Chicken of the VNC is a free, open source VNC client for Mac OS X. A VNC client allows one 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. Version 2.0b4 addresses the following:
DropIT is a program that saves some of your system settings to a web server of your choice. It saves IP address, uptime and the time the file was uploaded. DropIT can be used in different ways:
If you want to keep track on what's going on with your system or when it is turned on, you can use DropIT to spy. Or, you can use DropIT if you want to be able to connect to your system remotely (by keeping track of its dynamically-assigned IP address) from anywhere in the world.
Version 2.8 addresses the following:
EarthBrowser (formerly Planet Earth) is a very cool program that displays a real-time picture of the earth that indicates cloud cover and day and night regions - as well as allowing you spin and zoom the globe in any which way you desire (you'll be sure to make your Geochron-owning friends mildly sick). In addition, it displays current weather conditions and 5-day forecasts for over 800 cities, making it a superb general-purpose weather program as well. It's Internet software merely because of how it gets its most valuable information (maps, current cloud cover, etc.) via the the Internet.
Version 3.2/3.2.1 adds/changes the following:
Upgrades from version 2.0 are discounted.
"EarthBrowser is a way cool example of what's next in Internet applications: special-purpose programs that focus on a specific kind of information, which they gather from sites across the net and integrate for you. Today's browsers are all about gathering information: which information you gather, and how you put it together is up to you. Earth Browser is all about the weather: you don't need to know it's using the Internet: it just does -- all you need is an interest in weather, earthquakes, volcanoes and the like. Earth Browser gathers raw data and images from public and private web sites around the world (including recent satellite cloud-cover images) and integrates them into a very nicely-rendered 3D view of current conditions around the world. Think of it as a personal version of your weatherman's workstation -- right down to those happy little animated icons for current conditions in selected cities. There are plenty of display and customization options, including which cities get those happy little icons at various zoom levels: show New York, LA, Paris and London in the big view, and Pittsburgh, Paga-Pago and Timbuktu in the close-ups. Clicking the weather icon for a city pops up a window showing current conditions and a five-day forecast. Clicking on the optional markers for recent volcanoes, earthquakes, and webcams (the only disappointment of the whole package was the small number of webcams shown) pops up special windows or opens a browser window to show more info. I'm not sure how many people will spend $20 to get rid of the annoying banner that floats across the screen periodically, but anyone who's interested in what a next-generation web-enabled application looks like -- or has a healthy curiosity about the world and the weather -- would be well rewarded by doing so."
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Fixation is a freeware TCP client for the Internet Chess Club (ICC), Free Internet Chess Server (FICS), US Chess Live (USCL) and chess.net (limited support). Source code is available from the Fixation home page. Version 2.1.1 addresses the following:
"Fixation is simply the best FICS interface available for the Mac. Happily, it's also perfectly adequate."
"I have been using Fixation for several years. All around it is the best Macintosh ICS Chess Client out there. It is simple and easy to use with a good intuitive interface."
"I have been playing on FICS for several years now, starting out first with Smart Chess and a couple other clients I tried for a short time, and finally found Fixation. Great program, sure to make the average Internet chess-playing PC user green with envy. Try the rest, then use the best."
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Google Earth is a free program from Google that combines satellite imagery, maps and the Google search to a huge amount of geographic information at your fingertips. Features include:
Version 5.2 was a major new release that added/changed the following:
The recommended configuration for this release is as follows
Google Earth is not a typical Mac OS X "Cocoa" or "Carbon" application, but rather it was written using the portable Qt/Mac framework. This means that the application is a little larger than you might expect, and it also helps explain why it uses rather old-fashioned looking tabs and controls. That said, it functions quite well, and it's worth a download.
iNet Stream Archiver allows you to record Shoutcast and Icecast Internet radio streams using Mac OS X. While recording, it will check the track name being played and make a new mp3 file when a new song starts - each mp3 file will have the right song name. You can record multiple radio stations, depending on how much bandwith you have. You can also listen to recording stations from the same computer or multiple computers on your LAN. Unlicensed copies work for thirty minutes.
Version 1.7.3 adds/changes the following:
Startly Technologies, LLC (formerly CE Software) produces InOut Tracker, a cross-platform, TCP/IP-based people tracking utility, based upon the QuickConference instant messaging system.
Servers are available for Windows and "Classic" Mac OS, and clients are available for Windows, "Classic" Mac OS, and Mac OS X. Pricing starts at $59.95 for a 5-user bundle. Downloads are in the form of 30-day demonstration versions.
Linn Software produces the Investor/RT online stock trading / investment software. The client software is freely available that lets you peek at the package's capabilities prior to subscribing to a data service. Updaters are also available for registered users.
While no information is available regarding what's new in version 10.2.6 (the latest release for Mac OS X), version 10.2 made the following changes:
JollysFastVNC is the newest VNC client for Mac OS X. It's also the most smartly-designed VNC client I have ever used . . . a real must-have.
But why would you want a VNC client if you're an average Mac user? Simple: to take advantage of Mac OS X's elegant Screen Sharing capabilities that allow you to use one Mac from the screen of another. JollysFastVNC provides this with greater speed, elegance and configurability than Mac OS X's built-in capabilities, and more than any other VNC client for the Mac platform - period. If you have a desire to use a distant Mac from your desktop, then this is the tool of choice, bar none.
JollysFastVNC higher performance than Chicken of the VNC, along with screen scaling and an enhanced series of preference settings and controls. It gives you most of the key features of Apple's Screen Sharing application, but with better performance and higher screen quality. It's also under (very) active development.
Key features include:
Version 1.12 adds/changes the following:
Another fine piece of software from Navdeep Bains (the author of POPThing and ViaHTTP), MacDICT is a DICT client - one of only two I know of for the Macintosh. This extremely handy (and free) application searches (at current) 21 online databases for information relating to any word you provide it with: definitions, histories, you name it. It's like having a simple handy reference guide/encyclopedia for your desktop that doesn't hog nearly the resources that a Web browser does. Version 2.9.2 adds/changes the following:
MacDICT 2.9.2 is still completely free, but the author wouldn't mind an optional (but well-deserved!) $10 payment, which can be easily made with the included "register" application. For more information on the DICT protocol itself, see the DICT.org home page.
One trend in weather-reporting applications for Mac OS X has been in the appearance of programs that display their information in the menubar or in the dock, rather than in dedicated windows. Meteorologist is one such application. Meteorologist is a simple, free interface to weather provided by weather.com, weatherunderground.com and the National Weather Service. The program provides the ability to show the weather in the main menu or the dock, each displaying more detail in a pop-up menu, whose contents are customizable from the preferences. You can also change several of the appearance settings for the dock, in addition to setting whether to display temperature data in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Version 1.5.1 addresses the following:
One key way in which Meteorologist beats many of its competitors is in the number of cities whose current conditions you can highlight in the main portion of the menu (for comparisons at-a-glance): Meteorologist has no limits. Meteorologist also has some remarkable features that make this program one of the most smartly thought-out weather apps for the Mac platform, not the least of which is automatic notification of both software updates and current weather server issues. Such issues with these servers - which are not under the software author's control - have a long history of making weather programs work only sporadically. Meteorologist is capable of letting you know when these issues arise.
"[1.4.4] Have used for some time now and find it great and one of the easiest that I have tried and I have tried several....Would highly recommend."
—Gene Reed, 5/6/2007
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The accompanying "readme" file has more information.
From the authors of Package Tracker, above, P.O. Toolbox allows you to perform similar functions for Unites States Post Office transactions, but adds many features specific to the U.S.P.O as well, such as the calculation of domestic and international rates, the generation of Delivery Confirmation barcodes and preprinted addresses, and the determination of transit times, as well as many others. Version 2.0 adds/changes the following:
PowerTicker (formerly MacTicker, and also formerly commercial software from Galleon Software) is a simple Internet application that lets you view the free stock market information provided online by financial Web sites around the world. The downloads will act as 10-day demos for non-registered users, and registration costs $49.95. The sources page includes lots of up-to-date "source files" to allow PowerTicker customers to quickly add new sources and keep their copy of the software up-to-date.
While no information is available regarding what's new in version 2.8.2 (presumably, it's a bugfix release), version 2.8 added/changed the following:
Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client enables you to connect from your Macintosh computer to a Windows-based computer and work with programs and files on that computer. Mac users who have access to a Windows-based computer on a network, can use Remote Desktop Connection as an alternative to Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac.
To connect to a Windows-based computer, you need network access and permission to connect to the computer. In addition, the Windows-based computer must be running Terminal Services or Remote Desktop Services. The following Windows products support Remote Desktop connections:
Version 1.0.3 - the latest version for Mac OS X 10.2.8 and later - added/changed the following:
Version 2.0 - for Mac OS X 10.4.9 and later - added/changed the following:
Version 2.0.1 makes the following additional changes:
Remote Desktop Connection is truly a fantastic piece of free software for Mac users; there's nothing quite as nice as having access to a real PC from your Mac, bringing all the benefits of dedicated hardware and a truly separate environment that won't muck up your Mac with unnecessary files or other issues. If you have access to a machine with one of the Windows versions noted above, you owe it to yourself to give RDC a spin.
Objective Development Software produces Sharity, a client for the CIFS (Common Internet File System) protocol, formerly known as SMB (Server Message Block). This is the file-sharing protocol used by Windows NT, 95, 98, 2000, ME, Windows for Workgroups, OS/2, Samba and many others. Sharity mounts these servers in your file system. Mounting means that you can open files directly from the server with any application you like, as if they were on a local disk. Other clients (such as smbclient from the Samba suite) provide only an ftp-like interface where you can copy files to and from the share but cannot open them directly on the server.
Version 3.8 adds/changes the following:
Single user pricing ranges from $29 (home use) to $199 (business use), with volume discounts available.
Please note that the GUI is not a native Cocoa or Carbon application; it uses the portable FLTK toolkit which does not give the Aqua look and feel and which may be a bit buggy in some places.
While there are many nice weather applications for the Macintosh, there aren't many applications that show realtime conditions on other planets and heavenly bodies, such as our very own sun. Solscape is a "solar data browser" application that grabs up-to-the minute images of the sun in multiple light wavelengths. Solscape also monitors current solar flare, geomagnetic, and Aurora activity, providing current Aurora Borealis information and warnings for your location, along with real time Aurora images when available. Solscape gets all of its information via the Internet and compiles it in a single, easy to use application. You can save and archive the data that Solscape collects for later use, and you can tell Solscape to automatically grab the data when you want. Solscape is freeware; you may use Solscape for free for as long as you wish without any restrictions.
Version 2.6 adds/changes the following:
SpectorSoft produces Spector (formerly from Rampell Software) for Mac OS X 10.4 and higher. Spector is a screen recording application that might come in handy for parents who need to record what their children are doing on the Internet. Spector will record everything a person does on the Internet. It takes hundreds of screen snapshots every hour, very much like a surveillance camera. Spector enables you to see chat conversations, instant message exchanges, e-mails, web site visits, and more. Spector also records HotMail, Yahoo Mail, and other anonymous email accounts via snapshots. Watching the recorded activity with Spector is like playing back a tape using a VCR.
Spector Pro Mac 2010 goes beyond the original Spector for Mac by including many of the features of Spector Pro for Windows, including:
Vine Viewer is a feature-rich and well supported VNC viewer from Redstone Software, the folks who brought you Vine Server (aka osxVNC). Some feature highlights of Vine Viewer include:
Vine 3.1 includes new versions of Vine Viewer and Vine Server with a host of new features and options.
Vine Server 3.11 includes the following enhancements:
VNC Enterprise Edition is the "official" release of VNC for Mac OS X from the original inventors of VNC. Features include:
The software is available for both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs.
Pricing varies depending upon the number of licenses. See the licensing page for a quote.
Version 4.3.3 adds/changes the following:
WeatherDock is perhaps the most elegant and feature-filled Mac freeware weather application, and it's my current choice as a Drew's Pick in the Mac weather application genre.
Working with data from Weather.com, WeatherDock provides a fully customizable Dock icon that can contain a large variety of user-positionable weather data. Beyond its namesake functionality, however, the software provides an incredible variety of additional useful features, including a menubar weather status display that includes very nicely formatted weather forecasts (something that the authors of Meteorologist and WeatherPop should take note of); an optional "desktop" icon that can provide an enlarged view of the dock icon; and customizable spoken weather alerts. The icing on the cake is that each of these items can be customized to a surprising degree. Frankly, about the only thing WeatherDock is missing is the ability to simultaneously display weather from more than one city at a time; however, it's quite easy to switch among a group of favorites.
Version 2.5.1 of WeatherDock adds/changes the following:
"WeatherDock is a pretty neat program. For those of you in Panther, without widgets, its the quickest way to instantly get a detailed weather report, and can be configured pretty much they way you want it. And even in Tiger, it gives more info than the widget one you get with the OS. Definitely worth trying out, and you'll find yourself using it quite often. Cons: Sometimes on my machine in Panther it failed to clean up its window footprint after quitting, leaving a big white blank outline on the screen after clicking out and clicking again on my main menu window. Clicking on the white footprint would bring it back alive and then quitting it again would solve the problem, and it doesn't happen that frequently. It's the only bug I ever experienced with the program."
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As Aladdin stopped all development on WeatherTracker and no true replacement seems to be in sight, the Mac community is left with a dearth of decent weather applications. Some of them (listed on this page) are good, but don't support weather forecasts, choosing instead to focus on current weather conditions. Others have, well, other limitations. WeatherMan is the first program to come along that really shows promise as a replacement for WeatherTracker; WeatherMan will show you current weather conditions as well as forecasts, and it will allow you to display information for multiple cities at once. WeatherMan also displays 2 day forecasts and 5-day extended forecasts, sever weather alerts and radar imagery.
Version 1.9.9 adds/changes the following:
Registered copies of the application keep preference settings between application launches. I'd like to see the "main" window sizes reduced a bit more so that one can display more than 4 cities at a time on a 1024 x 768 display, but the author keeps making this software better and better between each release, so stay tuned for further improvements.
"WeatherMan is a simple, easy-to-use application that can give you, at a glance, the current weather conditions for any given city. Enter the ZIP code of the city in question, and voilà, a weather forecast right on the desktop. The graphics are nice, and for anyone who is a bit of a weather nerd, this may prove to be the perfect software download."
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WeatherMenu (formerly an "extra" in the WeatherMan product line, above), is a handy weather utility - similar to Meteorologist and Weather Pop - that puts current weather information for one or more cities in your OS X menu bar.
WeatherMenu is now freeware; it will be updated, but not officially supported.
WebPrint Plus is very similar to Net-Print, above. It allows you to print out needed portions of Web pages - and other documents - rather than the entire document, saving paper and time. WebPrint Plus arguably has a more flexible interface and provides users with more options for saving, printing, and working with the information that they select. Version 5.0c - the latest version for "Classic" Mac OS - adds/changes the following:
Version 3.1 - the latest version for Mac OS X - adds/changes the following:
WebPrint Plus is shareware ($34.95 for "Classic" Mac OS / $39.95 for Mac OS X), and the Classic version requires a Mac with System 7.5.3 or later (including Systems 8, 8.1, 8.5, 8.5.1, 8.6, and 9.x) and a 68020 or later processor.
Wx is a specialized Internet weather app for Mac OS X that downloads and processes weather information and forecasts for the United States. The software links to free XML data on the internet from the U.S. National Weather Service, and presents it in an attractive user-friendly interface.
Wx can be configured to track weather conditions, watches/warnings/advisories, live radar, and forecast information for up to 20 U.S. locations, and it can download up to 20 weather maps or images. Optional add-ons allow each user to customize Wx for their lifestyle, hobbies, and activities. Wx downloads data on-demand, and can be configured to download data automatically on a periodic basis. Current weather conditions are summarized in the app's dock icon and dock menu, a floating "MiniWx" panel, and a Quartz screensaver. Wx can also export settings to an iPhone or iPod Touch, allowing it to use the Wx web app.
Wx has some unique and special features that set it apart:
Wx is shareware; you can download it, share it with friends, and evaluate it free for 30 days. The downloadable app is fully functional but does not store preferences or export settings for the mobile version of Wx. You may register the software for $16.95 to receive a key that will enable these features.
Version 5.36 adds/changes the following:
Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:
Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.
Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.
These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!