Some tools I use…

This might or might not be of interest to folks, but I’ll share anyway. There are a number of third-party apps I use that many people might not know about. Some of you might already use them, others might not. Here are a few of them with links and a brief description. I suggest you check them out.

1Password: This manages (and creates) passwords and auto fills them from any browser. Syncs across computers and devices. Extremely handy way to auto-enter information and maintain security.

A Better Finder Series: This makes it super easy to batch rename files in complex ways. For example, you can easily change a bunch of files that are named “FirstName LastName.jpg” to lastname-firstname.jpg” and more.

Adium: This is a multi-client instant messenger program.

AppFresh: This will automatically alert you to updated software.

AppZapper: This will delete applications and all of their associated files.

Audio Hijack Pro: Super easy way to capture and record audio from any source, such as a video stream or iTunes.

Automator: A super-easy way to create automated workflows.

Default Folder X: This utility allows you to set default open/save dialog box folders and simplify the navigation of open/save dialog boxes.

Dropbox: This is a Web-based tool for synchronizing folders across the Web and devices. You can create a drop box on your machine and create a Web interface so that others can easily upload files to it. Sort of like FTP but easier.

Komodo Edit: This is a cross-platform text editor, like TextMate, TextWrangler and BBEdit. This is particularly useful for PC users.

LittleSnapper: This is a great screenshot utility and manager. That is, it will take and manage your screenshots, including full Web pages with Flash on them:

MacFuse: This is an add on that allows you to use Mac OS X file handling on non-native volumes (i.e., Windows, etc.):

NeoOffice: This is an open source version of Microsoft Office, including a database that can link to SQL, like Access.

OmniGraffle Professional: This is an awesome flow chart and wire framing tool. I can’t speak highly enough about it: Be sure to also check out their other offerings. Like NeoOffice:

Path Finder: This tool replaces your standard Finder. One great attribute (and there are many) is that when you copy a file, it copies the entire path:

Perian: This is an awesome QuickTime components utility to make all kinds of video files work on the Mac:

RipIt: Great DVD ripper: (Also check out MacTheRipper (, VisualHub (no longer downloadable) and Handbrake ( for ripping and encoding video.)

Saft: This is a Safari add on that remembers your open Tabs and lots, lots more:

SuperDuper! This is a data backup and copying utility. Has saved my butt many times:

SWF and FLV Player: This will play SWFs and FLVs directly, and will also tell you their dimensions:

Switch: This is audio encoding software. Takes your audio and makes them MP3s. (Max is another:

TextSoap: This is a multi-step text cleaner. In other words, you can link multiple find/replaces in one step and clean up text automagically:

Transmit: The best FTP client out there with drag-drop interface, droplets and more:

TweetDeck: A great Twitter client with multiple panes for direct messages, searches, etc.:

WireTap Studio: Very similar to Audio Hijack Pro:

Xmarks: This will synchronize your bookmarks (and passwords) across platforms and computers. So, your FireFox and Safari bookmarks will always be in sync.:

YouSendIt: This is a way to e-mail somebody giant files.:

OpenID: This isn’t an application, but a service that will unify different profiles under one ID. For example, you can link several Basecamp accounts under one OpenID.

Regular expressions: This isn’t an application either, but rather a way of doing complex pattern-matching search and replace. Let’s say you want to search “Josh is a buffoon” and change it to “What a buffoon Josh is!” You could do that by searching “(Josh).*(buffoon)” and replacing it with “What a /2 /1 is!” It’s easier to demonstrate.

Concatenation in spreadsheets: Also not an app, but a way to take columns of data and turn it into XML. More here:

Batchgeocode: Need to get lat/long for a place, or a bunch of places?:

There are more, but this is a pretty good list. I hope it’s helpful to folks.

iPhone Apps Update

To my surprise, a colleague told me recently how much he enjoyed my “what’s on my iPhone” posting. So, I thought I’d update it with some new apps I’ve recently gotten:

AllRecipes: Just what it sounds like — an online recipe lookup. I haven’t really used it. I think my wife downloaded it.

Analytics: A great and beautiful iPhone app that taps into Google Analytics, so I can see how few people are actually reading this… right now.

BurnBall: A totally fun game that is kind of like the Tron cycle game, only with motion sensing and cute balls.

Drop7: A fun math-meets-Tetris game. Love it.

FallingBalls: In the spirit of LineRider, this simple game looks like what I would create if I tried to create an iPhone game, except this is both fun and a little macabre.

GPS Lite: GPS directions for your iPhone. Works a lot better if you have GPS (I don’t).

Grocery IQ: A wicked grocery store list manager. I just wish it had a desktop component. And the ability to share lists with other members of the household.

Lights Off: A fun toggle-like game in which every square you touch makes other squares light (or go off). Goal is to turn all the squares off. Fun!

LoveJigSaw: Cute jigsaw puzzle game. A beautiful and free iPhone interface for the beautiful and free site.

NPR Mobile: Not sanctioned by NPR, this allows for streaming of NPR content. Nice!

ShapeWriter: Um… not sure.

Tower Free: An amusing game.

Yelp: The iPhone version of Yelp! I have to admit, I don’t really use it.