Cool Programs?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Alrighty...I've had my first Mac for almost a week now, and I'm getting all into using it. However, I have almost no idea what's out there for OS X in terms of cool programs. So, aside from things like Photoshop or any software Apple makes, what should I have on my Mac? I'm looking for stuff like Fire/Proteus, which I just found out about today...not Reason or Logic or anything.



Thanks!
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Pith Helmet for Safari (blocks banner ads).



    uControl to remap the keys on your laptop (I see from your previous posts you got a 15" Aluminum). So you can turn that Enter key next to your arrow keys into an option, control or function key. You can also have it so when you hold down the Fn key, moving up or down on the trackpad scrolls just like a scroll wheel.



    WireTap will record any audio coming out of your computer and save it to your desktop. I used it earlier today to take a sample of Panther's new voice, Vicki.



    SubEthaEdit is an excellent text editor if you want to write any kind of code from simple HTML to one of those complicated ones like C++ or Java or Fortran. I use it for touching up the HTML code that Dreamweaver generates, but it's also a good basic text editor if you want an alternative to TextEdit.



    Logorrhea organizes your iChat logs and allows you to search them.



    Fetch Art and Clutter are a couple of programs that can get album covers for whatever song you're listening to in iTunes and put them into iTunes, saving you time. iTunes can display album covers but there's no built in search, this saves you the time.



    Mactracker is a database of information on EVERY Mac ever made. You want to know how much L2 cache is on a 1999 PowerBook G3? Mactracker knows.



    Mount.app is a very simple application that just mounts disk images a lot faster than Disk Copy does. Sometimes there will be a "tough" disk image that Disk Copy takes forever to mount, but Mount has been fast and reliable for me so far. To use it effectively you should get info on a disk image and tell it to open with Mount by default, then click the Change All button so all disk images open with Mount.



    The Omni Group is a company that makes really, really good applications. All their stuff is based on solid standards. OmniDictionary and OmniDiskSweeper are free (well, OmniDiskSweeper is kind of shareware, but there's only one trivial restriction if you don't register). The rest of their software is shareware. OmniWeb is pretty good, and OmniGraffle and OmniOutliner are excellent organizational tools. They also port games.



    You should download and install the DivX codec for watching .avi movies on your Mac in QuickTime. You can also try VLC or MPlayer for movie playback. The latter two play nearly any format of movie. MPlayer generally runs faster and is more compatible, but it suffers from significant sound/video synchronization problems and it's not as easy to use (especially with regards to resizing the movie window).



    TinkerTool is a preference pane that allows you to customize various aspects of OS X. All it does is activate hidden features - it doesn't actually add any features to OS X, it just allows you to control them. You can view hidden files, put paired scroll arrows at the top AND bottom of your scroll bars, and stuff like that.



    Get to know and love MacUpdate. It's my favorite website for finding new applications and updates to older ones. Every month or two I go through and check to see if a new version is available for any of my applications.



    Phew! I hope this helps get you off to a good start with your new PowerBook! I envy you... not only is your machine way cooler than mine, but everything is so new to you. It must be cool finding all this neat stuff.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    baumanbauman Posts: 1,248member
    Here's some interesting freeware:



    Paul T. Haddad makes some great stuff... you can find all of it here. He names all of his stuff PTH____... most notable of which is PTHiTunesNotifier. It puts a little popup bezel whenever the song on iTunes changes and allows you to control iTunes with hotkeys (read: make some F# keys play, pause, reverse, forward, etc.).



    Oh, what else... I personally like MenuMeters to show how much of my CPU and network bandwidth I am using at any given time... it's a little haxie that allows you to put that and some other stuff in the menu bar. Also, I linked to it from VersionTracker, the rival site to MacUpdate.



    I used to really like FuzzyClock which is a fun replacement for the time in the menubar... it's a bit more intuitive.



    Ambrosia, the makers of WireTap also make many games that are good standby's... and they are all (mostly) shareware.



    And then there's Konfabulator, which allows you to download what are called widgets, and place them on your screen like interactive windows. It's a beast all of it's own, and some widgets are quite fun. It's also shareware.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    brbr Posts: 8,395member
    I asked a similar question a couple weeks ago. Here is the thread:



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...ght=hook+me+up
  • Reply 4 of 24
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    Hydra. you can write the same document with other poeple on the same time ... (freeware) you'll find it in versiontracker.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Giaguara

    Hydra. you can write the same document with other poeple on the same time ... (freeware) you'll find it in versiontracker.



    Same program, different name - it's changed to SubEthaEdit (referring to the SubEthaNet of the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy) because of copyright issues.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    Welcome to AppleInsider!



    Luca Rescigno has some excellent suggestions. I'm a big fan of PithHelmet, SubEthaEdit, and MacTracker. I also greatly prefer MacUpdate to VersionTracker because of VT's awful layout, advertisements galore, and abstraction that makes it so you have to go through a "wait" page with another advertisement before you can download something or get to the developer's page. Bleh.



    But I digress.

    Some additions I can think to add to Luca's list include:



    Pacifist allows you to examine the contents of and install parts of Mac OS X installer packages. This comes in handy if there is just, say, one file in the Mac OS X installer or some other program that you want to get without installing everything else.



    BrickHouse is a free/shareware utility that gives you advanced customization of Mac OS X's built-in firewall. It gives you many more controls over IP and port blocking including logging options and multiple configurations. The home page for BrickHouse has remained unchanged for quite some time, but you can find much better and newer versions in Brian's support forums here.



    Transmit is hands-down the best FTP client for Mac OS X. Just search the forums here and you'll find oodles of testimonials. From time to time we get threads from new users asking for the best FTP client and invariably the majority of responses is Transmit.



    MP3 Alarm Clock is a nice tool that I recently found that, well, is an MP3 alarm clock. It may not have the greatest interface, but the features make up for it. It can wake you to gradually increasing volume, have a 200% max volume over the system, play music at speeds from 1% to 200%, choose randomly from a playlist, and have a variable and even decreasing snooze time. I've been waking up to MP3 Alarm Clock for the past two weeks!



    Snapz Pro X is the ultimate screen-capture tool. You can capture the whole screen, specific elements, a manual selection, and even movies. It can resize, watermark, and thumbnail images automatically. It can save in a variety of image formats. It's made by Ambrosia Software (mentioned above by bauman) and is actually going to be receiving a major update in the near future (so, you might want to hold off a bit before buying).



    Amadeus II is a fantastic audio editor that supports VST plugins, has several sound-analyzing functions, and can export to MP3 and Ogg Vorbis.



    CSSEdit is a great app for the budding web developers who either haven't learned all the commands for CSS or would rather have a nice GUI for configuring CSS instead. One of the biggest conveniences it offers is visual grouping of your classes together in a folder layout. This allows you to collapse the bulk of your code and quickly get to what you need to edit.



    DiskWarrior is the best, most reliable disk repair tool for any Mac. Don't trust your Mac OS X system to Norton Utilities. I've seen and read about far too many cases where Norton has trashed disks to ever allow it near my system. It may not be something you'll need today, but if you ever have major disk problems that Apple's Disk Utility cannot repair, DiskWarrior is the best next step.



    And just to reiterate Luca, all of The Omni Group's software.



    I'm not a big fan of the PTH software that bauman mentioned. The interface (I'm a big interface critic ) in Paul's software is a bit nonstandard and kludgy, IMO. Of course, YMMV.



    Oh, and this thread belongs in the Software forum. Moving now...
  • Reply 7 of 24
    xaqtlyxaqtly Posts: 450member
    Oh just so you know, if you're on VersionTracker and you click the size of a file (not the name) it takes you directly to the download page and starts downloading automatically.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    etharethar Posts: 111member
    Holy cow. Thanks guys! Some of these look awesome.



    And Luca...yeah, I'm pretty easy to impress at this point Every time I see my Mac do something different you hear "Dude! That's so cool!"



    "Minimizing is so cool!"

    "iChat is so cool!"

    "Those fade-out effects are so cool!"

    etc
  • Reply 9 of 24
    dmband0026dmband0026 Posts: 2,345member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bauman

    Here's some interesting freeware:



    Paul T. Haddad makes some great stuff... you can find all of it here. He names all of his stuff PTH____... most notable of which is PTHiTunesNotifier. It puts a little popup bezel whenever the song on iTunes changes and allows you to control iTunes with hotkeys (read: make some F# keys play, pause, reverse, forward, etc.).





    I'm in love with the iTunes software that he wrote. It's amazing! Havn't tried any of the other stuff though. But the iTunes program is great, very easy to use, and really adds a lot to iTunes.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    Well, first of all you will want TinkerTool to get the dock to make the icons semi-transparent when you hide them.

    Then, head over and get SubEthaEdit with the best feature of an editor: REALTIME HTML RENDERING.... If you change anything in your HTML document and SEE's HTML Rendering Window is open it will refresh the window automatically, it is really cool

    CSSEdit is good to get CSS started, then just use SubEthaEdit after you have gone over the not-paid-shareware-fee limit.

    NetNewsWire to get RSS feeds from news sites and web blogs.

    and

    Burn by Blackhole Media, it is a nifty expense following thing that is simple and easy to use to track how much that Guacamole is adding up to at Chipotle.....
  • Reply 11 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Xaqtly

    Oh just so you know, if you're on VersionTracker and you click the size of a file (not the name) it takes you directly to the download page and starts downloading automatically.



    I hate to start up the old MU vs. VT argument, but I feel compelled to point out that my original point is still correct. With VT you *still* have to wait for an intermediary page with advertisements to load before the download begins. On MacUpdate, the download just starts. Period.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    My TOP 10 best small apps!



    1. snapz pro

    2. kung log (for client blog tool)

    3. transmit (ftp)

    4. watson (must have)

    5. nikotel2mac (mac ip telephony)

    6. evocam

    7. omnigraffe (diagramming)

    8. macdoppler pro (satellite tracking)

    9. graphic converter

    10. isms (send text messages from laptop)



    all these apps are donationware or under $25. some samples of apps from small companies doing great things.



    see versiontracker for more info
  • Reply 13 of 24
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    MAB and some kleenex
  • Reply 14 of 24
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    My eyes! My poor, innocent EYES! They BURN!



    8) -Blinded smilie
  • Reply 15 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,294member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ZO

    MAB and some kleenex



  • Reply 16 of 24
    jonathanjonathan Posts: 312member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Nebagakid



    Burn by Blackhole Media, it is a nifty expense following thing that is simple and easy to use to track how much that Guacamole is adding up to at Chipotle.....




    The one on Wisconsin Ave. sucks.



    Rosslyn is where it's at.



  • Reply 17 of 24
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Video Viewer. If you have a Firewire camera (or in my case a DV bridge hooked up to a VCR) you can watch video on your desktop or a window.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Luca Rescigno

    Pith Helmet for Safari (blocks banner ads).





    In case you didn't know, safari has a built in ad blocker. Are we thinking of different kinds of ads? The safari blocker is flawless.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DMBand0026

    In case you didn't know, safari has a built in ad blocker. Are we thinking of different kinds of ads? The safari blocker is flawless.



    You're thinking of Safari's built-in pop-up window blocker. PithHelmet does much more by also blocking ad banners that display inside web pages. It can also be used to disable gif animations.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Brad

    I hate to start up the old MU vs. VT argument, but I feel compelled to point out that my original point is still correct. With VT you *still* have to wait for an intermediary page with advertisements to load before the download begins. On MacUpdate, the download just starts. Period.



    I just made an observation in favor of VT, though... yes, it's slower and more of a kludge than MU, but the selection is bigger. I was actually searching for an alarm clock program last night because my clock radio isn't loud enough, and VT had quite a few more than MU.



    Nevertheless, I couldn't find anything suitable. Mainly because I couldn't find a program that would ACTUALLY wake the computer from sleep at a scheduled time. They can schedule when it goes to sleep, some can remotely wake other computers from sleep over a network, but none, apparently, can simply schedule when it should wake from sleep. I need the computer asleep at night so I can sleep myself (it makes too much noise to leave on), but I need it to wake up a few minutes before my alarm goes off.



    At least I found a good alarm program, Big Clock. It's loud, annoying, and easy enough to use that I can figure it out. That's the program that's only on VT and not on MU.
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