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Free and useful files and links: 

Alan's Programs , Internet , Mac Stuff 

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~ Alan's Programs ~ InternetMac Stuff ~ Primary ~ Intermediate ~ Secondary ~ Just for Teachers ~ Fonts ~Graphics  and Clipart ~ Music and Sound ~ Windows add-ons ~ Games ~ Misc~  Security

***= highly recommended!

Programs Written by Alan Zisman

  • Guess a Number: (Win9x/NT) Asks the student to guess a number. Intermediate
  • *** Exact Change: Win9x/2000/XP ~ Mac (Classic) Win 3.1 ~ Mac (OS X) ~ Linux: Teaches kids about money, counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s, and place value (whole numbers and 2-place decimals). Now with Candian, US, UK, and Australian currency options!  Levels for grades 1-3 (Note: the Win 3.1 is and older, CDN-only version).
  • Place Value uses Canadian currency to teach the meaning of place value from hundreds to hundredths: Windows ~ Mac (Classic) ~ Mac (OS X) ~ Linux versions.
  • Grade Calculators:(Mac and PC) A spreadsheet template to record student marks and calculate term and year percentages. Mac-- ClarisWorks 2/3 ~ ClarisWorks/AppleWorks 4/5 ~ Windows--Microsoft Works 2 ~ MS Works 3 ~ MS Works 4/2000 ~ PC/Mac-- Excel 3 ~ Excel 4 ~ Excel 5/95/97/98/2000 
  • Ed-Net Simulator: Pretend to dial 732-8777 and get a taste of how on-line education used to be in Vancouver.  DOS version will run under Win 3.1, Win 9x, New Deal, etc. Mac version, too!

  • Internet stuff

    • Need an older browser for Windows 3.1, Mac, or other platform? Browser Archive has over 100 browser versions for free download.
    • Need a new browser? Mozilla Firefox is a great choice, with versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX. And check Scot's Newsletter's Best of Customizing Firefox.
    • WS-FTP_LE: (Win 95/98/2000/NT) Here's a free FTP program to update your school's website. I prefer FTP Surfer for a Windows Explorer-like interface. Or Filezilla or RightFTP 
    • Mac OS X users should try Cyberduck. Or the original Mac ftp program, Fetch, is available to students and employees of educational institutions (or charities) for free upon application-- ver 5 for Mac OS X (10.2.4 or later) and ver 4 for older Mac OS versions.
    • NomadNews is a free usenet (nttp) newsreader for Windows; another free usenet reader for Windows and Linux is PanMicrosoft's Outlook Express and Mozilla's Thunderbird (Windows, Mac, & Linux) include nntp and email.
    • Ed-Net Simulator: Pretend to dial 732-8777 and get a taste of how on-line education used to be in Vancouver.  DOS version will run under Win 3.1, Win 9x, New Deal, etc. Mac version, too- for old-style Classic Mac OS!
    • MyWebServer lets your computer be a webserver-- either for your local network or across the Internet. Or try Abyss Web Server
    • VNC (Virtual Network Computer) lets you use TCP/IP over the Internet or within local area networks to view another computer's desktop on yours, and run programs, access documents, etc. on the remote computer. There are Windows and Mac versions-- run a Mac on a Windows computer or vice versa. There are lots of versions of VNC- I like UltraVNC
    • If you're using Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 or later or Windows XP, you no longer have built-in support for Webpages that use Java. Install Sun's Java Virtual Machine to be able to browse freely.
    • ***Users of Windows NT, Win2000, and XP need to add Microsoft's little Wntipcfg for that platform to help troubleshoot and manage TCP/IP settings.
    • ** Start Page Guard protects your browser's home page from being changed by students or software.
    • Add a spell-checker to Internet Explorer to use with webmail. IESpell offers the choice of US, UK, or Canadian dictionaries. Use Outlook Express? OE Spell Check is a free spell-checker for that popular e-mail program. 
    • *** Want free popup stoppers, ad removers, spma blockers, and more? Check the list at Refdesk.
    • Need to send out regular group mailings? Try GroupMail Free
    • KidzLog (Mac OS X or Windows) is a weblog publishing tool for kids... even beginning readers/writers. 
    • IECookiesView lets you view, edit, delete browser cookies in Internet Explorer.
    • Telescope lets you search multiple search engines at once
    • IEFix does as the name suggests-- fixes Microsoft Internet Explorer; this can be especially handy on systems where you can't uninstall/reinstall IE.

    Web-Site Creation tools .

    • An old, free, easy-to-use Web creation programs:  AOLPress 2.0 for Windows 3.1,  Windows 9x/2000/etc, or Mac
    • *** This web-site was originally built and maintained using Mozilla Composer, part of the free Mozilla suite (browser, email, etc). Versions for Windows, Linux, Mac, etc. Now included in Mozilla's SeaMonkey web suite.
    • *** For Composer-style webpage creation:  check out Kompozer, a website creation packages with versions for 
    • Astronomy Animated Gifs: animations for web pages of planets, zodiac constellations, etc. For PC or Mac .
    • **You can make your own animated GIFs with the (older) free version of Ulead Gif Animator 
    • Just a couple more Internet graphics: make your page background look like notebook paper , make your page background look like a starry night ; or use the world's best under construction graphic on your unfinished pages.
    • Try WebClipArt for links to lots of image libraries as well as a collection of free graphics. Or check Free 
    • Media Builder has background, border, icon, and line image libraries. Stuff! offers background textures, buttons, and clip art
    • For fancy text effects, check out: 3D Text Maker ,, or FlamingText  
    • Xenu's Link Sleuth checks your website for broken links.
    • *** WebAlbum Creator automates creating a web album from a bunch of digital photos-- resizing a folder-full, making thumbnails, and generating a web page, all automatically. Great! Alternatively, E-Mage for Web also does a nice job of building web pages of graphics thumbnails or try WebAlbum Generator or YoPoW (Your Photos on the Web). Mac (OS X only) users can use Apple's iPhoto or the free jAlbum 
    • Making web pages but not sure how you would like them to look? has literally thousands of design samples and templates you can try out.
    • RSS Builder lets you add RSS feeds to your website
    • Cascade DTP makes it easy to build webpages harnessing "the powerful features of cascading style sheet (CSS) layout and formatting commands."
    • ZSoft Easy Web Creator "allows you to create a website, easy as 1-2-3. All you have to do is add pages and write the text."
    • First Page 2006 is a web page editor (Win2000/XP) with "great support for CSS, along with a ton of power tools for PHP, ASP, Cold Fusion and Perl. First Page now supports a ton of pre-built scripts for things like creating popup pages, scrollbars, image thumbnailing, rollover images, and auto-generating photo albums. Link checking feature looks for broken links on your pages, color theme tools help create pages with complimentary colors, built-in FTP and one of the better find-and-replace tools for text in the Web design space."
    • Microsoft Word can save documents as HTML files (web pages), but it does a poor job of it, adding lots of extra baggage that results in slow, cumbersome pages. WordCleaner is a free web-based application (so it works for Windows and Mac, etc) that strips the excess padding out of Word-HTML files.

    For Mac users

    Note: you'll find many other programs for classic Mac OS or Mac OS X spread out amongst the various content areas... not just in this Mac ghetto. For another take on Mac freeware, you may want to drop by Or see PC Magazine's (yes, PC Magazine!) Best Free Mac Software 2010. Also potentially interesting:
    -Mac operating system, hardware, and system utilities
    • Old Mac stuff- Links to making a Mac boot diskette or downloading Mac operating system disk images. The Apple Specs Database has all the facts on Apple's Macintosh computes, monitors, and printers
    • GrayShare is an Apple update to allow for sharing b&w (or gray-scale) Personal Laserwriters and Stylewriters on an AppleTalk network.
    • Having problems with SCSI devices on an old Mac? SCSIProbe will help manage your chain... it can even be used to mount drives that didn't show up at bootup.
    • Miss the ability to add custom items to OS X's Apple Menu (making it a program starter like the Windows Start Menu?) XMenu restores this classic Mac OS feature to OS X.
    • DoubleCommand nicely customizes Mac (OS X) keyboards... especially useful on laptops
    • Onyx is a Mac OS X system maintenance utility
    -Mac graphics, font, sound, and publishing stuff
  • OS X users can use the free jAlbum to create webpages full of thumbnail-sized versions of pictures, linked to the larger originals. 
  • Audacity is a very nice, free sound recorder and editor... works with Wav, MP3, etc. Windows, Mac (OSX and classic), and Linux versions.
  • Harmony Central has links to tons of downloadable Mac audio software 
  • SampleTank Free is a free music sample player-- Mac only!
  • Blender is an OS X 3D drawing program.
  • SimpleChord is an OS X reference to guitar chords
  • PlaySound is a simple music player (MP3, AIFF, etc) for Mac OS 9.1+ or OS X 10.2+
  • MrPresent lets you turn a folder full of graphics into a presentation. Mac OS 9/OS X
  • Music Box is a Mac OS X simple drum machine
  • SkalMac Tuner Mac OS X guitar tuner
  • Blend two photos together with MorphX
  • Aqua Scribus is a free desktop publishing (page design) program for Mac OS X (Note: Scribus is a free DTP program originally for Linux).
  • ImageWell (Mac OS X) "is the easy way to edit, rotate, crop, and resize your image and upload it to your iDisk (.mac account), FTP server, or WebDAV server."
  • Music Assistant is a combination metronome and tuner
  • Music Math "converts values for musical use. You can calculate the time stretching to use on a sample if you change the tempo for another, or the number of semi-tone to transpose, the time stretching to apply if you transpose a sample and you don't want to change the duration, the delay in ms to synchronise with BPM, and a tap delay fonction."
  • ToyViewer is not toy software- it's a fast and useful photo utility
  • Seashore is an open source OS X image editor
  • -Mac word processors
  • Abiword is a free word proceesor with an interface like MS Word. Versions for Mac OS X (X11 required), as well as Windows ,Linux, etc. (No classic Mac version).
  • viJournal Lite is free diary/journal software for Mac OS X 10.3+
  • note: BC (Canada) schools can freely install any version of AppleWorks (ClarisWorks) onto school systems under the Provincial license agreement with Apple
  • -Mac Internet software
  • The original Mac ftp program, Fetch, is available to students and employees of educational institutions (or charities) for free upon application-- ver 5 for Mac OS X (10.2.4 or later) and ver 4 for older Mac OS versions. 
  •  OS X users can use the free Cyberduck or RBrowser LiteNote- FTP can be used as a quick and dirty way to share files between Macs and PCs across and Ethernet network. 
  • Need help getting an Old Mac on the Internet ? Here's instructions, downloads, even a complete operating system version (7.0.1)
  • Cyberduck is a free Mac OS X ftp (and sftp) client
  • Adversus EasyGallery builds Web photo galleries (Mac OS 8/9)
  • -Mac educational software
    • (lots more listed in the various grade-level areas further along... )
    • WordSearch for Mac lets you play or create word search puzzles.
    • Trying to learn to use Apple's iMovie to make movies on your new iMac? Here are some tutorials: ... Tips on movie making
    • Kidsdomain includes a comprehensive list of Mac and PC freeware for kids and education-- sorted by age. Check it out!
    • Here's a link to an article full of free Mac stuff for teachers ... and here's the sequel to that article!
    • Markbook managers for teachers: Gradekeeper has both Mac and Windows versions. TeacherTool is a free Mac (OS 7.5 - 9.x -or new OS X) marks manager.
    • Homework Builder makes intermediate-level math homework and worksheets, mixing and matching problem levels and type.
    • Bambini is a set of simple games for babies and toddlers for classic Mac and OSX.
    • Mosquito is a math coordinate graphing game for grades 5 - 9 (System 7 or higher)
    • Celestia is a free, onscreen planetarium: 'a real-time 3D space simulation'- Mac OS X, Windows, & Linux versions
    • Math Wizard Pro is flashcard program for children learning their math facts. OS 9 or X.
    • TypeTrainer4Mac is a free typing tutor for OS X that supports US English and several European keyboard layouts.
    • Graph550 is a free equation grapher for Mac OS X.
    • Fraction Sticks visually teaches fractions: adding fractions, reducing fractions, equivalent fractions. Mac OS 7.0+
    -Mac miscellaneous
    • Find facts fast online with Macdict which searches 32 online databases to locate your information.
    • Chipmunk Basic works on older Macs or has a version for Mac OS X
    • Working with RealBasic (not free) a very powerful programming environment, similar to Microsoft Visual Basic, but on the Mac? It can be used to create both Mac (OS X and Classic), Linux,  and Windows programs. Free tutorials RealBasic University.
    • ProFit is a math graphing program (with a useable free trial version)
    • Need to read Mac-formatted (high-density) floppy diskettes on a Windows PC? Get the free Gemulator Explorer .
    • Glider Pro is a lovely classic game for Mac (black & white, colour, and even OS X) and Windows, now freeware. Fly a paper airplane throughout a house.
    • Looking for free (and school-friendly) Mac games? Check Free Games for Mac.
    • CosmoSaver X is a free screen saver with high quality images of the Solar System for OS X.
    • MacTracker gives information on every Mac ever made. Versions for OS X, Mac Classic, even Windows!
    • *** SnapNDrag is a free screen-capture utility. Very well done. Mac OS X. GrabMac is another Mac screenshot utility with lots of features. Mac OS 9 or OS X.
    • Canada Screensaver with glorious photos from around Canada. Mac OS X
    • SpeakIt 'asks for text then speaks it'... this may be useful for some children with writing difficulties. (Mac OS X 10.1 or later)
    • Goban is a Mac OS X version of the classic game of Go
    • A Legal Good Time is a picture puzzle game, slide the rows and columns to uncover the scrambled image
    • Tic Tac Weg:  A TicTacToe game with tournament options and highscore. Also very nice graphics. German and swedish versions also available. 
    • Quinn is a free Tetris for Mac OS X.
    • LiquidCD is an OS X CD/DVD recording app
    • *** Flip4Mac provides Windows Media video and audio playback within OS X Quicktime Player. (The same page has links for Windows Media Player for Mac OS X and OS 8.1-9.x) Every Mac should install this, along with the free Perian
    • Love your Mac but need to use a Windows machine? Flyakite OSX makes your Windows XP system look and feel almost like a Mac running OS X. Very slick!
    last revised 27 September 2010


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    Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at  E-mail Alan