There is something special about Friday. Even if we work on the weekend, Friday should be reserved for fun, freedom, freebies with five stars.
Mac360’s Value Vixen has 5 Mac Five Star Friday Freebie Utilities and Tools to help you end the week on a good note.
Why? Because it’s Friday, remember?. Stay with me, OK? This is as close to a tradition as the Mac360 editorial staff will give me these days. Besides making a baby a year.
Well, that, too and free parking in the handicapped stall of my choice. At Wal-Mart. That’s where I shop for crates of Pampers.
The search to find quality Mac applications that are so good they don’t cost anything is a quest. It’s messy work, but someone’s gotta do it. That’s me.
What I have in my grab bag this week are five Mac utilities and tools you may not have used in the past, but they’re sure to be worthy of a view.
We live in the iAge, run our iLives on iMacs using iLife and iWork, right?
Why not add to that with David Allen’s Getting Things Done philosophy and use iGTD to do it? Getting Things Done, GTD as it isaffectionately known to those of us who want to be ‘in the know,’ is a method.
Method? Yes. A method to organize those things you need to do each day, not in a Do List, but in a context for action. Divid and conquer, they say.
iGTD lets you divide your tasks into contexts to get them done. Set up the tasks, set up the context, assign task to context, work the context. Easy, huh? And free.
Like it or don’t, our Macs use hard drives. Hard drives have moving parts. Moving parts eventually fail. Hey, it happens.
The trick is to know when your hard drive is planning to fail. HAL could tell Dave when his mouse needed replacement, right?
SMARTReporter is like HAL. It monitors your hard drive’s S.M.A.R.T status, a technology built into most hard drives these days that acts like an early warning system.
HAL, uh, I mean, SMARTReporter monitors the S.M.A.R.T. technology in the drive and lets you know when there’s a problem. Interestingly, it works and can notify you if the drive is experiencing problems.
Most of the time. Remember what HAL did to Dave?
OK, this one is almost 5 stars, but if I’d been doing the voting it would get 5 stars. MainMenu is free, so who’s going to quibble over half a star?
Your Mac, via utilities built in to Mac OS X, can take care of itself. There are times when it needs a nudge to run a utility script to improve performance, and that’s what MainMenu does.
Something from Santa Software has to be good, right? It has to be free, too. That’s the Santa rule.
MainMenu takes a bunch of those Mac OS X maintenance utilities and plunks them smack dab in the middle of your menu bar. Almost in the middle. You’ll see it.
If your Mac is getting touchy but not feely, then use MainMenu to rebuild Spotlight, repair permissions, clean caches, ditch the Dashboard, and take out the trash.
Voodoo Pad Lite
Who would not want to try a Mac utility from Flying Meat Software? That’s why it’s free. To get you to try it.
Voodoo Pad Lite is a free version of the popular Voodoo Pad Regular which is the little brother to Voodoo Pad Pro. There are so many versions of so many Mac tools that you need a program.
Voodoo Pad is a nifty utility that is like a “garden for your thoughts.” Either plant or bury, but get it down for future reference. It keeps track of all those cool things that aging minds tend to lose.
For example, the question, “Who is Bill Gates and why is he such a pighead?” Once you figure out why, you can enter that into Voodoo Pad and it’ll stay there forever as a reminder.
The lite version doesn’t do as much as the regular or pro version, but the price is lighter, too.
Yes, this shows up on my various and sundry lists from time to time. Why not? It’s free. It works on OS X Leopard. It’s a utility to use only when things are going wonky on your Mac.
For example, my latest child decided to projectile
expunge herself on my MacBook’s keyboard. A day or two later things started to behave badly. No, not my child. My Mac.
I used AppleJack to start up and repair a few things that I thought might have occurred because of child bearing, only to find out it was something digital instead. Go figure.
It’s Friday. It’s 5 Star Friday with Freebies from Mac360. Doesn’t it make you want to quiver with delight as you head out for a weekend of frivolous frolic and fun fomenting?
UPDATE – Sadly, times change. Some of those free apps are no longer free, and one isn’t even available for modern Macs.
What’s your favorite freebie? Share with the Mac360 crowd in the Comments section below.