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8 months after switching here are my favorite applications

As I've now crossed the 8 month time frame since I got my first Mac it's time to update the applications that I use regularly. When I made my switch I made a real effort to find native Mac replacement applications for everything I use and for the most part I have been successful in that.

I'll list these applications in the order in which I find myself using them and will include internal OS X applications as well. Many of these applications are related to the way I am using my Macs now, which is starting up a new company. I am doing lots of development, marketing messaging and content creation, building spreadsheets, etc. and am in front of my Macs anywhere between 12 and 16 hours a day.

This my friends is the life of an entrepreneur in start up mode.

LaunchBar
I am completely addicted to the Spotlight / QuickSilver / LaunchBar model of activating applications and documents and more importantly tying them together in helpful ways. Virtually everything I do starts up with Command-Space and LaunchBar has proven to be a solid and stable companion for me.

Spaces
I would be severely limited without Spaces. The ability to have my windows arranged properly for each of the tasks at hand is incredibly powerful. Running on a Mac Pro or even my MacBook Pro with 12GB and 4GB of memory respectively means I can keep everything up and running and get to it in an instant.

Firefox
Though I still use and like Safari I spend the majority of my time in Firefox. I have Foxmarks installed and it keeps my book marks synchronized between my Macs and my Ubuntu workstation. The add-ons for Firefox are incredibly helpful, especially those that help in web based development.

1Password
Once again, I nearly forgot to mention 1Password because it fits so seamlessly into my workflow I often forget that it's there. Between remembering my passwords but also securely keeping track of my sign-up information and credit cards, 1Password helps me complete most forms very quickly.

Adium
Since I work from my home I keep in touch with my friends and family through instant messaging. With accounts on AIM and Google Talk I can use Adium to consolidate it into a single application. I like the compact way it presents itself and the ability to quickly search through previous conversations gives it an edge over iChat.

Mail
I have several e-mail accounts and the Mail app does a decent job of consolidating them into a nice, single place. Though the IMAP performance with Google's Gmail can be trying at times, I like the interface for Mail and enjoy the integration is shares with the Address Book.

Preview / QuickLook
One of the things that I love about OS X is that it includes a very nice file viewer in Preview. I don't have to load Adobe's bloated Acrobat Reader in order to see PDF files and it handles many of the formats I need easily. I lump QuickLook in there with it though it's more of a Finder extension than an application. Being able to simply select a file in the Finder or on the desktop and hit the space bar to see a quick preview is very handy.

TextMate
I've long been a big fan of true programmer's editors and TextMate is one of the best I've used. The best part of TextMate? The numerous bundles available to make the most of everything programmers do on a regular basis easier. Since I'm doing my development work in Ruby on Rails I've gotten heavily into the great bundle available for TextMate. We're also using Subversion as our source code management and the bundle for it in TextMate is great.

Skype
I recently wrote about how I've set up my office phone around using Skype and I've really enjoyed using it. Occasionally I have problems with calls to land lines, though that's pretty rare. Combining Skype with LaunchBar is a game changer in my mind; my productivity around phone based activities is easily triple what it was with a conventional land line and it costs a fraction of what it used to be.

Address Book
The address book–especially since it synchronizes with my iPhone—is great. I also love that it is accessable from within LaunchBar, allowing me to simply find a person in the address book by hitting Command-Space and entering their name, then selecting one of the contact models I have for them (phone, e-mail, etc).

iCal
Since adopting the iPhone I also switched to using iCal as my full time Calendar. The integration between the iPhone and local iCal makes it very convenient.

iTunes
I am one of those people that likes to have music in the background most of the time and with iTunes 8 and the Genius playlist feature I find myself exploring my music collection far more than I ever did before. Combine that with syncing up my iPhone and it's a great application in my book. I added GimmeSomeTunes to iTunes and now I get more cover art and I get a nice pop-up with song changes showing the current artist, title and cover art.

VLC
I often find myself trying to look through older videos I've collected from a range of different video camera formats over the years and always seem to be able to play them with VLC. Though the video quality is not as polished as some other viewers (QuickTime for example) it always seems to be able to view the file, which is what I really care about.

NetNewsWire
RSS feeds are how I stay up on current events in technology, finance and sports news and NetNewsWire provides a great way for me to keep everything in one place. I wish the built in browser supported Flash and video so that I didn't have to open some pages in Firefox but other than that little nit I always have NetNewsWire up and running.

OmniGraffle Pro
I used to use Visio on the Windows platform and when I switched to Mac I needed to find a replacement. OmniGraffle does exactly what I need and has proven a fantastic tool for creating wireframe renderings of the application pages I then build. There are a lot of templates available for it and I'm also using it for building data models.

Pages
I picked up iWork and have become completely committed to using Pages. I find it much easier to deal with than Word though there is a bit of a learning curve if you're a heavy Word user like I am. I really like the layout controls in Pages and the overall UI is far less complex.

Numbers
I am rather reluctantly using Numbers. I say reluctantly because I've found the transition from Excel to Numbers much harder than the transition from Word to Pages. Excel has so many little quirks that I've become used to that are not in Numbers that I find myself constantly having to think about what I need to do instead of just doing it, which is unlike most of the other software I use on my Macs. My current use of spreadsheets is a bit infrequent so I don't have too much time to spend learning it.

Gimp
Though it can be a bit quirky at times it's open source and free, which means it costs FAR less than Adobe Photoshop. My needs are minimal and I use Gimp mainly to clean up images and in some cases combine a couple of images on different layers. Version 2.6 was just released on October 1 though I haven't bothered to build it myself so I'm still using 2.4. Sure, it requires X11 and is not a traditional Mac UI but it works really well and the price (free) is unbeatable.

Terminal / Bash Shell
Between using SSH to pop into my remote production servers and using the shell to run Rails commands I spend a lot of time in the shell. I always have several tabs open in the terminal, either ready for a command or running a local server so that I can easily monitor status.

iStat Menu
Whether it's because I need to see where memory is being used quickly or to see the temperature on my MacBook Pro, iStat Menu gives me instant updates. If something is acting strange on my machine a quick glance at the menu bar tells me what's up and one click later I can see what all the activity is about.

TextEdit
I've found myself using TextEdit more and more lately. When I have a quick list that I need to keep or need to push some relevant notes to the task at hand up I'll just pop open TextEdit and scribble away. Small, fast and included in the OS; what's not to like.

iPhoto
Though it took me a while to get adjusted to using iPhoto instead of Picassa on Windows, I have made the transition. I love the integration with the rest of the OS as well, especially with drag and drop targets and the ability to select my background image directly from my iPhoto catalog.

Cyberduck
When I need to move blocks of files to my remote servers I tend to grab Cyberduck and transfer away. It has simple, no-nonsense interface and it does what I need when I need it.

MySQL Tools
Between the MySQL Administrator and the MySQL Query Browser I have pretty much everything I need to work with my local copy of MySQL without having to resort to the command line. If you do any local development and run an instance of MySQL on your machine then you should have these tools at your disposal.

VMware Fusion / Windows XP
As my development efforts have come along I've needed to pull up my product in Internet Explorer and VMware gives me a great way to do that quickly. On my Mac Pro I've found that it's easiest to just keep it running all the time so that I can get to Internet Explorer quickly to do some testing. I still prefer Windows XP over Vista, if for no other reason now that it's memory footprint is smaller.

Time Machine
Always running in the background, Time Machine is not an application I actively use very often but when I do it jumps right to the top of my list. I've had files that were not under version control that I horribly mangled and was able to get back because TM was there to catch my mistake. Now if I could just get that stupid Time Machine error to stop I'd be a happy guy.

On My Shortlist
I've found most of the applications I need but I still have a couple more to get through. On the development side I would still like a decent XHTML / Web editing tool. To this day the best general purpose HTML editing tool I've ever used was HomeSite on the Windows platform and it has set the bar for what I am looking for. I've played with the evaluation version of Coda and it's pretty close but before committing to it I would like to get more feedback on what people like and recommend. I just need a lightweight editing surface that can help build up the XHTML code with helpers, perform quick previews, decent XHTML reference, etc. I like to write in the actual code, not in a WYSIWYG style design surface.

The second thing I am looking for is a decent financial management package. I bought iBank and have been using it and while it is an attractive Mac centered UI design it could be a lot better. A friend recommended I take a look at Jumsoft Money. If anyone would like to share their experience with that, or anything else in the personal finance category, please drop in a comment.

51 comments:

Torrey Crabtree said...

You can enable flash and video content in NetNewsWire. Go to the preference pane, click on Browsing. under the News Items tab check the bok for Enable Plug-ins, no more trips to Firefox.

David Alison said...

@Torrey: Excellent! Thanks man, that really helps!

devburke said...

I'm still personally a big fan of iChat, and when you add the Chax plugin (which you need to), you get a nice chat log viewer, which I don't use but you do. It can't compete with Adium's range of chat services, but if iChat covers your uses, it's great.

I've never liked VLC at all. With the combination of Flip4Mac and Perian, I'm able to play all my videos in QuickTime (Perian is great). Plus I'm pretty sure Perian adds some formats to QuickLook too.

Lastly, I actually like opening links from NNW in my browser. I recently stopped using tabs in everything (Safari, NNW, iChat, etc) because I think Expose is awesome and tabs limit its usefulness.

Just some of my thoughts

Hendrik said...

Great list. Lots of overlap with my favorite programs.

Here are two suggestions for additional programs I think you might love:

Mondo Mouse for quick window moving and resizing.

And if your remote servers support ssh / sftp, you have to give ExpanDrive a try. It mounts remote servers as virtual drives on your desktop and works amazingly well. It transparently reconnects if you wake your computer from sleep and even if you switch networks.

Hendrik said...

Oh, and Unison for keeping multiple machines synchronized. I might have already mentioned that before though.

WiseWeasel said...

Add to this:

Fugu - nice free GUI for SSH if you're feeling lazy

mplayer OS X - nice free and open source video player that handles everything, with a more efficient interface and keyboard shortcuts (once you discover and learn them) than VLC.

Perian - plugin for QuickTime to add support for a bunch more video and audio codecs and container formats, though you'll probably get better performance and less waiting if you use mplayer in most cases. Still, this is useful if you need to convert to and from different formats with QT Pro.

OpenOffice.org - free and open source office suite equivalent to MS Office that's starting to get pretty decent and stable with the latest Mac 3.0 beta releases. For production, you might want to stick with NeoOffice until OO.o 3.0 for Mac comes out of beta.

Transmission - handles your BitTorrent needs, and it's free, with an efficient interface.

Unison - handles all your usenet needs

MacTheRipper - handles ripping DVDs, latest betas to handle some recent DVDs are a bit of a chore to get a hold of if you look on their forums, but there's a free older release that still handles most.

Handbrake - this free and open source tool converts ripped DVDs to h.264 for use with iPhone and AppleTV.

Roxio Toast Titanium - great all-around disc burning tool.

X-chat Aqua - decent free and open source IRC app

Eytan said...

To echo devburke comment....
I use Adium in work, because I also need to connect to MSN people and Yahoo people. But I find that increasingly I ignore those people for iChat + Chax. WIth that pair, and how nicely those integrate nto Apple Mail, I much prefer this over Adium (and as a side bonus I have video, audio and screen sharing...)

Chris Bulow said...

And Mars Edit for RSS feed reading: http://www.red-sweater.com/marsedit/

Chris Bulow said...

I meant for blog posting - NOT for RSS feeds! Sorry, been a long week :)

Chris S said...

I don't know if you have tried it or not as an editor for almost anything, especially xhtml and html, but take a look at BBedit. It might be more than what you are looking for.

www.barebones.com

Michael said...

I use iChat for both AIM and GoogleTalk every day; unless you really like the Adium layout, iChat will work just fine with those 2 clients.

I used Adium a few years back, and found it to be quite nice; but am back to using iChat thanks to its video conference capabilities, of which Adium does not have.

William said...

I still use Quicken 2006. I have looked at most of the money managers. Money Dance seems to be fairly complete but is java based. iBank has won some awards, but I can't get past just playing. Cha-Ching looks similar to iBank. Money by jumpsoft is another. I guess I have used Quicken so long the others don't seem comfortable, although they all look much better. I still need to print a fair number of checks, which I could not find the ability in the others. I have talked to a several windows switchers that had used Quicken for windows, and they say Quicken for mac lacks feature parity. They still use their Quicken for windows in virtualization.

I will be interested in hearing on which one you pick.

Anonymous said...

For torrents better use LH-ABC. Transmission is sometimes useless because it lacks DHT.

nigel said...

Pretty big overlap with what I use. Main difference is probably that I use Yummy FTP rather than CyberDuck - because CyberDuck used to have really lousy sftp performance (I think that may have been fixed now), and Yummy FTP was fast, good to work with, a very responsive developer, and supports ssh key authentication.

tai said...

If you want something gorgeous and more mac-like, I highly recommend pixelmator. It's not yet photoshop, but I'd say it's already better than elements, and the price isn't very difficult to swallow.

Kevin said...

Regarding your question about a good XHTML/XML editor... I've been a web developer for more than a decade and have worked with most major and minor web/programmers editors out there and the one that I find myself constantly turning back to is Eclipse with the Web Tools Project (WTP) plug-ins installed. The code hints, highlighting, and auto-completion are top-notch. In particular, the XML editor is the best I've found for free. It also has a built-in web browser panel so you can see your changes as you make them.

Eclipse is what I use for all my project-oriented web development, and I use TextMate for most else.

David Alison said...

All - I appreciate some great suggestions in here, very helpful.

@WiseWeasel: Thanks for the tip on MPlayer OSX. I had downloaded it a while back but never played with it. I just fired it up and it's much better than VLC from a performance standpoint; clearer video and smoother while jumping to different points in a video.

@Chris Bulow: I've heard of but never played with MarsEdit. I've been using Blogger's web based interface for my blog editing and it's been a... challenge. This looks very promising, thanks for the tip!

@Chris S: I looked at BBEdit right after I got my first Mac but it didn't do much for me. I just downloaded the latest version and am trying it again. Thanks!

@Kevin: You're the first person I've had recommend Eclipse to me for web page editing. I'll check it out. Thank you!

devburke said...

I also wanted to ask, would you recommend iWork over OpenOffice/NeoOffice? I'm sure it's a lot better, but would you say it's worth $50 (student price) rather than using the pretty crappy but free alternatives? Keep in mind I'm a college student, and while I'm not poor, I don't exactly have money to burn

Chris Howard said...

A great list, Dave, many of which I'm already using. Will have to check out OmniGraffle though.

Pixelmator is a must see, as Tai said. It is freaking gorgeous. If I wasn't a graphic designer (and therefore a CS user), I'd be onto Pixelmator in a flash.

PhoneView, although rather ugly, is well worth having on hand for iPhone owners, as it lets you directly access a lot of data in your iPhone, eg call records, photos, notes etc.

Onyx is a must have free utility for access all sorts of parameters you can't normally, easily change, such as changing where screen captures get saved,

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this was helpful.

David Alison said...

@Devburke: iWork is a nice application suite but if you're already happy with Open Office or Neo Office (ie, it works for you) then I would just stay with that and save the money. If you can't open certain files or find yourself spending too much time on work because the UI in Open Office makes life too difficult for you then iWork may be a good investment for you. I hope this helps...

Eoy said...

I think you have already mentioned CSSEdit before... It's really a great app and I love it. The folks behind CSSEdit are creating a new suit of web development apps which looks like a promising alternative to Coda.

As for accounting software, although I haven't personally tried it, QuickBook might worth a try. They have a 60-day money back policy so you can probably give it a try.

Finally, you might also want to try it CocoaMySQL. It seems like no one is maintaining it anymore BUT I still found it much handier than the "official" MySQL GUI program that you use. (e.g. you can do drag and drop re-ordering in CocoaMySQL) However, the recent versions of Rails almost eliminated the needs of using a GUI SQL front end entirely... Now I usually just use the terminal/Rails console for everything.

Hope it helps.

Anonymous said...

I also just wanted to tip the nod to MacRabbit's upcoming Espresso web design software. Of course, it's not even beta yet, but I have high hopes for it, coming as it does from the developer of CSSEdit.

Yeah, you really need to check out MarsEdit if you're doing blog posting. Set up NetNewsWire correctly and you've got one-click blogging of news stories. I use it all the time to keep my team up to date with breaking news.

Partners in Grime said...

devburke: With Pages it's easy to produce beautiful text documents from the included templates.

Kevin Hoctor said...

Hi David,

I'm very biased, but I think you should check out MoneyWell to manage your finances. Our new 1.4 release is due out at the end of the month. MoneyWell is based on the "envelope" budgeting method and designed to help you manage your cash flow as well as the typical personal finance management tasks.

You can check out the beta if you'd like: http://nothirst.com/moneywell/dlmwbeta.html

Anonymous said...

We have some overlap (Launch Bar, VMWare, Newsgator, OmniGraffle) ... and I also use DevonThink ... am finally getting to really like Opera (but mainly use FF) ... but I find Apple's Mail and Calendar pretty weak (prefer Entourage and Google Calendar/Gmail) ... and, regrettably, I signed up for .Mac/MobileMe and am just waiting for my sub to expire ... don't get the hype about Safari ... RapidWeaver offers much more than iWeb ... NovaMind ... for voice recognition, much better to use Dragon Naturally (via VMWare or Parallels) than to buy Macspeech (which lacks some fundamental features) ... I use Windows versions of Turbo Tax and Quicken ... and I really like 1Password ... but, no matter how much I try it, I can't seem to get the hang of Spaces. For some reason, Spaces feels like it creates extra steps rather than streamlining -- but maybe that's just my error.

Art said...

Definitely second Moneywell. The beta is great, and the developer is really with it. Oh wait, he commented already. See what I mean?

Miguel said...

Hi David,
I would just add Handbrake to your list : just give it a look at http://handbrake.fr/ . It is so easy to use.
What about Bento, did you try it ? Did you find it useful ?
Thank you for this interesting blog.

Rick Baskett said...

I really like Quicksilver, so Ill have to check out Launchbar.

I have tried Textmate, plus many others, and I always go back to BBEdit. I really want to like Coda though, so I keep trying it out after each update.

I tried using NetNewswire for awhile, but it's iPhone option didn't sync well with the Mac version.. I kept having problems with that, so I finally went to Google Reader and Im pretty happy with it. One bad thing about it is that it doesn't do authenticated feeds.

Instead of Cyberduck, I really really really like Transmit and I have used _a lot_ of ftp clients.

And for MySQL.. I just do everything through phpMyAdmin, can't find a better program :)

Quicken is my application of choice for my finances.

Thanks for a great blog.. always enjoy your perspective on coming to a Mac :)

Anonymous said...

from Raving Machead,

Since you got your machine nearly tweaked, I highly suggest cloning your entire boot drive to another external drive using Carbon Copy Cloner (free/donationware).

I don't think it will clone a bootcamp partition (this requires another step), but it will clone the XP install under Fusion as it's just a file under OS X. (Fusion 2.0 is SWEET!)

Before you clone your entire boot drive, Disk Utility Erase/Format with Zero option any new drive. This catches the bad sectors and maps them off.

Clone the entire drive, when it's finished you can now hold "option" while booting and boot off of it. (Disk utility repair permisssions afterwards) This method beats the pants off Time Machine as it's not bootable. Very little downtime.

If your hard drive fails or you suspect malware has escaped XP and landed on OS X (it's possible) then simply hold "c" and boot off your OS X install disk, select Disk Utility from the menu and Zero your boot drive.

Then option boot off the external and reverse clone!

Cloning has saved my butt many times when hard drives just refuse to boot one morning. Or when I upgrade to a faster/larger drive, no need to find all the passwords or software install headaches.


Another great piece of system tweak software is Onyx, also free/donationware.

OnyX can also clean up OS X on a system level, reverting your machine back to the install state if necessary. This is useful when you have a problem that you can't find out the answer for, so the "OnyX cocktail" just cleans out everything.

If your into setting a screensaver as a desktop, search for Backlight2 at Mactracker.com.

TextWrangler is a great piece of freeware from BBEdit, it can allow you to edit system files with admin/root powers. Instead of using Terminal pico or other.

iVolume will level your unprotected iTunes music and the 'leveled' music works on iPods!!

Hardware Monitor can help you keep track of the sensors on your machine.

Google Earth. Well known, needs mention anyway.

Enjoy your Mac, keep XP off the internet/networks and you should be fine from a security standpoint.

Anonymous said...

From Raving MacHead,

oh another thing, if you haven't already.

Create a new user and give them admin user status.

Log into this new account and set your original admin account to "user".

This offers a additional security layer, any installs or system adjustments have to be approved with a admin password.

Naturally use OnyX and Carbon Copy Cloner under Admin User.

One should also do this with XP and Vista, but sometimes apps complain they don't have enough access privileges.

Check out OtherWorld Computing for great installation videos for hardware.

http://mac.zicos.com/

is a great Mac news collection site, covering just about the entire Mac net.

(no comp for site, product mention, just what I use)

David Alison said...

@All - thanks again for the great feedback folks - very helpful.

@Eoy: Yep, saw that MacRabbit is coming out with Espresso and already asked to get on the beta but no reply. I read a review in MacWorld about the new Quickbooks for Mac that sounds pretty interesting. I'm looking for something on the business side too and was a Quickbooks user on the Windows platform for my past businesses when they were in startup mode.

@Kevin and Art: Thanks for the link for MoneyWell - I'll check it out.

@Anon on Spaces: One of the reasons Spaces is so helpful for me is that I have a multi-button mouse and having the ability to click that button when I'm in a "browsing" mode is the most powerful aspect of using it. I have a keystroke mapped as well and use that when I'm in "keyboard" mode but most of my use is with that mouse button.

@Miguel: I have Handbrake and have used it in the past. Great free application, I just don't use it very often.

@Rick Baskett: Glad you like the blog man and hope you get some useful information from it. You may want to try NetNewsWire again. I had the same problems you did though I continue to use it. I really wish they would get that fixed.

@Raving Machead: So many tips in there - thanks! I've used Carbon Copy Cloner before (when doing some drive transplants in my first MacBook) and found it to be a great little utility. Thanks again for all the great info in those two comments.

Martin Kelly said...

Hi David
Its great to hear your having such a positives experience using your Apple. One bit of software you should consider is Filemaker Pro. For a small business its a great starting point for database usage, and it will grow with you.

DanielM said...

Great article. Great list. Use most of them. However, I would Spotlight at the top of the list all by itself.

Tried Launch Bar to open apps but found it unnecessary since Quickeys has been my favourite since day one. Now, Command-Space is used continually throughout the day, particularly for opening and/or switching apps. And for wordsmithing, it can't get much better.

May I also suggest following Must Haves:

DesktopCalendar: Great utility. Have used for years. http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20020218050600246&query=desktopcalendar

CDFinder; Catalogs my 3 thousand plus cd/dvd backups with ease, as well as my music and movie library. Couldn't live without it.

Snapz Pro; even for capturing streaming video

Quickeys; very powerful

FileMaker Pro; best of the breed

QuickTime Pro; too many features to feature

But don't forget that OS X has a number of inherent great apps such as Automater, and Compress, which has just about overtaken my need for Stuffit.

And, although it is not really an App, I use HELP as if it were. My first place to troubleshoot and invariably issues/processes get resolved without going much further.

Synchro said...

Another suggestion: use iTerm instead of Terminal. You won't go back... http://iterm.sourceforge.net/
In your shell zsh is generally much friendlier than bash, has much better auto-completion.
I'd also vote for BBEdit. The new version 9 is a big step up - finally has code-completion, remembers sessions.
MacFusion is very nice for handling remote ssh file systems, and is more flexible than most as it supports anything that FUSE does, which can include SSHFS, FTPFS, EncFS, GlusterFS and more, though the latest version needs more work.
Nobody seems to have mentioned some other vitals for the developer: macports and/or fink, and xampp can get you a long way - Apple's standard Apache and PHP builds suck quite badly.

Anonymous said...

So where's the blog post regarding the wife's new macbook and how she liked it?? Things going as expected with the gift?

David Alison said...

@Anon: I've got a couple of blog posts coming up but right now I'm in sunny Southern California visiting my parents and they have no internet access. Thank God I have an iPhone. As for my wife, she does love the new MacBook! More to come.

Anonymous said...

Raving MacHead,

One more thing, NeoOffice is a great free/donationware alternative to Microsoft Office.

Cross platform compatible with OpenOffice on the PC, and also reads/writes Office files.

Might as well stick it to Bill Gates and Co. for torturing the world population with a inferior operating system.

mbmcavoy said...

David and commentors,

I just wanted to say "Thanks!" This is the type of information that keeps me coming back!

There are many gems in this article, but Pixelmator was quite a find, exactly what I have been looking for!

To add my own, SuperSync is very helpful for keeping iTunes in order across multiple machines!

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic but Apple has sent out invites for the launch of the new Macbooks next week

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=577366

David Alison said...

@Anon: Thanks for the link - looking forward to the new line of MacBooks.

Lonnie said...

Way off topic: David, I've noticed lately your nifty Dashboard widget isn't working properly anymore. Now clicking on a link in it takes me to the feed page instead of the blog post. Not sure if an update somewhere along the way murked up the functionality or what happened there.

David Alison said...

@Lonnie: I use Feedburner for my RSS feeds so something is up. Looking through the settings now to see what that's about. Thanks much for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

Some of my indispensible apps are listed below. First, you should know that for THE software "directory", www.macupdate.com is the place. Now, my recommended software:

1. Think (http://freeverse.com/apps/app/?id=7013): blacks out other apps, for better focus

2. DiskWarrior (http://www.alsoft.com/): the essential disk utility and recovery software

3. Pathfinder (http://cocoatech.com/): an great Finder replacement, for the power user

4. Flip4Mac (http://www.flip4mac.com/): adds Windows Media support to QuickTime. Sometimes, you can't live without .wmv files, love it or hate it.

5. NicePlayer (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/15136/niceplayer): the version hasn't even 1.0 yet, but there is something i really like about this player

6. Vienna (http://vienna-rss.sourceforge.net/vienna2.php): RSS Reader, my favourite


7. P2P software: aMule is the equivalent of eMule, which you'd find on Windows. Similarly, Frostwire replaces Limewire

Anonymous said...

David, You owe it to yourself to try Quicksilver. It can be a bit daunting at first but follow some of the Youtube tutorials and you'll be a poweruser in no time. A few weeks later you'll wonder why it's not built into OS X.

A Mac without Quicksilver feels like a Keyboard without a Spacebar or an "E" key to me.

Jay
(1 year switcher)

David Alison said...

@Jay: Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog. I actually was a pretty big user of QuickSilver up until a couple of months ago, then switched over to LaunchBar and have pretty much stayed with that, mainly because of the commercial support for the product.

I use LaunchBar much the way I used QuickSilver and both products add a level of productivity to my Macs that I have found outstanding.

TimW said...

@eoy:

+1 for CocoaMySQL; I used to use that one a lot, but as you mentioned the project is no longer maintained. I'm typically using phpMyAdmin for administrating DBs these days, however, it really can't beat a good GUI application.

The codebase for CocoaMySQL was adopted by a newer project, Sequel Pro. They've had several releases recently, and I hope they stay around a while.

Roshan said...

I use moneydance for finance management. It does what I need it to do and it works on Windows as well as Linux.

DCBrit said...

Try Smultron for a lightweight web editing tool.

Also KeyCue is great tool for switching use it and you will have the keyboard shortcuts down real quick, I am still using it 3 years later for new software.

And iWow although overpriced (i got it as part of a bundle) makes your itunes experience infinitely better.

AppZapper is also a must if you are downloading a lot of trial software.

One last one which runs constantly on my rig is iClip

Great blog

David Alison said...

@DCBrit: Some interesting looking apps in there - thanks for the links!

Anonymous said...

For Mac personal finance software I recommend Fortora Fresh Finance. It's very easy to use, yet very capable. http://www.fortora.com