After what seems to have been a super-successful macheist, I thought that now was a good time to describe my all time favourite Mac software. So, here’s a list of the best bits: the ones that I probably couldn’t live without:
This is probably obvious, but an extensible editor is one very useful way of turbo charging your computing life. Once you’ve learned how to use it, you’ll find that you can automate simple jobs away, leaving you free to focus on getting things right, and done.
I use project plus, and a shed load of bundles. GetBundles is probably the most notable, as it lets you easily stay up to date, and get new ones.
Apple’s terminal is nice and powerful. I augment this power with Cairan Walsh’s magical plugins Blurminal, and Terminal colours. The first lets you add a nice Guassian blur to your terminal, making it easier to distinguish between your terminal’s text, and whatever you have behind it, and the second lets you use aesthetically pleasing colours. I prefer Tango colours, which you can find in gnome-terminal, and copy to Terminal.app.
In my terminal I have zsh. But then if you’ve been here before, you know that!
I heartily recommend from Bash to Z Shell, hence the following affiliate link:
The killer firefox feature is, of course, extensions. The extensions I can’t live without are:
- it’s all text
- the Netcraft toolbar. Safari 3’s web inspector offers broadly similar functionality, but doesn’t feel as powerful.
- ghostery: it’s interesting to see what analytics and tracking different sites use, and this helps by popping up an unobtrusive shadowed div.
- I’ve also started using User-Agent Switcher, with http://webbfunktion.com/upload/AgentStrings(2009-02-04).xml this functionality is built in to Safari 3’s develop menu.
I realise that there are free alternatives, but ExpanDrive is awesome. It’s rock solid, and lets you treat SSH servers as disks.
I was late enough to the Mac party that I missed the massive Quicksilver buzz. Now, I find it too unstable to use. LaunchBar on the other hand, is great. It’s like a supercharged spotlight, and once you’re used to search templates, you’ll be addicted forever. LaunchBar 5 is still in beta, but is now available to buy. The price is a bit steep, but worth every penny.
It pays to be paranoid. Little Snitch lets you set custom blocking rules. The practical upshot is that whenever something wants to access the ‘net, you know about it.
Other Stuff and Conclusions
I used Little Snapper, which was in MacHeist, and appears to be fiarly similar, it is actually pretty damn cool, but not as fluffy as skitch! It can upload to sites via SFTP, which I how I included this.
I got Coversutra in a previous heist, and I’m completely addicted to it, which is why I haven’t let LaunchBar take over.
Twitterrific is another must. It’s unobtrustive, and help make twitter what it should be – there’s no point in reading peoples tweet 9 hours after they happened! EventBox is an interesting alternative, but I still find Twitterrific more slick (for now).