Essentials

After using a computer every day for the past few years, you start developing your own way of doing things, and then it goes from being your own way, to the only way to use a computer. So here are the applications that you have to use to be able to use a computer. Got it?

OS X

  1. TextMate. I’ve been moving away from Macromedia Dreamweaver for my HTML and CSS editing, and started to use text editors for a more lightweight experience. I do miss the auto-complete and intellisense though. This is also pretty much the best editor for writing Ruby on Rails apps.
  2. Safari. Nothing really competes it for its speed, and its heavy itegration with OS X. Firefox is too slow, Camino doesn’t really offer any features over Safari, Opera isn’t OS X optimised enough and I’m not really interested in other niche browsers at the moment.
  3. Mail. I love it’s interface and searching ability, but I hate some parts of its IMAP support (like its insistance to use its own deleted messages folder instead of the default one on the server), so I’m considering a move to Thunderbird which has excellent IMAP support.
  4. Adium X. There is no competition to it, in any platform. The 1.0 betas have problems logging back on from standby though, but apart from that a slick application.
  5. Seashore. It’s GIMP for OS X, kinda. I only use it occasinally for some resizing and cropping so I can’t really justify a Photoshop license. Not until a Universal Binary is out anyway.
  6. VLC. It works with many formats, it plays any region DVDs. It just works, and it doesn’t suck like Quicktime. I do have quite a large collections of videos now though, something like iTunes for videos would be nice.
  7. iTunes. I have an iPod, enough said? No? Well it has an excellent library system, and organises my files well. But why doesn’t it get lyrics or album art from the internet when I import a CD? It also constantly ask me to authorise my computer to play the one song I bought from the iTunes Music Store, which promptly led me to delete it. iPod integration is crucial though, I can listen partly to a podcast on my iPod, sync it with iTunes, and then iTunes knows where I listened to and I can continue listening at home. Slick.
  8. Quicksilver. An excellent launcher, but it’s so much more than that. I’ve only gotten around to using it as a glorified launcher though.
  9. Witch. I can finally alt-tab between windows instead of applications.
  10. Azureus. I can’t get Transmission working damnit, but Azureus is probably the best featured BitTorrent client so I’m not complaining. Actually I will: double clicking torrent files doesn’t work, its ugly and a slow piece of crap. I wish I could get Transmission working…
  11. Transmit. It’s numerous awards give testimant to the quality of this application, with FTP and SFTP support (no more command line hell with SFTP), it’s my client of choice. It simply has no competition, even with it’s $30 price tag.

Windows

  1. Visual Studio 2005. Nothing comes close to it for .NET development. It has auto-completion, excellent intellisense, code folding, code refactoring and the list goes on. It doesn’t have any testing (unless you plump out for the Team Architect edition, which is worth more than my car), so for that I use NUnit.
  2. Adobe Dreamweaver 8. I’ve still yet to let go of my IDE fetish on Windows, simply because of the quality of the IDEs is staggering (take Dreamweaver and Visual Studio), and the quality of text editors lower than OS X.
  3. µTorrent. A pure Win32 BitTorrent client that runs very smoothly. I didn’t really mind Azureus’ bloat, but the extra polish µTorrent and it’s strong feature set had me sold.
  4. VLC. It beat my previous favourite of BSPlayer as I don’t need to install any damn codecs, and it plays any region DVDs. The interface could do with a revamp though, and it could also do with a library feature.
  5. SmartFTP. Not as good as Transmit, and it crashes more often than I’d like, but it works the best out of all the FTP clients I use. It has a slicker interface than FileZilla.
  6. Notepad++. When I have to use a text-editor, Notepad++ is my one of choice. It’s interface is very dated, and the default font and colours are disgusting. It uses Comic Sans for christs sake! But it has code-folding and proper tabbing support so I’m not really bothered.
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