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Adam Williams

Adam is a tech and music writer based in North Wales. When not working, you’ll usually find Adam tinkering with old Macintosh computers, reading history books, or exploring the countryside with his dog Finley. You can follow him on twitter here

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I have something of a confession to make – I’m very particular when it comes to computers. While I can walk around with two week’s beard growth or drive in a mud splattered car for most of the summer without a care, my Mac has to be ‘just so’. After all, my Mac is what I work on, it’s what I record my music onto and, since I don’t want a television in the house, my Mac is what I tend to digest most of my entertainment on too.

In order to keep everything as I like it, my Mac must be organized perfectly with a system of folders, colour coded files and, above all, a clean Desktop. Despite my best efforts however, this isn’t always practical, as there are no amount of temporary folders which can replace the speed and usefulness of using the Desktop as a place to temporarily store files for later categorising and/or deleting.

That’s why clutter-cleaning applications are so useful, affording the user the best of both worlds. Here’s some of the best available at the moment.

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Since the dawn of home computing, those in the know have measured a machine’s worth with a look at the system’s specifications: A Sinclair Spectrum ZX which sported 128K of RAM was better than the 48K version and, likewise, a 500MHz iBook G3 was naturally superior to its clamshell ancestor, which housed a 300MHz processor. Once you understand the terms and the math, it’s simple. Or it was, anyway.

In more recent years, the picture has become a little muddled – is a 2.2GHz AMD CPU superior to its Intel rival? Throw in multiple cores and a choice of video card and a confused mess becomes positively Byzantine. Then there’s Apple, who as usual do things their own way.

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VirtualDJ was first released in 2003 and over the years has grown into a real success story for Atomix Productions, providing professional DJ’s and hobbyists with effective DJ software. Originally sold in shops, this multi-platform ‘Home’ version is now available for free in the Mac App Store and sees the developers adopt an innovative pricing model to offer a largely uncrippled and feature-packed app in the hope of enticing users to eventually upgrade, with the end result being a big win for the consumer.

Let’s take a closer look at this innovative App Store favourite.

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Though my initial knee-jerk reaction to the news that Apple were making Mac OS X Lion available only through the Mac App Store was one of disapproval, upon reflection the decision makes sense from an environmental standpoint at least. There will be trees saved without those retail boxes needing to be made, in addition to fuel and emissions saved from the various vehicles which would have been needed to transport those boxes to their destinations – not to mention a digital distribution method fits in with Apple’s minimalist ethos and their slow but steady march to a complete rejection of physical media.

That’s great and all, but there are situations in which a physical copy of OS X is very useful, such as if the user desires a completely fresh install, or to upgrade several Macs at once, or those wishing to skip Snow Leopard altogether and move from Leopard straight to Lion. If you have any of these needs or just want a physical copy as a means of insurance, read on after the break because we’ve got you covered…

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Trophy Truck Extreme is a cross platform release from independent developers XMediaGrafx which promises to be a fun and addictive racing game, seeing off-road vehicles move at a breakneck speed across rough terrain and smashing into each other in a frantic race to come first place.

So, does Trophy Truck Extreme deliver on this promise? Read on after the break to find out!

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In the five hundred years following Johann Gutenberg’s invention of the first practical printing press in 1447, the methods through which people have received and digested news saw little change. The story of man has been chronicled by newspapers for generations and the tangible product of paper and ink faithfully recorded revolutions, inventions, tragedies, and triumphs for countless people.

Fast-forward to a mature Internet age and things are most definitely different. Newspapers still have an important place in society, but the patience required for reading each page is slowly dwindling, in favor of news as it happens. The continued adoption of the Internet as a medium of reporting has made the press more free than ever before, but the trade-off has been a perceived loss of quality in the reading experience. Pulp aims to change this by delivering an RSS App that combines the pleasing user experience of Gutenberg’s venerable creation with the speed, portability, and breadth of content only available in the Internet age.

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Though Apple have long attracted creative computer use, in the decade since the purchase of Logic Pro from German company Emagic in 2002, Mac has become the premium platform for sound design, recording and studio work, to the point that Apple have become almost synonymous with high quality audio.

Below I hope to make the case that, when it comes to making music with the aid of a computer, a Mac is by far the best choice currently available.

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