Monday, June 04, 2007

The Golden Age of OS X Independent Software

I've found myself buying a lot of software for my MacBook these days. It isn't because I'm swimming in money, because I most certainly am not. It's because I have software needs and wants, and my peers are out there satisfying them. Here is what I've paid my own money for in the last few months:

  • Tables is a very satisfying spreadsheet which is nothing but a spreadsheet. It is very Mac-like, understated, stable and does what I expect of it. I chose it over Mesa, even though Mesa did charts because of its obvious emphasis on details. And now it does charts too, although they need a little work. I'd been using AppleWorks way past its expiration date.

  • YummyFTP is exactly what I was looking for in an FTP client. Believe me, I tried many of its competitors before settling on this classy little Cocoa gem. I needed a client which could deal with an incredibly unstable Chinese FTP site, and this was up to the job.

  • DVDPedia was recommended on the HT Guys podcast and I like it too. It has its share of interface issues, but a lot of craft has gone into it.

  • Remote Buddy I've mentioned before. I know from experience that input devices are cranky things, but Remote Buddy makes handling them seem effortless.

  • Super Duper!'s free features are so good, I haven't even paid for the premium features, but I probably will. After getting the heads up on this backup software from The Maccast I used it to transfer the contents of my hard drive before upgrading to a 200GB internal. Took a long while, but it was obviously very careful about protecting my data.

What do all this software have in common? Open their package contents in the Finder and you will see the unmistakable traces of Cocoa development. It's a lot easier today for one or two people to write an insanely polished application because we have Cocoa to handle the parts that every application does and we can concentrate on doing what makes our applications unique.