Stuff I Can’t Live Without
Mozilla Mozilla I never consider using any other browser. Don't bother with Safari or Opera, and stay the heck away from Internet Explorer. You need nothing more than Mozilla. In fact, I may switch to Mozilla Firebird soon. The difference being that Firebird is just a highly optimized browser. I don't use anything else out of the whole Mozilla suite, so I'm downloading a lot of junk I don't need. Anyways, the reasons I love Mozilla are:
  1. Prevent animated images. All those animated GIFs all over the net just stop animating.
  2. Prevent pop-ups. There are lots of techniques for preventing pop-ups by installing all kinds of crappy third-party software. Get a browser that does it automatically. There's no substitute for a browser that understands what you want.
  3. Control over cookies. I can selectively accept and deny cookies as I go. That means a lot to me. I hate to be tracked all over the place by people like Doubleclick.
  4. Deny image loading from certain sites. The fact is that most ads and web bugs come from the same servers. If you block those servers, Mozilla will never fetch the ads or the web bugs. This speeds up displaying of web pages, since you make fewer connections all over the net, and it calms down the whole visual experience.
Bottom line: a lot fewer ads, pop-ups, and other non-content when I'm web surfing.
Entourage Microsoft Entourage Okay, so it is written by the evil empire. It is still a really good email client. It gives me all the controls I want, including some advanced stuff that I just can't get in Apple's Mail App. One of the biggest things that is trivial is the use of SSL certificates that have problems (e.g. expired, untrusted issuer, etc). It's one thing to warn about them. It's another to make it nearly impossible to use a server that has these problems. To be honest, I like Apple's iCal a lot better than Entourage's calendar. However, Entourage is perfectly adequate, and it integrates with Microsoft's Exchange. When Microsoft gets something right, I have to admit it.
Fink Commander Fink Commander A major factor in the reason I switched to the Mac an MacOS X is that it is basically a Unix under the hood. My favorite Unix is FreeBSD. One thing I missed when I switched to Mac was the ease of using FreeBSD's ports and packages to install software. Well, Fink fills that gap nicely. Combined with Apple's X11 kit, I've got all the Unix tools I'm used to. It's nice.
iChat iChat Again, I know I'm not exactly revolutionary to be yet one more guy on the bandwagon saying "iChat is awesome." It is true, nonetheless. I joined the whole instant messaging culture really late in the game (like July 2003! more than 12 years after I sent my first email), but now I have iChat running constantly.
SubEthaEdit SubEthaEdit This application is pretty amazing, though I have to admit that I haven't gotten a lot of mileage out of it yet. I will" It allows the most amazing simultaneous editing of text files (programming, HTML, etc) by multiple people either over Rendevous or TCP/IP.
NetNewsWire NetNewsWire I've gotten a lot of mileage out of this program in a very short time period. It's a great RSS aggregator that does just what you need. No more, no less. It's beautifully done for MacOS X. I never bothered with RSS before, but now that I've got this, it never leaves my desktop.