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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun

Cool Dashboard Widgets!

June 10th, 2005

Welcome the Widgets

Mac OS has always had a method to extend functionality via a method that doesn't require the creation of a full-blown application. Early users of the Mac may fondly remember Desk Accessories. Simple DAs, such as Calculator, Notepad, Keycaps and Puzzle, were included with the operating system. Those who graduated to Mac OS X discovered Preference Panes, which would appear in the System Preferences. And those who have been paying attention know about the cross-platform Konfabulator, which offers Widgets. In Apple's latest OS X release, Widgets are supported by the new Dashboard environment. Some nifty Widgets are included, but the developer community has really embraced Apple's version, and have come up with some really neat stuff.

Marquee 1.0.1 (Freeware)
Trifinity Software

Every computer user should come up for air every now and then to experience the outside world. Marquee will display what's showing at your local theatres. Just enter your ZIP Code, and you'll get a list of what's playing, shown in an old-style movie marquee, complete with lights.

Marquee Widget

For those with multiple nearby theaters, you can select the next or previous with arrows on the top row. For screens with lots of movies, you can click on the up and down arrows. For movies with many showtimes, hover the cursor over the movie, and all of the times will scroll from right to left.

Fontsee 1.0 (Freeware)
Remainder One Software

If you're a Mac user and in the design realm, you probably have a pretty good collection of fonts on your system. But at some point, one may lose track of what each one looks like. The good news is that the Fontsee widget can quickly allow you to see what each of your fonts looks like.

Fontsee Widget

You can select a font via either a popup menu, or go to the previous or next font in your list with the previous and next buttons. To make the font size larger, press the small 'a' and to get larger, hit the large 'A'. If you have some time to kill, you can view each of your fonts in order by pressing the Play button.

TV Tracker 1.5 (Freeware)
Monkey Business Labs

If you'd like to know what's on TV, you can of course grab a paper or local guide to see what's on, or check out the listing that is available on many cable systems. But most of these require one to dig through lots of information before getting at what you want. TV Tracker makes finding out what's on at the moment very easy.

TV Tracker Widget

Just enter your ZIP code, and the widget will ask which cable system or nearby city you'd like to use for your listings. You can select how many hours of information you'd like to download, if you'd like to auto-update the listing information, and which channels you'd like information for. Then fire up TV Tracker, and you'll see what's showing at the moment. You can scroll to list other channels, if they don't all fit in the TV screen.

So take advantage of the multitude of Widgets available for Dashboard, and give some of these a try today!

Have any other Widgets you can't live without? Send an e-mail to John, and he'll give it a spin. 

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

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