Essential OS X tools

Since my conversion to Mac OS X at home, I’ve been coming across and using some essential or must-have tools to get the most out of my Mac.

Here’s my list in no particular order:

  • Firefox – Best browser by far!
  • StuffIt Expander – Like WinRAR/WinZip in Windows.
  • coconutBattery – Gives you definitive information about your battery.
  • Cyberduck – Best FTP and SFTP client.
  • ClamXav – Free virus checker for OS X (not that you really need it).
  • Adium – The only instant messenger client you’ll ever need.
  • Burn – Application that will take care of all your burning needs.
  • Handbrake – Open-source DVD to MPEG-4 converter.
  • MacJanitor – The janitor who will clean up your Mac regularly.
  • Remote Desktop Connection – You’ll need this if you need to control Windows machines.
  • Service Scrubber – An excellect service manager.
  • Senuti – Will assist you in transferring your music from your iPod to your computer.
  • Chicken of the VNC – Best VNC client for OS X.

That’s it! Hopefully, you find this list helpful, but more importantly, it will enhance your OS X experience exponentially.

Put your Mac to sleep via e-mail

You’re at work, with no remote control access/capability to your Mac at home, brown-outs are occurring, and you forgot to plug it into a power strip due to some unknown reason last night.  What do you do?  Well, read on…

With some preparation, you can take advantage of Apple’s Mail‘s rules feature to run an AppleScript on a filtered message next time.  Here’s how:

  1. Type this script using the Script Editor:
  2. tell application “Finder”

    display dialog “This computer will go to sleep in 1 minute.”  buttons {“Sleep”, “Cancel”} default button 2 giving up after 60


    end tell

  3. Save the file somewhere.  I suggest Documents/Scripts (create the folder if it doesn’t exist and start saving all your useful scripts in here).
  4. Open up Apple Mail and navigate to Preferences > Rules > Add Rules.
  5. Copy and setup the following rules based on the screenshot below:
  6. Fig. 1.1 – Apple Mail’s Add Rule window

    Apple Mail rules

  7. Apply the changes and minimize Apple Mail.
  8. That’s it!  All you have to do now is send yourself an e-mail with “Sleep My Mac” as the subject with the message of “Go to sleep” from anywhere.

One caveat: For this to work, Apple Mail will need to be running (minimized is fine). 

Hopefully, you find this tip helpful and empowering.  Now back to work!  =0)