Apple Macintosh is a great computer and operating system but is traditionally short of freeware. Some of these are for “Classic” Macintosh operating systems (OS 7, 8 or 9) and some are for OS X (mostly for the PowerPC.)
“Classic” Downloads (Mac OS 7, 8 or 9)
BBEdit Lite :This is a “freeware” version of the popular Macintosh text editor. BBEdit 3.5 is an industrial-strength text editor for use by software developers, engineers, scientists, telecommunications users, and anyone else who needs to view, edit and manipulate plain-text documents with maximum flexibility and performance. BBEdit 3.5 is an ideal companion for THINK C, THINK Pascal, MPW, and THINK Reference users.
Coaster :This fabulous little utility records audio input from the microphone or audio input of your Mac and digitizes it in AIFF format. Great for putting your old records, cassettes or even 8-tracks on CD. Works in OS 8 and 9 (but does not work in OS X!).
Eudora :An excellent email client for single users (groups operating in Windows are better off with Pegasus.) For OS 8 and 9.
Fetch :Originally a freeware program, Fetch is now a commercial program. This version is freeware to specific users (read the licensing information with the program.) An excellent FTP client, similar in concept to WS_FTP for Windows. If you’re running in OS X, you might want to use Cyberduck.
FreePPP : In the early years of the Internet Macintoshes were a little tricky to connect to the internet. FreePPP makes this easier for dial-up connections.
MacUtils :A collection of very old (1994) utilities for the Mac. They include the following kinds of programs:
- Compression and decompression programs, such as Stuffit and a range of utilities to expand and compress Mac and Unix formats and Zip files.
- Images utilities for GIF and JPG files (including the actual file specification for GIF files.)
- Text editor BBEdit Lite (we offer this separately above.)
- And more…
Most of this is freeware, but some of it is shareware. How you plan to contact the writer is another matter, though…
Mindexpander :Mindexpander is a simple utility to expand .sit, .sea, .hqx, .bin and .zip files in the Mac “Classic” OS environment.
Mac OS X Downloads
Unless otherwise noted, programs are in a .dmg (disk image) format. When started, the Disk Copy utility automatically mounts it and shows you the files. Have not tested these in all versions of OS X. Mac applications are notorious for not being “forward compatible” in a way that is worse in some respects than Windows.
Note: some of these (such as BurnXFree and CocoaZip) are in reality “Unix front ends,” which allow you to use Unix utilities without the hassle of the command line. We have tried CocoaZip up to 10.10 with success but not BurnXFree (later versions of OS X have good burning capabilities.)
BurnXFree : Sad to say, Mac’s CD burning capabilities leave a lot to be desired of, at least for Jaguar and other early versions of Mac OS X. This is a utility that makes it as easy as a commercial program such as Roxio Toast Lite. It will burn data CD’s and DVD’s, both write-only and rewritable (subject to the limitations of your burner.) For Mac OS 10.2.3 and higher.
CocoaZip :Unix derived operating systems (like Mac OS X, Linux, Free BSD, etc.) have file compression built-in (something Windows didn’t manage until Me!) But getting to it, with their command line interface, could be tricky. (Take it from someone who found out the hard way!) CocoaZip simplifies everything by putting Unix file compression (gzip, zip, tar, etc.) in a convenient graphical interface, so you can get the most out of Mac OS X. It comes in a Unix tar file, which Stuffit Expander should open very nicely.
MacJournal :Journalling software for blogs, class notes, or just about anything you’re trying to keep track of. This is the free (2.6.1) version; later versions will cost you. Whether it’s worth it is up to you. Thanks to David for putting me on to this.
MacStumbler :This little program helps you find wireless networks with your AirPort (only.) Gives signal strength, MAC details and GPS info when properly configured. Good for OS 10.2 and up. In tar format, which Stuffit can open very easily.
Slim Battery Monitor :The battery monitor that comes with OS X takes up a lot of space. Slim Battery Monitor puts it on a diet and still gives you the information you need when that wall receptacle at Starbuck’s is across the room.
X-Assist :The Aqua interface is gorgeous. But if you’re an old line Mac fanatic, you may be longing for that program menu in the upper right hand corner of the screen. X-Assist puts that back on the screen, and what’s more it enables you to use the system utilities in the same way you used to reach the Control Panels. One way to “have it all” on the Mac desktop.