I decided to create an extension to my MacBook review, but this time, focusing on the applications. For Mac OS X Leopard users who are blown away by the amount of available software, here’s what I’ve determined to be the best in each category:
Internet Browser: Camino 1.6.2
- Safari 4 Developer Version
- Native browser to Mac
- Firefox 3.0.1
- It’s Firefox. Enough said. The new Gecko rendering engine is amazing.
- Camino 1.6.2 Release Candidate
- Essentially a browser that has Firefox 2 power with a Mac look-and-feel.
- Since I don’t really use Firefox plugins, I found Camino to be perfect. I didn’t conduct any official speed tests, but the browser just “felt” faster.
Torrent Client: Transmission
VNC: Chicken of the VNC
Instant Messaging Client: iChat
- Native IM client to Mac
- Useful for those using just AIM, Jabber, or GoogleTalk
- I’m strictly an AIM user, so the native iChat program was just fine with me. No complaints.
- Useful for users who use different IM platforms (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, etc.)
- I’ve had trouble with iChat and Adium trying to video conference with AIM users on Windows. This cross-platform dilemma was resolved by video chatting across Skype.
Multimedia: iTunes for music and VLC for video
Office Suite: Microsoft Office 2008
- iLife 2008
- An Office suite made for the Mac
- Microsoft Office 2008
- An Office suite made for Windows
- Unfortunately, since I’ve grown up using Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Publisher, Office 2008 was the obvious choice for me.
- Since I use OpenOffice on Linux, I might one day just use that for Windows and Mac too.
Web Development: Macromedia Dreamweaver
Photo Editing: Adobe Photoshop CS3
DVD/CD Burning: Roxio Toast 9 Titanium
- Provides system notifications
- Allows you to close your the MacBook lid without sending the system into standby
- Useful if you’re in the middle of a long process (ie, video rendering or a large file download), but don’t want to leave your screen open.
- Fan Control
- Allows you to adjust the fan speed at varying temperatures
- This is an application launcher, but for my purposes, I found this completely useless. SpotLight (the native application launcher) is enough.