For Mac Eyes Only – Attack of the Essential Apps

Episode #283

On this episode of For Mac Eyes Only: Mike, Gary and Eric present our 7th Annual list of Essential Apps–10 apps every user should consider adding to their new Mac, Rob’s Playback Sync is Sunk in iTunes 11.

Essential Apps for New Mac Users 2012

This Year’s List:
10) Apache OpenOffice
9) Keyboard Maestro*
8) NetNewsWire*
7) Evernote
6) Default Folder X
5) Hazel*
4) Perian / Windows Media Components for QuickTime (Flip4Mac)
3) TIE: Dropbox / Box
2) 1Password
1) TIE: Carbon Copy Cloner / SuperDuper!

(Apps marked with an asterisk (*) are NEW to our list this year!)

Listener Suggested Essential Apps:
Alan Suggests: TileWindows Lite
Brian Suggests: PopClip
and Mike’s One-Trick Pony App is: LittleIpsum

A Look Back at Previous Essential Apps:
> Essential Apps 2011
> Essential Apps 2010
> Essential Apps 2009
> Essential Apps 2008
> Essential Apps 2007
> Essential Apps 2006


Question: Rob’s iTunes 11 playback syncing isn’t…for podcasts.


> Meet TeamFMEO
> Contact Us

Subscribe to our Podcast Feed or
Download the show here!

Running Time: 1:03:05


  1. George From Tulsa says


    I’ve not had a lot of luck with either OpenOffice or LibreOffice. Sure, they work. Sure, they’re free. BUT they don’t interface well with Microsoft Office Products. I’ve tried to use OO & LO to replace Word, and was unable to excchange documents with our lawyers. Excel? I’ve discovered it is possible to add features to LO that make it more like Excel, but the hassle just isn’t worth it for the relatively small cost to use the real thing. My wife works for a humongous multi-national that’s trying to shift to Linux and OpenOffice. All those macros for Excel? Pfffffft. And no Access database.

    Love or hate MS, Office is a good, stable, and mature product. Too bad they keep messing with it.

    I also point out that the “Box” cloud products are not secure. That includes Ever-Box. Don’t put anything up in those clouds you mind anyone seeing. Especially (and I presume this is really a danger with Ever-Cloud) quick shots/scans of financial documents with account numbers displayed. It is possible to pre-encrypt to the Cloud Disk Boxes, but then there’s iCloud, wanting to suck your soul up to Apple’s servers.

    Hazel? Had it. Used it. Some unpredictable results when I let it to what’s advertised, i.e., move files from one folder to another, rename files, and put files in the trash. Use with caution. I took it off.

    Never figured out why I needed Default Folder X. Really, truly, couldn’t figure out what it was for I couldn’t do as easily and reliably with my point and click mouse.

    Keyboard Maestro? Looks to have lots of “power,” but again, without actually learning a complicated system, why? I run several Macs, and help other folks on theirs. My own experience with “helpers,” like Default X, Hazel, and I presume KB Maestro, is that if I did master them, I would find not having them at hand a real disadvantage.

    David Sparks, famous for being a MacGeek, raves on about how he uses tools, especially Hazel, to automate his workflow. I’m not looking over David’s shoulder, but when I’ve tried to learn enough about programs that “automate” my workflows to get them to actually do that, I spend so much time messing with the programs and designing “workflows,” I’d be a lot of time ahead just doing the work—and going fishing.

    • I’ve actually had quite the opposite experience with OOo. In fact, I know of several small businesses who use it very successfully every day to exchange MS Office documents with each other — as well as with other offices.

      However, let’s not forget the target audience here: New Mac users who want to open and / or save a MS Office document or any other document they might have accumulated throughout the years as Windows users including: MS Works and WordPerfect.

      Obviously there are no substitutes for closed and proprietary database programs such as Access, but there is an Open and free database included with OOo.

      If you must have Access, you should be running Windows.

      As I said on the show, MS Office 2011 is the best version of Office ever. But that said, while Apache OpenOffice is not perfect (neither is Apple’s solution by a long shot — a much longer shot than OOo), I believe it suits the bill just fine for the purposes of our Essential Apps list and the needs of folks new to the Mac.