Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mac OS X essential additions for applications

I promised to make a list of the most used non-prof apps for a friend, and how to install's them, for a newly converted OS X user friend (with Windows and various Linux background). But maybe it will be useful for some others too, so here we go.

CD and DVD burning
You can use Finder, Disk Utility (in Applications / Utilities), or Toast (not freeware), or FireStarter FX (free).

Browsing & Email
Safari is pretty good (came with your system), but you may want to try Camino or Firefox too. An alternative to of OS X is Thunderbird, which now probably has better Addressbook integration. And Shiira is based on Safari, also worth a try (some more possibilities).

AdiumX (free) has AIM, iChat (.mac), ICQ, YIM, msn, Apple Rendezvous, anything you want and you can have multiple accounts on each service, and you can make the gui look exactly as you enjoy. There are a few other alternatives too - Fire (free), Proteus (shareware, works as well free). iChat is of probably enough for you if you use only AIM or iChat messenging, but at least AdiumX is worth a try. And for voice chats and free telephony, try Skype for talking for people with ANY operating system, or via phone. Currently Skype seems to have better audio quality in less than T1 bandwidth than iChat.

Privoxy and Tor (bundled to Tor, freeware) may be worth a try. I have home issues with that since I am too lazy to open port 8118 in the wireless base.
For encryption needs, I would suggest GPG (GnuPG), basically a free replacement for PGP. Macgpg is the best and easisest for OS X. (In short: first install GNU Privacy Guard, then PGPreferences, then GPG Keychain access, after that you do want to install plugin - done it all in that order makes it work, so 30 minutes of maximum hassle, and you have encryption). Thawte is another way of obtaining a free digital certificate, and probably easier to use. If you attach your digital signature to your emails, and have the signature of someone you will send email to, you can encrypt with thawte as well.

Other apps
Subethaedit is a nice free code editor / notepad, with which you can edit the same code with your friends over bonjour/rendezvous or internet. iJournal is a nice editor for LJ, or for generic a href type editing, faster than coding manually for sure - also XJournal seems to be nice.
Search at Apple's site is your friend for trying to figure how to do something with OS X.