“Must Have” Mac Software

A friend of mine is getting a Mac soon, and asked me what software he should get for it. I named a few applications, but that got me thinking about all the applications I couldn’t live without. There are many more applications for Mac OS X, and some of them are really cool. This list, however, is for pratical software that I use every day, or else have found it very useful when I need it.

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Looking for a good AIM client? On a Mac, and hate iChat? Hate AIM 4.7 for Mac even more (it was released 4 years ago, after all!) Enter Adium. Adium is an open source, free, ad free, hassle free, customizable AIM, GTalk, Jabber, YIM, ICQ, .Mac, Live Journal, MSN Messenger, Bonjour, MySpace IM, Gadu-Gadu, QQ, Sametime, and Novell Groupwise compatible IM client. Continue reading

“Social Networking?”

If you know me at all, you know that I am against “social networking” websites (MySpace, Facebook, etc.) Always have been. Unfortunately, I think I just got inadvertently sucked into one: Plaxo. I got an email from Comcast telling me about these “new features.” Now I usually ignore these because the “features” either don’t work on Macs (Norton), or they are all marketing, and not actually something I can take advantage of (see “PowerBoost”.) Plaxo, however, is different. It was pitched as a universal address book. Now I love integration, so unlike Facebook, where your “friend’s” info and photos are stuck on the internets, Plaxo actually syncs with Apple’s Address Book application and iCal calendar and Mail.app. EDIT: I rescind my previous statements about Plaxo: Read this.

Backlog much?

I need to get working on stuff. I have a slideshow, a basketball game (soon to be two), and two college applications to work on. Plus a French project. Plus an English research paper. Why am I writing in a blog? And watching House? And reading the DV Info Net forum? And not editing or applying or scanning or French-ing or researching? ‘Cause I’m lazy. All I should be typing right now is J K L and F9 (nerdy FCP joke.) Backlog much?

Bogen 503HDV head

For Christmas I got the Bogen 503HDV/351MVB kit from B&H. The sticks are great (and it comes with a spreader) but the head leaves something to be desired. I know that it isn’t an expensive head ($338 is not expensive for a fluid head) but I was expecting more. I love the lighted bubble level, the counterbalance spring,  and I love the pan handle, but the pan and tilt tension suck. There’s just not enough. I can crank the tilt drag up to full and it seems like it’s still only at half of what it should be. The tilt drag has good tension (I can crank it up till I can hardly move it), but its not as consistent as I would like. Really, all I would like to see is for Bogen to put more tension on the tilt axis. Otherwise it’s a good setup for only $600.

I have a blog

As amazing as it sounds: after three years of resistance, I have succumbed to the blogging world. Why? Because WordPress makes it worthwhile, and I can install it on my own server. What’s next? Using my cell phone? Text messaging? Facebook? Maybe, but only if I can run it from my own server.