2009 MacHeist bundle review

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While there are quite a few people out there who detest the MacHeist event, I for one, love it. If you started from the beginning at The Giving Tree and subsequently participated in all the heists and mini-heists – and purchased the bundle – a total of 50 apps (at my count here) were available, for $32 (with the heist discounts). That is a ridiculous number of apps for a ridiculous price. $0.64 per app is perhaps too ridiculous… is that guilt I feel?

As exciting as it is to get that many apps at that low of a price, I wondered how much I used each, and how much each meant to me. So I thought I’d take a look at each one of the apps and write a short bit on the following criteria:

  • Short description – or what I think the app does
  • Do I use it or not
  • How I use it (if I do) or why I don’t

I’ll go through alphabetically, and if I miss an app, feel free to let me know and I’ll add it.

1passwd-icon

1Password

Desc
Password manager
Use
Use daily
Usage
1Password was in last year’s bundle (or did it come in a heist??) and was one of the gem’s of the bunch. I use it for everything from managing web passwords to storing software licenses to keeping track of project data (ftp, database, website admin, etc.). It was great to see it in the loot again this year as I think its the best way to browse the web safely.
Hearts Deluxe

3D Hearts Deluxe

Desc
Card game
Use
Played once
Usage
I’m a huge Euchre fan, so Hearts should come naturally for me, but it doesn’t. If you know how to play however, this is one of those games that can be a quick diversion when you need a few minutes away.
Acorn

Acorn

Desc
Image editor
Use
Never opened
Usage
At first, I placed this application in the “I don’t have the time or the need to learn an app I perceive as a Photoshop replacement” category. Then while putting this very article together, I found the need to open .icns files that the almighty Photoshop couldn’t open. Acorn was quick and intuitive, although all I did was resize and save as.
agentcraig-icon

AgentCraig

Desc
Craigslist & eBay desktop search
Use
Tried it twice
Usage
I tried a couple of searches, and when both turned up wonky results, I wrote it off. I don’t purchase much on Craigslist or eBay anyway.
allsecure-icon

AllSecure

Desc
Stuff encryptor
Use
Never used
Usage
Every now and again I think I should be encrypting things, but I’ve never found an application that does it well. Or maybe I’ve never really looked hard enough. I’m not too worried about someone breaking in, so it still isn’t really on my mind.
appshelf-icon

AppShelf

Desc
Serial number manager
Use
Never used
Usage
I use 1Password (MacHeist 08) and love it. No need for a replacement.
babelblox-icon

BabelBloX

Desc
Block based game
Use
Used once
Usage
Played it once, didn’t really get into it. In general, I don’t have enough time for games. In particular, I don’t have any time for dull games.
bigbang-icon

Big Bang Board Games

Desc
Collection of 7 classic games
Use
Played a few times
Usage
I come to find I never learned how to play Mancala, Reversi or Backgammon. Connect-4 and tic-tac-toe aren’t too bad. The AI is goood (against me anyway) in chess and checkers.
blitz-icon

Blitz

Desc
Application focusing
Use
Opened once
Usage
Opening this app for the first time was a mistake. It promptly shut me out of all applications including the Finder. Had to perform a hard restart. Will not be opening this app again.
boinxtv-icon

BoinxTV

Desc
Video creation
Use
Never opened
Usage
I don’t do much with video. Actually, I don’t do anything with video except watch it.
colloquy-icon

Colloquy

Desc
IRC chat client
Use
Used a handful of times
Usage
I don’t chat on IRC channels much, but this came in handy to keep up on Macheist things until they put out their own chat app.
cromag-icon

Cro Mag Rally

Desc
Racing Game
Use
Used a handful of times
Usage
Fun little race game set in prehistoric times. I played for a couple of days, got stuck at a certain level, and gave up. Still wondering why my player is the only one who’s required to collect the arrowheads.
delicious-library-icon

Delicious Library 2

Desc
Media cataloger
Use
Used once
Usage
I spent ten minutes cataloging a few items I have like my copy of Medal of Honor. Then I realized that it would take me no small amount of time to try and catalog everything. Then I began to wonder why I’d want this stuff cataloged anyway. Finally I came to the conclusion that I don’t have the time, need or interest.
devonthink-icon

DEVONthink

Desc
Free form database
Use
Used once
Usage
Tried it for 10 minutes, didn’t ‘get it’ and left. I’d categorize this app as spending an hour to save 5 minutes. I’m hooked on The Hit List instead.
enigmo-2-icon

Enigomo 2

Desc
Drippy puzzle game
Use
Used a couple of times
Usage
Fun for a short while, until it got too hard. I only seem to have time for quick and easy games these days.
event-box-icon

EventBox

Desc
Social media black hole tool
Use
Never used
Usage
There’s a run on these all in one apps these days, and I just haven’t really bothered. I don’t need to be checking in on Facebook every 5 minutes. Twitter, on the other hand…
espresso-icon

Espresso

Desc
Web development app
Use
Used a handful of times
Usage
This was the app I was most looking forward to out of the bundle. I use Coda, a similar app, nearly everyday. So I was excited to see what a competing application (that’s received a lot of buzz in the community) could do. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like I think it should. I haven’t figured out how to use it to edit an existing site. I can start a project locally, and then upload it… but… I should write more about this elsewhere… A real bummer overall, really.
fresh-icon

Fresh

Desc
Finder replacement, file storage, something or other. Maybe.
Use
Tried once or twice
Usage
I honestly don’t know what this app is supposed to do. There’s two green bars across my screen, and I’m supposed to put stuff in them, or take them out maybe? No real clue here.
headline-icon

Headline

Desc
News Reader
Use
Opened once
Usage
Another news/rss reader. No time to learn a new system, or import my feeds.
hyperspaces-icon

Hyperspaces

Desc
OS X Spaces enhancer
Use
Opened once or twice
Usage
If this app does something more than put the name of the ‘space’ I’m using in the lower left corner, I missed it.
iconquer-icon

iConquer

Desc
RISK style world domination game
Use
Play periodically
Usage
This is a great example of a game I enjoy playing. It’s quick, it’s easy, I can beat the AI once in a while. It also helps that I happen to love RISK.
isale-icon

iSale

Desc
eBay desktop app
Use
Never used
Usage
I haven’t bought or sold anything on eBay for so long, I forgot they were still around.
istock-icon

iStock

Desc
Stock tracker
Use
Never used
Usage
If I had stocks, perhaps this app would come in handy. Actually I take that back. If I had stocks I’d probably have shot myself by now.
kavatunes-icon

KavaTunes

Desc
Website building tool for iTunes like websites
Use
Never used
Usage
I really have no idea why I would want a iTunes like website.
kinemac-icon

Kinemac

Desc
3D animation app
Use
Never used
Usage
I’m sure this would be awesome if I were a 3D guy who didn’t have Maya or 3D Studio Max.
littlesnapper-icon

Little Snapper

Desc
Screen capture app
Use
Used once
Usage
Once in a while I’ll do a scree grab for something, but not often. When the day comes that I step up my screen capture skillz, I’m sure this app will be my go to.
lugaru-icon

Lugaru

Desc
Rabbit Ninja game
Use
Played a couple of times
Usage
This little Rabbit Ninja game put the old Rabbit Ninja game out of business. Fun to play, after a bit of a UI learning curve. Would be more fun if I didn’t have a 2 year old to chase around the house.
macdust-icon

MacDust

Desc
Mac Cleaner of some sort
Use
Used once, lost some data
Usage
End user types like myself ought to know better than to open an app like this and let it go to town. I lost enough non-critical data to convince me not to open it up again.
mini1racer-icon

MiniOne Racing

Desc
Racer game
Use
Played a handful of times
Usage
Fun and quick to play. Kind of buggy with a crash or two here and there. My two year old likes to watch the cars race around, so maybe I’ll install it on his future machine, which is now my wife’s iMac that is in desperate need of replacement. How about that for some useless information.
multiwinia-icon

Multiwinia

Desc
RTS game
Use
Played a couple of times
Usage
With time and patience this game could be fun. Get past the UI learning curve and you’re halfway there. Got my ass kicked by the computer and gave up. I used to really love games like this, that were engaging and challenging. Now I have a 2 year old who fills that role.
overflow-icon

Overflow

Desc
Application launcher
Use
Never used
Usage
Back in my day, if something ain’t broke, why try and fix it? Butler for the mac worked for me last year, no reason it wont work again this year. Now get off my lawn.
pandoraspests-icon

Pandora’ Pests

Desc
Swy Flotter game
Use
Played once
Usage
About as an annoying and un-fun game as there could be. If this game is being ironic, the irony must be lost on me.
phoneview-icon

Phone View

Desc
iPhone utility thingie
Use
Never used
Usage
I long ago forgot about using my iPhone as an external disk. I think I have 8gb and it’s about half full. Perhaps I’m not using the full potential of the iPhone… might be interesting if I opened it up.
picturesque-icon

Picturesque

Desc
Pretty picture maker
Use
Never used
Usage
This app will add things like a reflection or perspective you your pictures, and then let you save them as a .png file. Let’s hope for this apps sake the reflection look stays in style a little longer.
pocketmac-ringtone-icon

PocketMac Ringtone Studio

Desc
iPhone ringtone maker
Use
Used once
Usage
I’ve chosen the most basic, old skool ringtone that came with the phone. And since a ringtone is often a direct reflection of your personality, I’ve never thought I could describe myself fully with one single song.
poppop-icon

Pop pop

Desc
Breakout style game
Use
Used once
Usage
I’ve never been a huge fan of breakout style games. Just never have. I suspect I may never.
process-icon

Process

Desc
GTD style outlining app
Use
Used once
Usage
I’ve tried many GTD and outliner applications, and most disappoint. I can’t say I gave this one a chance, but when an app like this makes me do things their way, I usually lose interest pretty quickly. If only I were a true follower of the GTD mantra.
santasnaps-icon

Santa Snaps

Desc
Christmas themed, PhotoBooth clone
Use
Never used
Usage
I don’t have a web cam on my machine, and if I did I’m sure I wouldn’t use PhotoBooth, let alone a Christmas themed PhotoBooth.
scribbles-icon

Scribbles

Desc
Vector based drawing app
Use
Never used
Usage
I’ve heard good things about this app, but it’s hard to imagine taking the time to learn this app when I know Illustrator so well.
shovebox-icon

Shovebox

Desc
Information organizer
Use
Never used
Usage
All these little organizer apps are probably good, if you have the time to learn to use them, or can fit into their scheme. I don’t and I can’t.
souschef-icon

SousChef

Desc
Cooking/recipe app
Use
Never used
Usage
Since my wife is the resident foodie, I rarely bother with what’s for dinner. I get the sense though, that she’d like me to step it up a bit. Since I can look in the fridge and be clueless on what I can make, this app might be very useful with it’s “what’s in your fridge” feature.
stickynotes-icon

StickyNotes

Desc
Like Stickies, but better?
Use
Never used
Usage
I hate post-it notes in real life, and even more so all over my desktop.
synergy-classic-icon

Synergy

Desc
Menu bar iTunes controler
Use
Never used
Usage
Pretty happy just using iTunes to control iTunes. Also my menu bar feels too full already.
times-icon

Times

Desc
Newspaper style news reader
Use
Never used
Usage
I should take a closer look at this app, but I’ve been using NewNewsWire for a while now and have been happy enough with it.
thehitlist-icon

The Hit List

Desc
Kick Ass To-Do List (GTD)
Use
Use all day, every day
Usage
Each year there is at least one application that really stands out and makes the bundle a no-brainer. The Hit List is that app this year. I’ve finally found a to do list that works for me, and keeps me on track. I can’t say enough good things about it.
timepost-icon

Timepost

Desc
Time tracker
Use
Never used
Usage
I use a web based app called Harvest. They do time tracking better than anyone, and no desktop based app will convince me otherwise.
typinator-icon

Typinator

Desc
System wide spell check, correction and shortcut tool
Use
Use daily
Usage
This is a great little app that will correct spelling as you type as well as allowing you to create keyboard shortcuts for often typed items. I use the letters bhe to automatically enter my email, for example. It even has a cool little clickety sound when it makes a correction.
webbla-icon

Webbla

Desc
Bookmark manager
Use
Never used
Usage
I like keeping things simple, and adding another application to keep my bookmarks in order seems like piling on. I keep a lot of bookmarks, and they are already well organized within my browser. Both my browsers, actually. Might be nice for people with less bookmarks.
wiretapstudio-icon

WireTap Studio

Desc
Audio recording and editing
Use
Use periodically
Usage
Last year’s loot included a license for WireTap Pro, and my guess is WireTap Studio is just the upgrade. It seems pretty much the same, although now all my recordings are saved in a library within the application. I can then easily send the recordings to various places like iTunes, and in various formats like .mp3. I’ve been recording the noises my kids make and posting them on their site.
worldofgoo-icon

World of Goo

Desc
Globular Game
Use
Used a couple of times
Usage
Very fun game where you move goo around to make other goo do things and build structure.

Overall the bundle was absolutely fantastic this year, with The Hit List coming out as the biggest gem IMO. I also really like Typinator and am hoping I figure out how use Espresso. Which were your favorites?

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