I have had a few people ask about the essential software I throw onto
a computer when I receive it. Here's my current list for Mac OS X:
- Quicken Mac Boycott
- Intuit needlessly hampers the Mac version of Quicken due to archaic
licenses to financial institutions. I won't be upgrading to the latest
version, and neither should you. Perhaps consider Liquid Ledger, iBank,
or MoneyDance instead.
- Wonderful chat client supports AIM, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, and more!
- This open-source sound editor packs quite a few features.
- The ultimate text editor with a Carbon GUI!
- Tabbed terminals!
- MailEnhancer (plugin
- Adds a message counter to Mail's dock icon.
- MailPriority (plugin
- Allows setting the X-Priority header.
- One of the slickest and best graphics tools available on any platform!
- Powerful collaborative text editor with syntax highlighting and live
- BBEdit Lite reborn for Mac OS X, now freeware
- VLC (VideoLAN Client)
- Ultimate open source, cross-platform media player
- Excellent Cocoa recipe software.
- Spell-checking using aspell.
- Disk catalog software makes it easy to track items burned to CDs.
- Chicken of the
- Excellent VNC viewer for remotely accessing VNC servers.
- Desktop Manager
- Provides virtual desktops for MacOS X.
- HumaneText Service
- Automatically converts text into HTML using Textile or Markdown.
- Adds the powerful Services menu as a contextual menu. (Uses Unsanity's
- Weather notification in the menu bar!
- More Internet
- Enables several other options for handling files via the internet.
- Full-featured VNC server for Mac OS X.
- Keyboard launcher for quickly opening applications and files.
- This is the absolute best portable utility I've ever used! It lets
you treat different portions of the trackpad as a scroll area or secondary
- Excellent backup and synchronization tool
- Restores window shade functionality to Mac OS X windows. (Uses
- Enhances alt-tab behavior to include individual windows and their
- Adds extremely useful formatting, conversion, and insertion text
- Adds extra features to the Finder's contextual menus.
- Reference management software
- TeX Shop
- LaTeX environment for MacOS X
- Convenient GUI installer for LaTeX environment
- Quickly create PDF equation graphics using LaTeX.
- Similar to the Equation Service, but designed in an application.
Formula Graphic User Interface
- Provides a great interface for creating TeX equations.
Command Line Tools
Since Mac OS X is based on FreeBSD, many of the command UNIX and Linux
tools compile and run without any trouble. I really like using DarwinPorts for managing the sources myself. It really makes it easier to track new
- Automatic password generator
- An improved utility for launching applicationa and documents from
the command line.
- Numerical analysis similar to Matlab, use with gnuplot and AquaTerm
- Synchronizes files between machines, this version has HFS+ support.
- I consider this without a doubt the superior successor to CVS.
- monitor file changes