FFOSS (Freeware/Free & Open Source Software) Friday

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's a summary of Mac Freeware & Free & Open Source Software (F/FOSS) discussed last week in my personal blog.

Azureus: Simple to use BitTorrent Client
BitTorrent (Wikipedia entry) is a data sharing protocol that changes the file download paradigm from a one-to-one model to a many-to-many-model (peer-to-peer). This allows extremely large files to be shared without stressing a single download source point. It also means that if you download a file, you will also be allowing others to download fragments of the file from you too for some period of time. You can choose to terminate sharing the file with others after you have a complete file. But, this is considered a breach of netiquette.

One of the easiest ways to use BitTorrent is to use... Azureus

PocketMod: The Free Disposable Personal Organzier
Here's an item that is hard to categorize.

PocketMod: The Free Disposable Personal Organzier

PocketMod lets you create mini paper booklets of information and organizational forms (calendar, contacts, etc.). It prints the mini-pages on a single piece of paper which you then fold and cut (with a scissors) to create the mini-booklet.

It is somewhat difficult to categorize because this mini-booklet can be either created right from the PocketMod website (using Flash) or by downloading a client to your desktop. The PocketMod downloadable app runs on either Mac OS X or Windows.

PocketMod: My Mac Won't Start! A Tiny Guide
This stretches the concept focus of this blog. But, what the heck.

My Mac Won't Start! A Tiny Guide

This freebie pocket guide uses PocketMod to create a tiny must-have emergency reference guide for any Mac user. I keep one in my MacBook's carrying case.

Google Earth Release 4
Google released an update for Google Earth on January 8.

Google Earth Release 4

The listed enhancements are: More 3D content for terrain and buildings, add your own photos and GPS data, a new simpler user interface.

Google SketchUp 6 and 3D Warehouse
The folks at Google have been busy! They also updated their 3D modeling app SketchUp.

Google SketchUp 6

If you want to see what some talented and diligent people have created with SketchUp, head over to...

Google 3D Warehouse

...to see what 3D models have been uploaded and contributed to the collection there.

Mac GPG: Mac GNU Privacy Guard
Mac GPG is a port of GNU PG (Privacy Guard). GNU PG provides a way to encrypt and sign data and communication using the OpenPGP standard. This port attempts to make GNU PG easy to install and use on a Mac.

Mac GPG: Mac GNU Privacy Guard

Please note that as of Dec. 6, 2006, the Mac GPG site advises you to compile the application yourself because of a GNU PG security issue.

TwitterPost: Mac Client for Twitter-ing
Do you Twitter? Twitter is an, um, hmm... I guess you could say it is a mash-ip of instant messaging, texting, real-time mini-blogging. You can type whatever you are doing or thinking into twitter and whoever is a follower of your twittering can see the text either on a web page that updates itself, an IM client, or a text message on your phone. The text message is limited to 144 characters. So, I guess you could say it is closer to texting that anything else. However, it is a many-to-many communications instead of one-to-one.

TwitterPost is a freeware Mac OS X client application that lets you twitter away without requiring a web page open or inter-mixing twittering with regular IM messages in your IM client.

If you have freeware or Open Source software to recommend for Mac users, please post it in a response here (or email the information to me if you prefer to remain anonymous).


2007-01-19 07:39:43
For a BitTorrent client, I have found Transmission to be the most Mac-like. Azureus' set-up seemed a bit arcane.
Todd Ogasawara
2007-01-19 07:46:21
Qka: Is it the Java-nature of Azureus that seems odd or the behind-the-NAT setup (which still baffles me, I must admit). I use it once every couple of months to download a new Linux distro or two and have never really looked at it beyond that. Works ok for me. Thanks for mentioning "Transmission". Had not heard of it. Will search around for it.
2007-01-19 08:05:54
I have universal binaries for the new less-vulnerable version of the affected MacGPG components available on my site. This may be useful to people who want to avoid the hassle of compiling themselves.