Mac of All Trades II: Return of the Mac

It’s time for some more alchemy involving your beloved laptop or desktop companion. Just like last time, we’ll look at a few different apps that allow your Mac to perform some unusual tricks. That Apple is far from a one-trick pony, so forget about boring old internet browsing/photo and video editing/word processing. Prepare to add a “daddy” to the end of your Mac, and show all your friends just how cool you are. This batch will really help you “Bond” with your computer.

Saltwater Aquarium

Nothing says “international man/woman of mystery” like a saltwater fish tank. Whether you’re plotting to destroy the world, or just aiming to become a master of seduction, your lair should definitely house Finding Nemo and his buddies. Real aquariums are expensive and hard to maintain, but your Mac has you covered.

I know it has been around for a while, and it might not be the most useful software on the planet, but I still can’t get enough of SereneScreen’s Marine Aquarium. It comes in both pay and free editions, with the free version lacking the fish variety and customizability of the paid-for software. I set it up on my 32-inch LCD TV and let it run while working or entertaining.

More recently, SereneScreen has released a version for the iPhone, which, while it lacks the options of the desktop version, provides a nice way to grab a little zen in the midst of a chaotic day. At $1.99, you might have to be a fish nut to actually pay for it. I’m nutty for the aquatic little buggers.

International Espionage Tracking Device

Now that you’ve got the diggs outfitted for the spy game, you need some of the Q-type gizmos to go with it. How about a location tracking device? All you have to do is distract the bad guy, make the swap, and you’ve got a homing device. All it will cost you is your Mac, and your target has to have an identical one to switch it with. It could happen.

Thanks to GadgetTrak, this scenario is entirely possible. They make MacTrak, software which uses Wi-Fi location technology to tell you where your computer is, within 10-20 meters. Not only that, but it uses your notebook’s iSight camera and Flickr to post a stream of photographs of whoever’s using your computer. The GadgetTrak folks seem to think MacTrak is for tracking down stolen computers. No imagination, that’s their problem.

Clever Disguise

In your line of work, you deal with sensitive information, and its important that both you and your computer aren’t compromised or identified. I don’t need to give you advice, that horsehair mustache, eyepatch, and fake limp turn you into a different person altogether. But what to do about that computer?

It can show a false front too, thanks to Desktop Curtain by Many Tricks. This handy app shows a desktop picture of your choosing complete with menu bar, hiding your actual desktop clutter and classified information from prying eyes. Handy in a pinch for deceptive screenshots and screencasts, also.

There you have it. Go from geek to spy in 3 easy apps. I’ve already done it and now I’m a bona fide MI6 agent. My license to kill is in the mail, they tell me. For now I have a license to mildly injure. It’s a graduated licensing system.