FinderPop (Pintware - optional $8 shareware) by Turly O'Connor
I'll assume most Mac Observer readers are techno-junkies - certainly enough so that most of us have MacOS 8.0 or later. But if the Mac users reading this are anything like the ones I know personally, most of us don't really use contextual menus. FinderPop may well change that. It gives people like me who bought two-button mice better contextual menus, and makes it easy for people with one-button mice to get in on the action, too.
First, a mini-rant. I like one-button mice. Anyone who's tried to explain the right-click to a computer neophyte will likely agree with me. I don't mean how to right-click; anyone can get the hang of that. It's when to right-click that just eludes the unwashed masses. Contextual menus are for Power Users, not everyone. That said, I didn't last a week before I ran to the store and bought a new mouse so I could use them. Just remember that power users are the minority before sending flame mail to Apple.
If you're a power user with no budget for a new mouse, stop reading and download FinderPop now. Your one-button mouse can access those contextual menus from anywhere just by holding down the mouse button for an amount of time you can set to your taste. It works great, and is intuitive enough that your mom can use it. What could be better?
Glad you asked. FinderPop also enhances the pop-up menus in a handful of nifty ways. The menu for folders can include the contents of that folder, allowing you to navigate through your hard drive with ease. All menus can include a list of applications that are running, so you can switch to one or open a file with one from anywhere. All menus can also include a sub-menu that lists anything you put into the special "FinderPop Items Folder". In plain english that means you have easy access to your favorite files and programs from anywhere.
Try out FinderPop for yourself. It can be customized in every way imaginable, so if you only like one feature, you can turn all the others off. Plus it's Pintware - if you don't feel like it, don't pay anything. If you do, register and buy the author a couple pints.
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at