FOR EVERYONE

The MacOS X archive utility does not always behave ideally: it puts unwanted files in the archives it creates, it cannot show you the contents of an archive without unmpressing it, etc. To stop battling with these problems, you can use BetterZip. [click here to download]

Another utility part of MacOS X which gives an "unfinished" impression is the poor TextEdit. A very good and free replacement for it is TextWrangler, which can open multiple files, can do syntax-based coloring, supports multi-file search and replacem, etc. [click here to download]

Whether you use WebDAV, FTP, SFTP, or even Google Docs often, Cyberduck will help you connect to these sites or services easily and exchange or synchronize files. Cyberduck also integrates very well with MacOS X: it stores your passwords in the Keychain, previews the file when you press space, can remotely edit files and if you need remote root access to write a file it asks for it using the standard MacOS X interface. [click here to download]

FOR ADVANCED USERS

Spotlight is a nice utility that people either love or hate. I am in the second category, as Spotlight wants to create (and cannot work without) index files, which takes space on disks and takes a huge time to get created.

To disable Spotlight, open a Terminal and type the following command:
Once this is done, you might also want to remove the Spotlight icon - This is a bit more complicated, yet possible:
  1. Restart your Mac, and while the Apple logo is shown hold the ⌘ and R keys at the same time (this way, the Recovery Console will start)
  2. Once in the recovery console, open a Terminal and execute:
  3. Restart your Mac again
  4. Open a Terminal and execute:
  5. Restart your Mac again, and while the Apple logo is shown hold the ⌘ and R keys at the same time (so the Recovery Console starts again)
  6. Once in the recovery console, open a Terminal and execute:
  7. Restart your Mac one last time
A very simple and free alternative to Spotlight that I would recommend is EasyFind. [click here to download]

One annoying behaviour of the MacOS X Finder is that is creates .DS_Store and similar garbage files all over the place. If you want these cleaned up automatically, Blueharvest is your friend! [click here to download]