Cool Software for Mac OS X
When I first got my Mac, I made a list of the software that I was using …
of course, that list is old as some of the software just didn't make the grade
over time. So maybe it is time for me to revise my list.
Notational Velocity is my favorite note taking software. With my collection
of scripts, I'm made this app the kingpin of my external cranial memory.
Launcher is how,
just by typing a few keystrokes, I launch an app without a mouse.
I thought that Apple's Spotlight would make this app
irrelevant, but I use both since they each have their purpose††Not convinced? See this guy's commentary .
Growl … This program allows other programs that run in the
background as services to register and send messages to Growl.
Growl then temporarily displays the message in a small, unobtrusive but noticeable
You'd be surprised at how nice this is. The song track information from iTunes, new
mail messages, updates to web sites,
and alerts of new messages from my instant messaging programs can get displayed
through it. My backgrounded backup scripts also use it. Its pretty slick, but
I'm sure that Apple will build a replacement for it.
Adium … a pretty, multi-protocol instant messenging agent.
Since I log into multiple IM services, the last thing I want is half-dozen
apps for each one.
Skype for the Mac now does video conferencing, and does it pretty
well††Skype is better at video conferencing than doing iChat to PC users running AIM .
1Password is a program for remembering all of your thousands of
passwords on every web site. Then when you browse to your Facebook
account or whatever, you click a single button in your browser to log in. The nice part
about it is you can easily sync these passwords between your
computer and laptop. I also find it helpful in filling out forms and credit
XMarks is an extension to Firefox, Safari and other browsers for syncing
your bookmarks. While this is handy for browser whores like myself, it is
nice to have the same bookmarks on your different computers.
Caffeine is a tiny program that allows to prevent your Mac from going
into screensaver mode and falling asleep. This is useful when you are watching
a movie on your mac, or in a web conference.
Glimmer Blocker is an adblocker, but instead of running in your
web browser, this runs at the operating system level and blocks anything
that attempts to access ad sites.
Little Snitch is a program that blocks all network access to any
program unless you allow it. It is obnoxious at first, as you configure
each program you trust, but after that, you can rest easier.
Acquisition … a P2P file sharing program. While I don't use
it very often, I've settled on this Gnutella program for getting my Phish boots.
For the Geeks
My list above is especially created for my sister. However, more and more nix-heads are switching over to the Mac, so here is a little brief blurb about tips and software for them.
Mac Ports is the first thing you should install. Your mac already has python, java, perl and ruby built in, however, some of the choices/versions of command-line tools may not be to your liking. With this software you can install the GNU version of
ls and other utiltiies by entering:
$ sudo port install binutils
Aquamacs is a very nice implementation of Emacs for the Mac.
Gity is a GUI interface to Git. Yeah, I usually use the command line,
but at times, this is a great way to get an overview of lots of branch changes.
Fugu … a file transfer program that allows you to transfer using secure FTP and SCP. Granted, I mostly just type "scp" in my Terminal program.
Cyberduck is a good standard FTP program.
If I missed your favorite, let me know.
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