Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Steve's Essential Mac OS X Software List

Updated: Nov 2010
So I'm three months into (nearly) full-time Mac ownership. What applications have I found essential and worth downloading? For my own memory (should I ever need to re-grab everything after a re-install or on a new Mac, and to help others) here's a brief rundown:
  • Nokia Multimedia Transfer - essential for integrating a Nokia smartphone into a Mac
  • iSync for Nokia - lets your Nokia smartphone sync to Address Book and iCal
  • Seashore - somewhat basic but useful image cropper/manipulator
  • KompoZer - not supported anymore and 1% buggy, but a terrific visual HTML/WYSIWYG editor
  • Cyberduck - the best FTP client for the Mac
  • Copernicus - small screen video grabber, useful for odd extractions from web animations
  • Audacity - the famous audio editor
  • Open Office - the equally famous full Office suite
  • Burn - additional disc burning functions beyond the built-in bits of Mac OS - still not sure if I need this, but it's got a great reputation
  • JumpCut - multiple clipboard utility
  • Audio Hijack Pro - ditto
  • Disk Inventory X - super for finding where all my hard disk space has gone
  • OnyX - the Apple-recommended semi-official hard disk verification and clean-up utility - hasn't found a problem yet on my Mac, but you never know....
  • Smultron - a text editor that copes well with the huge text files used in my Trivopaedia
  • Handbrake - a video transcoder and DVD ripper
  • Wimpy FLV Player - as it sounds.... there's no native FLV playback in Mac OS X
A somewhat shockingly long list, I'd thought that Mac OS X would do most everything I needed (what with the superb iLife 09 suite etc), but it turns out that, just as under Windows, there were a whole raft of little addons I needed in order to get everything done!

I do hope this list helps someonem anyway.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Credit Crunch Ideas

A.k.a. Things for you and your family to do that don't cost a lot of money! 

A new idea for a mini-site, over at my 3-Lib server. I was fed up with the way weekends and school holidays were just turning into huge money-drains - hence the suggestions. I estimate that it costs roughly £1000 to get one child through the summer holidays in the UK, living by the world's 'rules'. Add 50% for two kids, double that for 3 children.

I aim to halve those numbers (at least). What do you think of the ideas and do you have any other suggestions?