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Pat Dryburgh

I’m not one for big software reviews, but I’ve been thinking about sharing some of the software I’ve been really into lately. To start, I thought I’d do a quick write-up of some small utilities that really make life on a Mac even more enjoyable.

  • I Love Stars by Potion Factory is a simple utility that displays the current iTunes song rating in your menu bar and allows you to add/change the rating to what you’re listening to. I’ve never been very good at rating my music, but after installing I Love Stars today, I am really into it. This app is incredibly polished, shown in simple ways like the way the stars roll away when you pause a song, or how it flashes in the menu bar 3/4 through the song when the song your listening to hasn’t been rated.
  • Caffeine by Lighthead is so simple, yet so incredible. Basically, Caffeine sits in your menu bar as an empty coffee cup. When you click on the icon, the cup fills with coffee, and the app keeps your Mac’s screen from dimming. This is really helpful when you’re watching long YouTube videos and you don’t want to go into System Preferences to adjust your screen settings or from having to move your mouse around to keep the screen bright. Such a simple concept and implementation, but I use it daily.
  • WeatherBug is a menu item that does one thing: displays the temperature. As soon as I am done this post, I’ll be heading over to Subway, and now I know whether I need a jacket. So simple, but so helpful.
  • Quicksilver really doesn’t need to be mentioned, but I’ve been really getting more into some of the hidden functionality of the app that has been awesome. Everything from emailing attachments without opening Finder, to using Quicksilver as my iTunes remote control has done nothing but reaffirm my love for this app.

Anyway, those are just some fun, free apps I’ve been using for the past while that have really made owning a Mac an even better experience. If you’ve got more to share, send them my way!

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