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Free Mac Software List

May 29, 2009 - Dave Hecei
OpenOffice: This is a Microsoft Office clone that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, math equations, and database modules. If your needs are more basic then try out NeoOffice, also based on the open source OpenOffice. www.openoffice.org or www.neooffice.org

Flip4Mac Player: This is actually a free plug-in for Quicktime. Since Windows is the dominant operating system, for the moment, you will often find video content on the Internet that is in the WMV format, Windows Media Player. http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/wmcomponents.mspx or http://www.telestream.net/flip4mac-wmv/overview.htm

Stuffit Expander: This is something that used to come with every Mac. Unfortunately Apple doesn’t add this in their bundle anymore (however there is a ZIP utility built into OS X – Zip the most popular format for Windows PCs). http://my.smithmicro.com/mac/stuffit/expander.html

Firefox: While I use the Safari browser most of the time, I do like Firefox. The one thing that Firefox has going for it, other than it’s free, is that there are so many Extensions available to customize your web surfing. You can even change the look of Firefox with other ‘skins’, sometimes called themes. Safari may be the speed champ, but Firefox is the browser for power users. www.getfirefox.com

VLC: VLC, also know as Video Lan Client, is a video player/server brought over from the Linux world. This little program will play practically any type of video file you will find on the Internet. http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ Adium: OS X comes with an excellent chat program, called iChat, which can do text, voice, and video chats. http://adium.im/

FairMount: This is a free program that works with VLC. If you don’t know already, most all commercial DVD movies are copy protected. This simply means that you cannot just stick a DVD in your Mac and copy it to a blank disk. There are programs out there that allow you to backup DVDs (HandBrake or MactheRipper). Please remember that this should only be done with DVDs you own and for the sole purpose of protecting your expensive DVDs, before the kids destroy them. http://www.metakine.com/products/fairmount/

SuperDuper: Backups are an important part of computer use. We all know we should backup our Macs but most of us don’t do it. Time Machine has done away with much of the hassle of backing up important files, but for those who rely on their Mac for important day-to-day business then having a full bootable backup is very important. SuperDuper is an application that will make a ‘clone’ of any Mac drive. If that drive is bootable, meaning it’s the startup drive, then the copy will also be bootable. http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

Burn: Most Macs have either a CD or a DVD burner drive. Out of the box, a Mac can burn basic discs in OS X, iTunes, or iLife. If you wanted to do more elaborate discs you had to buy a program like Roxio Toast. Toast is a great program that does so much more than burn discs, but if you don’t need the TiVo functions or the ability to record old vinyl albums to CD they try out Burn. It’s an amazing little program considering the cost – free. http://burn-osx.sourceforge.net/Pages/English/home.html

Acrobat Reader: Adobe has the world in its hands when it comes to portable documents, hence the name PDF (Portable Document Format). http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Cube and Marathon:  Both Cube and Marathon are first person shooter type games that can be played in single or multi-player modes. Marathon ( back in the OS 9 days) was a retail game from Bungie, who now make the Halo games for  Xboxes and PCs. The original Marathon was a Mac only game which Bungie has brought over to the open source community. Not the easiest to install, not the most modern game play, but loads of fun. Cube was an open source project that originally came out in 2005 and was later made available for OS X. (I think there is a newer sequel called Cube 2, which might also be available for Mac.) Similar to games like Doom and Quake, it shows what programmers can do with open source software. http://cubeengine.com/ and http://source.bungie.org/get/

 
 

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