Download fetishism

by Giles Turnbull

Now that things have settled down after the big Intel announcement, I've been spending some time doing what I often do; downloading stuff and messing around.

Here's a few recent discoveries. made before the vacation I've just returned from. There'll be more along soon.

First off is DashOnOff, a prefpane that allows you to switch the Dashboard process off. And on again. And off again. Like a switch. Just like that.

I played with Dashboard the first day I installed Tiger, and have ignored it ever since. I still haven't seen any widgets that don't replicate something else already done perfectly well by another app, my browser, or Google. But even though I ignored Dashboard, it still sat there eating CPU. Hence the switch. Click. Click.

(Update: just before posting this, I heard about the new BBC Listen Live widget, which I've just installed. Much easier than messing about with browser windows, and the first widget I've seen that's really useful to me. Yay.)

Another neat new thing is iFill, a shareware app from Griffin Technology. The premise is very simple; iFill downloads internet-based radio broadcasts for you, and sticks them on your iPod when you're not looking.

What I love most about it is the UI; yes I know it's nothing like any of the User Interface Guidelines but it just looks really nice, and takes a new direction for hardware-oriented software away from the brushed metal look which (in my mind) is already starting to show its age.

Then there's the Swinging London fonts - free for a limited period only.

And CryptoEdit, which is essentially TextEdit + encryption. Nice idea. NoteList, made by the same team, might interest some of you note-and-snippet-storage addicts.

Along similar lines, there's info.xhead, a kind of Address Book for, well, everything except addresses. A mini database for any kind of information you want to throw at it. I wouldn't normally take a second glance at an app like this because I remain a dedicated user of Notational Velocity. But info.xhead (not the sort of name to roll off the tongue, is it?) is Spotlight-friendly and scores one point over NV in that regard.

Hey, what's on *your* Dock? Or have we done that already?


2005-07-11 20:03:07
Giles, you may want to update the URI you provide for Notational Velocity — Northwestern University has recently abandoned its old domain (which it adopted when National University aced Northwestern out for in favor of

So the NV link should read,

2005-07-19 02:40:36
Thanks for alerting me. I've edited the link.