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Summary:

I know how many of you love to pimp your machine, your GUI, your programs, your OS; skins, mods, hacks, you name it. But as many of you probably know, getting the best programs, mods, and skins for your machine could be troublesome, and it’s a […]

I know how many of you love to pimp your machine, your GUI, your programs, your OS; skins, mods, hacks, you name it. But as many of you probably know, getting the best programs, mods, and skins for your machine could be troublesome, and it’s a system of trial and error when finding the right files. Well this is a list that is compiled by your’s truly, it will feature the best programs to use for certain tasks (in my opinion), and other small hacks and mods. Just remember that all of these downoads will be for Mac OS X.

Browsing the Internet Super Highway and designing it.

  • Firefox – I love firefox, extentions, themes, user-friendly, you name it. But Firefox for OSX does tend to crash from time to time. In fact mine crashed while typing this post.
  • Shiira – Fast, reliable, gets the job done.
  • Opera – Now that it’s freeware
  • Safari – This is the default browser when you first fire up OS X
  • Camino – This is the Mac version of Mozilla. It’s fluid, it works, it’s reliable. However it lacks it’s older brother Firefox’s extentions, themes, and other mods.
  • CocoaMySQL – For some MySQL is ugly, and they just don’t get along with it. This tool is for them. It easily allows people to alter MySQL databases and upload the changes.

Email Clients

  • Thunderbird – Before I made the total switch to Mac I used this on the PC platform. I loved it, however the difficulty of installing and setup is determined by your email service (gmail is a pain).
  • Mail – OS X’s default mail client, and what I personally would recommend this. It operates seamlessly with almost everything in OS X.

Peer to Peer P2P

  • Acuisition – This is a reliable P2P client, seamless iTunes integration. but nothing really new here.
  • Limewire – This isn’t free, but it asks you if you want to buy it when you boot it up, you click no, and you’re good to go. Great client, what I personally prefer
  • Azureus – When asking me, this is the best bittorrent client, easy to use, but if you know how it has many advanced features.
  • BitComet – Easy to use, and fairly userfriendly. Not much to say on this one.

Instant Messaging

  • AdiumX – I use AIM, and on Windows I used Trillian Pro, Adium is the best instant messaging client, bar none.
  • iChat – This is the default messenger in OSX. It’s alright, for basic instant messaging, and it has awesome AV chat. But if you want something that is skinnable, has mods, and easy to use. Get Adium.

Office Suites

  • Open Office – Personally, I never got Open office to work on my Mac. I got it to work perfectly fine on Windows and I loved it. However, I did get Microsoft Office with my Mac so I just assume use that. However, if you are able to get Open Office for Mac working, don’t bother paying the high dollar for Microsoft Word. Open Office gets the job done just as well, and it’s almost identical, minus a few minor technicalities. Like word it can open Powerpoint, documents, PDFs, you name it.
  • Microsoft Office for Mac – You do have to roll out the high dollars for this little office suite, if you can’t afford it go with Open Office. However if you can afford it, go for it. Microsoft Office doesn’t do anything differently than Open Office, it’s really up to the user to decide which they want.
  • Writely – The Web 2.0 word processor, it gets the job done, however you need the web to access it, and it cannot open Powerpoint or other file types.

Multimedia

  • VLC – This will play almost any video format you can throw at it, a must have.
  • Windows Media Player – Yes I know. You really don’t want anything having to do with Windows on your Mac. Well, this will help you play those pesky WMV files. I don’t use it a whole lot, but occasionally I do get a WMV file that will not play in anything but Windows Media Player.
  • FLip4Mac – This allows Quicktime to play those pesky WMV files. However Windows Media Player still comes in handy from time to time.
  • Disco X – Very easy to use mixing software.

Emulation

  • MAME – The Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, I love this little program, if you’re an old school fan this is for you. I nor does The Apple Blog condone piracy.

Voice over IP

  • Skype – Skype has been around for a while, it’s a great app. However in today’s world of podcasting it does lack some basic functionality. It doesn’t allow you to record, and it limits you to 5 people per voice conference. Other than that it has great quality and reliability. For those of you wanting to record with Skype use Hotrecorder. It’s easy, but not free.
  • Gizmo Project – After being a long time Skype user, and having to pay to record I found out about Gizmo Project. It offers much of the same functionality as Skype, only with added recording and their exclusive news services. This is also free, and it’s free to record conversations with it.

Usability and Skinning

  • ShapeShifter – Can we say Windowblinds for Mac? This is not so much Windowblinds, seeing as it adds a few more features, it’s not free, but definatley worth a look.
  • Menu Meters – Add all kinds of usability, menus, and meters to your OS X taskbar.
  • Synergy – If anything this is just a random tool I think is cool. It allows you to share one keyboard and mouse set over multiple machines. Useful…sometimes.
  • Voodoopad – Very useful app if you find yourself constantly jotting down notes, and you use up way too many Post-it notes. This takes all your thoughts and puts them in one very nice Wiki.

Security

  • Applejack – Macs are incredible; yet they are still computers; and we all know that computers aren’t always the most reliable tools. This is a very useful system restore/diagnostic/security tool. It wil allow you to run security tasks to repair your machine even when the GUI won’t pop up.
  • ClamXav – For those out there that are still weary-eyed about Mac security, this is a free antivirus tool.

  1. Hi, I was just trying to install both of the torrent clients you listed, and for one, BitComet doesnt seem to support OS X (I’ve probably missed something), and azureus doesnt seem to work on my intel iMac.
    I’ve probably made a mistake though, I only got my mac today (first one!).

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  2. Great article!

    For torrent clients on the OS X, I can’t think of one better than the open source Transmission. It is very lightweight but well-designed and highly functional. What’s more, it’s a Cocoa app!

    http://transmission.m0k.org/

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  3. computerdude33 Thursday, April 13, 2006

    Why didn’t you mention NeoOffice/J? It’s a port of OpenOffice.org for Mac.

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  4. I agree, unless you need to generate torrent files or some other advanced options, Transmission beats the others hands down.

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  5. No quicksilver?

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  6. If you are looking at office productivity suites then how can you pass up Apple’s own simple suite called iWork? It is a nice, simple, Word Processor and Presentation application that gets the job done.

    If you want to customize your systems icons then look no further than CandyBar by Panic. It is, by far, the best icon customization application for OSX. It is similar to IconPackager for Windows.

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  7. I was a long time user of Firefox but I find Camino much faster, more reliable, and (obviously) much better at integration with the Mac environment.

    And while hard to find, there are hacks out there that can bring back some of the power of the Fox’s extensions.

    After only a month I’ve made Camino:

    * Have multiple search engines in the search field with CamiTools (and many other things)
    * Have Opera-like mouse gestures with Cocoa Gesture
    * Have Session-Saving with CamiScripts
    * Integration with Vienna (which promotes a good question, what’s your fav RSS app?)
    * Spell Checker dialog for any text box via AppleScript.

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  8. hey, bout the BitComet, I too cant find a Mac version. Where can i get the Mac Version?

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  9. oh man, you left out LaunchBar.

    i can’t believe how much i rely on it. just hit command-space, and a little bar drops down off my menu bar. type in a file name, it displays a list of files and folders. type in a song name and it plays the itunes song. type in a name and it pulls the address and phone number out of address book, AND can dump it to the screen in big giant letters you can read while driving, making a phone call, getting google map directions, and drinking your soy chai.

    it’s similar to spotlight only more better, and faster.

    slam

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  10. Or what about Seashore? It’s an image editor for cocoa based on GIMP

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