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Essential Applications and Utilites


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These aren't in order :graduated:


1. DropDMG (UB, Shareware): http://c-command.com/dropdmg


DropDMG is the easiest way to create Mac OS X disk images. Just drag and drop a folder or file, and DropDMG will create an image in .dmg, .img, or .smi format—or a Tar, Zip, or StuffIt archive. Or, you can drag an existing image or archive file onto DropDMG to easily convert it to any of the other supported formats.


2. Lingon (UB, Free): http://lingon.sourceforge.net


A graphical interface for creating launchd configuration files and controlling them through launchctl for Mac OS X Tiger.


3. Pref Setter (UB, Free): http://homepage.mac.com/darkshadow02/apps.htm


This app is used to edit OS X's preference files. Very useful for many things, including enabling options not available via an application's preferences.


4. StreamRipperX (PPC, Free): http://streamripperx.sourceforge.net


The Mac Internet Radio Recorder. Record songs from your favourite Internet radio stations as individual MP3 files.


5. TrimTheFat (UB, Free): http://homepage.mac.com/gweston/download.html


A simple, silent drop-launch utility to strip the code for the architecture(s) you're not using from a Universal application. Please note the low version number. It's a work-in-progress being released so people have something in-hand and to encourage feedback.


6. DeLocalizer (PPC, Free): http://www.bombich.com/software/local.html


DeLocalizer will remove all non-American English localization resource files that you request. This application is geared towards American English users, as it will not remove localization resources for American English. Users that use other languages may still use DeLocalizer to remove languages that they do not use (except, of course, American English).


7. AppZapper (UB, Shareware): http://appzapper.com


AppZapper allows you to confidently uninstall virtually any application as easily as it was installed -- just drag and drop. Drag one or more unwanted apps onto AppZapper and watch as it finds all the extra files and let's you delete them with a single click. A slick safety system remembers which apps you want to keep safe, and the log tracks all the files you've zapped. Put simply, AppZapper is the uninstaller Apple forgot.



8. CocoaMysql-SBG (UB, Free): http://theonline.org/cocoamysql


CocoaMySQL is an application used to manage MySQL databases (locally or over the internet). It lets you add and remove databases and tables, change fields and indexes, view and filter the content of tables, add, edit and remove rows, perform custom queries and dump tables or entire databases.


9. OnyX (UB, Free): http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs/english.html


A utility of maintenance, of optimization and personalization for Mac OS X. It also makes it possible to configure certain hidden parameters of Finder, Dock, Safari, to remove a certain number of files and folders that become cumbersome, preview the different logs and CrashReporter, and more...


10. TextWrangler (UB, Free): http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/


TextWrangler 2 is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator's tool.


My favorite of all:


MenuMeters (UB, Free): http://www.ragingmenace.com/software/menumeters/


MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for MacOS X. Although there are numerous other programs which do the same thing, none had quite the feature set I was looking for. Most were windows that sat in a corner or on the desktop, which are inevitably obscured by document windows on a PowerBook's small screen. Those monitors which used the menubar mostly used the NSStatusItem API, which has the annoying tendency to totally reorder my menubar on every login.


Added Feb. 08, 2006


BatChmod (UB, Free): http://macchampion.com/index.shtml


A new Cocoa utility for manipulating file and folder privileges in Mac OS X. It allows the manipulation of ownership as well as the privileges associated to the Owner, Group or others.


PuTTY (UB, Free): http://forum.osx86project.org/index.php?sh...75&hl=putty


PuTTY is a client program for the SSH, Telnet and Rlogin network protocols.


These protocols are all used to run a remote session on a computer, over a network. PuTTY implements the client end of that session: the end at which the session is displayed, rather than the end at which it runs.


You Control Tunes (PPC, Free): http://www.yousoftware.com/itunes/?keyword...es+vt+prod+page


You Control: Tunes is a free utility that gives you complete control over iTunes from the Mac OS X menu bar. You don't have to stop whatever it is you may be doing, switch to iTunes, take care of business and then go back to your original app. You can now simply pull down your very own custom menu that gives you access to the iTunes controls (Next, Previous, Volume, Play/Pause, Stop) as well as displaying the current track, artist and album. You can also navigate your entire iTunes music library from this menu as well so you never leave your current application.


SimpleWget (PPC, Free): http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15520


SimpleWget is a Cocoa front end for GNU Wget, a great UNIX download tool. You can do recursive downloading, specify file type to get(like .jpg only, .gif only...and so on), span hosts, read URLs from a text file.


Added Feb. 22, 2006


iTerm (UB, Free): http://iterm.sourceforge.net/


iTerm is a full featured terminal emulation program written for OS X using Cocoa. We are aiming at providing users with best command line experience under OS X. The letter i represents a native Apple look and feel of the program interface, and an emphasis on complete international support. iTerm was merged from two projects, CTerminal and TerminalX, both of which were based on JTerminal project. The current version is still in beta stage. It is however very much functional and usable.


RAR Expander (UB, Free): http://rarexpander.sourceforge.net/


RAR Expander is a MacOSX program which extracts the files contained in RAR archives. It supports both single and multi-part archives, and has support for password-protected archives as well. It uses the official unRAR library internally so it is fully compatible with archives produced by WinRAR.


RAR Expander also features AppleScript support, and includes a few useful example scripts for expanding multiple archives at once.


Flying Buttress (PPC, Shareware): http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill/flyingbuttress.html


As Apple's built-in Firewall preferences improves in both functionality and security, I will be aiming Flying Buttress more at users who need the advanced firewall configuration, logging, and IP sharing options found in Flying Buttress.


Added March. 17, 2006


GeekTool (UB, Free): http://projects.tynsoe.org/en/geektool/


GeekTool is a PrefPane (System Preferences module) for Panther or Tiger to show system logs, unix commands output, or images (i.e. from the internet) on your desktop (or even in front of all windows).


Use File mode to monitor MacOS X activity with /var/tmp/console.log or /var/log/system.log, or Shell mode to launch custom scripts or commands like "df" to check space left on filesystems, "uptime" to monitor load of your machine... FInally, Image mode helps you monitor bandwith usage, CPU loads, memory availability of your server, via tools like MRTG or RRD.


Hide & Seek (UB, Free): http://www.geocities.com/kermitsoft/index.htm


Hide and seek is a free converted Apple script for showing hidden files in the finder. It works by colseing the finder, and running a scheel script and then re-opening the finder.


When the finder re-launches it shows all of your files in a ghost like look. This is so you can quickly tell when hiden and system files are shown.


Added Aug. 18, 2006


Seashore (UB, Free): http://seashore.sourceforge.net/universal.php


Seashore is an open source image editor for Cocoa. It features gradients, textures and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes. It supports multiple layers and alpha channel editing. It is based around the GIMP's technology and uses the same native file format.


Yahoo! Messenger (UB, Free): http://messenger.yahoo.com/mac.php


Yahoo! Messenger allows you to quickly exchange messages with your online friends. Unlike email, instant messages appear as soon as they're sent. Release 3.0b1r2 Updated: August 11th, 2006 13:58


0xED (UB, Free): http://www.suavetech.com/0xed/0xed.html


0xED is a native OS X hex editor based on the Cocoa framework.



Chamonix (UB, Free): http://sourceforge.net/projects/chamonix/


Chamonix is a CHM viewer for Mac OS X 10.4. It is an Objective-C app that uses CHM lib.


DropHash (UB, Free): http://www.idleloop.com/programs/


DropHash is a small app that puts a graphical front end on OS X's built-in tools to compute hash values for files downloaded from the Internet. By comparing the computed hash and the corresponding value published on many download sites, you can verify that your download worked correctly.


Google Earth (UB,Free): http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html


Google Earth puts a planet's worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. View exotic locales like Maui and Paris as well as points of interest such as local restaurants, hospitals, schools, and more.


HexDecBin (UB, Free): http://malarkeysoftware.com/projects.html#HexDecBin


quickly and efficiently converts among hex, decimal, and binary. Enter in a number into one of these three bases, and it will be displayed as the other two bases.


OneButton FTP (UB, Free): http://www.onebutton.org/


OneButton FTP is a project with the goal of creating an open source graphical FTP client for Mac OS X using the Cocoa framework. OneButton FTP will have a strong emphasis on drag and drop usability and file queueing.


Renamer4Mac (UB, Free): http://www.power4mac.com/renamer/


Renamer4Mac makes it realy easy to rename a big number of files according to a preset pattern.


Transmission (UB, Free): http://transmission.m0k.org/


Transmission is a free, lightweight BitTorrent client. It features a simple, intuitive interface on top on an efficient, cross-platform back-end.


VirtueDesktops (UB, Free): http://virtuedesktops.info/


VirtueDesktops is a virtual desktop manager. It offers features, eye candy and configurable options that no other desktop manager on the Mac has added yet, and is under active development.


Yasu (UB, Free): http://jimmitchell.org/projects/yasu/


Yasu (Yet Another System Utility) was made with System Administrators who service large groups of workstations in mind, to do a specific group of maintenance tasks quickly within a few clicks, rather than needing to endlessly type shell script commands in the Terminal application.


MAMP (UB, Free): http://www.webedition.de/en/serviceCenter/download/mamp.php


MAMP is a compilation of Apache, Mysql, PHP, Turck MMCache and phpMyAdmin for Macintosh OS X. It includes an easy to use cocoa program to start and stop the servers.


MainMenu (UB, Free): http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/17111


MainMenu is an easy-to-use menubar item that allows you to run a large set of Mac OS X maintenance, cleaning and optimization tasks. MainMenu can repair permissions, update prebindings, clean system and users caches, empty many browsers caches/history, force empty the trash, clean logs, repair disks, and much more. Most tasks provide feedback in the log window during execution. The batch task function allows you to run many routines at once. Bug reports, feature requests, feedback (positive as well as negative) and anything else are welcome. MainMenu is currently free.


Added Sept. 6, 2006


Screen Grabber (UB, Free): http://peylow.no-ip.org/screengrabber.html


A Mac OS X application for grabbing screen shots at even time intervals from a movie. Very useful for creating previews, and thumbnails.


PeerGuardian 2 (UB, Free): http://phoenixlabs.org/pgosx/


A Phoenix Labs’ premier IP blocker for OS X. PeerGuardian 2 integrates support for multiple lists, list editing, automatic updates, and blocking all of IPv4 (TCP, UDP, ICMP, etc), making it the safest and easiest way to protect your privacy on P2P.


Note that this app is also available for Windows XP/2003/98/x64.

Edited by domino
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5. TrimTheFat! thanks for that, i've been doing it manually! :P


ditto --rsrc --arch i386 /Applications/Foo.app /Application/Foo-i386.app


i've also "trimmed" the fat out of all my CoreServices, and the Flash and Quicktime internet plugins. hey it can't hurt! :graduated:

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excelent list domino

i agree about menumeters

this lil soft is so cool :)


I'd like to suggest someones:


BBEdit (UB): Edit every .plist .xml and texts or configuration files

is very fast usefull with load of options.


Get Here: http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/726


Quicksilver: (UB): Find everthing on everywhere on your disk, you can use your spotlight, but i preffer quicksilver, is much fast and best with more options than this one from apple.


Get Here: http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/

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Great! my first stucked thread ever on a Mac platform :). Yea, my list keeps growing every day and the best part is, most of the apps I install are free and very essential to making work a hell of a lot easier and friendly.

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EasyDMG: Drag a folder onto it to make a DMG! [Freeware/home-built UB]


aMule: Everyone needs a P2P app :happymac: [Freeware/home-built UB]


Firescape: I make this thing, so i'm expected to use it :D (It's a custom Firefox) [Freeware/home-built UB]


Chicken of the VNC: To connect via VNC to my real Mac (Mac Mini) on the other side of the house [Freeware/home-built UB]


X-Chat Aqua: IRC [Freeware/home-built-yet-broken UB. Needs fixing.]


iTunes: For music... [Freeware/Official UB]


iChat: For... chatting? [Freeware/Official UB]

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found no difference with TT and Onyx. I prefer Onyx because of the UI. Jusp my preference. Both kits are great and does what it's suppose to do.


I added iTerm and RAR Expander, and Flying Buttress to the list. I love iTerm just because I can have multi-tab terminals and i can make it transparent :angel:. RAR Expander replace XRAR because it's Universal and has great multi-part features. Flying Buttress is great for advanced admins and Mobile Macs.

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Another list:






1. Adium - Premium, way cool, instant messenger. Supports Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Jabber, Google, + many others (free)

2. Cyberduck - The FTP/SFTP client for Macs (free)

3. Desktop Manager - Multiple virtual desktops with the coolest switch transitions. This alone has made people go “ooohhhh! I need a Mac” (free)

4. FFView - The fastest, most feature rich image viewer I have been able to find for the Mac. (free)

5. Firefox - if Safari won’t do it, this will (free)

6. HandBrake - The easiest way to rip, transcode, and store DVD’s. Can be used for video iPods as well. (free)

7. Thoth - The best USENET news reader out there (there’s also Unison - actively being developed). Thoth is not actively being developed, so you have to … ahem…. find it on USENET. (free - kinda)

8. Vim - The VI clone with a GUI interface. Already comes in a CLI format built in. Vim.org has the GUI version. (free)

9. VLC - The opensource Video viewer. If this doesn’t play it, you can’t play it on a Mac. (free)

10. Flip4Mac - Microsoft has stopped supporting their video player and is now giving this as a Quicktime plugin instead. This works better than the media player ever did, but doesn’t work with DRM content. (free)

11. RDC Menu - Let’s you launch multiple windows remote desktop sessions at the same time. (free)

12. Spark - A key macro tool that lets you control your apps via keyboard shortcuts. I use it to control iTunes while it’s hidden. (free)




1. CHM Viewer - let’s you view/print Microsoft CHM format documents. A ton of technical ebooks are now in this format. (shareware)

2. ecto - A blog editor. WYSIWYG and HTML formats. Let’s you edit with spell checking and live previews. (shareware)

3. Gimp - The opensource image manipulation program. (free)

4. LaunchBar - Spotlight on steroids and then some. (free)

5. MacTheRipper - Another DVD ripper. This one doesn’t transcode, but it does a superb job of de-DRM’ing your collection. (free)

6. TinkerTool - tinker with a zillion Mac options. (free)




1. Azureus - the best torrent client. (free)

2. BBEdit - the most feature rich native Mac editor. If it wasn’t for VIM, i’d use this all the time (shareware)

3. Opera - a very nice, fast, feature rich web browser. (free)

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  • 3 weeks later...

In alphabetical order:


Camino (UB, free): http://www.caminobrowser.org/

Best frakkin' web browser around for Mac OS X. Gecko(mozilla)-based, simple, and not brushed metal :). Think of it like a special version of Firefox for Tiger.


Shiira (UB, free): http://hmdt-web.net/shiira/en

Another nice web browser. Webkit-based (like Safari), but much more geared toward power-users. I've only just downloaded it, but it looks great so far.



Yeah, I'm browser-crazy about now. All I need now is something that renders like Internet Explorer.



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, it's a very useful post :)


I want point out also Skype a VOIP software solution.


Skype is the next phenomenon from the people who brought you KaZaA. Just like KaZaA, Skype uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you to other users – not to share files this time, but to talk and chat with your friends.


The technology is extremely advanced – but super simple to use... You’ll be making free phone calls to your friends in no time!

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SnapNDrag (Universal, Freeware): http://www.yellowmug.com/snapndrag/


SnapNDrag lets you take a screenshot by just clicking a button and dragging the resulting screenshot off.




ReelBean 0.98 (Universal, Free) http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/20205


ReelBean is a movie converter and player. It can be used to convert movies to the video iPod format, and many other formats, and has media playing features available as standard that are often pro features in other applications.


Cubic Navigator (Universal, Shareware) http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/17325


CubicNavigator is a browser for VR panoramas. It can retrieve many popular VR formats from the web or your hard drive and display them using hardware accelerated OpenGL for viewing in a window or fullscreen.


Folder Glancer (Universal, Donationware) http://home.online.no/~stoedle/YLS/YLS-pro...lderGlance.html


FolderGlance is a small Contextual Menu Plugin for the Finder. When it is installed, it allows you to control-click or right-click on folders to see and open their contents, as well as examine the contents of sub-folders down an unlimited number of levels. + More


FolderGlance causes finder not to update for me, gonna report to dev

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  • 3 weeks later...

Cabos (the best Limewire client for OS X86 IMO.....even in PPC/Java only version....) The source code is available for those you would like to recompile.....


Azureus a full featured Bittorrent client for OSX86 as well.....




Goliath a webdav client.....


Gimp.app a nice package of gimp for OSX86....(requires X11) but oh sooooooo sweeeeet......

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

A quicklist of some that I don't think have been mentioned:


Colloquy - Super sexy IRC client. - Free

Growl - A must notification system. -Free

Aquisition - The most sexy P2P client out there. - Shareware

Transmit - A really atractive and usefull FTP program. - 30 Day trial then time limit

Toast - The sexiest burning app ever. - Money


As you can tell, I really enjoy highly aesthetic applications. Which brought me to OSX because Windows apps are really ugly.

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