Sunday 25 November 2007

BarCamp London: Obscure Mac Apps - Melinda & Martijn

These are a collection of the more obscure Mac apps that Melinda and Martijn find useful. Not all of them are free, but none of them are expensive. Anything that more than five people already knew was skipped…

KeyCue — hold down the apple key, and see all the commands that are available at the moment

iStat Menus (like MenuMeters & MagiCal combined) — free

Caffeine — menubar item keeps your laptop from sleeping when open (useful for presentations/videos)

NameChanger — visual file renaming

Yojimbo — stuff database

  • can sync to web/iDisk
  • also has passwords & serial numbers
  • works with tags — have smart folders that pick up tags
  • similar to DevonThink

Keyboard Cleaner — disables your keyboard so you can clean it without typing nonsense (only responds to Apple-Q)

Audio Hijack Pro — only $20

  • can record audio from old DOS games in Parallels :-)

BibDesk — can throw all your PDFs into it and can add references to them from within Textmate

Papers — iTunes for PDFs (linked to Pubmed), but no link to editors

Sim R2D2 — really annoy someone else :-)

Picturesque — adds lots of borders, shadows etc to images

  • can also batch process to lots of images
  • not free

ImageWell — batch processing & uploading of images

  • similar to Skitch but free

XLD — converts audio files between formats (esp. lossless)

ZAPMac — scan reading by flashing words large across the screen

Nocturne — for viewing screens in the dark (cuts down the glare)

Remote Buddy — controls everything with an FrontRow-like interface

  • works with wii remote over bluetooth (wii remote is about £20)
  • also works with the EyeTV remote

Open Terminal Here — on Mac Update

iSquint — video compression to iPod

Simple Movie X — simple video editing & recompression; shows keyframes

And some of my current more obscure favourites…

They’ve updated Keywurl to work with Safari 3.0 on Leopard (you’ll need SIMBL, but this is provided with the download).

I find 1password indispensable for keeping web passwords. It saves them securely in the OS X Keychain and makes them available at a keystroke for any browser.

Mini Battery Logger does a really good job keeping track of how much battery I have left — and I can use it to figure out when I need to get a new one.

For those applications that don’t include automatic self-updating using Sparkle, I use AppFresh to tell me when there’s a new version.

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