Some Useful Mac OS X Utilities

Here is the color code to the names of the utilities below. This is shareware, whereas this is freeware. Once upon a time there was pintware, but, alas, FinderPop is not for Mac OS X.

Bringing Back the MacOS Favorites

MaxMenus from Proteron Software
Adds customizable menus to the 4 corners of the screen. When used with all the modifier keys, this can lead to an astounding (and useless) 64 different menus. Does not use contextual menus.
Fruit Menu from Unsanity (Requires Restart)
Like FinderPop of old, as it allows modifying of contextual menus. Because it modifies such low-level widgets as menu items, it can be finicky when updating the system, but Unsanity is unsanely good at fixing things rapidly.
Xounds from Unsanity
Miss all the noises from opening folders, emptying the trash, opening documents, and the like? This'll be for you.

Playing around with the look of Mac OS X and General Tweaking

Tinkertool from Marcel Bresink Software Systeme
One of the oldies but goodies for tweaking the Finder. Been around since before Mac OS X was official.
Transparent Dock from Free Range Mac
For customizing the dock in every possible way - making it clear, changing the poof, changing the triangles, etc.
Clear Dock from, ahem, Unsanity
Similar to Transparent Dock, but less extensive and free (as in free beer).

Extending the Mac OS X Interface

LiteSwitch from Proteron Software
Application Switcher which works way better than cmd-tab. Can be used with either hand.
VirtualDesktop from CodeTek Studios
Allows multiple desktops for those who don't like overlapping windows. (One of Lee's Favorites)
Cocoa Gestures from bitart.
For Strange Mouse Tricks - allowing you to use mouse motion (not just clicks!) to control the actions of Cocoa applications (real native Mac OS X stuff, not the stuff which is Carbonized). I've still never really gotten use to it, but them that like it love it.
Watson from Karelia.
Sure, Sherlock looks and acts like Watson, but the folks from Karelia wrote Watson first, and outta be rewarded.

Maintenance and Common Tasks

PTHPasteboard from PTH
Allows multiple clipboards for folks moving little snippets here there and everywhere.
Locator from Sebastian Krauß
A nice front-end for the lightning fast unix locate command. Did I say lightning fast? It's faster.
MacJanitor from Brian Hill
A one-trick pony which runs all the system cleanups which are supposed to run in the middle of the night, but which cannot if your Mac is asleep. Has one advantage over Cocktail in that it'll run all three cleanups with one click without much fuss. Heck, they're both free!
Cocktail from Dicom Datautveckling AB. (rather than go to their site, go straight to versiontracker, 'cuz the site suffers from Swedish Minimalism.
An all-purpose system maintenance, unix avoidance application. Allows cleanup tasks, like MacJanitor, allows dock tweaks, like Transparent Dock (but not to the same extent), allows finder tweaks (like Tinkertool). Also eases creation of symlinks (those things which unix uses like aliases, but which link by name, so they don't break when files are replaced, but do break when files are moved. whatever), setting ethernet duplex, and other esoterica.

Fun Stuff

Fuzzy Clock from
Allows "5 til" style time (instead of 1:56) in many, many languages and dialects. Fer instance: fünf vor halb acht (meaning 5 before halfway to 8, or 7:25). Can put in reminder strings, too, like Feierabend!
Konfabulator from, uh, Konfabulator.
A pretty neat little applet runner which allows widgets like alarm clock, baseball tickers, and the like to run.
ibert from Steve's Cup of Cocoa
Whaddya think? It's the Dilbert comic in a nice convenient form. No getting rid of the annoying ad on the front of the comics page any more.

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Last Updated Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 2:50 PM