Useful software-tools for the Mac (post-Windows)

After many years of using Windows computers and being quite familiar with them, running under Windows XP, I was kind of shocked when my first laptop ran Vista. In addition, I was in the need of upgrading my main desktop and had just passed a summer full of heavy computer use, including long nights of re-installations due to system slow-downs. I was fed-up and very motivated (and admiringly inspired by several creative wedding photography colleagues) to move to a Mac System.

That’s what happened last fall. But when changing OS, a whole lot of other things have to be changed, especially lots of small programs. I’m not talking about programs like those of the Microsoft Office and all the Adobe imaing stuff, it’s more the small things – an here now are some I came upon and use now on the Mac. One thing I realized when entering the Mac-World: There are fewer free programs and more really reasonable priced offers compared to the windows world with lot’s of either expensive or freeware tools.

FTP – sending and downloading files to your servers:

Lot’s of FTP tools out there. I’ve started using these two:

RSS and Twitter stuff – things you need to stay up to date:

  • NetNewsWire is an offline RSS-Newsreader. You can also synch it with an online-service, to access your subscribed feeds anywhere with a browser.
  • TweetDeck is one of the most popular Twitter-application for the Mac (and PC). It’s free and also comes with an iPhone App, to which you can synchronize your settings via the TweetDeck server. TweetDeck is mostly known for its capability to sort Twitter-friends into groups.

Business Stuff:

  • Billings is what its name suggests: It’s great for tracking time and billing your time to your clients.
  • Things is a fairly simple ToDo-List and task management tool. You can also get an iPhone App that synchronizes with the desctop program.

System Admin extension:

There’s a lot under the hood of Mac OS X that you can’t access via System Preferences. TinkerTool is one application that gives you a bunch more settings to change. And it’s free.

Backup – you need it to survive as a business:

  • ChronoSynch – A synchronization tool that verifies files after synching directories. E.g. usefull for synching directories to external discs for off-site storage.
  • Retrospect – A powerful backup tool, that allows you to have a backup history in which you can recover to certain timepoints. Files are not just mirrored, but rather written into Retrospect’s own format. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Mac’s own time-machine for temporal back-ups. Probably Retrospect would be the choice for a server, rather than my individual MacPro.
  • SuperDuper – Another synchronization program, supposed to be very fast and reliable, though it does not verify copies (which they claim is not needed due to how hard-discs work when reporting write-read errors).

Sure there are many more, but I thought these are some that may be of use for you!;-)

The first iPhone video

Switzerland based american filmmaker and videographer Steve Ellington didn’t wait long: He waited in front of Zurich’s Apple store to get one of the first iPhone 3GS and started filming right afterwards. This is probably the first music video shot on an iPhone, and definitely the first that made it online. In addition it got picked up and declared as the first by numerous blogs and news sites.

Elsewhere on his site, Steve shares numerous experiences as a filmmaker, e.g. in the article on everything you wanted to know about iPhone’s video function.

Perfect to be creative with this great new phone – Steve is!;-)