Must-Have Apps for OS X

Since Steve just got himself a shiny new Powerbook, and asked for a list of apps he should throw on it, I decided to blog the list. Here is my “must-have” list of apps for OS X (unless otherwise noted, everything is either freeware or open source):
* Adium – multi-service IM client. Themes, plugins, icon sets – everything you could ever want to customize your IM experience (and it’s faster than AIM).
* Azureus – Best torrent client for OS X, even if it is Java.
* BBEdit – If you can’t afford BBEdit, you can download TextWrangler for free. not free
* BookIt – Keep your bookmarks synced up across all the browsers you’ve got installed on your machine. not free
* Chicken of the VNC – Nothing else needs to be said. It is the chicken of the VNC world – light on the calories, long on possibilities.
* Conversation – My favorite IRC client for OS X.
* Instiki – Best wiki out there, period, especially on OS X.
* MarsEdit – For to be editing your blog. not free
* NetNewsWire – Best newsreader on any platform. Pay for it, because it’s friggin’ worth it (and so you can use the beta). not free (although there is NNW Lite)
* NVu – I use it as a word processor when I don’t feel like writing documentation in HTML or on my wiki (you know, when you have to use an existing template). HTML editing goodness that just keeps getting better.
* OmniOutliner – Why don’t other platforms have decent outlining software? Before Instiki, I couldn’t live without OmniOutliner. Even now, it’s great for brainstorming, taking notes during meetings, and making lists. not free
* OnyX – A must-have for Powerbooks; OnyX runs all those BSD maintenance scripts that are supposed to run at 3 A.M., but never do because your laptop is sleeping.
* SubEthaEdit – The first and best collaborative text editors. Great for taking notes at conferences, in meetings (with other people smart enough to have Powerbooks and bring them to meetings), etc. semi-not free
* Tigerlaunch – Nice little menu item that has all your applications in it. Great when you don’t have something in your dock, but need to start it up.
* Transmit – A great FTP Client with right-click editing of text files in your favorite text editor. Very cool. not free (check out Fugu or Cyberduck if you’re a cheap bastard).
* VLC – For watching all the TV shows you download with Azureus. It plays everything, and plays it well.
There you have it (and I can’t believe I kept it alphabetical). I didn’t include stuff that should have come with the machine, like iPhoto (even though it’s amazing) or Safari. Am I missing anything?

Taggy Goodness

If you’ve got a keen eye, you may notice some changes around here. I’ve started playing with making my MT categories tag-like, and then using rel=”tag” on the categories to make them all Technorati friendly.
Why? I think it’s cool, which is the only reason to ever do anything on a blog.
My only issue now is getting Marsedit to create categories for me.

Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

I’ve been able to stay away from writing about politics for a while now, but I just can’t stop myself on this one. The whole Terry Schiavo case is crazy. It smacks of hypocrisy and pandering, and a poor brain-dead woman is caught in the middle. It gets even worse when you realize that the Right only seems to care about white people with money who face terrible end-of-life decisions. When it’s a poor black family in Texas, I guess the “culture of life” doesn’t apply (see Blog for America).
How horrible is that? George W. Bush signed the bill in Texas – if you can’t pay, your loved one gets the plug pulled. They did it to a six-month old baby, whose parents still had hope. Terry Schiavo’s husband, and her doctor’s have no hope left. Medically, she’s not coming back. Yet, the Right goes apeshit trying to save a woman past saving, but lets a poor black child die. What does that tell you?
Unless you bow your head in the same direction as our’s, none of these lofty ideals like the “culture of life” apply to you. If you happen to be poor, or a different color, we’ll put you to death, bomb your country into the stone age, let you waste away without any help and if you happen to go bankrupt, well, you’re screwed. If you’re white, and rich, you can declare bankruptcy without consequence, get tax breaks for offshoring, and profit from the deaths of thousands. What a country!

S5 + Instiki = Happy Geek

Warning: I’ve only tested this on 0.9.2 on OS X. This may not work at all on .10. Since .9.2 is working fine for me, and there isn’t a disk image for .10, I haven’t upgraded yet. When I do, I’ll see about posting instructions for it. Until then, you’re on your own.
I use instiki all the time. I have it installed on my Powerbook and use it for note-taking, documentation writing, presentations, brainstorming and keeping info I would normally keep in a saved e-mail somewhere. It’s great. I love it.
As I said, I’ve been using it for presentations. I’ll jot down the sections as h1’s, then go back and fill in bullet points. When I’ve got what I want to say, I’ll go in and add the s5 divs, then tweak, massage, correct and add until I’m happy with it. Once that’s all done, I cut and paste into a new copy of s5 and I’m good to go. Well, I’m fine as long as I don’t want to change it. Once I change it, I have to save, cut and paste all over again. Why bother?
So, I had an idea. It shouldn’t be all that hard to create a new “print-like” view in Instiki that’s just s5. You know, it wasn’t! In about fifteen minutes, I had a link at the bottom of all my wiki pages that said “Presentation”. I clicked on it, and kaboom, I had a lovely presentation ready to go. It was scary simple. Here’s how i did it (I use OS X, but most of these instructions apply to any install of it, just don’t do the stuff that doesn’t apply):
# Make sure you have Instiki 0.9.2 and S5 (download the zip file)
# Go to Applications, right click on Instiki, and choose “Show Package Contents”
# Go to Contents, then Resources, then rb_src (on every other platforms, you should have an rb_src inside your instiki directory).
# Now, go to the app directory, then controllers and open up wiki.rb.
# You should see a line that says “def print” (in mine, it’s line 189). Above that line, put in:

def preso
@page = wiki.read_page(web_address, page_name)
  1. Save that file and close it.
  2. Now, go back to the app directory, then to views.
  3. I went ahead and put my preso file up, so you can snag it.
  4. Drop preso.html into the views directory.
  5. Now, we need to create our link to the Presentation view, so in the views directory, open up page.rhtml, and search for “| Views:” – that should put you in the right place. Now, add the following:
 | <a href="../preso/<%= %>">Presentation</a>
  1. Save that file, and close it.
  2. Now, we have to make some decisions, mostly because I suck. I couldn’t figure out (in the fifteen minutes it took me to do this) where to drop the s5 stuff (the ui directory in the s5 zip file) to get it to get served out by WeBRICK (the webserver instiki runs), so I just dropped them in my local copy of Apache, which is always running anyway. I suggest you do the same, then change the urls at the top of preso.rhtml (for the CSS and JS files) to match that. Once you’ve done that, you’re almost done!
  3. Bounce Instiki.
  4. Now, try it! Isn’t that cool?
    All you need to do to create an s5-able wiki entry is enclose the stuff you want in a slide in (the spaces are important, so Textile doesn’t do something stupid with the HTML):
<div class="slide">

There you have it… s5 + Instiki = happy geek
And some tags: and

The Slow South-by Recovery

All use AOL’ers made it home last night, but it took a lot longer than we expected. Instead of one three hour flight on a small plane, it was two flights with a stop in Houston, lost luggage and a cab driver.
I have so much I want to say, but right now, I just want to tell you how freaking tired I am, and how cool having all the SxSW notes up on a wiki is. As I find more peoples’ notes, especially for sessions we didn’t get notes for, I keep adding them. If you’ve got some you’d like to share, please feel free to add them. Also, if you’re a Mediawiki master and feel like sending me the right .htaccess to hide index.php in the url, I’d love that too.
I’ll try to post the “new people from SxSW” list in the near future after I un-bury myself. There’s nothing like extreme engagement (panels, meals, socializing) to show you how much e-mail comes in. I was downloading 100+ messages every day, and barely able to read a tenth of them. This morning was an exercise in damage control. Oh, I long for the day when everything that I actually care about comes through NetNewsWire, and all the other cruft that ends up in my inbox just goes away.

T-Shirt Sites

James asked me to post a list of places I get my t-shirts. Here it is. On top of these places where you can actually buy t-shirts, Preshrunk is an awesome resource for cool shirts, and new t-shirt sites.
* T-Shirt Hell – Some of them are really raunchy, but there are some amazing gems here.
* Diesel Sweeties – Great pixel artwork, and funny slogan shirts, oh, and a hilarious web comic. Home of the shirt I’m wearing RIGHT NOW: Bacon is a vegetable
* Thinkgeek – Awesome source for shirts from the slightly geeky to the super-nerdy. Home of the Viva La Relativity shirt.
* Maestro Instruments – Home of “This is the torch I use to burn bridges” and other funny shirts.
That’s where I get most of my weird shirts.