I love Mac bargains. OS X seems to have reignited the creative juices of application programmers around the world.
There are more high quality, useful, and free Mac utilities than ever. Here’s the Top 5 Free Mac Utilities from the Mac360 staff favorites list.
What caught my eye this week and spurred another look at Freebie Friday Utilities was an update of PTH Pasteboard. I’d updated my Mac to Tiger but forgot all about this great application.
If you’ve read some of my articles, you know I love bargains, and PTH Pasteboard is easily one of the most useful, beneficial, and understated Mac applications available.
What’s it do? “PTHPasteboard is a pasteboard buffer application. It keeps track of the last 20 (changeable in preferences) items that you copied/cut and allows you to paste them at any time.”
Download it, install it, try it out. Just think of having a list of the last 20 things you cut and pasted, or copied and pasted. OS X lets you copy and paste one at a time. If you do many cut and paste movements through the day, you’re probably doing many of them over and over.
PTH Pasteboard lets you become more efficient. It’s as simple as that. The price? Free. As in beer?
OK, Alex, what about the Top 5 Free Mac Utilities list? I put the question to each of our Mac360 staff members, and asked for their Number One, Numerio Uno, Bestest Ever “Free” Mac Utilitiy.
As you might suspect, the results from such a diverse group are all over the map in terms of utility category, but fit the basic criteria. A favorite. And free.
Carol Mary Miller – NeoOffice
The hands down top free Mac application on my list is NeoOffice. There’s no way you can get more bang for the buck.
NeoOffice is a fully-featured set of office applications (including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing programs) for Mac OS X.
It’s based on the popular OpenOffice.org office suite, NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac features and can import, edit, and exchange files with other popular office programs such as MicrosoftTM Office.
How do you get better ‘free’ than this?
Bambi Hambi – CyberDuck
Utilities mean different things to different people and have different value. That means what’s great for one Mac user doesn’t mean squat for another user.
Still, one of my absolute favorite free Mac utilities is CyberDuck, because I’m always uploading files to remote servers.
It’s easy to pay money for applications like YummyFTP and Transmit, both of which are excellent. The issue is free. CyberDuck is Open Source. Free.
Cyberduck is an FTP and SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer) browser which is licensed under the GPL (free) with an easy to use interface, integration with external editors, and support for many Mac OS X system technologies such as Spotlight, Bonjour, the Keychain and AppleScript.
Do you move files from Mac to Mac or Mac to server? This is difficult to top.
Jack D. Miller – MenuMeters
OK, I assume we’re not talking about Dashboard Widgets or Safari wannabe’s like Firefox and Camino, right?
I’m torn between the truly useful such as AbiWord (excellent and free word processor) and Nvu (excellent web page editor) and what I make sure I have on my Mac.
Let’s go with the latter. It’s MenuMeters. I’m a sucker for dials and graphs and system status. That’s MenuMeters.
MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools for MacOS X. Although there are many other utilities which do the same thing, none have the same feature set.
Most of these monitoring apps have windows that sat in a corner or on the desktop, which are inevitably obscured by a document window on a PowerBook’s small screen.
MenuMeters sits in the menu bar and gives constant readouts on CPU, Disk Activity, RAM usage, and Network usage. It’s never failed. It’s always on. It’s easy to use. It’s free.
Tera Jean Patricks – JAlbum & TextWrangler
I can have more than one, right, Alex? The site’s named after me, so it’s OK.
If we’re talking usability and value, Mac OS X has a stack of free utilities that make the Mac personal. Among my favorites (not that you haven’t heard this from me before) are TextWrangler and JAlbum.
I use TextWrangler a lot. Think of it as BareBone’s BBEdit “Lite” because that’s really what it is.
It’s all the nifty features most of us need from the nearly $200 BBEdit rolled up into TextWrangler. Except the price tag is lower. By about $200.
TextWrangler gets the nod for the Best List because not only is it a good, general purpose text editor, it’s great as a programmer’s text editor, a server admin tool, a text ‘clean up’ tool and it works every freakin’ time I need it.
How do you top that? Nearly as useful but in a less technical way is JAlbum. For the life of me, I don’t know why an application like JAlbum is free.
What JAlbum does is creat web photo albums, or photo albums you can burn to CD and share with anyone who has a Mac or PC and a browser.
This may be the easiest to use complex application you’ll find. I’m cheating a bit by including JAlbum on the list because not only is it a Mac application, it also runs on Windows and Linux and comes in 28 different languages.
Basically, you just export a bunch of digital photos from iPhoto, select a layout in JAlbum, adjust a few paramters, add comments if needed, and click. It generates an attractive photo album in seconds.
Did I mention it’s free?
What’s your favorite no-cost Mac utility application? Share with other readers and submit your comment below.