NOTE: I’m keeping a more up-to-date (and prettier version) of this list on Bagcheck.
One thing I’ve noticed having done a couple of reinstalls lately is that I’m using a lot less apps on my computer. I figure now (that I’m procrastinating) is as good a time as any other to write things down in case anyone finds it useful:
- Google Chrome, Firefox 4 and Plainview
- SIMBL and TerminalColours – pretty much the first thing I install, a must for seeting what you’re doing on a dark terminal background (I bump up green, blue, red, magenta and cyan). I’ve linked to the Network graph for TerminalColours, as the head seems to be ever-shifting
- OpenTerminal – incredibly useful; I change the prefs to always open a new window and to open the selected folder
- ClipMenu – the best clipboard history app I’ve found. I don’t use it’s snippets much, just increase the buffer to 50, increase the autosave frequency and show the last 10 inline
- MacPorts – while others might have moved to Homebrew, MacPorts hasn’t failed me yet and I’ve invested the time to learning variants, upgrades, cleaning and activations. As long as it keeps working, I’ll keep using it. The first thing I’ll usually do is install python27 and python_select to python27. I finally learned my lesson not to use Apple’s built-ins. I also use MacPorts’ vim (+python27), curl (+ssl), and git-core.
- Thunderbird – one day my Mail.app stopped working w/ GMail’s IMAP. I switching to browser-only, but that didn’t work well, especially w/ 5 GMail/GApps accounts. I’ve switched before, but after a year w/ Thunderbird 3, it looks like it’s taken for good. I have a few useful extensions, but by far the most useful is keyconfig, which I primarily to map the ‘y’ key to archive. I mostly use the widescreen view w/ Group By reverse chronological sorting in the unified inbox.
- iStats Menu $ – For a long time I ran MenuMeters, which is great and does everything that I want. I mostly switched because iStats Menu has a nicer calendar than MagiCal, on par with the features I used from MenuCalendarClock (I can’t recommend the latter, as I registered, and shortly after a new version came out that required re-registering). Paying another $20 was a bit much for me.
- Adium – the only feature I wish it had was cloud-based log syncing… hmm, I wonder if saving to Dropbox is a good option… I’ve use the Domo-kun notification icon for years, although the Totoro is pretty tempting. I make a lot of customizations to my Adium, but by far the most importan are deleting Growl notifications, turning off sounds, disabling the menu icon, and hiding messages and lists when backgrounded – basically, anything that would actually interrupt my work (I have my dock hidden by default, otherwise I would disable that stuff as well).
- VLC – must have for MKVs and the like (I’ve used Perian in the past, just couldn’t be bothered to reinstall it)
- Cog – I loathe iTunes, and Cog is the best lightweight music player I’ve found. The official release hasn’t been updated in a while. I use the latest nightly without problems. Vox is a slicker alternative, but doesn’t have playlist management
or scrobbling(it does!). (Cog does via the Last.fm Scrobbler)
- DTerm – I’ve yet to really start using it, but the copy results to clipboard seems really nice.
- Alarm Clock – I found this a few years ago, and it does everything I want/need in an alarm clock.
- Dropbox $ – I pay for the Pro account and use it everywhere. Here’s an interesting Quora question on why Dropbox is so much more popular than competitors. The simple answer is that it just works.
- Carbon Copy Cloner – Its read-only image writing seems to work much better than SuperDuper‘s for some reason. With it, I can image a machine (11GB uncompressed) in about 5 minutes.
- 1password $ – this works I think as well as can be expected. LastPass is probably its only real competition. One slick thing is that if you’re syncing with Dropbox, the 1password’s license file will be automatically synced.
- Evernote $ – It’s not perfect, but it does that one thing well that no one else did (sync!) With 2.0 (folders!), I find myself less angry at it now at least.
- Gabble – a far better Yammer app than the AIR one
- Sequel Pro – as much as I live in mysqlclient, Sequel Pro does some really convenient things (duplicating rows for example) and is a lot faster than MySQL Workbench.
- TinkerTool – I only use this app to move the Dock (I run mine hidden on the top left side w/ only running apps), although I include it in the list because it’s does other neat stuff as well.
Alfred – I finally switched off of Quicksilver a few months ago. Now, there’s still some development going on, and it mostly works, but it felt like the right time to move to something a bit more vital. After trying Quick Search Box, I settled on Alfred mostly because I wanted a quick way to access individual preference panes. My launcher needs have always been pretty basic, I just wanted something that works and doesn’t crash much.
OK, not the shortest list, but compared to the number of apps I had installed before…