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Server Applications


Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:
Open source; $0

Current Version: 0.93.1 (October 31, 2002)

AmphetaDesk is a remarkable program. In short, AmphetaDesk is a news aggregator - it sits on your desktop, downloads the latest news that interests you, and displays them in a quick and easy to use (and customizable) web page. AmphetaDesk actually functions as a simple web server (written in Perl but not requiring a separate download of the MacPerl package) that contacts and collects news from selected XML-based (RSS) news sites to be combined and served in a simple web page format that is served to your web browser (or to other people's browsers, should you care to broadcast the address of your server) by your very own computer.

All this is not as complicated as it sounds; using it is a download-and-double-click affair, and customization and selection of content is done through your web browser. Because it's written in Perl, however, AmphetaDesk runs more slowly than you might like, and it may have a speed impact on other running applications. That said, it's an awful lot of fun, and since it's absolutely free and the source code is available, it's worth a look by any geek who can't get enough news - yours truly included.

Version 0.93.1 makes a whole slew of changes, all of which are fully detailed on the AmphetaDesk CHANGELOG page.

User Reviews

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Also See . . .

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.

Built Into Mac OS X

Mac OS X has a huge amount of TCP/IP-based server software built into it that I don't specifically cover here. Your "Sharing" Preference Pane allows you to enable and disable these services with a click of the mouse. The software running behind the scenes to provide many of these services is generally of the open source variety. The standard release of Mac OS X includes, among many others:

  • Apache httpd (web server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • Postfix (mail server; see Mac OS X Hints for more information).
  • tnftpd (FTP server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • OpenSSH (Secure Shell server; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane via "Remote Login" but additionally configurable via selected applications listed on this page).
  • BIND (Domain Name System server; see Mac OS X Hints for more information).
  • Samba (Windows file sharing; enabled via the Sharing Preference Pane).
  • XFree86 (X Window server; enabled via the "X11" application in your "Utilities" folder, if you elected to install it with Mac OS X).

Of course, Mac OS X Server includes many more, in addition to offering more recent versions of many of the above servers.

Related Links

Graham Orndorff has written a superb collection of articles on setting up email servers and secure email clients on Mac OS X.

Also Consider . . .

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!