Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Mac and iPod Support for Mac OS X, Mac software, hardware, iTunes, and related peripherals.
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MAC7331
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Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by MAC7331 »

These are my "must have" apps and utilities for Mac OS.
Many of these will delight you if you're not already using them.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Jumpcut (menu item with list of multiple clipboard contents)

Namely (launch any app lightning fast)

Dockless (to get rid of Namely's icon in the doc)

Google Notifier (m bar notification of incoming gmails)

Disk Inventory X -and/or- Grand perceptive (check what's hogging your HD, a real eye opener)

Textwrangler (powerful free version of BBedit)

flip4mac (plays Windows Media FIles through QT)

Perian (adds support for many more file formats to QT)

CLV player (play most any and all video and audio files including rare & non-standard files not supported by other players)

Alarm Clock (many apps named like this, get this one http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/20597/alarm-clock

Transmission (clean, friendly, solid BT Client)

Cyber Duck (a great FTP Client)

little snitch (for more advanced or adventurous users) [Shareware]

screen spanning doctor (for unsupported screen spanning on some "non-pro" macs)

MainMenu (menu of maintenance routines) [Edit: newest version is shareware]

Applejack (for more advanced or adventurous users - emergency system repair utility)

StopDashboardWidget (stops dashboard, saves system resources on older machines)

Linotype Font Explorer (for pros and big time font freaks) [free version at the bottom here: http://www.fontexplorerx.com/download/

Xfont info (preview non-installed fonts)

Art Director's Toolkit (for some designers) [Shareware]

popchar (special character finder) [Shareware]

PDF Pages to Artboards (for Ai CS4)

StuffitExpander (expand .sit files and many others)

Adobe Reader (bloated but reliable and feature packed - can print full res to non-Postscript home/office printers)

Flash Player (an essential for every computer)

Firefox (last but certainly not least)
Last edited by MAC7331 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:38 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Jimbo-C »

All I want is a forum that works.
























:lol:

















OK, so it works nicely now... That's two hours in a row. :mrgreen:
















btw it seems different Matt™, did you really move it somewhere, somewhere that it won't get picked on?
I'll look at it. Smoked a joint. Can't right now
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Matt
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Matt »

Wow, thanks Leet. I'll check those out.

Jimbo, yea it's on a very fast "no fucking around" virtual server. It's not so much that it's on a different server, than it is the server it's on has nothing else on it + I've tuned it to run the forum fast.

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MAC7331
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by MAC7331 »

I should add that most all the apps listed above are tried and true. Most have many downloads and high ratings at versiontracker.com and macupdate.com. In most case the free stuff is even more solid than the pay stuff.

Most of these are among best in their categories. I'd be glad to here of any additions or alternatives apps anyone finds even better though.



Here is a list of amazing tips from apple, many of them overlooked even by pros:
http://www.apple.com/pro/tips/



The site's running nice and fast Matt! Good going with the dual-port tuned overhead cam server deal.
Last edited by MAC7331 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Keef
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Keef »

Thanks leet, that's a great list! I use quite a few of them already, specifically:

Jumpcut, flip4mac, Perian, VLC, Transmission, little snitch, MainMenu, popchar, and of course the old favorites StuffitExpander, Adobe Reader, Flash Player and Firefox.

I use TinyAlarm as my alarm clock app. It's nowhere near as sophisticated as the alarm app you listed, but it does what I need. My alarm needs are usually no more complex than remembering to turn off and drain the pasta in 10 minutes, and for this, TinyAlarm works great.

I've never used Namely, but doesn't Spotlight already do this? (I don't use Spotlight for this, I launch apps from the Dock)

Art Director's Toolkit seems very cool, and I am downloading the demo now. For those who might be interested (as we seem to have a plethora of designers here), here is a link to five minute QuickTime movie that explains some of the features that Art Director's Toolkit provides.

Lastly, I'll say that software threads (even a great one such as this) seem to get very little attention here on AS. Although this is ostensibly a Mac forum, most software threads here seem to get mostly ignored.
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bfd, pirate
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by bfd, pirate »

matt wrote:… I've tuned it to run the forum fast.
Wicked fast?


btw, an app (highly configurable and free, donation if desired) to add to that list is iStat Menus … http://www.islayer.com/apps/istatmenus/

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max
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by max »

Keef wrote: Lastly, I'll say that software threads (even a great one such as this) seem to get very little attention here on AS. Although this is ostensibly a Mac forum, most software threads here seem to get mostly ignored.

Are you kidding?
I am vacuuming all that stuff as fast as you guys post it.
Thats why I already have 3/4 of it.
Now I will check out the rest....
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hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
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silvarios

Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by silvarios »

I poop on Adobe Reader. Worst piece of crap I have ever used. On Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Ack!!! I can't stand it.

Unless something has changed recently, this is how Adobe Reader works:
1. Oh, okay, here's the decent sized installer download. Let me download Adobe Reader.
2. Why does the installer not install the software, but instead whatever I just downloaded immediately connects to the internet to download the Adobe Reader installer?
3. Why is Adobe Reader 100+MBs? Guess I'll get around to playing with this tomorrow.
4. Okay, go to launch Adobe Reader. Why does it want to update itself? I just installed the latest version didn't I? Guess there was an update overnight or something.
5. Okay three sequential updates. Why doesn't Adobe Reader just apply the latest one?
5. Now I can finally use the program, but why is Adobe Reader so slow at launching, opening, and navigating a PDF?
6. Why is Adobe Reader connecting seemingly every week to the Adobe Servers to download more crap?
7. Why has my computer been hijacked? Oh, I guess the hundreds of MBs needed to read a freaking PDF wasn't patched enough. Thanks Adobe for embedding this crap javascript engine.

There were so many complaints about Adobe Reader, maybe Adobe actually fixed the damn thing, but I'll never know. Adobe Reader is on my banned from any computer I work with list unless the client is too stupid to listen to reason.


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MAC7331
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by MAC7331 »

silvarios wrote: [lots of stuff about adobe reader]...Thanks Adobe for embedding this crap javascript engine...
Yea I agree with most everything you list about adobe reader. I mostly left it in there because Preview had a problem displaying certain effects on some PDF files (very rare) and it seems good for printing at full resolution to non-postscript home/office printers.

Can you tell me a little about the javascript thing? That sounds bad.
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by silvarios »

MAC7331,
There was a JavaScript vulnerability that could cause a buffer overflow that executed malicious code locally. It was patched last year, but there is always the chance JavaScript can cause a problem. Not as bad as ActiveX on the Windows/IE side, but can be pretty bad.

I would go into the Adobe Reader preferences and disable JavaScript to be on the safe side. More info regarding the old Adobe Reader vulnerability.


Nathan

silvarios

Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by silvarios »

Keef, Namely works really quickly, faster than Spotlight, at least back on Tiger, and was the only game in town on Panther. I haven't used it on Leopard.

Namely only looks for Apps, so as an App launcher it better be darn fast or there would be no niche to carve out. Luckily, it works pretty well (again, I haven't used Namely on Leopard).


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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Comandante Batuta »

Pretty darn good list, Mac. I already use 90% of the suggestions and can vouch for their usability and solidness.

Good job!

:)
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Keef »

Here are a couple other cool mini-apps I use regularly:

Image

PDFshrink

Does just what it says, shrinks pdfs. There are various sizes of reduction you can choose, or you can make your own presets (and droplets). I have to send 15-20 MB, graphics-heavy pdfs to clients all the time, and PDFshrink shrinks them down to about 500 kb. And they still look good, too. Otto turned me on to this one, thanks, Otto.

Image

Bytecontroller

Puts iTunes controls in the menubar. For my workflow, I sometimes dislike apps that do more than I need them to do. I don't want to rate songs, create playlists, etc, etc, from my iTunes controller – I just want quick access to back/forward, play and pause. Bytecontroller does just this, and takes up less system resources than a lot of the competitors I tried. Free.
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Keef »

MAC7331 wrote:Yea I agree with most everything you list about adobe reader. I mostly left it in there because Preview had a problem displaying certain effects on some PDF files (very rare).
Same reason here, just not so rare in my case. Preview often displays pdfs I output from InDesign somewhat poorly.

As an example, Preview often screws up feathered masks from InDesign documents. A document that looks like this in InDesign and Adobe Reader...

Image

... will often look like this in Preview:

Image

As you can imagine, that's not really a good thing. :|

I also prefer the way Adobe Reader handles commented pdf files to the way Preview handles them.

Adobe Reader also opens my double-page spreads full-screen, automatically, without cutting off the tops and bottoms. Preview opens them in a non-full-screen window that cuts off the tops and bottoms of documents. If you have to read as many pdfs as I do, it's a pain.

Thanks for the info about Namely, Nathan, I'll give it a try. I like the idea of how it works (and I generally hate Spotlight, at least post-Tiger).
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Matt »

I can vouch for Firefox, StuffitExpander, Applejack (easy to use, not dangerous), Cyberduck, flip4mac. Popchar has been around since at least OS 7 or 8.

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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Lurkanadian »

Butler, and it's free too. Love it.
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bfd, pirate
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by bfd, pirate »

PDF Shrink seems kinda pricey for what it looks like it does. (And keys floating around aren't up-to-date, either :roll: ).

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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by wave rider »

Great list MAC7331, thanks!

One of my favorite freewares is a plugin for Firefox called Web Developer. Great tool for those building pages for the interwebs; I really like the outline function for visualizing what my divs are doing. Tons more useful funtions.

As an aside, I happened to have Console open while running Disk Inventory X; it kicked up a few warning messages like:
Disk Inventory X[7777]: .scriptSuite warning for attribute 'scriptStyle' of class 'NSTextStorage' in suite 'ExtendedText': 'OAStyle.OAStyle' is not a valid type name.

Disk Inventory X[7777]: NSScriptSuiteRegistry does not respond to -_setClassDescription:forAppleEventCode: -- not hooking up extra alias (and thus, breaking some AppleScripts)

Disk Inventory X[7777]: NSDocumentController Info.plist warning: The values of CFBundleTypeRole entries must be 'Editor', 'Viewer', 'None', or 'Shell'.

Disk Inventory X[7777]: An instance 0x47181760 of class MainWindowController is being deallocated while key value observers are still registered with it. Observation info is being leaked, and may even become mistakenly attached to some other object. Set a breakpoint on NSKVODeallocateBreak to stop here in the debugger. Here's the current observation info:\n<NSKeyValueObservationInfo 0x3df07630> (\n<NSKeyValueObservance 0x471acb30: Observer: 0x471a4240, Key path: document.kindStatistics, Options: <New: YES, Old: NO, Prior: NO> Context: 0x1cbd4, Property: 0x471acac0>\n<NSKeyValueObservance 0x3df07830: Observer: 0x471a5470, Key path: document.kindStatistics, Options: <New: YES, Old: NO, Prior: NO> Context: 0x1cbd4, Property: 0x471acac0>\n)
Whatever they mean. The app seemed to work OK though.

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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by mick e »

Thanks guys. There are a few here that mick e has not used and will be checking out.

mick e felt the need to state this just to reiterate that mac app threads are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it - people LIKE them!
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MAC7331
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by MAC7331 »

wave rider, It appears the 1.0 version is PPC code. Maybe this is what's causing the console reports if you're on an Intel machine. There is a Beta Universal Install here. http://www.derlien.com/dixforum/viewtopic.php?t=62 Don't know how this all figures in or if it does figure in at all. But let us know if you try it and get the same reports of not. To be on the safe side one might only use the app to view HD contents and use the finder for any actual deleting of unwanted files.

Hopefully someone with more knowledge of console semantics can tip us off if these reports are anything to worry about at all.

Grand Perspective does pretty much the same thing, thought I think I prefer the Disk Inventory X interface. Have you tried it with the console open?

To uninitiated, you should always be careful what you trash when it comes to obscure system level or app level files. If you're not sure wait and maybe ask someone on the forum here first.

Edit: Some posts in the DIX forum and on versiontracker indicate that Disk Inventory X 1.0 isn't Leopard friendly, PCC or not. I have run it on my Leopard install and it did display some flakiness, but still works great for viewing. The Beta linked above will likely resolve all this.
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by Lurkanadian »

mick e wrote:mick e felt the need to state this just to reiterate that mac app threads are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it - people LIKE them!
Image
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Re: Must Have Apps and Additions for Mac OS ~ Most FREE

Post by wave rider »

I ran them both at the same time but used them just to find a file to delete via the finder... Got no error messages on Grand Perspective.

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