Mac OS X provides a fantastic experience and a huge number of features right out of the box. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Mac OS X is the fact that it’s based on Unix, an operating system familiar to programmers worldwide. At the same time, Mac OS X is still new, with plenty of holes to be plugged and polish to be added. And that’s precisely why there’s been an explosion of free and shareware add-ons, each designed to further heighten the system’s overall usefulness.
This chapter is a bit of a nonconformist in this book. Rather than providing hints, its purpose is just to let you know that these add-ons exist and to show you how they can enhance—or solve problems in—Mac OS X.
Most of the programs fall into one of these categories:
Shareware programs. You pay for these on the honor system, after you download them and try them out. If you like what they do, you send a nominal amount (typically in the $10-$30 range) directly to the programmer. In return, you usually get a code that unlocks more features or turns off nagging reminders to pay up.
Freeware programs. These are free. Use them with the programmer’s compliments.
Donationware programs. These are a lot like shareware, except that the amount you owe the programmer is left up to you. Furthermore, donationware products don’t disable features until you pay, and they’ll rarely if ever nag you to cough up the dough.
If you come to Mac OS X from an earlier version ...