What I use: 2013

By · Published · apple, mac, osx

Since it's been awhile since I wrote a post about what I use in regards to software, perhaps it's time that I did that again. So here's a list software I'm using in 2013:

To be sure, my relationship with Chrome could be described, in Facebook parlance, as "it's complicated." I really don't like using a browser made by the world's biggest advertising company, but the alternatives are worse. Firefox is just so heavy and slow, and doesn't really have a good UX on a Mac. The built-in, Safari, is also slow.

  • Email: Mail.app (Built into Mac OS X)

Nothing has been able to surpass the built-in E-mail program for me in regards to ease of use. More to the point, I've yet to find a compelling reason NOT to use this app.

  • Calendar: Calendar.app (Built into Mac OS X)

As with email, I've yet to find a use case that compels me not to use the built-in Mac calendaring tool.

Editors are like browsers - I have strong opinions about all of them, and hate most of them. And, out of the box, Sublime Text is horrible. It's not until you spend some time customizing the hell out of it that you unmask it's true power. I use the following add-ons:

  • DocBlockr
  • FileDiffs
  • Git and SublimeGit
  • VCS Gutter
  • PHP Code Sniffer
  • SublimeCodeIntel
  • SVN
  • Solarized Color Scheme
  • Nil theme

  * Terminal: iTerm 2 (Free)

The built-in Terminal.app has gotten better over the years, but I've been an iTerm user for so long that I really don't have a good reason to switch back.

I used NetNewsWire for the longest time, but after Google Reader's demise, a lack of syncing functionality did that app in for me. I switched to ReadKit, powered by a Feedly account to handle syncronizing between machines.

Now, $50 is a lot of money to spend on a to-do list app. I don't think I spent that much - I think I caught it on a sale. Still, this is a good app.

  • Instant Messaging: Adium (Free) and GroupMe (Free, web/app based)

Even after all these years, Adium is still the gold standard when it come to chat apps. However, I also use GroupMe (we have a dealnews GroupMe set up) for chatting after hours and at conferences.

No other app has given me enough reasons to switch from the Tweetie-based official client (mostly because, as an old Tweetie user, I have access to the secret tweaks.)

I've long used Dropbox for syncing, and I still have some apps that are powered by Dropbox. However, I predominantly now use Bittorrent Sync for all my syncing needs. I like that there are no central servers storing your stuff, and you can sync as many folders as you like, whereven on your filesystem they are.

Nothing much can be said about 1Password that hasn't already. It's awesome. Command-/ and you fill in the data on any form. Also useful (and dangerous) for shopping when you add your credit cards.

Transmission is proof that you can do cross-platform software and not have it be terrible.

Other apps I use:

  • Alfred, the launcher app, finally displaced Quicksilver. It's free, but you need to buy $28 powerpack for it to be truly useful.
  • Caffeine (Mac App Store), a neat little app that disables sleep/screen saver on click.
  • Viscosity, an OpenVPn client, for connecting to my home VPN.
  • f.lux, an app that adjusts your screen color depending on the time of day.
  • VLC Player, the play anything media player.
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