Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Must-have Apple software

I used to use Linux as my primary platform. I'm now officially an Apple fanboy. I've had Macs for a while, but now I'm a total convert. The user experience rocks, and it's still Unix under there. And Cubase on the Mac works far, far better than anything on Linux.

There's loads of freeware available that's useful, but here's my shortlist of the genuine must-have Apple software, from an I-was-a-Linux-weenie point of view:
  • MacVim - The best port of (the best text editor) Vim to the Mac.
  • NeoOffice - Very good native port of OpenOffice, the multi-platform Microsoft Office replacement. OpenOffice will soon have a native Mac release, but until then this is great.
  • Adium - A multi-protocol instant messenger
  • Transmission - Sweet little torrent client
  • Audacity - Simple but capable audio editor
  • MacFUSE (and MacFusion) - Native filesystems for many protocols (ssh, NTFS, and many many more). MacFusion is a cute menubar GUI to make using MacFUSE more convenient.
  • The Unarchiver - Better than the built-in file decompression utility. Simple and unobtrusive.
  • The Gimp - The well-known image processing package. Sadly, runs under X11 - not a native app.
  • MacSword - An awesome interface to the Sword bible study package.
  • iRed Lite - Allows you to use the Apple remote to do all sorts of useful things (I've used it as a remote presentation controller)

Plugins and utilities:
  • Growl - Notification system for MacOS. Many applications support growl notifications.
  • Afloat - Useful program that allows most application's windows to be pinned to the top of the window stack. Watch a quicktime movie easily whilst working on a document!
  • Inquistor - Awesome Safari search plugin. Calls itself "Spotlight for the web". I can't argue with that,
  • MenuMeters - System profile utility that puts info up in the menu bars. Very useful to see how much CPU Cubase is eating up!
  • OpenTerminalHere - Great Finder plugin that opens a terminal window with the working directory set to the current finder path.
Commercial software I highly recommend:
  • Parallels - The infamous utility that lets you run Windows at the same time as Mac OS. It is truly awesome.
  • Cubase - Well, to be fair, there's a ton of muso application's I'd recommend, like the incredible TruePianos and many, many more.

Before leopard, there were other packages that were important to me:
  • iTerm - Tabbed terminal window. Now redundant as the Leopard terminal has been vastly improved.
  • Desktop Manager - Virtual desktop application. Now replaced by Leopard's built-in spaces feature. Interestingly, this application still plays very nicely with Leopard's spaces.


Paranoid Android said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)

Unknown said...

Very informative post. Keep up the good work. I would really look forward to your other posts

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