Free software for your Mac

13Oct07

In a previous post, I mentioned two freeware apps, Imagewell and Pixen.

For more free (or cheap) software, let’s go to InformationWeek. They’ve listed some very useful applications some of which I use daily. A few notable mentions:

  • Quicksilver: for most Windows users, this is something new. Quicksilver allows you to launch applications without using the mouse. With just 5 to 6 keystrokes I can launch any application in my Mac. Most of the time, whenever a Windows user sees me use Quicksilver for the first time, the most common reaction would be, “What was that?” But Quicksilver is more than an application launcher. It’s amazing on how many useful features the developers of Quicksilver have managed to squeeze into a small application. I can write emails, open websites, and control iTunes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is probably the most useful application I have installed. Lifehacker has a Quicksilver guide for beginners. I give this five stars and I highly highly recommended. Price: free!
  • Adium: The Mac OS already has it’s own instant messaging client: iChat. But the problem for most users is that it’s limited only to AIM. Most probably prefer using Yahoo! or MSN. That’s where Adium comes in. Adium is a multi-platform IM client that supports the most popular IM protocols. Adium is highly customizable and is based on a plugin architecture. It also supports file transfer. Limitations of Adium is in can’t do voice over IP or webcams. Hopefully these features will be added in the near future. Adium is the best alternative to Yahoo! Messenger which, on the Mac is rather crippled. 4 stars. Highly Recommended. Price: Free!
  • Flip4Mac is a plugin for Quicktime that allows you to play Windows Media audio and video though not all Windows Media embedded media in websites will play. 3 stars. Recommended. Price: Free.
  • Skype: A popular VoIP client used for voice, video and chat over the net. You need to register to use the service. 4 stars. Recommended. Price: Free for the basic services. Calling to a landline in the US or anywhere else requires a fee.

iWork 08: Apple’s own office suite. Included in the suite are: Pages, a word processor; Numbers, a spreadsheet application; and Keynote, a presentation software. Some would argue that the iWork suite is no match for MS Office. To some degree I do agree. Pages and Numbers is not as powerful or as full-featured as MS Office but the entire iWork suite has it’s own bragging rights. Pages can be used as a word processor and for page layout. Numbers, though still in version 1.0, has features taht makes using spreadsheet easy and fun. And Keynote’s much more user-friendly and a better presentation software than Powerpoint is. According to Les Posen, president of iMUG, the Melbourne Macintosh User Group, on a piece in The Age:

“PowerPoint’s world is full of bullet points and boring talking heads. Keynote offers the opportunity to augment a speech and facilitate effective communication.”

The iWork ’08 suite, though not as full-featured as the MS Office suite, has all the functionalities a home user or small business owner may need. It’s much cheaper than Microsoft’s alternative, too. iWork 08 is only $80.

I am looking for more software gems for the Mac. Stay tuned.

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One Response to “Free software for your Mac”

  1. 1 Antonio

    I’ve found iusethis.com for a source of popular free apps and such. On the top of my list would be the Unsanity products HERE, of course, as you’ve listed it already, Flip4Mac, and a few other good ones, iBackup, info.xhead, and another one by the Flip4Mac people, Drive In.


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