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A great site for Mac freeware

Since I switched to a Mac last May I've been constantly on the lookout for good, free software. One site has helped me more than any other. They're always posting descriptions of programs that are useful, fun or both. I've been meaning to post about FreeMacWare.com for a while so my fellow Mac converts will know where to look. The contest they're having now convinced me to get it done.

I want to highlight 5 apps that I've discovered through the site. These may not be my favorites. I heard about Firefox, Quicksilver, Cyberduck, etc, from other places. But here are five programs that I heard of first from FreeMacWare.com.

DoubleCommand - One thing that's made the switch a bit more tricky is the fact that OS X uses Home and End keyboard keys a bit differently than Windows. In Windows, hitting the End key moves the text cursor to the end of the line. On OS X it goes to the end of the document. DoubleCommand is a little application that let's you remap keys. In some cases you can make it more like Windows. I enabled the "PC style home and end keys". You can also make the control key on the Mac act like the command key, which is another area where I still slip up sometimes.

Disk Inventory X - Before I got my new external hard drive, video projects were hard because I was always running out of space. This program scans your drive and makes a graphical representation of the whole drive so you can see where the space is going. It's been very useful for me.

Sizzling Keys - I like listening to iTunes while I use the computer. This app gives you keyboard shortcuts for controling you music even when iTunes isn't the active window. So, right now while I'm typing, I could hit Command + Option + Space and pause iTunes without ever taking my hands off the keyboard or leaving the Firefox window. It also includes a little info window that pops up to show you the meta data and album art when a new song comes on.

Handbrake Lite - Handbrake is a program for converting DVDs into compressed video files. Handbrake Lite is a simplified version that mainly converts into a format that can play on my iPod. What used to take several steps and some trial and error is now done with a few clicks.

MacOSaiX - This is the app I used to make the photo mosaic of the brendoman.com logo. It's dead simple to use. Choose your main image. Then enter some search terms and it hits up Google Images for images to compose with. The more search terms you give it and the longer you let it run, the better the result is.

If you have a Mac, I recommend that you bookmark FreeMacWare.com or subscribe to their RSS feed.

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