Recommended Mac Applications and their slow death

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I have been using the Mac for years now, and had a Mac Stuff page on my various blogs. Seeing that the Mac is going through so many changes, and shortly there will be a locked down Mac App store, we may be going down the path of Windows and becoming a closed platform. So, I have removed my old page and decided to simply post it as a relic of the great 3rd party development that flourished over the last 5 plus years.

Recently Gizmodo wrote an article on the big problems with locking down an operating system where all the development must be approved by Apple. That includes very popular applications like bit torrent. Steve Jobs has done a great job making sure that only Safari is approved to be used on the iPhone, no porn, strict censorship(nudity, profanity, etc…), flash gone, rejection to any competitors from making apps on the iPhone platform. The list of problems with this type of platform are endless. Apple is telling you what you get to use, and making those choices for you. Shitty. Very shitty. This may very well be the only way to run a Mac in the next couple of years. I will be slowly converting over to Linux(probably Ubuntu or Mint), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still great Mac Applications out there! This list has been reposted from a couple of years ago, but all of the ones below still stand the test of time…

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Generated Application List



NeoOffice is a Mac specific office suite based upon the well polished Openoffice. It uses less memory than Openoffice, and is absolutely free. Dump Microsoft, and get yourself NeoOffice!



Dropbox is a cloud storage site that works with Finder to drag & drop files you want to have access to on any computer you use. You can get up to 3Gb of free storage just by referring your friends! Here is the link to click to get me more storage!



This is a nice twitter client, with smooth scrolling action, nice integration with Growl, and the cute little birdie sounds brighten up your day(or will drive you crazy, if you hate cute little bird sounds). It is easy to tweet from the app, and has low system requirements.



Sure, you could just drag the application to the trash, but using Appzapper makes un-installing the app fun with laser gun sounds!!!And, it gets rid of all the stuff Apple misses when you get rid of any application.



A free FTP browser for the Mac. Open source, well updated, and simple to use. It is an absolute must for running and updating a blog and downloading shared files via FTP!!


DEVONthink Pro

It is your 2nd brain. This app allows you full reign over your data, and keeps all your important information at your finger tips. I use this database application to keep all my site information backed up, archive my email, and even run my paperless house(when I can keep up with it all)! No more paper. Think of the possibilities!



I use this app exclusively for posting to this blog! Though Marsedit is a great blogging client, Ecto is more polished. Especially for embedded images. If you like the look of the site, and the lay out of my posts, you can thank Ecto for that! It has great support for tagging as well.



The best and most extensible browser on the Mac. This one is open source, free, customizable, and has tons of plugins(look for the bleeding edge Minefield builds as well). It is the most popular browser next to IE, and will soon pass it. Be popular and go grab it!


Google Notifier

Alerts for new emails and events in the menu bar, quick previews of new Gmail messages and timely reminders for Google Calendar events.



This little app wakes me up in the morning without fail! It is well integrated with iTunes, can download podcasts to wake up too, etc…It is free to use, but for $5.95, give the developer a bit of cake to keep up the development.



Do you ever wish you could cut and paste multiple items, and even save some of them for later? iClip is your repository for all your snippets.



A nice replacement for the Terminal, and you can customize the colours to your geeky heart’s content.



A great VI replacement for those that like powerful text editors! I mess around in here quite often when I need to play with site templates and HTML. Sure you could just open it up in Terminal, but MacVim has nice syntax colours, and a few other options to make it worth while to run on it’s own.



Have you ever wanted to organize your thoughts, organize yourself on a particular task? Most people get a notebook. Well, here is the electronic version.



**With the advent of Chrome/Chromium, extensions, etc, Omniweb is fading into the sunset, but at the time it was the 2nd best browser on the Mac! It is fast, based upon the most recent Webkit, you can set up separate workspaces, customize on a per website basis, has excellent ad-blocking settings, and it is beautifully designed! And now it is free! Need I say more?


Path Finder

The main alternative to Apple’s Finder, with a text editor, terminal, Get info, and so much more all in one window. What the Finder should have been!



I could write a huge list as to why this is the best app on the Mac, but just take my word…Quicksilver will make you forget you have a mouse! It is an application launcher, a search tool, a way to access all your data, and it is only one keystroke away. You will even forget about the Dock!!



From the same folks that make Firefox, this e-mail and news reader is fast, updated regularly, customizable, extensible, and open source. A great alternative to, and it is cross platform. I use it to make a permanent backup of my Gmail IMAP account.



The best bit torrent app on the Mac! Works fantastic with downloading the newest Linux ISO, or Open Office Update.



I type a lot…Even using the Dvorak keyboard, I look for any way I can cut down on the keystrokes…Typinator rules! All my HTML markups, my signature, address, and anything else you can think of, can be set up as a shortcut. I even have it catch when I spell common words wrong, and it auto-corrects them! Another cool thing I use it for is to convert words from the American spelling to Canadian(example color to colour).Truly a wonder on nature.


USB Overdrive X

If you want to customize the way you use your mouse, get this plug-in. I have been using it for years without a hitch!



I mess around with 2 or 3 different linux distros through virtualization. You could pay for that sort of software using VMWare or Parallels, or you could just use this bad boy, and get it for free!!


VLC media player

A must have on the Mac. If you go out on the net and want to watch 80% of the content, you will need to install VLC.

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Copyright 2008, Brian Skrab
Concept: Chris Pirillo

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