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Four Windows apps for home-sick Mac users  

Libra (like Delicious Library)

Delicious Library is a DVD, game and book organisation tool I’ve been using since my PowerBook G4 and a 2.0 version has been dangling from Wil Shipley’s mouth longer than I care to remember.

Windows users however will find Libra a very interesting clone and it features some of the same great features such as bar-code scanning via a web cam, tracking loans, a rendered virtual shelf and fast queries.

Unlike Delicious Library 1.x it also features sharing your library on-line, tweaking the types and rendering and a more advanced query engine and is available free for non-commercial use.

E Text Editor (like TextMate)

TextMate is a programming editor for the Mac that can be extended through the use of Bundles to provide additional syntax highlighting, menu options and command processing. It is fast, feels lightweight and therefore incredibly customisable all of which contribute to it’s success.

E Text Editor is a Windows clone of TextMate that doesn’t just mimic the user interface but also provides compatibility with TextMate bundles allowing you to take advantage of some of the many great enhancements available and at $34 is almost half the price although it doesn’t feel as snappy as it’s Mac counterpart.

Digsby (like Adium)

Adium is my instant messaging client of choice allowing me a single app to manage MSN, ICQ and Google Talk (I wish they would get basic Skype support in there too).

Digsby provides similar functionality whilst also throwing social networking (Facebook, Twitter) and email notification (Hotmail, GMail, Yahoo Mail etc.) into the mix.

Dash (like Quicksilver)

QuickSilver provides a quick keyboard-based entry system for performing a wide variety of tasks and selections within Mac OS X and what it doesn’t do can often be added with plug-ins.

Dash achieves a similar effect on Windows but I have to admit I’m not really sold on either yet. I think the movement from keyboard to mouse and back every now and then must be a good break for your hands if not for your productivity…


12 responses  

  1. unfortunatly E-Text Editor is garbage. requires cygwin, has awefull behvaiour with long files / long line widths. UltraEdit is much better for windows editing.

    StuApril 17th, 2008
  2. Instead of Dash, use Launchy. It’s free, open source and very useful. Personally I find it and Quicksilver much preferable to searching through my Program Files / Applications list for a program – that way I can just keep my top 5-10 apps on a shortcut bar that doesn’t get too bloated.

    SteveApril 17th, 2008
  3. @Stu: If you want compatibility with TextMate plugin’s you’re going to need a Unix-compatible shell/layer and so Cygwin it is.

    UltraEdit doesn’t feel very Mac-like to me.


    Damien GuardApril 17th, 2008
  4. InType looks very interesting. Comprehensive yet incredibly fast and small with some TextMate compatibility! I’ll keep an eye on that one.


    Damien GuardApril 17th, 2008
  5. @damien, I understand the whole point of using cygwin but its like the whole “It needs to be as unix as possible but.. windows” If you want the power of the unix cli and its tools, then use it. cygwin is just buggy and awful, but does indeed serve a purpose.

    it becomes a _real_ pain if you use something like ruby as you really need an indentical gem install system inside cygwin and outside of cygwin to have things work reliably as ruby can get super confused.

    I just have a low opinion of E.

    StuApril 17th, 2008
  6. The last time I looked at intype it didnt even have Undo. makes it useless to me. To not build something so critical into the base of your architecture… shakes head…

    Suraj, whats its status like now? usable? good?

    StuApril 17th, 2008
  7. Personally I am holding out for to get a release out of the door.

    Suraj – April 17th, 2008
  8. +1 for Launchy :)

    DavidApril 18th, 2008
  9. Just been playing with InType’s public beta. It’s small, fast and definitely features a multi-level undo.


    Damien GuardApril 18th, 2008
  10. Another +1 for Launchy.
    Although it still isn’t quite as good as Quicksilver.

    Adrian RitchieApril 18th, 2008
  11. Digsby is great! That was my messaging client of choice for the PC, now that I’ve switched to a Mac for my personal computer, I’m using Adium. Funny how things change! ;-)

    Brady - Mac Got MeOctober 12th, 2008
  12. Awesome list. I’ve been looking for more pc mac-like resources. One I don’t see on the list is Switcher ( – an Expose-like application. Not trying to spam, I just found it to be a nice addition to my pc.

    Jeremy – January 27th, 2009

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