Essential software for a fresh installation of Mac OS X

Following my recent decision to upgrade to Snow Leopard, being a bit old fashioned I decided a clean install would best quell my OCD. That of course means figuring out, what all those nifty little programs you’ve picked up along the way was.

Granted, this is rather a matter of personal preference, here is a short list of software I think is must have’s on a clean install of OS X:

  • Quicksilver
    Is a tool for accessing everything on your Mac incredibly fast. Just press Ctrl + Space, type a few letters of the title of the thing you need to find or open. Press Enter and voila.
  • Caffeine
    Is a little background application that allows you to toggle screen dimming. It puts a little icon in your task bar, that you just click whenever your want to watch a youtube clip or similar, where the screen dimming would otherwise be activated.
  • MacPorts
    Is a package manager for OS X, which gives you access to all kinds of open source software, that doesn’t ship with OS X. MacPorts relies on XCode being installed for a compiler, which can be installed from the OS X installation DVD. When it’s installed, using it is as simple as issuing the command:

    sudo port install

    Wait for it to finish compiling and installing and then you can run the program directly from your command-line.

  • Cyberduck
    A really good lightweight FTP client.
  • Adium
    For all your instant messaging needs. Handles most of the networks out there. No Skype support though.
  • Perian
    A collection of codecs that aren’t natively supported. If you want the preview feature in Finder to work, as well as QuickTime playback on non-supported file types, this is what you need.

Leave a Comment