Mondo Mac Tips

Mac Geekout Alert!As I’ve previously discussed on this blog, I’ve really been enjoying my experiences with Mac OS X. One of the truly nice things about the OS is that, due to the fact that it is a true UNIX, all of the UNIX toolchains are available for it. Additionally, Apple makes its own development tools available for free, which means that anyone can author software for OS X using well-documented, well-tested and well-understood tools and procedures.
The net result of this seems to be that free (as in beer) and Free (as in speech) software has flourished on the Mac platform, which is a net benefit to power users such as myself (i.e., those who don’t have time to code stuff on their own but are more than happy to use the tools others build, for free *grin*). I’m constantly on the lookout for new and noteworthy applications to toy around with and I managed to stumble across two excellent sites in my recent travels: the confusingly similarly- namedOpen Source Mac and Open Source on Mac. Open Source Mac tracks (with helpful full-color icons) the apps they consider best-of-breed, meaning that you’ll get the best of the best from OSM, while Open Source on Mac attempts to keep track of all natively compiled Mac apps, meaning no Fink or Darwin Ports software gets listed on OSoM. Both sites have led me to quite a few new useful apps, such as Fugu, Handbrake and the wickedly cool Center Stage. (A small shoutout must go to AFP548 for pointing out the excellent Lingon.)
Slightly less interesting, at least from a Politics of Software perspective, are the lists of “freeware” titles that Mac Games and More have compiled. Parts I and V deal with freeware games, parts II and III with generic Mac apps, and part IV deals with “board games”.
On the advice front, Paul Stamatiou has posted two very helpful articles intended to kickstart new Mac owners: 10 Things Every New Mac Owner Should Know and How To Quickie Fix OS X Firewall. They both make quick and informative reads, so head over and give them a look.

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