Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Brian's new Mac Mini

Those of you who peruse the other Daynotes Gang sites may have seen that Brian Bilbrey got himself a Mac Mini. I sent the following to the Daynotes Backchannel this morning:

Welcome aboard the OS X train, Brian. A steward will be along with the Kool-Aid shortly. :-)

So did you add any options like more RAM or bigger HDD?

I think you'll like it. There are a large number of open source and free (as in beer) apps you can run on OS X. You can install many of these through the Darwin Ports system ( or Fink (

Your favorite, Emacs is already installed by default.

I like iTerm ( as a replacement. It's more configurable and supports tabs. However, sometimes if I want to SSH into a *NIX box and need use of the function keys (e.g., for Midnight Commander or YaST), I launch and an Xterm.

Fugu ( is a nice GUI front end to SCP and SFTP.

I use RBrowser Lite ( for FTP. If you license it, it'll handle SCP and SFTP, too.

ZTerm ( is a good terminal emulator if you need to console into a router or switch.

Adium ( is based on Gaim but uses an Aqua interface. If you don't need the IM protocols is supports, then iChatAV is a very good AIM and Jabber client. IChatAV's voice support is excellent, at least when talking Mac-to-Mac. IM me if you want to try it.

Flip4Mac ( is a plugin that'll let you play .WMV files in Quicktime. MS dropped development of Windows Media Player for Mac (no great loss, it sucked anyway).

If you need a VNC viewer, check out Chicken of the VNC ( works ok on a Mac with X11, or you can try NeoOffice/J. I find the latter even slower than regular OO.o. I confess I generally use MS Office 2004; Office is nicer on the Mac than on Windows IMO and gives me 100% document exchangeability with Windows users at work.

No comments: