Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Top 10 Mac Apps ???

I just read a blog post by Om Malik:

Om Malik's 10 Must-have Mac Apps

I respect Om very much, but he listed the top 10 Must-have Mac Apps as:

USB Overdrive X

First off .. I have to say that most of these apps are just clutter and eye candy. Second, none of these apps are truly revolutionary applications. Third ... none of them are what I would call TOP TEN.

As for Cocktail and Candybar ... these apps have crashed my system so bad that the drive was completely unrecoverable ... Cocktail is poorly documented and Candybar is truly nothing more than "eyecandy". Camino, a web browser, who cares? Safari and Firefox are good enough.

If I were to honestly evaluate a Top 10 Must-have Mac Apps list I would include the following:

1) Diskwarrior ... this hard drive optimization and directory rebuilder will save your life twice before you die ... I guarantee it!

2) Toast ... a much easier and comprehensive tool to burn CDs and DVDs with.

3) Intech Hard Disk Speedtools ... recently discovered by me when I needed to put a high capacity drive in a G4 Cube and G3 iMac. (Hint: Beige towers and first generation G3 towers and iMacs can't read more than 128GB in HD capacity ... a utility provided by Intech erases this problem)

4) Skype ... while I would like to see the same feature set as the PC counterpart ... this internet to telephone utility often helps me find my phone ... I simply turn on my Powerbook and call my phone from the internet and follow the sound of the ring.

5) Salling Clicker ... this utility turns most every bluetooth phone into a remote control for your Mac allowing you to control iTunes like you've never dreampt of amongst also controlling Powerpoint, Apple DVD player, and even Home Automation apps.

6) MP3 Trimmer ... a unique utility that allows you to take MP3's and trim them down for a variety of reasons ... why? Ringtones files can be smaller and more poignant, instrumentals can be trimmed of the fat, songs can be trimmed for the meaty part.

7) Graphic Converter ... by far my most loved shareware app ... can convert any picture to any format ... can be a lifesaver if you regularly edit pictures ... also provides basic editing and photo manipulation. Poor Man's Photoshop!

8) Nisus Thesaurus ... free thesaurus that is better at spell checking than Apple's free dictionary and indispensable to me for this site.

9) Quicken ... let's face it ... if you did your taxes this year with TurboTax software for the Mac and you already were organized with Quicken ... you saved yourself hours of time and possibly money. Quicken's universal cross platform nature makes it an essential tool in anyone's life.

10) iTunes ... again ...we have to face the fact that there is some obviousness in choosing a top 10 application. Without iTunes ... the whole iPod experience would not be possible. My personal wish is that Apple would write a utilty that allows use of WinAmp visuals though.

My personal opinion is that Om's Top 10 were personal choices ... the top 10 you see here are essentials. If you have these apps on your hard drive ... you'll not only be thankful to the developers but MUCH more productive ... and mostly ... these apps are best on a Mac ... or ONLY on the Mac!

Of course there are plenty of "built in apps" like Safari ... but I consider them obvious must haves. The apps above may not be all that apparent to every Mac user.

Do you have any Top 10 choices that I might have missed? Would you bump any of my Top 10?

[UPDATE] Through IM I was notified that Om's choices were all shareware and freeware ... my point is the title of his blog entry and the notariety he regularly receives would indicate that his choices would be mildly essential ... I picked apps that I believe ARE TRULY essential and revolutionary for their functionality.


Anonymous said...

I'd say the apps listed here are also personal choices. They are YOUR list of top 10 apps, not necessarily everyone else's. Not mine for sure. Nothing against your choices at all. I just wouldn't go around saying this list applies to everyone.

dacracot said...

All top ten lists are someone's choices. There is nothing wrong with yours... except that they aren't mine.

Anonymous said...

If Nisus Thesaurus is such a good spell checker, why don't you use it?

"I guaranty it"??

Yours sincerely,

John Davis

Anonymous said...

VLC player is a 'must have application' and Quicksilver is only for powerusers :)

FYT said...


both of those are words spelled correctly ... dreampt is slang ...

guaranty is an alternate spelling

BUT to be honest ... I only use it when I think I need it ;-)

Anonymous said...


guaranty is only an alternative spelling for the noun, not the verb. you used it as a verb.

end of spelling comment.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 'client side' (as opposed to server side) Apple technology computer consultant: set up and fix Macs for people. Here's my non-Apple Top Ten OS X apps:

1. Firefox. It just surfs.
2. Entourage. It just PIMs.
3. Diskwarrior. It just repairs.
4. MacStumbler. It just finds me open WiFi networks, which ones are WEP protected or not, and real-time signal strength.
5. Quicken. Keeps my numbers, keeps me true, and keeps me from getting on The Man's radar.
6. Excel. It just computes. It also databases.
7. AirPort Admin Utility. Let's me set up WiFi networks for clients with ease.
8. Mactracker. It lets me look up every frickin' Apple product ever and its specs. Also makes me sentimental hearing the old Mac Startup Chimes.
9Google Earth. Mind-blowing entertainment, as it provides a revolutionary way of looking at the world.
10. ChronoSync. It just does backup in a clean, simple, and elegant manner.

FYT said...

ok ok I can never complain about grammar or spelling corrections because I welcome them ... fixed ... thank you ;-)

Anonymous said...

Okay; I've searched high and low and cannot find "dreampt" as an alternative or "slang" spelling. It's just plain wrong.

"Dreamt" is the correct word. End of discussion.

By the way, I am often amused, fascinated and educated by your blog, column, whatever.

Anonymous said...

Top ten lists are always fun, regardless of whether they're personal. I recently compiled one at thriftmac.com for mac freeware that (gasp!) does not include Quicksilver.

Anonymous said...

I would add Tex-Edit Plus to the list. This is a fantastic text editor with lots of great tools for cleaning up text extacted from the web or imported from windows. It also some of the best Applescript support around.

Anonymous said...

While I agree CandyBar shouldn't really be on the Top 10 list, I have never ever had a problem with the app. It's been rock-solid stable. Unsanity's programs, on the other hand, have always been problematic on my Mac.

Anonymous said...

My top ten...

1) Quicksilver
2) iTunes
3) Rbrowser Lite
4) Firefox
5) VLC
6) Tracktion
7) Audacity
8) Acquisition
9) xDonkey
10) SpamSieve