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The Best Mac OS X Software Tools

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the steroids dept.

Utilities (Apple) 213

An anonymous reader writes "Mac advocate John C. Welch weighs in with his list of the top 20 Mac OS X products (except Welch manages to list 22). The collection of software tools ranges from the obvious, such as Boot Camp, to the obscure but perhaps more useful — little-known apps like Peter Borg's Lingon, for creating launchd configuration files. What's on your personal list of indispensable Mac productivity aids and programming tools? Also, do you think Welch gives too much air time to built-in OS X tools at the expense of third-party products such as NetworkLocation?"

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The List (3, Informative)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306596)

Ecto

Transmit

Sync Services

BBEdit

Missing Sync for Windows Mobile

OmniGraffle Pro

ConceptDraw

iChat AV

AppleScript

Script Debugger

Microsoft Entourage

SketchFighter 4000 Alpha

TypeIt4Me

NetworkLocation

Apple Remote Desktop 3

MacLink Plus Deluxe

Parallels Desktop for Mac

Remote Desktop Connection

Snapz Pro X

Boot Camp

PDF

Lingon

Workgroup Manager

Quicksilver (5, Informative)

zaphod_es (613312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306648)

What, 22 favourite apps and no Quicksilver? This is the one program I just could not live without, it is what makes my Mac usable. I hardly use the mouse anymore and access and/or run almost everything on my computer with two or three keystrokes. And it's free!

Re:Quicksilver (5, Informative)

bismark.a (882874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306758)

I don't own a Mac, but I swear that my next laptop will be a Leopard tera-core sexy machine. And one of the reason for that is beautiful apps like Quick Silver. [blacktree.com]

Re:Quicksilver (1, Interesting)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306944)

If there was a quicksilver equivalent that had the same functionality available on the Linux desktop, would you consider Linux?

Re:Quicksilver (1)

tezbobobo (879983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307138)

Sorry, he said, "one of the reason". If it also had a program like Indesign, photoshop and their subsequent ability to use CMYK properly, I would. I used linux since RH 5.1 but that was when I was a networker - now I'm a type setter.

Re:Quicksilver (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307198)

Sorry, he said, "one of the reason".
Sometimes it just takes one particular thing to make a decision on considering possible. For example, I knew when I switched to Linux on my main desktop not all my Windows games would work... But I got other benefits that I wanted.

If it also had a program like Indesign, photoshop and their subsequent ability to use CMYK properly, I would.
I don't know of alternatives to Indesign (mostly because I haven't done much with publishing related things yet). But Krita [koffice.org] offers much Photoshop functionality and has had support for CMYK since 1.5 [koffice.org] .

Re:Quicksilver (1)

zaphod_es (613312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307698)

I love Quicksilver on the Mac and would love Linux even more if I had QS there as well. You make Linux and Mac an either/or, I use both a lot.

Re:Quicksilver (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308508)

Colibri [leetspeak.org] . Although not as good as quicksilver it can at least open applications and is really fast once started.

Re:Quicksilver (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306878)

The article I was reading before this one, was talking about the "Double checked locking" paradigm and its non-portability (at best) and wrong behavior.

I've a CS degree, I am surely a geek, I am programming since I was 9 (1985) and professionally since 2001.

Yet there was no way I could've figured it out the failures in double checked locking patterns. Good luck explaining it to a non geek using drag and drop.

Textmate! (4, Informative)

thelamecamel (561865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307010)

No textmate either! It certainly does everything the journo wants from BBEdit. And for LaTeX and Ruby it's utterly indispensable. I think it's the only shareware I've ever bought.

MOD PARENT UP (1, Flamebait)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308114)

Textmate:BBEdit::OSX:OS9

BBEdit was it back in the day. Bees knees. But they're still stuck in a world of floating palettes and out of date syntax coloring.

Textmate.... is just amazing. I think I've only scraped the surface of 10% of what it can actually do. The best thing is, if I don't like a keystroke or a syntax coloring, I can change it. I wanted to start writing Matlab. Sure enough, someone has written a bundle for it. There's even a Bundle called 'GetBundle' that will automatically download and update my bundles.

Leaving Textmate off is more than a gross oversight. It invalidates the list :)

Re:Quicksilver (1)

_|()|\| (159991) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307432)

Launcher apps. like Quicksilver and Launch Bar aare very customizable, and I'm sure I could get used to any of them. The one I've gotten comfortable with is Butler [manytricks.com] . On Windows, I launched programs by navigating the Start menu with sequences of keystrokes that were ingrained in my fingers. Navigating the Dock or the Applications folder felt glacial by comparison. Butler's abbreviations are better than either approach. It's kind of like the WIndows Vista Start menu, except that it recognizes initials; for example, if I type "qp," one of the matches will be "QuickTime Player."

Another nice feature of Butler is the macro facility. I TELNET or SSH to dozens of Unix systems using a variety of accounts, so the terminal isn't always configured the way I expect. I have a "bash" macro that execs bash and sets TERM, and a "ksh" for machines without bash that execs ksh, enables emacs mode, sets TERM, and sttys the delete key.

If you're remotely a power user, I definitely recommend spending an hour or two with one of these launcher apps. On the flip side, if you want a launcher even simpler than the Dock, consider Docktop [jonn8.com] . If you've seen the desktop icons on the demo systems at an Apple store, Docktop is kind of like that. It puts big, single-clickable icons on the center of your desktop that even your Windows-using house sitter can understand.

Re:Quicksilver (1)

Stamen (745223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308110)

Just to add one minor note: Quicksilver is a Launcher app, as the parent mentions, but it so much more than that. And it's one of those things you can't describe real well, you have to spend some time using it to understand.

It's like saying that the command line is an app launcher, which is true, but that is only scratching the surface of what the console can do; the best way to describe Quicksilver is a visual command-line.

The two things that I miss the most when using Windows or Linux on the desktop are Quicksilver and TextMate. There just isn't anything like Quicksilver on any other platform.

Re:Quicksilver (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308626)

ust to add one minor note: Quicksilver is a Launcher app, as the parent mentions, but it so much more than that. And it's one of those things you can't describe real well, you have to spend some time using it to understand.
This is a bit of a catch - I am interested to know exactly what Quicksilver does, but there seem to be few good explanations. Perhaps comparison would be easiest - how does it compare to, say, deskbar [slinckx.net] for GNOME which lets you launch apps, search files, open webpages, write emails, execute arbitrary commands, and whatever else you can dream up via pluggable backends? I like Deskbar a lot - it is flexible, powerful, and lets me do everything with just a few keystrokes. Since, apparently, there is nothing at all comparable to Quicksilver on Linux I was wondering what sets Quicksilver so far ahead of something like Deskbar?

I don't have access to any Macs, so I simply don't have an opportunity to see Quicksilver in action, so thanks for any explanation you can give - I'm simply curious as to what it actually does.

Quicksilver (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307794)

If you had not posted I would have. Before I got quicksilver I had no clue what I was missing. It completely changed how I interact with the computer. I don't use any of it's fancy features I just use it to launch apps from the keyboard. I have not opened my application folder in months. That and BBedit are the two apps I would be sorely pressed to give up.

Re:Quicksilver (1)

shmert (258705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307830)

I was going to say the same thing about LaunchBar [obdev.at] . It's what spotlight should have been. When I'm on a computer without it I'm constantly cursing. Or installing it.

Re:Quicksilver (1)

IwarkChocobos (881084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308078)

I agree 100% here. Quicksilver is one of the best programs for a Mac, an the fact that it's free makes it much better. Hell, I think they need a QS for windows..good luck with that one.

Re:The List (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307352)

Linked version with condensed summary. I wanted to find out more about some of them. Others may benefit too.

Ecto [kung-foo.tv] a blogging client (but the site seems to be down: try this for more info [versiontracker.com] ). Shareware, $17.95.
Transmit [panic.com] an FTP client. Shareware, $17.95
Sync Services [apple.com] -- comes with 10.4
BBedit [bbedit.com] text/html editor. $125, but worth it.
Missing Synch for Windows Mobile [markspace.com] - synchronize with PDA/smartphones. $49.95/$39.95
OmniGraffle [omnigroup.com] - diagramming / flowchart program. $79.95 / $149.95
ConceptDraw [conceptdraw.com] - another diagramming / flowchart program. $299
IChat AV [apple.com] - built-in to 10.4
AppleScript, Scriptdebugger - also built-in. No link. I'm getting lazy.
Microsoft Entourage [apple.com] -- part of MS Office.
Sketchfigher 4000 Alpha [ambrosiasw.com] -- a game from the great Ambrosia Software [ambrosiasw.com] . $19.00
TypeIt4Me [ettoresoftware.com] - keyboard macro expander. $27
NetworkLocation [centrix.ca] - automatically trigger configuration changes depending upon where you are on the network (e.g., at home, work, etc.). $15
Apple Remote Desktop 3 [apple.com] - control / configure Mac systems remotely. $499 / $299 (unlimited / 10 systems)
MacLinkPlus [dataviz.com] - file conversion software (e.g., from WordPerfect documents to/from Word, and many others). $79
Parallels Desktop for Mac [parallels.com] - virtualization software (e.g., run Win XP simultaneously with OS X). $79.
Remote Desktop Connection [microsoft.com] - connect remotely to a Windows desktop. FREE
Snap X Pro [ambrosiasw.com] - screen / movie capture. $29
Boot Camp - dual boot Windows. I'm lazy.
PDF - Portable Document Format from Adobe? What?
Lingon [sourceforge.net] - tool for making launchd scripts for 10.4.
Workgroup Manager [apple.com] - manage local systems - part of 10.4 Server.

---
Okay, a mildly interesting list. Here's a few more suggestions:

Cyberduck [cyberduck.ch] - FTP and SFTP client. Donationware.
VLC [videolan.org] - cross-platform video viewer / transcoder.
Blender 3D [blender.org] - cross-platform 3D modelling / rendering.
Bookends [sonnysoftware.com] - excellent bibliography software. $99
Celestia [shatters.net] - cross-platform real-time 3D astronomy simulator.
Plot [plot.micw.eu] - a, uh, plotting / graphing program.
proFit [quansoft.com] - another plotting / graphing program, non-free. $95
WordService [devon-technologies.com] - adds a bunch of text reformatting tools to the Services menu, making them accessible in any program. The same page has a bunch of other useful and free services.

The original article lists PDF, but no tools. While its true OS X native support makes PDF pretty easy to use, there's still some tasks that are awkward and some useful tools out there to do them. Here's what I recommend:
PStill [stone.com] - encode / recode PDF files with mucho control. $69
pdftk - cross-platform command-line PDF file "tool kit".

Re:The List (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307766)

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac - virtualization software (e.g., run Win XP simultaneously with OS X). $79.
I find it quite telling that one of the most popular applications for the MAC is a program that lets you run a different OS. I think that's really telling in just how unsuccessful the MAC operating system is. Can you run Linux in parallels?

Re:The List (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307970)

Yes, you can run Linux as a Parallels guest OS. You are also not wedded to XP for your Windows version...you can run Windows 2000, 98SE, 95, OS/2 or even DOS as a guest OS. Any OS that can run on Intel x86 can run as a Parallels guest OS. And it can run completely isolated from the host OS if you don't enable file sharing and Internet access. If anything, it's a superior way of running Windows if you have to do it.

Re:The List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18308500)

[Shrug]
I said "e.g." [wikipedia.org] . Implying there were plenty of other options of what OS you could run, including Linux, yes.

Tell from that what you like, but it's nice to have options. Personally, I've used it but it isn't installed on my Mac (it was the other guy's list), because I haven't had a need for it.

Look at it this way: although I'm sure there's a way to do it, it's alot harder to do it the other way around -- run virtualization software on Windows in order run Mac OS X :-)

Re:The List (4, Informative)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308536)

I find it quite telling that one of the most popular applications for the MAC is a program that lets you run a different OS.

If you've been paying attention here for the last year, most of the commentary surrounding virtualization on the Mac has revolved around people finally able to dump their infernal Windows machine and do everything on a Mac instead. Parallels [parallels.com] , along with Boot Camp, is quite possibly the largest driver of Mac sales in the last year. There are a few functions not available on the Mac [yet] and Parallels lets people run those few apps they'd miss from Windows. Yes, Paralleles does run Linux. I currently know more people who dumped their Windows machines in the last year than I know remaining Windows owners - and those aren't far behind.

Onyx (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308308)

Onyx [versiontracker.com] should be #1

Re:The List (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308464)

My addition: Growl [growl.info] - Notification manager. Free. Supported by enough Mac apps to make you wish they all supported it.

Ecto 2 has serious problems (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308616)

Ecto 2 has serious flaws and the developer suppresses this information on his developer page. Quoting my own blog entry [mistersquid.com] regarding the problem:

If after posting a blog entry (with or without Ecto) you edit the code for a blog entry in a text editor, say BBEdit, and then load that entry into Ecto, Ecto wipes out all advanced tagging, including but not limited to CSS tags, XML markup, and HTML styling. Ecto will not notify you that it has made these changes. So if, for example, you use Ecto to do a minor edit of a blog entry, all of your specialized markup will silently but surely disappear.

Ecto 2 is not for anyone who uses even the least bit of custom CSS and/or markup.

Johnnie Wilcox
aka mistersquid

Textmate and Quicksilver??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307452)

Textmate and Quicksilver should be there... Without the two, OS X wouldn't really appeal to me.

Huh? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306598)

What's this new "Mac" thing I keep hearing about? Sounds important.

Re:Huh? (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308576)

Of course the "Mac" thing is important.

Why? Is there another kind?

The bit i like (1, Interesting)

15Bit (940730) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306630)

"...any language that still requires typing shows the essential failure of the computer industry to pry programming out of the hands of geeks."

I couldn't agree more. I definitely remember the idea being bandied round a few years back of high level drag and drop programming for the masses. We have Labview which does that for automated instrumentation control and analysis, is it really so hard to make a high level programming language in the same mould?

Re:The bit i like (5, Insightful)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306722)

Programing is hard. It doesn't matter if you use drag and drop widgets, or switches on the front board. You still need to specify what you are doing in a precise manner. With Labview it is easy because it has a very limited domain. Not so with general programing.

Re:The bit i like (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307168)

While not general-purpose, Max/MSP is drag and drop and it's still mostly in the hands of geeks. I'd wonder how many not-geeky musicians that are required to look at it in/through college ever pick it up after graduation?
I think it's a difference of expectation, the masses just want to pop a disc in and have something happen. They don't want to wrench on stuff.

Re:The bit i like (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307258)

If you have trouble typing, programming of any kind probably isn't going to be your thing anyway.

Have you seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307302)

Dashcode?

Sure it's just for widgets, but programming widgets for OS X couldn't be any easier.

Re:The bit i like (1, Funny)

1729 (581437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308082)

"...any language that still requires typing shows the essential failure of the computer industry to pry programming out of the hands of geeks."

I couldn't agree more. I definitely remember the idea being bandied round a few years back of high level drag and drop programming for the masses. We have Labview which does that for automated instrumentation control and analysis, is it really so hard to make a high level programming language in the same mould?


The point is: untyped languages are dangerous! They disguise programming errors. That's the reason why Fortran added "implicit none", and subsequent languages have enforced stronger and stronger typing. Any language for real programming (writing an OS, controlling a car or an airplane or a spacecraft or a radiation machine, running a communications network, etc.) NEEDS to be strongly typed, so that simple typos are rejected by the compiler instead of resulting in serious (fatal!) failures. If you're just automated the workflow on your PC, an untyped language might do the trick. But the computing industry has not failed "to pry programming out of the hands of geeks": real, serious programming is hard, and no amount of drag-and-drop or syntactic sugar or weak typing can change that.

Re:The bit i like (0, Offtopic)

MrTranscendence (982312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308232)

Having been incredibly productive with dynamically-typed languages, it would be difficult for me to put into words how wrong-headed and foolish your opinions are.

So, instead, I'll point out that you misunderstood: they mean "typing" as in "writing text on a keyboard with fingers".

Re:The bit i like (0, Offtopic)

Stamen (745223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308496)

I should start using this in interviews to weed out people like you. You are talking about dynamic typing, not weak typing.

There is static/dynamic as well as weak/strong typing.

C and C++ are weak typed, you know those languages that a lot of OSs are written in. However they are static typed. Something like Ruby is strong and dynamically typed.

And dynamically typed languages are hardly dangerous; even the often mentioned "if you make a typo it doesn't catch it" reasoning isn't even correct most the time. Pleased to be explaining it to you:

In Ruby, for example, a variable is created when it's first assigned (and you don't specify its type), like this:

foo = "Hello"

if later you use foo, but miss-type it, it generates an error:

length = fooo.length

in this case, it will complain ("undefined local variable or method `fooo' for main:Object") and catch your typo.

In addition Ruby, as an example, is strongly typed you can't just add a string to an integer:

i = 0
foo = "1"
i = i + foo

In this case i is an integer and foo is a string, you can't treat foo like an integer without an error, because although it is dynamically typed it is strongly typed.

Re:The bit i like (0, Offtopic)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308588)

Typing in the program and worrying about syntax and language details is probably the easiest part of programming. Developing a good design and actually engineering an application is the hard part. If you can do that, you can surely program it in to a computer.

It makes sense... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306640)

Sure Apple makes up only 5% of the user base. Let's give them 50% of the coverage! And constantly imagine scenarios where they take over the home, enterprise, and server markets by magic! Yay macs!

BootCamp (3, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306690)

Who else thinks that BootCamp being in the top 20 best OSX products is kinda silly?

On Windows (or even Linux) you don't see "top 10 best products" list that often, if at all, simply because they are too many to just list a "top 20 best".

Computers have moved to a point where different people use them for wildly different purposes. As such, you simply can't have "top X products" for an entire OS. If on Mac it's not the same, it's that much sadder.

It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307080)

Have you even read the freaking list? It's obviously a top-20 list for sysadmins.

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (-1, Troll)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307248)

Have you even read the freaking list? It's obviously a top-20 list for [Mac] sysadmins.

All 3 of 'em?

What kinda sysadmin needs graphical concept drawing software or chat software on the systems he manages, how about screencast video maker? What kinda sysadmin needs "SketchFighter 4000 Alpha"? The alternative for this on Windows would be putting Minesweeper and Solitaire in the top 20 for sysadmins.

Furthermore, wtf is a Mac sysadmin anyway? OSX is a system for consumers and the occasional designer.

Do you have a crack team of sysadmins managing your iPod?

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307506)

Have you even read the freaking list? It's obviously a top-20 list for [Mac] sysadmins.

All 3 of 'em?

What kinda sysadmin needs graphical concept drawing software
The kind of sysadmin that documents his network. Not all sysadmins manage a small network like yours. Smells like network envy.

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307984)

What kinda sysadmin needs graphical concept drawing software
The kind of sysadmin that documents his network.
Oh God! Not more Powerpoint presentations. ANYTHING BUT THAT!

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307668)

Hahaha, I hope you like it in ignorance land, because that's where you are. As for the game, as I already said, read the list. He explains why he includes Sketch Fighter.

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (1)

keytohwy (975131) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307930)

One of the thngs I love about iChat is the abiity to send a file that is too large for email to someone. Sometimes I need to do this on the fly, and its a ton quicker than uploading teh filer to a server and then trying to tell the person where to dowload it from. and when iChat ships in Leopard, it will have screen sharing built in. Very nice!

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18308028)

What kinda sysadmin needs graphical concept drawing software or chat software on the systems he manages, how about screencast video maker? What kinda sysadmin needs "SketchFighter 4000 Alpha"?

The only thing more pathetic than a PC user is a PC user trying to be a Mac user. We have a name for you people: switcheurs.

There's a good reason for your vexation at the typical Mac system administrator's diversity of skills and interests: You don't speak its language. Remember that the Mac was designed by artists [atspace.com] , for artists [atspace.com] , be they poets [atspace.com] , musicians [atspace.com] , or avant-garde mathematicians [atspace.com] . A shiny new Mac can introduce your frathouse hovel to a modicum of good taste, but it can't make Mac users out of dweebs [atspace.com] and squares [atspace.com] like you.

So don't force what doesn't come naturally. You'll be much happier if you stick to an OS that suits your personality. And you'll be doing the rest of us a favor, too; you leave Macs to Mac users, and we'll leave beige to you.

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308520)

So don't force what doesn't come naturally. You'll be much happier if you stick to an OS that suits your personality. And you'll be doing the rest of us a favor, too; you leave Macs to Mac users, and we'll leave beige to you.

Good job. The logical progression after failing to convert the audience into your little elite club, is to claim "you are not worthy of possessing a Mac" and further engage in your delusions of superiority.

BTW, I really find your opinion of the plain beige PC-s [alienware.com] amusing. Do you think shiny white boosts your IQ?

In this case, I've a Futurama quote for you:

Dwight: "Put this flame sticker on the back side. It makes the ship go faster..."
Hermes: "And what is your scientific explanation for this?"
Dwight: "... I'm twelve?"

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18308688)

Your brickheaded literalism is indicative of the company you keep, and the OS you prefer. It's not the PC that's beige; it's you.

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308546)

Remember that the Mac was designed by artists [atspace.com], for artists [atspace.com], be they poets [atspace.com], musicians [atspace.com]

That's an odd way to look at it. Do you also prefer poetry/music written by nuclear physicists and aerospace engineers?

Re:It's a top-20 list for sysadmins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18308658)

"I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world."

Re:BootCamp (1)

AISI (1071774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307090)

Who else thinks that BootCamp being in the top 20 best OSX products is kinda silly?
Since the Intel switch it's all about BootCamp, Parallels and VMware but it's not a new trend. Before that people were using Virtual PC [wikipedia.org] by Connectix or Insignia's RealPC [macobserver.com] .

Computers have moved to a point where different people use them for wildly different purposes. As such, you simply can't have "top X products" for an entire OS. If on Mac it's not the same, it's that much sadder.
Windows is not a minority OS, everybody is used to it. This is not the case for Linux but listing your top ten thousand packages for Debian or RedHat would be too long. :-) Now some people are switching to the Mac, after spending x years or even decades on Windows, there is admittedly a learning curve. They need to learn about the Mac keyboard shortcuts, the apps/utilities, etc.

Re:BootCamp (1)

dwightk (415372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307224)

you are totally right... I see the error of my ways... can I have a quarter to buy a real computer?

Re:BootCamp (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307474)

you are totally right... I see the error of my ways... can I have a quarter to buy a real computer?

I'd blink on it, but I'm a curious fella, and simply gotta know: what the heck do you mean with the whole "can I have a quarter to buy a computer" anyway?

Re:BootCamp (1)

maj1k (33968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308330)

it's pretty obvious he was trolling the guy who trolled with his "As such, you simply can't have "top X products" for an entire OS. If on Mac it's not the same, it's that much sadder." comment.

Re:BootCamp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307724)

Erm.. excuse me, Bootcamp is the best dual boot solution in existence. It makes installing another os a streamlined and almost effortless affair (in my experience).. add to that the proper hardware support with windows drivers. Made my installing windows on my mac, the best windows install experience ever. EVER. And I install windows regularly.

Slownewsday (0, Flamebait)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306696)

My guess was these lists belong to digg... must be a really slow news day today.

My favorite Mac Tools? (0, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306712)

A Debian or Yellow Dog installer?

Re:My favorite Mac Tools? (-1, Offtopic)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306786)

...erm.

Hmm. (-1, Flamebait)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306720)

You can actually program for Mac ? I didn't know that.

Quicksilver (0, Redundant)

Bega (684994) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306732)

I think that Quicksilver would belong on that list.

More like... (-1, Troll)

miscz (888242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306808)

all Mac apps from worst to best.

Some of Mine: (1, Informative)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306862)

Being a web developer who works from home, here's my short list of tools I like:

Web Developer Ext. for Mozilla: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/60/ [mozilla.org]
MailTags: http://www.indev.ca/MailTags.html [indev.ca]
FTP/SFTP Client: http://cyberduck.ch/ [cyberduck.ch]
Text Editor: http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/ [barebones.com]
OpenOffice: http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/ [openoffice.org]
Image Editor: http://www.macgimp.org/ [macgimp.org]

Re:Some of Mine: (1)

ViaD (860177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307606)

http://opensourcemac.org/ [opensourcemac.org]

OMG... (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18306872)

BRICKLES!!!!!!

hehehehehehe

Sorry. had to. Haven't touched a Mac since the Mac G3 days (high school senior year).

Best software tool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306900)

I say best tool for Macs is Vista Ultimate!

Easy top software: Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18306958)

Those two years when I had a Mac, I always wanted to run Linux. Maaaan, was Virtual PC unbearably slow!

Now that I'm with Linux again, I don't miss the Mac at all.

The Borg. (-1, Offtopic)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307086)

... little-known apps like Peter Borg's Lingon ...
You are worthy of assimilation. Lower your firewalls and surrender your beige boxes, we will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307128)

Most of these are not Mac-only, but here is my list of essentials:

That's all I can think of now.

Strange ommisions (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307204)

No mention of fink or Darwin ? Those are pretty much the only tools I know on OSX.

CodeTek's Virtual Desktop (1)

Brackney (257949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307214)

I was quite fond of CodeTek's Virtual Desktop. http://codetek.com/ctvd/ [codetek.com] It made me feel right at home when jumping between my Linux desktop and the Mac. Lots of real-estate, some nice customization features, and mouse focus behavior I preferred to OS X's. Sadly, the application hasn't been properly supported for a while. It does work, mostly, but isn't as flawless as it once was. I recently had to turn it off because of some misbehaviors with Firefox.

Re:CodeTek's Virtual Desktop (1)

Brackney (257949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307232)

Oh shoot. I forgot to mention another app that I use a lot, Cyberduck. http://cyberduck.ch/ [cyberduck.ch] Great little FTP client.

Re:CodeTek's Virtual Desktop (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308278)

I believe that Leopard will have a virtual desktop-like capability built-in. I vaguely recall something about that during one of Jobs' keynotes.

No mention of... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307236)

mplayer, vlc, or the veritable slu of third party and oss quicktime plugins that give you multiple redundant and dependable playback of every video format on the planet.

this is something the user must install, because the default codec packs for quicktime are, imho, even worse than those for windows media player.

Kiddie pools... (4, Interesting)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307244)

For starters:

I would throw in iTerm, virtueDesktops, Parallels, TextMate, Navicat for Mac.

Without these programs, I couldn't make it in the fast paced Graphic Design field of Macs (Any other IT people out there want to shit nails when someone says Mac's are for graphic design? Last time I checked, my Macs didn't look like big blue pumpkins.)

----My Motto:
I don't care if the customer's stuff is working or not. I just don't want to be affected by whatever they have. My equipment MUST work, Therefore I use Apple.

Re:Kiddie pools... (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307750)

iTerm is essential to me, tabbed terminals are something I can't live without.

Check out Quicksilver if you haven't yet, it's by Blacktree. I have no affiliation with them, but it's the bomb:

http://blacktree.com/ [blacktree.com]

Is Iterm stable? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307854)

I tried using I term 2 years ago and it was a horrible experience. very slow and it would crash taking all my terminals with it. Has it improved?

Re:Is Iterm stable? (1)

tres (151637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308076)


I use iTerm for hours every day. It's much more stable than it was a couple years back, and has some cool new features.

command+enter gives a full screen of terminal. Combine that with Virtue desktops & I've got my "terminal" desktop.

 

Re:Is Iterm stable? (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308142)

Agreed. It was a mess for a while, now it is very stable and always running on my machine.

Re:Kiddie pools... (1)

tres (151637) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308116)


For anyone interested in an open source Navicat alternative, check out Yoursql [ludit.it] .

For a Postgres GUI, check out pgAdmin [pgadmin.org] (I've had some stability issues with this one, but there's not much else out there that's Free and Open.

Three more (1)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307260)

Little Snitch from ObDev [obdev.com] .

BBEdit or TextWrangler from Bare Bones Software [barebones.com] .

Opera [opera.com] .

Network Location (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307304)

The submitter writes: "Also, do you think Welch gives too much air time to built-in OS X tools at the expense of third-party products such as NetworkLocation?"

Network Location is #10 on the list. So now even the submitters don't RTFA?

iTerm (1)

tji (74570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307424)


For others moving from Linux to Mac OS X, like I did (for my laptop at least, my server & mythtv boxes are still Linux), iTerm is the first thing to install. Mac OS X has a terminal program, but it's weak at best. iTerm is a good terminal program, with multiple tabs and cutomizable display settings.

http://iterm.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Essential Mac tools... (-1, Troll)

denzacar (181829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307442)

- A deck of gold credit cards - for any kind of a software or hardware problem that might occur,
- A designer-signed wallet to keep them in - cause it is just so much better then that Chinese 1$ crap,
- A pair of designer-signed glasses which paired with a goatee and a single stud earring make you look and feel like a designer yourself,
- An iPod - because, what kind of a Mac user are you if you don't have your iPod at all times?
- A Steve Jobs tattoo. For no other reason than religious fanaticism.

Re:Essential Mac tools... (4, Informative)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307934)

Or, just:

vi (built-in)
screen (built in)
apache (built-in)
ssh (built-in)
emacs (built-in)

and the list goes on.

It's my favorite *nix workstation. I don't wear an earring, drive a Jetta, or own a kayak, mountain bike or iPod.

Re:Essential Mac tools... (2, Insightful)

Stamen (745223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308234)

I think your post needs to be repeating. People love stereo types, so I'm probably whistling in the wind, but there are many people like you out there, I'm one of them. People who are love Unix and also love OS X. However I do own an iPod, a few of them.

People have to realize that OS X is mostly open source, except for the windows manager and the user-land stuff. The first thing I install on OS X is XCode so that I have gcc, and then DarwinPorts so I can "port" myself to happy goodness.

Of course I'd rather OS X run on any PC (you can if you work at it), but Apple hardware is pretty decent, and contrary to popular belief it isn't much more than equal hardware from Dell or whomever (that was the queue for someone to point out that you can buy that 9 pound 2 inch thick Dell laptop for 600 bucks; come on, you know you want to). It's OS X that I really like, what it runs on isn't as important to me.

I think there a 3 distinct groups of people using OS X.
* The home user who is attracted by the commercials that say how easy it is to use

* The artists/designers who use Photoshop/Final Cut Pro/etc

* People like me, *nix peeps that enjoy a really nice windows manager and seamless hardware drivers

Now saying all that, OS X on the server isn't so good, for that it's hard to beat BSD or Linux.

Parallels (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307458)

Parallels with coherence mode rules.
I still have no good replaces for SQLYog, Filezilla and scite (No I don't want to port it and use it under X, I wan't a Mac app)
At this time I'm running all of them "parallelized"
Any suggestions?

mmm.. cripple ware.. mmm.. (-1, Troll)

Weezul (52464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307646)

Apple has a lame ass cripple ware culture. Don't buy the bullshit.

Re:mmm.. cripple ware.. mmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307734)

GTFO, troll. Nobody's interested in what you have to say.

No mention of QuickSilver? (0, Redundant)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307738)

It's the greatest launcher ever...

http://blacktree.com/ [blacktree.com]

It's like bash completion right in the GUI, just hit ctrl-spce, type a letter or two, and hit enter. I can't live without it anymore.

I'd substitute Interarchy for Transmit (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307784)

I'd substitute Interarchy for Transmit. Otherwise, looks reasonable.

Also, OmniOutliner is VERY nice for many tasks. And Silverkeeper is a free basic backup program that does well enough for me.

Interesting list... (1)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307804)

...but, as always, subjective at best. I still have a G5 iMac, and many of the apps on the list are useless to me, as they're specifically for the Intel processor. However, these lists are informative in that they help to become aware of potentially useful apps to any mac users out there.

That said, here are a few apps the guy neglected to mention:
- Claris Filemaker http://www.filemaker.com/ [filemaker.com] . Hands down, the best database software out there, for the Mac or any other OS.
- iWeb http://www.apple.com/ilife/iweb/ [apple.com] . Ridiculously easy to use, yet web pages still come out clean and looking pretty good too.
- DVD Studio Pro http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/dvdstudiopro/ [apple.com] . Isn't this still the industry standard for assembling DVD structure and navigation?
- Visual Hub http://www.techspansion.com/visualhub/ [techspansion.com] . For its' ability to convert video files in any format out there into any other.
- Disk Warrior http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/ [alsoft.com] . In the extremely isolated cases of ever having to need it, this is the single most important life-saving app out there.

Oh, and an honorable mention: Mac The Ripper. Site is down, but you can check out their forum http://www.ripdifferent.com/ [ripdifferent.com] .

The short high quality list (0, Troll)

postmortem (906676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307936)

mac-fdisk

The things I had to install immediately (2, Interesting)

dildo (250211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307960)

Just my personal preferences, but I imagine lots of people will agree with me.

0. Start Safari, get Firefox, remove Safari from the dock.
1. OS X Developer tools. Going to be compiling lots of stuff.
2. Subversion.
3. VLC
4. TextMate
5. GraphViz
6. Clisp
7. SBCL
8. XWindows

I was so impressed with the compile speed on my new MacBook. I blink and it is done. (Except for compiling
Erlang, that took 30 minutes and burned a hole through my desk. Dude.)

Path Finder, the better Finder (2, Informative)

davebarnes (158106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307976)

I use Path Finder (http://www.cocoatech.com) every day, all during the day.
Can't imagine only having the Finder to use.

NetworkLocation (1)

towad (461996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308128)

Those interested in NetworkLocation might also want to take a look at Wilma. It has a cleaner, more tradional Mac interface.

http://www.codehackers.net/wilma/ [codehackers.net]

Where's Clickbook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18308172)

Where is ClickBook [bluesquirrel.com] in the list?

Missing Program (3, Informative)

maytagman (971263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308306)

How on earth did he not include Onyx? I'd probably say its top 5... http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs/english.html [titanium.free.fr] from the site: It allows you to run misc tasks of system maintenance, to configure certain hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock, Dashboard, Exposé, Safari, Login window and many Apple's applications, to delete cache, to remove a certain number of files and folders that may become cumbersome, to see the detailed info of your configuration, to preview the different logs and CrashReporter reports, to check the Preferences files and more. I would even go so far as to say it deserved to be number one...

My list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18308674)

Power User on the Mac for 13 years, former Mac Genius...

FontExplorerX (it is free, it rocks! Better than Suitcase, Font Reserve, ATM Deluxe ever dreamed of being)
Photoshop (no doubt)
TypeIt4Me (first shareware app I ever registered)
OmniWeb (feature-wise kicks ass on Safari, makes FireFox look silly)
FileBuddy (file manipulation in every way you can imagine)
WeatherManX (simple, yet awesome desktop weather app)
BBEdit (don't even try to bring up TextMate...BBEdit eats it for lunch)
MacProgramGuide (desktop TV listings, the only program to get it right since the late lamented Watson)
VLC (watch almost any video for free)
TinkerTool (customize without memorizing a pile of Terminal commands)
KrossWordz (great crossword puzzle app)
VueScan (I'm a photographer, can you tell? Makes Silverfast look stupid)
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