Mac apps I use: System Admin Version!

Following Jason’s article on apps he uses, I thought it might be a good idea to make a series of it. I’m a systems administrator, but I tend to dabble in a variety of things. As such, the software I use is a decent variety.

While not software I use every day (nor would I want to), AppleJack is a superb piece of F/OSS that every Mac should have installed. It’s able to repair disk permissions, and do a variety of other recovery tasks from single user mode. If your Mac is hosed, and you don’t have an OSX disk handy for whatever reason, AppleJack can save you.

VMWare Fusion
Sometimes you just can’t get it done with OSX alone, which is why I have both an XP and Linux virtual machine. I’m accustomed to their software, having used VMWare Workstation before switching to Macs, so I didn’t even give Parallels a second’s thought.

Quicksilver –
For me, Quicksilver wears a few hats. Application launcher of course, but also quick and dirty file navigation. Web searching and URL opening (select, ^Space, Cmd+G, enter as opposed to select, Cmd+C, Cmd+Tab, Cmd+V) round out my most common uses. Couple it’s usefulness with the attractive interface (I use Bezel HUD, and staying out of my way when I’m not actively using it, you really can’t go wrong with QS.

Linkinus –
While Adium and Twitterrific are givens for most people, Linkinus seems to be a relative rarity. It’s a fantastic IRC client, and fits right into OSX as a whole. If you use IRC enough to consider paying for a client, Linkinus is perfect.

I use Yojimbo for any note I need to take, as well as organizing all my software licenses. It’s one of this increasingly rare apps that just does what it’s supposed to exactly how it should. A nice bonus is it’s compatibility with Mobile Me, assuring me that even should my laptop suddenly burst into flames, I can still install Yojimbo on any Mac and retrieve all my notes.

DTerm –
DTerm is somewhat akin to Yuake or Visor, in that it provides on demand access to a terminal without having a window constantly open. What makes DTerm stand apart from Visor (aside form not requiring SIMBL) is that it grabs your current working directory. So, if I’m trying to test a script from Textmate quickly, I can just use DTerm. If something seems out of whack in VMWare, I can open DTerm and immediately check the log files without opening a terminal. Also great for the quick ping here and there.

Other miscellaneous apps I use, but which don’t require much explaining are Cyberduck, coconutBattery, TextMate (who’s virtues have already ben extolled), smcFanControl (for watching Hulu without melting anything) and Caffeine.