Totally Random Musings from the Edge

Essential OS X Software

03 June 2006

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I’ve compiled a list of what I consider to be “Essential OS X Software”. These applications are used by me daily and allow me to use my Mac’s in the best way possible. Some of you may disagree with some of these applications and that’s fine. This is afterall…my list.

General Applications Firefox If you haven’t heard of Firefox then you’ve been living in a cave or under a rock for the past couple of years. Simply said…it’s the best web browser on the planet and all others are just cheap knockoffs.

Music Applications iTunes iTunes comes with OS X and is the best way to manage your music collection. (Regardless of whether or not your using OSX or Windows) iScrobbler/Audioscrobbler Audioscrobbler will send the name of every song you play on your computer to Last.fm. This effortlessly populates your profile to play radio you like and make personalised recommendations!

Mail Applications Mail.App Mac OS X Tiger Mail 2, now features Spotlight search technology as well as Smart Folders, Parental Controls and can utilize iSync and .Mac to keep your email messages and settings in perfect sync across multiple Macs. MailTags MailTags is a plug-in for Apple’s Mail.app 2.0 (Tiger) that enables you to go way beyond folder filing for organizing mail by enabling metadata tagging. MailActOn Mail Act-On is a plugin for Apple’s Mail (Panther) in that allows you to map specific mail rules or actions to “Act-On” keys. When viewing mail you can apply the “Act-On” action for a message by making simple keystrokes.

Coding & Unix Applications SubEthaEdit SubEthaEdit is a powerful and lean text editor. And it’s the only collaborative one you can actually use. By combining the ease of Bonjour with the world’s best text collaboration engine, it makes working together fairly easy. iTerm iTerm is a full featured terminal emulation program written for OS X using Cocoa. It is by far the best command line experience under OS X.

Messaging Applications Adium Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and other protocols. Skype Skype offers free global telephony, to make unlimited, superior quality voice calls via its next-generation peer-to-peer software.

Security Applications Mac GNU Privacy Guard Mac GNU Privacy Guard (Mac GPG for short) is the Mac OS X port of GnuPG, licensed under the GNU GPL. For those who don’t know, GnuPG is a free OpenPGP client (PGP == Pretty Good Privacy). It can encrypt text (usually e-mail or other messages sent between people) and sign text to prove who wrote it. GPGMail GPGMail is a plug-in for Apple’s Mail, providing a front-end to gpg for some operations. It allows you to read/write encrypted messages, as well as electronically signed messages.