the empty set

Macinblog's best of 03

Just in time for my list of favourite software of the year:

  1. Mac OS 10.3: the latest version of the Macintosh operating system
  2. Kung-Log: post and manage your weblog entries
  3. BBEdit (*): high-performance text and HTML editor
  4. iViewMedia Pro: media management software
  5. OmniGraffle Professional (*): lets you create your best graphs, diagrams, flow charts, etc.
  6. NetNewsWire Lite: RSS news reader for web sites
  7. Safari: Apple's web browser
  8. DiskWarrior: repair Mac OS X native directory and save your day
  9. xScope: powerful set of tools for measuring, aligning and inspecting online graphics
  10. Movable Type: weblog (or website) publishing software
  11. Interarchy: my SFTP alter ego

(*) present in last year's favs

Hmm, but why these ? What are my criterias ? Completely emotional - and practical. Basically, most of them are applications I use on a daily basis, which I've used and abused, most of them since their early versions (some beta), applications I couldn't do without, and finally, most of which live in my Dock. Some are not new, some have just been released, some I have just discovered. Oh, and most of the download links point to MacUpdate. I still can't make my mind up between VersionTracker and MacUpdate (which service do you favour ?)

[ my december 2003 dock ]
  1. Mac OS 10.3: okay, this one isn't really an application per se (that's why there's 11 favs this year), but it had to figure in this list as Mac OS X gets better and better at each release. I'm not going to into details on this one, others have done it much better - but applications like Mail, iSync, FontBook or Address Book are part of my daily grind - and new features such as Expose is really tooooo cool..
  2. Kung-Log: I discovered this little jem about a year ago (it was still an AppleScript Studio app back then). This product has since evolved into a Cocoa application full of features and has become an indispensable tool to anybody who hosts a weblog. You can manage your entries, post, draft, edit, delete, upload images or files, preview your post (uses Safari's WebKit), send notifications by e-mail, etc.

    And what's more, the next version is on it's way! It's called ecto and is currently undergoing private beta testing. Don't miss the public beta when it's released - it really rocks! (this post was edited using ecto beta release 1).
  3. BBEdit (*): no need to present BBEdit anymore. This application loads early in one of my typical day's work. The latest release offers WebKit Preview. That means that while you're tweaking css code (or xhtml), you can preview in realtime how it renders with Safari's engine (Kung-Log/ecto offer the same functionality). This is invaluable to test layouts and html code in general. I still haven't tested the CVS feature since it's release last year, but intend to get my teeth into it this year.
  4. iViewMedia Pro: I've tried several media management software these last few years for managing my images, starting with Canto Cumulus, but gave it up when the Mac OS X standalone version never showed up, Extensis PortFolio, but never got used to it's interface, Apple's iPhoto until it choked on my 3'000+ photos and really got too slow (not to mention its file management limitations), until I discovered iViewMedia Pro. The latest release really suits me down to the ground. You can manage large libraries of images, it's fast, offers numerous way of assigning categories, keywords, and other attributes to sort your media files just the way you want. It is user-friendly and it use very intuitive, yet its features remain powerful. The file management is a breeze. It reads and downloads your images directly from your digital camera, imports files from your HD at lightening speed. I haven't explored in details its export options or slideshow features, but they seem quite satisfying. Hopefully, I won't have to change in the near future.
  5. OmniGraffle Professional (*): a gem you don't get tired of. I'm been using OmniGraffle more and more frequently these last 12 months, and keep discovering new ways of getting my work done more efficiently. Clean and neat.
  6. NetNewsWire Lite: what better way to get abreast with your favourite weblogs ? It's simple, sports a clean interface and it's free. I never really gave it's big brother a try being a fan of Kung-Log, but I'm sure it is a brilliant application too.
  7. Safari: Apple's web browser and my favourite browser. I was running Chimera last year, and slowly switched to Safari. Fast, clean, does the job just right. Gets better at each release. but you know all that already, no ?
  8. DiskWarrior: since the release of version 3, it's saved my day at least two times, resurrecting drive catalogs that other apps declared good as dead. What more to say ? If you job relies on using a Mac - or taking care of Macs - on a daily basis, buy it.
  9. xScope: I only recently discovered this little application. Like all others from IconFactory/Panic Software, it is very well polished. It proved itself invaluable during the tweaking of the css style sheet I was working on, while trying to address the different inconsistencies of IE. Only took two hours before I purchased it.
  10. Movable Type: Okay. It's not a application as such, well not a user app anyway. But it's a wonderful server application to publish websites in general and weblogs in particular. Throughout this last year, I haven't ceased to discover it's power and flexibility (and extensibility). It's amazing what you can achieve with it. Until recently Macinblog was hosted run by MT. I must admit that Movable Type is my discovery of the year.
  11. Interarchy: another old friend. I been using this application so long that I only realize how much I depend on it when I'm on a Mac without it. I guess Interarchy is what one could call "an acquired taste". I rely quite a bit on SFTP in my daily tasks, and sometime on several different severs at the same time. Interarchy makes file transfer as simple as using another window in the Finder. It's full of other interesting features, but I must admit that I've never really taken the time to evaluate them properly. I just thought this one would round up my list nicely.

There, that's done. Time to go and see what the rest of my little family are up to .. Happy New Year to you all ;)

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