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Mac App Discovery

This page is going to be a set of links to some great Mac applications that I’ve found useful for different tasks.  For the most part, Apple bundles most everything you need for normal computer use, but there are sometimes a gap or two.   Hopefully these may help as they have helped me.  Maybe one day, I’ll have a Mac app of my own to add to this list…

Adium – unified chat for Mac
I was a long time Trillian user for PC before I switched.  Adium was one of the first non-Apple products I started running religiously.  Its a great, skinable chat application with support for Yahoo, AIM, MSN, Skype, ICQ, Facebook and MySpace.  A long time favorite.

AppZapper – the uninstaller that Apple forgot.
For the most part, Mac apps are isolated to just the Applications folder.  But we all know that your personal preferences and settings must be stored somewhere – either your user Library or the system-wide Library folder.  And not all developers really understand the Mac and so their software sometimes installs other locations, wants to run with root privileges and otherwise messes with your Mac config.  AppZapper helps eliminate most of these problems with a great uninstaller that removes both the App, its preferences and other Library entities.

Boxee – media library and digital video access software
Clearly, Boxee is a great software for accessing digital video on your Mac.  It offers access to an impressive amount of content from within the software.  It can be loaded on to an original Apple TV or any Mac.  It does not have access to Hulu, which is the biggest downfall in my opinion.

Disk Drill – Undelete for the Mac
One of the apps I have never been able to find is an Undelete for the Mac.  I’ve gotten my share of calls supporting Mac in my years from folks who deleted their all-important iTunes library or iPhoto library.  Sadly, I’ve had little hope to offer until I found this app.  See my impressions of the app on this [Read my impressions in the blog.]

Hulu Desktop – digital tv and movie library
Hulu is a great online library of television shows — both in the free and the pay-for Plus version – to watch lots of content on your time.  Its listed here because Hulu Desktop, the Mac App produced by Hulu – is one of the best TV on the Mac apps I have ever used.  I love to use it for watching shows we missed – or content we know we can get here and not have to worry about DVR’ing it.  Yes, my family is a bit TV obsessed…

OmniOutliner – indispensible idea organization –  the Mac Daddy of Outliners.
It used to be bundled with new Macs, and it was my first introduction to OmniGroup, makers of many great Mac software packages.  This is the best outliner application I have ever used.  It is useful in that you can create lists and checkboxes, re-arrange your ideas, and even attach URL’s and documents.   I’ve found it useful creating to-do lists for work, creating timelines and basic project outlines, writing papers for school, etc.  A million uses here.

OmniGraffle – diagramming worth a thousand words – it gives Visio envy.
Long ago, it was also bundled with new Macs, and I was hooked.  I’ve been through 3 major revisions and loved every new version.  I much prefer diagramming in this than Visio at work.  Only downside is that it doesn’t have as many of the stencils available to it, but its Pro version can open and save Visio docs.

Plex – the ultimate Mac media center
This is the most impressive Mac media center solution that I have seen to date.  It is a very unified interface throughout and offers a good array of online media libraries as well as access and great integration with the Mac’s strong iTunes and Movie assets on the hard drive. [Read my impressions in the blog.]

VMware Fusion – the virtualization standard for Mac
I’ve used both Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion on the Mac to run Windows.  Both have their advantages, but VMware’s solution has served me better in my personal uses.  I used Parallels for much longer and I’ve had problems with version upgrades almost every major revision.  The last revision made my virtual hard drive unusable, and I switched to Fusion.  VMware’s VMDK format hasn’t changed in years and the intercompatiblity between their products is just one of the reasons it’s my recommendation for virtualization on the Mac.

Yep – iPhoto for your PDF files.
Just as billed, its a great library for your PDF files – whether they are consolidated into a single folder or spread throughout your entire system.  It is a great application for viewing, tagging and categorizing your PDF files filled with information.  It integrates with your preferred PDF viewer/editor (Preview, Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat) and lets you easily locate the document you’re looking for.  Plus, its got a great search built in. [Read my impressions in the blog.]