November 12th, 2007
Recently I polled my friends and based on their feedback and my experience. I won’t highlight Apple software like iLife in the links below but rather software we use on a daily basis that doesn’t come with our Macs or from Apple.
AdiumX is what multi-protocol chat clients should aspire to be. It’s what Trillian should be. It’s the single application that gets non-mac users to take notice. It supports AOL Instant Messenger (Including ICQ and .Mac), Jabber (Including Google Talk and LiveJournal), MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger (Including Yahoo! Japan), Bonjour (Compatible with iChat), MySpace IM, Gadu-Gadu, Novell Groupwise, QQ and Lotus Sametime.
Firefox is a great web browser. On the Windows platform it’s a good competitor to Internet Explorer, on Mac it offers near IE compatibility with websites. Because it’s not Apple software and less integrated than even Camino, it doesn’t yet support use of the OS X Keychain for saving passwords, for example.
Obviously the Apple platform seems to attract duck software. Command line FTP is fine for a lot of cases but when you want SFTP or you are navigating complicated sites, a GUI is great. I have tried all the major FTP warez for OS X, this is the best.
I found menu meters after I became tired of the weak CPU meter provided by the activity monitor. I was looking for a program that would monitor CPU, memory, disk, and network utilization with a very small footprint. This is it.
P2P is not what it used to be in the hayday of Napster. Limewire and eDonkey networks are a mere shadow of their former selves. Acqlite is not a great program and it hasn’t been maintained in ages. But given any platform Windows, Mac or Unix, I have the most success with this client over all others of just hopping online and finding what I am looking for. On my old G4 this application would leak memory and CPU until it had to be force quit, and I still used it. For some reason the same problems don’t persist on my Intel Mac.
RDC and CoRD
I live and work in hybrid environments and the ability to connect via Remote Desktop or Terminal Services to a Windows machine is paramount. It’s a toss up between Microsoft RDC and CoRD. If you need VNC, Chicken of the VNC.
I spent a while trying to find good backup software. DejaVu was the only one I got working to my satisfaction across a network to an XP share. Though I ended up settling on external firewire drive for my backups.
The following software is recommended but either I don’t have as much experience with them, don’t use them very often or they charge a license fee that I haven’t chosen to pay yet.
Quicken for Mac, but better.
Who doesn’t need a good graphing calculator?
Converts lossless formats to lossy formats, like FLAC to MP3.
I can’t stand StuffIt, this is a better alternative for compression software, think WinZip/WinRar meets OS X. Unfortunately it’s not free.
Unfortunately if you burn a DVD using the native OS X software it will not be readable by a PC, therefore I use Toast.