Mac Software That I Run

Since Marc Andreeson posted his Killer Mac OS X apps for 2007 and someone just asked me, I’ll post some of my favorites.

NetNewsWire: go ahead and pay the $30 for the non-Lite version. This is a great newsreader. Do this and you’ll understand why websites carrying any sort of news (and ads) are effectively dead.

MenuMeters: for some reason, I just can’t live without a CPU graph in the menu bar. I’ve been that way every since I fired up xload in X10R3. MenuMeters also can show a handy Tx/Rx network traffic meter. That lets me know when my DSL has down-shifted. Again.

MarcoPolo: is an automatic location switcher, a better-thean-before replacement for the OS 9 Location Manager. After only six years. It is supposed to switch my default printer, but that isn’t working for me. There are some other tools like this, and the MarcoPolo home page lists them with a chart showing their features.

SQLGrinder: I use this for running Oracle queries. Not a lot of features, but it works fine. Like other tools, it is pretty clueless about CSV format, so I use keyboard macros in the next tool to quote text strings that contain commas.

Emacs: either you need this or you don’t know you need it. I’ve tried AquaMacs, but it was too Aqua and not enough Emacs. I’m running Carbon Emacs.

Fire: this is my multi-protocol IM tool. Everyone else seems to like Adium, but I found it too pixel-greedy, too cute, and too quacky. They are both free, so make your own choice. Hmm, according to Wikipedia (it must be true!), there will be no more versions of Fire. It still works for me, so I’ll wait until I must switch.

Fetch: an FTP client. Fetch goes back to the early days of Mac shareware. When I got a Windows machine at work, I figured that Windows shareware was as good as the Mac stuff. I never found a Windows FTP client nearly as good as Fetch, either free or commercial. There are plenty of good Mac FTP clients, but Fetch hasn’t failed me in over a dozen years, so there is no point in changing now. Yes, it is all rewritten to be OS X native.

MarsEdit: if you post to a blog, consider getting a client. It is way faster than dealing with the web posting interface. MarsEdit is a good one, it is on Andreeson’s list, too. Ecto also has fans and seems to have a better UI for uploading images.

GraphicConverter: kinda old school, but iPhoto drives me up a wall and GraphicConverter does what I need. Plus, I’m set if I ever need to read images in Amiga HAM or LuraWave or Meteosat 5 or X-Face (see list of supported formats).

Mouseposé: perhaps the most focused app I’ve ever used, this puts a spotlight around your cursor for doing demos on a projector. That’s all it does and it works great. They’ve gone payware and added some other features. Next time I do a demo, I’ll spend the $14.95.

SubEthaEdit: a multi-user text editor. I don’t use it that much, but it is so ideal for distributed note-taking that I bought it.

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