Notes & Listings For MACWORLD Expo OS X Shareware Presentation

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of participating in a Mac OS X Shareware, Freeware, & Otherware presentation with Bob LeVitus and Andy Ihnatko. The purpose of the presentation was for the three of us to show what we think is the coolest Mac OS X shareware on the planet. Failing that, our task was to show off the Mac shareware that we ourselves rely on. The presentation was scheduled to last for an hour, and there were some 250-300 people in attendance. Fortunately, almost all of them had a very good sense of humor as we, the presenters, had a few kinks to work out with the equipment and Internet connection. The following are the applications that we focused on, and at the bottom you can find the other apps that I wanted to talk about, but didnit get to. I know that Andy and Bob also had more apps, but neither of them is writing this. :-)

Each application name links to a download location. On behalf of Bob LeVitus and Andy Ihnatko, I would like to thank those who attended and waited so patiently for this list. I would also like to thank Laura Mische for agreeing at the last second to shoot some pictures of the presentation.

My picks

NetFone - Very cool peer-to-peer voice chat. In other words, you can talk with other people through your Mac (Mac OS X, Classic Mac OS, and Windows) over the Internet. The sound quality is very good, if you have the bandwidth (dial-up is NOT recommended), and it is almost as good as talking on a phone.

LoadInDock - This is one of three "InDock" apps I showed, and itis the one I use the most. LoadInDock shows how much of your CPU is being used, and whether or not itis your kernel (root) doing the using, or your applications. There are several such apps on the market, but LoadInDock uses the fewest system resources (from what I have seen), and is very customizable. It will display in a window or in the Dock.

NetStatInDock - The next InDock app I showed, NetStatInDock offers a graph for how much data is being sent by your Mac and how much is coming into it. If you like to keep track of your bandwidth, this is the app for you.

ThermoInDock - The third InDock app is ThermoInDock, an app that shows you the running temperature of your CPU in the form of a graph. Again, this app is best used by information junkies and those concerned about how hot their processors are running.

Adium - Adium is an AIM client with a great interface and a very low system resource footprint. Give Adium three days, and you will never use AOLis bloated client again.

Freespace - Quick Information on how much free space you have on all your volumes and hard drives.

Mac Uptime PPC - Displays all "uptime" information in a window or floating window, without having to use the terminal. If you care at all about how long your Mac has been on, this is the app for you.

Andyis Picks

Fire - Multi IM client that allows you to talk on AIM/ICQ/IRC/Yahoo! IM, MSN/Jabber from one interface

iSwipe - Multi-peer-to-peer search client for finding files on all the file-sharing services of the Internet simultaneously.

Watson - Incredible utility that allows you to search the Internet for a variety of services. Movie Listings, eBay, images, zip and area codes, TV listings, recipes, rates of money exchange, stock prices, flights...with more to come, because these modules are plug-ins. More are coming and they auto-install when they become available. This was certainly the most outstanding application that we showed during the presentation, and we have to recommend that you check it out.

Dr. Macis Picks

Fruit Menu - Miss the Classic Mac OS 6-colored Apple Menu that letis you put what you want to in it? Fruit Menu letis you do just that, put folders and files in the Apple Menu in Mac OS X.

WindowShade X - Window Shades for X so that you can have one of the best Classic Mac OS X features ever introduced.

Visage - "Itis the stupidest Mac trick I have seen," said Mr. LeVitus. This handy dandy bit of uselessness allows you to easily change your Boot Panel, Boot Strings, Login Panel, Login Screen Background, Dock Poof, and Dock Transparency. Now that I think about it, thatis neither stupid nor useless.

GLload - GLload displays your CPU usage in a more abstract graph using the innate power of OpenGL that is built into Mac OS X.

LaunchBar - Navigate your Mac, launch files and applications, and generally get around in Mac OS X without using your mouse. This is one of the most outstanding apps to come out for Mac OS X yet.

SuperGetInfo - This application allows you to get a variety of data from files, folders, and apps, and offers you the ability to change such things as permissions, something new in Mac OS X.

X Font Info - Appleis font management features in Mac OS X are not yet up to snuff, though that will no doubt change in time. In the meanwhile, X Font Info is here to show you what your fonts look like and offer you other information about them.

Stuff I didnit show

MoonDock - Displays the current phase of the moon in a window or Dock, offers more information on the moon too, including the ability to check the phase of the moon for any date you want. Very cool.

Fink - Allows easy installation of X versions of a number of Open Source applications.

EggTimer - A virtual egg timer that is designed to help you with reminders and such.

Internet Time - Handy app for displaying Swatch/Internet time in a window. Very handy for coordinating meetings with all your international friends.

Black Light - Basically turns all of your GUI features into a negative image of themselves. Useless, but fun. At least for about 60 seconds, at which point you will need to turn it off. Be warned, it takes a few seconds for it to switch back.

Eightball - Puts a Magic Eightball in your Dock for answers to all of your questions. Do you need this little Dockling? Sings point to yes.