Tag Archives: software

My OS X Standard Apps, 2012 Edition

Lia recently posted about her favorite OS X apps, triggers by a recent rebuild of her Mac. It’s been a long time since I’ve cataloged what I’m using on my desktop, so here’s a quick inventory for the sake of having a list. Not every last I use, just the things I feel strongly about or think people may not have heard of.

Chrome – my general tolerance times for browsers tends to be about two or three years before I feel compelled to switch, but Chrome may finally break that trend. It remains zippy fast, has a good extension community, and it works well. Little quibbles are building – the new print pane is pointless, browser sync seems to break a lot when you have two-factor authentication, and I have a bad email address in my autocomplete I absolutely cannot seem to remove – but generally I’m still happy.
Favorite bit: background updates, rather than Firefox’s habit of alerting you about every last change to your extensions.

Reeder – it’s my RSS app of choice on iOS, and the desktop version is plenty nice as well. My general OCD about feed reading means I’ll typically have a browser with three tabs to Google Reader open, as well as having Reeder open in my dock – I should really use this more.
Favorite bit: Fully customizable keyboard shortcuts, so it works the same as the native Google Reader.

Adium – I took a lot of crap from friends over the years for choosing Adium over iChat. Apparently video chat and Direct IM were more important to them over tabbed conversations, multiple accounts compiled into the same window, or conversation logging that had search. As someone who’s been feverishly communicating by IM for half my life (!), I need a versatile IM client, and iChat is pretty inflexible.
Favorite bit: multiple profile support (hold Option on launch), so I can glom my work accounts into one profile, my home into another, and jump between them on launch.

YoruFukurou – generally, desktop Twitter clients fall into one of two buckets. Either they’re overly simplistic for day-to-day users (see: official client), or they’re over the top and intended for “social media consultants” (see: TweetDeck). YoruFukurou finds the difference, being a client meant for regular users that just happens to be full featured and have lots of customizations available.
Favorite bit: the hotkeys that let me either go to my full stream (Command-1), just the stream of the user I clicked on (Command-2), or the conversation of the tweet I clicked on (Command-3).

Aperture – everyone’s got their habits for photo post-processing and Aperture is mine. All of my post-processing workflows are there and I feel comfortable with it. FlickrExport for Aperture is a must, as the native Flickr support is TERRIBLE.
Favorite bit: the price tag, now $80 in the App Store, down from the $300 list price it had on its original release.

Transmit – another long-standing favorite, it does everything I need in an FTP/SFTP client.
Favorite bit: “Open With…” for remote files. Being able to toss things into my editor of choice and save them naturally to upload is something I take for granted now. Things used to be so much worse.

Paprika – I was looking for a recipe book application of choice for my iPad, when I stumbled onto Paprika. It was exactly what I wanted. The desktop version came out later, and it’s similarly indispensable. With the cloud sync between the two versions, I generally do recipe input on my iMac, and then cooking with the iPad in the kitchen.
Favorite bit: the in-app browser that recognizes most recipe sites, and gives you a glowing “Save Recipe” button to auto-create a new recipe. It’s like magic.

Notational Velocity – text editors are generally causes for holy wars among coders. As management, I don’t do much coding anymore (the bits I do, I use TextMate for). But I do often need to jot notes and refer back to them, and Notational Velocity excels at quick capturing of meeting notes or phone messages.
Favorite bit: cloud sync that works with SimpleNote on iOS.

Linkinus – it may defy all rational explanation, but I do still regularly use IRC. While I had been a Colloquy user up until a few weeks ago, Linkinus feels a bit more tended to and thought out.
Favorite bit: being able to favorite snippets of chat for later reference. Why did no one think of this sooner?

Transmission – if you need an OS X BitTorrent client, this is the one to go with.
Favorite bit: auto-grouping of torrents based on import criteria, so they’re all neatly arranged in a list.

Fantastical – best menu bar calendar add-on ever. Works with Outlook as well as iCal, so helps greatly at work.
Favorite bit: quick entry of events through text input.

Delivery Status – as someone who orders a ton of crap from Amazon, this is a life saver to know where my things are. If it wasn’t for this, I would never use Dashboard anymore.
Favorite bit: Growl notifications.

What are you all using these days?

The Disqus Challenge

Last night, I conducted a small experiment: I switched the internal Movable Type commenting system for Disqus.

For background: leaving feedback on my blog, I’ve been told repeatedly, has been too difficult and too cumbersome, and so my rate of feedback has plummeted greatly. This has been caused by a chain of inconveniences:

  1. Years ago, I became fed up with blog spam and wished to have no part of it, and shut off anonymous comments. This is a huge wall for people wishing to leave feedback.
  2. Movable Type’s login methods are largely grounded in a Javascript wrapper that can be finicky.
  3. The types of authentication supported – LiveJournal, TypeKey, OpenID – are not nearly as popular as, say, Facebook or Twitter.

Continue reading

Apps That Are Not Games On My iPhone

In response to Gaming 2008: The iPhone, sanchny wrote in:

> I got an iPhone last month and didn’t know where to start with all the apps, but I now have a decently-sized list of games to get at some point. Do you have recommendations for regular apps? I found your iphone iusethis page, but it doesn’t seem to be updated.

As it turns out, my list of non-gaming iPhone apps is considerably smaller than the mammoth gaming list, but those titles are worth mentioning too. Here they are, alphabetically: not all are currently installed on my phone due to space concerns, but these are the ones I’ve kept. Applications marked with an asterix are considered my critical application core, as they are on the first page of my Springboard. (Links all go to AppShopper.com; prices are accurate as of the time of this original post.)

Continue reading

Examining Twinkle for the iPhone

Twinkle - Home

An interesting new iPhone Twitter client appeared within the development community over the weekend. It’s called Twinkle, and while there’s no official homepage for it, there is (naturally) a Twitter account.

The interface is clean, although it’s a little hard to read while you’re walking due to what looks like an 8pt font. But as for why it’s interesting:

Twinkle - Near Me

Twinkle is (through what is undoubtedly some interesting magic) using the iPhone location APIs to geolocate the messages sent through it. It also allows for pictures to be attached.

Curiously, unlike other attempts to add geographic metadata to Twitter, none of this information is stored within the Twitter message. (You can see this on the web version of the message pictured above.) Twinkleking has mentioned that the pictures are being stored on his/her/their web server, and I would assume the geolocation data is being similarly shadowed.

Twinkle - Post

While I’m not crazy about shadow systems like this, Twinkle does work terribly well at what it intends to do – it’s a very natural enhancement to the Twitter experience.

It also gets me thinking that, between this and some of the other technologies people have tried to shoehorn into Twitter, that Twitter itself may want to consider providing some sort of extensibility to their base message model. Being able to add machine-readable metadata to any tweet, much like the machine tags on Flickr, would allow for all sorts of useful enhancements without breaking the core model.

Another App To Change Your Life

Freeverse has released [Think 1.0](http://freeverse.cachefly.net/Mac/Think/Think.dmg).

Think is an app that will help you focus on whatever it is you’re trying to do by allowing you to “illuminate” any application, removing all other distractions.

Other apps have offered similar functionality, but Think does it with style and grace. I would do a tutorial, but the manual really nails what you need to know.

Cheers to [Mikey](http://www.mikey-san.net/) – it’s a fantastic app. Congrats on the release.

Uncork The Champagne: Eudora Is Dead

Peter [breaks the happy news](http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/10/11/eudora/index.php):

> Qualcomm on Wednesday announced plans to release future versions of its Eudora e-mail client software as open source. The company is collaborating with The Mozilla Foundation to base the next version of Eudora on Mozilla’s Thunderbird e-mail software.

> The company has released the final commercial versions of Eudora for Mac ad Windows, and is selling them at a reduced price of $19.95 with a six-month tech support period (customers who have already paid will have their tech support commitments honored in their entirety).

I have never been so happy to see a piece of software die in my life.