Mac Applications for daily use

After getting little familiar with the OS X now it’s time to plunge into the applications that are essential for daily productivity. Of course first thing is the web browser, then comes email client, office suite and other special applications. Before going into the applications I would like to mention about the installation and uninstallation process in Apple. It’s little different than windows. In windows you have an installer (install.exe or setup.exe) and an uninstaller to remove the program. Macs are little different, just drag the .app to Applications folder and it’s installed. Just drag the installed application to Trash and it’s uninstalled. Easy, straight forward and very cool indeed!

Firefox-Logo-64X64Web Browser
I tried Safari but I’m so used to the tabs that without them I find very difficult to switch between different sites I’m browsing (most of the time it’s 10+). For the time being Safari is not for me. I’ve tried Camino and was ok with it but mozilla has released Firefox universal binary version, so now I’m back to firefox and happy with the speed and familiar interface.
Update: Safari does support tabs as noted by Paul (in comments). You just need to enable it by going to the preferences.

ApplemailEmail Client
In Windows I’ve used Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape and many other email applications searching for a perfect IMAP client. Currently I’m using Thunderbird in my windows environment. Out of all these I’ve found Thunderbird to be an acceptable IMAP client. Thunderbird does have some issues with IMAP. E.g. sometimes it cannot copy the sent emails to sent items and is hangs for unknown reasons. Anyway Outlook and Outlook Express are even worse. I was blown away with the Apple Mail client. The IMAP just works. It gets the emails and headers from the IMAP server blazingly fast. It has all the functions I’ve been using with Thunderbird. The SPAM filter is excellent. No problem to store the sent items in server and never had a single crash yet. One thing I’m missing though is the Webmail Extension of Thunderbird. Because my family and friends still send me email in my old hotmail account. Now I’ll have to login to the hotmail via web and check for new emails every now and then. But this is a compromise I’m willing to make to use the best IMAP client available (I think).

OS X has openssh client, so the built in terminal is good for me to access other Linux/Unix servers but I need to access several servers at the same time and opening different terminal windows for different servers seemed like browsing multiple sites with IE. I found iTerm, which suits my needs with excellent tabs and bookmark features.

Office 01MS Office 2004
Mainly for word and excel.

RdciconRemote Desktop Client
I need to connect to windows machines.

Chicken-VncChicken of the VNC
I’ve no idea why it’s named like that but works well :).

I need to connect back to our Office LAN using PPTP. The pptp client in OS X works flawlessly.

To talk and chat.

Full featured ftp client.

I’ve installed Ecto trial version. It bounces several time in the dock before opening for the first time since it still don’t have native Intel support. But I think it’s the best blogging client available. So, I’m going to try it for some more time.

It’s a pretty good rss newsreader.

I’ve read so much about it that I decided to install but I’m yet to use and see the power of quicksilver.

Opens pdf documents in a flash. It’s an amazing experience as a windows user who’s used to heavy adobe reader. It’s so true that with Preview “portable documents just got more portable”.

iTunes and Quick Time do the job best.

Keychain AccessUser ID/Password Manager
Keychain is an excellent built in user id/ password and certificate manager for the desktop user and I’ll be using it. But at work we’re currently using Anypassword in windows which stores the DB file in the server. So, all the system admins can access the file from their PCs. Another similar program in windows is KeePass. I couldn’t find similar program for OS X. If Mac gurus have any suggestions please let me know.

These are the basic applications I need for daily use and I think there should be no problem for me to switch.

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Posted in Apple, Blogging, Reviews, Technology
10 comments on “Mac Applications for daily use
  1. Paul Bussler says:

    Safari does have tabbed browsing, you just have to enable it by going to the preferences and clicking on the tabs tab. It also does rss feeds, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Hope this helps.

  2. Jerry Brace says:

    How about starting the day waking up to Awaken on your Mac? iTunes alarm and sleep timer –

  3. Joe Black says:

    For rss reader, you should try Vienna.
    Also, don’t forget menu bar applications: MenuMeters, HimmerBar, iController and, of course, iColon (that’s a must 😀 ).
    Some other applications that i found nice to try: BackLight2, Adium, Growl, HardwareGrowler.
    Also some other usefull System Preferences applications: Default Apps and Media Central (replacement for Front Row).

  4. Thanks Paul,
    I’ve enabled the tabs and made Safari the default browser. I want to give Sarari a fair shot.

  5. Dave Reilly says:

    There is a hotmail plug-in for Apple Mail that you can use to interact with hotmail / MSN mail. See webpage for the plug-in.

  6. Thanks Tim and Dave for links to the webmail (Hotmail) plug-in for Apple Mail.

  7. Dan says:

    For a Password program you might try Passwords Plus. There’s a small fee for it but it’s doing everything that I need to do right now. I haven’t found anything else so far.

  8. David Teare says:

    For Password Management you should try 1Passwd. It combines the goodness of Safari’s AutoFill and Firefox’s Password Manager and takes them both to a whole new level.

    1Passwd integrates directly with the OS X Keychain and works from within the browser (Safari, Firefox, Flock, and Camino), so you never need to switch applications to fill your passwords.

  9. Thanks Dan and David for pointing me to the Password management programs. I tried both, Password Plus and 1Passwd. They’re both good for personal use (by single person) but what I’m looking for is a password manager that stores password in some sort of database file so multiple system admins (me and my colleagues) can work with the same database to check a password for our servers.

    The good news is that after trying these both programs I visited the KeePass web site and found that now they’ve KeePassX for MacOSX, and this is exactly what I’m looking for. BTW, I’ve already switched to Mac and this makes my switch complete. Hurray!

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