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The Mac platform is flush with outstanding free and low-cost Mac software out there—programs we call Mac Gems. I cover a couple of these products each week here on the Mac Gems Weblog, but there's much more released each year than I can hope to cover at that rate. So, in what has become an annual tradition, I've enlisted the help of other Macworld staff and contributors to go through our ever-growing list of potential Gems and put together a special summer Gems event. (Perhaps you remember GemFest 2009 or 2008's Summer of Mac Gems?)

Today we launch this year's event: GemFest 2010. Starting today and continuing through August, we'll review a new Gem each day (except Sundays). As with the past two Gems marathons, some of the programs we cover will be simple, some more complex. Some will be specialized, while others will be programs everyone should find useful. All will earn the Mac Gems label.

If you'd like a souvenir compilation of GemFest 2010, pick up our October 2010 print issue—most of the products we'll showcase over the next few weeks will be included in a special Mac Gems feature in that issue. The magazine will also include some additional Gems-related content covering some of our all-time favorite Gems. And don't forget to browse the Mac Gems Weblog to read reviews of past Gems.

My regular Gems column will resume in August.

Want to stay up-to-date with the latest Gems? Sign up for the Mac Gems newsletter for a weekly e-mail summary of Gems reviews sent directly to your inbox.

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