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.
|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|
|Batch Photo Resize/Rename/Convert||Photo Image Resizer||EasyBatchPhoto|
|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|
|Database||Microsoft Access||FileMaker Pro|
|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.