What Software is important to YOU!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by kenyabob, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. kenyabob macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2003
    San Francisco
    I am new to the mac, and I used to have all these little apps that WERE SO USEFUL FOR ME on my windows machine. Now I am on the mac, and I do not have the benifit of being on the platform for long, and as such, I do not know which apps are helpful, or whats out there. I have picked up a few useful ones, such as Tiger Lanch, Windowshade, HTTPMail and a few others, but are there more? What apps make your mac experience, NAY, YOUR LIFE, easier?
  2. wr0x2 macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2003
    Hmm... I use the terminal, poisioned (the best p2p app) and Safari the most of anything. There are tons of little things like MacStumbler that are always helpfiul and that I use a lot too...

    Anything in specific that you're looking for?
  3. kenyabob thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2003
    San Francisco
    not terribly, yes solid p2p apps are nice, but I was thinking just apps that complement the os is some way, better or clearner functionality and so on....
  4. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816


    Dec 28, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    There's Konfabulator (but don't pay for it, unless you really want to). It's not as good as it was originally hyped up to be, but it's getting better. I like the minesweeper widget, the weather widget (mostly because it looks cool) and this new CPU useage/clock thing somebody made.

    You might want something like Weatherpop. I use the Konfab weather widget, but this is good too for more in-depth weather.

    CandyBar (at the Iconfactory) is the best way to easily set custom icons for system stuff. I use it constantly (and I even paid for it). The Iconfactory also has Pixadex for icon organization, though I'm not yet convinced that one's worth anything.

    I'd get Adium for AIM. iChat's better to use, but PC users won't be able to see your away message (they'll always see you as "Available", no matter what). I only use Adium when I want to be away.

    You should check out EV Nova (at Ambrosiasw.com) for a good game. It's a great sprawling space game with extensive story lines.

    I'll also echo support for Poisoned. It does act up sometimes, but its got great features and integration (and it searches Kazaa's network, of course).

    Other interesting apps are out there. Like MacJournal, Mactracker, or Pod2Go. I'm sure you'll feel at home on OS X in no time.
  5. wr0x2 macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2003
    I forgot about EV nova, that's a great game. I'm still unpaid on the shareware version. I would crack it, but it's good enough that I'll shell out $29.99 (or whatever) when I've got it.

    BTW don't get the Mac version of AIM if you use it. It sucks. It's not like the PC version and is just plain bad. iChat may be limited, but it's better.
  6. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    there's MenuMeters. i really love this app. it sits in the top menu bar and shows CPU, network, disk and RAM usage. very useful and it doesn't take up heaps of desktop space like some others.

    the same people also make an app called SideTrack. it's a must have if you've got a laptop. it lets you scroll horizontally and vertically with you trackpad.

    there's a few cool Konfabulator widgets. that's about it for me.
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    You must have TinkerTool. It's a simple and extremely useful interface to adjust preferences that Apple has built in but doesn't let you fiddle with--for example, putting double scroll arrows at both ends of a scroll bar, which I've used for years despite it never being an "available" feature. And, it's free.

    I like the small freeware program ASM as well; it provides some additional application switching functionality, particularly forcing all windows from an app to the front when you activate it. Not for everybody, but I like it.


    Egad! I almost forgot the single most useful piece of freeware I've ever seen: Cocoa Gestures. If you've never heard of gestures, you can basically set a specific mouse button (or modifier key) to let you draw a "gesture" with your mouse that will trigger some action.

    For example, click the thumb button and drag left a bit to go back in a browser, or click and drag down to close the current window/tab. It's done more to make using my computer easier (particularly web surfing) than any single application I've used in the past 10 years.

    Not only is this little program free, but it's configurable on a per-application basis, lets you apply gestures to any button or modifier key (including buttons that also do something else, like right click--even that works fine), and gives you full control over gesture programming and can trigger any menu action.

    This allowed me to give some favorite pages (dictionary, for example) a gesture (draw a "D", and I'm there), and do the same for changing language encoding (which is usually buried two menu levels deep and has no key shortcut--no just draw a "J" and I'm in Japanese).

    Why more people haven't heard of this, I don't know.
  8. big macrumors 65816


    Feb 20, 2002
    Gestures is brilliant! Kind of like in B&W

    My most important app is Powercadd, from ENGSW.com, then Microsoft WordX

    the rest I just use Apple's stuff, though FileMaker 6 is getting on up there...

    these are all heavy duty apps, but that's why I use my Mac, of course Mail, Safari, iTunes, et al... but those should be a given.

    Photoshop 6 is a dream, after my PANTHER install, I have not reinstalled that one, Kind of odd, but I really haven't needed it yet.
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    One more app, and a small warning:

    An applicaton like BackgroundSaver that allows you to use a screen saver as your desktop background is wildly worthless, but also wildly cool. Having a mellow screen saver like Flurry drifting away under your desktop icons is just ever so pleasant. There are lots of them if you look around on VersionTracker.

    And a warning: If you're upgrading to Panther, make sure you're using version 1.2 of Cocoa Gestures--version 1.1 or earlier causes some funky problems in *some* apps that I was having trouble identifying.
  10. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    be careful about ASM.
    In panther it does not work, instead it:

    *crashes the dock
    **kills Cmd+Tab
    **kills minimize
    *slows the system down

    and because it has an autoloading program it does this even if you log out and back it.

    Goto system prefs and get it out of your login items then never ever ever ever again install it.
  11. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    I'd recommend Cleardock. It removes the background color from the dock. The dock looks so much better without the background color. It works in Panther too.

    To use Cleardock you'll first have to install Application Enhancer.

    Application Enhancer
  12. 1macker1 macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2003
    A Higher Level
    The Graphic Calculator that runs in OS 9 classic is a grand application.
  13. zoetropeuk macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2002
    Oxford UK

    If you run a business or an organisation when managing contacts, schedules, tasks, projects etc is important then you can't beat DAYLITE.

    They have just updated to 1.5 today and is rock solid.
  14. Chealion macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Calgary, Alberta
    BackgroundSaver was suggested, but if you run it in Panther, you can't use Expose (its a security feature, don't want expose to run while you have your screensaver on).

    xBack supposedly has a way around it, as it doesn't use the ScreenSaver Engine anymore, I haven't tried it out as I have to go pick up my copy of Panther this afternoon and install tonight. (The store finally got it in yesterday).
  15. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Nov 22, 2002
  16. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    photoshop, director, flash, livemotion, combustion, after effects, shake, cleaner, golive, final cut pro, dvd studio pro, bbedit, safari are the ones that currently get the most use...
  17. ehwizard macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2003
    New York, NY
    Launch Bar

    Launch Bar.

    Perhaps the most useful and coolest Apps ever.

    Launch any Application/Bookmark/e-mail address, etc...
  18. kenyabob thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2003
    San Francisco
    beyond your professional apps, arent there little bitty apps you use, like things found on versiontracker?
  19. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area

    has my vote for the program I use most often, besides the iApps.

    If you are used to Trillian or somesuch on the Windows side of things, a multi-network chat client is Fire but Snak is better for IRC.

    I'll second the menumeters recommendation! It's fun, and gives you an idea on useage... Do I need to get more RAM?
  20. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816


    Dec 28, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    Here's one that's built right into the OS, though you'd probably never notice it.

    You can use AppleScript to write scripts for a "Scripts Menu" up in the menu bar. The scripts.menu thingy is on Apple's site, I think. Once you've got it you can keep or trash the default scripts and start adding your own (if you haven't tried AppleScript yet, give it a go. It's very easy to write).
  21. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Hmm... although I haven't re-installed it yet, the newest beta version of ASM (2.1b5) claims to work fine on Panther, and there are lots of people over at VersionTracker saying the same. It is a $15 paid program now, which may be reason not to get it, but I like it enough that I'll probably pay the fee when I've got a few spare dollars laying around.

    And that's a good tip about BackgroundSaver killing Expose and why; I noticed that Expose wasn't working just after I ran BackgroundSaver, and I had a hunch that it was to blame, but I didn't put my finger on the reason.
  22. kenyabob thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2003
    San Francisco
    Just wanted to say that I tried LaunchBar and WAS BLOWN AWAY. My life is so much simpler NOW. I love the song selecting feature! Its like having a search and execution command at your finger tips!!!
  23. big macrumors 65816


    Feb 20, 2002

    yeah, these are awesome

    Audio In & SoundRecorderMacOSX

    picks up where the Mac forgot to.... on voice, I am currently using these two to copy a ton of tapes made when my wife and I were little (stories, mystery murder, funny things we said, et al...)
  24. jamdr macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    Bay Area

    Get WeatherPop (www.glu.com). It's a cool and very useful program that installs a weather display in your menubar. So you know how hot or cold it is before you go outside and are in a hurry, so you can grab a jacket or whatever.

    Attached Files:

  25. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2003
    Victoria, Australia
    Hiya Kenyabob. I'm also a switcher (2 mths ago) and was anxious about there being no decent shareware/freeware for the Mac (coz I didn't know any better).
    Well I need not have worried. Sure there's more for Windoze but there's some things Windoze just can't do (eg play a screensaver in the background - i looked for weeks)

    Overall, you're gunna love the mac.

    Get yourself onto MacUpdate or VersionTracker to keep up with software and checkout all these:

    System addons & utilities
    - menumeters (a must have)
    - sidetrack
    - upcocoa
    - ktunes
    - X-assist
    - calindock
    - Skin a dock (you gotta see this! and it lets you change the color of the little black triangle below active apps))
    - tinker tool
    - uControl (tho haven't got it to work yet, but it will be really useful when i do)
    - WindowsShade X
    - Hide From Dock
    - AutoHide
    - xBack
    - repair shop
    - cocktail
    - MPlayer OS X
    - OnyX

    - Caboodle
    - chicken vnc
    - foot track
    - VueScan (i don't own this yet but it's on my must have list)
    - Audacity
    - Sound Builder

    I run VPC (at work), Lotus Notes, Microsoft Office vX (which is heaps better than Office on windoze), Photoshop Elements, Safari is my browser of choice, Macromedia Flash, Final Cut Express.

    Ironically besides iTunes and rarely iPhoto, i never use any of the iApps and have never found a use for Sherlock.

    hope this helps.


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