My essential OS X applications

Quicksilver

If I could choose just one application, I would choose Quicksilver. No other application has brought me so much joy!

Quicksilver

Quicksilver is an application launcher, which means you won’t have to clutter the dock will shortcuts to all the programs you need nor navigate to the Applications folder through the Finder anymore. All you have to do to start for example Safari is to tap the magic key which opens a window in the middle of the screen and then you start to write the name of the application you want to run, in this case that’s Safari, so you start to write an ’s’. Already after you’ve typed the first letter all matches are shown in a list sorted on most used or recently used or something like that. If Safari is on the top of the list all you have to do now is to press the Enter key. Otherwise you might have to write an ‘a’ and ‘f’ as well.

So we’ve gone from moving your hands off the keyboard to the mouse, navigate the pointer to the Safari icon in the dock and click, to three key strokes on the keyboard. It’s amazing! It’s brilliant! And it’s all in one small free application!

TextMate

TextMate

The missing text editor for OS X! When I first switched to Mac and got my first iBook, the text editor to rule them all was BBEdit. So naturally I tried it out but being used to the powerful vim editor from my linux years I wasn’t impressed, and I couldn’t see what all the fuzz was about. Then came TextMate and gave us Mac people a real text editor and finally I was happy! Try it out and I can assure you that you’ll be happy too!

Thunderbird

Thunderbird

The best graphical email client, no doubt!

Hopefully it can break Outlook’s dominance in the corporate environment when they finally get their calendar support ready! (If they ever get it ready…)

Safari/Firefox

Firefox

I put them together because I tend to go between them. One month I’m in favor of Safari, the next Firefox so I guess it’s a tie!

They are both great browsers, with Safari behaving and looking more like a Mac application and Firefox being a bit more standards compliant and having oh so many useful plugins. They both have their charm so just pick one and go with it or if you have a hard time deciding do like me, use them both.

Adium

Adium

You can try Fire and you can try Proteus but there is no doubt that Adium is the instant messaging client for us Mac people. With it’s stellar looks and brilliant functionality, it’s all you need and more!

Cyberduck

Cyberduck

I’ve heard that Transmit by Panic software might be the ultimate FTP client on OS X but I haven’t tried it out yet, so for now I’m sticking with Cyberduck. It does all I need and has a great name, what else can you ask for?

WriteRoom

WriteRoom

For those moments then you want your surroundings to fade into the background to better focus on your writing, WriteRoom comes and saves your day. Try it out, I’m sure you’ll love it!

VLC

VLC

It used to be all about MPlayer but somehow when I wasn’t looking VLC sneaked in and stole the show. Well, I don’t mind at all because VLC is a great media player. It plays just about any file you throw at it and does it with a beautiful intuitive interface.

CocoaMySQL

CocoaMySQL

Then you need to get down and dirty with SQL CocoaMySQL will make life easy for you. No more command line mysql hacking, now you can do everything through a nice looking graphical interface instead. And CocoaMySQL is free on top of that. Imagine! What were we thinking back then, banging our heads on our desks when fighting with the command line interface?

Locomotive

Locomotive

I expect just about everyone doing RubyOnRails development on Macs are using Locomotive in one way or another. It’s the you-get-it-all-in-a-nicely-wrapped-and-packaged-bundle solution for Rails on Macs. I think it includes just about everything except a database! With this you’ll be up and coding in no time. Complicated environment setups are finally history!