While installing software on my new Macbook Air I thought it would be interesting to make a list of what applications I installed first and why I use them. Starting over from a clean slate makes me rethink which applications I use frequently and what I need most. Here’s a list of the top 10 (interesting) apps I first installed:
1. Moom - An excellent window manager, Moom (move+zoom) makes it easy to rearrange, resize, and maximize windows.
2. Alfred - My favorite application launcher. I used Quicksilver for the longest time until development essentially ceased. I love Alfred because it’s simple, clean, and fast. Launchpad may make it easier to launch apps but Alfred has and will always be easier.
3. Homebrew - Simply the best package manager for OS X. I never liked MacPorts but Homebrew is simple and easily customizable. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to easily change a release version in a formula without having to wait for some central repository to update their formula list.
4. Tower - Hands down my favorite Git GUI for any platform. Tower makes almost everything in Git easy and quick.
5. iTerm 2 - I never really liked iTerm and didn’t think it was necessary to have a terminal replacement. However, iTerm 2 has some awesome features (timeline is invaluable) and I love the build in Visor like view to quickly pop in and out of a session.
6. Things - Even though I have nearly given up on Cultured Code’s over the air sync, I still like the Things interface better than nearly any other competitor (The Hit List comes close). Now that they say there will be testing of iOS syncing in August I will be holding out. In the meantime, I have been trying to use Asana but the lack of a mobile interface is frustrating.
7. Byword - Ever since the great and timely support I got from Byword’s developer when asking for a trial version, I have wanted to use Byword for any little writing tasks. The new live markdown preview finally brings it up to par with iaWriter.
8. Accessorizer - Accessorizer was a recommendation from a friend (@davidhamrick) and after using it for several weeks it has become an indispensable development tool. Simply enter your variables into Accessorizer and it will generate implementation and dealloc formats for you. It does a ton of other stuff and is highly customizable, allowing you to tweak its formatting to your preferred style.
9. Growl - Growl notifications are invaluable to me. From notifications about what song is playing to new emails, chats, and file transfer completions, Growl’s gentle distractions are highly customizable. There will soon be a Mac App Store version of Growl which may have some effect on its capabilities.
10. Oh My ZSH - Luckily, ZSH is installed on Lion so all it takes is a little project like Oh-My-ZSH to make your shell experience a whole lot better! The fantastic color schemes and modules that come with Oh-My-ZSH make the default bash shell look nearly unusable in comparison.
There are others like Chrome Canary, Twitter, Skype, Spotify, Dropbox, Transmit, Textmate, and more which I didn’t list here because it seems like they are on every list. See a larger list here.