Monday, March 20, 2006

Second FreeMacWare contest entry

As many FFTMC readers will know, I love my Mac and run a separate blog for my Mac- and Internet-related blogging. But the lure of filthy lucre has made me cross the line this one time. A great website I frequent called FreeMacWare is running a contest in which entrants post five pieces of freeware they use on their Macs. The winner gets a $100 iTunes gift certificate. Now the site is offering a free iTunes song for every entry, and since the contest allows separate entries for separate blogs, I'll take this opportunity to mention some less sexy--but no less useful--Mac freeware. Just so you know, I feel no shame in inflicting this on my non-geek readers. Suckers for punishment can see my first entry here. The theme for this second entry is apps that do one thing but do it well (DOTBDIW--just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?).

  • First up is Monolingual: a DOTBDIW application that every Mac user, especially those on older machines or with smaller hard drives, will find useful. It removes the OS X language localizations you don't need, thereby saving approximately 2 Gb of disc space. If your HD is 40 Gb or less, that means a significant increase in space.
  • Another DOTBDIW app is CoconutBattery. It lets you know how well (or poorly) your laptop battery is aging. Simple but effective, and attractive too.
  • If you've ever had a hard disc fail, then you are probably already worrying about the next failure (and if you've never had one, don't kid yourself--it WILL happen some day). This is where SMART reporter comes in. It launches when you log in and monitors your hard drive for imminent failure. The little green hard drive image in your menu bar means everything is reassuringly fine (for now). If it goes red, back up your critical files immediately. (You do back up all your non-critical files on a regular basis, right?)
  • Sticking with the DOTBDIW theme, Address Book Exporter does one thing. Can you guess what it is? If you want to import your Address Book entries to Gmail or Yahoo Mail, or to any number of other services, then you will need this application first.
  • And finally, MacStumbler is a great little app that scans for wireless networks within range of your AirPort card. It even tells you if the network is open or protected. Invaluable for those long road trips when getting on-line is essential.

    And there you have it. Rest assured that I'll try to resist the evil power of contests in future (not that it will do me any good).

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portuguesa nova said...

Okay Peter Garner, ye Mac evangelist. I just got a job at a uni that is a mac campus. Haven't used one since high school. What the hell do you do without a right click??? Is there some mac equivalent of right clicking?

Peter Garner said...

Hi PN,

The short answer is buy a two-button mouse or control-click. For the long answer, check your gmail.