(Updated: Sunday 10 February 2013)
So I am a Apple Mac user…
Below is a list of software that I use and rely upon most days.
For the academic or PhD student…
For editing this website
For managing and searching large quantities of PDFs
- I would recommend investing in Papers. This application is amazing for controlling and searching vast quantities of PDFs, and provides bibliography exporting for LaTeX.
- TexShop by Richard Koch et al. is a solid tool that I have used for several years. (I heavily recommend downloading the full Mac-Tex rather than the smaller cut-down version. It’s huge, but worth it, and contains all the nice tools and nice installer.)
- Mellel is a super slimmed-down word processor that fills the gap between too simple (TexEdit) and too bloated (MS Word). (I hope to release some Mellel templates with a LaTeX styling in due course — for now, please contact me if you want them.)
- I have found Apple Pages to be surprisingly good. I think it hits the sweet spot between Word and Notepad.
For managing bibliographies
- BibDesk is an excellent tool with easy citation copying into LaTeX.
- Bookends is another bibliography program I now own. It apparently works well with Mellel, but I have not tried it yet.
For writing in LaTeX
- Typinator greatly speeds writing by removing the need to repetitively enter LaTeX syntax.
- Write LaTeX is a totally online editor + previewer with pre-built templates
- Latexian is a superb editor. It is not quite there yet, but most of the basics work really well. I use a complete MacTeX install for the backend.
- Free LaTeX Templates at LaTeXTemplates.com (very nice website!). I especially like the lab book templates.
For backing up and file sharing
- Dropbox is invaluable.
- Mac’s brilliant built-in Time Machine is a no-brainer. Just buy an external hard drive (e.g. a Seagate eGo or a Western Digital 1GB) and Time Machine does the rest.
For getting things done
- Things or OmniFocus are invaluable. I use the latter and Omni’s WebDAV sync is great.
- Clear is really nice and fast. I have begun using it a lot as the UI is just so fast, and iCloud syncs between devices.
For storing almost everything
- DevonThink. I just wish it had much better syncing between desktop and iPad.
For optimizing images
- ImageOptim is a brilliant small free image compressor
Utilities I use to improve my workflow…
- Google Chrome web browser (IMO no other browser except Safari 5 comes even close)
- Cinch from Irradiated software.
- Forklift FTP from Binary Nights.
- SizeUp from Irradiated software (see also Divvy and Cinch)
- Dropzone for quick access to a few often used utility apps
- PopClip for iPad-like copy/paste and lots of other cool things
- BetterSnapTool for Windows-7-like window control
- 1Password is an expensive app that I use multiple times each day, and via dropbox to my other iOS devices
To use a FDTI device to send AT commands over a mac serial port
First you need a terminal program. On a PC, you could use PuTTy. On a Mac there are a number of programs to choose from:
You need to install the FTDI Mac drivers. I have tried CoolTerm, goSerial, and iTerm2. They all work. To quickly set up iTerm2 I used this page and then used this command in the settings to activate the configured iTerm2 profile:
screen /dev/tty.usbserial-A400h7ml 230400
where tty.usbserial-A400h7ml is the FDTI serial device.