More on handy Mac apps

Yesterday I did a little playing with various applications on the Mac to see if they were going to be helpful…

I have been using using Vienna as a feedreader, and it works fairly nicely. I was reading that Maria Langer uses endo (from the same stable as ecto, which I use for writing my blog entries on the Mac), and since there’s a trial available I thought I’d give it a go. I’m not entirely convinced by the layout… the subscription groups are in a bar across the top, and I would rather have them running down the side, but that’s a comfort thing. There are a couple of nice features, though… it supports microformats like hCard, so if I’m viewing Upcoming events, endo will offer to put them into iCal for me. The setup wizard offered to set up a number of personalised feeds for me, for example the comments that people had left on my Flickr photos, and Technorati links to my blogs – a nice touch.

So far, I’ve been through TextEdit, Smultron and TextWrangler as editors on OS X. Last night Al was telling me about TextMate, and that also has a free trial, so I’m giving it a go. TextMate appears to be a bit of a hardcore programmer’s editor… and since my choice of editor on Windows tends to be gVim, I think this might work for me. There’s a lot to learn, though. I’ll see how I get on.

I’ve heard lots of people say that Keynote is far better than PowerPoint, and then I realised that I have a trial version of iWork on my MacBook Pro, so I can give it a go before choosing to upgrade to the full version. So far it seems nice… I have a number of presentations to give in the next few months and I’d like to see how I get on with Keynote. The animated slide transitions are particularly lovely, and I read that the visual quality of the slides is better than on Windows… it is certainly very easy to use.

Twittervision screensaver
The latest version of the Visionary screensaver runs either FlickrVision or Twittervision (real-time Flickr and Twitter postings popping up on a Google Map), or the 3D version of Twittervision. It’s just a bit of fun, but pretty cool.

And now, a few via Lifehacker

Really simple – Ejector is a menubar app that provides a drop-down menu to eject any device, including disk images. The default Apple version only lets you eject CDs.

People had previously recommended AppZapper to completely remove applications from the machine – AppDelete is essentially the same thing but freeware.

Whenever I plug a camera into my Mac, it launches the Canon CameraWindow software. I spent quite a lot of time trying to stop it from doing this. The RCDefaultApp preferences pane lets you adjust the default behaviour when devices are plugged in, or the default app used to launch various file types. Handy.

So i discovered yesterday (via some Twitterings) that you can hold down ctrl and use the scroll button on the mouse, or the two-finger scroll movement on the trackpad, to zoom the screen. Very cool.

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3 thoughts on “More on handy Mac apps”

  1. Oooo. I’ve been in the market for a decent feedreader for a while now. I’ll check your suggestions out.

    A ‘me too’ on TextMate and Keynote – they rock.

    Ctrl-mousewheel is awesome, much better than Window’s magnifier I usually rely on to get pixel-perfect stuff in these days of high-res monitors and my rubbish eyes.

  2. took me ages to find the two finger scroll and even longer to find the two finger zoom.. both, personally I think are awesome

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