Top 5 Most Awesome Freeware Apps for Mac OS X

Growing up, I always had macs. From my first MacSE sporting the lightning-fast 8mhz 68000 processor to college when I had a Power Mac running a 200mhz PowerPC 603e processor, I was always a Mac person. Even after that last Power Mac died, when I was exclusively running PCs, I still considered myself a Mac addict while I secretly longed for the day that I would once again have a nice shiny new Mac. Well, several months ago I got a nice new iMac and I love it. Although not new to Mac OS X, I had never owned a computer that ran it, so its taken me a while to feel out what software I like and I have some recommendations. So, without further ado, here’s my top 5 list of freeware applications every Mac user should have:

  1. Adium
    This is easily the absolute best chat client for Mac OS X. I’m way more fond of it than I was Trillian on my XP machines and I swore by Trillian. Adium supprts just about every chat platform ever right out of the “box”, with the exception of IRC and video chat (supposedly coming soon). I’m pretty sure some of the platforms it supports went extinct along with the dinosaurs, but it still would work with Adium. The dock notifications are awesome, it integrates extremely well with Growl, and the styling, sounds, icon, and just about anything else are extremely customizable, which is fun. Sure, Mac OS X comes with iChat, but this just embarrasses it.
  2. ClamXav
    Sure, there aren’t many viruses out there for the Mac, but you can never be too safe. ClamAV is an open source anti-virus solution for *nix-based operating systems. ClamXav is the Mac OS X front end for it. Its easy to install, easy to configure, works well, and is well supported. What more can you ask for in virus protection?
  3. VLC
    I was debating whether or not to list this, because it is available on just about any operating system, but its just too good pass up. It’s a video player that can be both extremely basic to use and extremely advanced to configure, depending on your needs. It plays just about anything and that’s what makes it great.
  4. Transmission
    Hands-down the best torrent client for Mac OS X. It’s fast, it’s simple, and it’s easy to configure. If that’s not enough, it also has an extremely small footprint. I’ve tried at least a dozen different torrent clients over multiple platforms over the last few years and this is certainly my favorite thus far, no matter what the operating system.
  5. MagiCal
    This innocent little application does two incredible things that should by all means just be built in to the next version of Mac OS X. It displays a small icon with the month and date next to the clock on the menu bar and when clicked, it displays a small calendar that even allows you to flip through the months. Why this is not just a part of the OS is beyond me, but thankfully MagiCal is available to help.

Honorable Mentions: Firefox, Thunderbird, Stuffit Expander, and Fetch.

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