On Enough: How Bare is My Air?

I was asked to be a guest on Enough: The Minimal Mac Podcast — one of my favourites — with Patrick Rhone and Myke Hurley this week, and it was an honour and privilege to oblige. I’ve been a big fan of Patrick’s work for, like, ever and Myke’s put together a stellar lineup of podcasts over at 70Decibels. If you’re not listening to this newly-minted podcast network, then you should give your ears and brain a treat and get on that.
On this episode I was a contestant for their regular segment called “How Bare is Your Air?”, where the guest is given a stock low-end 11-inch model MacBook Air and offers up what apps (beyond the stock ones that come with the machine) they’d need to have on it to get stuff done. You’ll have to listen to figure out what my absolute needs are, but I’ve got a few below that didn’t make the cut during the show due to both time constraints and my feeling of shame of not being as Minimal Mac-like as I would prefer to be.1

On To Stay

Here are the apps that I would also need on my Air (and have on my Air) in order to function at optimum levels:

  • 1Password: Simply a must-have to manage every single password, software license and much more that are very much a part of my life. I can’t believe I didn’t mention it (especially since it is made by AgileBits — fellow Canucks), but 1Password pretty much is a given as many other contestants have given it a green light.
  • Levelator & Max: Used in my podcasting workflow. Used infrequently, but what they do is a necessity.
  • Billings: While I could use FreshBooks (and do use it for invoicing when necessary), I like how Billings is actually on my machine. It’s pretty robust and handles all of what I need and more. I can’t use the Canadian argument with this one because both Marketcircle and FreshBooks are housed in my home and native land.
  • LaunchBar: I would’ve said Quicksilver a couple of years ago, but LaunchBar has replaced it and it has to be on the Air. Whenever I use a Mac that doesn’t have a quick-launcher of some sort, I’m lost for a moment wondering why it’s so slow to respond. Sure, Lion has LaunchPad, but it ain’t no LaunchBar.
  • Cyberduck: WebFTP sucks. I never got into Transmit and Interarchy never got my attention until it was too late. Cyberduck is easy and painless. And since I need to FTP my podcasts, it stays even though its use is limited.

On The Bubble

Here are some apps that reside on the Air, but are on “the bubble” in that they haven’t been fully explored yet:

  • Keyboard Maestro: I have a feeling that Keyboard Maestro is going to be as valuable to me as those I actually did mention on the podcast. Time will tell, but Michael Schechter already has me convinced.
  • MarsEdit: I have started to think I need to have a desktop weblogging client. MarsEdit has come out on top, based on feedback from those using it and those using other applications that serve the same purpose. Still, if I don’t find I need it, then it will go.
  • Path Finder: Is it just me, or is this thing buggy in Lion? I really want to like it and dive deeper into it, but it is frustrating me at present. I’m reserving judgement until I can spend more time exploring it, but out of the three of these apps on the bubble I think that Path Finder might be the weakest link. 2

If you’ve listened to the episode already and now see what else I’ve offered up here, let me know if there’s something I’ve still missed, need to try or could do without. I’d love to hear feedback – I can never get…enough.

1I did cover this a tad in My Mac App Roadmap post, but after my appearance on Enough, I’ve given it even more thought.