Re: Where's the $1 Rant…

For those of you who read my last post, *”Sometimes it’s a Bummer Being Indie”* (a.k.a. “The $1 Rant”), via RSS and have clicked through to find it gone, this is to let you know that I chose to remove it since the person I fingered in the article has since redeemed himself by donating an additional $5 after I sent my “thank you” email.

Perhaps he read the post and realized the publicity would be bad for business, or maybe not. Either way, it still wouldn’t be “professional” on my part to slam someone who has rectified a situation. Therefore, as a professional courtesy to that individual, the post has been removed.

But man, it sure did feel good writing it…

10 Mac Apps I’d Be Lost Without

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any of my deep, dark ruminations here, so I figured it was time to throw together my own list of the 10 Mac apps I can’t live without. Here goes…

  1. GyazMail: Hands down the very best email client for OS X. While it still lacks a few features such as digital signatures & the ability to compose messages in rich text, it’s the fastest, most configurable, and cleanest email client I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried them all.
  2. SpamSieve: Tightly integrated with GyazMail (and other clients), SpamSieve does a bang up job of dealing with those little blue pill emails and overseas lottery notifications. I can’t even fathom having to manage the slew of garbage that drops in my inbox everyday without this app. One of the biggest time-saving software purchases I’ve made.
  3. NetNewsWire: My connection to the outside world. I don’t even bother turning on the liberal broadcast news when I get home anymore. I’ve already had my dose via RSS. Oh, and I get plenty of Mac (and iPhone) news this way too.
  4. Quicksilver: Yes, it’s on everyone else’s list, so it may as well be on mine. If you use it, you already know why I love it. If you don’t (what!?!), then you don’t know what you’re missing. I stopped using a licensed version of LaunchBar in favor of Quicksilver. Yes, it’s that friggin’ good (remember, I’m cheap frugal).
  5. ecto: Far and away the most elegant blogging app for the Mac, I’ve been a user since it was “Kung Log”. While it can be a little intimidating for new users, there’s a lot of power under the hood once you harness it. I’m really looking forward to version 3 once Adrian is ready to release it (hint, hint there Ado).
  6. TextMate: I used to use TextWrangler for all of my plain text editing — until the day I got my hands on TextMate. This application has everything I need in a text editor and more, except for a built in ftp client – which is the one thing I miss from TextWrangler. But since TextMate integrates so well with Transmit, it’s barely noticeable. I live in this app every day.
  7. Transmit: Speaking of which… The most super-awesome ftp client in the world. Makes transferring my files between development and production servers as simple as drag & drop from one tab to the other. Besides, it’s from Panic Software, so you know it’s got to be good.
  8. SuperDuper!: For back ups and clones, there’s no competition here. It does what it’s supposed to do easily, with power-user power to spare. Absolutely the best way to back up entire drives and user folders to Firewire.
  9. iGTD: The newest addition to my stable of must-haves. I’ve tried for years to get my to do list organized. This little bugger has finally done it. Thanks to .Mac syncing, I’ve always got what I need to get done right there. No more forgetting — well, maybe. Sometimes I mistake procrastination for forgetting…
  10. Yasu: Naturally, the list wouldn’t be complete without my own application, right? All kidding and bias aside, Yasu is STILL easier to use than Cocktail, Onyx or Tiger Cache Cleaner. Sure, those other three give you extra toys to play with to give you that warm fuzzy geek feeling, but Yasu simply gets the tasks that need to be done, done. A true “GTD” utility app if ever there was one.

So there you have it. My list. Love it or leave it. Sure, there are several other commercial & Apple apps I use all the time, but these are (to me) some of the more outstanding offerings from indie developers that help keep the Mac universe from collapsing in on itself.

Kudos to all those who code the products in my list for their dedication to keeping the spirit of freeware & shareware alive. What Mac apps would you give your eye teeth, first born, or iPhone to keep?

Securing Gmail Notifier

Secure Gmail Notifier using hidden preference setting

I was shocked to discover that the Gmail Notifier, as distributed by Google, defaults to sending your Gmail password over the network in clear text every time it checks your inbox for new mail.

Here’s a very handy tip I came across on this morning. I had no idea that my GMail & GCal password was being sent in clear-text. I’m not too happy about it either. Thankfully, it’s really easy to change Google Notifier to an https connection using the poster’s instructions. If you use the app, I recommend you do the same — pronto.

Extending a Network with AirPort Express

Here’s an idea I’m toying with, and I’d love to hear what readers may have to say about it…

I run a closed AirPort Extreme (G) WiFi network here at JMO headquarters. It’s cool and all, but there are a couple of problems with my situation; First, I don’t have a real dedicated office space to work from — aside from the dining room table, which is in the middle of everything going on in the house and isn’t the most comfortable place to sit for hours at a time writing code. Second, my work area can get pretty cluttered with books & such when I’m in high gear. I know it drives the wife crazy that I have my crap scattered all over the table — though she’s really good about not saying anything. Heck, it even bugs me when I walk in the front door and see my own mess.

So, to make life a little better all around, I’ve been thinking about creating some working space in the garage and setting up a desktop machine I have sitting around for Subversion and WordPress development purposes. The two obstacles keeping me from doing so are; My AirPort signal is not strong enough in the corner of the garage I have to set up in, and the desktop machine needs to be hard-wired to a network.

So, here’s where you come in. I’d like to know if any readers have attempted using an AirPort Express as a network bridge to “extend” their signal and/or add a machine that’s Ethernet only to a wireless network? It *seems* like it should work, and would be the perfect solution for me if it does.

So, if you’ve pulled it off — or know someone who has — let me know via comments.