My Tools of the Trade

A bunch of these posts going around. Thought I’d chime in and list what using day to day. I’ve swapped a lot of software recently with what I consider better software.

Not all of it is free. Same I bought on their own, others I got as part of a bundle (like MacHeist). There are free ones out there, but these are the ones I chose and work with.



13” Macbook (late 2008)
Snow Leopard, 10.6.1
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2 GB of RAM


Apple Keyboard, USB connected, full size (with numeric keypad)
Dell Laser Mouse w/ Scroll wheel (I never liked the Mac mouse)
Cheap white earbuds (they block out external sound rather well)
20” Chimera LCD Monitor via MiniDV to HDMI adapter


500 GB Seagate External HDD via Firewire


On The Dock

  • Firefox - My primary browser. Using Chromifox Theme, along with the following active extensions (I have a bunch more disabled that I won’t list):
  • Gruml - Desktop application to sync and view feeds managed by Google Reader.
  • Socialite - Formerly EventBox, originally got this as part of the MacHeist bundle, beats other twitter apps for the features I need.
  • The Hit List - Very neat little todo list. Again, got this as part of the MacHeist bundle, which is good, cause the price point it a little high.
  • Mail - Apples default Email client. I’ll likely switch to Thunderbird 3 when it’s released, but for now, Mail does the trick.
  • Adium - Best IM client for Mac I’ve found thus far. The latest beta includes IRC support, so I’ve been able to do away with Colloquy.
  • Terminal - The center of all development.

On The Menu Bar

  • Notify - A very handy app for monitoring your Gmail inbox. Far exceeds Google Notifier.
  • Caffeine - Great when you need your screen to stay lit up for long periods of time, without going dim or into sleep mode.
  • Quicksilver - Does the trick, but lately it’s been kind of slow, and buggy. So have been looking for a replacement. Namely seems to do the trick, but can’t be removed from the dock but remain active. So won’t switch yet (I like to keep the dock small).
  • Skitch - Create screenshots, annotate them, and share them with other.
  • iStat Menus - A really simple way to get constant info on computer temperature, cpu usage, memory usage, and hard drive space. I prefer the simple menu bar ones, but others might like the iStat nano version or the more detailed iStat Pro version. I also used it to replace my clock, which has the nice benefit of having a calendar available now.

Other Applications

  • Acorn - My tool of choice for image editing. Not super powerful, and stuck on the old 1.x version (2.0 has been released), but gets the job done for some basic image work.
  • Chromium, Safari, and Opera as testing browsers (I use Firefox as my main development and surfing browser though).
  • iTunes - I’m a big podcast/screencast watcher, and enjoy listening to online radio too. iTunes is great for both :-D
  • OpenOffice - Which Mac user doesn’t have this?
  • Screen Sharing - Not sure how many people know (I didn’t), but Apple has a fully functional screen sharing app available, but not in /Applications. You’ll find it at “/System/Library/CoreServices/Screen”. Copy it to /Applications and you’re good to go.
  • Sequel Pro - I know how to use mysql command line enough to get basic operations done, but I miss the GUI. So I found Sequel Pro. I use the nightly builds, which has some nice stable ssh support, through which I’ve connected to one of the servers at work.
  • TextMate - Editor for everything web related. Looking forward to TextMate v2.
  • The Unarchiver - Great utility for uncompressing various formats like .zip, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, and .7zip
  • VirtualBox - I don’t see why I need to pay for a virtual machine like parallels when free ones work just as well.


  • Gmail - Who doesn’t use this?
  • Tumblr - You are here :-D


  1. k776 posted this