Awe format

Man, I’m kinda overawed by my MacBook Pro. But it most definitely is mine, my own, my … preciousss — paid for with all the blood, sweat and guts I was born with (so it means I still owe my mum for it?!). What makes living with/on/off the Mac so awesome is the generosity and creative genius of the community — the add-ons are where it’s at. With a quick flick of the wrist, I could launch missives into space, man.

In the past day or so, I’ve settled on the following new companions to OS 10.4 — I’m not upgrading till OS 10.5 plateaus at a stable version:

  • Adium
    I’ve abandoned the perfectly good Meebo for the perfectly good Adium. It’s cos the latter’s not web-based, which means it feels more ‘solid’ to me, and has a despairingly cute duck mascot.
  • Radioshift
    I like how you can browse through the online radio stations with a world map interface. I’ve also tried using its recording service for online streaming (Just BBC stuff — Aled Jones, Father Brian D’arcy and Steve Merchant, oh boy), but I guess I haven’t figured that out yet. From a company commendably named Rogue Amoeba. Free version starts cackling white noise after 20 minutes, but that’s easily solved by switching stations. Hmm, I might not follow up on this one, since BBC does a good-enough job of streaming its past week’s programmes.
  • Vienna
    Simple, neat and free. I’m going to be pinching my pennies for a while, so can’t be casting my net further than freeware. If you want the big guns, NetNewsWire has done very well for itself.
  • Firefox
    Thought I would give it a go with Safari or even beautiful OmniWeb, but Firefox’s versatility was finally too sweet to sacrifice. Plus, Safari doesn’t play well with WordPress.
  • AppZapper
    This nifty little thing does what it says on the box — wipes unwanted applications off your hard disk. Comes with laser sound effects. Free version lets you zap five apps.
  • iSquint
    Converts a wide range of video files to a format suitable for your iPod (or TV). I can finally load the Ricky Gervais video podcasts on mine, woohoo!

I paid for the following, but coupla months before the MacBook Pro for reasons known to me.

  • Delicious Library
    I was really in love with the idea of this app, until after I bought it (this was before the MacBook Pro budget-buster) — the database is linked to the Amazon one, so cos a number of my books, CDs and DVDs fly under the Amazonian radar (e.g. foreign language or out-of-print titles), I get ugly placeholders instead of the pretty covers expected. Oh well. It is still a delicious concept.
  • iWork
    Apple’s word processing, spreadsheet and ooh la la presentation software package. More flexible in terms of what you can with the layout of stuff — I just have to get used to its way of doing things, after being accustomed to Microsoft Office. Kinda like QWERTY versus Dvorak, maybe?

Most of the software here are Mac only, so don’t get your hopes up if they’re just what you’ve been looking for. I’m also looking forward to getting reacquainted with my old mainstays GraphicConverter and TypeIt4Me. I must mention that I was bowled over when I got on iChat with MY — I know videoconferencing tools are available through Skype, MSN, etc., but somehow doing it on iChat was something special. It feels classier, dang it. Next stop, videoconference with family, if my brother can only get around to doing it!

This is all proving to be a massive Up in a generally Down year.

[Update on 26 November 2009: Got a page full of apps now.]

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