Use your Macintosh While You Enjoy Your Hobbies

March 17, 2012 by  

Your Macintosh computer can be a great partner in the pursuit of your hobbies. This column is going to explore a few of these.

Are you an amateur radio operator or short wave listener? Black Cat Systems offers MultiMode OSX, which lets you decode and transmit various popular communications modes including Morse Code, RTTY (teletype), Slow Scan TV, and others. Price is $89. Other goodies from Black Cat include the $24.99 DX Toolbox, which helps you predict radio signal propagation—in other words, how to find the strongest signals.

Podcasters can benefit from BlackCat’s $39 Sound Byte application, which simulates broadcast cartridge players. You can have dozens of songs, sound effects, jingles, commercials, or whatever in queue for instantaneous playback when you click the appropriate button.

Model railroaders can control their setups with the freeware Simple Digital Locomotive. The main site is in German, but the link I have provided is in English, though with more limited content. Another model railroad program is iTrain. This product is available in lite, standard, and professional versions, starting at 49 euros.

Even aquarium fanciers have their own Mac program, TankBuddy, designed to help owners maintain and monitor the habitats of their aquatic populations. It is freeware.

Do you collect paper currency? There’s a program for you! iCollect Banknotes is an inventory tool for collectors of banknotes and other currency. Price is AU$25.00.

Digital comic book collectors can grab a copy of ComicBookLover for a mere $24.95. You can easily store and view digital comics, and it offers several different viewing modes for single page, Western (left to right), and Manga (right to left) double page views.

For managing comic book collections, there are several apps available. including Comics 2, from Xidiar, is shareware, selling for $14.95.

There are many variations on media collection software (books, CDs, DVDs, etc.) including the very entertaining $40 Delicious Library from Delicious-Monster.com. A more conventional database-like application is Librarian Pro from Koingo, for $19.95. Other collection-type software can be obtained from Collectorz.com.

There are tons more hobby applications available. Start your search at the cnet download.com search page. Have fun!