Applications in OS X

By Jim Lynch  |  Posted 2005-01-26 Print this article Print

Well this is really going to sound heretical but I havent had much time to try the iLife apps. Ive played with iPhoto, which seems quite good (bear in mind that my Power Mac came with iLife 04, so I have to get the free upgrade from Apple for the latest version) and looked briefly at the others that also seem quite good. Lets face it, the iLife apps are a big reason to buy a Mac in the first place. Theyre cool and it costs a lot to replace them with other apps on Windows. As for me, Ill withhold final judgement on them until I have iLife 05 from Apple. One thing I didnt like was that my Power Mac didnt seem to come with a good word processor. There was a text editor and a trial version of MS Office for the Mac (no thanks) but nothing else. I took matters into my own hands and downloaded a version of Abiword for the Mac and also a beta of NeoOffice, which is a version of OpenOffice designed for the Mac. To the Abiword and NeoOffice developers: Thanks! Not all of us want to get wrapped up in proprietary word processors, be they from Apple or from Microsoft. Thanks so much for creating Mac versions so that Mac users have other options. One vexing problem: I screwed up my blog ( and needed to do a redesign of it. I needed to FTP files up to the server and there was no good FTP program included with my Power Mac.
I looked on the web, and most of the ones out there cost money. I was looking for a free, open source FTP client and could not find anything with a dual pane interface. (Hey, I just spent a bundle on my Power Mac...I cant afford to pay for FTP software right?) Some of the Mac FTP clients really stink (sorry to have to say it but Cyberduck sucks!). Who wants to open and close menus to upload files? I just want to drag them from one pane to the other and get it over with.
In Linux, I usually use gFTP. In Windows I use Filezilla. But for the Mac I was forced to resort to a trial version of CuteFTP, which Ill probably be buying shortly. I dont know why the Mac lacks a good open-source FTP client, but if there are any developers out there who could do a version of gFTP or Filezilla for the Mac, please do it! Youll make a lot of peoples day. I found that I liked Safari, the OS X browser. Its a slick browser with a great interface. But I hit a couple of burps on the PCMag forum with it and ended up switching to Firefox for the most part. Ill be monitoring Safaris progress, but right now, I feel more comfortable using Firefox for the bulk of my web browsing. Im looking forward to checking out future versions of Safari though. I also liked how iPhoto popped right up when I plugged in my digital camera. I didnt have to do anything except decide which photos I wanted to import, and iPhoto did the rest. Very slick. One application that I discovered that I like a lot is called Adium. Adium is an instant messenger client similar to GAIM. It allows you to connect to Yahoo IM, AOL IM, and MSN Messenger. But its got an amazingly slick interface. I found myself not missing GAIM at all after using Adium. If you are using Mac OS X and want a good IM client be sure to give it a download. Its free and its very, very slick. The symbol of the program is a duck. When you have it running in the Dock the duck is awake. When you quite the application, the duck goes to sleep. Its pretty funny to see. And dont let the frivolous-seeming duck fool you, its an excellent instant messaging program. Continued...

Jim manages the PC Magazine and ExtremeTech forums, and is responsible for building community in the forums on both sites. He started managing PC Mag's forum on ZiffNet on CompuServe many years ago. He then transferred the staff and expertise to the Web. He left ZDNet when it moved to San Francisco and came back to Ziff after the split from ZDNet, right before ExtremeTech launched. You can get more background at his personal site:

His favorite movies include Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Three Musketeers (1973 version), Dune (Sci Fi Channel version), and gobs of others. He can't live without his iPAQ Pocket PC—,he uses it at the gym and everywhere else—,and his DVD collection features more than 200 films. His favorite game is Tribes (PC), which is more than three years old but he still plays it all the time.

Jim likes interacting with the folks in the forum and the content. 'I Love both of 'em,' says Lynch. 'It's what makes the job fun and interesting.'

You're welcome to visit Jim's site for more information about him.


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