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Mac OS X Equivalents for the Windows PC Web Developer – A Work in Progress

June 5, 2011DavidOS X1

I’ve been a PC guy forever and I broke down last year and purchased an iMac.  Certain things are better in OS X than they are in Windows, and certain things are…well….just plain different.   As the time has come for me to upgrade hardware, I face the tough decision of sticking with my PCs and my PC laptops and all the software that goes with them — or taking the plunge and really truly switching my web development to the Mac.

Like many developers, I have a primary desktop PC and a capable laptop, and over the years I’ve developed a workflow whereby I can pretty much achieve the same tasks whether I’m in front of the desktop or the laptop.  Going cold turkey and dumping my desktop and laptop for another iMac (my family has claimed the iMac I mentioned in the first sentence of this article) and a MacBook Pro — and thus removing Windows from my workflow may be too abrupt a change. So ultimately what I will probably do is grab a MacBook Pro and use that alongside my desktop PC

But in the meantime, here’s a list of the programs that I use on my PC and what the replacements will likely be on my Macs.  Note that I’ve also included a few hardware things as they are important to my workflow as well.  And PLEASE feel free to chime in.  There are programs I will list below that I only found by recommendation from others that I truly find indispensable and work with every day (such as ClipMate).

Note that in the cases where I haven’t decided what to use as my OS X equivalent, I’ve listed my options and I’ve made the background yellow. And where I’m still searching for an application, I’ve highlighted the box in red.

Web Developer Software Assets: Mac OS X vs Windows
Asset PC Mac OS X
Web Development Suite *

*I’m well aware that many people do not use Creative Suite and instead have other programs that replace the functionality. I am not mentioning these here because I’ve used the Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Photshop trio for so many years that even though there may be a better coding program out there, I cannot work without Fireworks or Photopshop.

Creative Suite 3+ Creative Suite 3+
Office Suite – Word Processor, Spreasheet*

*I only mention Word Processor and Spreadsheet because I use Powerpoint only infrequently, and I hardly ever use Outlook. I use OneNote extensively and it’s listed in its own category below,

Microsoft Office 2010 Business – Microsoft Office 2010 Buisness (there are reports of bugs — see Amazon.com revies),

-Pages (hard to get used to, butchered the headers and footers in the first and only .docx file I opened)

Email Client Thunderbird Thunderbird
FTP Client Filezilla
LAMP Server WAMP Server MAMP Server
Photo Browser Picasa -Aperture (though you could use Picasa for the Mac or even iPhoto, the advanced features that Aperture provides is worth the around ~$80 price and keeps me out of Photoshop unless I really need to be in it)
Photo Editor Photoshop -Photoshop (you could use iPhoto, Aperture or Photoshop depending upon your level of experience and your acutal needs)
Mercurial Client Command line and TortoiseHg
Subversion Client SmartSVN
Clipboard Mamager ClipMate
Note Taking Application OneNote
MySQL Database Editor MySQL Query Browser
MySQL Database Query Designer FlySpeed SQL Query
Multi-Monitor Management DisplayFusion Pro

Web Developer Hardware Assets: Mac OS X vs Windows

Asset PC Mac OS X
Second Monitor The PC has a littany of available “sets” of dual monitors. While the same array of monitors are avialable for the Mac — it’s a darn shame that Apple only makes a 27″ Cinema Display and nothing smaller. I
External Monitor/Second Monitor Adapter

Dual Head Video Card (or expensive external dual-video card solution for those without a dual-head card) DisplayPort adapter
Docking Station for Laptop HP (or your brand here) docking station. Nothing official from Apple but 3rd parties do make docks for the MacBook Pro.

So there are my lists. Feel free to help me fill them in or make suggestions and additions.

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