Walt’s OS X Software Recommendations

Got a Mac? Here’s Walt’s list of software you just gotta have. Some is free, some costs a small fortune, but all of it is worth it.

If you know of any others that you use often, are of high quality, and simply represent the best of the best of your favorites, please drop me a line at wls@wwco.com.






PRODUCTIVITY
Quicksilver
Hot keys and events trigger different actions on your computer. Never require the use of the dock to open an application again.
Speed Download
Download software super fast, resume if dropped, and peer share once you have it.
Carbon Copy Cloner
Duplicate your drive, making a bootable, live backup.
Parallels
Windows, DOS, Linux and other operating systems on your Macintosh under OS X.
Toast
Burn CDs and DVD and make disc images for data, music, images, and videos.
Virtue
Wonderful virtual desktop software with many effects and customizable hot keys.
iClip
Multiple clipboard and scrapbooks.
Disk Inventory
Scans your hard disk looking for large files.
 
SECURITY
Peer Guardian
Outbound firewall that prevents applications from accessing the internet, whether to control worms or to stop them from phoning home.
Tor & Privoxy & Vidalia
Anonymous networking and browsing.
iStumbler
See what wireless networks are available and use the information to prevent drops by choosing unused channels.
 
PHOTOGRAPHY, DIGITAL EDITING, AND WEB ALBUMS
Aperture
Manage tens of thousands of digital pictures instantly: download from your camera, organize them, perform non-destructive editing on them, extensive color correction, make many versions, export to different formats while resizing, build web pages, give slide shows, make books, and so much more… Raw formats supported.
Photoshop
The defacto-standard for 2D pixel editing of just about every image format there is. Handles layers, color corrections, and automated workflows.
Picasa
Upload web photos right from disk or from iPhoto, making web albums instantly.
JAlbum
Totally customizable web album generator.
 
MULTIMEDIA: Players and Converters
Quicktime Pro
Play, record, edit, and convert video and audio.
VLC Media Player
Play and stream video in quite a number of formats.
MPlayer
Play many different video formats.
Popcorn
Convert and upload videos from disk and DVDs into the iPod, PlayStation Portable (PSP), and 3GP phone.
VisualHub
Universal video converter for iPod, PSP, DV, DVD, AVI, MP4, WMV, MPEG, Flash, and TiVo.
iSquint
Convert video to play on the iPod.
HandBrake
Backup commercial DVDs that you’ve purchased, or portions of them, to hard disk where you can use the above applications.
Mac The Ripper
Backup commercial DVDs that you’ve purchased, or portions of them, to hard disk where you can use the above applications.
Senuti
Beam content on your iPod back to your computer.
 
OFFICE APPLICATIONS
Open Office
Word Processor (Writer), Presentation Tool (Impress), Equation Editor (Math), Drawing Tool (Draw), Spreadsheet (Calc), Database (Base) — all Microsoft compatible and all beautifully integrated.
OmniGraffle Pro
An amazing full featured drawing tool that blows the socks off Visio.
OmniOutliner Pro
Fantasic graphical outliner and list manager.
OmniPlan
Project management software. Manage tasks, resources, and schedules using Gantt charts, calendars, and other tools, producing reports and data that can be exchanged with Microsoft Project.
 
PROGRAMMING TOOLS AND LANGUAGES
TextMate
Simply the best programmer’s editor there is. Works with multiple files, works with huge files, has astounding regular expression and macro capabilities. Totally extensible and programmable. Handles just about every programming language you can think of for formatting and syntax shortcuts, including web design.
SubEthaEdit
Real-time multi-user collaborative editor. Have multiple people edit the same file, each gets their own cursor and color.
Eclipse
Extremely flexible, customizable, and automatable development platform for numerous languages.
Locomotive
Instantly set up and configure the latest Ruby on Rails development environment on your Mac without disrupting anything about the operating system configuration or default installs.
MAMP
Instantly set up and configure the latest Apache, MySQL, and PHP on your Macintosh without altering your standard OS X’s configuration.
Fink
Install all kinds of Unix free and open source software to your Macintosh. Includes many development tools.
Aqua Data Studio
Database administration and query tool that supports numerous database servers graphically.
Cocoa MySQL
Manage local and remote MySQL databases in the native OS X GUI.
 
COMMUNICATION
Skype
Free internet calls and video conferencing. Has voice mail and even call forwarding to non-internet phones.
Adium
Instant messaging for ICQ, AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, Bonjour (iChat), Google Chat.
DRAWING, SKETCHING, AND CARTOONING
SketchBook Pro
Simple tablet drawing software that produces great looking art via the simulation of brushes, pens, and pencils using very nice stroke capturing technology.
Manga Studio EX
Fantastic tool for creating black and white line art, ready for export into Photoshop or the coloring tool of your choice. Customizable brush styles and behaviors, comic layouts, halftone patterns, perspective rulers, and tools that just do not exist in Photoshop or The Gimp.
Comic Life Deluxe Edition
Quickly build comic strips from your own photo collection.
OS X AND DESKTOP CUSTOMIZATION
Pixadex
Import, organize, and assign icons.
CandyBar
Change the icons in OS X that you’re normally not able to.
FILE TRANSFER AND SHARING
Fugu
Full featured BitTorrent client.
Azureus
Full featured BitTorrent client.
Tomato Torrent
Download, generate, or server torrent files.
ATOM, RSS, AND NEWS GROUP READERS
NetNewsWire
Atom/RSS reader sporting many features, including sorting by the attention you give a feed.
Vienna
Atom/RSS reader with tabbed browsing and apple script support.
Unison
News group reader: join discussions, find and download music, photos, and programs.
THE EARTH, SKY, AND BEYOND
Google Earth
View imagery of any point on the Earth, find your house, and get directions between points.
Stellarium
Planetarium software to see the night sky from any point on Earth at any time.
Celestia
View over 100 thousand stars from any vantage point in the universe.
Web Cams, iSight
iGlasses
Adjust the focus, sensitivity, rotation of your iSight camera, as well as apply special effects.
EvoCam
Publish a streaming webcame, record video, make stop motion movies, detect motion and trigger actions.
EvoBarcode
Hold a bar code up to your camera and have the computer type it in.
ALTERNATE BROWSERS
Firefox
Minimalist browser with lots of features, security, and the ability to add extensions to alter or enhance the browser’s capabilities, deal with kinds of file types, or to change the look’n'feel theme.
Opera
Perhaps the fastest, W3C compliant, and cutting edge featured browser that exists that boasts a very small footprint.
CATALOGING: Music, Videos, and Books
Readerware
Maintain a shareable, networkable database of your CDs, DVDs, and Books that can be exported to a number of formats, including for use on your handheld organizer. Also acts as a checkout library system.
Movie, Soundtrack, Tutorial, and Podcast Creation
Final Cut Studio
Linear video editor, multi track sound studio, motion graphics, author DVDs with menus and special features, video and audio conversion and encoding.
Snapz Pro X
Capture screen, windows, regions, and movies of your desktop.
WireTap Pro
Capture audio from different devices, including your computer.
Games
X-Plane
A realistic flight simulator that actually performs the physics of the airplane. Earth model is to 1-meter. FAA allows simulator time to be logged as flight training time. Everything is instrumented and automatable via programming.

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