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10 essential and free Mac applications…

Everyone likes lists. So I thought I would create my own list of the 10 free or ‘donationware’ Mac applications that I would miss badly if I lost them. So here we go, in no particular order…

  1. ClamAV – Free anti-virus software. Hardly ever use it, but I like the reassurance that it’s there if I did need it. Farpoint or the AppleStore might tell you to buy Intego VirusBarrier or Norton Internet Security, but really – buy a nice meal instead.
  2. Carbon Copy Cloner – Free disk cloning software. Time Machine is all well and good, but sometimes you just want to move everything, lock, stock and barrel to a new drive. CCC makes it easy.
  3. Stuffit Expander – Free file decompression software. Stuffit’s been around since I first got a Mac and 40MB was a big hard disk. Compressing files was the norm back then. Stuffit will expand every format from .arc to .zip.
  4. VLC Player – Free video player. Sometimes you find a video in some weird format that won’t play, or the audio can’t be heard. VLC can cope with just about every codec known to man.
  5. Flip4Mac – Free Windows Media Player .wmv plugin for Quicktime. Some people still insist in creating content in .wmv format. This plugin makes Quicktime able to play it.
  6. Random Password Generator – We need a lot of secure passwords for the various web sites and databases we host. To avoid repetition and security lapses this creates complex, secure passwords with one click.
  7. Palm Desktop – Apple iCal and AddressBook still can’t hold a light to this brilliant Personal Information Manager. I first got it free with ClarisWorks 3.0 back in the early 90s, and haven’t looked back since…
  8. NetNewsWire – the best RSS reader for the Mac or PC. Everything else pales in comparison.
  9. Sequel Pro – brilliant, beautiful MYSQL querying tool. Beats the hell out of phpMyAdmin.
  10. Adium – superb instant messenger client that supports all the big networks. Shame they haven’t managed to get Skype integrated yet.
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