Archive for the ‘MacOS Communications’ Category

Send email from the command line

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of SendEmail

There are lots of straightforward ways to send email out there, with all kinds of email client applications. There are some more complicated ways to send email as well, like talking directly to sendmail or postfix. Apps with GUIs are nice for humans, but not so easy to incorporate into scripts. Command line tools are scriptable, but they can be complicated to set up, configure and run. There is, however, a third way.

SendEmail is a Perl script that you can use to send email messages either directly from the command line, or by incorporating its functionality into batch files or shell scripts. You basically include all the regular bits and pieces required for any email message—to, from, subject, body, name of the SMTP server you're using—in the command that invokes the app, and then just send the message. While it may be a bit complicated to do this from the command prompt yourself, sticking it all into a script is pretty easy, and now you can send messages programmatically.

A free download, SendEmail is available with installers for Linux and Windows, although it's no great challenge to use it on your Mac as well. All you need is a Perl install on your system, and you're good to go.

Download SendEmail

Free RSS/Atom reader for Mac

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

runs on Mac
screenshot of Vienna

We're constantly awash in information. Newspapers, magazines, TV, web, and more—how can you possibly keep up with it all? In all actuality, you probably can't, but the next best thing may be to keep an eye of the various news feeds available out there. With an RSS reader, you can monitor news stories, blogs, and any of a zillion other information sources.

Vienna is an RSS reader for your Mac. It's easy to add new subscriptions, and you can organize your info with group folders and smart folders, that let you filter the stories you're most interested in. In addition, it has built-in support for Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to share all those goodies with your friends and followers from inside the app—no more cut-and-paste between tools required.

Vienna is a free, open-source application, and the most recent release runs on systems using Leopard (OS X 10.5) and later.

Download Vienna

Use Google Voice without your browser

Friday, February 4th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Google Voice Desktop App

If you're a fan of Google Voice, you know how handy it can be to use its voicemail and calling features. What you might not find so handy is the fact that you have to open your browser and be logged in to use it. Until now. Meet the Google Voice Desktop App.

With this desktop app, you don't have to worry about silly browser mistakes getting in the way of making or receiving your calls. With this app, built using the Adobe AIR platform, you don't even need to open a browser, much less worry about accidentally closing it in the middle of a call. But you still have all the functionality you expect from Google Voice: calls in, calls out, voicemail, SMS text messages, and more.

The free Google Voice Desktop App is compatible with all systems that support the Adobe AIR platform, including Linux, Windows, and Mac (G4 processor or later).

Download Google Voice Desktop App

BlogBridge industrial strength news aggregator

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of BlogBridge

There are two types of people in the world: those who break the world down into two types of people and those who don't. Okay, old joke, right? But seriously, there are a lots of ways in which people can be broken down into two different groups based on their attitudes or behaviors. Take news feeds, for example. For some folks, it's all fun and games: keeping track of the comings and goings of friends, new music and video releases, and other general recreational stuff. For others, it's strictly business: vendors to watch, competitors to track, that soft of thing. This latter group usually has a whole bunch of stuff to try to keep track of; they need a tool that's as serious about it all as they are.

BlogBridge is an industrial-strength blog and newsfeeds aggregator. It supports all popular feed formats, and lets you keep track of what you've read and what's still waiting for you. With installs on multiple machines, you can keep your life synchronized between work, home, and even on the road. It's got heavy-duty search tools that let you find what you need fast, too.

BlogBridge is a free download. It's a Java app, so it'll run on systems that have the appropriate runtime installed, including many flavors of Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Download BlogBridge

lightweight and user-friendly e-mail client

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Sylpheed

Everybody's got an email client they swear by. Of course, there are other times where they've got a client they swear at. If you fall into that latter category, maybe you're in the market for a new mail program. This might be the time to check out Sylpheed.

Sylpheed uses a standard three-pane design, with a folder hierarchy on the left, and messages and individual message preview on the right. A small footprint means that system resources aren't taxed by this app. With powerful search and filter capabilities, you'll always be able to find just the message you're looking for. You can even save your results into a search folder, so you won't have to execute your query a second time. Smart junk mail control means that the more junk you receive, the less you'll actually see, as its filters improve with use.

Sylpheed is a free application. It runs on Windows (Win2k and later), Linux and other *NIX platforms, and Mac OS X (sorry, Intel processors only).

Download Sylpheed

User-friendly, lightweight, fast email client

Friday, June 26th, 2009

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Claws Mail

Where would we be without email? While we could probably go for quite a while without a telephone, we probably wouldn't last more than a couple of hours without email. While email itself is pretty simple stuff, getting it to work right can be more of a challenge.

There are lots of email clients out there that do lots of things, but as you know, when you add layers of functionality to any application, you're adding layers of complexity to it as well. By the time you format your message with all the pretty fonts and pictures, you can end up with a big message to send. This also means that the tool itself is pretty big and complicated. Claws is not such a tool.

What it is is a no-nonsense email client. You can't send HTML-formatted messages; you can't use it as a full-featured PIM. What you can do is use it for your POP or IMAP mail accounts—as many as you want to throw at it—as well as accessing your local mbox file. You can even create send-only accounts that let you access an SMTP server to push mail out into the world without receiving anything back. Plugins are also available to add more functionality to Claws Mail.

Claws Mail is a free app. It's available for a bunch of different Linux flavors, as well as Windows and Macintosh users.

Download Claws Mail

Email files with Filemailer

Friday, June 5th, 2009

runs on Mac
screenshot of Filemailer

Email is probably the biggest use of the Internet. Just think about the number of messages you send—or the amount of SPAM you receive—in a given day, and you'll realize what a big deal it is. And it's used for more than just communicating with Nigerian princes. We've all sent ourselves an email to remind us of a "to do" item that we need to take care of. And then there's file transfer. It's easy to email Mom a photo from your last vacation, or to send a copy of the Johnson Project report to a co-worker.

While it's easy to use email for file transfer purposes, maybe it isn't the most efficient way to handle this task. After all, you've got to create the email, make a little introductory small talk, tell your recipient that you're sending them something, attach the file, etc., etc. When you send it, your email client often will save a local copy of the message, plus a copy of that attachment. Now not only is it taking extra time, but it's eating up storage space as well.

Filemailer is a dedicated use-email-to-transfer-files tool. All you have to do is enter the info for your recipient and then just drag the file you want to send over their name and click the Send button. No muss, no fuss—your file is just sent, with no copy generated in your Sent box or any of that foolishness. It's a pretty simple, no-nonesense way to deal with this issue.

Filemailer is a Mac application. You'll need to be running OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or later to use it.

Download Filemailer

Unleash the data in your email

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

runs on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Postbox

Have you ever used your email system as a database? When you want to remember to do something, you send yourself an email. When you want to capture a little piece of data, your send it off in an email to yourself. Since you've already got your head in that game, here's a way to make it work even better.

Postbox is a tool that helps you to organize the contents of your email messages. Not only that, it also looks at your attachments—images, documents, that whole deal—to help your keep track of it all. Now when you're trying to see everything about that new project, you'll really find everything. It's compatible with POP3 and IMAP mail protocols, so you're probably good to go with it right now. Search through everything, or filter your info so that you're only digging through a subset of your mail. You can even archive older stuff, so that you don't have to dig through it every day, while still allowing you to search through it when the need arises.

Postbox is available for Windows (XP and later) and Macintosh (OS X 10.4 and newer). It's currently beta-level software, so you might expect a bug or two. Their website says that this app is free, but suggests that they may change their pricing model somewhere down the road.

Download Postbox

Free collection of Mac applications

Friday, March 20th, 2009

runs on Mac
screenshot of MacLibre

No matter how much the purveyors of shrink-wrapped software would have you believe it, there really is no reason to have to spend a small—or not so small—fortune on applications to run on your computer. That's not to say that the fine folks at Microsoft and all the other big name development shops don't put out some pretty cool tools, but an awful lot of what you want to do can be done with apps that don't cost you a dime.

Not so much an application, MacLibre is sort of a "greatest hits" collection of free software for your Macintosh. Now instead of running all over the place grabbing individual apps, you can download the whole pile all at once.

MacLibre includes productivity tools like NeoOffice (a Mac-ized version of OpenOffice), Internet tools and browsers, sound and graphics editors (Audacity and GIMP), and a bunch of utility apps as well. You could find yourself with a pretty well equipped system for the cost of only a few minutes worth of downloading.

MacLibre is distributed as a Universal Binary. That means that it'll run on both PowerPC and Intel Macs; you should be able to use it on systems that are running Panther (OS X 10.3) or later.

Download MacLibre

Take control of your contacts with VoxOx

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

runs on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of VoxOx

How connected are you? With email, voicemail, IM, video conferencing, fax, and more, it's pretty much impossible to be "off the grid". It's not easy, though, to keep track of all the ways that you are connected, especially if you're not really the local propeller-head.

VoxOx is a tool that can help you tame the world of communication and connectedness. Rather than having to keep track of which network your IM contacts belong to, for example, you can use VoxOx's integrated instant messaging client—one size fits all. Send and receive SMS text messages directly from your computer. Use the built-in email client. It boasts a contact manager that will let you import contacts from all your networks, so you'll never be far from your people.

VoxOx is a free application. You can grab the Windows version—it runs on any Win32 platform, from Windows 95 up through Vista—or the Mac version, which requires OS X 10.5+. There's also a Linux version on the horizon.

Download VoxOx