Whoo-whee. The last couple days have been busy, what with clients and redesigns and kiteboarding and ten-mile jogs and learning RegEx and far more tea than a normal human should be able to consume while still remaining healthy. These days I blow off steam by pulling muscles and watching Invader Zim, the combination of which seems to be quite effective. Jhonen Vasquez is quite possibly the most insane person alive, and thus he has been catapulted to one of my all-time personal heroes.
Today I needed to check out a few websites in Internet Explorer and I made the mistake of firing up my Windows XP box to do some testing. I hardly spent half an hour in that environment, and already I was ready to weep I missed my Mac(s) so much. OS X has so drastically streamlined my workflow that diving into Windows makes me feel like I’m bloodying my head against a brick wall. Geez, what could Apple be doing so well, that makes even the latest version of Windows feel so blindingly miserable?
Exposé – Holy crap, I don’t know how I ever got anything done without this. For those who are non-Mac, Exposé (not nearly as obscene as it sounds) is a feature that, when you hit a key, instantly shows you every window you have open, shrunk down in such a manner that they all fit on your screen. I seriously use Exposé every fifteen seconds, summoned by my middle mouse button.
iTunes – iTunes is iTunes. There is no other program out there for managing your music collection. None. Competitors would do well to realize this. Speaking of which, what the hell is up with the competition? Sony’s new MP3 player looks like a Rabbit, for cryin’ out loud.
iCal – Every concert that I want to see gets dumped in here.
Address Book – I’ve never before had an address book that actual worked. Usually I end up with four cards for the same person, no cards for the people I really need, and cards that get replaced every time I receive an email from someone who has their mail client set up wrong. This one has yet to let me down.
Mail – The email program for OS X is beautiful (at least after you cagefight it). Smart Folders are a gift from heaven.
iPhoto – iPhoto is photo organization finally done right, which is fortunate considering I have 4,000 photographs.
Photo Gallery Screensaver – The zoom and fade features turn my photography into the best screensavers ever.
Fan Speed – I often fear that my Dual 2.3GHz Processor G5 PowerMac Tower isn’t on, it runs so quietly.
Anti-Aliased Screen Fonts – Especially on the interweb. Seriously, looking at websites on my PC makes me want to vomit.
Target Disk Mode – Geez, booting my PowerBook as an external FireWire drive on my G5 just makes syncronizations happen that much faster.
Terminal – I’m still geekin’ out over Terminal. I love being able to dig domains and do whois lookups like it ain’t no thang. SSH and MySQL are other favorites.
Apache – I love my localhost. I run virtual hosts for every site I’m working on, which makes development and testing so painless it’s ridiculous.
PHP – Running PHP locally is so, so, so hot, especially in tandem with virtual hosts.
Perl – Writing and executing my own local Perl files on a Mac is like being able to build my own executable files on a PC. I’ve hardly begun to realize the full potential of this.
Quicksilver – I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll mention it again. Quicksilver is a program launcher that eats its Wheaties, and makes launching programs so quick an’ easy that there’s now no reason to have anything appear in your Dock. It’s great at finding files, too, and internet bookmarks and recently used documents, effectively crowning Quicksilver as everything that Spotlight should have been.
X-Tunes – This is a tiny app that lets me control iTunes without breaking from whatever I’m doing. A quick keystroke summons the interface, from which I can instantly pause Radiohead (good) or skip Béla Fleck’s “Polka on the Banjo” (better).
BBEdit – It ain’t nothing but a text editor to me, but for one thing: Grep. The more I learn about RegEx, the more it’s becoming integral to the way I code (and recode) websites. Being able to capture and pass replacement patterns with \1, \2 is simply incredible. Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with being just a text editor. That’s why I bought BBEdit in the first place, and it’s by far one of the best editors I’ve ever used.