Apr 27 2009
With each new version comes superfluous features and fatter files. The inevitable upgrades cost more than the face value, since they deprecate your hardware and require newer and newer versions of OS X.
But if you’re willing to live without some rarely used features, you can replace the super applications with free and lightweight ones.
Microsoft Word may have been a must-have in the days of paper and pagination, but the bulk of this bloated text editor’s capabilities are useless in the electronic age. xPad is a newly free text editor that features Rich Text format and graphics. It also features auto-save and modern file management. Its .rtf files are compatible with virtually all word processors. You’ll need to get your free serial here but use this download link.
Excel is a pretty cool application, and has immense capabilities. But if your needs are less Powerful Business Analysis and more Family Budget consider BC Spreadsheet.
BC imports .csv files (which all major spreadsheet applications export) and supports formulas and graphing. Tip: if you save a .cvs BC saves it in its native .sps format, and if you reopen it you’ll get garbled text. Just change the extension to sps and use export to create csv’s.
No one contests the power of Photoshop or Gimp, but they are both resource hogs and tend toward feature overkill. Goldberg supports many graphics formats, resizes, crops and applies Quicktime effects in a snap.
Q is an adaption of Qemu and is a powerful free virtual machine that runs all kinds of operating systems, including Windows and Linux on your Mac.
Similar to VirtualPC (in fact it can boot VirtualPC files), this emulator has an accelerator for Intel Macs.
Quicksilver is an excellent launcher, but the Panther version is no longer being developed and there is no version for Jaguar.
Enter Butler. This keyboard-based launcher includes most of the great features of Quicksilver and has nice extras like custom system menu creation.
All but one of this week’s picks are Mac-only applications. They’re all fast, and all run on Macs with 10.2. So, get rid of bloated, sloppy software and your old Mac will run as fast as a new one (mostly).