My Essential OSX apps list

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Scott Johnson recently switched to a Mac and lists some of the software he finds useful. Here’s what I’ve found essential since I switched this past summer.

  • Replace the built-in terminal app with ITerm and you’ll never go back. Tabbed windows, the ability to echo your commands to all tabs at once (great for managing lots of duplicate servers), and more. Open Source.
  • Textmate is the best text editor I’ve used on any platform. I’d like to figure out how to change the code coloring preferences, though. It’s commercial software at about $80. For a good free editor, Textwrangler from the makers of BBEdit is decent enough.
  • For P2P and filesharing apps, try Poisoned. It’s nice to look at, easy to use, and connects to multiple networks. Open Source.
  • SSHKeychain makes logging into the same servers dozens of times each day bearable. Free.
  • Store important files online inside your gMail account with gDisk. Open Source.
  • Apple’s airport utility does a decent job of connecting you to nearby wireless networks, but KisMAC will show you what’s nearby with ease. Open Source
  • Jumpcut is a good clipboard manager. If you’ve never used a clipboard manager, you’re losing productivity every day. Free.
  • OSX comes with a built-in battery guage, but SlimBatteryMonitor is better. After Firefox and Thunderbird, this was one of the first things I installed on my Mac and I’ll never go back. Free.
  • NetNewsWire is the gold standard of Mac feed readers, but Vienna is a great open source alternative.
  • VLC is a video player that’s better than anything else I’ve tried. Plays everything, converts formats, and just plain works. It even is a streaming media server. This one’s available on Windows, Linux, BSD, and even WindowsCE. Open Source.
  • NeoOfficeJ is a port of OpenOffice.org to OSX. Keyboard shortcuts and other UI elements are Mac-friendly. It’s only the OOo 1.1 release now. I can’t wait for NeoOfficeJ to support OOo 2. Open Source.
  • Scott already mentioned this, but I throw my vote behind AdiumX as well. Open Source.

Firefox, Thunderbird, Azareus are all cross-platform tools that I used on Windows and continue to use on Mac.

jose
December 31, 2005 3:06 PM

thanks, adam, i hadn't known about vienna before. i really found NNW to be lacking for my feeds, organization, and the volume of feeds i work with. same with a number of other RSS readers. oddly, my WinXP reader (RssBandit) is far more suited to me lifestyle than most OS X readers are. thanks, good list.

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