Making a List, Checking it Twice

Yesterday I spoke about my desire to migrate from Windows to a Macintosh. This is not exactly a trivial decision nor is it one that you simply make then run down to the Apple Store with your fresh credit card. While that might work for some people; I just can’t do that. No I am a little more meticulous than that. If I were going to make this migration I wanted to make sure that I had all the functionality I had in Windows or hopefully better. Since I have been out of the Macintosh arena for a few years this wasn’t simply a matter of upgrading some of my old Mac software. The last time I used a Macintosh was in the pre-OS X days. Things are definitely different now than they were back then so I was going to need to do a lot of research to ensure a successful transition.

I began by making a list of all the software and utilities that I have become accustomed to on the PC and then begin researching what a Macintosh equivalent would be. Considering Apple’s recent success in the market place I naively assumed that this would be fairly straight forward. After all, weren’t most of today’s software titles available in both PC and Macintosh formats? Uh that is a rhetorical question which after a little searching turns out to be “no”. Oh sure there many of the mainstream applications are available in both formats but a lot of the software I used tends to be less than mainstream.
This was a disturbing realization. I always thought of myself as a fairly standard guy with average software needs. Instead it appears that over the years I have collected a lot of applications and utilities that I find invaluable but most people may not have heard of. This was going to take some work. Even those applications that are available in both PC and Macintosh format would be questioned. I don’t necessarily want to just blanket assume I would use the cross platform equivalent. After all; part of the choice I was making was to rid myself of the frustration associated with the Windows world. Why then would I reintroduce software pain points into my new environment if there were better alternatives out there?
I began amassing a list of software in columnar format. I began by describing the function of the software I was currently using. Next I listed the current Windows application I was using and finally I would identify the Macintosh equivalent I would use. It should be noted that this list is fairly personal. It by no means is to suggest that these are the best applications available on the Macintosh. These are simply those applications that I think will meet my needs and my computer workflow. This list will continue to evolve as the process progresses. There may be changes made after working with a piece of software or an application may be replaced if something else happens to come along.

Description Windows Mac
Post Images/Song Information from iTunes NowPlaying for Windows NowPlaying for Mac OS X
CSS Editor TopStyle Lite CSSEdit
Expand compressed files WinZip StuffIt Expander
Bayesian Email Spam Filtering SpamBayes SpamSieve
File Comparison WinMerge Deltopia DeltaWalker
Directory Comparison Beyond Compare 3 Deltopia DeltaWalker
Remove Orphened iTunes Entries N/A Doug’s iTunes AppleScripts
FTP/SFTP Client WS_FTP Professional Transmit
Synchronize USB Drives/Small HD Drives Sync Toy ChronoSync
Calendar Sync/Share Calendars (iCal, Google, Outlook) Google Calendar Sync Busy Sync
Batch File Rename/Attribute Modification Better File Suite Better Finder Tool Suite
Print files from Finder Window Batch File Print Window
File Compression WinZip iArchiver
Batch Photo Resize/Rename/Convert Photo Image Resizer EasyBatchPhoto
Screen Capture Windows Grab
Photo Management Adobe Bridge/Photoshop Apple Aperture
CD/DVD Burning Roxio Easy CD Creator Toast
Disk Utilities Norton Utilities Disk Warrior
Font Management Windows Suitcase Fusion 2
Windows Media Player Windows Media Player Flip4Mac
Text Editor Homesite Coda
Database Microsoft Access FileMaker Pro
Business Graphics Visio OmniGraffle
Migrate Outlook to Mac O2M O2M
Apache/MySQL/PHP/Perl Development XAMPP for Windows XAMPP for Mac OS X
On-line Photo Album Creation JAlbum for Windows JAlbum for Mac OS X
Photo Noise Reduction Noise Ninja Noise Ninja
Scrobble Songs to Last.FM Last.FM for Windows Last.FM for Mac
Monitor Color Calibration X-Rite i1Photo X-Rite i1XTreme
Video Editing, Special Effects, DVD Authoring Adobe Production Studio Adobe Production Studio
Image Editing Adobe Photoshop Adobe Photoshop
Web Development IDE MacroMedia Homesite Adobe DreamWeaver
Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Presentations Microsoft Office 2007 iWork ’09

As I continue this process I will continue to identify software and accessories and add them to the list. If you have suggestions or recommendations for other software feel free to leave me a comment. I’d be happy to listen to any ideas you might have.

One Comment

  1. Jeff Blogs says:

    Another Great Utility Search

    My quest for comparable Macintosh software continues as I prepare for my migration to Macintosh. After finding an appropriate replacement for Better File Rename; I set my sights on finding an alternative to Beyond Compare. This is another one of…

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