There has been much discussion around the blogosphere this new year about software essentials for Apple computers. Here’s my list:
1. Text Editing: BBEdit. While it’s not cross platform, I’ve not found anything that worked as well for me as BBEdit – runs on top of Mac OS X. Handles PHP, HTML, and CSS flawlessly, has remote capabilities, and does alot of other things like slice my bread and make fresh cheese for me.
2. Browsing: Mozilla Firefox. The first change of the list. Eighteen months ago, I was using Apple’s Safari and was about to test Mozilla Firefox for the first time. It didn’t take me long to switch. My biggest frustration with Safari was the regular lockups I would run into with the spinning disk of death. No more. I use several extensions with Firefox as well.
4. Remote Connections: SSH. It’s always been the tool to use. I also tunnel my POP and SMTP connections through SSH along with some others.
5. PDA: Palm Treo 650 from Sprint. Eighteen months ago, I was using a Compaq iPaq 3850. That soon gave way to a new HP iPaq, which in January of this year, I ran over with my car (it’s a long story). Earlier this year, we switched our team over to the Treo. Although we’ve had some issues with reliability, it’s had the single largest impact on my productivity of any technological device this year.
6. Backup and Mirroring: ChronoSync and Infrant ReadyNAS X6. I was previously using rsync to a Dell NAS. Based on reading Phil Greenspun’s experience with an Infrant ReadyNAS device for a home music system, I looked into their solutions and purchased a 1TB ReadyNAS x6. This has been a great backup solution for the network here in the house. It grabs changes from the three macs (two laptops and a desktop) and the windows boxes as well. ChronoSync handles the backup process for the Macs.
7. Web Server: Apache. Haven’t changed in years and still nothing better.
8. Server Operating System: Debian Linux. Still the only linux system I’d use for personal or business server use.
9. Desktop Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4.3. The two laptops in the house are running the latest version. The desktop still is on 10.3 – not sure that I can justify an upgrade yet.
10. Instant Messenging: Proteus from Defaultware. I’ve played with some other solutions and still like this one.
11. IRC: I can’t remember the last time I used IRC.
12. Weblog Publishing Tools: Movable Type v3.2 and ecto. Really no change here. Just upgraded to MT v3.2 a few days ago. Ecto remains my main remote publishing and weblog management tool. Much of this blog network now runs on WordPress as well.
13. News Aggregator: NetNewsWire. Still the best Mac OS X newsreader. Outstanding scripting support as well.
14. Scripting Language: PHP. Nothing new here. Some of our server applications use Perl as well.
15. Database: MySQL. Generally, I use MySQL for databases. I stay as far away from Postgre and Microsoft SQL as I can.
16. Office Suite: Microsoft Office for Mac OS X is my main office suite. It is completely compatible with what I use at work. With the new powerbook, I did get Apple Keynote and Pages and have begun fiddling with them as well.
17. Music: iTunes. That one should be obvious. I have about 5500 songs in my iTunes library.
19. Widgets and the like: I use Dashboard on the Powerbook since it has OS X 10.4 along with several widgets. I use Konfabulator on the PowerMac G4 desktop since it’s running OS X 10.3. I like both equally.
What do you use on your mac?