OS X is slick and keeps getting slicker by the minute. Each new application validates Appleis choice for its next generation OS, especially since the core of OS X is UNIX via FreeBSD. And one of the nicest things about UNIX is its Open Source software support. Applications by the hundreds are finding their way to OS X because they require little tweaking to get them to run in Darwin, and only marginally more tweaking to get them to run in Aqua. (Of course, if you want to be lazy about it you could just get it to run in X11, which Apple now supports natively.)
Two new applications are now available in OS X that illustrate this point: ohphoneX and BZFlag.
ohphoneX is a H.323 compliant computer to computer video-and-voice-over-IP application ported specifically to OS X, based on the OpenH323 protocol. ohphoneX is the first application to come out of the XMeeting Project, which is dedicated to bringing IP based video conferencing to OS X. ohphone lacks a lot of features, like mutli-party conferencing, but it does allow Mac-to-Mac or Mac-to-PC voice and video conferencing, and itis free.
BZFlag is an absolutely fabulous game that you have to try to appreciate. Remember Battlezone? Well, add to it the ability for massive Internet play, swap wire frame for solid objects, dump that silly flying saucer, give the tanks the ability to jump, then sprinkle the battlefield with power-up flags, and youive got a game that is addictive and fun. Those of you whoive played Ambrosia Softwareis Avara will instantly feel at home in BZFlag. The controls are simple, installation is a breeze, and the fun is immediate. What more could you ask for?
Vern Seward keeps a look out for those Unix apps making their way to the Mac so you donit have to.