New life for old Macs

Family message center

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What you’ll need

  • Mac (preferably 800MHz G4 or faster) running OS X 10.3 or later (10.4 for Dashboard weather widgets)
  • Apple Stickies (free), Panic Desktastic 3.0 ($13), or MacMax.org’s Scriboard 1.5.2 ($20)
  • .Mac account ($100 per year)
  • Parliant PhoneValet Message Center ($170) or Ovolab Phlink ($150)
  • Apple Weather widget (free) or AWS WeatherBug (free)
  • Super screen savers

    A screen saver can prevent wear and tear on your monitor while communicating valuable information at a glance.

    On the News Using OS X 10.4’s built-in RSS Visualizer screen saver, you can pick your favorite news feed, such as BBC News, CNN/Money, or ESPN.com. Every time the screen saver kicks in, you’ll see headlines on your topic of choice.

    Don’t Forget Alloc Software’s free FadeText displays any text you enter into its configuration box—Call Mom, Lunch is in the refrigerator, and so on.

    Take Your Umbrella! How cold is it? Download the Weather Channel’s free screen saver to see the current temperature and conditions for your area.

    [ Senior Editor Christopher Breen is the author of The iPod and iTunes Pocket Guide, second edition (Peachpit Press, 2006). ]

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