This wouldn’t be a blog without some type of end of the year list. So without further ado, here is my first end-of-the-year-list post on Apple Mac HQ. I have very much enjoyed my first year of using the Mac. I’d like to thank the developers of the applications listed below as they made life on the Mac great. These are the applications I couldn’t live without in 2007, in no particular order.
Blogging wouldn’t be as fun or as easy without MarsEdit. The ability to draft posts offline allows me to work anywhere and publish once I get online. The addition of the Media Manager in v2.0 made the decision to upgrade a no-decision. I love the ability to add new categories without visiting my WordPress powered site. If you blog without MarsEdit you aren’t being as productive as you could be.
While there are a number of good ftp clients for the Mac, many of them aren’t free. I’m not a power ftp user and Cyberduck allows me to get the job done. Cyberduck supports ftp and sftp and has integration with Spotlight, the Keychain, AppleScript, and Growl. If you don’t want to spend money on an ftp client, give Cyberduck a try. If you try Cyberduck and use it frequently, consider a donation to the developer (I donated).
Caffeine is a one trick pony but it works like magic. When watching TV shows or movies, just activate Caffeine and it will stop your display and Mac from going to sleep. You don’t have to mess with your power settings, just a click to activate and a click to deactivate it when your done watching your video. Preventing your display or Mac from going to sleep couldn’t be easier.
If you have to use Windows and don’t want to reboot into Boot Camp, VMWare Fusion is a great application to add to your arsenal. Though Parallels was first on the scene, VMWare seems to have closed the gap in a relately short amount of time. Dual-core support is one of the reasons Fusion seems so fast. In addition to dual-core support, Fusion has experimental support for DirectX 9 and is written in Cocoa. Get VMWare Fusion for under $45 from Amazon here.
I’ve been using iBank for a few months now to manage my finances. Scheduled transactions, smart import rules, ability to import multiple financial file types (QIF, QFX, etc), and the ability to create budgets are some of the great features in iBank. The developer is pretty good at making updates to the application as well. The only feature I’m missing is the ability to get a monthly spending average based on categories. If that is implemented, the application will serve all my financial needs.
Most of the images you see on Apple Mac HQ have been edited in ImageWell. Resizing or editing a screenshot is a simple task in ImageWell. I use ImageWell quite often in my blogging workflow. I just drag the file to the ImageWell icon on the dock and drop it. Once ImageWell opens, I edit the graphic, resize it if necessary, and then save. If you need some basic quick image editing done, ImageWell will likely fit into your workflow.
If you read RSS feeds on multiple operating systems or computers, you need NetNewsWire. The ability to read feeds from nearly anywhere and have everything seamlessly sync is absolutely killer. I can read feeds at work, feeds on my iPhone, and feeds on my Mac and the changes are all kept in sync. NetNewsWire syncs with NewsGator online and the mobile version of NewsGator to allow reading from almost anywhere. Mobile NewsGator even has an iPhone optimized version. If you are an iPhone toting Mac user and haven’t tried NetNewsWire, why are you waiting?
Much like NetNewsWire, syncing is the killer feature of PackRat. PackRat is a desktop client for 37 Signals’ web application Backpack. When at work or on another computer, I can visit the Backpack website and add a note, create a to-do, or create some ideas for future blog posts or anything else that’s on my mind. On my Mac, I just fire up PackRat and click sync and the changes I’ve made in PackRat and the changes online are all synced up.
Admittedly I probably use 5% of what Quicksilver can do. As an application launcher any application is only a few keystrokes away when using Quicksilver. As a conduit between applications, Quicksilver allows you to easily upload a file via ftp, add a song to a playlist, email a certain file to an Address Book contact, and so much more. Describing everything that Quicksilver can accomplish is virtually impossible. Visit the Quicksilver website to learn more. As info, the application has been open sourced and is no longer in active development by the original developer.
So that’s my list of applications I couldn’t live without in 2007. I’m sure 2008 will bring some additions to my list. If you have some applications you couldn’t live without, drop a comment below and let everyone know about them. I could always use a few more applications to make my Mac life easier! Have a happy and safe New Year’s!