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Top 40 Most Useful, Free Mac OS X Softwares

Here are a list of 40 freewares that I dug up from all around the web, tested and reviewed. All that are listed here are pretty useful if you ask me. Each of the listed are free to download and use. If you see something you like, just download it and try it out yourself.

  1. Apple Boot Camp
  2. Boot Camp is a new technology that lets you install and run Windows on your Mac. If you have an Intel-based Mac computer and would like to try Boot Camp, you can download the public beta today.

  3. AppleJack
  4. AppleJack is a user friendly troubleshooting assistant for Mac OS X. With AppleJack you can troubleshoot a computer even if you can’t load the GUI, or don’t have a startup CD handy. AppleJack runs in Single User Mode and is menu-based for ease of use.

  5. Burn
  6. Burn is an application to burn most common disks: data disks, audio disks (mp3, audio cd), video disks (VCD, SVCD, DVD-Video, DivX), images and disk copy.

  7. Butler
  8. Designed to make it easier for users to perform different potentially recurring tasks. Customize and assign triggers to a task. Butler is very flexible and feature rich in terms of triggers and tasks. Start using it and discover the features one day at a time.

  9. Chicken of the VNC
  10. A fast, lightweight Virtual Network Computer (VNC) client for Mac OSX that allows you to display and interact with a remote computer screen. In other words, you can use Chicken of the VNC to interact with a remote computer as though it’s right next to you.

  11. Carbon Copy Cloner
  12. Easy-to-use backup/cloning utility. Other features include synchronization, scheduled tasks, creating disk images on the fly, and creating NetBoot and Apple Software Restore-prepared image sets from fully customized installations of Mac OS X.

  13. ClamXav
  14. ClamXav is a free virus checker for Mac OS X. It uses the tried, tested and very popular ClamAV open source antivirus engine as a back end.

  15. Cyberduck FTP
  16. Cyberduck is a graphical open source FTP and SFTP client for Mac OS X licensed under the GPL. It supports FTP/TLS (FTP secured over SSL/TLS), using AUTH TLS as well as uploading and downloading by drag and drop and is able to synchronize files and directories. In addition, it is also able to open some files in external text editors. Cyberduck includes a bookmark manager and supports the Mac OS X Keychain and Bonjour networking.

  17. Desktop Manager
  18. Virtual desktop manager for the Mac OS X. You can have any number of named virtual ‘screens’ (up to available memory) to arrange your programs on.

  19. FinderPop
  20. A classic Mac utility, now a prefpane for OS X. FinderPop is a Universal Preference pane that extends OS X’s contextual menus using a FinderPop Items folder much as the Apple Menu Items folder used to do for the Apple menu.

  21. iGetter
  22. iGetter is Safari’s download manager replacement. Doesn’t take up too much resources and is easy to use. It greatly improves your download speed by using segmented downloading. You can also schedule downloads for low traffic periods, auto resume broken downloads, shut down on completion, etc.

  23. ImageWell
  24. ImageWell is the easy way to edit, rotate, crop, and resize your image and upload it to your iDisk (.mac account), FTP server, or WebDAV server. No need to launch multiple applications to add text, labels, thought clouds, talking balloons, drop shadows, watermarks, and shapes.

  25. iWebMore
  26. This lets you easily and quickly add features to sites created in iWeb that would be difficult to add without this utility. This is the dig for the iWeb developer. Embed HTML in your iWeb pages and finally have those flash animations, applets and google ads on the website.

  27. iWillQuit
  28. This is sure to save your laptops hard drive. If you have a network in your house, schedule it to download files at night so as to not slow down others using the network or to keep your VOIP working without delay. Apple’s scheduler will not shut down/sleep while there is an internet radio stream, but iWillQuit does. iWillQuit works just as it said it does, shuts down, sleeps, etc.

  29. Linotype FontExplorer X
  30. Font sorting, font shopping and font discovery are now more fun than ever. FontExplorer X gives computer users all the font functions they could need, and lets them decide how deeply they wish to dive into various font themes.

  31. MainMenu
  32. MainMenu will run all the various tools and scripts and system maintenance routines to keep your Mac running smoothly right from your menu bar. It will rebuild your Spotlight library for faster searching, repair permissions, clean caches to improve application performance, etc.

  33. Max
  34. Max is an application for creating high-quality audio files in various formats, from compact discs or files. Look nowhere else to meet your needs in handling a wide range of codecs and other audio tools. Sbooth, the developer, is the leader of a community that cares deeply about high-quality audio on the Mac, and he has forums that are a key site for knowledge about Mac audio.

  35. MenuMeters
  36. MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for Mac OS X.

  37. Namely
  38. A very good application launcher that is really easy to use, doesn’t need much resources, and doesn’t get in the way when you don’t need it, which is nice. Namely is actually faster than Spotlight in application launching and you can choose your favourite aqualicious color too so it matches the Spotlight menu or your desktop very nicely.

  39. OnyX
  40. It allows you to run misc tasks of system maintenance, to configure some hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock, Dashboard, Exposé, Safari, Login window and of some of Apple’s own applications, to delete caches, to remove a certain number of files and folders that may become cumbersome, to see the detailed info of your configuration, to preview various logs and CrashReporter-reports, to check the Preferences files and more.

  41. Perian
  42. With Perian, the Swiss Army Knife for QuickTime, any OS X application that uses QuickTime can now use all the other common media types like DivX, XviD, mpeg4, AC3 audio, etc.

  43. PTHPasteboard
  44. PTHPasteboard is one of those applications which expands the functionality of copy and paste. It does this by allowing you to copy many things without having to paste them straight away; making good use of multiple ‘pasteboards’ which store everything you copy. Using this application means you never have to worry about losing anything you’ve copied ever again!

  45. Service Scrubber
  46. Wouldn’t the services menu be much more useful if it weren’t overcrowded by services you never even thought of using? With Service Scrubber, you can restructure the services menu, change service keyboard shortcuts or disable services. It also lets you deactivate, activate, reorder, rename and redefine the keyboard shortcuts for all the entries in the services menu. It does this in a way that is pretty much foolproof so you can always revert.

  47. SharePoints
  48. SharePoints is an application or a preference pane that makes it easy to add and delete share points like in the old Finder. In Mac OS X, by default, you are limited to sharing only what is in your public folder in your home directory. This program makes it easy to share any folder. In addition SharePoints also brings back users and groups management to Mac OS X as well as easy configuration of AppleFileServer (AFS) and Samba (SMB) Server properties.

  49. Sizzling Keys
  50. Sizzling keys allows you to control iTunes with keyboard shortcuts from any application. Pause, adjust the volume or skip a track without leaving the current application. Far more efficient than using iTunes itself. As well, one is generally using a lot more keyboard shortcuts when on the go anyhow.

  51. Skim
  52. Incredible great software for PDF reading. The new version is almost perfect certainly in the field of full screen reading and presentation. Easier to use as a viewer than Adobe Reader. The ability to attach notes is an added bonus.

  53. SlimBatteryMonitor
  54. This application is excellent! It cuts the menubar space by half and is easily customizable. For example, you can easily change the color of the icon outline from black to blue. It is suggested to move the application from the desktop into the Applications folder before installing.

  55. SMARTReporter
  56. SMARTReporter is an application that can warn you of some ATA hard disk failures before they actually happen! It does so by periodically polling the S.M.A.R.T.-status of your hard disk. S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a technology built into most modern hard disks that acts as an “early warning system” for pending drive problems.

  57. smcFanControl
  58. Keep your MacBook about 15 °C cooler than when it isn’t running. When the CPU is taxed, Apple’s controls take over and the fan speed increases according to Apple guidelines, but when it is running normally, you can set the fan at a faster speed to keep your system cool. A great little program that is very unobtrusive, easy to turn on and off at will.

  59. Springy (StuffIt replacement)
  60. Springy archiving and compressing application let you do all your work with archives and compressed files using a graphical interface similar to Finder. Features include browsing files in archives in all three view types (as icons, as list, as columns), extracting all or particular files or folders from archives, modifying archives (add, delete, replace, rename files or folders in archives), full drag & drop support, working with encrypted and password protected files, support for HFS/HFS+ metadata and resource forks, compressing and decompressing files and many more. Dragan Milic, the developer, is pretty responsive. Just leave your issues and you will get addressed in a short time.

  61. SuperDuper!
  62. Exactly duplicate your hard drive. The clone is even bootable. The interface explains clearly what’s going to happen so that you can be sure that you are doing what you want to do. Runs both on Intel and Power PC Macs! Taking into account its clear interface, excellent functionality, and informative documentation, I consider SuperDuper! to be a must-have utility for Mac OS X.

  63. TextWrangler2
  64. TextWrangler 2.0’s text-handling operations are swift and precise. The ‘Text’ menu holds an array of time-saving commands. This version of TextWrangler is a boon to coders and system administrators. It gives you direct integration with the Unix scripting environments of Perl, Python, and shell scripts. This version has improved syntax coloring for a plethora of structured languages and file formats. The program also now sports a powerful AppleScript dictionary.

  65. TinkerTool
  66. TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the applications delivered with the system.

  67. Transmission
  68. A lightweight yet powerful BitTorrent client whose simple, intuitive interface is designed to integrate tightly with whatever computing environment you choose to use. Transmission strikes a balance between providing useful functionality without feature bloat. Furthermore, it is free for anyone to use or modify.

  69. Unarchiver
  70. The Unarchiver is a replacement for BOMArchiveHelper.app, the small application that handles archives by default in OS X. However, unlike the default archive helper, this program has a very impressive list of supported formats that it can work with. These formats range from very common ones, to some of the most obscure.

  71. UNO
  72. UNO is a theme that brings the sunken unified toolbar/titlebar look & feel to every single window on your system (metal or aqua, and already unified windows as well).

  73. Vienna
  74. Vienna is a freeware, open source RSS/Atom newsreader for the Mac OS X operating system. It provides features comparable to commercial newsreaders, but both it and the source code are freely available for download.

  75. VLC Media Player
  76. VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, etc) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.

  77. WhatRoute
  78. WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Macintosh to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router, thus enabling you to determine slow links or hops in the Internet. WhatRoute can also find dead links, such as routers that don’t respond.

  79. Yahoo Messenger
  80. The ONLY Mac messenger at the time of writing that can consistently do video chats with people who aren’t using Macs. iChat and AIM seems to be very fickle with cams. Plus, since YIM and MSN now interact happily, it’s easy to cam for anyone on your MSN or YIM lists.

Beryl Alternative For Windows

This is how Beryl looks like. A 3D compiziting manager that allows you to easily organize your desktop. Here’s how it looks like.

Pretty cool huh? However, it is only available in Linux. If you are on Linux, you should get it. If you are on Windows, here’s a Beryl like program that you should look at while waiting for the Windows version to be ported.

It’s called Yod’M. Looks almost the same but the difference lies in function simplicity. Here’s how it looks like.

Basic commands include :

  • CTRL + SHIFT + Left/Right = Next/prev desktop
  • CTRL + SHIFT + Up = Activate and show a “far” view of the current desktop, Left and right to turn the cube
  • CTRL + SHIFT + Down = Activate and show a “near” view of the current desktop, Left and right to turn the cube
  • Hold down CTRL+SHIFT to use the mouse to turn the cube. (The rotation is possible only horizontally)

Top 24 Linux Games

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Update 2012 : Hey guys! Click here for the newest version of the best linux games! Reviews and gameplays of other cool games have been included in the new list!
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Below are addictive 3d games for linux users to fill their time with. These games are really good and some have won awards or have been featured on magazines. Most of it is cross platform and free. You don’t have to use ‘Wine’ to be able to play as they come with Linux installers.

  1. Battle For Wesnoth
  2. David White who started Wesnoth back in 2003, had a vision of a free open source strategy game that had very simple rules, uses a strong artificial intelligence, challenging and fun. Wesnoth has already passed the 1 million mark for downloads. As of March 2007, the game is available in 35 different languages.

    A normal Wesnoth player has

    • 200+ unit types
    • 16 different races
    • 6 major factions

    to choose from. Actually, you can even make your own custom units, design your own map, scenarios or even campaigns. It’s all up to your creativity. The most interesting part of any game is the ability to multiplay. You can challenge up to a total of 8 friends in multiplayer fantasy battles.

  3. Nexuiz
  4. Nexuiz is a free, cross platform, first person shooter distributed under GNU General Public License by Alientrap Software. It started back in May 31 2005 with version 1.0 using DarkPlaces, a significanlty modified quake engine. The current version, 2.2.3, was released on January 26, 2007. Nexuiz’s logo is based on the chinese character “?” (Li) which means strength.

    Several notable features of the game include

    • ability to multiplay up to 64 players
    • ability to generate bots for practice sessions
    • dynamic lighting system similar to Doom 3

  5. America’s Army
  6. America’s Army is a tactical, multiplayer, first-person shooter owned by the United States Government and released as a global public relations initiative to help with U.S. Army recruitment. The first version, Recon, was released on 4th July 2002. The current version 2.8.1 was released on 22nd Mar 2007.

    It’s the first well known computer game used for political aims. The game is used as a playable recruiting tool and critics have charged the game serves as a propaganda device. A counter on the homepage of the PC version shows over eight million registered accounts as of 2007. GameSpy tracked the game usage and reported an average of 4,500 players at any one time between 2002 and 2005. It is enough for America’s Army to rank in the Top 10 Online Games chart.

  7. Tremulous
  8. Tremulous is an open source team-based first-person shooter with a game play that is similar to Gloom(a quake 2 mod) and Natural Selection (a Half-Life mod). The game features two teams, humans and aliens, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The game has been downloaded over 200,000 times and was voted “Player’s Choice Standalone Game of the Year” in Mod Database’s “Mod of the Year” 2006 competition.

  9. Tux Racer
  10. Tux Racer is a newbie friendly, open source, 3D computer game starring the Linux mascot, Tux the penguin. Like many open-source games, the replay value of Tux Racer is extended by easy modification of the game. New maps can be created by making three raster images to indicate height, surface, and object placement. The last release of Tux Racer was version 0.61, 29th October 2001.

  11. World Of Padman
  12. WOP is a new and free comic style game that uses the Quake 3 engine. The game was recently featured in 3 German magazine covers; PC Action, ‘BRAVO Screenfun’ and ‘Linux Intern’.

  13. Vendetta
  14. is a first person twitch based MMORPG. New players get an 8 hour trial which is enough to get anyone hooked to it. After that, you gotta pay $5 a month which is quite worthwhile, especially considering the incredibly communicative development of the game. It has a native linux installer as well as one for Macs and Windows.

  15. Alien Arena 2007
  16. Thanks AstralSin for mentioning it.

    Alien Arena is a completely free FPS started by COR Entertainment in 2004 comprising of a science fiction ambience and a Quake like gameplay. This game is playable in single player mode against bots, but the action and thrill lies at the online multiplayer mode. Features of the Alien Arena 2007 include an internal server browser for finding other people to play online and an external program that acts as an IRC interface. There are 6 game types and 6 game mutators that changes the gameplay. Cattle Prod is a new game type that requires you to herd robotic cattle to earn points. Alien Arena 2007 is playable in Windows, Linux and FreeBSD.

  17. Urban Terror
  18. Thanks AstralSin for mentioning it.

    A mod of Quake III Arena, Urban Terror focuses a lot on realism. Number of weapons and gear that can be carried is limited. Accuracy is reduced when fired while moving and magazines require reloading upon expension. Damage areas are identified throughout the body. Wounds require bandaging and slows down movement significantly if the damage is not bandaged. Even a stamina bar is present to indicate if the player is able to sprint or jump. Released on 1st April 2007, Urban Terror 4 introduced 4 new features namely, ‘powersliding’, new weapons, player models and improved hit detection. It also supports anti cheating tools like PunkBuster, BattleEye and RunDMC.

  19. A Tale In The Desert
  20. Thanks Kristjan Siimson for mentioning it.

    Set in Ancient Egypt, ATITD focuses on society rather than combat. Actually, there is no combat system whatsoever. The fun of the game lies in economic development. Most of the players are from the US and Europe and the variety of social activities encourages a lot of interaction. Players are to participate in building, community, research and test themselves through challenges called ‘Tests’. The male to female players ratio is considerably equal compared to other online games and the game is also noted by many to have high levels of civility and generosity. The first 24 hours is free, after that a monthly fee of $13.95 is required to continue playing.

  21. Second Life
  22. Thanks MariusZ for mentioning it.

    Second Life is an online virtual world that allows ‘Residents’ to explore, meet each other, socialize, participate in group activities, trade items and services. It’s creators, Linden Lab, intends to create a world like the Metaverse described by Neal Stephenson in his novel, Snow Crash. In this Metaverse, people can interact, have fun and do business. The current currency is Linden Dollar (L$) and is EXCHANGEABLE for US$ in a marketplace consisting of residents, Linden Lab and real life companies. It is hardly considered a game as tt does not have points, scores, winners or losers, levels or an end-strategy. More than 7 million accounts have been registered since its conception. Basic accounts is free but Premium account is US$9.95 if you want to own lands.

  23. Savage 2
  24. Thanks nemesis for mentioning it.

    This fantasy / science fiction, real-time strategy, fps, rpg game is a sequel to to S2 Games’ Savage : Battle for Newerth. Both teams of human and beasts are pitted against each other in a gameplay where strategy, agility and alertness is needed. The game is downloadable for free but online access requires a one time account purchase of US$29.99. Activities such as kills, deaths, assists, building razes, damage and score points are tracked. All Savage 2 matches are saved and thus searchable in the form of replays. The automatic replay network is a system that will greatly increase the skill levels of overall player populations and competitiveness.

  25. Warsow
  26. Thanks mroyf, Cholulalulip, João Rodrigues for mentioning it.

    Warsow is a free FPS based in Qfusion 3D engine playable on Windows and Linux developed under the motto ‘by gamers for gamers’. Beta testers from the community goes through internal testing sessions and gives feedback on public releases where the main developers will carefully judge suggestions and comments made. Gameplay is focused a lot on agility. Weapons picked up will have weak ammo until a new ammo pack is found. Graphic effects are minimal, clear and visible.

  27. TrueCombat: Elite
  28. Thanks João Rodrigues, Michael for mentioning it.

    TC:Elite happens to be a total-conversion modification of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory by Team Terminator and Groove Six Studios. The game is free and playable across all platforms. Notable features include iron sights aiming (no crosshair), multi layer object penetration, letterbox / wide screen view modes, lag compensation, client side bullet prediction and support for PunkBuster, the anti cheat software.

  29. Frozen Bubble
  30. Thanks PhoenixByrd, Ferk for mentioning it.

    The latest version 2.0 includes an adjusted launcher speed, new scoring system, 4 lives and online multiplayer mode, but only available to Linux users at the time of writing. Version 1.0 of the game is available across all platforms including Symbian Series 60 line of smartphones and a single player Java applet version. Written in Perl, the free to play Frozen Bubble features 100 levels and a cute penguin (I think it’s supposed to be Tux) who shoots to form bubbles of the same color.

  31. The Open Racing Car Simulator
  32. Thanks to PhoenixByrd for mentioning it.

    TORCS is an open source 3D racing simulator using OpenGL technologies. It is runnable on all Linux, FreeBSD, MacOSX and Windows platforms. There are 50 different cars, 20 tracks and 50 opponents to race against. The multiplayer mode can accommodate up to 4 human players. Several of the simulation include damaged models, collisions and aerodynamics like ground effects, spoilers, etc. Development is currently being carried out to enable online racing mode.

  33. FlightGear
  34. Thanks to PhoenixByrd for mentioning it.

    Since 1996, FlightGear has been a collaborative project that aims to create a sophisticated open source flight simulator framework. FlightGear uses the SimGear simulation engine. Some of the aircraft models available in FlightGear include gliders, helicopters, airliners, fighter jets, etc. Weather effects such as clouds, lightning effects and time of the day is illustrated.

  35. Frets On Fire
  36. Thanks to PhoenixByrd, Solitary, Hellmark, tuopppi, for mentioning it.

    Winner of the Assembly Demo Party 2006, Frets on Fire is a music video game that uses the keyboard to play along with scrolling on-screen musical notes to complete a song. The player has to imagine the keyboard as a guitar and pick it up to play. One hand will be used to press the ‘frets’ (F1 to F5) and another will be used to press the ‘picks’ (Shift or Enter). Colored markers that appears are to be played by pressing ‘frets’ of the correct color and ‘picks’ at the correct moment. There are also song editors and tutorials featured in the game. This game was addictive once I got the hang of it.

  37. Scorched 3d
  38. Thanks james, Pyro for mentioning it.

    Scorched 3D is a 100% free turn-based artillery game modeled after the classic DOS game Scorched Earth ‘The Mother Of All Games’. Operatable across all operating systems. What started as a 3D landscape generator has now become a cool 3D game that requires skills to master. Players are supposed to take turns homing in to hit the target by adjusting the angle, rotation, power and a weapon of choice every other turn. Hits and kills will generate income for you to buy better weapons and items. Note that items are as important as weapons.

  39. ManiaDrive
  40. Thanks to Shamar for mentioning it.

    ManiaDrive is a free clone of Trackmania and is an arcade car game on acrobatic tracks, with a quick and nervous gameplay (tracks almost never exceed one minute), and features a network mode, as the original. Lots of crazy driving involved.

  41. Warzone 2100
  42. Thanks Elane

    Warzone 2100 is a real-time strategy and real-time tactics hybrid computer game, developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. Outside of the story, Warzone 2100 only has a single faction, limiting some of the variety that can be expected from such games of its kind, although the faction is very complex. Essentially, Warzone 2100 plays much like Earth 2150 with 3D units and terrain, customizable vehicles, a lack of traditional standing infantry, use of “research” to acquire new technologies, and perceptible differentiation of vehicles types.

  43. Spring
  44. Thanks Elane

    The game is mainly focused around multiplayer games over the Internet or a LAN connection. There are currently a few single player missions, built on the basic support for this through Lua scripting. There are also many skirmish AIs under development, allowing for offline play or extra players in an online game. Two skirmish AIs ship in the game package, as well as three maps and the XTA mod.

  45. Battle Tanks
  46. Thanks Elane

    “Battle Tanks” is a multiplayer game in the first place. Network game and split screen mode are available, and also a mixed mode is possible, when two players use split screen on the server computer, and others connect via LAN. Two possible modes are deathmatch battle and cooperative game. Hardware requirement is minimum and the game is cross platform.

  47. Excalibur: Morgana’s Revenge v3.0
  48. Thanks Elane

    EMR 3.0 is a unique scenario based upon the Aleph One (Marathon) engine. It is a first-person action adventure game, featuring an epic and in-depth story line. It brings more exciting new maps, new high resolution textures and landscapes, a completely new set of weapons, new monsters and friends, new scenery, new 16-bit sounds, original music, and a carefully woven original story line that transcends time.