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Must-have Mac software

:: Sunday, September 3rd, 2006 @ 11:28:31 pm

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In typical fashion, I’ve layered yet more complexity onto my life by ordering a Mac Pro through my friend, Victor, at Apple (thank you, Victor!). As most of my friends know, I have been on the verge of getting a Mac for a few years now. For quite a few reasons, I was just never quite able to pull the trigger until now.

I’m now starting the search for software. I’m not replacing my Thinkpad T60p (yet), so most of this stuff will be for home desktop use.

So far, I know that I’m probably going to have to get:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS2 (Rosetta! blech!!)
  • InDesign
  • Final Cut Studio
  • iWork, Keynote (after I get a notebook)
  • Dreamweaver
  • MS Office
  • CaptureOne (maybe)
  • iView (maybe)
  • Aperture
  • Photoshop Plugin: Neat Image
  • Photoshop Plugin: Photokit Sharpener

If Aperture works out, I won’t need to get iView nor CaptureOne. But I am skeptical that its RAW conversion quality will be anywhere near what CaptureOne produces when used with custom camera profiles. I’ll probably have to stick with C1 for conversions, but we’ll see.

I also don’t yet have a solution to replace Nelson Email Organizer Pro (NEO), which is the best mail client I’ve ever used.

I also need to replace the following apps that I use often on my PC:

  • Breezebrowser – ultimate RAW image browser, EXIF/IPTC copy utility, flexible HTML generator with custom fields
  • AppRocket – I know this thing was originally a Mac program. What was it called?
  • Beyond Compare 2 – awesome sync tool that lets you point at two directories and do all sorts of customized file synchronization
  • ZoomPlayer – the best video/media player for the PC
  • DVD Decrypter/DVD Shrink
  • FeedDemon – my preferred RSS reader, with web sync
  • TextPad – my favorite text editor.
  • WebDrive – mount volumes via ftp/sftp/webdav
  • SmartFTP – ftp client
  • Total Commander – My file browser/manipulator of choice
  • Trillian – IM client, works with all services
  • uTorrent/BitComet
  • DUMeter – network traffic meter

Any Mac experts out there have a list of must-have software or suggestions for replacements? Commercial, shareware, and freeware are all welcome. :)

| Oakland, CA | link | trackback | Sep 3, 2006 23:28:31
  • gen3ric

    Hey Eric,

    I use Azureus for bt client, vlc for video/dvd/media, jedit for text, iTerm for a terminal replacement…there’s a good list at http://www.opensourcemac.org/

    Cheers.

  • http://www.thomashan.com Thomas

    Eric,

    For Trillian, check out Adium (http://adiumx.com/)

  • mark

    Eric,

    I am in a similar position, I recently got PowerBook and have been searching for Mac equivalents of Windows programs.

    You may find that Quicksilver (http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/) will meet your AppRocket needs. Also, I would highly recommend Textmate as your Textpad replacement and Transmit to replace SmartFTP.

    I have yet to find a Breezebrowser equivalent.

    Ciao.

  • cyu

    Congrats on making it back from the darkside! I’ll ask Chris if he has any comments on software.

  • Angyl

    Trillian -> Adium

    Also, I have nothing but good things to say about MS’s office suite for mac. Entourage is MUCH better than Outlook.

  • http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/ Chris
  • Mike Sun

    Transmission – BT client BBEdit – text editor Adium X – IM client Fugu – SCP, SFTP client

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    From Adam Tow:

    Quicksilver – I see a lot of people using Quicksilver (LaunchBar competitor). I used to use LaunchBar on my old PowerMac (coincidentally codenamed Quicksilver too), but I stopped using it when Tiger came out with Spotlight (not quite the same, but it does what I need it to do, launch apps).

    BBEdit, TextMate – TextMate has gotten popular with developers (web and traditional) lately. Might be a good alternative to check out before plunking down the cash on BBEdit.

    NetNewsWire

    Synergy – just make sure you swivel your chair properly. My left shoulder and neck are still aching from not doing that with my two computers/monitors at Sharpcast

    Adium – I use both iChat and Adium for chatting. iChat for video chat and Adium like Trillian

    MenuMeters – There’s another one that shows memory usage for each application. I’ll get the name of it for you soon.

    Desktop Manager – until Leopard comes out with Spaces, this is the app I use for multiple desktops

    ExifRenamer – For renaming all of my image files to YYYY-MM-DD_hh-mmss_index format

    Transmit – SFTP client

    iTerm – tabbed terminal

    OmniGraffle – for making diagrams. like Visio

    Snapz Pro X – screenshots and movies of screen operations. I don’t think they have an Intel version ready yet

    Tomato Torrent – bittorrent client

    Tinker Tool – modify certain Mac OS X preferences

    VLC – movie viewing utility for formats QuickTime has problems with

  • http://giles.shaxted.co.uk Giles Shaxted

    VLC is good .. works with just about every file i throw at it on my PC

    I love Azureus .. small and works fast and customizable for various network prefs

    the rest i dont know about as I am a PC guy !!

    but BOO to you Eric .. you getting rid of all your PC’s ?

    selling the think pad ? email me !

  • http://jefflaity.com Jeff Laity

    Rumor has is that Adobe is announcing native Photoshop any day now.

    I don’t use a lot of tricky software and shareware. Just the same stuff you use. BBEdit is the text editor I like. QuickTime, Final Cut Studio and Sorenson Squeeze handle my video needs. Grab MPEG Streamclip if you have to deal with MPEG video. Safari supports RSS feeds. iChat works great for me, though it doesn’t support ICQ if you use that. It’s almost like Apple supplies most of the software you’ll ever need right out of the box. :)

    Let us know how you like Aperture. I heard the main problem with the software is that you can’t have a photo library that spans several drives, which is a problem for some photographers.

  • http://jefflaity.com Jeff Laity

    Oh yeah, another vote for Transmit for FTP (panic.com).

  • http://balanceinmotion.net eric

    w00t! Congrats!

    i will add my recommendations for Quicksilver, TextMate, and VLC. Quicksilver is amazingly well-made and deep. Also I prefer the beta Lightroom to Aperture, but my needs are obviously non-hard-core.

    I have yet to find an SFTP client I like that doesn’t crash. Or at least one I’m willing to pay for. In the meantime, scp via the command line is what I use …

  • http://stevec.qiguang.net steve

    Have you by any chance ever been able to get DUMeter to ignore LAN packets? I’ve always wanted to use DUMeter to monitor my Internet traffic, but whenever I start streaming from my media server or copying files from my NAS, it blows up the DUMeter logs into a state of meaninglessness (is that even a word?).

  • devotion

    Windows app and the Mac suggested right below.

    Use http://www.versiontracker.com/macosx/ to find these apps

    Breezebrowser Aperture :-)

    AppRocket QuickSilver

    Beyond Compare 2 rsyncbackup – would be a decent place to start

    ZoomPlayer Apple DVD player is standard, but VLC for alternate media types

    DVD Decrypter/DVD Shrink Mac the Ripper

    FeedDemon NetNewsWire (lite or pro version)

    TextPad TextMate

    WebDrive Transmit and Finder for WevDAV

    SmartFTP Transmit

    Total Commander Finder

    Trillian Proteus or Fire

    uTorrent/BitComet Tomato Torrent Azeurus BitRocket

    DUMeter Net Monitor

  • http://www.rogercarlsonphotography.com/ Roger

    regarding your comment on aperture’s raw conversions: the converter does have some settings, and apple wants feedback if you can’t get something you like.

    see here:

    http://aperturetricks.wordpres.....w-decodes/

    I found them to be responsive and improved the Oly E1 import between 1 and 1.1 and fixed the problem I had with sharpening and mazing.

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