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8/25/2011
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Freeware Friday: Growl for Apple Mac OS X and Up

Spera's Freeware Friday pick? Growl Photo Courtesy: Brian Burgess.

I like to keep tabs on my Mac's application activity. I like to know what's going on. Growl if you're with me. Available free for Mac users with OS/X 10.3.9 or Lion, Growl is quite the handy Apple OS X power tool.

Growl operates like a Mac system extension, monitoring and notifying you of most application activity. For a list of applications that support Growl, click here. Also on Apple Community forums, you'll find a lot of information about Growl.

Growl popups notify me of what song is playing, who is IMing me, how a disk check is going, whatever is going on.

If it gets to be TMI, you always can dial Growl down. Customize what applications you want notifying you.

It's possible to set Growl to voice -- instead of pop-up text -- notifications. This is great for the visually impaired. Or for those of us doing too many things at once.

Growl also centralizes all system activity around a dashboard in one pane. How cool is that. For an IT consultant like me, Growl on OS X is a tip top tool.

Get more visibility into app activity, control notifications and do it all in one place. Once you get it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Growl is my Freeware Friday pick for BYTE this week. It's free and designed to work with Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher. It works fine with Apple OS X 10.7.0 and 10.7.1 Lion, too. You ought to check it out.

Based in Chicago, Chris Spera is managing editor of reviews at BYTE. Email him with ideas and review suggestions at Chris.Spera@BYTE.com.

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