macOS applications that has stood the test of time

When I got my new Mac mini with a Apple silicon M2 I decided it was time for a complete reinstall of my system and apps. I believe the last time I did this was when Snow Leopard was released back in 2009.

This made me think about the apps I depend upon and I realised that I had used some for quite some time. The applications below I have used for between 9 and 26 years. If I would sum up what I think of all these applications it would be “They just work”. I depend upon these application in my daily work.

BBEdit since 1997

» BBEdit by Bare Bones Software (USA)

This text editor is where I write almost everything. For Python development I use Sublime Text, but everything else is done in BBEdit. This post is written in BBEdit, as is all other posts on this site.

It just works and have so many nice and solid text editing features. Search and diff features are exceptionally good. Can handle files of nearly any size.

VueScan since 2000

» VueScan by Hamrick Software (USA)

Supports more or less every scanner you can think about. One or twenty years old does not matter.

Lately been using it with an older semi professional slide scanner. The original software has not been updated for at least a decade. With VueScan I can scan whole magazines automatically and get good image quality.

Carbon Copy Cloner since 2002

» Carbon Copy Cloner by Bombich Software (USA)

One backup is no backup. I use Time Machine, Arq (see below) and Carbon Copy Cloner, CCC. With CCC I make a clone of my main drive every week or so. Always also make a clone before updates, travels etc.

It is fast and make a perfect clone every single time. I know I can trust a CCC clone!

Keyboard Maestro since 2002

» Keyboard Maestro by Stairways Software (Australia)

I press a button and expect things to happen thanks to Keyboard Maestro. Launch applications, run command and scripts, sleep my computer and turn the light off etc.

Apple might assume that Siri should do these things. But, pressing a button is faster and Keyboard Maestro has the benefit doing the correct thing every single time.

NetNewsWire since 2004

» NetNewsWire by Brent Simmons (USA)

RSS feeds might not be that popular anymore but I still thinks it is the best way to consume the web. NetNewsWire has been my RSS reader of choice for nearly 20 years.

Typinator since 2008

» Typinator by Ergonis Software (Austria)

Insert custom text anywhere with a few keystrokes. I use it for plain text snippets, code snippets and more. One of the tools I use without thinking about it.

LaunchBar since 2009

» LaunchBar by Objective Development Software (Austria)

Find and open anything, fast. Clipboard history. Calculator. etc. This is a generic text interface to my computer.

Arq since 2010

» Arq by Haystack Software (USA)

I use Arq to backup most of my home directory to Backblaze B2 every hour (migrated from AWS S3 in 2021).

It runs silently in the background and the backups are there when I need them. I have used Arq to retrieve files many times over the years. I know I can depend on backups done by Arq!

SpamSieve since 2010

» SpamSieve by C-Command Software (USA)

I have many e-mail addresses and I have had them for decades. They get a lot of spam.

Most of the spam is dealt with on the server level, there is a lot you can silently delete. Anything the servers are unsure about needs to be handled client side.

SpamSieve makes sure that on most days I do not need to see a single spam.

If I use a new service or web shop I might need to check the spam folder for a confirmation or receipt e-mail. Marking it as good once is enough.

Soulver since 2011

» Soulver by Acqualia Software (Estonia)

My calculator of choice. Mix text, variables, calculations as well as unit and currency conversions. Also check out Calca.

Acorn since 2014

» Acorn by Flying Meat (USA)

Acorn handles all my image editing needs. Clean, fast and solid. When Photoshop is to big, cumbersome and costly. Or you simple do not like Adobe any more.

MailMate since 2014

» MailMate by Freron Software (Denmark)

Custom key bindings, really smart folders and fast search. Integrates with SpamSieve.

I can quickly get to inbox zero and quickly find anything I want. Thanks to MailMate+SpamSieve I still like e-mail.