For writing I’m using Writeroom and SubEthaEdit (although at some point I’ll get Pages as NeoOffice seems a bit flaky for me)…. Most importantly I’ve found a game of Solitaire and have managed to get World of Warcraft working (although Second Life is terribly slow).

I’ve been following Random Acts of Reality for quite a while now. This morning Reynolds had his to say:

“I’ve recently moved my ‘business’ computing work to an Intel Macbook. And very nice it is too. However I’m wondering if I’m missing some essential ‘must-have’ bit of software or widget. At the moment I’m using Colloquy for IRC chat, Adium and Skype for MSN and similar (I have iChat, but have no contacts). Obviously I’m using Firefox. For writing I’m using Writeroom and SubEthaEdit (although at some point I’ll get Pages as NeoOffice seems a bit flaky for me). For blogging I have Ecto and for FTP I use Cyberduck. Most importantly I’ve found a game of Solitaire and have managed to get World of Warcraft working (although Second Life is terribly slow).

So my question is this – what should I be installing on this computer? What is the essential, or just plain enjoyable, software should I be getting.

Any advice?”

First, congratulations on making an excellent chioce. Second, are you kidding me? Thats like announcing you are pregnant in a room full of mothers… everyone has an opinion and loves to share it. Not that that’s a bad thing either! There’s so much great Mac software out there that everyone has their own setup that they can’t live without.

Well… he did ask for advice…

  1. I use MarsEdit for blogging and NetNewsWire for RSS. You might want to try Camino for your web browser. Same folks that do FireFox do Camino. There are tons of other programs for you new Mac. Just depends on what you want to do with it.

  2. I do have MS Office, but it will probably be the last version I ever buy. I’m using iWorks more and more every day, and you can’t go wrong with the iLife apps. If you download a lot of apps to try out like I do, then AppZapper can be indispensible. Others, in no apparent order:
    • Transmission
    • Audio Hijack
    • SnapzPro
    • ffmpegx
    • GraphicConvertor
    • MactheRipper
    • Onyx
    • Omnigraffle
    • Toast
    • Transmit
    • Transmission
    • VueScan

  3. Ronald Pomeroy Saturday, July 29, 2006

    More Goodness…

    Anything from Panic Software…but especially Unison (NNTP)
    GoogleEarth (Planetary productivity killer)
    Google SketchUp (3D Modelling productivity killer)
    TextMate (unless you need SubEthaEdit’s collaborative capabilities)
    1 NetNewsWire (RSS Reader – get the full version)
    1 OmniGraffle


  4. An absolute must-have in the productivity department is Quicksilver. It’s kind of silly — and difficult — to describe what it does, but once you try it you’ll get hooked. Trust me.

  5. Can’t believe no one’s mentioned the best app out there only available on the Mac: Quicksliver!

  6. Mike Napolitano Saturday, July 29, 2006

    LaunchBar (like butler/quicksilver) is the best piece of code i have ever purchased on any platform. Whatever you do, take the time to learn the ins and outs of this app, and you will massivly improve your productivity. It is basicaly a finder replacement when you dial it in.

    Default Folder to enhance open/saves.

    Witch 1.02. should be a feature in expose.

    Sharepoints for making network shared volumes and folders.


    Ililfe of course

    Parralels for windows apps with no reboot.

    BBEdit for text editing.

    Chronosync for scheduled backups and syncro

    Cocktail for scheduled weekly maintenance

    Diskwarrior for disk happiness

    Of course the Creative Suite is as it should be on the Mac, but I’d wait until the universal version next year. Indesign under OSX is a thing of beauty…

    All good stuff, but learn Launchbar first. People watch me use my mac and they assume it’s all scripted how fast every goes. naving folders, sending email. searching in spotlight or google, opening applescripts/apps, etc. all with a a keystroke. the app learns as you use it. un freaking real…


  7. OmniOutliner Professional. You’d never think a simple list-maker could insinuate itself into your life the way this one will if you just start using it. Download the demo.

    For loads of fun, go find the KinklessGTD scripts for it. That plus Quicksilver can really change your work habits.

    OmniGraffle, if you have any need for it at all. Nothing does a better job at that sort of work.

    TextWrangler if you must, but the folks at BareBones really do great work, and they’ve earned the money you would spend on BBEdit. It’s amazing.

  8. GarageSale – to get rid of all the old PC stuff :)

  9. Some apps I couldn’t do without:

    Automates typing. Make your own shorthand. Speeds up typing enormously. Works in EVERYTHING.

    Superbly simple and FREE. Great for maintenance.

    Comic Life
    Someone else mentioned it. Use it to make comics or even posters. Wonderful and amazingly cheap.

    Gorgeous. I haven’t begun to plumb its depths. Also FREE.

    Does most of what BBEdit does – also FREE and by the same people.

    For playing videos, plays more formats than Quicktime. FREE

    Plays formats that iTunes doesn’t – OGG, Flac, etc.

    And in spite of controversy, I find the apps that come with a Mac to be very good.

    Bare bones, but does the job. I just wish it had a few more keyboard shortcuts.

    Works well for me. The junk filter picks up 90% of the crap.

    Superb, but you have to have enough memory.


    Incredibly useful, especially the shortcut which enables you to define the word under your mouse in more or less anything. In Safari, I sometimes find a word I need to define on a web site. Pressing a shortcut pops up the definition of the word under the cursor.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t notice much difference in speed with any of the browsers – and there certainly is a lot of choice these days. Safari works for me.

    EXCELLENT – I run my business on it. My staff subscribe to my calendar and I subscribe to theirs. We can adjust schedules on the fly.

    There are others – but these are the main ones.

    Yours sincerely,

    John Davis

  10. RadioLover!!!!


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