Download Size: 1.3 MB
Requirements: Color Monitor Author: Kinetic Creations
Shareware Fee: $15
Mac icons are static, motion-impaired critters. Unlike some of their Windows counterparts, they usually just...sit there. Even if you slap a pretty picture on them, not much happens.
Not so with Kineticon. This extension/application duo brings life to the desktop by allowing you to assign animation sequences, referred to as "kines," to folders, files, and alert dialogues. Twenty-five are supplied, ranging from a pair of eyes peeking out of the Trash to a revolving, PacMan-esque smiley face to a simple bouncing ball. Depending on your tastes, you can animate every single thing on your desktop and turn it into a garish circus of motion. Then again, this will likely wear off the program's novelty that much faster--unlike Windows icons, which animate when clicked, kines just keep going and going. Fortunately, Kineticon gives you control over the speed and frequency at which they each do their little dance. Your kines can be subtle coolties, or they can be flagrant annoyances. The choice is in your hands. Fully functional, the demo lasts only 15 days.
Download Size: 1.3 MB
Requirements: 1.5 MB free application RAM
Author: Glenn Berntson/ Software from Plum Island
Shareware Fee: $15
Stickies may be a useful program, but IdeaKeeper is better. Like its Post-It[TM] inspired predecessor, IdeaKeeper gives you room to scribble down various scraps of random information whenever the need arises. It also allows you to group those notes into topics, format their text, and insert links to other notes, other files, sounds, pictures, or web pages. IdeaKeeper knows how to dial phone numbers as well.
Upon registering, the ability to set alarms for important events means you have no excuse not to realize your organizational skills to their fullest potential. As if all of that weren't enough, with IdeaKeeper's export abilities, you can save your notes as text. Open them in any text editor that uses the WASTE Text Engine (Tex-Edit is one example), and your font, style, size, and color information remain intact. About the only disadvantage to using this application is its footprint--the minimum RAM requirement is 1.5 MB, compared to 200 K for Stickies. All the fringe benefits are worth it. IdeaKeeper will remind you to register whenever you launch it, and certain features such as hot-key links and archiving are disabled until you do.
Download Size: 310K
Requirements: Control Strip or other CSM module host
Author: MaBaSoft Web: http://www.k-inet.com/MaBaSoft/download.html
Good things come in small packages, especially when the package is a control strip module. Quit CSM offers increased control over whatever applications you have open, showing you how much memory they're sucking up and allowing you to quit any or all. This saves you from switching to the Finder every time you want to access "About This Computer..." to check how much free memory you have available. With Quit CSM'srunning bar graph of that amount right on the front of module, you'll always be in-the-know. The price: $10. The demo: 15 days.
Download Size: 902K
Requirements: System 7 or better
Author: Tom Bender, Trans-Tex Software
Shareware Fee: $10
If you have had to use it for very long, you may have noticed that SimpleText is a rather simple application. It tends to wimp out on large text files, and can't do too much beyond opening your average Read Me file. Tex-Edit Plus, on the other hand, is a text editor on par with most commercial word processors.
Much of its power comes from an ability to reformat skanky text--anything from e-mail messages with inconsistent line breaks to copied selections from web pages that are speckled with random blank spaces. Bring any of this into Tex-Edit Plus, and cleanup is just a matter of setting a few reformatting options. The results may not always be perfect, but the ability to modify so many different things in one fell swoop is something you won't find in your average word processor. Working in the opposite direction, you can also have Tex-Edit get rid of smart quotes and other symbols not found on a standard typewriter so that the text files you send to PC users look their absolute prettiest. You can even run formatting-minded AppleScripts on your open documents. This is a great program--not to mention stable--which you'll find yourself relying on more and more as you use it.
Download Size: 133K
Requirements: none Author: Eden Sherry
Shareware Fee: $10
Scrollability may very well be the easiest way to improve your Mac's interface. Since we don't all have behemoth monitors, scrolling through windows is a common activity, perhaps even one of the most fundamental. It can also be one of the most annoying once the zig-zag effect sets in: you're using the mouse to point at something inside the window, perhaps to highlight a block of text or to click on a hyperlink, and must then return to the scroll arrows to move up or down. Then back to something inside the window, then out.
All of that becomes a thing of the past with this control panel. Just move the mouse to the top or bottom of the window, and it scrolls automatically! Or, in Acrobat Reader style, it changes to the shape of a hand and allows you to "pull" the page up or down with a click and a drag. Those dinky scroll arrows become little more than a part of the scenery. In case this feature starts to annoy you or is entirely inappropriate to begin with (you probably won't want to use it with Photoshop or other graphics programs), Scrollability won't affect applications you've placed on its exclusion list. You also have control over how it defines the "edges" of your windows--just how low you have to go is your call. Version 1.0.4 fixes a bug where Scrollability would previously poop out for no apparent reason during use with Netscape Navigator, adds support for MacOS 8.5, and lets you exclude the Finder. After the demo period has expired, Scrollability will provide entertaining registration reminders.
Copyright © 1999 William Lovett, firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Lovett is ATPM's Shareware Reviews Editor. Reviewing in ATPM is open to anyone. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Also in This Series
- Count Your Pennies · February 2003
- Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic: Educational Tools · January 2003
- Scrabble and Boggle · August 2002
- Weblog Tools · June 2002
- Financial Help · January 2002
- Games for Mac OS X · December 2001
- Screensavers · October 2001
- Stickies and Notepads—Part Two · July 2001
- Stickies and Notepads—Part One · June 2001
- Complete Archive