I put my list of applications in a spreadsheet and rated each one on usefulness. I didn’t include the stock apps like Iphoto, which are indispensable, or Microsoft Office, a necessary evil. Here is the list, with a few comments.

  • Dropbox: sync your files among multiple machines seamlessly
  • Openoffice.org: A free version of Word. Feels a wee bit sluggish, and I prefer Iwork.
  • Terminal: learning a few simple commands, like how to kill hung programs, or copy everything on your desktop into a folder, has saved me hours and hours of tedium.
  • VLC: watch any video format
  • HandBrake: convert dvds to Ipod format
  • Jomic: comic viewer
  • Jumpcut: Copy something. Copy something else. Go back and paste the first thing you copied. Awesome.
  • KompoZer:
    Free web page creation tool. I use this instead of Dreamweaver because I hate how Adobe products install extra gunk all over your machine and eat up resources. It has some minor bugs but no dealbreakers.
  • MacTheRipper: Copies DVDs to your hard drive for later viewing on the plane.
  • Tex-Edit Plus 4.9.8: I’ve been using this for over a decade. Great for cleaning up mangled email and other texts. Has a great command called “copy lines containing” so you can copy every line with a particular phrase in it, for example.
  • Textwrangler: snappier than Tex-edit, better with large files, but a little harder to use.
  • Gimp: Basically, it’s photoshop, and it’s free.
  • Audacity audio editor and mixer
  • Colloquy: Irc client. I’ve heard you can use #bookz to find e-text versions of books you own for the aforementioned plane flight.
  • Cyberduck: ftp client. Honestly, I just use the command line in Terminal.
  • Notational Velocity: Nifty, no frills note-taking app with lots of keystroke commands. Syncs with the Iphone app simplenote.
  • RapidWeaver: Relatively cheap alternative to Dreamweaver. Bazillions of templates and plugins.
  • Zoom: For playing those old text adventure games.
  • Vitamin-R: Task reminder tool. You may not need this. I do. Slightly buggy.
  • Amazon MP3 Downloader: Amazon throws up free music all the time, and some of it is good.
  • FreeMind: One of many mind mapping tools. I like Graphviz too, but haven’t used it lately.
  • Anki is an intelligent flash card system that quizzes you on content that you are on the verge of forgetting. Basically a free version of the popular Supermemo.

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