Must-have / essential applications on Mac OS X (10.6 - Snow Leopard)

This is a bit of a side-step from directly MySQL related information .. but I found myself installing Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro today (which I use for pretty much everything) and every-time I do I have to try and remember all the applications I use. And I thought I would share them as I've found it useful you can pick up on things other people use. So here it is!

I have marked the applications which cost money with a green dollar symbol ($) and hyperlinked all the project names for convenience.

  • iLife 2009 - iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie $

  • Built-in Mac Applications - Mail, Safari, Terminal

  • iWork 2009 - Office Suite - Pages, Numbers, Keynote $

  • TextMate - Text Editor $

  • VisualHub - Video Conversion - Use this for converting videos to watch on my iPhone/iPod touch .. no longer for sale but apparently you can download it for free now $

  • Transmit - FTP client $

  • VMware Fusion - Virtualization - for testing and Windows $

  • World of Goo - Game - Possibly the most awesome game ever (via Macheist) $

  • Skype - VoIP - We use SkypeOut alot in the support team for calling customers world-wide.

  • Adium - Instant Messaging - MSN, Google Talk, Jabber

  • X-Chat Aqua - IRC - used for work, prefer a graphical client with sound and growl capability for work.. use irssi on a remote server for personal IRC

  • MacPorts - BSD Ports-style for Mac - Applications: bzr, mtr

  • Growl - Desktop notifications - also Prowl for forwarding them to my iPhone

  • Perian - Video Codecs - for Quicktime

  • VLC - Video Player - I use this for watching most videos anyway

  • Cisco VPN Client - Used for work (not freely distributed)

  • Arduino - For all my Arduino electronics hacking.. for more details see my Geek My Ride page

  • EAGLE - PCB Design

  • SeaShore - Image Editor - based on the GIMP, but was a Mac UI.. great for simple edits.

  • iStat Menus - Menubar System Stats - not yet working on Snow Leopard (will soon) - highly recommended... also lets you replace the menu clock with one that drops down to show a calendar and other timezones.

That's it! I hope some of you find some useful applications in there.

- Trent


As of Snow Leopard, Cisco VPN client is no longer needed as this functionality is now built-in. I personally despise the Cisco VPN client and found Snow Leopard's to be absolutely wonderful! It is my 2nd favorite addition to Snow Leopard (second only to stuff).

Also, Eagle owns face. I do wish they had a cheaper non-commercial license though. I have wanted to make some larger boards while working on my other hobbies (most notably making synths from the MidiBox project) and have run into the board size limitation more than once :/

Posted by Tim Soderstrom on September 01, 2009 at 06:50 PM WST #

Path Finder: a superior alternative to Finder.

Posted by Dave Edwards on September 01, 2009 at 06:52 PM WST #

Tim - thanks for the note about the Cisco IPSec being supported natively in Snow Leopard - I had missed that fact! That's awesome, thanks. As for eagle, fortunately all of my boards have been smaller so far and I'm still getting the hang of it but I etched my first single layer board so far - even though it was reasonably simple.

Dave - Thanks for the pointer to Path Finder - I've seen that once before but never looked at it indepth. At initial look I'm still not sold but I'll take a closer look. The "Path Finder puts a terminal right in your file browser" did catch my eye...

Posted by Trent Lloyd on September 01, 2009 at 06:57 PM WST #

iStat menus are now out that work w/Snow Leopard.

And VM Fusion works in Snow Leopard 32-bit mode, but not in 64-bit mode.

Posted by guest on September 04, 2009 at 12:08 AM WST #

Just curious, but do can you get Prowl working with SL? I've got Growl working ok (1.2 beta2) but when I install the Prowl plugin it doesn't seem to show up in the list :(

Posted by Daniel Essex on September 06, 2009 at 12:43 AM WST #

Haha never mind - it was there all along - tiredness kills =)

Posted by Daniel Essex on September 06, 2009 at 12:54 AM WST #

ExpanDrive, ExpanDrive is a great utility that lets you mounts FTP/SSH/SFTP etc connections as shared drives. This means that once they are mounted, you can use those resources in any mac app. This is really handy takes the pain out of dealing with remote file systems.

Posted by Freedom OSS on November 05, 2009 at 12:02 AM WST #

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This blog is a set of tips, tricks and articles from Trent Lloyd - MySQL Support Engineer @ Sun from Perth, Australia working in the APAC team.


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