Mac Usage Triples

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

by Mike Demersby Mike Demers

According to Seth Frisbie-Fulton, the Client Services Coordinator, over 60% of the Class of 2011 has registered a computer running Apple’s OS X. This number more than triples past years which saw 10-25% students running OS X.

Since there are so many new Mac users, the Gazette wanted to suggest a few great freeware and shareware tools for the shiny new Macbooks.

Adium is an instant messenger application. It can connect to AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, and even Jabber (also known as Google Chat). With dozens of themes and plugins, the appearance of this application is far more flexible than Apple’s iChat, and it has nearly a cult following.

Transmission is a versatile and beautiful BitTorrent client. It allows fine tuned control over downloads, helping to manage massive queues of files.

Quicksilver is one of the coolest and most powerful applications made for the Mac. A launcher and mini-command line, Quicksilver can dramatically increase your productivity. It’s creators describe it as “a unified, extensible interface for working with applications, contacts, music, and other data.” In non-tech speech—just imagine sending emails, changing songs in iTunes, opening any software, searching your computer and editing images with a few short keystrokes in the same interface.

VLC Media Player
VLC is a powerful video player for the mac. It supports many more file types than Quicktime, and it can even act as a server to stream video across a network.

If you have more Mac software you love, suggest it in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Mac Usage Triples

  • September 1, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Very helpful, thanks

  • September 26, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    I highly recommend ‘VirtueDesktops’ for those who will not be upgrading to the new OS. It allows users to manage multiple desktops which is particularly useful if you’re programming and would like to see your work’s rendering, or have an online article and are writing a paper and would prefer to not switch between applications.

    Additionally, allows users to ‘gently slapping’ their computers to change desktops.

  • September 26, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    I use Colloquy for IRC. It’s more graphically-intense than other IRC clients, but it’s very easy to set up and use (read: I managed to figure it out with minimal help).

    A program called iPod RIP is great for getting music off of iPods (which can otherwise be kind of tricky). It saved me a lot of heartache when my computer crashed sophomore year.

    As far as programs I hope someone will recommend, I’m still looking for really good productivity/task-managing software, and a super-flexible word-processor. I tried Scrivener (which combines post-its, outlines, and full text editing) but it was better suited to novels than papers.


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