I’ve been pretty busy recently working at my new job and haven’t had much time to make updates to the site. Partly because I have been really busy, but also because I haven’t had a good computer to work off of at home. Well I finally cracked my piggy bank and bought myself a MacBook Pro. I love it, I’ve had a Mac before but it wasn’t a nice portable computer like this one is. Also coming from a PC most recently, I feel a lot more comfortable working on it, especially now that I have installed a few applications that are going to help my design, coding and overall productivity.
Since I hadn’t downloaded apps for a mac in a while, I got some help from my friend Jay Swain on which apps I needed most, and also which ones would just be nice to have. These are the ones I have so far, and I’m sure there are more to come:
1. Transmit – Transmit is an easy to use FTP client for OS X, it isn’t expensive and in my opinion, it can transfer files faster than Dreamweaver or anything else I have used. In version 3 it now supports more things like Automator, Amazon S3 and iDisk. I highly recommend this program for your Mac FTP needs.
2. Adium – Every new Mac comes with the instant messaging app called iChat. It works great and with my new MacBook Pro, I can even have video conferences on the nifty little camera. I was trying to figure out how I could get my Google Chat working through the same program; answer: Adium. This program can connect to over 10 different chat programs and display them in the same buddy list, this is nice for those of use that have multiple chat apps and want them all thrown into one. The only thing it doesn’t have that iChat does is support for video conferences. I would expect this on the next update though.
3. Quicksilver – If I had to name one app that could speed up my overall production it would be Quicksilver. At first glance, it looks like just a launcher for all your programs, but if you look deeper it is much more. Not only can it help clear up your dock of all those programs, it can also move files, upload files using an FTP program like Transmit (hint hint), search folder contents, que up songs in itunes and even put files in an email. How’s that for a simple launch program. The guys over at Life Hacker wrote a nice article called A Beginner’s Guide to Quicksilver. Check it out.
4. Google Notifier – This is a small app that is very easy to install and use. It’s purpose is to notify you of any new emails or upcoming events on your google calendar. When it sees a new email, it shows a little preview of it in the top right of your screen, from there you can ignore it or open it just as easily. Note: It has been brought to my attention that by default, the notifier sends your password over the network which can be insecure. There is a hack to fix this which I found from Secure Gmail Notifier, an article on macosxhints.com. What you do is hold down Command and Option, then click on the Notifier drop down, from there you select preferences while still holding down Command and Option. It opens up a box with two fields, Key and Value. What you do is type SecureAlways into the Key field, then put a 1 in the value field. Make sure you match the case on SecureAlways. Restart your notifier and it will now be sent through https connections.
5. TinkerTool – This application gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. By doing this you can activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the applications delivered with the system.
6. Dockless – What Dockless does is remove applications from your dock, this can be important for those who like to keep a clean dock. What I used it for was to remove some of the programs that can just run in the background and don’t ever need to be edited once I set them up the first time.
7. Growl – What Growl does is notify you of any changes in applications that you have running without you having to switch to them. You can be on the internet and have a growl drop down and tell you anything from a download being complete, a new instant message to a song changing in your iTunes. This is definitely one of my favorite new applications.
8. smcFanControl – One thing I learned about my new MacBook Pro is that it can get really hot. smcFanControl lets the user set the minimum speed of the built in fans. This way you can increase your minimum fan speed to make your Intel Mac run cooler. However in order not to damage your machines smcFanControl doesn’t let you set a minimum speed to a value below Apple’s defaults to prevent overheating.
9. Senuti – This is another one of those applications to put the files from your Mac onto your iPod. This is by far the easiest one I have ever used and I definitely recommend it.
10. AppZapper – All of the previous entries were adding apps to your computer, well this one is for removing them. AppZapper is an uninstaller that Apple should have already invented, but hasn’t. It would be nice if dragging an application to the trash would uninstall it, but it doesn’t. When an app is installed it adds preferences, caches, and other support files throughout your computer that can create clutter and confusion. This program can take care of all those pesky files and leave your Mac squeaky clean.
If you have any useful apps that I missed, let me know so I can add them. Also, since I will now be able to update my site more frequently, you can subscribe to my RSS Feed here.