Apple Macs do have the advantage over PCs that they come with most software that you need pre-installed. However, I'm not most people, and I tend to do rather more with it. Here's my current list of what I've added to it, in rough priority order ...

  • Firefox - plus a range of extensions to help ease the browsing experience
  • Google Earth - see the world!
  • iLife '08 (Keynote, Numbers, Pages) - Apple's take on the basics of a creative's office suite. Only played with Keynote so far, which is not hugely different from Powerpoint, but does seem cleaner
  • Quicksilver - the swiss-army knife of launchers
  • Microsoft Office 2004 - I had a license anyway, so more useful to have it on the box to deal with complex files I get sent
  • Thunderbird - set up all nicely to be the local IMAP cache to GMail. (I had to switch back to US settings as the IMAP mode in GMail hasn't been released to UK users yet.)
  • Mozy - for online backups (still in beta, and less powerful than the PC equivalent)
  • Cyberduck - FTP
  • Chicken of the VNC - Screen Reader (I'm not sure whether this is strictly needed, as I'm not clear quite what OS X 10.5 has built in)
  • TextWrangler - feted text editor
  • CocoaJT and iRecordMusic trial - to download BBC radio shows. Need to explore some more here.
  • Exchanged XML Lite - for XML file manipulation. Feels clunky compared with my ancient copy of XMLSpy for Windows
  • Photoshop - on order. At long last I can try the full fat goodness of PS. I do also have The Gimp which is in many ways excellent, but understandably lagging behind PS in its ease of use, and some of its advanced vector and bitmap editing support.

I'm also intending to try Midnight Inbox which is a gorgeous-looking GTD tool, straight out of David Allen's book. Currently it doesn't have a mobile offering, so I'm likely to stick with Toodledo, which I really like. (It even has a Toodledo Dashboard widget (plus one for Vista), so unfortunately it looks like I don't have that opportunity for an interesting new programming project.)My one main problem area is in photo management. On Windows I've been delighted with Picasa, but they're unlikely to port that to OS X. iPhoto is obviously in the same space, but few seem that happy with it. I shall have to give it a go, though, particularly as its '08 version has some extra 'Events' goodness.

AuthorJonathan Clark