ImageWe work with a lot of schools, clinic thumb universities, buy and academies. Moodle is a good fit for those those looking for a “free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.”

Because Moodle uses the great MAMP package, health it is as simple as dragging and dropping to get started with the site on a Mac server. And for those who use Leopard Server, there is a step-by-step guide for you too.

Moodle is free and can be downloaded for PPC or Intel Macs from the official site.

ImageNagios is an open source program that can be installed on a server to check on other servers. For instance, you could have it check that sites are up, services are running, an machines are pinging. And if it doesn’t find those things, it can send an email or an SMS so you know about it.

Macworld just posted a great article on this Nagios called, “Installing Nagios on Mac OS X 10.5 Server.”

They also pointed to a nice community where plug-ins are shared called Nagios Exchange.

You can download Nagios here.

ImageMost homes and offices have routers in front of their Mac servers so it’s important that the right ports be forwarded. The guys at at The Coding Monkeys labs intend to make this a bit easier. From the site:

Some times you want to access your computers at home from anywhere in the world. Be it the web server on your home server, the file sharing on your desktop machine or a remote login to your parent’s computer to support them doing their work.

This is where the application “Port Map” might come handy. Originally written as a proof of concept for our framework, it’s a fully featured all-purpose port mapper supporting all major routers, with presets and URL templates.

Get it here.

ImageOpenfire is a chat/collaboration server that you can run on your own machine.

I do some support work for a law office here in Las Vegas. They were loving the ability to have iChat in their office, but found that while using AIM there were too many personal conversations going on during work. Also, the partners were not too excited about all their case details running thru the AIM servers.

So we installed Openfire on a Mac mini in our data center and got everyone set up there. Now the office chatting is all on a private and secure server. In addition, Openfire has an awesome set of plugins for things like content filtering.

If you’d have a use for something like this, head on over to get your copy at the community’s site. (The software is released under the Open Source GPL.)

And in case you’re looking, they also have a pretty nifty cross platform chat client called Spark. (Though iChat will work with Jabber as well.)

ImageNovell’s iFolder technology is a great solution for anyone that uses more than one computer and/or uses them in multiple locations. This service syncs LOCAL copies of your documents so that you have your documents available online or offline AND keeps each iFolder client updated with any changes.

The Benefits are obvious:

  • You can get your work and home files in sync automatically.
  • All documents in all places have the most recent changes and edits.
  • A web interface to your synced files if you aren’t around your own computer.
  • Instead of only keeping your files on a server, the syncing will allow you access to your files while offline as well.

Michael Galindo, a customer of, will be publishing a three part series on how he got iFolder working on his Mac server. If you have a Mac server, and could use a little organization in your life, please feel free to follow along.

ImageA lot of our customers at Macminicolo have a machine to run the shopping carts for their business. They like the idea of controlling the whole box that will deal with transactions and financial data.

Zen Cart “is an open source online store management system. It is PHP-based, ampoule using a MySQL database and HTML components.” The install process is not too difficult, order and there is a great community to help with any issues.

You can see the long list of features and download the program from the Official Zen Cart site.

ImageProjectPier is a Free, Open-Source, self-hosted PHP application for managing tasks, projects and teams through an intuitive web interface. ProjectPier will help your organization communicate, collaborate and get things done Its function is similar to commercial groupware/project management products, but allows the freedom and scalability of self-hosting. Even better, it will always be free.

For the project management of Macminicolo, we use Basecamp from 37Signals. It’s a wonderful application that has done well for our company.

But, if you are a “do-it-yourselfer” the ProjectPier may be an option for you.