Top Ten Mac Apps

4 minute read

This is a seriously old post. I’d probably not bother reading it, but I keep it here for nostalgia.

I’m happy when I start work, and I’m happy when I stop (a rare occasion), and my happy gleeful day is all down to the set of utilities that I use day to day. 90% of my work is web development in Ruby on Rails and if your day is spent developing on an Apple, then take heed my advice as it’s fine tuned and endorsed by happy joy joy feelings.

Note: If you’re not on an Apple machine I seriously recommend you switch, like I did. I spent 10+ years developing desktop and web applications on windows and I had no idea that ‘the other side’ was so much more pleasant. But that’s another article.

I said 10, but in fact I put up 12. So sue me. :-)

There are a basic set of utilities I use daily, and I thought I’d share the list with you to top off my previous article. I plan to implement a screencasts page at some point too to compliment my tutorials for those that are too busy (read ‘lazy’) to read a full article.

So let’s get started and take a looksie at my list:

  • TextmateThere isn’t an editor on any operating system that comes close to this editor, it doesn’t do code completion per se, it does code snippet insertion based on tab completion. The tab completion works on pre-created character sets. Check out this small auto complete screencast

  • CSSEditBy far the best css editor around, with auto completion, web preview and more. This has saved me countless key presses.

  • iRatchetI love this little accounting package, it does everything I need from an accounting package, and if it didn’t, the developer is so responsive and helpful it would get added in seconds. Stay tuned for the templated invoicing were working on!

  • iShowUAlthough this application is still in the early stages it is showing great promise, get on over there and purchase it for the bargain $20 that he’s asking and support the development. Snapz Pro has been mediocre for too long.

  • YourSQLI’ve tried a few applications that edit MySQL and this is the one that does what I need, with no bugs (that I’ve found yet).

  • Parallels Desktop for MacAs a web developer it is my responsibility to ensure clients’ sites work in all browsers, so running windows is a prioirty for me. Parallels beats all other virtual PC applications hands down, it’s lightning fast, and even stable.

  • QuicksilverIf you haven’t tried this out, you seriously have to. Being able to start any application or open any folder in an average of 3 keystrokes, is highly productive, satisfying and cool.

  • VirtueDesktopsThe ultimate desktop manager for Mac OS X, this allows me to spread my application windows out and have less screen clutter.

  • ViennaA nice little news reader that does simple browsing of feeds without the hassle that others try and implement. I just need to open and view feeds, nothing fancy.

  • AdiumMy happy little chat app, it handles all the usual MSN, AIM, Yahoo, Jabber etc. All in one, saving me the hassle of multiple applications.

  • ColloquyWhere would a developer be without sitting in his set of private irc channels talking to people who know what they’re doing.

  • High PriorityEasy access to my todo lists, nothing fancy, just easy access.

If you’d like to know how this all works together (or at least the development part) then you’ll just have to wait till I have time to make the screencast of it.

Seriously old posts had seriously old comments. More nostalgia!

evan wrote:

Jamie, your feed isn’t working for me again. I haven’t seen your recent articles. The last article I get is the “beginners part 2” one, although for some reason “the playground” appears after that with a (wrong) date of June 13.

Also your auto-discovery headers don’t redirect to your feedburner feed.

Fear of Fish wrote:

Thanks Evan, I’d not put the DESC snippet in the order, thanks for pointing that out…all problems fixed now.

Martin wrote:

Great list of apps there. On my way to check out Colloquy and Parallels now. Subscribed to the feed. M

Phil Hagelberg wrote:

If you’re not on an Apple machine I seriously recommend you switch, like I did. I spent 10+ years developing desktop and web applications on windows […]

Sorry to be a pedant, but it really really bugs me when you assume people who don’t have Macs are on Windows.

Fear of Fish wrote:

You have a valid point and although I did state windows, my point still holds true for those on other operating systems like linux.  I used to be an avid linux user also, but although it is stable and much more useable than it was in my dabbling days I still don’t feel that it’s anywhere near as powerful as Mac OS X.

Phil Hagelberg wrote:

Heh. Powerful? Are you sure you didn’t mean pretty?

Fear of Fish wrote:

My my, aren’t you the ever lasting purist! I mean pretty, powerful, stable unt vunderbar!

Phil Hagelberg wrote:

I know Mac OS X is powerful, but aside from a few isolated areas (graphical design and video editing mostly) I haven’t seen it do anything in a way that is “more powerful” than other unices. Maybe you could provide an example?

More intuitive, I would agree. More pretty, sure. But more powerful leaves me scratching my head. (And I will restrain from making any comments on OS X’s extremely inflexible window manager.)

Fear of Fish wrote:

More powerful (as you are trying to point out) is definitely the wrong word, and intuitive fits perfectly.