Acquisition. A great peer-to-peer filesharing program with iTunes integration. It even makes suggestions and filters junk and spam while you search. It does bug you to pay, but functionality isn't compromised if you don't.
Firefox. Unless you really just don't care about your browsing experience, there's no reason anyone on any platform shouldn't be using Firefox as their Web browser. Here are some extensions that come in handy.
- Adblock. It is shocking to browse the Web on a computer without Firefox and Adblock. How do you people survive the sheer visual horror of so many ads?
- Book Burro. I can browse Amazon and compare prices instantly with all the other online sellers; it's helpful.
- BugMeNot. Bypass free Web site registrations.
- Greasemonkey. Incredibly powerful extension that gives you control over many aspects of Web site appearance and fucntionality. For example, in this very post I used a Greasemonkey user script to add a tag input field to Blogger's editor to append and format the Technorati tags at the bottom of the post. Or I can get Netflix links on IMDB movie pages. Or all sorts of other nifty things.
- Tab Mix Plus. Gives a lot of tab-browsing options; the only one I really use is adding close buttons to each tab.
- iMote. It's not really a plug-in, but it gives menu bar access to track controls, star ratings, and features a pop-up floater when tracks change with info and album art.
Meteorologist. This is a nifty little menubar item that shows a weather icon and the temperature. Clicking the icon gives you the current conditions and forcast. There are several similar free programs around.
NeoOffice. It's ugly as sin, but this free, open source office suite does everything Microsoft Office can, and it's fully compatible.
NetNewsWire. An oustanding RSS and Atom newsreader. A built-in browser and the ability to flag items indefinitely come in handy. This is the only non-free software on this list at $25.
Pinki. This little program does one thing: make thumbnails of images. But it's so much nicer to be able to glance at a list of image files and actually see what they are without having to select them.
Proteus. This is a multi-protocol chat client that I use to simultaneously connect to AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, and Google Talk. A lot of Mac people swear by Adium for its truly astounding customizability. I do have Adium installed, but Rachel uses it and I stick with Proteus. Now free!
Tomato Torrent. A simple, easy to use BitTorrent program.
UNO. Purely for eye-candy, UNO gives all Mac OS X windows the same appearance, rather than some being brushed metal, some plastic, some Aqua, etc.