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Prior to reinstalling my Leopard operating system last week, I had to sit myself down and make a good long list of all the applications that I had on my Macbook. This was just to ensure that I remembered what I needed to put back on it once the new OS was dropped down. I'm funny that way. Computers are way cool, but I need paper every now and then...
Now that I've finished installing them, I thought I'd do a quick run down of my "Essential Apps" list for the sake of anyone out there who is wondering what neato programs are available for Mac.
So here they are, in roughly the same order that I installed them:
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This is a great little app which you're only gonna have to run once. Monolingual removes unwanted language files from your machine. That's it. If you have an older/low-end mac with a small hard drive, you might want to give this a try. It freed up a full gigabyte on my macbook, and I'll take that over greek or german any day of the week!
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Firefox + 2 awesome plugins
It'll be no surprise to anyone that Firefox is on my list. Safari isn't bad, but I like Firefox just a little bit better. That said, whenever Google releases Chrome for Mac, I will certainly be giving that a try.
After you install Firefox, I strongly recommend adding the delicious bookmark plugin. As far as I'm concerned, this plugin makes delicious one of the best web services ever. I just can't live without it. When you're done installing that, go grab Cool Iris (formerly known as Piclens). It's not essential by any stretch, but it does make photo browsing way pretty.
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Audacity + LAME plugin
This is an awesome audio editing program. I don't use it for audio editing as much as I've used it as a recording device. It's certainly a decent option for any amateur podcasters out there. Just record, and export your mp3!
Note Audacity doesn't have the export-to-mp3 function built in, so you will need to add that by downloading the LAME plugin as well.
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The IM chat client to end all chat clients. This killer messenger app rolls MSN, Yahoo, AOL, and whatever message account you can think of all into one. What you might not be aware of is that it now supports facebook chat, and shows you when people log into facebook (via growl alerts).
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Not much to say about this one. It's cheaper than a phone... Nuff said.
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If you use twitter, there are basically two decent twitter client options. Tweetdeck and Twhirl. I favor Twhirl because it's a little simpler. But choose what fits best for you.
I'm looking forward to the day when Twhirl adds the capability to record Seesmic videos. Right now you can only view them.
(or get Tweetdeck)
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Need to send a really big file to somebody? Podmailing is the best solution I've seen so far.
I'm a big fan of drop.io as a means of sending files, but for sending stuff that's over 100MB, or even bigger than a gigabyte, you may want to try podmailing. More or less, it's bit torrent and email all rolled into one. You upload your file, and then the recipient will get an email instructing him to download it. I recently used Podmailing to send a 2G file to my brother in Canada, and this worked like a dream.
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Disk Inventory X
Like Spacemonger for Windows, this program gives you a graphical representation of your hard drive's contents. If you need to free up some hard drive space just look for the biggest rectangles, then check what type of file it is and then go ahead and delete it. Of course, that's assuming that the file is not an important system component!
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This is my ftp client of choice. Nothing fancy, but I find it works well. And it has a cute rubber duckie logo that sorta reminds me of when I was 5 and didn't have to worry about finding an ftp client...
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A very simple, very lightweight bit-torrent client. While I haven't extensively tested other Mac BT clients, the general consensus among most of the Mac users I know is that Transmission is the way to go. So far, I really like Transmission.
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The free alternative to Microsoft Office. It does everything that Microsoft Office can do, and you can save in MS Office format (i.e. doc, ppt, xls). I find Open Office takes a little longer to start up, but that's not a big problem. I just remind myself that I didn't pay a dime for it and then I feel much better.
(or try Google Docs)