-Virus software installed but its license has just expired and because you don't know how to uninstall it you think it will be easier to just install some new anti-virus software, which you do. The problem with this scenario is that even though the old anti-virus software has expired it might still be running some of its other general tasks (services) in the background (such as the Pop-Up Blocker).
What this means is the new anti-virus software and the old expired one might be competing for the same computer resources/services in order to function properly. As they compete they could be slowing the computer down and/or be trying to close each other down. Even worse. The new anti-virus software might refuse to work because it has detected another anti-virus program on the computer.
If you uninstall the expired anti-virus software first, it should release any resources/services it was using. Therefore, when you install any new anti-virus software it has use of those resources/services for itself. Not only that. If the expired anti-virus software changed any of the system settings in some way (i.e Internet Security settings) uninstalling it should change things back to the way they were. Any newly installed anti-virus software can then decide what action to take based on the original settings and not on settings that were changed by the expired anti-virus software.
Another scenario is when you have two pieces of identical software running at the same time. For example. Why have two or three media players on the computer when one is good enough. Even though the three might not be playing music at all they might all be using resources/services in the background, so they are quickly ready when you need them. If this is your scenario I would advise you to consider removing at least one of them.
Clever applications (programs) don't use any resources/services for a certain feature until that feature is launched (clicked on), whereas other applications pre-run the resources/services needed for certain features even if those features will never be launched (clicked on). They do this in preparation that you might launch a feature and therefore have its resources/services all ready for you. So if an application (program) has a startup entry such as "Launch me when the computer starts" you might consider switching it off (unticking it) in order to preserve valuable resources/services. So uninstalling is not just about getting rid of unwanted applications (programs), it's also about freeing up valuable resources/services that would normally not be used.
Throughout these Installation sections I mention the Installation Wizard. An Installation Wizard is an Installer (Installation/Easy-To-Install) application that is compiled alongside the main software package (i.e. Microsoft Office 2011). It normally comes in the form of a .dmg or .pkg file whose aim is to make the installation of the software package easier to install. So instead of a company just giving you their raw application files and telling you to manually "Put that .app file in the Applications folder", "Put the pictures for the software inside the Pictures folder", "create the settings yourself" and so on the Installation Wizard does all this for you.
It knows where to put all the files and with a few clicks on buttons (i.e I AGREE. NEXT. CONTINUE. FINISH) it puts those files into their appropriate folders, registers the software with OS X (Mountain Lion / Mavericks) and maybe the OS X Installer as well (so you can Uninstall the software) and perhaps allows you to launch the software (main application) afterwards. I say maybe and perhaps because it depends on how the programmer created the Installation Wizard (what commands/instructions they gave it) before compiling it alongside the main software package.
So basically, without the Installation Wizard you would have to do everything yourself manually. Whereas with an Installation Wizard everything is done for you, with a few clicks, and it normally gives you good advice/instructions along the way (depending on the programmer/company).
Some of the examples I use in this Software section may be out-dated, but not useless. What I mean by this is that when the web browser called Firefox 20 was released for example I have shown you how to install it - It is my current example. And now that Firefox 26 is the current version I have purposely not updated my examples to show you how to install Firefox 26 simply because the installation processes for both Firefox 20 and Firefox 26 are exactly the same.
On top of this I don't always have the time to update the screenshots/examples for a particular installation process or new version of software, especially when their installation processes are exactly the same, and therefore sometimes leave the old example in place. Software companies don't help by changing their software interface and/or installation process every few months or so either.
Years ago programmers were happy to say Version 1, Version 1.1, Version 1.2 and so on before they released a newer version called Version 2 because of a major update to the software's code/interface. These days companies like using Version 1, Version 2, Version 3 and so on when there is little difference between versions to warrant a major release such as Version 1 onto Version 2 without Version 1.1. In other words, they are changing/updating their software far too often and repackaging it as new when really there are no big changes.
The interface (buttons, menus and display areas) is a prime example - They change the look of their software too often that even the general public don't like changes every few months or so, and it's about time these software companies thought about that. Just when the user gets used to something these companies go and change things around, making them difficult to find/use. People like me, who use screenshots (images), also don't like interface and installation changes every few months or so.....we have better things to do than update screenshots!!! Anyway, with that said, I do try and update screenshots of major software changes when possible. But if I cannot you should still find the old example remaining as a good example of what to do.