This page is largely for my own benefit, so I don't lose any of these links
anywhere. But hopefully someone will find this of some benefit too. This is my
link of must-have OS X software, extra software that doesn't come with OS X, but
is in absolute necessity. It should be clean and simple.
Must-have software packages
- VLC. I think
the only piece of software I've seen that sucks more than iTunes is Quicktime.
Rather than try to put up with these abominations, get VLC. It does every music
or video file format ever. It does Quicktime better than Quicktime Player and
Windows Media better than Windows Media Player. Plus it makes streaming video
from one machine to another an absolute snap. Absolutely brilliant.
- LaTeX Equation
Editor. While Pages and Keynote from Apple's iWork are quite impressive,
they're useless for typesetting math. Enter LaTeX Equation Editor. Just type in
a LaTeX expression, hit a button, and you have a nicely typeset PDF which can be
dragged and dropped anywhere you like. No worrying about creating extra files or
- MacTeX. In a similar vein, you need
a typesetter. MacTeX comes with: TeXLive, a glorious TeX distribution; TeXShop,
the greatest LaTeX editor of all time; BibDesk, a BibTeX citations database
editor; Excalibur, a pretty slick LaTeX spell-checker; and more.
- Magic Number Machine. A
very nice and pretty UI to a pretty powerful scientific calculator. Very handy
when you need to compute a standard deviation or something.
- AcidSearch. Adds context
menu items for searching and, more importantly, adds new search engines
selectable through the Safari search bar. Finally it's just one hotkey
combination to jump to "Search on Wikipedia".
Should-have software packages
- Service Scrubber.
You know that "Services" menu that you either totally ignore or totally love?
The one that allows you to do very cool things like text-to-speech or summarize
any selection of text? Service Scrubber lets you take out all the
annoying services that you'll never use.
- GnuCash. Quicken sucks. Use something
better. (Sadly this is not OS X native, but works beautifully
Display CPU, memory, HDD, network, etc. usage in your menu bar (right beside the
clock). It was an interesting philosophical quandary for me deciding whether
this sort of functionality should properly be in the menu bar as opposed to on
the Dashboard. Really, though, the times when I want this information is often
when my computer is responding sluggishly, at which point it's futile to try and
switch applications. But overall it's a very nice piece of software.
Nicely and unobtrusively adds GPG/PGP (encryption and verification) support to
- DockStar. Changes Mail's
appicon so not only can you be alerted about unread mail in your inbox, but
about other mailboxes as well.
- IMAP-IDLE. What's
the point of using an IMAP server if you're just polling it every so often? Why
not get the server to tell you when you have new mail? Enter IMAP-IDLE.
It's a standard part of the IMAP protocol, and one which just about every IMAP
server supports. Sadly Mail doesn't support it be default—it just
polls—but install IMAP-IDLE to be way cooler.
- Attachment Scanner.
Always forgetting to attach something to an email? Get a reminder now.