Visual Development Lab

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Freeware that is worth installing on any Macintosh:
  • Anacron handles unix maintenance on computers that are not running in the wee hours of the morning when this is usually done. Not necessary with OS 10.5.
  • Camino is the browser to try when Safari doesn't work—or use it as your primary browser. A useful adjunct for Camino is the preference pane User Agent.
  • CronniX provides a graphical interface to the unix "cron", which runs programs automatically. You can forestall problems by installing CronniX, opening the system crontab (File > Open System Crontab), and setting it like this to repair the system's ownerships and permissions overnight. This will automatically put them right in the not uncommon case that some installer has mucked them up.
  • Fetch is a fast, solid and convenient FTP and SFTP client. Fetch is a commercial product but licensing is free for educational and charitable purposes. Here is McMaster's registration number. (This link requires the first 8 characters of the lab password.) An open-source package with equivalent features is Cyberduck.
  • OmniDictionary accesses numerous web-based dictionaries conveniently.
  • PDFLab manipulates PDF files: encrypts, decrypts, combines documents, removes pages and adds watermarks.
  • SMARTReporter will warn you when your hard drive is about to fail.
  • SnapNDrag is a screen-capture utility that is more useful than Apple's.
  • TinkerTool lets you set a number of hidden preferences.
  • Yasu is a one-stop shop for maintenance and repairs to your system. If some Mac maven tells you to do something arcane like clear your system caches or reset launch services, you will probably be able to do it easily from here.

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