MessageMan 1.0 home-messaging software for Mac OS 9 and OS X has been released by graphics-design and software company Software.

Tom Iwaniec, of Software, said: "MessageMan is designed to replace the notepad and stickies on the fridge door. Set up an account and mailbox for each user, and you're good to go."

Iwaniec said: "If you get a phone call, and the family member it's for isn't available, use MessageMan, and when they get home they'll know where to look. Maybe you need to go somewhere and nobody else is home. No problem. They'll know where you went because you left a message with MessageMan's Public Box."

You don't even need to log in to see if you have new messages. Just open the application and check on the fly with the "scoreboard". MessageMan uses strong encryption methods to keep messages private, Iwaniec said. MessageMan mailboxes have various customizable options, including the automatic speaking of messages, auto-logout, deletion of read messages after a period of time, and more.

The shareware product is $10. You can download MessageMan from Software.