Random Cool Software Finds and Hacks

OS X Icons

Here are a few apps and tips I’ve found over the past couple weeks. Hopefully some of them will be useful to you as well.

How to convert mp3’s to m4b’s
There’s a neat guide on iPodLounge on how to convert mp3 files (or better yet, CD’s) to m4b’s so you can bookmark them in iTunes and on your iPod. You can also use Rejoiner to join mp3’s if you have already ripped an audio book and have multiple files. Make Bookmarkable is a cool iTunes script that makes .aac files bookmarkable on iTunes for OS X (on Windows simply rename .aac files to .m4b for the same results).

Supinfo Share Manager
If you need an easy way to connect to Windows from OS X, check Supinfo Share Manager out. You can also save bookmarks of commonly accessed computers and set custom actions. It’s free.

Sidenote
Sidenote is a non-intrusive way to keep notes on OS X. I personally still use Notational Velocity (their website is down at the time of this writing), but depending on your needs, Sidenote could work better for you. It’s a great looking piece of free software.

gmail Widget
There are a few gmail widgets for Dashboard out there, but I like this stamp shaped one the best.

DownloadSquad
DownloadSquad is a great new blog with downloads for all types of software. I once started something similar, but it died due to lack of… something.

1 Click Answers
With the press of a hot-key (oddly enough, not a click) view information on any word from Answers.com. What you get includes highlights from Wikipedia, a dictionary, thesaurus and other facts. The software is called 1 Click Answers and works on Windows as well. If you use Tiger for OS X you can also can access the definition of any word (in a Cocoa app) by highlighting it and pressing ctrl+cmd+d (this is a built in feature).

del.icio.us Director
Check out del.icio.us director for dynamic viewing and searching of del.icio.us bookmarks. If you’re not using del.icio.us yet, what are you waiting for? It’s the best way to find qualified links on almost any subject. Works with Firefox and IE (not Safari).

SuperDragAndGo
SuperDragAndGo is a great, timesaving extension for Firefox. SImply drag links, text and images to open, search and save. Try it and you’ll be hooked.

curl
OS X doesn’t have wget built in, but it does have curl. I was trying to wget http://site.com/file.mp3 and it was just spewing a bunch of binary junk. The way to use it is curl -O http://site.com/file.mp3. I also discovered that if you want to get a bunch of numbered files you can do this curl -O http://site.com/file[0-100].mp3. Very useful.

Slideshow Pro
Slideshow Pro is an excellent Flash app that keeps on improving. Create amazing slideshows from iPhoto or by hand editing a simple XML file.

Google Earth
In this case, the best is last. Google Earth is amazing. The ability to view anywhere on the planet in such a smooth and seamless way is astounding. If you’ve used Keyhole (the software Google bought to make Google Earth) the upgrade is a pretty big improvement. For one, it’s free, the huge watermarks are gone and there are other nice improvements to the user interface. Google Earth is most certainly worth looking at if you’re on a PC. The Mac version is forthcoming (hopefully).

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  • http://www.brianstucki.com Brian

    Thanks for the cool tips

  • http://www.mobiletopsoft.com Vesselin Nerdeff

    good list man. there are some freewares on the mobiletopsoft.com its a new good resource for software and games for all types of PDAs and phones, including Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Pocket PC, Symbian.