Desert island software, Mac edition

For those of you who care about such things…

After major hardware failures on my work laptop in July, I tried only installing the software I needed for as long as I could hold out, and posted the results of my experiment, a list of my desert island software.

After 4 days on the new mac, here’s my desert island list so far:

  • Safari sucks, so Firefox replaced it instantly.
  • NetNewsWire, as an RSS reader. (Not free, but probably worth it)
  • ecto, superb blogging software (Again, not free, but probably worth it).
  • TextWrangler, a pretty nice and free text editor. (If it doesn’t work out, emacs is already installed).

One thing I’ve noticed that’s true of Mac software, and with much else about the platform, there is less choice, but much much higher quality.
For my other needs, so far, I’m using the default Mac software (, iTunes, iChat). I’m still exploring iMovie, but it’s not that interesting without a video camera, truth be told; I’m not sure what I’ll do with it once I’ve created my cinematic masterpiece with the dinky 5-second videos I’ve made on my point-and-shoot camera.

iPhoto is OK. Not much better than the built-in stuff in Windows XP. All I really want to do is import stuff, view it at full screen and page through with the arrow keys, and post the good ones to Flickr. I have about 1200 photos that I imported to start with, and it’s already slow.

Dashboard gets a big “so what”. Expose rocks. Windows’ lack of it makes me feel amputated at work.

Still to explore: iCal, iDVD, Automator, and all the rockin’ built-in Unix stuff. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a computer with Perl pre-installed. That’s cool.

Space pants and monkey pants

I have been resisting the urge to just post links, but I can’t not point to this auction of monkey space pants on eBay. via Boing Boing

It’s offered to your attention the “space pants” for macaque small monkey to wear it during the experimental space flight. This pants has been used for animals (monkeys) experiments in 1950-s – 1960-s in the USSR Institute of Biomedical Problems (IMBP, Moscow). The monkey’s “space pants” are designed with many clasps to fit bigger or smaller monkey. Below are the front and the back views.