Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view

Trying Two New Apps

I just started working with two new Mac OS X applications and wanted to mention them here. Both applications are pretty good applications, and worth a try if you have a need for their particular functionality.

The first, MarcoPolo, is designed to help automate the process of switching network locations. As most of you probably already know, the idea of network locations in Mac OS X allows us to group network settings—such as DHCP or static IP addressing, DNS, network proxies, etc.—and easily switch between these groups of settings simply by changing the network location. It’s quite useful, especially for someone like me who moves from network to network frequently.

Up until now, I’d been using the Network Location module in Quicksilver to help streamline the process of switching locations. With MarcoPolo, I can simply define a set of rules that associate certain configuration items with a particular location. For example, if my laptop associates with an SSID that matches the SSID of my home wireless network, there’s a really good chance that means I’m at home. Based on the results of these rules, MarcoPolo automatically switches to the most appropriate location. It seems to take some fiddling to get it to behave the way you want it to (at least, it did for me), but once configured it works effectively. It’s nice to be able to attach my laptop to a network and have the laptop automatically figure out what network location it should use.

The second application is a Usenet/NNTP newsreader called Nemo. I’d been using Unison, from Panic, but Nemo really eats Unison’s lunch in almost every area except binaries. I like Nemo’s modern user interface (Unison looks so old), the translucent thread inspector, support for multiple server connections, and native Growl integration. Nemo is still in beta, but I’m already impressed and I’m looking forward to future releases.

Anyone else out there using either of these applications? I’d love to hear your thoughts, too.

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