Saturday, August 22, 2009

Best Mac OS X applications

After all the trouble and frustration that I had this summer with my MacBook (namely Mac OSX 10.5) I was terribly good to see it back again, up and running at its fullest, after reinstalling it. Moreover, today I spent the afternoon putting the rest of the pieces together: the necessary applications.

This post is meant to show some of these best (that I know of) programs which really bring the Mac closer to greatness:

Mozilla Firefox
The premier free, open-source browser, considered by many to be the world's best. What sets it apart from Apple's own Safari is the huge universe of plugins and extensions that give greatness to an application.

Is a well known, full-featured, office suite compatible with Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel that is 100% free and open source. Moreover, graduate students might find this especially appealing since allegedly makes an easy and flawless translation into native LaTeX, which usually is required for a thesis. So..get on board.


Why install three separate instant messengers when you can connect to AIM, MSN, Yahoo and GoogleTalk in a single, beautiful app? Plus it's 100% free and open source.

Is a great alternative for Photoshop, absolutely fabulous in terms of Mac integration. It mimicks iMovie’s look with its black translucid theme — like Quicklook in fact — and it’s always cool to see the global design of an application was taken care of. Not only does Pixelmator looks like Mac, but it also tastes like Mac. Integration is brilliant : the photo browser palette offers quick access to iPhoto’s content, iSight is supported, Quick Look plug-in lets you view any of the 100 file formats supported by Pixelmator and you can even edit your images in full screen. That is definitely the way to do Mac Software.(review by Jay Pan) The only drawback is that is not free.

Disk Order 3.0
If you loved Total Commander, as I did, under Windows, you will love this translation of it to Mac OS X. All its great features (copy, new dir, delete, etc, FTP) are presents, and make the transition easy for stubborn fans like myself:)

Q Emulator
Not as polished as Parallels, but at least 100% free and open source. Lets you run Windows on G4 and G5 Macs too (very slow). Personally I don't really like any WM, and I haven't tried the QE, but so far, if I were to choose Vmware would be on top. Obviously, money is always and issue, so try QE and see if it works for you.

Burn Mac
Burns everything you like to DVD, VCD, and SVCD. Take your downloaded videos and burn them to disks you can watch on regular DVD players. Free and open source!

Great little DVD ripper with MPEG-4/H.264 encoding. The simplest way to save DVDs on your computer. Gratis.

"Photoshop" your photos without buying Photoshop. 100% free and open source, based on the open source image editor "Gimp". I haven't tried it yet, but soon enough..


Get music off of your iPod onto any computer.

Write Room
Write without distraction with Writeroom, a word processor that presents you with your screen, your text and nothing else. The idea here is to eliminate computer-based distractions like e-mail, IM and the web, leaving your brain free to focus on writing. Not free.

PC Tools iAntiVirus
This free application provides real-time protection and comprehensive system scanning to ensure your Mac remains safe and virus free.

File Juicer
Doesn't care what type file you drop onto it; it searches the entire file byte by byte. If it finds a JPEG, JP2, PNG, GIF, PDF, BMP, WMF, EMF, PICT, TIFF, Flash, Zip, HTML, WAV, MP3, AVI, MOV, MPG, WMV, MP4, AU, AIFF or text file inside, it can save it to your desktop or to another folder you choose.

Edit PDFs easily with PDFpen! Add text, images and signatures. Make corrections. Fill out PDF forms. Merge, delete and reorder pages.


Anonymous said...

Virtual Box also works okay on OS-X hosts. An now memory is quite cheap - with 4G your virtual windows will fly.

Sorin Krammer said...

I haven't tried yet Virtual Box although I've read good things about it (under Linux). Got 4Gb since I bought the Mac, still VM's don't fly at all. Which is normal, anyways..