Most Used Programs: An Index

Note: This represents a snapshot in time. I may or may not still be using these pieces of software.

Attempting to index those programs you use every day is, in my opinion, a worthwhile task, if only in hopes of getting suggestions for X program being better than Y.


I'm a firefox junkie. There are few times when I've had to turn to other browsers outside cross-browser testing. Webkit offers some nice speed increases (especially where javascript is concerned), but firebug, delicious plugin and greasemonkey really make this the browser for me.


I use IRC nearly every day. Its a great way to hang out with fellow developers and get questions to your issues when that resource isn't available at work. To do this, I use irssi running on my slicehost server. The main benefit of irssi is it allows me to stay connected to IRC servers for long periods of time which makes it a great internet answering machine. I've tried a few IRC bounce servers (specifically ezbounce) but found them to consume more resources than irssi. Beyond that, configuring colloquy or other irc client to use it seemed a bit like a pain.


Though I never thought I would say it, I'm now an emacs, specifically carbon-emacs, user after 10 years of using vim (though only seriously for the past 2-3 years). There are still a few things I'm missing from it that I'd like to work on, but overall a few of the small things its offers, like scm integration and org-mode, have pulled it ahead in my own personal editor war. There some upcoming posts dealing with emacs, so I won't dwell to much on it here.


Much like trillian for windows, adium is one of the best IM clients around for mac. I've used it since being a switcher in 2005 and I've been pretty satisfied with it since.


Gmail all the way. It allows me to access email from anywhere (including my iPhone) and offers some of the best spam filtering and message search around. At my current job, however, I'm forced to use the beast that is Entourage 2004. Its both slow and clunky, namely due to it being built for PowerPC and being a Microsoft product. In an attempt to get away from entourage, I've tried running outlook via a virtual machine, but I found the system resource tax to be a bit too steep for me.


Skitch. If you're on a mac and you don't have this program, you should get it. This is by far the best screenshot utility out there. I used to question the use of a screenshot utility. "How hard is it to take a screenshot? I mean.. really?". I'm here to say.. Really. The ability to type text on the image and draw arrows, highlight particular words, etc all without having to open up photoshop is a huge boon. It is literally 4 clicks to take a screenshot and have the url to the screenshot on your clipboard.

CoRD is, simply put, the best remote desktop tool that I've found for the mac. It offers simplicity like you will only find on a mac, while still having a great set of features.

Paparazzi (currently down). Paparazzi is to website captures as skitch is to every other kind of image capture. Paparazzi allows you to take a screenshot of an entire webpage without having to manually snap 5 pictures and stitch them together. Great for capturing the look of a site for a portfolio piece. (Also runs on safari/webkit which is nice.)

Transmit. Hands down the best ftp client for mac. I do most of my file operations via scp and the command line, but for when you just need a damned good FTP program, this is where you should turn.


There are a ton more applications that I use infrequently. Just in the interest of completeness, here they are in list form.

I would love to hear feedback if you have suggestions on better alternatives for the programs listed above. Also be sure to check out Greg Newman, Brian Rosner James Tauber, Adam Gomaa, Eric Florenzano, Eric Holsher, Patrick Altman, and Jannis Leidel as we strive to hit one blog post a day for the month of November.

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