Neal Sheeran

Rants, Raves, and Geekery

Everyday Software


One of the things in my “to write about” list was a list of all the Mac software I find useful. I’ve had a draft sitting around and the interesting thing when I opened it back up after a year was how much has changed. “Must have” programs are no longer installed, long explanations explaining why I use program A over B no longer apply…because I’ve switched to program B, etc. Since I spend a fair amount of time tinkering with software, now is as good a time as any to write about some it. First up, stuff I use everyday.


I can’t believe how long I used OS X’s plain old Finder once I started using TotalFinder. A configurable keyboard shortcut (I double-tap the command key) and a tabbed finder window slides up from the bottom of the screen. The default window size is configurable and two separate widows can be display side-by-side for quick and easy drag-n-drop. Another nice touch is the easy shortcut to display hidden files. I’ve used Path Finder previously, but I found it to be a bit too much UI-wise and it seemed slower than what it was replacing. I love the simplicity of TotalFinder.


I was a NetNewsWire user for years. It was once of the first pieces of software I paid for that didn’t come in a box. Alas, it was starting to wear thin on me. Reeder has a much cleaner interface that is better for reading and the keyboard controls are excellent, and user-configurable. The iOS version is top-notch as well.


You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Twitter client. I like Twitterific for the nice color schemes and the easy way to follow other people’s conversations. I use Tweetbot on the iPhone.


Genius little menubar utility that lets you open browser links in their own tab by using a three finger tap. When I use my wife’s computer, I get pissed that she doesn’t have this.


Great application launcher, plus a bunch of other things. LaunchBar is great too, but I like Alfred better for the configurable interface and I find it’s follow-on actions to be slightly easier to use.

Safari is my browser of choice. I was a Camino guy for a long time, but switched back to Safari a few years ago. I also have Firefox on hand as well as Chrome (which I rarely use.) I recently downloaded Opera and it looks promising.

More installments coming soon.