Idle Loop Freeware

Last Updated May 14, 2008


Have you ever wondered how to determine programatically which of the serial port device files on your Mac OS X box belong to USB devices? As it turns out it can be done! All you have to do is use the IO Kit APIs to follow the IOServicePlane parent links until you find an IOUSBDevice or hit the root object. Piece of cake. The sample Xcode project SerialUSB (12 K) shows how to do it.

Thanks to Eric Welch for pointing me in the right direction.


DropHash (32K) is a Mac OS X application for computing hash values for files.

At many download sites, you'll see hash values with labels like "MD5" or "SHA-1". Once you have downloaded one of these files, you can compare the hash published on the server with the hash computed from the file you downloaded. If they match, then you got the file correctly, otherwise it was damaged or has been tampered with.

DropHash is a thin GUI wrapper around OpenSSL, a free program included with Mac OS X. Many users will find this interface preferable to having to fool around with Terminal commands. DropHash is a Universal Binary and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Here's the SHA-1 hash for bdcdf7f3ed8c07c744494ff14116d5ae9bf889d4


fractal.exe (66K) is a Windows application by Cathy that generates beautiful fractal images of the Mandelbrot set. Tom created a Macintosh version (64K) that requires a PowerPC-based Macintosh running MacOS 8.1 or later.

See the User Guide for Windows or Macintosh for details on using these programs.


SETI Monitor (96K) is a Mac OS X application for monitoring the status of command-line based SETI@Home clients running on multiple machines. Included instructions explain how to set up the command line version of SETI@Home to run in the background on OS X and have it report status to the monitoring app across the network. It also explains how to get maximum performance out of a dual processor Mac OS X or Unix box and how to use cron to keep those clients running even when no users are logged in. The monitor app will also monitor command-line clients on any platform that handles pipes and runs Perl (Darwin, Linux, BSD, Windows NT or later, but not Windows 95/98).

Trojan Wranger

Trojan Wrangler (196K) is a Mac OS X application for examining files for indications of hidden code, i.e., potential Trojan Horses. Use this app to check MP3, GIF, JPG, etc., files for code resources that may indicate the presense of malicious code. Use at your own risk, with no warranty of any sort. But I'm pretty sure it will catch the bad files described by Intego on April 9, 2004.


iPhone Backup Extract is a Perl script based on Mr Flip's original script that adds the ability to decode photos stored in the iPhone backup folder stored on your machine. See the TUAW article for more info.

MacBinary.exe (90K) is a DOS utility that Tom wrote to decode MacBinary files. MacBinary is a format for packing in the several parts of a Macintosh data file into a single file. Mac-based email clients like to encode files in MacBinary, even when it's not strictly necessary. MacBinary files also occasionally appear on FTP sites as ".bin" files.

This utility will extract the data fork of the MacBinary encoded file into a new file. This may not be useful in all cases, but it's better than the MacBinary file which is useful in no cases (unless you're using a Macintosh, of course). As far as I know, it's compatible with MacBinary and MacBinary II formats.

You will need to run it from a DOS prompt. Run it with no arguments to get help.

SonyCam.exe (46K) is a DOS utility that Cathy wrote to read the picture data (shutter speed, aperature, etc) encoded in .jpg files created by Sony DSC-D700 digital cameras.

Note: this works for files generated by our camera, but is not guaranteed to work for everyone. I determined the locations of the data by examining the files; I've gotten no official information about data storage.

You will need to run it from a DOS prompt. Run it with no arguments to get help.

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