Apps for a Windows User on OSX

No, I have not slipped back into bad old habits and stopped blogging. I’ve been out of the country and have not had access to the ‘Net except from my mobile. That’s how I saw that Joe in a comment to one of my posts, asked me if I knew any news readers for OSX. I thought that would be a good topic to blog about, not news readers per se, but what applications do I use on my MacBook coming from a Windows environment.

First of all, news readers; when I switched over I searched for a news reader for OSX. On the Windows platform I used XNews and I searched for one with the same capabilities. I found a couple, but all were fairly crappy, no, let’s re-phrase that and say they left room for improvement. So I ended up using the built-in news reader in Thunderbird. It’s not XNews by any means, but it works OK.

So what am I using:

  • Adium – IM client with MSN support. The rumor has it that next version of iChat will support MSN. That would be so cool, I could then use the built-in iSight web cam.
  • Adobe DNG – I’m doing quite a lot of phot work as a hobby, and I shoot in RAW. This is an app to convert from RAW to Adbes DNG standard.
  • Adobe Lightroom – my workflow app for photo. Absolutely fantastic, still in beta – but will be worth whatever it’ll cost at release.
  • Adobe Reader – for PDF’s.
  • Chicken of the VNC – VNC client against my Windows servers.
  • CyberDuck – FTP client.
  • ecto – blog client.
  • Emacs Tiger – Emacs, need I say more?!
  • Firefox – No Safari here, my browser.
  • Google Earth – To see where I am.
  • iCal – Calendar and scheduling app. Comes as part of OSX. I initially used Google Calendar and Sunbird from Mozilla, but as the Google calendar app doesn’t allow to update the calendar from other apps than Google Calendar itself, it didn’t work for me. I could have stayed with Sunbird, but I need to print my calendar’s now and then and the print support in Sunbird is almost non existent.
  • JAlbum – Even though Lightroom has a web module, at the moment I use JAlbum to create web albums of my photos.
  • KeyNote – Apple’s slide presentation app, PowerPoint ++.
  • Neo Office – Office productivity. I use it for word doc’s and spreadsheet’s. Built based on OpenOffice and understands MS Word and Excel doc formats.
  • Paralells – The Virtual Machine app, so I can run Windows as virtual machines. Absolutely excellent. The only major drawback is that it doesn’t support Vista yet; i.e. I can not have a Vista guest VM.
  • PathFinder – What Finder (OSX file explorer) should have been.
  • QuickSilver – Application launcher tool and so much more.
  • SharePoints – One of the things where OSX has major room for improvement is mounting shares. SharePoint takes a lot of the hassle out of the work, and allows you to do more than Apple’s tools without having to resort to command line.
  • SmartSVN – Subversion client
  • Subversion – Version control, easier than CVS and miles better than VSS.
  • SuperDuper – Invaluable app which allows you to back-up your system to an image, which you then can restore from. Saves you tons of time if you are doing frequent re-paves.
  • Thunderbird – My email and news-reader client.
  • Vienna – RSS reader.
  • VLC – Media player
  • Whitch – allows me to ALT – Tab between applications and individual windows of a given app.

After each re-pave I also install the latest release of Mono, beta release of X-Develop (a great development IDE) and Apple’s XCode. As can be seen from the above I use very few Apple “native” apps (actually only iCal), and I try and stick with open source applications as much as possible. That’s nothing religious however, I choose the apps that works for me.

So what do I miss from Windows? First and foremost (and probably the only big thing) is a desktop mapping application. I used MapPoint a lot for various reasons, and I haven’t found anything equivalent in the Mac world (I need offline capabilities). However, it is not a really big deal – I have it installed on a VM so i can pretty easy get to it if I need.

That’s me guys (and girls). For you that have made the switch (or are “native” Mac users) what are you using, what are you missing??


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