Limit Point Software produces Blue Crab, a "high-performance crawler for intranets and the Internet" that allows you to index Web content in a manner similar to the way the big search engines do it.
Version 4.9.38 includes the following enhancements:
A Lite version of the software (part of Limit Point's all-in-one utility pack) is also available. This is essentially a stripped down version of Blue Crab that you use to download websites. It was created for those who don't need all the bells and whistles of Blue Crab, derived from its "Quick Grabber" feature.
Version 1.0.5 "Lite" includes the following enhancements:
Camino (formerly Chimera) is an interesting beast. Basically, it's a streamlined version of the Mozilla web browser for Mac OS X, but with a twist: the back-end of the program utilizes Mac OS X's UNIX layer (including the Berkeley Standard Distribution networking stack) for speed and stability, and the front end (the user interface) is programmed using Cocoa, Mac OS X's object oriented programming interface.
What's the point? Speed - blazing speed. Camino is generally as fast as any Windows browser at loading individual pages - and that's a real treat. Camino is only a browser (no mail and news capabilities), yet that adds to its elegance and efficiency. Because the core code is based upon Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine, it behaves smoothly and maturely. As of version 1.0 and many, many years of development and "pre-1.0" status, it also has finally gained most of the preference-setting capabilities that users expect from a mature web browser (with some hidden preferences, to boot).
Version 2.0.3 is available for Mac OS X 10.4 and later, making many enhancements, including:
(Version 1.0.4 remains available for Mac OS X 10.2, and other older versions remain available as well.)
Camino was the first Gecko-based browser to run natively on Intel-based Macs, and I recommend that users of these Macs take the program out for a spin to see how it performs.
Why don't I make Camino a Drew's Pick? Well, principally because I think it's still lacking in some of Firefox's key configurability and extensibility, and I feel that there are still a few rough edges in its performance (for instance, Camino sometimes slows down when loading multiple tabs at once, and at least some key speed optimizations that have made it into Firefox - such as smoother support for the "general.smoothScroll" preference - remain to be optimized in Camino). Additionally, Camino is usually a bit behind in implementing the latest improvements in the Gecko rendering engine, although as of version 2, it's finally close to being on par with Firefox 3.5.
"I have just started using Chimera 0.4 on OS 10.1.5. So far it is great. A very nice, clean, quick interface that is also intuitive, which are all the pluses that we as Mac users are looking for in every app that we use. Importing bookmarks was quick and simple once I could find them on the new OS X file heirarchy. To tell the truth, this browser is amazing for a sub 1.0 release. Some nifty features: multiple web sites in the same window, using a tab set up; and automatically detecting ad pop ups and eliminating them. No, it does not have all the features packed into Explorer and Netscape, but with the advent of Apple creating web apps right into OS X like Mail, and the upcoming iChat, I want my browser to be as simple as possible. Chimera fits the bill perfectly. For now it will be my primary browser."
"I discovered Chimera through checking Mozilla from a MacAddict magazine and gave it a try. It is truly an amazing and simple Mac OS browser! I am using version 0.5 now, and eagerly looking forward to updates. Pages load quickly and I have even removed the Internet Explorer alias from my dock and primarily use Chimera now. This program does OS X justice."
"In my opinion, Camino is without a doubt and hands down *THE* best browser to date! I've used the IEs, the Netscapes, Opera 6, iCab, Mozilla and OmniWeb and Camino. No contest: Camino leaves the others in the dust! It's categorically and conclusively my favorite browser. Can't beat it for speed and ease of navigation. No "portion" pages; no "missing pieces" (images, text, etc.). Camino doesn't leave you guessing, and it gets you there with unbeatable speed!"
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Changes Meter is a free application that checks web pages or local files for changes, notifying you with a pie chart icon on the menu bar, and (optionally) with sounds and Growl notifications.
Version 1.7.4 adds/changes the following:
Intego, Inc. produces the ContentBarrier Internet content filtering software for parents. The "Classic" Mac OS version is no longer available for purchase, although updaters are still available for download (see below).
Version "X5" (10.5) introduced the following new features:
Version 10.5.5 adds/changes the following:
DansGuardian is an award winning web content filtering proxy for Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Mac OS X, HP-UX, and Solaris that uses Squid to do all the fetching. It filters using multiple methods. These methods include URL and domain filtering, content phrase filtering, PICS filtering, MIME filtering, file extension filtering, POST limiting. The content phrase filtering will check for pages that contain profanities and phrases often associated with pornography and other undesirable content. The POST filtering allows you to block or limit web upload. The URL and domain filtering is able to handle huge lists and is significantly faster than squidGuard. The filtering has configurable domain, user and source ip exception lists. SSL Tunneling is supported. The configurable logging produces a log in an easy to read format which has the option to only log the text-based pages, thus significantly reducing redundant information such as every image on a page. Pretty much all parts of DansGuardian are configurable thus giving the end administrator user total control over what is filtered and not some third-party company.
DansGuardian 2 is:
Version 2.10 is the first new "stable" release since August 2005, and includes a host of changes from the 2.8 series. Here are the highlights:
Version 126.96.36.199 is a bugfix release that makes the following additional changes:
Daydreamer is a useful Webcam application that allows you to continuously display pictures stored at a particular web address and track them for updates.
Daydreamer author Donald E. Carlile puts it best: "Perhaps you want to keep track of the weather or freeway conditions. Or maybe you just like satellite pictures. There are many changing pictures that are pointed to by unchanging URLs on the Internet. Of course, you can use a web browser to view the pictures, but it's a pain to keep refreshing the picture, and it's overkill to use a big footprint web browser to view a little picture. That's where Daydreamer comes in. Daydreamer will display a picture pointed to by a URL and update it as often as you like. Daydreamer will handle several pictures at once. What's more, you can have Daydreamer make time lapse movies of the URL picture, adding a new frame to a movie each time the picture is refreshed. Daydreamer is AppleScript-able, which adds to its versatility. With sample scripts provided with the distribution, you can view slide shows of picture folders on your computer, or even make those slide shows into QuickTime movies."
Daydreamer 2.1.2 adds/changes the following:
Firefox is a pretty simple product: a simple, standalone web browser from the same team of engineers who brought you the old Netscape and Mozilla "all-in-one" browser/email products. It's a perfect complement to the Thunderbird standalone email client / Usenet newsreader.
Firefox is not merely the original Mozilla browser with some user interface tweaks. Many hundreds of thousands of lines of code were added or changed from the Mozilla base. For instance, preferences are handled quite differently, in a much more user-friendly manner. As with Mozilla, Firefox's interface can be changed using themes, but Firefox - unlike Mozilla - allows you to go even further by customizing many other aspects of the user interface, including the toolbar, and much more.
Most importantly, a huge variety of Firefox Extensions enable various enhancements to the browsing experience. These are essentially small programs (or add-ons) that add new functionality to Firefox. Extensions enable Firefox to stay small and unbloated, while still enabling a great deal of customization (and additional features) to those who are more demanding. My particular favorite is the brilliant Web Developer toolbar, which adds a host of features that enable you to view and test various technical aspects of a web site, in surprisingly powerful ways.
The next natural question is: why not use Camino, which (like Firefox) has all of the great browsing characteristics of Mozilla, but with a "native" Mac OS X interface? That's a good question, but one answer lies in the fact that Firefox - being a multiplatform project - seems to be along a much more comprehensive track of improvement and fine tuning, while Camino sees much less substantial enhancement on a regular basis. More tellingly, Firefox's remarkable extensions are not supported in Camino.
Firefox is speedy, extensible, renders web pages exceptionally well, and has a highly evolved tabbed browsing interface. As of June 2008, it still clearly provides the fastest, smoothest browsing experience yet on the Mac platform. Safari has caught up to Firefox in many respects, but since Firefox is used by Windows and Linux users as well, it has undergone incredibly exhaustive testing, and has become an indisputable standard in the web browsing arena. It is critical for Mac users to take notice of such an important, widely-supported application that happens to run very well on the Macintosh platform. By using and supporting Firefox, you actually help foster a more egalitarian, platform-agnostic take on the Web - and that's what the Web is really all about.
Version 3.6 is a must-download release that aims to substantially refine version 3.5's already-polished browsing experience. Highlights include:
Version 3.6.7 makes the following additional changes:
Fluid is a new category of application that enables you to create what are known as Site Specific Browsers (SSBs).
From the Fluid home page: "Using Fluid, you can create SSBs to run each of your favorite WebApps as a separate Cocoa desktop application. Fluid gives any WebApp a home on your Mac OS X desktop complete with Dock icon, standard menu bar, logical separation from your other web browsing activity, and many, many other goodies.
"Fluid itself is a very small application. When launched, Fluid displays a little tiny window where you specify the URL of a WebApp you'd like to run in a Site Specific Browser. Provide an application name, specify a Location and an Icon, click 'Create' and you'll be prompted to launch the new native Mac app you've just created. Anytime you click a link to another site in an SSB, the link is opened in your system default web browser, keeping your SSB dedicated to the original site you've specified.
"Fluid was inspired by the excellent Prism (formerly WebRunner) project by Mozilla Labs. Check out Prism for much more information about SSBs and the benefits they provide to WebApp lovers. Fluid is very similar in nature to Prism, but is based on Safari's WebKit rendering engine. And SSBs created by Fluid are true, native Cocoa OS X applications offering seamless integration into the Mac OS."
Version 0.9.6 adds/changes the following:
Google Chrome - available for some time for Microsoft Windows - is at long last available for the Mac.
Google Chrome sets itself apart form the competition with the following key features:
This release is solid, but lacks a few features from its Windows sibling for the time being. This includes the ability to launch a folder of bookmarks in a set of tabs (although you can open them in a new window), and you can't customize font display.
The Google release blog has more information about what's new in this release, but the thrust of version 5.0.375.99 is:
GrandReporter lets you automate web-based searches. You create a query, and it will scan for new web information periodically. As soon as a new page on one of the subjects is detected, you will be alerted, you can view and classify it, and save interesting pages in bookmarks. Features include:
A trial version is available for evaluation. The trial version is fully functional and has these limitations:
Version 1.2.2 makes the following enhancements:
Quicomm produces GURL Watcher, a system that can be used by parents to monitor the web pages that their children have visited.
Version 1.0.1 - the latest release for "Classic" Mac OS - Added seconds to URL capture time and made a Preferences file (for easier updating).
Version 2.1.1 - the latest release for Mac OS X - is a bug fix release; GURL Watcher can now be force quit from the GURL Watcher Setup application by simply turning it off once, then again using the "Turn Off" button (that is click the "Turn Off" button twice, with a slight pause between clicks). This will eliminate some "hanging" problems which can be experienced if a SMTP server is not currently available and you want to immediately terminate the background application.
iCab is a feature-packed browser that does just about everything that Netscape Communicator and MSIE do (except for email and Usenet news), while offering a legion of features that aren't supported by many other browsers, such as:
iCab 4 was completely rewritten and is now based on Cocoa instead of Carbon. It is much faster than iCab 3, has a polished user interface, and includes some new features. iCab 4 is available as Universal Binary for all PowerPC and Intel Macs running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or newer.
Version 4.8a makes the following additional changes:
iCab 3.0.5 is only recommended if you're still using an older version of Mac OS X (older than 10.3.9) or if your still using the "Classic" Mac OS. When using a Mac with G4, G5 or Intel processor and Mac OS X 10.3.x or newer, the Universal Binary version should be used instead of the PowerPC version.
(Version 3.0 beta) "Lovely browser that is years ahead of every other Mac browser when it comes to config options and functionality. Also iCab is a lot more attractive these days in how it displays pages, and faster too! I also love the little RSS button that you can click on in the latest versions to choose from the page's RSS feeds and add them to your favourite RSS reader. iCab's come a long way in terms of speed, stability (I hardly ever experience crashes with the latest beta) and page rendering since version 2, and is now a serious competitor to Safari, Firefox and Camino IMHO."
—Jamie Kahn Genet
(Version 4.1.1) "iCab 4.1.1 uses the same webkit as Safari, and updates more frequently, if you use the fully functional betas. It compares with Safari on every level, speed, rendering etcetera, but have more nice functions, for instance a very easy click the link download of YouTube movies, either in Flash or the more useful MPEG4, so you actually can use FrontRow to watch the movies and edit them on a Mac. Besides it has a build-in filter for anything, very useful for ads, not only links but whole div sections! Ah, what a relief - and with no system ad-ons, like PithHelmet, which renders Safari unuseable when it has not been updated to the latest Safari version. The developer is very, very responsive, I asked for the snapback function like in Safari, and got it. The only thing he won't change is the look of the tabs, but you can opt for if you want a close button on the tabs or not. ;) And the width of them! And the yellow iCab design is more warm and Mac friendly than the Safari metal look. I can highly recommend this browser, and I am using it making this review."
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the "Classic" version for Mac OS X 8.5 to 9.2.2 (3.0.5).
the Mac OS X 10.1.5+ (Carbon / PowerPC) version (3.0.5).
the Mac OS X 10.3.9+ (Carbon / Universal) version (3.0.5).
the Mac OS X 10.3.9+ (Cocoa / Universal) 32-bit version (4.8).
the Mac OS X 10.5+ (Cocoa / Universal) 64-bit version (4.8a).
to the Download page to download non-English releases, as well as older versions that will work on 680x0-based Macs.
Webcams are fun, but they can get cumbersome and dreary if viewed from a regular web browser. iCamMaster is a very nice program that has been specially designed to browse Web cams all over the world from an easy-to-browse and attractive, flexible interface. Included are addresses to over 1000 Web cams; you can add as many of your own as you like, and it automatically alerts you whenever new cams are available (nice). iCamMaster requires OS 8 or later, and only runs on Power Macintoshes.
Version 1.9.5 - the latest version for "Classic" Mac OS - adds/changes the following:
Version 2.0 - the latest version for Mac OS X, and the first new non-beta release in over two and a half years - adds/changes the following:
"This is so cool . . . this doesn't use a web browser, it shows the picture in its own window, web cam, sattelite images, financial graphs (?!), weather forecasts - fabulous."
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Lynx is a text-based Web browser that has its origins in the UNIX and DOS command-line worlds. Unlike the "Classic" Mac OS port MacLynx, this implementation of Lynx is kept relatively current, as it's simply a straight port to OS X's UNIX layer ("Darwin"). If you're a Web site developer, you should download this now so that you can dee how effectively your site designs "degrade" in the absence of imagery, styled text, scripting, and all of the other window dressing that graphical browsers bring to the table. But even mere mortals should have a copy of Lynx at hand to do no-nonsense browsing when time is of the essence.
Version 2.8.5 is the latest pre-built command line version of Lynx for Mac OS X that is available with built-in SSL support.
Version 2.8.7d13 is the latest "double-clickable" version of Lynx available for Mac OS X, but it doesn't provide SSL support.
Note: In accordance with published support lifecycle policies, Microsoft will end support for Internet Explorer for Mac on December 31st, 2005, and will provide no further security or performance updates. Additionally, as of January 31st, 2006, Internet Explorer for the Mac will no longer be available for download from Microsoft. Microsoft recommendeds that Macintosh users migrate to more recent web browsing technologies such as Apple's Safari.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 had the distinction of being the most important piece of Macintosh Internet software that went nearly two years without an update. The good part was that it also shared the distinction of being the only piece of Macintosh Internet software that didn't need an update. IE 5 was quite thoroughly tested and tweaked before it was released, and while not completely perfect (what browser is?), it has worked remarkably smoothly since its release in March 2000.
The focus of the onslaught of recent (early to mid 2002) releases has been to make IE "much lighter on its feet, with plenty of bug fixes and impressive new stability and versatility," according to Microsoft. The most noticeable changes have been subtle:
Versions 5.1.7 (for "Classic" Mac OS) and 5.2.3 (for Mac OS X) provide all the latest security and performance enhancements (including the above) for Internet Explorer. These versions also enhance browser compatibility for users who work on a network with secure authentication or with proxy servers, and they will be the final versions of Internet Explorer for Mac OS and Mac OS X, respectively.
Most everything else is as it should be: left well-enough alone. The browser works quite smoothly, and the best features remain intact:
Interesting historical tidbit: with all the bells and whistles in version 5.x, version 4.5 was actually in some ways a more significant release. The features it added (Print Preview, Forms Auto Fill, self-repairing install) were ground-breaking, and - although they are tweaked in 5.x - they owe their true heritage to version 4.5. The version 5.x series has been a highly successful exercise in refinement, which is refreshing in a world of daily bugfix updates.
IE's offline browsing and page saving capabilities are considerably more sophisticated than anything Netscape has ever offered. The ability to email links to friends or co-workers with a simple click of the mouse is a feature I once used several times a day.
But while IE was once "the browser of choice" on the Macintosh platform, it is no longer. As of mid 2003, Microsoft has pulled the plug on future development of this once- groundbreaking product. In the face of great browsers such as Mozilla (including Camino and Firefox) and Safari, that's not the awful news that it once would have been.
Mozilla was the original name for Netscape Navigator, back when it was first being developed in 1994 by Marc Andreesen and his friends from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA - the people who developed Mosaic, the world's first graphical web browser). The name was supposed to imply a supercharged, "Godzilla" version of Mosaic; Mozilla was forced to change its name to Netscape when the people at NCSA threatened to sue over trademark infringement. Behind the scenes, though, Netscape Navigator and Communicator have always been known as Mozilla; type "about:mozilla" into the "Location" field of any version of those browsers and you'll see evidence of that.
In the early 21st century, with the "Mosaic"-inspired name no longer an issue, Mozilla became the name of the open source project upon which the Netscape series of browsers was based. Continuously developed by programmers around the world rather than by just a handful at a large corporation, it changed constantly, and improved all the time.
Today, however, Mozilla is no longer under development, at least under the "Mozilla" moniker. The primary components of Mozilla - its web browser and email/Usenet client - were broken off into separate, optimized development efforts, known respectively as Firefox and Thunderbird. The combined application suite has, as of early 2006, been reincarnated as SeaMonkey, which I will be adding to the Orchard soon.
Nonetheless, I include Mozilla here for historic purposes, since people will still find it useful and functional for some time, and it represents one of the only opportunities for users of "Classic" Mac OS to access a more modern browser that is largely compatible with today's more advanced web standards.
While Mozilla 1.7.13 was a minor update to Mozilla 1.7 that added some security and stability fixes, version 1.7 made a huge number of feature and performance enhancements. The online release notes have the whole picture.
Mozilla is fast (once it's loaded, which can still take a while) at rendering web pages. Mozilla is a breath of fresh air, and while the interface elements seem a little slow compared to other browsers, pages render remarkably quickly. This latest release is more than worthy of your daily use. Two of my many criteria for determining a browser's usefulness are: 1) how long I keep it open for browsing before quitting out in frustration; and 2) how long it keeps itself open before crashing. Mozilla wins on both fronts. Download it and try it for yourself; I suspect you'll be pleasantly surprised.
FYI: If you use OS X and like Mozilla - but don't like the way it looks - you should proceed, posthaste, to download the Pinstripe Theme for Mozilla, which lets the browser breathe through a beautiful Aqua interface, just like all of your favorite OS X apps. Mozilla's just not complete without it.
Mozilla 1.7 requires a Mac OS X later to run (version 1.2.1 was the last "official" release for OS 9, although the Web and Mail Communicator Project has a modified, unofficial release of version 1.3.1 available for OS 9), and it comes with optionally-installable news, email, and IRC (yes, IRC; Mozilla includes an incomplete IRC client called "Chatzilla" rather than AOL Instant Messenger) components. The mail and news clients are surprisingly well thought-out and pleasant to use, although I will probably always maintain that it is better to use separate, dedicated email and newsreading software rather than taking a "swiss army knife" approach; the separate tools are still superior at what they do. (Personal note: this is why I actually use Firefox for my regular browsing rather than the combined Mozilla suite...for email, I use Eudora.)
"I used to be a big Netscape fan until version 6. Mac Orchard reviewed NS6 correctly - big and clunky! While IE5 will probably remain my default browser, I am highly impressed with Mozilla. I am a web designer and need to see my pages in all the various browsers. Many times when I would attempt to view a page in NS6, it would quit even before it opened! Finally Mozilla will end that frustration for me."
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Version 1.8 beta 1 is also available for Mac OS X (Carbon), making many enhancements; however, it was announced in March 2005 that this version will not see a final release, as the Mozilla organization instead focuses its efforts on the development of the independent Firefox and Thinderbird programs. The SeaMonkey project is Mozilla's heir apparent. See the online release notes for more details.
Muffin is an interesting beast. It's one of the few Java applications that I list on the Orchard (if I were to include every Java application that had useful Internet capability, I would never have time to maintain this site), and while its functionality is useful for users of all levels, installing and getting it up and running - while not difficult for experienced Mac users - is not for the faint of heart.
Basically, though, I include it here because it provides incredibly useful functionality that is not really provided by any other free Macintosh software.
Briefly, Muffin is a World Wide Web "filtering system" that acts as a proxy server to filter out content to your own specifications. It can be used to filter any or all of the following:
. . . and a whole lot more. Its core features include:
Figuring out how to run Muffin on Classic Mac OS from the instructions on its Web site is needlessly intimidating. To save you the trouble, I've written a simplified set of instructions here:
To use Muffin, you'll need the following downloads (all free):
Once you have the two Apple MRJ products installed, you'll need to:
By the way: you'll never have to do this again; now, you'll be able to double-click on the applet whenever you want to use Muffin (but you'll have to be online for it to run).
In order to use Muffin, you'll have to configure your Web browser's proxy settings (dig around your browser's preferences to find this) to point to Muffin so that it can intervene between you and the Web (which is exactly what a proxy server does). This is accomplished by setting your proxy server address to 127.0.0.1 (the magic "loopback" IP address that points to your own machine) and using port 51966.
Sit back, configure Muffin from its "Edit" menu, and you'll be ready to roll! It uses about 6-7 MB of RAM when running, and has excellent performance under MRJ 2.2.
For more information on Muffin, including documentation, visit the Muffin Web site.
Please note: As of February, 2008, Netscape will once again be discontinued. This time, however, it will be discontinued for all platforms, and support for all versions, past and present, will be discontinued as well. See Tom Drapeau's blog post for more information.
Once the universal choice for browsing the web, Netscape's presence today has been marginalized by many other browsers, largely due to the stagnant 4.x series that introduced little innovation, and to the 6.x series, which merely showed amateurish promise.
Netscape 9 is a bundled Web browser / authoring environment / email / newsreader / instant messenger offering based upon the Mozilla project's browser and renderer work.
The primary components of Netscape and Mozilla - both the web browser and email/Usenet client - were broken off into separate, optimized development efforts, known respectively as Firefox and Thunderbird. The combined application suite has, as of early 2006, been reincarnated as SeaMonkey, which I will be adding to the Orchard soon.
In its older (7.x) incarnations, Netscape represents one of the few remaining opportunities for users of "Classic" Mac OS to access a more modern browser that is largely compatible with today's more advanced web standards. Version 7.02 was the final release for "Classic" Mac OS, and it remains available, below.
Version 9 is available for Mac OS X 10.2 and later, represents the first new release of Netscape for the Mac in over three years. It's a universal binary, and it offers the following:
Version 188.8.131.52 adds/changes the following:
Netscape 9 is as fast at loading and viewing/navigating pages than just about any browser available for the Mac - even though the interface elements are somewhat clunkier. Even so, Netscape Communicator 4 (updated on 8/20/2002 to version 4.8) is still available (see below) for those who might prefer its quirks.
I have chosen not to review the non-browser components of this release, but I generally recommend people use separate, dedicated email and newsreading software (although the email component has gotten rave reviews in many publications). The Swiss army knife approach just doesn't cut it for me (pun very much intended) when it's not a matter of my pockets feeling bulky.
"Impressive, this new Netscape version (7.0). I was still using 4.76, seeing that version 6 was not well reviewed. This new version draws fast and does not redraw (so far). I like the look and feel of it. After only about an hour with it, I can say I will adopt it. I'm using a PowerBook G3 (Firewire) with OS 9.1 and 384MB of memory. Consider this browser."
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the version 184.108.40.206 full installer for Mac OS X 10.2+ (Carbon / Universal; ~17 MB).
the version 7.2 full installer for Mac OS X (Carbon; ~17.5 MB).
the version 7.02 smart installer ("Classic" - Power Macs only; ~156K).
the version 7.02 full installer ("Classic" - Power Macs only; ~20.2 MB).
to the Communicator 4.8 FTP site to select a version for downloading ("Classic" - Power Macs only).
to the Communicator 4.08 FTP site to select a version for downloading (680x0 Macs).
OmniWeb was the first Web browser for Mac OS X / Mac OS X Server. It's fully-featured, with a gorgeous interface. Recent versions of OmniWeb (4.5 and later) employ Safari's HTML rendering engine for improved rendering performance and functionality.
Version 5.10/5.10.1 added/changed the following:
Despite rave reviews in other places, all I can say is: even given all the new features, I find OmniWeb slightly underwhelming. Site-by-site preferences - which may be OmniWeb 5's most useful feature - really demonstrate that serious problems with the Web itself are the larger issue . . . in short, if one site behaves so profoundly differently from other sites that my browser settings need changing, there's no good reason for me to visit that site. Since most of OmniWeb 5's other new features exist in (or are capable of being closely or completely emulated with) other browsers, it is hard to recommend OmniWeb despite the fact that it's an otherwise unobjectionable - and attractive-looking - piece of software.
That aside, if there is one single feature that makes OmniWeb worth the download, it has to be its genuine (yet still a bit buggy) ability to check web sites for updates, on both a scheduled and manually-instantiated basis. (As a matter of fact, OmniWeb is the key tool I use to check for software updates on The Mac Orchard!) Other software claims to do this, but OmniWeb just does a better job of it.
—Gardner D. Underhill III
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Opera, the browser that has been a favorite of PC users for years, has finally arrived on the Macintosh in recent years. Similar in scope to Mozilla, Opera includes not just a web browser, but an email client and Usenet newsreader as well. Both of these are quite capable, and worth a look if you prefer an all-in-one application to suit the bulk of your Internet communication needs.
Version 10.60 makes the following enhancements from version 10.54:
The online release notes have much more detail about these new features. I would daresay that, as of the 9.0 release, Opera became a browser that is worthy of attention on the Mac once and for all. It's quite stable, capable and customizable, and it renders pages very well - on a par with Safari and Firefox. Its breakthrough feature remains its ability to magnify and reduce pages (graphics and all) to just about any size of your choice, which is a real boon for those with disabilities. Its RSS reader is much more thoroughly developed than that in Safari and Firefox as well.
Opera is entirely free, eschewing the built-in advertising that was once its hallmark. Competition in the browser space is a good thing for Mac users. Let's hope that Opera can shake up the Mac browser world in a big way.
[9.0.1] "I've been using Opera 9.01 for just over an hour and I'm already certain there won't be a second hour of testing. In this short space of time I've found the delete button in the download prefs does nothing (I wanted to delete the application/zip prefs to force Opera to ask for new settings), when I set zip files to be opened after downloading, nothing happens, and Opera corrupted all the zip archives I was downloading from a sound clip site. Camino downloaded them fine. Something else that bugged me, yet wasn't an actual bug - when I went Opera->About Opera to get double-check the program version before posting this review, Opera opened the about page IN PLACE of the MacOrchard submit a review page :-( Not good behavior. Opera also touts itself as the fastest browser ever - not in my testing! Camino and even Shiira are faster loading pages. These bugs and annoyances (and this is just what I've encountered in an hour... I wonder what I'd find if I stuck with Opera longer?) are nothing compared to how un-maclike the UI is. If only because Opera uses non-standard and un-maclike UI elements and practises, I will not continue using this program."
—Jamie Kahn Genet, August 12, 2006
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PageSucker is a small utility written in Java that allows entire Web page hierarchies to be downloaded automatically. The pages will thereby be modified in such a way that they can then be viewed off-line (even after copying them to a CD-ROM or the like). Mac OS X users can download the archive below and execute the "PageSuckerClasses.jar" file directly from the command line (see the "Read Me"file included in the download for more information).
Version 3.2 adds CSS stylesheet support, options to delete empty or incompletely downloaded files, and makes lots of bug fixes.
Site licenses are available for $300.
"I have found PageSucker incredibly valuable for downloading entire web sites. Sometimes, I do this just to be able to find something I know is on the site, somewhere, but more often I use it to back up friends' sites when I know they don't do backups themselves. It is also great for capturing sites that are about to be censored, so you can mirror them with a minimum of effort. PS does a funny thing with the "index.html" file, but if you have a site management tool (such as Adobe GoLive) you can easily fix this, and then you have the whole site in working form."
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Paparazzi! is a small utility for Mac OS X that makes screenshots of entire web pages without the need to scroll and take multiple screenshots that need to be pasted together. This is especially useful for web developers and for artists who need to create graphical representations of web pages when a printed version of a web page won't do.
Version 0.4.3 adds/changes the following:
0.5 beta 6 is now available (January 25, 2009), adding/changing the following:
Pop-Up Zapper is a shareware application from none other than the famed Ricardo Batista, author of the freeware "Extensions Manager" that eventually found its way into the official Mac OS releases. Pop-Up Zapper helps you by "zapping" away annoying pop-up windows as you surf the web with Internet Explorer (sorry, Netscape users). Pop-Up Zapper is available in two versions: Pop-Up Zapper for Mac OS X and Pop-Up Zapper Lite for Mac OS 8.5 - 9.
Pop-Up Zapper watches the work of your web browser. When the program identifies a pop-up window, it closes it - just as you would - except quite a bit faster. Using Pop-Up Zapper for OS X, most of the time you will see a window flash open and then close on your screen. It moves quickly, however, so may not notice it at all. You can look at Pop-Up Zapper's counter on its Dock icon to see that it is working. With Pop-Up Zapper Lite for OS 8.5 - 9, the process is completely transparent. You will never even see the pop-up window.
You can run Pop-Up Zapper in evaluation mode for 5 days only, at which point it requires a license to continue working. For registered users, Pop-Up Zapper can also update its own data automatically and can notify you when the application has been updated with new features.
From the Privoxy web site: "Privoxy is a web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for protecting privacy, modifying web page content, managing cookies, controlling access, and removing ads, banners, pop-ups and other obnoxious Internet junk. Privoxy has a very flexible configuration and can be customized to suit individual needs and tastes. Privoxy has application for both stand-alone systems and multi-user networks." Privoxy is freeware, released under the GNU General Public License.
Version 3.0.10-1 (the latest Mac OS X release) is a bugfix release; version 3.0.11 (the latest source release) adds/changes the following:
The online release notes have more details.
Safari is a browser developed by Apple, and is the default browser for Mac OS X. It is based upon the KHTML rendering engine used in the Konqueror web browser for UNIX systems.
Safari is simple but stable, and its speed and simplicity make it fun to use. Like other modern browsers, it is capable of blocking popup advertisements and it supports "tabbed" browsing that allows you to neatly organize multiple open pages in a single browser window. Apple has created a page of useful AppleScripts that demonstrate the care that Apple is putting into this browser's design.
Safari's interface is not terribly attractive, but it is functional. My biggest gripe about the user interface still involves tabbed browsing: prior to version 1.2, when closing the last browser tab, the window would shrink in height; all other browsers with tabbed browsing typically increase the page viewing area (back to its prior state) in this instance. In 1.2 and later, while this quirk has been fixed, a new annoyance has cropped up: when you open your first tab, Safari increases the height of your browser window if there is room below it. It's (still) an unpleasant thing to have to keep resizing a browser all day, and I wish Apple would control the window sizing behavior once and for all for everyday browsing.
While power users will still probably prefer Firefox for their browsing needs because of its extensibility, Safari is more than good enough for the average user, easily meriting a "Drew's Pick" rating in the Mac web browser category.
See the development group's weblog for more information.
Safari 5 introduces the following new features:
Version 3.2.1 (available for Mac OS 10.4 Tiger and Mac OS 10.5 Leopard) features protection from fraudulent phishing websites and better identification of online businesses, and includes security updates and stability improvements.
Version 1.3.2 (for Panther) "improves website compatibility, application stability and support for 3rd party web applications," according to Apple. This version is available through the Software Update feature.
Version 1.0.3 (for Jaguar) "improves the Safari rendering engine to expand third party application support and includes the latest security enhancements." This version is available through the Software Update feature.
(Version 1.3.2) "Sadly Safari's usefulness is hampered by updates being tied to Mac OS X updates (i.e., you can't get a newer version of Safari without purchasing the next major version of Mac OS X). As I run a lot of older Macs with Panther (I typically stay a version behind with my main OS) Safari will never be as current as Camino or iCab for me. Regardless, iCab has far more functionality and Camino is faster. Still, Safari isn't a bad browser. It's just a bit limited and the Panther version is buggy by comparison, IME."
—Jamie Kahn Genet
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Shiira, like OmniWeb, is a web browser based on Apple's "Web Kit" and written in Cocoa. The goal of the Shiira Project is to create a browser that is better and more useful than Safari. Shiira has some beautiful and truly unique user interface features; pictures tell the story better than words do. All source code used is publicly available.
Version 2.3 adds the following:
Previous version 1.2.2 remains available.
"Shiira is a lovely browser, and a refreshing change from the Mozilla based bunch and Safari. I especially love that the tab's widths are proportional to their title, plus - unlike Camino - you can drag tabs to rearrange their order - excellent! :-) Also, providing you've a large enough display, the sidebar for viewing and editing bookmarks, history and downloads is great - much better than taking over the active tab! Now if only Shiira saved the open window/tab state like Opera and was a tad faster, it would be the perfect browser for me. But as it stands it's still a hell of good browser, given how recently it arrived at v1. Try it today! You'll be happy you did."
—Jamie Kahn Genet
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Dejal Systems, LLC produces Simon, a web site monitoring tool for Mac OS X. It checks sites for changes or failures, and notifies you via e-mail, sound, speech, or other means. You can use it to track updated sites, and to alert you when an important site goes down or recovers.
Version 2.5.7 makes the following changes:
Simon is available in a number of configurations, ranging in price from $29.95 ("Basic" license allowing up to 7 tests) to $195 ("Enterprise" license allowing unlimited tests). The online store offers full details.
Like Muffin, above, SpeedManiac is a World Wide Web "filtering system" that acts as a proxy server to filter out content to your own specifications. However, it's not written in Java; it's a native Mac OS X application that is much easier to set up and use. While it cannot filter the variety of things that Muffin can, it is capable of filtering graphics, selected sites, and Flash animations, which is good enough for mere mortals who might not have the time to master Muffin.
In order to use SpeedManiac, you'll have to configure your Web browser's proxy settings (dig around your browser's preferences to find this) to point to the program so that it can intervene between you and the Web (which is exactly what a proxy server does). Here's how you do that:
Version 1.7.1 adds/changes the following:
SpeedManiac - which is written by Ricardo Batista, celebrated author of the Extensions Manager for the "Classic" Mac OS - is shareware, and works as a trial version for 15 days.
Subscriber is a relatively sophisiticated web page update checking utility that enables granularized checking of portions of web pages in a manner that most web browsers' built-in "subscribe" capabilities cannot. Subscriber allows you to disregard items of your choosing, such as dates, advertisements, and other items. It's probably the most sophisticated web page update checking software available for the Macintosh, and if you're serious about keeping on top of web site updates, you'll want to include this on your list of software to check out.
Version 1.2b2 adds/changes the following:
Subscriber is shareware, and runs as fully-functional software for 30 days before requiring purchase.
If you frequent web sites that have thumbnail pictures that are links to images or movies and have a penchant for quickly collecting the whole bunch, Suck It Down! will grab all of those images and put them into a folder of your choice. If you want it to, Suck It Down! will even perform its magic without you actually visiting the page.
Suck It Down! will also display JPEG and GIF images as they are downloading, giving you a mini slide show. And after the download is complete you can click or key through the images and throw away any you don't like. You can also open them in their native application.
Personally, I think that thumbnails exist for a reason: they make applications like this largely unnecessary because you can preview the pictures and choose the ones you actually want to download in full. That said, there are people who like collecting everything, and this application is surely designed with them in mind.
Version 1.8 - the first release in almost 5 (!) years - adds/changes the following:
Suck It Down! requires Mac OS X. You will be able to download 750 images without paying the fee. After the first 500, the About box will appear after each URL Suck you do.
From the Tor home page: "Tor is a software project that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the Internet's TCP protocol."
Tor is based on Privoxy, a web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for protecting privacy, modifying web page data, managing cookies, controlling access, and removing ads, banners, pop-ups and other obnoxious Internet junk. Privoxy has a very flexible configuration and can be customized to suit individual needs and tastes. Privoxy has application for both stand-alone systems and multi-user networks.
Tor requires more than just the software; it involves some behavioral changes as well, which are documented nicely on the Tor website.
Tor 0.2.1.26 fixes the following bugs:
Web Confidential is a central repository for the legions of those Web site passwords that you have scribbled on napkins and tissues but never got around to organizing. It works with Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, and Eudora.
Version 3.8 - the latest version for Mac OS X - addresses the following:
Web Devil, like Web Retriever, below, works with your web browser to enable you to save a Web page--graphics and all--in one fell swoop rather than saving the HTML and each image separately. Very useful!
Version 6.0 was a major rewrite of the software for Mac OS X; version 6.5 adds/changes the following:
"My [money] is in the mail for this shareware gem, a brilliant implementation of the old WebWhacker idea. Where the commercial product WebWhacker 1.0 failed (all files downloaded into the same folder) and 2.0 completely blew it (all files also completely renamed!), Web Devil does it. Small, sweet, and perfect "whacking" of Web sites with all files properly named and directory-sorted. Voila . . . the entire site downloaded to your local hard drive. You can practically hear the files being sucked across the wires!"
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From the Web Dumper home page: "With Web Dumper you can download entire websites off of the Internet, and save them on your hard drive for later offline browsing. Downloaded Web sites are saved on your hard drive with their directory structure intact. Web Dumper automatically downloads HTML documents along with their embedded pictures, sounds, movies and so on, while it screens them to look for any enclosed links to other documents. Web Dumper lets you select: which kinds of file you want to be dumped (more than 60 available standard types); the folder depth level; how links must be processed; and if it must re-link your HTML documents for offline browsing."
Version 3.2 makes the following changes:
WebGrabber, from the author of Fire, is a free utility that you can use to mirror, copy, synchronize, download, scrub or "steal" a web site. WebGrabber is a simple wrapper around the "Pavuk" project (see http://www.idata.sk/~ondrej/pavuk/), a web grabber/spider. This UI is very "unfinished," and not all Pavuk command line options are yet supported, but the author has wrapped the most useful and most common options first, and is willing to add more. WebGrabber can be used to download entire web sites, download an entire directory of images without being able to see them, and for ftp downloads; it'll even split downloads across sessions and resume them. Version 0.7 changes the download directory to be ~/Desktop instead of /tmp.
"WebDevil might work a bit better, but WebGrabber has two things going for it: it's free and the source is available. Very stable, you can feel the UNIX behind it. Downloads other media types, Flash, etc."
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Limit Point Software produces WebSentinel (not to be confused with the now-defunct software of the same name by Purity Software), a "utility for monitoring the content of web pages for search terms at a scheduled time, optionally on a periodic basis." WebSentinel logs its results to its own console log file named "WebSentinel.log" in your Logs directory of your Library. Open the console log using either the "Console" button in the list window, or by selecting "Open Console..." from the File menu.
Version 1.0.3 adds/changes the following:
One donation, in the amount of your choice, unlocks all of Limit Point's utility software, and upgrades to all of these utilities are free.
Web Watcher is another terrific application from Chaotic Software, the same people who brought us such classic titles as Web Devil and MP3 Rage. Web Watcher helps inform you of changes to web sites you are interested in so you don't have to repeatedly check them yourself. The program can notify you of changes in a variety of ways: email, visual and audible alerts, and showing the changed URL in your web browser. "File" URLs (file://) can be also be watched to inform you of changes. Web Watcher works well and has a simple-to-understand interface, but I would find a bulk importer (or, at the very least, a bookmark import utility) quite useful, as the current interface only allows sites to be added one at a time, which can become quite tedious. Version 1.3 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!