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Free Mac Applications for the developing soul

I am a very cheap man. When it comes to software, I always try to avoid paying for something if there is a quality, FREE alternative available. After abandoning my PC over a year ago in favor of a Mac, there is only one app I have shelled out money for (Parallels to run a few Windows apps). I have gotten by quite nicely with the below freebies :

Firefox : Without question my number one application. Nothing else even comes close to touching Firefox. The beauty of having tabbed web pages long before Internet Explorer aside, Firefox’s extensions are really what make this browser the best thing going. My favorite is Greasemonkey , which is an extension that allows your to interject custom javascript into any html page returned. There are also a ton of themes available too for Firefox.

Quicksilver : This is the application I surely use the most. It took me a while to get the hang of Quicksilver, but once I did, I now know why people call it indispensable. Quicksilver is billed as an application launcher. It does what Spotlight does (find things on your computer), but much quicker. For instance, I type “cmd+space”, then type the letter “f” and enter, and Firefox is launched. It also does a ton of other things which make your every day computing experience that much more enjoyable. You can append to text files, send an email or instant message, all with a few key strokes. Anything you can think about doing quicker can be accomplished with Quicksilver.

Textwrangler : Like any good American, I love text editors. Textwrangler is one of the best free ones I’ve found. However, I will admit that I recently caught the Textmate fever, and am now hopelessly in love with it. Textmate costs $59, but I haven’t forked over any money yet.

Qumana : This is a great blog editor, with a very easy to understand and elegant interface. You can hook it up so it fetches and posts directly to your blog address. However, I’ve been using Textmate for blogs now too (damn I may have to part with that $59!)

Netbeans : I’ve been learning a lot of Ruby on Rails lately, and have used a number of editors to do so. Netbeans is by no means a lightweight, as it is a full fledged development IDE. I also used Aptana extensively too, but I have to give the slight edge to Netbeans for it’s awesome code completion. Netbeans is quite comparable to Visual Studio.Net.

Thunderbird : It’s Firefox for your email. Simply awesome.

OpenOffice : A great open source office suite that along with Thunderbird, can legitimately replace Microsoft Office at the work place for most folks.

KeepassX : A very nice password manager. Will even generate very strong passwords and allow you to directly navigate to a website from within KeepassX. You can also set up parameters to pass to a website so fields (username,password,etc.) are automatically populated for you.

AOL Radio : I know, AOL sucks. But the big deal with this is that it plays XM Radio FOR FREE.

Adium : Instant messenger that allows you to talk with many other IM clients (MSN,AOL,Yahoo,etc.)

CocoaMySql : MySql database editor.

SNES9x : If you’re an old time video game freak like me, then this Super Nintendo emulator is a must. Final Fantasy IV!

Gimp : Legendary image editor.

Google Notifier : I use GMail and Google Calendar. This sits in my Mac Toolbar and alerts me to new emails or calendar events.

MacSolitaire : the classics never die.

Onyx : Keep your Mac humming along with this OSX maintenance and optimization tool.

Let me know if you can think of any others you would want to see on this list.

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January 21, 2008 Posted by | Mac, Technology | Leave a comment