Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Finally, my list of free Mac apps!

No blog of any fervent Mac user would be complete without his list of most used applications. Also, all of these are free. I suppose that's about all you need to hear.

Adium – The best IM client for OS X, and better than anything you'll find for Windows as well. Very customizable and versatile.

AppZapper – Okay, this only allows you 5 deletions on the demo mode, but I have yet to even require that many on one boot of OS X.

Audacity – Excellent open source sound editor for both OS X and Windows. It takes a little getting used to the GUI but you'll wonder why you ever bothered cracking SoundForge.

AzureusThe Bittorrent client for the enthusiast. Sure, Transmission is easier on both the CPU and the human brain, but there aren't nearly as many options to optimize your connection. I recommend finding and downloading a pre-3.0 release to easily avoid the unnecessary Vuze interface.

coconutBattery – A great little utility to have around if you've got a laptop – displays both the factory and current battery capacity and charge.

DockColor – An easier alternative than customizing your entire dock.

Firefox – If you're not much of a webophile, you can stick with Safari, but if your browsing is anything but, you'll need Firefox for its versatility and extensions.

GrandPerspective – Great for finding big chunks of data you had forgotten were taking up valuable HDD space.

Gridwars 2 – Best. Game. Ever. There's no beating the challenge, the replayability, the simple joy in staring at your screen as dozens of technicolor shapes and particles bounce and dance around as you blast baddies and black holes. Use the keyboard controls, because the mouse controls tend to be a bit sticky and cumbersome.

iStat Menus – When compiling this list I had almost forgotten I even had this program – that's how seemlessly integrates into OS X. Simply choose which stats (and how to display them if you really want to get tweaking) you wish to display, and there they are, immediately available to you in the menu bar.

iStumbler – Another essential if you have a laptop. iStumbler gives you far more comprehensive view of the wireless networks within your range, including signal strength, encryption type, and which channel the network is operating on.

n – Another great game for pick-up-and-play, you run around (like a gazelle, as one of my friends has noted) collecting time/oxygen packs trying to reach the door while not getting killed on the way. A great implementation of classic gaming techniques into a sleek modern presentation.

NeoOffice – Fuck Word, NeoOffice is free, open source, and not only does everything M$ Office can, but supports gobs more fire formats as well.

Pic2Icon – Better than shelling out cash for Candy Bar, Pic2Icon lets you take any picture you have and instantly convert it so that you can copy and paste it onto any file or folder you'd like.

Senuti – When my last hard drive died, I almost became religious for the simple fact that this program existed, as the only thing which I managed to save was the music on my iPod. Senuti lets you easily copy files from any iPod into your own iTunes (or other) library.

The Unarchiver – Unzips nearly any format under the sun.

UnRarX – Handles some larger rar files more reliably than The Unarchiver.

VLC Player – Plays every video format under the sun – why would you have anything else?

WinClone – A much needed utility (that should have been included in Leopard) which lets you image your NTFS-formatted Boot Camp partition for backing up, considering Time Machine won't touch anything but Mac OS X formatted drives.

xACT – If you download lossless music and use iTunes you'll need this to convert those flacs into wavs.

And here are the Firefox extensions without which I would not be able to function sanely in the online world:

Adblock Plus – Does exactly what it says.
All-in-One Sidebar – A great extension if you hate having to find the Download window everytime you get a new file, All-in-One Sidebar lets you open nearly any window in a highly customizable sidebar.
Faviconize Tab – If you've constantly got a bunch of the same websites open, Faviconize the tab to remove the title and save tons of real estate on that tab bar.
FireFTP – Great FTP client which loads inside Firefox.
StumbleUpon – If you don't have it, you don't even deserve to learn about it. Just go get it. Now. You'll thank me later. And your grades/work will rue me.
Tab Mix Plus – The crux of my Firefox setup, allows you to customize how your tabs and tab bar appear and are used to no end. My special favorite is the ability to expand the tab bar to have multiple rows, letting you see your multitasking webpage sprawl in all its glory.

Also, the three big fixes in the recent 10.5.2 release (the list view for stacks, the Time Machine menu bar icon, and the fixed Airport drivers (no more KPs!!)) are turning out great. Altho curiously enough, after I recently installed iLife '08 my Finder icon has disappeared - it still functions perfectly and you can click on it and everything, but thee simply is no icon. Odd.

UPDATE: Thanks to Avart from XLT, I've learned about Max, an excellent freeware audio converter which supports way more formats than xACT does.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great list! I just want xACT to be replaced by Max - cause Flacs are better as Apple LossLess files ;)


(freeware audioconverter)