Thursday, February 14, 2008

Byte Into It - 13 Feb 08

Byron's list of essential Macintosh applications/utilities for Leopard 10.5

The Unarchiver -
Cost: FREE

Multi format de-compression utility. Quick, fast and easy. Takes care of standard stuff like ZIP but also stuff rare to Macintosh like RAR.

1Password -

Cost: $33 (approx.)

Full featured password management application. Automatically keeps track of any password and/or form you enter into your browser. Automatically fills forms based on an identity you enter - and you can have multiple identities. Also will automatically generate a strong password for you and keep track of all the passwords generated.

Little Snitch -
Cost: $28 (approx.)

Little Snitch is an application that works like a dynamic firewall. Basically, if an application tries to connect to something else on your network/internet the Snitch let you know by popping up a notification on the screen and ask you if you want to allow or deny. It also has a handy network monitor to show you which applications are talking to the ineternet, how often and how much. Essential!

Adium -
Cost: FREE

Open source multi-messenger application. Supports: AOL IM (inc ICQ & dotMAC), Jabber (Google Talk & LiveJournal), MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MySpace IM, Gadu-Gadu, Novell Groupwise, QQ, Lotus Sametime. Well supported with help, updates and customizations/add-ons.

Skype -
Cost: FREE

Ubiquitous multi-messenger and internet telephony application.

NetNewsWire -
Cost: FREE

King of mac news readers. Once you get RSS/Newsfeeds you realize how much easier it is to collect info from the web. NetNewsWire is a full featured reader, with it's own browser functionality, can download podcasts/vodcasts and feed them to iTunes, ability to take clippings and also save all your feeds and their read/unread status to the web for remote RSS access via the NewsGator service.

<strongMars Edit -
Cost: $33 (approx.)

Great blogging tools - allows you to write and format blog content off-line and post directly to your feed. Also has facility for posting MP3's and other content via your blog. Allows you to set categories and keywords. Also pings RSS search engines when you upload a new post. Integrates well with many blog formats such as WordPress, Drupal, Live Journal, Movable Type and so on.

Transmit -
Cost: $33 (approx.)
This is a great FTP client. Fully featured with a great UI.

Cost: FREE
This is a great additional media player for the macintosh (and other OS's as well). This bad boy will play pretty much most media you throw at it - divx/avi's, DVD's, MP3's, etc. If QuickTime won't play it, VLC will (except for RealMedia, but no so many use that now anyhow...)

Growl -
Cost: FREE

This is an on-screen notification application. Handy when an application you're using is in the background as it makes sexy little windows pop up on screen to let you know when stuff happens - like people sending you a skype message, iTunes tracks at they start playing, when FTP uploads/downloads completed and many more.

Flip4Mac -
This is a set of system extensions that lets QuickTime play Wimdows Meida (WMV) files. Many sites like The Age newspaper and even RRR use Windows Media for streaming services - this way you won't miss out on the action. Also there is a PRO version available if you want to make Windows Media content on the Macintosh.

Skitch -
Skitch is a very sweet little application that is super-handy for doing fast image editing. A very simple user interface and a great demo movie make this even easier to use. Also has built in services for simply uploading your images to dotMAC, an FTP server of your choice and even Skitch themselves offer a free space for uploading! Also made by a company with local (Australian) talent!

AppZapper -
COST: $15 (approx.)
When the time comes and you need to get rid of an application - AppZapper zaps 'em. Neat, tidy and simple - this application gets rid of the main application and all associated files on your machine.

SuperDuper -
COST: FREE. Extended functionality: $31 (approx.)
This application is a great, simple and effective back-up tool. Lets you back up a BOOTABLE copy of your whole drive. Also lets you do many more tricky back-up scenarios with the extended functionality.

QuickTime Pro -
COST: $45
QuickTime has a lot of stuff under the hood and the only way to get to it is to go Pro. Lets you do things like save embedded QuickTime content to your local drive. Also lets you export any QuickTime media to other QuickTime formats. Good for shrinking movies for the internet and other things like taking audio files out of QuickTime movies.

Send SMS -

A great widget for send SMS from your machine. Does cost for the messages, but is easier to set-up & use than free bluetooth alternatives. Also has Address Book integration for you stored contact and group SMS

iStat pro -

Overview of what your computer is up to right now with things like drive space, network address, CPU temperature and many more.

ISP Usage Widget -
Find out how many schmegabytes you're schlepping back from them interwebs using these handy dandy widgets! Most big aussie ISP's covered - Optus, iiNET, Internode, NetSpace, etc..