Great Software

August 17, 2007

I have been meaning to do this post for a couple weeks but have not had it entirely fleshed out so I have been avoiding it. Since it is not getting any clearer or better thought out in my head, I am giving it a go. Basically there have been a number of Mac applications that I have grown fond of recently that fit a nice niche and most are free. I recommend checking out each of these apps as they have made my computing life easier.

Vienna – I have mentioned this in the past as my RSS reader. The application continues to be updated regularly and has the three top features I am looking for in an RSS reader, searching posts, viewing all unread and flagging posts. This gets me more than Google Reader has (GR is missing search) and keeps a nice backup on my machine. The one thing I am missing is being able to post to my blog about a post directly, but if that is major difference between a $30 program and a free one, I can handle the free one.

Ecto – Another one I have mentioned before, I am now using the version 3 alpha and it is looking great. The keywords worked without any problems and I have a local archive of posts from my blog. It is also nice to write a post and save it locally while I might not be connected to the Internet. It also has a cool new Amazon helper thing that allows for quick adding of Amazon links. Here is an example of what that looks like:

“Stephen King’s Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born” (Stephen King, Peter David, Robin Furth)

All in all, I am pretty impressed with ecto for allowing me to avoid the web interface with WordPress.

Miro – I like video podcasts but iTunes is not the best video podcast player. Luckily there is a program called Miro that works the way iTunes should. There are now over 2000 different programs to sign up for including some cool programming and science ones. The nice part is that it automatically expires old files and deletes them for you. The interface is wonderful and the switch to watching full screen is great as well. If you are interested in any sort of video casting, this is something you should check out.