The Mac Corner

I cannot. Simply I cannot. I have tried big time, even recently, but I cannot stand Windows. Recently I have bought an Asus eeepc 1005P, shipped with Windows 7 Starter. Sic! It should have been my laboratory buddy: small and portable, but it ended to be the computer of my girlfriend, after I have stolen back my old ibook 12" G4 I gave her an year before. Now the ibook is gone to another person, as well as the old macbook pro 15". I'm now using a mac mini and a macbook both core2duo and the new iPad (iPad 3).

At work I have a linux workstation with CentOS 6.2 (I have recently ditched Ubuntu its awful Unity graphical interface), I'm plenty of terminals (including the :P) and I'm not afraid to use them.

In short, I am a MAc and Linux user. Oh, right… I have a virtual machine with xp installed just for Materials Studio. Sigh…

Anyway, The Mac Corner is dedicated to share my experience with the Apple world in computational science and teaching/presenting results. Many contents of chembytes have been done using mac software. Being a registered user of iusethis, you can see here the list of software I use.

I have also created a section in the forum to interact with you readers.

Software Reviews

Here some extended reviews about software I use.

I Use This For …

A list of software ordered by task.

Data manager

  • Papers: affordable manage paper collections. Available also for iphone/ipod touch and ipad. Educational discount available
  • DEVONthink pro: information manager


  • Seashore: simple program like gimp
  • Lineform: affordable for vector art, diagrams and illustrations. I use this for Hi-RES A0 posters to use at conferences.
  • ImageJ: display images in different formats and allows to perform analysis on it. I use it to study STM/AFM images to get valuable info for following molecular models.


  • Mailplane: the best way to use multiple gmail accounts on mac
  • Chrome: the Google browser
  • Safari: the Apple browser
  • Evernote: store and manage notes online and in local
  • Dropbox: keep data synchronized between your online account and your computers and mobile devices. If you'd like to use drop box, you may use this referral []. Both you and me will gain 250MB of free storage on top of the standart amount of 2gb. Dropbox is multi platform, so you can keep synchronized mac, windows and linux computers.


  • TextMate: affordable text editor for programming and Latex. Educational discount available.
  • MacTex: an easy to install Latex distribution
  • LaTeXiT: use latex to export equation as images for your talks or posters

Linux Software

  • fink: linux porting for Mac OS X
  • gnuplot: 2D/3D data plot
  • xmgrace: 2D data plot and analysis
  • molden: simple molecular viewer
  • gromacs: fast molecular modeling package
  • openbabel: conversion utility for chemical formats
  • povray: software for rendering images. I use it to render images from VMD.

Molecular Modeling

This software is used mainly for small tasks on my laptop. I usually use them on my linux desktop and university servers.

  • Gromacs: fast molecular modeling package
  • Tinker: molecular modeling package

Molecular Viewer and Drawing

  • molden: simple molecular viewer
  • VMD: the best molecular viewer with many functions and scripting capabilities.
  • Marvin Beans: 2D molecular drawer and more


  • Pear Note: integrate note, audio, slides and video. To remember everything was discussed in that long long conference or meeting.

Posters and Desktop publishing

  • Lineform: affordable for vector art, diagrams and illustrations. I use this for Hi-RES A0 posters to use at conferences.
  • Pages: no need to be introduced, I think…


  • MacVim: Vim 7.3 for Mac OS X
  • TextMate: affordable text editor for programming and Latex. Educational discount available.
  • ipython and numpy: python shell and scientific library.
  • Automator: application developed by Apple for Mac OS X that implements point-and-click (or drag-and-drop) creation of workflows for automating repetitive tasks into batches for quicker alteration, thus saving time and effort over human intervention to manually change each file separately. Automator enables the repetition of tasks across a wide variety of programs, including the Finder, the Safari web browser, iCal, Address Book and others. It can also work with third-party applications such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop or Pixelmator. (From wikipedia…)


  • Keynote: the best software for your oral presentations. Export in pdf to share with the rest of the world. Educational discount available.


  • iShowU HD: software for screen casts. I used to make video tutorials.
  • Mac Snapper: create step by step tutorials
  • Evernote: store and manage notes online and in local. I use it to create and share notebooks of tips.
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