25   36  Free Apps you can't live without

System App


Recover What Is Rightfully Yours.

UPDATE !!! April '10  Geo-Localization Enabled ;-)
Distant Lock (can be used as Parental Control) 

Prey is a MUST!  So, drop everything you are doing right now and install it.  And it's Free!
Prey is a Private Investigator, A certified Spy, a life insurance & your best friend.  Prey can help you recover a stolen or lost computer.   I know... Now It's not the most important thing in your mind;   But If your laptop is stolen or lost, then it will rapidly become your best friend.  Furthermore,  Prey is becoming better by the hour: Keylogger in Dev, iPhone App, Multiplatform, MultiDevices. (Now available for Android Phone)
Prey is a MUST. So, drop everything you are doing right now and install it.  (Did I mention that Prey is Free?)
Prey is "Install & forget",  1 minute to save your life. -And all your documents, pictures, memories, emails ..... Install it NOW!   Tutorial here


Act without doing. Do it Fast!   Quicksilver is a "Unified, extensible interface for working with applications, contacts, music, and other data".
Quicksilver takes a little period of adaptation, but after that you'll be able to do your daily tasks few parsec faster


Configure your Mac the way you want.  In few clicks, Onyx Allows you to verify the Startup Disk and the structure of its System files, run tasks of system maintenance, configure hidden parameters for: Finder, Dock, Dashboard, Exposé, Safari, Login window and some of Apple's own applications, it deletes caches, removes cache files and folders that may become cumbersome.  It also include possibilities such as changing the default setting of screenshots from .png to .jpg in one click. Onyx exists for Snow Leopard , Leopard , Tiger & Panther.

Ever needed to split a large file? (Deconcatenate) and to join it again? (Concatenate). There, here you are: MacSplit. 
Why? , because most of the email provider will limit the size of an attachment to 20MB.  BTW,  Read the post about Gspace: You've just received 7385 MB of free storage / sharing for reading this post ;-)

iStat Pro 

What's going on?   All your Mac at a glance, a complete system monitoring:
Activity Processes, Network, HDDs SMART status
Bandwidth, Bluetooth
Battery health, Charge
Temperature of your CPU's, GPU, Base, and also Fans speed.    Very useful.


AppCleaner is a small application which allows you to thoroughly uninstall unwanted apps. No more Plist left behind. AppCleaner finds all these small files and safely deletes them.
App Cleaner can also protect your preferred App from deletion,  keep a log and has a smart delete feature.  Clean removals are very important

SaveCircle & ForEverSave Lite
Two app that save your docs or files at regular intervals. It helps you to NOT commit suicide when you realize that you have lost 3 hours of work because CMD+S is a too complex shortcut.
Pick the one you like: Save Circle has a detachable timer.
The ForeverSave Full version is $15 but has a lot of features, such as a Time Backup, etc,  but it's $15.   [ Time Machine is Free ] ;-)


Unless you wish to learn Klingon, Breton, Swahili, Kalaallisut and the famous Kinyarwanda, you may wish to remove unused languages on your Mac. I have nothing against Kalaallisut, but if i can free up to 7GB by doing so, I will.  Monolingual gives you back some real estate on your Hard Drive. 


 CleanMyMac is not free, but they have a demo version.  Limited to 500 MB.
Limited that is, IF you don't know the workaround.
As soon as you know the workaround, you can clean with almost no limitation. 
Huh? The workaround ? No, it's not a crack but it's explained here

iWeb App

iWeb SEO Tool

Making the publishing of your Google Analytics Code a breeze
Quickly and easily optimize your iWeb based website for search engines then publish directly to your iDisk or FTP server without ever leaving the application.
Now iWeb users can enjoy the same search engine benefits enjoyed by all other websites optimized specifically for all major search engines. iWeb SEO Tool can also easily add Google Analytics or any other analytics code to your iWeb site.


iTweak is the ultimate companion for iWeb which allows you to add nearly all the missing things. To make this short and effective, here is a list of the main features:
iTweak can back up both iWeb 06 and iWeb 08 sites in a snap
It can add a Favicon via a simple drag and drop method
You can integrate a Google Search bar into and for your site
You can add Google Analytics, Statcounter and any other hitcounter in the world
Easily embed the Haloscan Commenting system


 An excellent FTP client
 Once you have tweaked your iWeb Website, you'll need FileZilla 
 Works on Windows too



Ok , this one is NOT FREE , but if you have the use of it ....

It Squeeze your website out of the unnecessary fat code and over big images
it makes your pages load up to 50% faster.  iWeb is also graphic intensive and some may say -slow-, that will speed it up...
That could be the difference between a sale or a client gone ...
One-click website optimization, reducing the time it takes for your website to load in your customer’s web browser. Create your web site any way you like then run it through WebCrusher and publish it to your web server. In less than 5 minutes you will have a faster loading web site with absolutely no additional work on your part.

Text Wranglers & Manipulators


TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor.  From the basic text edit to sorting, finding , grep , editing , Text Manipulations, FPT , and Unix and server administrator’s tool too
It does things that you have not dreamt of yet!  Sorting, killing duplicate's, etc  
Get it , you'll use it

Mass Replace It 

You know how to Find and Replace, but when it comes to do it in 500 files , that can be tedious.
MassReplaceIt makes it a dream, Select the folder , and chop chop , it's done ...
Want to change the extension of hundreds of files at once? Or have you ever needed to change an email address on 50 different pages of a website? Then MassReplaceIt is the tool for you.
MassReplaceIt can change a line of code in an entire website in a breeze. It may help you more than you can imagine

Video App 


Easily Rip your DVD's & Convert videos for all your Apple gear and beyond:  iPhone, iPod, Mac. Even Windows and Linux. Multitrack, you can burn the subtitles as well as multiples languages in one file. Presets makes it  a breeze to find the right settings for your device.
Handbrake is a must!  Tutorial is here


The cross-platform open-source multimedia framework, player and server
VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac ...) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols.  See the full features list.
  It can also be used as a media converter or a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on networks.
Anyway... You want Handbrake?? You'll need VLC. That simple.


The Swiss Army Knife for Quicktime.  Not an app "per say" but it allows Quicktime to play many different formats.

Graphic Editors


If you have Gimp, you won't probably need Photoshop. 
Besides the fact that it works under almost anything, Gimp has also a large (and Free) Plugin Library.  You'll also save $200.


If you are between Paint and Photoshop Master Jedi Level, (Noob and UberGeek) Seashore is for you. You can still do a lot, but it's not a complex as Gimp or Photoshop. Here again, download and save $100.  Yup!, That's 3 Snow Leopard or a 5 licenses pack for iWork. Or almost 7 "Most Expensive Starbucks" [Inflation corrected] [Can you tell it's raining today?]

Icons Editor

Img2Icns & Telling Folders

I am a "visual memory" guy,  Img2Icns & Telling Folder allow me to create Icons the way I want to, and differentiate my folders the way I want to. I also find the regular Apple icons not so appealing when you end up with 20 identical folders. Those 2 Apps are very easy to use and you'll create your Icons in a snap, direct from pictures (Img2Icns) or flatten image within an existing "Apple" regular folder. (Telling Folder)
Examples, left to right:
Icon and Folder created with Img2Icns
Folder "Pages" created with Telling Folders

Music / iTunes

Artwork Gofer

Are you missing CD Covers on iTtunes?  The "Get Artworks" option on iTunes has some flaws:  Use Artwork Gofer and you should be OK. 
This easy to use application allows to find missing artwork for your iTunes albums and add it to the albums tracks. You can get artwork for selected tracks, or you can simply find all the missing artwork for your iTunes music.
To search artwork for selected tracks, select any number of tracks in iTunes, then select the Search Artwork menu command in the iTunes Scripts menu.
If you want the Lyrics too, look for "Get Lyrical".
For the Artwork, you can also try "Tidysongs" the free trial offers 100 fixes, after it's $30.   If you are looking for a TidySongs crack, read the Antivirus & RootKit post 10 times. Then Repeat.  Posted!!!  



Camouflage will hide your Desktop Icons in a click
It makes your Mac look all clean and neat.
For a messy guy like me, it's a blessing.


Firefox , OperaChrome (?)
On a Mac, you have Safari by default:  Don't get me wrong Safari is an excellent browser,  but Firefox is Excellent too.  Each of them have functionality that the other does not have.  Some Firefox Add-on are really good (All in One Gesture, TinEye, Gspace, No Script etc) so why don't you enjoy the best of each?   BTW, if you have IE, now is the time to move on.  IE is often ranked last in quality, speed and safety. Chrome for Mac is in Development and should be soon available.   Opera is also very good,  and due to his small market share, Opera is the less likely to be targeted for exploits. Noted??


iAntivirus        Avast!

- Hey! you don't mention ClamXav?
Nope!..I know ....
Because I tested 7 Antivirus, and as per my tests, ClamXav ended up Rock Bottom.  So, I understand the concept of Free Software, but ClamXav was so bad that they should pay you to install it.  Hence under my right of free speech, I do NOT advise ClamXav under any circumstances, as of Nov '10.

- Ok.... What should I use?
 The (new) tests are here, along with results & recommendations.

Talking about "exploits"  You do have an Antivirus on hand? Correct?
Why? because Mac DO get Viruses, Rootkit, Trojan and Worms.

If you are sure you'll never get one because you "do not download stuff", then read this little story:  "Best Buy Digital Photo Frames Shipped With Virus"  . Ditto, USB key were sold at "clearance prices" or intentionally left in Internet Cafes for people to find them:  The USB keys were "preloaded" with some nasty crapware;  You can guess what happened.
About those 2 Antivirus, I have tested both and I prefer iAntivirus over Avast!  (Ease of use)  Nevertheless, I keep both on hand (yes, they're free) Just don't run them together.  
READ the note at the end about AV

RootKit Hunter

"RKHunter is scanning tool that checks for signs of various pieces of nasty software on your system like rootkits, backdoors and local exploits. It runs many tests, including MD5 hash comparisons, default filenames used by rootkits, wrong file permissions for binaries, and suspicious strings in LKM and KLD modules"
Source: Insecure.org


Skype / iChat / Adium 

I feel strange just to mention those ones.  Do I really need to mention them?  iChat has a Desktop Sharing and a distant control which can be very very handy if you need help, also up to 3 simultaneous Video Chat.  Skype has a screen sharing and allows you to make unlimited phone calls in the US (Land and Cell) for $30 a year*.  Video Chat (2 Max) and conference calls (up to 24 participants) (You'll need a serious bandwidth if you are planning a conference call @ 24)
Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ, Facebook Chat, and much more. All in one

WIFI & Networks


KisMAC is a really powerful WIFI sniffer and WIFI stumbler.  WEP and WPA auditing / cracking, Injection, Dehauth and Flood attack and GPS capable.  KisMac is not for the absolute beginner, but once mastered it's a fantastic tool:  I was able to crack my own WEP network key in less than 3 seconds and it was not a "123456" Password
Last thing: Read the legal disclaimer.


Network Protocol Analyzer, really powerful and not for the absolute beguinner.
You need some knowledge about networks and WIFI.  Wireshark can open PCAP dump files from Kismac and read packets sent over airwaves.
Video Tutorial   Introduction To Wireshark
Video Tutorial   Custom Wireshark Shortcuts



SeisMac allows you to check if your co-workers have gain a lot of weight over the Week-End,  Show to your Dad that the Mustang can really pull 1.5G in acceleration and scientifically prove to your girlfriend that your flatulences are not making the bed "shake" as she pretends.
It also allows you, on the side, to conduct scientific tests of no real importance:  it's a seismograph. It uses the Motion Sensors and works on Axes X, Y,  Z ; If you already have Seismac installed, you have a grade of 70 on the Geek scale of 100. If you wish to reach 90, look out for "Liquid Mac".

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If you want to splurge a little .... Small fee App 

Duplicate Annihilator

For $7.95, it's worth it.  (Trial Version removes up to 20 duplicates)

"Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time consuming task comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicates escapes. When found the duplicate will either be marked with a description of your choice to make it searchable or simply moved to iPhotos trashcan."
Be aware that the demo on the website is done with a small library.  If you have a large iPhoto library, you may want to make some coffee.

RAR Machine

$8  (Trial version works 10 times for free)
RAR Machine can de-concatenate (split) large file while compressing and reassemble them later.  Very useful to send large files via email (split 100MB into 20MB segments), or if you are using GSpace, to send a movie to a friend.  (Not a DVD ripped with Handbrake, that would be illegal. Don't do it!)
Other nice features, check the Website
"RarMachine is a powerful RAR archive manager, surely the simplest and most integrated for Mac OS X.  You can use it to compress and extract all Rar files downloaded from the internet or compressed on a PC with the power advantage of your Mac System." (I suspect RAR Machine to be a GUI based on the RARlab CLI )

Antivirus Notes

Mac do get malware, much much less than Win,  I must admit, but they do. (as of Nov 2009, 113 Threats for Mac, Over 1 million as of 2008 for Windows. Source BBC , and according to AVC 1.6 million "Crapware" as of August 09. (Source AVC)
- So, PLEASE, just in case,  install an Antivirus: They're free.  Did I mention free??
If you don't have one on hand, you are a sitting duck! and if you wait long enough, you can be sure to be shot.  
If you are like me, you'll have 2 Ready. Why?  Because the way they work is never 100% guaranteed:
An AV is composed of 2 main parts: Detection and Removal.  Each of of them important.
A Comprehensive testing made by in August revealed that NOT a single Antivirus performed "Very Good" with some of them "forgetting" about 10% of the threats.  So, the idea is to have more than one on hand, each of them doing a good job in one category, but none of them performed very well in all categories. You can read the complete results at : http://www.av-comparatives.org/

If I suspect some strange activity, I'll test the folder(s) with a double scan. Two opinions is better than one.   I also test every single downloads.  (Old Windows habits)
Am I freaking out? Well, In My Humble Opinion,  Backdoors and Keyloggers are the most serious threat, and I would not be surprised to see an increase in Mac Malware in the near future,  it's Niche Market but very lucrative.  You can either sit and wait, or take precautionary measures.
You can test your protection and your Antivirus with the EICAR test file.  (EICAR is NOT a Virus or Threat, it is a TEST file(s):  EICAR.org
I have tested mine with more serious threats, (Trojans and Al.) Avast! and iAntivirus both responded well at download and at scan. Seems to me that Avast! is slightly slower on scan. 
An other option is to use Web Of Trust, when you visit websites, it may warn you of possible threats (Phishing, Scamming, Exploits)  http://www.mywot.com/

With an EICAR test, You should see something like:

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