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Editors' Review

by   / November 04, 2013

Machine Essays for Mac is one of the oddest and least useful programs we've ever encountered, and yet, we find ourselves kind of charmed by it. Inspired by the infinite monkey theorem, Machine Essays asks your computer to generate blocks of random characters and then identifies any English words that happen to appear, stringing them together in non-grammatical sentences. Why? No reason, really, except that the results can be kind of interesting.

Machine Essays for Mac has a surprising number of features and options. Users can choose from two different word lists, one with more obscure -- and ultimately nonsensical -- words on it, or one with more familiar options. The minimum word length is four characters, but users can set it higher if desired. CPU usage can be adjusted, as well. Once you've configured Machine Essays the way you want it, click "Start," and the program will start creating blocks of characters and pulling the words out. You can alternate between viewing the "raw buffer" -- the strings of random letters -- and the words found, which are arranged in sentences, though they lack any order or grammar. Machine Essays can also speak its results aloud as it searches, creating an odd stream-of-computer-consciousness speech. A Help file explains both how Machine Essays works and the creator's reasons for making it. The program is fun to play around with, though in our experience it fell short of spontaneously reproducing any of Shakespeare's works.

Machine Essays for Mac installs and uninstalls without issues. And while it may not be necessary, it can be fun.

What do you need to know about free software?


Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.1

- Re-wrote the word searcher. It was originally the generic one intended to simply match words from my text cataloging subsystem, instead of detect words in a random byte stream, so it was slow and not always correct for Machine Essays. Re-wrote to be very specific for this use, now much faster and will correctly find longer forms of words (i.e., will find "intently" and not just stop at "intent". Significant enough change to bump the minor version number, much richer output.
- Added a timeout for longer word searching. If some minutes go by without finding, say, an 8 letter word then the machine will re-set word length and go again. Variable time based on your CPU use setting.
- Added auto-saving code to insure an essay isn't lost in a power outage, which happened to me
- Increased the size of the characters seen to a really really big number.
- Reduced the maximum CPU utilization.
With the new scanner the fans were spinning up because things were happening too fast.
Now low medium and high are respectively 25%,50%,75% on a dual core machine.
- took out random word generation. Didn't make sense to the project in the end.
- Added a "Pause and save" feature when an essay gets longer than 10 meg. A dialog will appear at this point asking you to save.
- fixed some UI issues. Not style, but functionality.


Publisher Ravenware Software
Publisher web site
Release Date May 18, 2016
Date Added May 18, 2016
Version 2.1


Category Home Software
Subcategory Miscellaneous Home Software

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Mac OS X 10.7/10.8
Additional Requirements None

Download Information

File Size 4.21MB
File Name


Total Downloads 259
Downloads Last Week 1


License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free
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