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Saturday, 21 June 2008


While not an app, PicLens is a very cool plugin for Firefox 3 or Safari 3.0 (sadly not 3.1 yet). It installs a button next to your google search box that allows you to browse online photos and videos in a 3D environment, making the process of searching Flikr, Google Images, Amazon and Youtube a lot more fun. The graphics are extremely smooth, and you can navigate using mouse scrolling or arrow keys. Double clicking on a photo makes it fullscreen, and there is an option to launch the photo in your browser for downloading.

Developer's site

Tip: To use this on a local folder of photos, drag that folder into your browser window and then start PicLens.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


Okay, so you've bought your shiny new mac, and you want to see how powerful it really is. xBench is a free app that lets you run a series of tests including CPU, RAM speed, graphics and disk read/write speed tests. 
While the graphics may not be the prettiest of benchmarking software, the app lets you upload your stats to a central server and compare with other mac users. This could be useful for checking if that RAM upgrade really is worth the cash.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008


This app probably won't be used by you every day, but it's worth checking out - I install apps like these in a 'playground' folder of apps I don't use very much, but are cool to have. This program is similar to the mosaic screensaver that comes with leopard except, after giving it an image to work from, it fetches other images from the internet (Flikr, Google as well as iPhoto) and places them in the collage according to brightness for you.

Sunday, 15 June 2008


Porticus is a front-end for macports which makes it easy to install linux applications on your mac. It takes the terminal-based system of installing packages and turns this into a neat Cocoa app which even lets you search and browse ports and modules with description tags as if they were finder items. Ports can easily be activated/deactivated and updated, allowing for easy managment of your linux ports.

Friday, 13 June 2008


Celestia lets you navigate the universe with ease. With over 100,000 stars in its database as well as a few artificial satellites there is an extensive array of objects to travel to, but you can download add-ons to expand it, including optional high resolution textures for planets. The difficult job of navigating through 3 dimensional space is made easy using a 'Go to' feature, but you can still pan, zoom and rotate easily. As well as being beautiful, the software is accurate and you can view the realtime position of planets or satellites, or speed up the simulation to show orbits. A lot of fun to use.

Friday, 6 June 2008


FrameByFrame is a free stop-frame animation program that takes images from your webcam or another video source and lets you build Wallace and Gromit movies (though it may take a few years to get the knack). 
The window is split into three parts - the left panel shows your current camera feed, while the right one displays the current feed ghosted over the previous recorded image so you can see exactly what has moved since your last shot. The bottom section contains transport controls and a filmstrip for browsing your frames. Once your movie is created, you can export it into 25 different formats for uploading to the web or doing post-production in iMovie.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008


I was originally going to write a tutorial on how to create custom icons for your folders on Leopard, a lengthy process involving image editing skills and at least 3 applications, but while surfing I stumbled upon Iconic, a fast and easy program that creates icons that look like they came with leopard.
All you need to do is find an image of the logo you want on a white background, drag it onto the program, wait for it to do its magic and then drag the folder you want it applied to onto the other side of the program. The process works best for sharp images with no grey smoothing around the letters, so a soft image will give a dirty look, but drag your company logo onto Iconic and you'll be impressed with the results.


Macbook and macbook pro users, prepare to have a lot of fun with this retro app which lets you play the classic game tunnel with a twist - you tilt your laptop to play. Despite the old-style graphics, the game is extremely smooth to play and you can have very fine control over the player depending on how much/fast you tilt your laptop. Feel free to post your highscore as a comment - I'll start with the moderate highscore of 3343.

Developer's site - also check out NetPong, Fish and LookAtMe.


Gawker is a simple program that lets you create time-lapse movies from your iSight, an external webcam, or a website URL. You can set a time interval and just leave it running or schedule a start and stop time, and even share your cameras with other users over the internet.

If you don't have an iSight or want to use an external camera, macam is a project which allows your mac to recognise most brands of webcam and treat them as an iSight.