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I'm always on the lookout for new software to make my life easier, and with the Mac we seem to have tons of free and open source third party utilities. I thought that this could be a good way for me or anyone else to find out about some new cool stuff. So, what third party utility could you just not live without?


For me I've gotta say I couldn't live without my MenuMeters. It's a great prefpane that allows me to see what's going on with all sorts of things, plus it gives me quick access to Activity Monitor to see what's sucking up all my processor cycles.


Just so you know there is no prize for being the hundredth person to say Qucksilver. :P I look foreword to seeing your answers.



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Here is a small selection of the utilities I find invaluable to have on my Mac:

  • NoScript extension for FireFox, because it makes me feel secure when surfing.
  • AdBlock extension for FireFox, because it makes those pesky adds and annoying forum signature images go away.
  • SuperDuper, because it makes creating backups as easy as flipping a switch.
  • PNGCrusher, because it makes my PNGs so small by dropping them onto it.
  • Flip4Mac, because it enables me to see Windows media videos on Mac OS X.
  • DivX, because it gives me good results when uploading live-action videos to YouTube.
  • Video2SWF, because it does even a better job than DivX for Flash video files for YouTube.
  • TinkerTool, because it let's me do with Mac OS X what I want.
  • PhotoToolCM, because it let's me manipulate photos with a right mouse click.
  • Dimenzioner, because it gives me the dimensions of an image file with a right mouse click.
  • Xee, because this image viewer is the hub between iPhoto and whatever image editor I have installed on my Mac.
  • iTerm, because it is so much handier than Apple's own Terminal application.
  • The Unarchiver, because it is much better than Stuffit Expander, and because I prefer open source over proprietary.
  • Disk Inventory X, because it shows me what my big files are.
  • 0xED, because it let's me edit files up till the byte code.
  • Chmox, because it let's me read those Windows .chm documents
  • ActivePython, because it does such a better job than what Apple supplies for Python
  • VLC, because it plays almost any video I throw at it
  • SoX Wrap, because it can convert so many audio formats in other audio formats
  • MacFLAC, because it helps me decode (and encode) FLAC audio files

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AppZapper - To remove Apps

Google Earth - Because the kids like it (ha ha)

IClip - FAST and easy way to cut,save and view just about anything *****

ImageWell - FAST and simple photo adjustability

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The software that I cannot live without would have to be:


~ Photoshop CS3

~ Flash CS3

~ Fireworks CS3

~ Final Cut Pro

~ After Effects Pro

~ Office 04

~ Crossover

~ Steam

~ Maya

~ Aperture

~ OnyX

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Xtorrent, because its controversially brilliant "and I paid for it" seems ironic!


Journler< the best organiser and GTD App, also washes the car;-)

Edited by zionlion

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Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, Adobe Lightroom.

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I know I'm not allowed to say Quicksilver, but I really couldn't live without it. That coupled with Growl sorts out most of my productivity problems. My hands never need to leave the keyboard, and when a new email comes or a new item pops up in my rss reader I can quickly review it in growl before deciding if it's worth interrupting what I'm doing.

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There certainly have been some great pieces of software listed here. A few that I use already so I will try not to repeat them.


1Passwd - plug in for Safari and Firefox to remember passwords.

Art Text - A fun text manipulation tool for simple artistic designs.

BusinessCard Composer - Great little program for making business cards.

Comic Life - Fun program for making images like comics

ComicBookLover - Comic book reading program

Delicious Library - A great program to keep track of the DVD, CD, Book, Software collections

DiskLibrary - A good program to keep track of what I burned on DVDs and CDs

DragThing - Fun little program that adds more docks

iGlasses - isight camera plug in to add special effects

iStumbler - To find the WIFI spots within range of my airport

KIT - Organization Software to keep organized

MacFamilyTree - I know I will have kids some day that will have a family tree project.

MediaCentral - A Front Row Alternative for older Macs

Monolingual - To get rid of those extra languages my mac will never speak

PhotoPresenter - Fun little app that makes slideshows like a keynote presentation

Pixadex - Icon organizer that does for icons what iphoto does for images.

Synergy - itunes Plug-in that displays present track information on the desktop

Tiger Cache Cleaner - A good cleaner of the mucky muck that my machines seem to accumulate.

Tubesock - Now I can download and carry those embarassing YouTube videos with me.

Unison - newsgroup image viewer

vCard Splitter - Seperating all those vCards so that my PC friends can add them to their address book

VisualHub - Good video converter

What ToDo - Checklist software for making checklists

Yep - PDF program that does for PDFs what iphoto does for photos

Yojimbo - Organization Software - Face it we can never have enough of this.

Edited by microdoc4

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I'll try not to duplicate either.


Transmit - FTP software

Audio Hijack Pro - records almost any kind of audio

SnapZ Pro - screen captures, including movies

Graphic Converter - my favorite graphics program

Earth Browser - you can check out the weather anywhere on earth and track volcanoes, icebergs, and storms, too

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Perian ~ Allows me to play damn near any video format in quicktime

iFuntastic ~ Makes hacking my iPhone easy!

Jailbreak and iPhoneInterface ~ For when I really want to get hacky with the iPhone

MacFusion ~ Allows me to mount ftp and ssh with read/write access

SuperDuper ~ My favorite backup program

SpamSive ~ Nobody likes spam, and this gets rid of it all.

VisualHub ~ Can convert any video to many formats and very quickly.

VMware Fusion ~ Because Parallels has broken my computer 4 times.

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