Ad Pomum: My favorite OS X apps

You know you're officially a member of the Cult of Mac when you have a roster of small, third-party applications that you just can't live without. In true Mac fashion, these are always apps that do exactly what you want in a simple, straightforward manner with no feature and interface bloat. HangZhou Night Net

Here's my list of favorite apps, followed by a nod to another few apps that I've recently discovered and am impressed with. Admittedly, this is a short list, but I'm not someone who loads the interface up with tweaks and Finder replacements and whatnot. I can't stand that stuff. (Heck, I even use the standard Apple desktop wallpaper. My one concession to customization is that my Dock is positioned vertically on the left, NeXT-style.)

BBEdit, by Bare Bones Software: Of the non-Web and non-email time that I spend on my computer, BBEdit probably accounts for at least 60%, if not 70% of it. Every single piece of my Ars content over the past six years or so has been written with BBEdit. It's like my right arm. In fact, of all the Mac apps that have gone through my life—from the other apps on this list to major software suites like MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Apple's iApps, etc.—BBEdit has been the one constant of my Mac experience since I bought my first PowerBook. I discovered in my first week or so of OS X usage, and I've used it daily ever since.

Chronosync, by EconSoftware: This program just works. It does exactly what it's supposed to do, without a hitch. It's also very easy to use, and even doing more involved stuff like scheduling and setting rules is a snap. Most importantly for me, Chronosync has always handled my usual SMB-based backups to FAT- and NTFS-formatted network drives with total ease. Chronosync would be complete perfection if it only had support for encrypting the destination folder. At any rate, I've been using it since its very earliest incarnation, when it was just about the only Cocoa-based backup tool for OS X, and I plan to keep using it. Besides, Econ never charges for upgrades, so you pay only once and you get free upgrades for as long as the company is in existence.

Mellel, by RedleX: If you're a classicist or someone who works with Semitic languages, you owe it to yourself to check out Mellel. I use both Hebrew and Greek regularly in my doctoral work, and this word processor is absolutely fantastic for that. I'm a fairly advanced Word user, and I have a lot of legacy document templates and workflow in Word, so I still haven't transitioned completely to Mellel for all my work. Nonetheless, I look forward to the day when I use it exclusively.

Minuteur, by some French guy: For about two weeks now I've been using David Seah's task progress tracker sheets to great effect. These sheets have progress bubbles to fill in in 15-minute increments. Thus I needed a good timer to track my progress. Some googling turned up Minuteur, which fits the bill.

I recently discovered xhead software, and I plan to purchase their bundle tomorrow. I definitely want their little recorder app, and some of their other stuff interests me so I'm just going to get all of it. I plan to use their Crypt.xhead tool to make up for the aforementioned lack of built-in encryption in Chronosync.

So what are the OS X apps that you just can't live without? Post links and mini-reviews in the discussion thread, and I'll check them out.

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