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Derision reviewed on 17 Aug 2013
Cabos was one of my go-to applications as far as file sharing went. It was quick, stable, and worked well under both OSX and Classic Mac OS (which I still used at the time).

Nothing much has changed since then, and it looks like the last update to the software was in 2010. Since then, I've been using FrostWire, which gives you stability, and the ability to more easily differentiate what's floating on (what's left of) the Gnutella network, as well as torrents and whatever else.

If you have an older machine, or a Mac that's short on memory that you just want a bare-bones sharing app, then Cabos is the way to go, assuming that Gnutella hasn't collapsed in on itself. Otherwise, I'd go with FrostWire at this point.

[Version 0.8.2]


Derision reviewed on 04 Dec 2012
A long time ago, I got a copy of Shortcut S-Spline on a MacWorld CD or something. It only ran under OS9, but was amazing because I could take the pictures that were taken with my elderly 1.3 megapixel camera, blow up their resolution and then print them out, and they would look amazing on paper.

I've been looking for a replacement for that since updating to OSX. My camera is no longer 1.3mp, but I like to have the option of enlarging some images. S-Spline still exists in the form of PhotoZoom, but costs an exorbitant sum of money to buy, money which I just can't justify spending to increase the DPI of an image that I probably won't print anyway.

Then someone mentioned SmillaEnlarger and I gave it a go, not expecting much. Lo and behold, it did an admirable job. It's not as perfect as PhotoZoom's algorithm, but for a few quick enlargements its more than adequate.
[Version 0.9.0]


Derision reviewed on 16 Mar 2012
I love Audacity. I've been using this application for years, all the way back into OS9, and it has become sort of my Swiss Army knife of audio editing.

Sometimes, okay, it's a little flaky. Sometimes it might crash, though such crashes are exceedingly rare in my experience. And there may be commercial programs that do the same kind of thing better, though for some amount of money.

But, c'mon... it's free! And it's still actively supported! Aaaand it's cross-platform! When my Windows using friends ask what a good audio editor is, I can point them towards Audacity, and can be fairly certain that they're getting the same experience that I do. So far, nobody has accused me of steering them wrong.

Either way... very useful, well made app, and well worth the download.

[Version 2.0]


Derision reviewed on 04 Sep 2011
I might take a lot of flack for this review, because Adium is universally loved by Mac users, but… well, it's just my opinion, and nobody has to agree with me.

For me, though, Adium is kind of redundant. When I first switched from OS9 to OSX, back in those heady Jaguar days, Adium was the ONLY IM client I would use. AIM, ICQ and Yahoo were bad Carbon ports, MSN was indescribable, and iChat was, er... weird. In addition, Skype was barely a glimmer in anybody's eyes and, though Gizmo was cool, only three people worldwide seemed to ever use it.

At that point, Adium -- and, to a lesser extent, the now defunct Fire and the husk of what was once Proteus -- was a breath of fresh air. It was a convenient, solid, feature-rich application that easily blew away any of the official offerings. It was also extremely customizable and, well... it was very "Mac".

Time marches on, though, and the official clients have gotten better. While this has occurred, it has seemed to me as if Adium continues to tread water, a bit. It is still a very solid application and it is still a very convenient way to keep all your contacts in one list, but it doesn't have video or audio conferencing -- which even MSN has now -- and it falls short in some very basic areas as compared to the official offerings. I have rarely been able to get file transfers to work and, at times, it can act just plain goofy.

Now, that said, I am absolutely not trying to disparage this application. I still love Adium to death and I keep installing updates, but... to be honest, I just don't find myself using it very often anymore. Maybe if I needed to be logged into eight different IM clients, or several different screen names, then I'll start it up, but... for the most part, it sits there looking at me, and just doesn't get used. Which is kind of a shame, because it still has what it has had since day one, back in those OSX 10.2 days -- loads upon loads of amazing potential that it just... doesn't... ever... quite seem... to reach.

[Version 1.4.3]


Derision reviewed on 06 May 2011
I love it when people blast pieces of instant messaging software, especially when they cite a lack of features. I don't know about you, but iChat has a decided lack of features when compared to a lot of other clients.

Either way, Microsoft Messenger gets a lot of the same kind of flak that AOL Instant Messenger gets. I presume a lot of it has to do with the fact that the word "Microsoft" is in the name, which apparently connotes that the product is entirely un-Mac and, therefore, eeevil.

The fact of the matter is that Microsoft Messenger is as capable as just about any other messenger out there.

A lot of people don't remember how broken MSN Messenger was just a few years ago. There was no video, no audio, barely any features at all, which opened the door for some competition from sources like aMSN, Mercury Messenger and Mac Messenger.

Since then, though, Microsoft has turned this little train around and made something that is actually usable. The fact that Microsoft seems to be committed to developing it further, such as in the recent addition of video and Yahoo Messenger interoperability, tends to make me look favorably on it -- even if it IS made by Microsoft.

Do I use it much? No, but that has nothing to do with my dislike of it, but simply due to the fact that I know very few people that actually use the network for communications.
[Version 8.0.1]

1 Reply


Derision replied on 07 May 2011
@Mistere: I agree, a lack of release notes is a bit lame. I also noticed that the app description still states Microsoft Messenger 7, when the version that is current is 8.

@D9: It can be frustrating that the Windows version is more robust than the Mac version, but that's to be expected when the company that makes the Mac version of Microsoft Messenger also makes Windows. The same could be said vice versa -- the Mac version of iTunes, Safari and so forth were more robust and better integrated into the OS than the versions initially released for Windows. This is no longer entirely the case, but one can hope that eventually the Mac and Windows versions of Messenger will also achieve parity.

Derision reviewed on 05 May 2011
For years, I've used Canon's PhotoStitch app, which came with a printer I'd bought long ago, to create panoramas and stitch pictures together. Despite the increasing age of PhotoStitch, it has served relatively well.

Relatively well, that is, until recently when I was scanning some sheet music for my roommate's father. The music was written on large pieces of paper and I had to scan each document in sections. PhotoStitch got hopelessly confused trying to deal with all the horizontal lines on the page. A quick search lead me to DoubleTake, which I installed and immediately, I was able to combine the sections of each scan to make a perfect picture.

Since then, I've used it to redo some older panoramas and so forth I had made, and to finish some that I'd never been able to complete due to PhotoStitch being unable to handle it. The software has performed flawlessly in nearly all of my attempts, and gives you a wealth of control over how each image is processed without making it seem overly complicated.

This software is entirely worth the $25, and then some, for what it does.
[Version 2.2.6]


Derision reviewed on 20 Mar 2011
I was skeptical of TeamViewer at first; being the primary tech support person for relatively computer illiterate family members, each living 80 miles or so away, I'd tried remote access applications before, mostly of the VNC variety, and had been sorely disappointed. Screen Sharing with the Mac and iChat worked pretty well, but not when that family member was clanking along on a G3 iMac and Tiger's version of iChat had never heard of screen sharing.

My mom, whilst working from home, had trouble setting something up and the tech support guy from her company had her install TeamViewer. She told me about this and I checked it out, not expecting to see anything but a Windows application, but lo and behold, it worked on nearly every platform.

It has since become one of my invaluable tools for dealing with computer issues of those that are not within driving distance, and when setting up a machine for someone is one of the pieces of software that I install by default. It's easy, with no real setup required: start it up, "tell me the numbers" and we're off.

While it does have a few shortcomings, none of them are particularly drastic or take away from the functionality of the software. It works, it's free, and that's about all that really matters.

[Version 6.0]


Derision reviewed on 09 Mar 2011
At one time, iStill was a useful program for taking pictures with the external iSight camera. Because the iSight had a pretty limited resolution of 640x480, taking pictures larger than that could be problematic; iStill, however, through the use of some clever tricks similar to image stacking, managed to make higher resolution pictures taken with the iSight look much nicer and sharper, while also giving you picture setting and focus controls.

Time marches on, though, and webcam resolutions have gotten much higher than that of the old iSight. Though iStill could continue to conceivably be a useful tool, if given the chance, it doesn't seem to be compatible with Intel Macs. I base this on the fact that iStill continues to run perfectly well with my PowerMac G4 running OSX 10.5.8 with a FireWire iSight, but can't access the built-in iSight on my Core 2 Duo-based MacBook, nor can it access the external iSight when plugged into the MacBook. The developer does not appear to be in any rush to fix these issues: the last developer comment was in 2005.

The bottom line is that iStill has potential to be a good, useful application, but lack of support has seriously hampered its usefulness. If you have a PowerPC Mac with an external iSight, give it a try... otherwise, move along.

[Version 1.2]


Derision reviewed on 27 Feb 2011
Double is a Mah-Jongg clone which I've always found better than actual Mah-Jongg games: the tiles are easily more distinguishable than regular Mah-Jongg tiles, particularly for those who are unfamiliar with the game. My grandmother could never get into Mah-Jongg, but Double became one of the first games that she really got hooked on when she got her Mac.

It has its flaws and hasn't been updated since the Mesozoic era, but then... how much updating can you really do to a simple tile match game that works under both OS9 and OSX.
[Version 2.0.4]


Derision reviewed on 24 Feb 2011
FaceTime is an interesting animal, though it feels somewhat... unfinished. This could be due to its resemblance to the iOS version. Also, there is a dearth of people who are currently using it. When Apple released iChat, it was a windfall for Mac users because there were already so many AIM users with video capability but with FaceTime, you're limited talking with those few people running it on the Mac or on an iPhone/iPod touch, of which I know... two.

THAT SAID, when I DO get to use it, it is a solid application that does what it's supposed to do and does it well. The video quality is excellent -- better than that of Skype and iChat -- and, even with wonky internet connections, has never succumbed to the lag of iChat or the robot-techno-stutter of lagging Skype.

I don't know why they're suddenly charging a dollar for it when it was free before and other solutions like Skype and iChat are also free, but if this is the sort of thing you're likely to use regularly, then it can entirely be worth the buck.

[Version 1.0]

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