The next two items on the list are not for the feint of heart. They’re for the desperate Mac user. And the adventurous Mac user.
#15 – AppleJack
It doesn’t happen often, but every now and again a Mac can go wonky and decide not to start up. What can you do?
Short of a trip to the nearby Apple Store to meet the Genius in your life, try AppleJack first. This is the one Mac utility you probably should have and hope you never need to use (but not yet on Snow Leopard).
AppleJack helps you start up a troubled Mac without running the Mac’s standard user interface. In other words, AppleJack is ugly but useful to repair disks, repair permissions, and handle a number of items which might cause a Mac to stumble on startup.
#14 – TinkerTool
If AppleJack is for the desperate user, TinkerTool is for the adventurous Mac user.
TinkerTool is a nifty, handy Mac utility which gives you quick and safe access to a whole bunch of hidden preference settings in OS X.
Check out the details in TinkerTools Preference List.
Tinker with the Dock, the Finder, menu settings on Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard. It’s fun, useful, and pretty much safe, since every change can be undone.
#13 – Adium
This great little Mac utility is on everyone’s list of good, free Mac software, so I’m obligated to list it, too. And I use it from time to time.
Adium is an instant messaging application that works with just about every IM system out there. AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, Google, iChat, ICQ, Bonjour, MySpace, Facebook, Jabber, and many others.
Instead of having a bunch of different instant messaging apps floating all around your Mac’s scree, use Adium instead. It’s updated frequently, works very well, and wins the Mac360 award for cutest icon.
#12 – FinderPop
Sometimes I’m surprised at Mac and Windows PC users. So many don’t know what the right-click button does on their mouse. Mac users can be forgiven because Apple didn’t even bother to include a second button until a few years ago.
Usually, right-clicking a mouse results in what is known as a contextual menu. That means the menu changes depending on where your mouse pointer is when you click.
FinderPop is a Mac utility, actually a Preference Pane, which creates a customizable pop up, contextual menu (it’s right click, control-cllick, and control free capable). This is very useful. The only problem is that FinderPop is all funky on Snow Leopard. Caveat emptor, and all that.
#11 – ImageTricks
Unfortunately, free graphic and image editing apps for Mac users are not a dime a dozen. I don’t even think there is a dozen.
If you were an annoying neighbor, always bugging me about helping you with your Mac, I might recommend GIMP. Think of it as a poor man’s, no, a poor masochist’s Photoshop. It does a lot, but it’s torturous all the way.
Instead, for newbie Mac users who want more than iPhoto, I give them ImageTricks.
Drag in an image or photo, click to adjust colors, add filters and effects (63 in the free version), apply one or more of 100 different masks, import and export in a number of graphic file formats. It’s all point and click (and trial and error) What’s not to like?
On to Part 3.