Here’s a summary of last week’s Mac Freeware & Free & Open Source Software (F/FOSS) discussed in my personal blog. If you have freeware or Open Source software to recommend for Mac users, please post it in a response here (or email the information to me if you prefer to remain anonymous).
Inbox.com: 5GB Free Email & File Storage
This is one of those I hope this is not too good to be true items. I read about…
…and was immediately both curious and suspicious about a free web service that provides 5GB (gigabytes) of storage for email, files, and a photo sharing.
So, I signed up for it and it sure looks for real so far. The only drawback so far is that the email only provides POP3 and not IMAP4. But, hey, Yahoo! charges for POP3 and Gmail doesn’t provide IMAP4 either. So, this is probably not a big deal.
Data is not backed up for free accounts. However, you can get your 5GB of space backed up for a reasonable $9.90 per year and even increase the storage space to 30GB (with backup) for $29.96 per year.
Xdrive: 5GB Free Online Storage With Backup
Unlike Inbox.com’s free 5GB of online storage that does not include backups unless you upgrade to the reasonably priced for-fee service,
…provides 5GB of free online storage with backups (but no email feature). Xdrive also provides a Microsoft Windows utility to allow the ability to drag and drop files between Microsoft Windows folders and your Xdrive folder.
I had an account with Xdrive during the first dot-com boom. They provided, I believe, around 100MB of free space back then. Then, they changed their model to fee-only and dropped the free service. I seem to recall being a paying customer for a while before dropping the service. I have not tried this dot-com 2.0 free Xdrive service yet.
Locomotive: Ruby on Rails Assistance for Mac OS X
Here’s an interesting Open Source app for Mac OS X.
It sets up what appears to be a sandboxed Ruby on Rails environment for Mac OS X to reduce the pain of configuring Ruby on Rails with graphics libraries and the like.
Turtle Geometry (see Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas) started out at MIT’s AI Lab way back in 1970. If you’ve seen or heard of LEGO Mindstorms NXT, you’ll find that many of the concepts it embedded into this robotics kit came from Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms book and Turtle Geometry.
Aquamacs: Emacs for Mac OS X (Text Editor)
Yep, I’m old. I remember when the Free in Free Software was a philosophical notation (Free as in Freedom). And, the first piece of Free Software that really impressed me back then was GNU EMACS. It is not accurate to refer to Emacs as a text editor. It can be its own environment. Many years ago when I managed a large (for its time) UNIX system at a university, I had a linguistics professor ask me to make GNU Emacs his login shell! He literally lived in Emacs. If you want an Emacs tuned for Mac OS X, take a look at…
Aquamacs: Emacs for Mac OS X