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Great OSX Apps '07


On my Dock

  • X11 Starter (X11 Extension) - I regularly use OSX's X11. I frequently need to flip between full-screen mode, when running full-screen KDE for web development, and windowed mode when simply editing an image with Gimp.app. Previously, this was a cumbersome exercise, firing up X11.app and manually selecting or deselecting full-screen mode. X11 Starter, or X11 Extension as the website calls it, is a small app that sits in front of X11.app and lets my decide at run-time whether to use X11 windowed or full-screen. This is absolutely the best new app I've found this year for my workflow.
  • Camino - Camino is the OSX-native Mozilla-based browser that was Firefox's inspiration. It offers the compatibility of Firefox but is faster than even Safari. The 1.1 Alpha now includes in-line spell-checking.
  • Thunderbird - Mozilla's now famous mail client. It's still my favourite mail program on any platform.
  • iTerm - A terminal emulator that is _far_ better than Apple's Terminal.app. Tabs and more set iTerm apart as the best terminal emulator for the platform.
  • iTunes - Apple's famous music program. Yes, it's that good.
  • TextEdit - Apple's lightweight word processor/text editor that is bundled with Mac OSX. Don't dismiss it as a Notepad/Wordpad mix. It's actually a surprisingly capable application. Source code is included with Xcode.
  • CyberDuck - The best SFTP/FTP/SSH client. After Konqueror.
  • NeoOffice - A Mac-native version of OpenOffice.org. This full-featured office suite offers most of the features found in Microsoft Office along with many bonuses, such as a very capable drawing program. Now at version 2.0, NeoOffice uses the OpenDocument file format and is now an Aqua application, with native file dialogs and all. A great, free, Open Source office suite.
  • Democracy TV - Hailed as the "free and open source internet TV platform," Democracy TV is a bit like iTunes for video that only focuses on the fringe rather than mainstream media. Video blogs, RSS feeds, Torrents, you name it. Democracy TV can find and play almost anything.
  • VNC Dimension - A VNC viewer that works properly with Apple's Remote Desktop protocol.

Login Items

  • VirtueDesktop - An Open Source virtual desktop app.
  • QuickSilver - An Open Source launcher that will change the way you use your Mac.

Great Applications

  • OmniGraffle
  • Frozen Bubble - Very addictive Open Source game
  • NX Client - Very compressed X11 sessions
  • Gimp.app - The best port of The Gimp for OSX. Requires X11
  • HandBrake - Easy to use video transcoder (originally written for BeOS!)
  • Audacity - A great cross-platform multi-track sound editor
  • VLC - Videolan Client is the best audio/video player for any platform

Things to watch for in 2007

  • Democracy TV - A new way to watch video. Open Source, very cool. Probably the most interesting new Open Source app I've seen in a while.
  • NeoOffice - The best office suite for Mac OSX. This Java-assisted OpenOffice.org-based office suite now looks and feels like a native Mac application! (It will even deal with MS Office 2007 files)
  • Songbird - A Mozilla-view of music. A bit like Democracy TV for sound files and potentially a strong iTunes rival.
  • Sunbird - Mozilla's view of calendering. (Also available as a Thunderbird plug-in called Lightning.)
  • Correo - What Camino is to Firefox. A Mac-native, Thunderbird-inspired mail client that makes use of OSX technologies such as the Address Book and Keychain. It's only at version 0.2 and isn't ready for daily use yet, but it shows promise.
  • MacFuse and MacFusion - A Google-sponsored port from Linux that allows users to mount SSH/FTP/NTFS etc. filesystems as though they were native. Maybe FUSE and SSH will finally bring *nix users a viable alternative to NFS.