With yesterday’s review of Plex, we wrap up our GemFest 2009. If you’re interested, you can see a complete list of the applications in our GemFest. You can also see a complete listing of these Gems in the August 2009 issue of Macworld. Our regular, twice-a-week Mac Gems column will resume on Thursday.
We’ve reviewed hundreds of affordable applications over the years, from tools with just a few key features to complex software that can compete with more-expensive programs. Some of the Gems we’ve found are applications we can’t live without. As a grand finale to GemFest 2009, here’s a list of some of our all-time favorite Mac Gems.
Got an affordable program that you can't live without? Tell us about it by posting in the comments section.
AppleJack This clever utility () lets you perform a number of troubleshooting procedures at startup, without requiring a Mac OS X or third-party CD or DVD. Free; The Apotek.
Default Folder X () Adds much-needed improvements to OS X’s Open and Save dialog boxes. As the name implies, it lets you assign a default folder for each application. In addition, it makes recently used and favorite files and folders, as well as open Finder windows, easily accessible. $35; St. Clair Software.
Document Palette () You can create a new document in the current folder via a keyboard shortcut—just choose the type of document from the palette that appears. Payment requested; Cold Pizza Software.
Growl () This notification tool runs in the background of your Mac. It can alert you of finished downloads, the arrival of e-mail, incoming chats, and a lot more. Free; Growl Team.
LaunchBar LaunchBar () A launcher utility that makes you more productive by letting you control your Mac via the keyboard, reducing the amount of time you have to spend clicking around with your mouse. €24; Objective Development.
MondoMouse () Give your cursor capabilities it never had before. Move, resize, or identify windows without having to first switch to them. $15; Atomic Bird.
NetNewsWire () One of the best RSS readers. It stands out for its extensive feature set, easy-to-use interface, and ability to sync your feeds across multiple devices. Free; NewsGator Technologies.