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David Appleyard

David Appleyard is a designer and writer based in the UK. He manages Tuts+, along with having founded several design websites including Design Shack and PixelsDaily.

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It’s widely accepted that OS X is already a very well designed operating system, with a great deal of attention paid to window appearance and icon design. It was the simplicity of design which inspired me to purchase my first Mac, and since then I’ve been fascinated with tweaking and modifying the interface.

Up until the release of Leopard, the most popular tool for modifying your Mac’s “theme” was ShapeShifter. Unfortunately, this doesn’t yet support OS X Leopard, and it’s looking unlikely that it will be updated in the near future. Another tool to consider is Magnifique, which brings a completely new theming engine (and Leopard support) to the table.

This how-to will provide a brief overview of how each of these apps work and what they can be used for. If you like the idea of changing the look and feel of OS X, keep your eyes peeled for a roundup of different themes coming later this week (both for ShapeShifter and Magnifique).

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Thank you to everyone who entered the RapidWeaver competition last week. It was fascinating to take a look at your websites, and great to run a concurrent competition via Twitter. The results are in, but before announcing the winners I’d like to say a big thanks to Real Mac Software for sponsoring a couple of competitions on AppStorm recently. They’re producing some fantastic apps at the moment!

I’m pleased to announce that the winning, randomly selected commenter is:

The Twitter competition winner, announced last Friday, was @autonomydesign with this delightfully random Tweet (in response to the question “What will you be doing this weekend?”)

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Congratulations to the winners, and sorry to those who missed out. For your browsing pleasure, here are a few of the website links I particularly liked!

Another competition will be kicking off later this week to win a copy of the fantastic Pixelmator, so do get subscribed via Twitter or RSS to be kept up to date!

A huge range of websites seem to offer weather information, though until now there has been a fairly limited range of integration with desktop apps (other than through Dashboard). The idea of integrating a weather forecast with iCal is one which seems obvious, but has only recently been introduced in the form of WeatherCal.

WeatherCal is a $10 System Preferences app which adds a five day weather forecast into iCal for cities of your choice. Forecasts appear as all day events, and are easy to sync with your iPhone or iPod Touch. This review will provide an overview of WeatherCal as well as a couple of solutions which provide very similar functionality for free.

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A stylish wallpaper need not be confined to your desktop (though some beautiful ones are available), and I wouldn’t want your iPhone to feel left out of the action. For this reason, I’ve been hunting for a collection of 50 gorgeous, stylish and funky iPhone/iPod Touch wallpapers to use with your device. Many are sized for the iPhone in particular, but would work with any mobile device.

I’ve split the collection down into a few different categories for easier browsing; Apple & Technology, Typography & Design, Cartoons, Photo Manipulation, and Abstract. There’s something for everyone, and I hope you end up with an iPhone sporting wonderful wallpaper attire!

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The rise of blogging online has lead to a number of new desktop applications which assist with the process. Often it can be useful to benefit from integration with other desktop apps, whether for posting RSS links, or adding media to an entry. MarsEdit is arguably the most popular blog tool for OS X, and is able to integrate with a range of different blog platforms.

This review will outline the main features of MarsEdit and how the software works, it will explore a few limitations currently present, and suggest a few other alternatives for those looking for a free solution.

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For many people, the audio functionality of their Mac is something that just works – there’s no need to mess with it, and no real requirement for anything more advanced. If you’re willing to spend a few minutes looking at what’s on offer, however, you may well stumble upon a few apps which can really enhance your experience of music and radio.

This roundup will take a look at a variety of different tools allowing you to better record audio, try an alternative to iTunes, listen to satellite radio, have your Mac speak to you, or stream music around your house.

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RapidWeaver is a great app for designing websites in a visual, template driven environment. Having recently reviewed RapidWeaver, we’re lucky enough to have two copies to give away to you beautiful readers. If you’re searching for a simple and powerful way to design a website, look no further.

One copy will be given away via Mac AppStorm, and another via Twitter. To enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post with your current website address (or, if you don’t have a website, an idea for what you’d like to create with RapidWeaver)
  2. Follow us on Twitter – I’ll be asking a question via Twitter at a random time this week. The best answer will win!

Good luck, and feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!

We’ve recently looked at a few screenshot tools, along with a range of screen recording applications. A recent addition to this area of software which caught my eye is Layers, a screenshot utility which records all your screen content in a layered Photoshop file.

Layers is actually quite an advanced application, with a whole bunch of different preferences and options for changing what is recorded and how the file is produced. This review will take a look at what’s on offer, and investigate how useful this functionality actually is.

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Thank you to everyone who entered the Billings competition. It’s always fun to give away free software, and I particularly like the fact that we’re able to reward a Twitter follower as well on this occasion. The results are in:

The winning blog comment, chosen at random is:

  • Tony S: I’d love a copy of Billings to use for my own personal freelance photography business!!! It would be tremendously helpful!!! Thanks for the opportunity!!!

And the randomly selected Twitter follower is:

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A huge congratulation to the winners – you’ll be contacted shortly. Sorry if you missed out, but you’ll have another chance to win again very soon. Next week’s competition will be for a RapidWeaver license, so stay tuned to Twitter or RSS to find out how to win!

Having a beautiful desktop background can be a fantastic motivator – unfortunately it can be difficult to sort the great from the ghastly when it comes to wallpaper design. To make the search easier, we’ve hand picked a selection of 50 stunning desktop images for your viewing pleasure.

I’ve split the collection down into a few different categories for easier browsing; Apple & Technology, Design & Typography, Abstract, and Nature & Architecture. Do let me know if you have any other favorites which I’ve missed!

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