Cool Apps for Mac
(new stuff is in red)
This is an alphabetically sorted list of cool freeware/shareware apps.
Some of the good apps that I use for developing this site are already
X: Instant Messenger on steroid: this one does ICQ,
AIM, Yahoo, Jabber, MSN and etc. in one shot, and it's also highly
customizable. There are unique features that you can't find in
the other IM clients, like editing math equations in LaTeX directly
in Adium X and the receiver reads the PDF rendering! (requires Equation
Service) And did I say it's free? (This replaced my previous
I was surprised when I tried to record things on my Mac the first
time - there's no recording app built-in! But worry no more, this
app is more than adequate.
Hijack: Record sound out of any app on your Mac!
Amazing app for managing your BibTeX-bibliography - must have for
all LaTeX users!
Create a bootable CD, with only the absolutely necessary apps on
it (you decide) - perfect for rescue operations.
OS X native web browser, using Gecko engine (the same one used in Mozilla)
- it's still my default browser these days despite Safari has come
along for some time now. Camino excels in unique functions such as
type-ahead searching and keyword bookmarks (this one is a killer),
and it renders things just that much faster than Safari (Camino 0.8
vs. Safari 1.2.2).
Change your icons system-wide; caveat emptor.
Want to create a small booklet out of a PDF file? This is a perfect
Simple but helpful app showing you the aging effect of your battery:
how much capacity it still owns, not just the current charge it has.
Unix geeks on Mac, unite - this is a must have to get tons of tools
you've enjoyed for so long. While you're at it, get Fink
Commander for a GUI taste.
Buttress (was BrickHouse): You don't have
to buy any software for network firewall - thanks to the BSD
underpinning OS X has
ipfw; but Flying Buttress
can give you a more comprehensible control over your firewall,
and it's more detailed than the OS X built-in GUI.
A powerful and simple-to-use DVD extractor/transcoder!
A free Mail plugin allowing you to match junk mails using regular
expressions, IP blacklists, and other useful techniques. Developed
by Yours Truly.
Edit math equations for your presentations/graphics/whatnot, in your
mother tongue LaTeX! Must have! Note you need to have a TeX distribution
to use this - getting it from Fink is
the most convenient way. (Two alternatives are Equation
Service and LaTeX
Snitch: Catch those apps phoning home on your back,
Flash Player: Must have for viewing all those flashy,
um, flash animations.
OS X: Hand in hand with VideoLan Client - whenever
one app cannot play, use the other. A Swiss Army Knife for viewing
videos in various format (especially those pesky M$ formats).
The most popular reader for RSS/ATOM feeds. They also have a free
version called NetNewsWire Lite.
Browse the inside of a standard OS X package (.pkg, .mpkg, etc) and
extract the stuff you want out of it!
Browser Plugin: Read papers in PDF/Postscript directly
in your web browser. (Tiger already has
this functionality built-in in Safari)
Can't remember how I survived these years without this little gem
- if you use Safari you must get this; this little browser plug-in
lets you block website ads (using a very flexible rule system) and
stop the annoying animated graphics! Even better, it's free and comes
with source code!
A free and even better (my opinion) alternative than LaunchBar! Good
UI design, fast speed and rich functionality, plus well-designed
and vibrant user forum - really can't ask more...
This free gem adds all kinds of nifties to your Safari browser, such
as a sidebar showing thumbnails of the pages you are visiting, stopping
automatic loading of those annoying flash animation, and more!
A new generation of OS X theming tool - don't forget to check out MacThemes.net too!
(CAUTION: this is a hack and may cause instability and slow down
Save those MP3 streams from online radio stations.
If you're a LaTeX user, this is a simple-to-use yet rich IDE for
all your LaTeX needs. (An alternative is iTexMac)
Client: A Swiss Army Knife for viewing videos in various
format (especially those pesky M$ formats); another good choice
for video viewing is MPlayer OS X.
This is a Wiki on your desktop/laptop!
Keep your notes in a hyperlinked fashion.