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Great free system tools for Mac OS X  


Deeper takes you further that System Preferences and provides access to a number of extra options such as Finders graphical effects, layout, spacing and menus, as well as some extra options for Dashboard, Dock, Expose, Login and more.

As an extra cool treat you can also select a screen-saver to be your desktop background just to show off how smooth, slick and system-deep the transparency, scaling and hardware acceleration go in OS X.


I’ve commented before on how I like the Mac’s simple installation mechanism that involves just dragging a folder out of the disk image to where you want it, or in some cases running a package but uninstalling should be just as simple. Thanks to AppTrap it is.

AppTrap watches your Trash and if it detects an application being disposed of asks you if you would like to remove the support files. Great.

0xED Cocoa hex editor

Every hardcore user needs a hex editor from time to time and 0xED is free and very capable.

Features include unlimited file size, interpreting bytes as strings in a variety of encodings, or as integers, floats, doubles and support both big and little endian bytes.

0xED also supports a plug-in mechanism so you can write your own custom data types. The plug-in page includes one for interpreting four bytes as an IP address (v4).


Until I can get my hands on a Hitachi’s 200GB/7200 replacement internal drive for my MacBook Pro I’m stuck having to prune my photo, music and applications in order to make space.

Most Mac applications now ship in Universal format which means they contain binaries for both PowerPC and Intel architectures. Drag one of these applications to TrimTheFat and it will remove the part your current machine doesn’t need.


SafariStand is a plug-in that lets you tweak tweak Safari’s behaviour such as applying alternative stylesheets, disabling JavaScript, Java or images, modifying encoding and minimum font sizes on a site-by-site basis as well as enhancing the bookmarks with colours and categories, disabling animated GIFs and FavIcons.

If you need a reason to install this try Hicksdesign’s Google Reader Theme to make Google Reader look much more like a Mac application.

The Unarchiver

The Mac’s built-in BOMArchiveHelper is a useful decompressor for archives but for when it can’t handle a format turn to The Unarchiver.

Thanks to the libxad library it uses formats include: Zip .zip, RAR .rar, 7-Zip .7z, LhA .lha .lzh, StuffIt .sit, BinHex .hqx, MacBinary .bin, .macbin, Gzip .gz, .gzip .tgz, .tar-gz, BZip2 .bz2, .bz, .bzip2 .tbz .tbz2, Tar .tar .gnutar, Unix compress .z .taz .tar-z, ACE .ace, Microsoft CAB .cab, Comic Book .cbz .cbr, Linux RPM .rpm, DiskDoubler .dd, Self-Extracting .sea .exe, CPIO .cpio .cpgz, Pax .pax, HA .ha, Amiga disk image .adf, .adz .dms .dcs .pkd .xms .zom, Amiga archive .f .lzx


Google Reader – contender for the online aggregator throne?  

Screenshot of Google ReaderI wrote a while back about how Rojo’s upgrade was a disaster and that it had led me to look for alternatives.

Bloglines didn’t have the same feeling of a polished interface that Rojo has tempted me with but unlike Rojo but it has been happily consuming the feeds of all my sites and presenting them without fuss or issue since I started using it a few weeks ago.

I got back from London this weekend and found that Google has finally upgraded the user interface for their online reader offering to something on-par with some of the others (at last!)

Apart from looking like Google Mail it also has a great feature whereby as you scroll down items it highlights the current one and if you scroll past it then it assumes it has been read.

This is great compared to the “I’ve read everything in this group” button of Rojo and Bloglines “Well you clicked group X that had 100 posts so I’m assuming it’s read”.

Another cool feature seems to be the response time at which Google Reader picks up articles. It even picked up this article within 3 minutes on my little blog.

Of course the best part of all this is thanks to the guys behind OPML moving from one reader to another is just a case of exporting from one and importing to another – even groups are preserved.