#tarteauxpomme: ten free mac apps worth having

i offered links to some cool free small background apps and addons as part of our #piecesofeight series but now i offer up some of my favourite free fully fledged apps and tools. obviously i’m not going to talk about stuff like Firefox or Thunderbird or OpenOffice because i’m assuming you know about them already…

Onyx: is a powerful system utility which runs several useful maintenance tasks and scripts (i find that regularly repairing system permissions helps to keep my macbook’s startups and shutdowns speedy) cleans various caches and can configure some hidden parameters of Finder Dock and some Apple apps (e.g. changing the default screen capture file type from the somewhat inflexible .PGN to .JPG .JPEG .GIF or several other types) [edit: you do know about cmd+shift+3 for full screen capture and cmd+shift+4 for drag-out-box capture right?].

Dragoman: is a super-handy drag-and-drop file converter than can handle multiple types of images music files archives and text files (see here for complete list of compatible formats). dragoman makes what can otherwise be an awkward and laborious job unbelievably easy.

Img2icns: takes the hassle out of creating mac icons from image files or vice-versa. it is drag-and-drop and supports most popular image formats (including adobe proprietaries).

Cyberduck: got a shout when i was testifying to all the tools that make this blog possible but it’s well worth a second and more detailed mention. it is a 100% guaranteed stress-free ftp client. given that ftp clients take us (further) into geeksville it’s no surprise that some clients seem to have been designed to be as complex as possible so only ‘righteous’ nerds can use them. cyberduck however cuts the insecure crap – everything is laid out simply and works completely intuitively. if you have need of a way of uploading to a website you need look no further.

HandBrake: is a brilliant and widely used free-source multi-platform media converter primarily for encoding DVD video to other popular formats. it is the perfect tool for converting your dvd collection into a format that can go into itunes and onto your ipod.

NameChanger: is – as its name suggests – a batch filename changer. it’s very useful.

VLC: is simply the most versatile and useful media player available for mac – you wouldn’t get better if you paid through the nose. if you haven’t got it – why on earth not?

WineBottler (beta): is a neat app that uses the wine platform to install windows programs on OS X in stand-alone ‘bottles’. as mentioned above i used it to install sopcast which works very well (through VLC).

The Unarchiver: is an open-source unpacking app which handles almost all the formats (.zip .rar .7z .tar .stuffit .cab .msi and many more) and unarchiving operations you will ever need and does a better job with .zip files than the native Archive Utility.

Transmission: is the best native bittorrent client for mac that i’ve found. it’s sleek and easy to use and as fast as anything i’ve used elsewhere.

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