Mac software picks – Parallels, Gmail+Growl, Uno & TheftSensor

Another round-up of the best Mac OS X software I can find.

Parallels Workstation

Piping Microsoft and VMWare to the post relative unknowns Parallels are on beta 6 of their Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X/Intel.

As well as being able to guest OS/2, DOS, BSD, Solid, Linux and all flavors of Windows their product also features support for Intel’s VT virtualization technology built into the Intel Core chips giving it an edge in performance.

Parallels also offer Windows and Linux versions of their software as well as a virtual disk compressor that works with VMware and VirtualPC as well as their own Workstations products.

They are currently offering the OS X version for $10 off so you can grab a copy for $39.99.

Gmail+Growl

Growl allows other applications to pop-up messages in a very customizable way and is used by the likes of Adium messenger and Colloquy IRC.

This universal app however uses Growl to offer you a sneak preview of your latest Gmail’s as they hit your inbox. Yummy.

Uno

I’ve blogged in the past at just how annoying and inconsistent the Mac UI has become with Aqua, BrushedMetal, Platinum, ProTools, Dashboard and GarageBand UI’s all being totally different. There are even variations between those…

Uno lets you choose between Platinum or it’s darker iTunes variant for Aqua and/or BrushedMetal apps and be done with it. It’s free, fast and easy.

TheftSensor

One of the cool things about OS X is the way Apple build cool features into the OS for application developers to use. Some examples include dictionary/spell-checking, voice recognition, iSight and AppleRemote access, system-level address-books and calendaring…

The result is you find very innovative applications using these features in new and interesting ways. One such example is DeliciousLibrary, another is TheftSensor…

TheftSensor allows you to use your AppleRemote to “lock” you machine just like you would a car with a remote locking fob. Should somebody attempt to move your laptop then an alarm will continually sound until you deactivate it with the remote. This is made possible because of the movement sensor inside Mac laptops put there to protect hard disks in the event of being dropped :)

Remember to pair your remote with your Mac so that other people can’t unlock your laptop with theirs.

TheftSensor is free but the the company behind has another more advanced non-free application called Undercover. Install this and should your Mac be stolen notify them and the next time your Mac hits in the Internet it’ll realize it’s stolen and start sending iSight cam pics of the perpetrator using your PC as well as IP tracking information.

If that doesn’t do the trick it starts to simulate hardware failures and then should it find itself on an Apple certified service center IP allocation it’ll let the service tech know it’s been stolen.

[)amien

2 responses

  1. Gravatar for Steve

    I just love the idea of Undercover, although I just know I’d forget to turn it off or lose the remote, and end up having some explaining to do. I’m sure it would only help for opportunistic thefts too, I’m sure anyone smart nicking your MacBook would wipe it with a stolen copy of OSX before they reconnected it. Great idea though, the only problem with great looking hardware like this is that it screams ‘steal me’.

    Steve April 30th, 2006
  2. Gravatar for Damien Guard

    They recommend you setup a guest account with no password to prevent people re-installing your machine. I’ve also been told that ordering any Apple spare part requires providing your serial number which is checked against a database of known stolen and insurance write-off’s. Whether that is true is anyones guess - Apple certainly don’t publish anything along those lines.

    Damien Guard April 30th, 2006

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