Just took delivery of a new Mac …

Just took delivery of a new Mac… And while I download Mountain Lion, I’m thinking about the apps I always install on a fresh machine.

Increasingly, much of the work I do is in the cloud. In Google Docs, Gmail, Remember the Milk, Trello, Prezi, SoundCloud, Storify, WordPress and Balsamiq. But I still have a few tools that have to be installed on the desktop. In no particular order, this is the OS X version:

TextWrangler

Free, quick text editor from the folks that make superannuated code cruncher BBEdit. I hate, hate, hate TextEdit. The last time I forgot to install TextWrangler, I accidentally saved a TextEdit file in RTF and instantly broke it on every other platform I use. 

Scrivener

Ostensibly, another text editing tool. But more than that… It’s a project manager for large scale writing projects. A place to put all your research and chapters and fragments. You write and worry about trivial things like order and formatting later. Or at the beginning. That’s the beauty of Scriv – it’s made to work the way you do.

Coda

Lovely Coda. I used to use Dreamweaver, but Dreamweaver no longer knows what it does or is. So… On a Mac I get Apache set up (it’s built in), point Coda at it and I can edit HTML and CSS until I don’t want to, with ease.

Spotify

Since I started a Premium subscription to Spotify, I sold my CD collection. I digitised them all first, naturally – but I don’t even bother with the digital versions. Except the Beatles stuff. And Led Zep. And Zappa. And Peter Gabriel. Oh, shut up – it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. 

Garageband

For sketching out musical ideas and making podcasts. If the Mac doesn’t come with it, it goes on pretty soon.

Steam

Yes. I play games on my Mac. Not as many as I play on any of my PCs, of course. I have an interest in fringe gaming. Indie games, emergent gameplay, non-combat FPS, sandbox. And Portal. Every one loves Portal, right?

Adobe Creative Suite

And, finally, Creative Suite. It’s not a Mac without CS, is it? I use Photoshop and Fireworks daily, InDesign and Illustrator frequently. Adobe Audition is part of the Master suite now – and I’ve used that since it was CoolEdit on the PC, to record live music. On a PC I hook it up to Fruity Studio with Rewire and I’m thinking of getting it strapped to Garageband in this new set-up. See what I can do without Logic Pro on the system.

Honourable Mention: 

EverNote

Every time I try EverNote I think, “that seems really useful, I’m going to organise my life with it from this moment on”. But I don’t. Maybe it’s the frilliness of it. The fancy, real world metaphor-ness of it. I don’t know. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. I makes me feel like a bad person who should love EverNote. Who should forgive its foibles and just get on with it. Maybe, EverNote, it’s just not the right time for us. Not yet.

So – those are my “must haves”. What are yours?

Tech Blokes, Technology

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