Archived Mac & OS X Software Uncategorized

What tools, software & applications do I use? v3.0

This post is intended as a couple of things. Firstly, it’s the 2nd rewrite of a post I wrote a while ago that covered the same thing as this one covers but from when I was running Windows.

I’ve actually had a couple of people ask me what tools I use for various tasks so I’m going to compile a list of the various applications I use ‘every day’. That’s in quotes as obviously I don’t use all of these tools EVERY day but I consider them part of the list of tools I couldn’t do without. I don’t use anything particularly special but I’ll make this list for those that’ve asked anyway. Secondly, I keep meaning to make a list of tools I use for my own reference so it’ll double as that, too.

I’m not going to go into a whole load of detail about what the benefits of each one are – I’ll let you work that out for yourself if you want to try them (feel free to contact me if you want to discuss any of these though). I will include a couple of things which aren’t strictly applications too, e.g. hosting services. So, here we go – these details are correct as at July 18th, 2010.

Applications & Utilities

  • » Operating system :: Mac OS X 10.6.4 (Snow Leopard) on a 27″ iMac and a 15″ Core i7 Macbook Pro. I made the switch from PC to Mac towards the end of 2009 and am wishing I’d done it years ago (based strictly on what I use my machines for). Please keep comments about Mac vs PC to yourself as I’m not interested in comparing the two – they’re both great for different reasons.
  • » Office Suite :: Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac … unfortunately I have to say that compared to the Window version this really is quite crap. Office 2011 for Mac promises to bridge the significant feature gap between Office for Windows and Office for Mac, though.
  • » Email client :: Mozilla Thunderbird 3
  • » App dev environment :: Xcode 3.2.1 when writing for OS X, Visual Studio Express (C#) when writing for Windows (Parallels Desktop)
  • » Web dev environment :: Coda by Panic
  • » FTP client :: Transmit by Panic
  • » MySQL administrator :: Navicat Lite
  • » Text editor :: Fraise
  • » Primary browser: Mozilla Firefox 3.6
  • » Other browsers: Opera 10.6, Google Chrome, Safari 5
  • » Twitter client :: Kiwi for Mac
  • » Password storage :: KeePassX – *highly* recommended on both OS X and Windows (the Windows version is called KeePass although KeePassX is available for Windows, too).
  • » iPod manager :: iTunes – on OS X it’s actually really good and seems 100x more stable than the Windows version.
  • » Photo processing :: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 – I used to use Capture One 4.8 from Phase One but it started to fall WAY behind Lightroom in terms of post-processing options … a real shame.
  • » Fitness management :: Rubitrack for Mac (my training device is a Garmin 310xt)
  • » Instant messaging :: Windows Live Messenger>
  • » Movie player :: VLC (everyone should use this although it struggles with the TSCC codec unfortunately).
  • » Audio player :: iTunes

System Stuff

  • » System management :: MacKeeper.  The differences this thing can make to your Mac’s performance (which is probably already pretty sweet) are astounding.
  • » System hackery :: Tinker Tool.  Purely for the Mac geeks out there.

One thing you might notice is they’re pretty much all free tools with the exception of Lightroom, Rubitrack, Coda, Transmit and MacKeeper, all of which I own licenses for (no they’re not pirated!).

Online Services

  • » Website host :: ICDSoft – these guys are AMAZING. I wouldn’t use anyone else for Linux hosting.
  • » Email service :: Gmail
  • » Website CMS :: ExpressionEngine 2.1 and WordPress 3.0
  • » Online photo sharing :: Flickr (I own a ‘Pro’ account)
  • » RSS feed management :: FeedBurner
  • » Website statistics :: Google Analytics
  • » Search engine :: Altavista … haha yeah right. 😛
  • » Bookmarks :: Delicious – I stopped using browser-based bookmarks many years ago. Ok, so bookmarks are considered a bit backward now but I’ve got stuff on Delicious that I refer back to all the time. Thankfully the functionality doesn’t seem to have changed at all since its acquisition by Yahoo some time ago.

That’s about it really. As I said earlier I’m happy to discuss any of these if you like – just post a comment or use the Contact Me link at the top of the page.