in Projects, Programming, Technology

Mac Software Recommendations

I’m making one final pass at cleaning off my hard drive this morning before installing OS X Leopard. As part of the process, I’m making sure I have license keys for all the software I’ve purchased over the last year or so. Here is a list of the software I have purchased that I recommend.

Parallels – Lets you run XP or Vista on your Mac. I am having a heck of a time getting my vista image off my hard disk, because it is 30GB, but Parallels has been great.

TextMate – I haven’t been happy with the selection of Software Development Environments’s for OpenSource software, but TextMate is light weight and gets the job done. Others I also use in are NetBeans and Aptana.

iWork – I Tried OpenOffice, but upgraded to iWork for Keynote. OpenOffice was too slow.

Flex Builder 3 – You can do Flex development without buying Adobe’s SDE, but when learning something new, every advantage helps. I found the this Eclipse derivative to be stable, and worth the price for the visual layouts and built in documentation.

Market Samurai – A great SEO keyword research tool that helps you plow through tons of keywords. It also tries to optimize the process of getting backlinks, but that is a tough problem to solve. I haven’t found Market Samurai’s ability to search for content and back links opportunities to be all that useful, but I haven’t really tried that hard.

Pixelmator – Excellent affordable Photoshop replacement. I like the support of gradients. Little bit of a learning curve (probably the same as Photoshop).

I will likely soon buy:

MacSpeech Dictate – Tried a demo of this and the speech recognition was “good enough.”

ScreenFlow – for making screen capture videos with web cam picture-in-picture.

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  1. Hi Adam,

    I’m a HUGE fan of Screenflow too (and Market Samurai – but I’m a bit biased in that regard ;) )

    Love Parallels too – although I’m more of a VMWare guy at the moment.

    Thanks for the mention of Market Samurai!


  2. Hey Adam,

    taking Brent’s lead… what’s your experience been with Parallels vs. VMWare? I know this is turning into one of those “age old” debates with little evidence aside from personal opinions on either site, but FWIT, I’ve really loved the interaction and “feel” of Parallels, but running it on my MBP 2.6 Ghz is painfully slow. Any experience with VM Ware?


  3. Dave, After upgrading to Leopard and the latest of version, yes it does seem to be noticeably slower. I want to investigate if this could possibly caused by the “auto-expanding” disk option, as that is only other fundamentally different setting (I used to have a fixed disk size).

  4. Hi Adam,

    I just got more RAM for my MBP, so I’ll probably be installing parallels next weekend. Interested to see how it goes. I also just got done with the free trial of MarketSamurai … as soon as my Ebay money comes in this month, I’ll definitely be buying it. I wish all the software that I need would run on AdobeAir, then I might not even have to install parallels.