Mac Users:Suggested Applications
This list are the applications that most use in CSE. We try to focus on applications that are free, inexpensive and open source. If such applications don't exist, we list the best piece of software in that category. If you want a specific piece of software, try MacUpdate and VersionTracker. You can also send your question to the mailing list.
TextMate is a brilliant general purpose text editor while others prefer BBEdit. SubEthaEdit is a novel collaborative text editor that some use. If you can't afford the above, TextWrangler is a mini-BBedit that's good. Vi users can try Vim and Emacs users can try Carbon Emacs. To get the Tex compiler, use either fink or darwinports to get the teTeX package.
NeoOffice is a Mac friendly version of the free OpenOffice. You can use your site or personal license for Office 2004. Apple also has Keynote for presentations and Pages which may or may not come with your machine.
Camino is based on the Mozilla rendering engine, but unlike Firefox it is "Mac-y" in nature. It uses Keychain, OS X elements, etc. You can find optimized versions on MozillaZine and extensions at PimpMyCamino.
If you are using, Camino or Firefox, you'll note that you don't by default have the ability to render PDFs in the browser. If you're running on an Intel mac, you're up a creek without a paddle, switch to Safari if you really need it. If you're using a PowerPC mac then you can download PDF Browser, which basically puts Preview.app into the browsers.
Most people use Adium (based on Gaim but pretty) because it's customizable and allows for all the chat protocols in one client. It has medicore file transfer support so some prefer iChat paired with Chax.
You can use Mail, Thunderbird or Entourage. Mail tends to be more popular because it's easy and simple. Entourage tends to be the reverse of Mail, and Thunderbird sits in the middle. If you use Mail, try SpamSieve or it's free counterpart JunkMatcher for better filtering. Use LetterBox to get three column layouts.
For listening to music, iTunes is the standard and you can get some useful scripts. There are also Media Rage or IEatBrainz (old) for tag management, Corripio or Amazon Album Art widget for artwork management. If you switch music libraries often, try Libra.
For making videos, you can pick your choice of iMovie HD, Final Cut Express HD, and Final Cut Studio. Which one you pick depends on what you want to do (and spend).
It's hard to explain these apps, but they sit between using a command line and using a gui. LaunchBar gets you instant access to apps, documents, search engines, etc. It's extremely quick, stable and has limited features. Quicksilver is a similar open source application, but with slightly less stability and a ton more features.
Growl allows applications that support Growl to send you notifications. A lot of applications use Growl and it's generally a useful thing to have installed. It essentially replaces (and largely outdoes) the unified windows notification system that windows users are used to having pop up from the system tray.
You can try virtualization (Parallels, VMWare), native install (BootCamp) or a hybrid (CrossOver). If you do a lot of hardware or graphics intensive work, you want to use Windows natively. If you need a full fledged Windows install try virtualization. If you only have one app and it's supported by Crossover, then use that.
If you want know the differences, try this Guide for Choosing Boot Camp or Parallels to Run Windows on an Apple MacBook