Frivolous Apps for the Mac: Tom's Mac Software Picks

Uli's Talking Moose and Eyeballs Find Their Way Back to Your Mac

Uli's Moose and Eyeballs
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

This week's Mac software pick is a bit different. First, I picked two apps; second, they do absolutely nothing useful. They won’t make your Mac perform faster, keep it tidy, help with your workflow, or add a new whiz-bang feature that you just couldn't imagine getting along without.

Instead, the two apps are throwbacks to a simpler time, when the Mac had systems with numbers less than 10.0, and having goofy apps on your Mac was just the thing to do.

Pro

  • Each app is a time and resource waster, and may keep you from finishing projects on time.

Con

  • Each app is a time and resource waster, and may keep you from finishing projects on time.

Background

In the early days of the Mac, there was quite a bit of shareware software around, much of which was the developer's first attempt at creating programs for the Mac. Some of the software was pretty amazing, some was pretty bad, and some, like the two included here, became classics, even though they really didn’t do anything remarkable.

Uli’s Moose

Though not the original Talking Moose that invaded many early Macs running OS 9 or earlier, Uli’s Moose is the reincarnation of Steve Hall’s Talking Moose, which never made the transition to OS X.

The Talking Moose was a magical animated creature that would pop up on your Mac’s screen at odd times, and speak a few bits of wisdom about what you were currently doing.

Interesting tidbit: The Talking Moose was the first animated talking agent that included realistic lip synchronization. Microsoft copied the idea when it created Clippy, the talking paperclip. Unfortunately, Microsoft forgot to include the fun factor, sounding the death knell for talking animated agents.

The Talking Moose lives on in Uli’s Moose, which still cavorts around a Mac’s screen, popping up at the strangest of times and uttering pearls of wisdom as only an animated moose could possibly do.

Uli’s Moose is available for OS X 10.3 through OS X El Capitan. You can even download Uli’s Moose version 2.1, which will run under Mac OS 7.1 through 9.1.

Uli’s Moose is free, although donations to keep the moose in good spirits are highly recommended, and very much appreciated by the developer.

Eyeballs

Eyeballs is a menu item that adds a set of eyeballs to your Mac’s menu bar, or to your desktop, as a floating window. The eyes track your cursor wherever it may go. If your cursor hasn't moved about in a while, the eyeballs may get tired and eventually fall asleep on you.

Eyeballs is very customizable, with a wide selection of eyeball types with various colors, pupil types, and overall personalities. You can also customize the eyeballs to better reflect your personality.

Eyeballs is another piece of shareware that has been around for a long time. I remember having the eyeballs installed in the menu bar of my Mac Plus.

I wasn't able to track down the early history of Eyeballs, neither who created it originally, nor the date it first appeared.

It may have first appeared as a download on CompuServe, but regardless of its origin, Eyeballs remains available for the Mac today, and even runs without any issues in OS X El Capitan.

Eyeballs is $10.00. A demo is available.

See other software choices from Tom's Mac Software Picks

Published: 10/31/2015