After using Windows for many years, I recently switched to Mac OS X for my new computer. Until now, I am quite happy with it (well, I still don’t like not to be able to create a file anywhere with a right click, and the impossibility to resize windows from any place but the right-bottom corner, but I guess I can live with it).
More than the shiny design (..mmm OK,it plays a bit maybe) and the very intuitive UI (I am a big fan of Expose), it’s essentially a couple of applications — that I learned to love work with during my actual job — which made me make the jump.
Some or them are free, the others don’t exceed $100, which is not too expensive regarding their quality (and very cheap compared to, let’s say, Adobe products…). I am still quite new on Mac OS, so if you have any suggestion of useful software, I am more than interested.
MAMP stands for Mac, Apache, MySQL, PHP. It allows you to run a PHP driven website on your local machine, with the same settings as your actual live server. It is very useful to create virtual hosts, or to manage your local db.
There is a free version, which does the job quite well, and a pro version around $60.
I was using Notepad ++ while on Windows, and was quite happy with it.
Then I discovered Coda.
I never managed to find a text editor with a more intuitive interface, usable shortcuts than with that application. The FTP/SVN integration works very well too, and make working on complex projects (remote team, many revisions, etc.) very easy. And it’s beautifully integrated into the OS.
Textmate is perfect when you deal only with English, or western characters in general, but when you use multibytes characters (like Japanese, which I deal a lot with), the spacing between the characters is all messy and it’s very inconvenient to work with. I heard there is a workaround to this, but I never had a chance to find what it is (if you have an idea, any comment is welcome).
You can grab Coda here (about $100).
If you’re working as a team, which seams to be a very common pattern in this industry, chances are high you’ll need a Version control system.
For those who are looking for an easy to use, nicely designed front-end, Versions might be what you need.
It includes several SVN versions, nicely handles SSH, and offers a very easy to use timeline function. And like Coda, is really beautifully integrated in the OS.
I know that there is a SVN client integrated in Coda. But if you prefer a dedicated application, Versions seems to me like a very fine choice (and it’s only $30).
Again, Coda includes an integrated FTP, but for those who like a dedicated client, Cyberduck is just really fine.
It has FTP and SFTP, let you CHMOD, manage folders, see hidden files, etc. — all the classics. And it is free.
It can be to add elements to a design directly on the top of a capture of a live design (useful when your layout files contains MANY layers and you don’t want to open them). For archiving. To share with people. Etc.
Skitch combines the ability of Mac OS to take a screenshot of just a portion of the screen with a very useful palette of tools allowing you to scribble directly over the capture: text, arrows, circles, free drawing… You can then publish the edited screenshot online in one click, and share the URL (which is unique, and known only by you or the people you want to share it with).
It is super convenient when you work as a team, and are testing/debugging a website, a simple drawing being sometimes way more explicit than a long explanation. And also it’s free.