A Few Good Apps

I've been using OS X now for about a month and a half, and the one thing I've longed for is more applications that run natively in OS X, not in Classic. So far, I've only found a handful, and with each additional application I find, I only want more!

Applications that run in OS X look nicer, and if I only use OS X native applications, the whole system runs faster. The Carbon and Cocoa applications take advantage of the new OS and all it has to offer. Two things I'm still holding out for -- and that will be the end of using Classic for me -- are a decent word processor (sorry, AppleWorks doesn't cut it right now) and something, anything , that will sync with my Palm. Oh, and to use it at home, I need some USB Printer drivers, even if it requires I use USB Printer sharing.

But here is a short list of what I've found and like thus far:

Transmit , a nicely done FTP client that runs natively on both OS 9 and X, sports an easy-to-understand user interface (UI) and is relatively simple to master. OK, I know...I can use the Terminal window and the FTP command to do the same thing, but get real. That's like using a chainsaw to cut an article out of a newspaper. (And I know UNIX, so don't get on my case about how great it is. I know how great it is).

I'm using Audion for MP3 playback. Although it won't rip MP3 files or play CDs, it does a great job playing MP3s (no skipping), and receiving MP3 streams as well. The nicest thing about Audion is that the skins for the standard version (OS 9) will work fine in the OS X version. This wasn't the case with SoundJam, their skins didn't look right in OS X. But Audion's inability to play CDs means I have to use Apple's Music Player, which really isn't great at all as it can't seem to play a CD without skipping.

The latest version of iCab works great in OS X. Since it's a Carbon application, I can have Eudora (which runs in Classic) open it in OS X when I click on a hyperlink instead of launching Netscape or IE in OS 9, since Eudora can't "see" IE 5 for OS X. Very nice.

I've also found some nifty shareware. OpenStrip adds a control strip. It's nice, but so far it only adjusts the volume. Also, Klondike 7.6.1 runs in OS X if you need a card game fix. NextAppearance is another program that changes the appearance of Cocoa applications to look like NextStep. It's buggy, but it proves that Aqua could be merely a default look.

A handy, and fun, shareware game US Constitution Quizzer also runs in OS X, and tests your knowledge of the U.S. government. It only asks 25 questions at a time and tends to repeat them in other games, giving you a chance to improve your score (though really, you should get a high score the first time).

Beta users should keep their eyes on Versiontracker's OS X section, a daily updated list of software that will work with OS X. And should you have any applications you'd like me to try, drop me a note.

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