Updated since August 29, 2008.
Since I wanted to get the most out of my new MacBook, I have been downloading a crapload of applications. Most of the programs are freeware, but a few are shareware. Just for future reference or maybe a new Mac user will stumble upon this, here’s the list:
- Witch: Witch allows you to switch (get it?) applications quickly and easily. You can assign a keyboard shortcut and it will display all the windows open under each application. I have to say this application was the best find for me personally. As an initial Windows user, I couldn’t get over the fact that there is no taskbar or anything to view all of your programs quickly on Mac. Sure, there is the dock but it doesn’t show everything organized together and I hate having to mouse over it. There’s also Command+Tab but that only shows the icons of your applications. It doesn’t show you the multiple windows you have open from an application. That’s very annoying if you have several windows open.
- Quicksilver: This app allows you to open it up with a keyboard shortcut, type in any application or document, press enter, and boom; your application is opened up. It’s pretty amazing if you’d rather do that than have to click around and look for your application. Useful for things that are not easily accessible in the dock. I do think it wins over Spotlight, but that’s up to you to decide.
- DeLocalizer: Removes languages you do not use on your computer. There are many languages, but what are the chances that you’ll use all of them? I freed up 1609 MB of space after using it, but hopefully I’ll never need those languages again (like Icelandic…right?).
- Adium: Let’s you sign into multiple chat programs. It beats having to download AIM (shudder @ the ads and lag).
- Anxiety: A to-do manager. What I like about it is that it integrates with iCal, so when you go to iCal, the to-do list is there as well and categorized under your calendars.
- Etretask: Another to-do manager. I think Anxiety wins over this application, but this can be another option.
- Audacity: Program to edit and record sound.
- Celtx: “Media pre-production” program. Generally it’s where you can get your ideas and story together before making media. I liked it for the writing tools, but it may also be useful to screenwriters, etcs.
- coolwmawmv: Honestly, I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, so I don’t even know if it works. However, it’s supposed to convert your wma/wmv files into other formats since your Mac (obviously) does not support Windows programs :shock:
- Genius: Program that helps you memorize information, using quizzes based on spacial repetition.
- ProVoc: Vocabulary cards. Similar to genius, except it also creates multiple choice questions.
- Studycard Studio Lite: The difference between this program and the other two is that it actually looks like traditional flash cards.
- Schoolhouse: Remember back when you used your hand or an agenda to jot down homework? Probably not a good idea with college. Something college students should consider getting. Tip: If you have Leopard, right click, Get Info, and set Rosetta or else it won’t run properly.
- iProcrastinate: An alternative to Schoolhouse, it also is a homework/task manager. But one thing category it wins in is its price: free!
- iClip Lyrics: Pretty darn cool, if you ask me. While you are playing songs in iTunes, this program will Google and search for lyrics to go with the song.
- iShowU: Program to record your screen in case you need to make a tutorial or something.
- PandoraMan: If you are familiar with Pandora.com you will love this application (or, if you are not you might learn to love it!). You can bring Pandora right into your computer without having to open up an Internet browser. Pandora is a program that streams different songs to you, and from your ratings, it will play new songs that you might be interested in. It’s a great way to find new music.
- Quinn: Okay, so I’m the geek amused by Tetris. Play tetris on your Mac :)
- Senuti: I successfully transferred the music from my iPod to my laptop! Not entirely necessary since I could just keep my music on my PC or iPod, but I can see this coming in handy.
- Skim: Allows you to jot notes, circle words, etc. on PDFs.
- Smultron: A text editor for coding.
- Think: For the easily distracted, this app lets you focus on one thing on the screen and blacks out everything else. Not at all necessary and it definitely doesn’t guarantee anything, but I downloaded it for the heck of it, hoping it might actually be useful someday.
- Toolplayer: A small music player (yes, I am missing my Winamp back on my Windows PC).
- Transmission: As uTorrent is the choice BitTorrent program on Windows, Transmission is for the Mac OS X. It’s simple, but that’s how I like it.
- URLwell: If you have ever felt like you stumble upon way too many websites but want to sae the links to look at them all later, URLwell might be the solution. You can just drag the favicon from the address bar to the @ symbol in the toolbar and it will save the links for you to look at later.
- VoodooPad: If you’re familiar with wikis, this is like a notepad designed like wikis. It allows you to create notes with pages, links, etc. Very nice if you need to organize your notes into chapters or pages.
- SnapNDrag: lets you take a screenshot by just clicking a button and dragging the resulting screenshot off. Coming from windows, I find it ridiculous that you have to memorize a 4 button shortcut to just get a screenshot. Plus, what if I don’t want it saved on my desktop? This app even allows to to pick what section of your screen you want a picture of. Wonderful.
- GrabberRaster: Another screenshot program.
- TinyAlarm: Great when you just want a quick alarm to remind you something.
- AppCleaner: Dragging it to the trash doesn’t always delete everything from your application. If you want everything deleted, use this program.
- ToyViewer: Quick and easy program to open and edit images real fast.
- uTorrent: A very good bittorent program…finally for Mac!
- Transmit: An FTP program.
- UnRarX: Extracts rar archives.
- Xee: Powerful replacement for Preview.
- ByteController: Control iTunes from your menu bar.
- Time Out: Break reminder tool. Not really needed, but could be useful when you’re doing homework or working on something. Besides that, I got it because I want to remind myself to take breaks for my eyes (you’re supposed to look away and refocus your eyesevery so often to help your eyes.
- Toy Viewer: A quick image editing program.
- Sizzling Keys: Control iTunes using key strokes and have a floating window to show you the track that is playing.
- Nisus Thesaurus: Fast electronic thesaurus that can integrate with multiple programs.
- Oops!: A game HIGHLY similar to Sorry!…
- Caffeine: Useful program if you are watching a video or are listening to lecture and you do not want your computer to go to sleep or dim out.
- SelfControl: Set up a blacklist of sites you are not allowed to visit when you are working hard. Then when you’re ready, set the timer. You will not be able to access those sites until time is up. The ultimate tool for the procrastinator.
- Freedom: Block all internet access for a certain amount of time.
- Photoshop Elements: Mac users can have photoshop too!
- Awaken: The perfect application to turn your MacBook into an alarm clock. Tired of that annoying buzzing? You can use iTunes and make it into music instead that plays softly and gradually gets louder to wake you up. You can also hit snooze, or set you Mac to put itself to sleep while you are listening to music at night. Not free, but here are some alternatives.
- Bloom: A FaceBook photo uploader. I got it because the uploading page for photos on FaceBook doesn’t seem very comaptible with my MacBook.
- Magic Number Machine: Superior calculator.
- Time Out: Will remind you to take a break, go walk your dog, etc.
- Timeline: An aesthetically pleasing and easy way to organize stuff in a timeline.
- VLC: Excellent media player
- VMware Fusion: Run Windows on a Mac. Get the best of both worlds.
- iStat: Lets you know what’s going on inside your Mac, like the temperature, etc.
- Shades: Lets you controls the brightness of your Mac screen even more than the brightness buttons provided.
- SizzlingKeys: You can control iTunes without having to stop what you’re doing and opening iTunes with some hotkeys. Also displays what is playing briefly.
- StartupSound: Ever forget to turn your volume back to low after leaving it on full blast and then turn on your Mac in a quiet lecture hall? I’ve heard it many times. With this you can control the volume when the Mac boots up.
If that’s not enough for you, here are some sites and you can do some hunting of your own :)