Friday, March 17, 2006 : I Use Freeware

Having come from a Linux world, I'm all about the open source. It's one thing for a full blown application that has direct business uses, like an office suite or something, but what about all those little utilities that you never really thought of until somebody showed you their existence and you say, "Hey, that's pretty cool, I want that"? If you had to pay $20 for each one of them, you'd shrug and say "Nah."

But that's not the way it is. There's freeware, and I'm pleased to see after switching to the Mac that there's free Mac ware, too. Here's just a few of the apps I've found specifically from their site that are running on my powerbook right now:

  • Delibar - Puts all your bookmarks into a dropdown on your taskbar, organized by category/tag. Very handy. (I wish it allowed me to create bookmarks that way, too...)
  • Spirited away - Love this app. After you've left a window inactive for a given period of time (customizable), this app hides it. Doesn't close it, just takes it off the desktop. You can get it back easy enough by tabbing into it. But it gets out of your way. Nice, clean desktop.
  • Tinkertool is for the geeky crowd who don't mind mucking with hidden / advanced options of their operating system. But I mean, come on, the ability to quite out of the Finder alone is worth getting this one.
  • TextWrangler - As a Linux geek, I still loves my Emacs. But that's a shell application, and you can't easily launch Emacs when double clicking a text file download, for instance. (I do not love Aquamacs, which is an attempt at a native Mac port). TextWrangler is probably the best of the free text editors out there.
  • Adium - When I got the Powerbook, one of the first things I did was to go hunting for an Instant Messenger client. One coworker, already a convert, looked at another and says, "Is there anything better than Adium?" "Nope," says the other. So off I went to find Adium. They were right.

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