The 12 Best Free Applications
Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0 (www.mozilla.com):-
If you want the best from email it pays to look beyond your computer’s built-in-client, Thunderbird deals with several accounts, has a customisable interface, a built-in RSS reader, an effective spam filter and a powerful search facility. Extensions allow further customisation too.
This is great free encoding and transcoding software for ripping DVDs and getting (almost) all of your favourite music and videos to work on your portable devices. The interface isn’t the most intuitive, and it requires that you have Firefox installed, but with patience it’s dead useful.
OpenOffice 3.0 (www.openoffice.org):-
You can edit your docs online (try docs.google.com) but if you want to keep them local, this is the best free suite. It offers full Microsoft Office compatibility and powerful, intuitive programs including a word processor, spreadsheet, database creator and presentation tools. You’ll need to install the X11 protocol first.
This excellent video organiser and internet TV client brings all of your computer viewing together in one easy-to-handle inteface. It’ll play preety much any kind of video file, save YouTube and DailyMotion vids to your hard drive and is compatible with torrents and RSS feeds to deliver your vidcasts painlessly.
We love Firefox, but in our must-be-connected-at-all-times society it’s just edged out by Flock. Based on Firefox’s architecture, Flock incorporates an RSS reader, live feeds from Facebook and the like along with blogging tools to make sure you’re always in the loop, all accessed through an intuitive front-end.
Do you have too many instant messaging windows open on your desktop? Then you need Pidgin (or, if you’re on Mac, Adium). It unifies all of your IM clients – Google Talk, AIM, Yahoo, Microsoft Messenger, ICQ and so on – so you can chat across a number of plateforms from one tidy chat window. How civilised.
Armagetron Advanced (www.armagetronad.net):-
A self-confessed Tron clone, Armagreton is a masterclose in simple brilliance. Lightcycle-style vehicles move around a retro fluorescent vector grid in straight lines with the intention of making others crash into the trails they create. The online multiplayer mode is as addictive as Maltesers.
Record, edit, transform andmix audio with one of the greatest Freeware apps ever. Audacity can be used on one level as a simple cut-and-paste recorder, but has the power and precision to please those who want to get deeper. To export projects as MP3s, you’ll need to install an extra plug-in.
If you have a Windows Mobile smartphone and a Mac, Syncmate allows you to seamlessly slide all of your data from iCal, iPhoto, iTunes and Address Book from your Mac to your phone, either via USB or Wi-Fi. You can even read your text messages straight from your Mac without touching your phone.
Carbon Copy Cloner (http://bombich.com/ccc):-
This not only clones your hard drive but provides a back-up schedule too, so your precious files can be copied hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Creating a complete, bootable copy of your main hard drive is simple and means that if the worst happens, you can just swap drives and carry as before.
Those who grew up with the Nintendo 64 as their best friend can now be reunited with SixtyForce. For those who didn’t, why not see what you missed out on? It’s the best and most stable N64 emulator for the Mac, straightforward to use with easily customisable controls and loads of classic games available.
Q Emulator (tinyurl.com/26v37c):-
Even Mac loyalists will need to jump aboard the good ship Microsoft occasionally. Q Emulator allows you to emulate a PC and run Windows on a Mac, window-in-window at near native speed on Itel Macs, slower on G4 and G5s. Not quite as good as Parallels, but it can run Linux too. You’ll still need a copy of Windows.