Ok, so some software updates in my workflow first. My tryout period for PathFinder expired a couple of days ago. I wasn’t impressed enough with it to pay and register it. It has some great features and emphasizes some features that are already available in the OSX Finder (such as the Go To functionality that allows you to type in a Unix path on your system to go to), and its all around pretty solid. I would tend to say, however, that PathFinder would be even better if you could pare it down – turn off some of the features that it does have that you wouldn’t use normally (depending on who you are…).
As for SquidMan, which enables you to fairly easily use SquidProxy for the Mac – I ended up not really using this much. Its a nice concept, and I liked the way I had set it up to be used, but I still couldn’t get the proxy server at work setup on my computer in such a way as to use FTP, via command line or via Transmit (which as I’ve said before is kickass software). I opted instead to use QuickProxy with Firefox, which is a great little stealth plugin for Firefox, which simply sits in the status bar as a little grey or green circle icon with a “P” in it. Works well and has a minimal yet fully functional interface. One complaint – Firefox has been crashing a bit on me lately and for some reason keeps setting QuickProxy to be turned on when the “sessions” are restored (that new Firefox post-crash functionality), so at home Firefox restores the sessions and turns on QuickProxy, which results in a bunch of tabs that say “Sorry, there ain’t no proxy here.”
In tandem with QuickProxy, I have been using QuickSilver for a couple of weeks. Brilliant. Along with the location settings plugin for QuickSilver, I can in a couple of keystrokes set my location to be home or work, which also sets my proxies correctly (of course, Firefox requires QuickProxy). QuickSilver is actually one of the few applications that I have changed my workflow to use. I have removed applications from the Dock, which I now hardly use, since I can hit Control-Space (to trigger QuickSilver) and type “goo” and hit return to start google notifier, type “tra” for Transmit, “vmm” (for VMmounter) to open the application I use to automatically mount windows shares on my development virtual machine at work, or even type “plai” or “plains” to open the wordpress blog editor in Firefox for my site. The iTunes plugin allows me to use keystrokes for all the iTunes controls I need so I can always leave it minimized after I start playing the playlist I want (although if you have named playlists, you can just use QuickSilver to invoke those without actually going into iTunes – cool). It is fairly configurable, although I would like some shell scripting support for some tasks, but all-in-all, pretty cool stuph.