My Mac Setup

I fully transitioned to Macs over the past couple of years.  As a long-time PC user, it took me some time to develop a system that enabled me to work as efficiently as I did on a PC.  Like anything new, there was a learning curve.  At this point, I can’t imagine working on anything but a Mac. What follows are the key applications and utilities that tailor my Mac experience for how I work.  In a follow up post, I will list my favorite web applications and browser extensions.

My Top Mac Applications:

  1. Firefox.  Best browser on the market, IMHO.  Safari is fast and stable, but the extensibility of Firefox makes it a winner in my book.
  2. Quicksilver.  Hands down the best productivity application on the market today.  I have tried many times — mostly unsuccessfully — to explain the goodness of Quicksilver, this time I’ll leave it to other experts.
  3. Google Notifier.  A nifty little application that shows you alerts in your menu bar, so you can see when you have new Gmail messages or upcoming Google Calendar events without opening a web browser.
  4. Vocito.  A desktop UI for GrandCentral . It allows you to easily dial anybody from the menu bar, rather than having to open  your browser.
  5. Adium.  Multi-client IM app.  Works with virtually every IM service, only drawback is that it doesn’t support voice chat.
  6. Skype.  To make up for the lack of support for voice in Adium 🙂  Unfortunately not everyone uses Macs, so iChat isn’t an option.
  7. Microsoft Office 2008.  In the business world, don’t really have a choice.  And as much as I love Google Spreadsheets, I just can’t imagine life without Excel!
  8. FolderShare (soon to be Windows Live Sync).  Syncs files across multiple computers (both Windows and Mac).  This simplifies your life immeasurably if you use multiple computers.  And it’s free!
  9. TextWrangler.  Great (free) text editor for programming and other text-based activities.
  10. Transmit.  Terrific and easy-to-use FTP client.  Supports FTP, SFTP, or TLS/SSL, etc.

Some Great Mac Utilities:

  1. Witch.  Freeware window switcher that gives you more control over how you access and switch between open windows with your keyboard.  Unlike Command-Tab, which switches between open applications, Witch enables you to switch between open windows via a user-defined keyboard command.
  2. Growl.  From the developer: “Growl lets Mac OS X applications unintrusively tell you when things happen.”  Kind of difficult to describe, check out the about page for more info.
  3. Precipitate.  Includes information you have stored in the cloud (e.g., Google Docs) in Spotlight searches.
  4. Calaboration.  Syncs Google Calendar with Apple’s iCal app.  UPDATE: Now that Google has enabled calendar and address book syncing with iPhones, I no longer need this.
  5. Screenshot Plus.  Great little screen capture widget.
  6. WeatherBug Alert.  Add weather alerts and live local temperature to the menu bar.
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2 Responses to “My Mac Setup”

  1. My Mac Setup (Part 2) « Eric Thoreson Says:

    […] Mac Setup (Part 2) By Eric In a previous post, I listed my top Mac applications.  What follows are the key web-based services I use to round out my computing […]

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